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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JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE: Man of the Woods Tour 2018 | Ft. Lauderdale, FL – 5/19/18

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE: Man of the Woods Tour 2018 | Ft. Lauderdale, FL – 5/19/18

Ladies and gentleman, I got to experience something incredible this past weekend. I ended up with front row tickets to The Man of the Woods Tour and it was something I will truly never forget. At one point, the first time JT stood in front of us, I felt a sharp pain in my chest and was convinced I was about to have a heart attack. Luckily, it passed and only got better from there! But, first, let me tell you how I got there:

I (finally) got my Bachelor’s Degree last August and, as a graduation gift, my aunts surprised me with tickets to see my Day 1, Justin Timberlake, on one of his stops here in South Florida. I’d been pretty bummed because the tickets were rather expensive and I was convinced that I wouldn’t be able to make it to one of his shows for the first time ever. So, when my aunts surprised me with FLOOR tickets, I was stoked! This would be the first time I’ve ever had floor tickets and it was for Justin freaking Timberlake. The only issue was having to wait months for the show!

Nevertheless, May 19th finally arrived and my niece & I were getting ready to head out to the show. South Florida has had an extremely rainy past few weeks, so I was iffy about heading out early and waiting in line for doors to open while getting soaked in the rain. Doors were supposed to open at 6pm and the show was scheduled to start at 7:30pm. We got there at 4:45 and there were about 35-40 people ahead of us in the GA Floor line. Luckily, Verizon members who are enrolled in the Verizon Up Rewards program are able to enter the venues via “fast lane,” so my niece and I ended up being second in line. We got in and raced to find a good spot in the front.

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DJ Freestyle Steve began playing music, and then JT’s opening act, The Shadowboxers, made their way on-stage. They played about 3-4 songs and had great energy. The Shadowboxers was founded by Adam Hoffman, Matt Lipkins and Scott Tyler and is based out of Atlanta, GA. They later added Cole McSween on drums and Carlos Enamorado on bass. After a tweet from their Twitter account in 2013, telling JT to check out their cover of his song “Pusher Love Girl,” their relationship with him took flight. Their EP titled Apollo was released on March 23, 2018 and now they’re touring with him on The Man of the Woods Tour.

Justin’s set began a little after 9pm and the BB&T Center was living. As close as my niece & I were to the back stage, we were unable to see the main stage, so keep that in mind for future shows. Although I’m sure the fans up front were unable to see the stage we were at also.  The show was absolutely incredible. I’ve been to a lot of concerts at the BB&T Center and I’ve never been to one that looked completely sold out. Even the seats behind the stage were sold out. Luckily, with JT’s current stage set-up, everyone in the audience gets a little time with him. Even the crowd behind the stage got some time with him when he went out on a little riser behind his band, The Tennessee Kids.

The lights, the lasers, the little campfire sequence, the dancing, the sound, the vibe, everything was spot-on. Here is the set-list if you’d like to brush up on your lyrics:

  1. Filthy
  2. Midnight Summer Jam
  3. LoveStoned
  4. SexyBack
  5. Man of the Woods
  6. Higher Higher
  7. Senorita
  8. Suit & Tie
  9. My Love
  10. Cry Me A River
  11. Mirrors
  12. Drink You Away
  13. Flannel
  14. Until the End of Time
  15. Dreams (performed by backup singer, Zenya Bashford)
  16. Ex-Factor (performed by backup singer, Nicole Hurst)
  17. Come Together (performed by backup singer, Kenyon Dixon)
  18. Thank God I’m A Country Boy (performed by backup singer, Jack King III)
  19. Morning Light
  20. What Goes Around . . . Comes Around
  21. Say Something
  22. Montana
  23. Summer Love
  24. Rock Your Body
  25. Supplies
  26. Like I Love You
  27. Can’t Stop the Feeling

IMG_0216Another fan had sent me this photo that lists the set list along with where each song is performed. I found this to be very accurate aside from No. 24 being performed on the opposite side listed on the map. The blue circle represents where I was for the show.

Songs 13-18 were sung around a campfire that rose from beneath the stage and some of those songs were performed by the backup singers, individually, with an assist from JT.

