Weekend Vibes | My Music Recommendations for the Weekend: Peter Manos, PRETTYMUCH and Backstreet Boys

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Hello there, music lovers! 💚

If you’re anything like me, you’re probably sick of every third song on the radio being an Ariana Grande song. Nothing against her, I think she’s great, BUT I need some variety!

So here I am, offering my weekend music recommendations. Does my opinion count? Probably not, but here’s to hoping I can spread the music love and offer some variety to your music-loving ears.

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First up, I stumbled across a video on IG last night where three dancers were dancing to a song I’d never heard before. I couldn’t get the song out of my head, so I ended up adding it to my playlist on Apple Music.

The song is aptly titled “In My Head” by Peter Manos. While I don’t know much about him, I do know that he has three songs available to stream on Apple Music and you should definitely check them out. Those other songs are new releases (2019), titled “Out of Love” and “You Don’t Know Me.” He has this mellow, calming voice that makes you want to just light some candles and let all the stress of the day melt away. His songs are a mix of R&B with an acoustic vibe to it. Just trust me. Listen to them!

 


 

Another recommendation is from a band my niece introduced me to. PRETTYMUCH just wrapped up their FUNKTION TOUR, which I had the pleasure of going to with the niece last October here in Ft. Lauderdale. They recently released a song titled “Jello,” but my weekend recommendation is for a track they released at midnight last night/this morning called “Blind.” I mean, let me be honest, you should be listening to ALL of their songs, but I digress. These guys are hard working, talented and extremely underestimated (for now). They remind me of the old school boy bands, which is why I would even call myself a fan in my thirties lol. Their songs are so catchy, they’re incredible dancers and they put on a great show. Plus, I’ve seen first hand how much they love and appreciate their fans. Check out the new track, then check out all their other tracks and then you can catch some of the videos I recorded for my niece at their show here in Ft. Lauderdale (link below the video). 2019 better be their year!

 

Are you watching the video again?? You should be lol!

Here’s a link to my YouTube Channel, where you can find the videos I took from their show in October 2019.

 


 

My last recommendation for the weekend hurts my heart a little. Anyone who knows me knows that Justin Timberlake is my No. 1 and has been since I was 14 (that’s 20 years, people). I was that person who had NSYNC posters and articles plastered on my walls — like it was literally my wallpaper. With that being said, I feel the need to inform you that I was not that person who cried whenever I saw them or stalked their bus lol. Back then, you had to make a choice . . . NSYNC or Backstreet Boys. You already know what my choice was, which is why this recommendation hurts so bad haha. Backstreet Boys released their latest album, DNA, at midnight and it is fan-fucking-tastic! Excuse my French. I’ve been listening to it all morning and I haven’t found a song I didn’t like. I even texted my BSB-loving bestie and told her I might have to go with her to see them live for once in my NSYNC-loving life! All you Howie and Kevin lovers out there, hold onto your hats because they seem to have way more parts on this album than they ever have before. Don’t fact check me on that because if you’ve read this paragraph, you know that BSB was not my choice! I have to give credit where credit is due, and BSB definitely deserve it on this one. Congrats, boys men Backstreet Boys! (See what I did there?)

Check out the album DNA on Apple Music and Spotify, and you can check dates for their upcoming DNA World Tour HERE.

 

If there’s something you want me to check out, let me know in the comments! I’m always eager to hear new music, so feel free to send me YOUR recommendations!

 

Interview: New Boy Band 4TH AVE – Initiation EP Drops Today!

IMG_1642Hello there!

I had the chance to speak with up-and-coming boy band 4TH AVE about their new EP, Initiation, which is out today! We talk ABC’s Boy Band, how the band was formed, their musical influences, and more.

4TH AVE is made up of Camry Jackson, Jaden Gray, Marcus Pendleton and Mikey Jimenez

If you weren’t already aware, I featured 4TH AVE as one of my ‘Artist to Watch’ posts back when they were first introduced. Their sound is so organic and soulful and fun. Not to even mention the level of maturity and talent these young men possess. You can check out that original post HERE. Now, I’m not trying to say, “I told you so,” but . . . (I told you so).

  • Can you introduce yourselves to those who might not be familiar with you from Boy Band?

    We are 4 individuals who came from the show Boy Band on ABC. The judges were Timbaland, Nick Carter, and Emma Bunton. On the show every week we competed against each other in different groups throughout the season. Unfortunately we didn’t make it to the final band, but we were blessed enough to make our own, titled 4th Ave!

  • How did the decision to form 4th Ave come about? Was this something that was discussed prior to the show ending? I also want to high five you all for your maturity throughout the process of Boy Band and the unveiling of the final five.

    Thank you! After the finale, Timbaland came up to all of us on stage and said he felt that we should be a group. He knew that each of us had something special, and together we’d be unstoppable! We are so very humbled that he input his opinion into our hearts. It was the best choice we could’ve ever made!

  • What has the song writing/recording process been like so far?

    Before the show, each of us had some type of familiarity of singing in the studio, song writing, and singing front of big crowds. So when that process began to come our way it was a breeze due to the fact that we had been doing it for some time.

  • Did you get a say on which songs were going to be chosen for your first EP, Initiation? How many songs have you recorded so far?

    Yes, we had a major say as to which songs were able to be on the first EP! Of course with the help of our manager Jared Rosenberg, and Musical Director Adam Blackstone, we were able to make the eight choices as to which should be on it. In addition to that, we have recorded at least 19-21 songs!

  • What do you hope fans take away from the EP?

    From this EP, we hope that fans take away the raw emotion and passion we put into it! We want them to experience the life of the songs, just as we did when we were singing/writing them! This EP is an emotional roller coaster!

  • Since the formation of 4th Ave, you’ve performed back up for Charlie Puth on national television and you took part in a performance at the March for Our Lives event in Washington, D.C. How excited are you to finally be going out on tour with your own music and your own fans that have been patiently waiting for this for the past year?

    What an honor it was to be able to perform behind Charlie Puth on the Voice, and Vic Mensa on March For Our Lives! It’s quite unreal being that we’ve only been a band for 7-8 months, and we are so humbled. Now that we are going on our own tour, with our own music, the only thing that goes through our mind is wow this is really happening this early. We never would’ve thought the ball would get rolling this early!

  • You’ve had incredible fan interactions since your formation. How important is that to you?

    Fan interaction is our main focus. In fact we don’t even call them fans, we call them our supporters! They are so important because they keep us going, and they support us no matter what. If there is a meet and greet, they are there, if an EP comes out, they buy it, and if there is a concert, they are there, etc. So we love them with all of our heart!

  • Who are your musical influences? Who would you like to work with in the future?

    Individually we have many, but as a group they would have to be:Boys To Men, Michael Jackson, Usher, Chris Brown, Bruno Mars, Justin Timberlake, and Justin Bieber just to name a few.

  • Can you let your fans know of any upcoming projects to look out for?

    As of right now continue to share our new EP! Lookout for our first Tour, and after tour we may have quite a few surprises for you as well!

  • Where can people find you online?

    4th Ave Music on all social platforms!
    Website | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

 

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*NSYNC Dirty Pop-Up Shop & Walk of Fame

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Ladies and gentlemen, today is the last day of April . . . which means that it’s gonna be MAY!! Yes, sorry, I had to do it.

In less than an hour, fans out in Hollywood, California and online all over the world will get to watch *NSYNC (finally) get their star on the Walk of Fame! If you’re like me and couldn’t make it out to Cali for the event, you can stream it live on walkoffame.com at 11:30 PDT.

Leading up to the ceremony, where all five members will reunite, they announced a pop-up shop in Los Angeles that is aptly dubbed Dirty Pop-Up. You heard that correctly. Not only do we get to see our favorite group-gone-too-soon together again, we also get new merch! Have we just transported back to my high school years??? Give me some sort of glimmer of hope for a mini reunion tour and I might need an EKG to check my heart lol.

I remember watching Disney’s In Concert with *NSYNC back in 1998 and I was immediately hooked. I begged my parents to buy me the VHS (yes, it was that long ago) of *N The Mix and watched it repeatedly for months – I’ve since upgraded to the DVD version of it and I even introduced my niece to it when she was younger. I had stacks of floppy disks with pictures on them and my bedroom walls were wallpapered with *NSYNC posters and magazine articles. I was that person.

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Merch – Volume 1

I saw them live for the first time at the Broward County Fair where Britney Spears opened up for them ( I had no idea who she was yet). My best friend and I were trying to get there early, but we had a fire drill at school that delayed our release. We definitely contemplated fleeing during the drill, but it turns out it wasn’t just a drill-someone set a garbage can on fire on the third floor and ruined our chances at meeting the guys. Another friend of mine sat next to me in Science in 10th grade. We’d have *NSYNC magazines and books resting on top of our Science books and I don’t think we ever looked so involved in our schoolwork! I was lucky enough to see them live 4 times before their “hiatus” in 2002. I was just graduating high school and between that and their hiatus, I thought my world was turned upside down.

 

16 years later and here I am, prepping to watch the guys receive their star on the Walk of Fame and checking out merch online in their store at nsync.com. Maybe now, my world is being turned right-side up!

So, I just wanted to send a huge CONGRATS to Justin, JC, Lance, Joey and Chris for making their mark in music history no matter how long it lasted. As I sit here with my *NSYNC playlist on repeat today, I’m finally old enough to hold up a glass (if I wasn’t at work) and cheers to a fabulous run! Thank you for everything.