“Cry Me A River” was performed on all three stages and walkways that were covered with smoke.

Also, keep in mind that at times throughout the show, panels would lower and double as screens for those who might be unable to see clearly. I’m not certain because I was beneath them, but they seemed like they might obstruct the view of the actual stages a bit when they’re down. Either way, they provide cool visuals that fit the theme of the album.

“Rock Your Body” was performed off to the side (the side I was on) in the VIP section. This was done on a light-up disco floor surrounded by VIP ticket holders.

Here are some pictures I took from my cozy little spot at the show:

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I might be a bit biased because, as I mentioned, Justin Timberlake is my Day 1, but I highly recommend this show. The energy was through the roof, everyone involved is so incredibly talented, and I love how interactive JT is with everyone in the room. He really tries to give everyone an experience they’ll never forget.

You can find more info, including remaining tour dates, by visiting JT’s website HERE.

*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.

Justin Timberlake Performs Super Bowl LII Halftime Show in Minneapolis

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I’ve actually struggled with how to start this review of Justin Timberlake’s Pepsi Super Bowl LII Halftime Show and the week leading up to the performance. I typed out a few paragraphs and then deleted them because I want to focus on the performance itself as opposed to the horrible publicity. I’ll be doing a podcast on that later on, so check back in to hear what I thought.

The halftime performance was great. It was energetic, entertaining and it was just a really good show overall. There wasn’t anything really over-the-top, and I enjoyed the simplicity in that respect. Justin danced his way to several stages around the stadium, which added some flair of the performance. People seemed to be focused on the way Justin and his dancers were dressed for some reason, but what they fail to release is that he’s also promoting the new album and the outfits fit the theme really well. And, really, who the F*** cares about what they were wearing??? We were there to watch a performance, not a fashion show. I find it funny how people will nitpick about the silliest of things these days. (Not gonna lie, I did laugh at someone on Twitter saying that he looked like a clearance table at Bass Pro Shops though lmao. The only difference is that I don’t care what the heck they were wearing)

In any case, here are the songs/snippets/hooks that Justin performed during the 13 1/2 minute performance:

Filthy
Rock Your Body
Senorita
Sexy Back
My Love
Cry Me a River

***Dance Breakdown***

Suit & Tie (w/Marching Band)
Until the End of Time

***Prince Tribute – I Would Die 4 U***

Mirrors
Can’t Stop the Feeling

 

There was a lot of backlash surrounding the rumored Prince tribute and, while I think simply playing the actual video on the screens rather than projecting it onto a large piece of fabric would’ve been better, I think it was done tastefully. I really loved when the camera showed the city of Minneapolis light up with purple lights and then Prince’s symbol appeared in the lights. I know that the guys had some beef back in the day, but I’m a firm believer that you can like someone’s music without necessarily liking the person. If Justin hadn’t paid tribute to Prince in his home state, he would’ve gotten shit for it. Knowing that he was going to do it in the first place had the internet trolls rolling too. He was damned if he did and damned if he didn’t.

I also saw people claiming that JT was lip syncing, but that wasn’t true either. There were some sound issues in the beginning, but if you’re a fan of his music, you would be able to spot the differences. He wasn’t lip syncing.

Everyone seems to be a critic these days. I even saw someone call P!nk out on her rendition of Star Spangled Banner because she spit something out of her mouth beforehand. It was a throat lozenge because she was performing with the flu. That doesn’t get taken into consideration though. It just HAS to be something negative.

I enjoyed the show though. I liked the medley of songs he chose to perform, but I wish he had included “Supplies” or “Say Something” off his new album, Man of the Woods. If you stayed up late, you would’ve been able to catch those being performed on Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show.

Here’s the video of the halftime performance. Check it out and let me know what you thought!

30 Questions with Kristin | Part 2 of 3

YoursTruly

Hello there! Thanks for coming back to read Part Two of my little questionnaire. In an attempt to give you a little insight as to who I am behind the blog, I decided to answer a 30-question questionnaire that I saw on Twitter earlier this week.

This is part two:

  • In what situation would you feel most out of place in?

This is a tough question to answer because I don’t know that I’ve ever really felt out of place anywhere. I guess it just depends. There was one time that I took my niece to a thing called MagCon. She was with the people her age and I was in the back with the parents who were all much older than me. I felt like I was in limbo between the two groups lol. Maybe a situation like that.

  • What artist do you really like, but rarely admit to liking?

There isn’t an artist that I would ever deny liking. Everyone has different taste when it comes to music. There are some artists that I really like that come out with shit songs, but I wouldn’t deny liking them because of it. I can tell you an artist that I can’t stand and everyone thinks I’m crazy for it . . . Britney Spears. Other than that, I have no shame admitting to liking boy bands, rappers, rock starts and divas.

  • What gets you fired up?

One thing that gets me fired up is when celebrities flaunt getting free stuff from big companies. In what universe is it logical that when actors, musicians, etc. make A TON of money on a project, they get free stuff to promote a company when those of us who make crap money have to struggle to make ends meet? Listen, I will gladly model some Nike shoes and Coach bags on Instagram if it means I don’t have to sell a kidney to get them. I see homeless people beginning for money for food and I’m reminded that there are some celebrities who flaunt gold silverware and 10+ cars in their driveways. There are homeless people who would love a new pair of sneakers, but you can find some celebrities showing off their extensive Jordan collection in a sneaker closet–made JUST for sneakers. Be like Ellen DeGeneres. Give nice things to people who deserve a break. I hate seeing news articles in magazines about where to find Kim Kardashian’s $1500 bag. I don’t care where to find it because I can’t even afford the zipper on that thing!

  • What annoys you most about the fandoms you’re part of?

I’m not really in any fandoms anymore. Unless you count being a part of the TN Kids (Justin Timberlake) fandom, but nothing annoys me about them. Back in my *NSYNC days, I used to hate seeing girls cry when they saw the guys or when they came out on stage. That still bothers me about certain fandoms today. I also see the fandoms that my niece is a part of and I hate seeing these girls sending rude messages to the guys they claim to love. It bothers me even more that those same guys respond to those messages.

  • What do you do to get rid of stress?

Write or listen to music. Those are the most therapeutic for me.

  • You have to relive one day of your life forever. Which day do you choose?

There are a few days I would want to relive–my first concert (*NSYNC, of course), the day my niece was born, a trip to New York. I’m about to get really deep here though. I would go back to a day in June 2011. We had a family reunion in Cape May, NJ where we all stayed at this cute little motel on the beach. It was one of my favorite weeks ever. Especially because it was the first one that all of us were able to make it to, and the last one before my grandparents and my father passed away. Everyone had such a great time and I would love to relive any one of those days.

  • How quickly do you jump to conclusions about people?

I try not to jump to conclusions about anyone because I wouldn’t want anyone doing it to me.

  • If you were a doll, what accessories would you be sold with?

Sneakers, ripped jeans, a hoodie, an iPhone, headphones and a journal, for sure.

  • What have you done in life that has given you the most satisfaction?

I felt pretty satisfied when I finally got my Bachelor’s Degree in August 2017. At 33, I was working full-time, going to school, working on my blog and helping to raise my niece. It was difficult, but I managed to do it regardless of how long it took.

  • What would be the worst thing to put in a piñata?

Cigarettes and pickle juice? I can think of a million responses to this question lol.

30 Questions with Kristin | Part 1 of 3

YoursTruly

Good morning, everyone! I saw this questionnaire on Twitter yesterday and thought it might be a great idea to create a blog post answering the questions. It’s 30 questions, but I’ll break it down into three separate posts. We live in a time where people “get to know you” based on quick little pic posts on Instagram or character-limited posts on Twitter. I wanted to give a bit of insight as to who I am away from the screens, so here goes nothing:

  • Explain your Twitter handle.

I wanted to have the same handles for all of my social media platforms and there was always one that was already taken. So, I tried this one out, it was available, and I liked it. Simple as that! (After I changed it, the show This Is Us aired and it’s one of my favorites. So @thisiskristin_ reminds me of the show now, too)

  • Who inspires you and why?