*NSYNC to Receive Star on Hollywood Walk of Fame (finally)

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After months of speculation, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce announced yesterday that *NSYNC will (finally) receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame!

All five members of the band (Justin Timberlake, Lance Bass, JC Chasez, Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick, in case you were previously unaware) will be in attendance for the ceremony slated for April 30 at 11:30 am PT and, for those not able to attend, there will be a live-stream available on walkoffame.com.

Arguably one of the most iconic boy bands in the late 90’s/early 2000s, *NSYNC has sold over 30 million copies in the U.S. alone. While we don’t have any news floating around about a future reunion, we’ll just have to settle for this mini one! Heck, maybe it’ll spark conversations for a little reunion tour?? A girl can dream, right?

I’m biased, but I think they should’ve received their star years ago! Better late than never. If you disagree, come at me!

Be right back, gotta go sell an organ so I can buy myself a ticket to Cali.

Artist to Watch: 4TH AVE | #4thAve @4th_Ave_Music

IMG_2169Ladies and gentlemen, we have another band on our hands!

After an incredible run on ABC’s Boy Band, Jaden Gray, Mikey Jimenez and Marcus Pendleton made it to the top 8, where they fell short of the final band. BUT, never fear, we all knew their talent was far too great to have it end there. With the help of another strong voice from the show, Camry Jackson, the guys formed a new band and announced their name today via newsletter–4th Ave!

After weeks and weeks of speculation, the guys had announced that they would be providing back up vocals for Charlie Puth on an episode of NBC’s The Voice this past season. It was their first TV spot since Boy Band ended and, to be honest, they felt like a band. For them to be back up for an established artist and still have a strong stage presence says so much about these guys. It speaks volumes for what’s sure to come.

In the newsletter, the guys revealed the band name and a first run for merch. They’re releasing it in limited quantities each time a run is out. So, for RUN 1, they’ll have limited quantities and then that design will be thrown out and replaced with a new design for RUN 2. They’re also including a free download of their first single (which I believe will be released on February 9, 2018) with each purchase from RUN 1.

I may be in my thirties, but I’m really excited about this band. Their voices are absolutely incredible on their own, but together they’re about to blow minds. Not to mention the fact that they’re working with some incredible people: Tim Davis and Adam Blackstone.

Head over to 4thavemusic.com to shop the merch in RUN 1. You can also find them at the following links:

4th Ave – Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | SnapChat:  fourthavemusic
Cam       – Instagram | Twitter
Jaden     – Instagram | Twitter
Marcus  – Instagram | Twitter
Mikey    – Instagram | Twitter

 

 

Review: @RadioDisney Concert with @InRealLife & @SkylarStecker – Celebration, FL | #review #lifelines #irl

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Good morning, music lovers!

This past weekend (December 9-10), my niece & I headed up to Orlando from Miami, Florida to see In Real Life perform for Radio Disney at Celebration Town Center. Before I get to the review, let me give a bit of back story . . .

Over the summer, my niece became invested in a group of guys competing for a spot in the newest boy band. Every week, my mom & I sat with her and watched the performances and their Instagram lives, and became invested ourselves. As a lover of music, I enjoyed seeing this young group of guys with the drive and determination that most adults don’t possess. There was never drama between any of the boys, no petty controversies or bickering. Their families all got along and it just seemed like one big family. The final five ended up being Michael Conor, Sergio Calderon, Jr., Chance Perez, Drew Ramos and Brady Tutton.

The boys were swept into a mini promo tour as soon as the show wrapped and it was announced that they would be managed by Johnny Wright, who also manages Justin Timberlake and Alicia Keys. Knowing this, we knew it was a matter of time before the boys would be making a trip to Wright’s compound in Orlando, Florida. Sadly, they made that trip in October, just ONE DAY after my niece and I left Orlando to return to Miami. She literally missed them by one day. (You can read more about our misadventures that weekend by clicking HERE). So, needless to say, I had to take another trip up to Orlando with her when it was announced that they would be performing for Radio Disney on December 9th.

Florida doesn’t get “winter weather” too often, especially not in Miami, so we were excited to hear that we’d be getting a cold front for the weekend! We drove up to Orlando Saturday morning, checked into our hotel and headed over to Celebration Town Center early so that my niece, Briana, would have a good shot at meeting the guys. She was also meeting up with another fan around her age, Cristina (aka tattoo girl lol). As soon as we met up with Cristina and her mom, Paige, we found out that she’d met the guys in Starbucks right next to where Briana and I had been sitting. She was so close yet again! (Side note: I tried to get in touch with someone about scheduling an interview with the guys for my blog, but it was such short notice and pretty much impossible to get in touch with someone from their team.)