To be a walking cliché, I want to say my mother because she’s held my family together for the past 40+ years. When my dad passed away, she took a huge step and moved out of our old house, which I never thought she would do. She’s not the type who likes change, so I was really surprised when she packed up our home of 28 years without hesitation. She’s strong, she’s funny and she’s just the best.

On a professional level, I would have to say one of my friends, Keisha Hatchett. Keisha and I have always had similar interests (i.e. baseball, TV shows and writing), but there’s one huge difference between us. She was determined enough to sell her car and pack her things for an internship in New York. She’s fought her way through internships and freelance jobs to a position at TV Guide and I couldn’t be more proud. We don’t get to talk as much anymore, but she inspires me to fight for what I want and to be a better writer.

  • Do you care what others think about you?

As much as I try to convince myself that I don’t care what others think about me, I think everyone does on some level. In some areas of my life I really don’t care. But in other areas, I do find myself wondering what people think about me. I haven’t had much luck in the guy department (thanks, Miami), so sometimes I wonder if they thought I wasn’t good enough or whatever. It’s a horrible thing to do, but for the most part I’m the way that I am and, in the end, I think that’s a good thing. While I might care in some aspects, I’m proud of myself for not changing to conform to their idea of perfection.

Also, when you’re a writer who submits work to literary journals, it’s hard not to question your abilities when you receive rejections from people that have no idea who you are. Their opinions are based solely on your work, and it’s so incredible subjective. When I get rejections I start to question whether I should continue pursuing a career in writing, but then I remember that Stephen King, J.K. Rowling and a ton of other authors also received rejections. Look where they are now!

  • What are you most looking forward to?

At the moment, I’m looking forward to seeing Justin Timberlake live (again) here in South Florida this May! Long-term, I’m looking forward to establishing my career now that I finally have my Bachelor’s Degree in English/Creative Writing.

  • What is one life rule you follow?

I actually have two that I like to follow:

The most important is to stay true to yourself. I’m okay with having to ask for help rather than trying to pretend like I know everything. I’m not the smartest or the funniest, but I try to be the best version of those things every day. I’m awkward, I have anxiety, and I’m way too trusting of people, but I’ve learned to embrace those things about myself.

The second life rule that I follow is to never go after a guy that one of my friends is interested in or has been interested in. A “friend” of mine didn’t follow that rule, and it resulted in literal heart break for me. I would never inflict that kind of pain on anyone.

  • What’s your dream job?

When I think about my dream job I immediately picture Liza from the show YOUNGER on TV Land. She works for a publishing company and started her own imprint with her friend, Kelsey. I would love to write for a magazine or to work in publishing. Being able to read books and discover unknown authors would definitely be a dream. Either that or something (anything) in the music industry. Recently, I’ve been looking into being a music journalist–someone who goes to live shows and reviews them.

  • Which fictional character do you wish you could meet?

I have three, actually. Four (Theo James) from Divergent, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot). All of them are bad ass characters who fight to protect those around them. Corny answer, I know, but it’s true. Plus, they’re all gorgeous.

  • As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

I actually always wanted to be a writer or singer. Writing and music have always been two of my favorite things, so to be able to do either? That’s what I wanted, and that’s still what I want. It’s taken me a while to figure out where to start, but better late than never!

  • If you were a cartoon character, who would you be?

A lot of friends have told me I should dress up like Daria for Halloween lol. She’s extremely sarcastic (which I can be) and pessimistic (which I am not), but she kind of looks like me, so I’ll say her. It’s hard to think of a cartoon character that I would want to be anyway lol.

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  • What skill would you like to master?

Oh wow. This is a loaded question because I think there is always a skill that needs to be mastered. Right now I would have to say grammar lol. I always thought I was great when it came to correct grammar in writing, but after taking a course at UCF, I realized just how wrong I was. I mean, I know the basics, but there are so many rules and exceptions when it comes to grammar. I would love to master that for sure.

 

Well, that’s it for Part One! I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about me. Feel free to comment with some of your answers to these questions! Post Two will be up tomorrow, so stay tuned for that!

Have a great day!

 

 

 

 

 

WATCH: Justin Timberlake’s New “Supplies” Video | @jtimberlake #SUPPLIES #newmusic

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Good morning, everyone!!

This morning has been FANTABULOUS so far because my number one, Justin Timberlake, dropped a new track – “SUPPLIES” –  from the upcoming Man of the Woods album! It is SOOOOOOO good!

DT01KlJXkAAe8f6[1]“Supplies” is the second track that has been released so far and the sound deviates entirely from the previously released track, “Filthy.” This one takes on a more hip hop vibe as opposed to that dance/EDM-type sound found in “Filthy,” and it only proves that Justin really got creative on this album.

The video (see below) has a post-apocalyptic theme featuring Eiza González and some odd special effects, but it actually works with the song.

Now, I’m low-key salty that there was a private listening party in New York this past Tuesday that I wasn’t at, but I’m just excited for the promotional content JT is providing leading up to his Super Bowl halftime performance and the new album. I’ll take what I can get! Now excuse me while I put “SUPPLIES” on repeat for the rest of the day.

WATCH: Justin Timberlake’s New “Filthy” Video | @jtimberlake #filthy #newmusic

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It’s here, ladies and gentleman!!

The first single & futuristic video from Man of the Woods has dropped and it certainly has people talking. There was a lot of speculation this week surrounding the announcement of the forthcoming album, but I don’t think anyone was expecting the vibe from “Filthy.”

The song was co-written with Timbaland, Danja, James Fauntleroy and Lawrence Dopson, with Timbaland and Danja co-producing the track.

“Haters gon’ say it’s fake. So real.”

“I guess I got my swagger back/I said, ‘Put your filthy hands all over me/And no, this ain’t the clean version.”

“Your friends, my friends/And they ain’t leavin’ till six in the morning.”

People assumed that the new album would have a country sound, considering the title of the album, but “Filthy” has more of an electronic vibe that might even transport you back to his FutureSex/LoveSounds album. To be honest, I’m feeling this one more than I was feeling “Suit and Tie” when it first came out, but that one grew on me big time. Artists evolve, people. Let it happen.

According to Rolling Stone’s website, “Timberlake plans to release three other videos in the weeks preceding the album release. Three different directors helmed the other clips, which will be out weekly starting January 18th.”

Man of the Woods has a February 2nd release date and, with any luck, we’ll see him performing some new music when he headlines the Pepsi Super Bowl LII Halftime Show on February 4.

Have you heard it yet? Let me know your thoughts. Also, check out the video for “Filthy” below! Not sure about you, but this song will be stuck in my head all day now. Not that you went anywhere, but welcome back JT! It’s been way too long!

Justin Timberlake Announces New Album ‘Man of the Woods’ | @jtimberlake #manofthewoods

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Ladies and gentlemen, the start to 2018 just got even better! Justin Timberlake has announced his next studio album, titled Man of the Woods!

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The follow-up to The 20/20 Experience will arrive on February 2nd with a new song set for release on Friday, January 5th. Yes, you heard correctly . . . that’s in THREE DAYS!! I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m stoked! The 20/20 Experience 1 and 2 came out in 2013, so it’s been way too long.

“This album is really inspired by my son, my wife, my family, but more so than any album I’ve ever written, where I’m from,” Timberlake says. “And it’s personal.”

You can catch JT performing at the 2018 Super Bowl halftime show, and what I’m hoping will be an endless string of promotional appearances (ok, I’m pushing it, but a girl can dream).

Fans can also sign up for the Tennessee Kids fan club on justintimberlake.com for access to pre-sale tickets, new music (as it becomes available), contests, a newsletter and more for only $24.99 annually. There is also a free version of the fan club that includes the newsletter and access to the site.

Here’s to a great start to the new year! I hope you all have a FANTASTIC one!

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!

#MusicMonday | Sam Smith, Maroon 5, One Republic, Jordan Fisher, In Real Life & Fall Out Boy

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What’s up, everyone??

Welcome to #MusicMonday here at According to Kristin! I’ve been wanting to get a bit more personal on the blog, and Music is the most personal for me…so here we are! I’ll be posting here on certain Mondays, and sometimes I might add in a podcast or two. I’m hoping to have guests on and even try scheduling some interviews, so if you have any suggestions, please feel free to let me know! Let me know what you’re currently listening to, what albums and tours you’re excited about. You can even tag me on Twitter with a performance you think I should check out. I’m open to all suggestions!