Now let’s get to the review:

IMG_1510As we were sitting by the empty stage about four hours before the show, we heard a loud crash. The roof of the stage collapsed and missed the workers by inches. This made it impossible for the guys to come out for a proper sound check. Instead, they came out and did a mini sound check behind the stage with an audience of possibly 12 girls and their moms (& aunts). I felt like they probably could’ve come over to meet the few girls that were there in the cold so early, but they were rushed into a nearby hotel for a warmer rehearsal. They were able to give quick little hugs to a few of them before they left though. The rest of us stayed out in the cold while another stage was brought in. The girls all went over to get black wristbands that gave access to the meet and greet that would take place after the show.

After what seemed like forever, the show finally started with 15-year-old Skylar Stecker. I’d never heard of her before, but she actually has a great voice. I felt for her dancers because they looked like they were freezing the whole time. Her set was about 3-4 songs and then they took another break for what seemed like forever before In Real Life came back out to perform.

Their set was actually impressive considering they’ve only been together for a few months and only have three official songs released for download and streaming. This was their set list for the night:

That’s What I Like (Bruno Mars cover)
Tattoo
Feel This Christmas
I’ll Be Home This Christmas
Eyes Closed

The show sounded fantastic, the guys looked comfortable (despite the cold) and they seemed extra happy when they were able to point the mic out to the crowd and hear the fans singing the words back to them. That has to be one of the most rewarding parts of the music business. There is so much talent in this band, but there has even been a huge improvement with their vocals collectively since they were formed. Props to the guys for improving on choreo also! I give major credit to the people setting up the stage(s) who managed to reposition the sound equipment with no time setbacks or mishaps. It really was a great show and I’m glad I got to experience that with my niece.

There was another long wait between the end of the show and the meet and greet, and at that point the cold was almost unbearable for those of us used to Miami “winters” lol. They probably should’ve moved the meet and greet inside somewhere, but it took place out in the cold. Not many of the fans knew who Skylar Stecker was and, absolutely no disrespect to her, but I felt like they should’ve had two separate meet and greets. Instead, they had a joint one that ended up being more of a take-your-picture-and-then-keep-moving, as opposed to actually having a minute to actually meet the guys. In any case, the girls were ecstatic and the guys made them feel as special as they could in such a short amount of time.

Here are our pics with the guys & Skylar Stecker (sorry for the blurriness):

Here are some more pics from the day:

A huge THANK YOU goes out to Radio Disney for putting on this show (even though I wish it was in Miami), to In Real Life for coming out and giving 100% to their fans in the cold weather, to John Clubb for being so sweet to my niece and for giving the gifts she brought to the guys. Another shout out to the girls who became friends with my niece at the show and to Paige for being such great company! You have to love when unexpected experiences bring people together. That’s MUSIC for you!

If you ever have a chance to check out In Real Life in person, do it! They’re still extremely new, but they have such a great stage presence and they really appreciate the fans so much. That in itself proves that these guys still have that drive to succeed.

Keep it up, guys . . . the hard work is paying off!

Boy Band Friday! | New Music

Today unexpectedly became the day for boy bands to release new music! I’m not complaining either. Well, besides the fact that it’s not *NSYNC, but that’s besides the point.

In Real Life has been on a whirlwind since being crowned the winners on ABC’s Boy Band show this summer. They released their debut single “Eyes Closed” and a Christmas EP with an original song, “Feel This Christmas,” and a cover of the classic, “Home for Christmas.” Today they released an acoustic version of “Eyes Closed” and I think it’s really good! For being fresh on the scene, they’ve been really busy getting their name out there – which is no surprise considering they’re being managed by boy band genius Johnny Wright, who also currently manages my No. 1, Justin Timberlake. Check out both versions of the song and let me know which one you like better (if you can bear to choose between them).

PRETTYMUCH also released a new single today called “No More,” featuring French Montana. Ok, I have to admit that this one of my new favorite boy bands since *NSYNC. Their performance level is through the roof! These guys can dance! This is their fourth track release and every one of their songs so far have been bangers. Definitely check out “No More,” and you can also listen to “Would You Mind,” “Teacher” and “Open Arms.” PRETTYMUCH is managed by Simon Cowell, who put together one of the biggest boy bands, One Direction.

I’m happy to say that one of the old school boy bands of my day is still alive and thriving. New Kids On the Block released a new EP today titled “Thankful,” and it has a Christmas vibe to it. These guys aren’t going anywhere any time soon, so check out their old stuff and enjoy the new music as well!

Age knows no bounds when it comes to boy bands. At 33, I find myself enjoying some of the new bands (mentioned here), and my niece, who is 13, enjoys going with my to NKOTB shows. I know she’ll be right there with me if there is ever an *NSYNC reunion show also! So, if you’re a music lover and can appreciate harmonies, catchy beats and occasional pelvic thrusts, give these guys a listen and, as always, let me know what you think!