I’ve always been a music fanatic, so I’m sure Mondays will be extra therapeutic for me now as I’ll be able to discuss all of the aspects that make up one of my first loves. Music is my escape from the world. When I’m stressed at work, the power of an ear bud is priceless. I just pop one into my ear and the calmness takes over. I honestly don’t know where I’d be without it (both music, and the ear bud lol).

So, here are some of the things that have interested me in the music world this week:

 


Sam Smith
has (finally) announced a new album and tour, following the release of his newest single, “Too Good At Goodbyes.” The single is lit and the album and tour are sure to be just as incredible-it IS Sam Smith, after all. The album is titled “The Thrill Of It All” and will be available on November 3rd. You can pre-order the album on his web store HERE. You can also follow him on Twitter and Instagram by clicking on the respective links.


Not to be left out, Maroon 5 (@maroon5) also announced details for their new album, titled “Red Pill Blues,” set to be released on the same day, November 3rd. Here is the track listing for both the 12-Track Standard Edition and the 15-Track Deluxe Edition of their sixth studio album:

12-Track STANDARD EDITION TRACK LISTING

Best 4 U
What Lovers Do feat. SZA
Wait
Lips On You
Bet My Heart
Help Me Out with Julia Michaels
Who I Am feat. ft. LunchMoney Lewis
Whiskey ft. A$AP Rocky
Girls Like You
Closure

15-Track DELUXE EDITION TRACK LISTING

Best 4 U
What Lovers Do feat. SZA
Wait
Lips On You
Bet My Heart
Help Me Out with Julia Michaels
Who I Am feat. ft. LunchMoney Lewis
Whiskey ft. A$AP Rocky
Girls Like You
Closure
Denim Jacket
Visions
Plastic Rose
Don’t Wanna Know ft. Kendrick Lamar
Cold ft. Future


One song that I’m really enjoying this week is One Republic‘s “Rich Love,” and you can catch the video for that below:

If you haven’t seen One Republic (@onerepublic) live before, I strongly suggest you change that. I saw them in West Palm Beach, FL when they went on tour with The Script (who will definitely make an appearance on #MusicMonday) and it was nothing short of amazing. They’re high energy throughout the whole show and their vocals are always on point. Do it and you can thank me later!


The next two artists that I want to mention are both signed to Hollywood Records.

Jordan Fisher (@jordan_fisher) is a triple-threat who is soon to be dominating the charts with his upcoming debut album. He’s currently dancing his way to the mirror ball trophy on Dancing With the Stars, he has a new single, “Mess,” which was released last week and an album that is on its way to the shelves. Not sure if you familiar with him? He was on Broadway with the hit show Hamilton, he was on Disney’s Teen Beach Movie and he also played Doody on the live version of Grease. Check out his new single, “Mess,” wherever you download/stream music and also feel free to check out his videos on YouTube. Again…you can thank me later! I’m just wondering if dude could show me how to dance lol!

I’ve posted a few times about In Real Life (@inreallife) because they’re new to the scene and they deserve the exposure. I was exposed to them when my niece started watching ABC’s Boy Band, and my friend Jesus @thisfunktional got a chance to speak with them out in California last week at the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor event. I was excited for them when I found out that they’ll be under Johnny Wright’s wing for the duration (hopefully) of their career because he’s worked with some of the best in the industry! Their debut single, “Eyes Closed,” has done well since its release and they have a fantastic marketing team that has been putting them in some of the best places since the show ended. They’re currently playing little shows while they record new music and they just wrapped a music video for their original Christmas song that should be released soon.


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Last, but certainly not least…my little sis, Brancey, absolutely loves Fall Out Boy (@falloutboy), so it wouldn’t be a discussion about music without talking about their new single and their pushed back “Mania” album, set to release in January 2018.

 

 

You can hear Brancey and I rambling on the podcast below. Also, don’t mind the little section in the middle where Skype decided it hated us and cut off our recording lol. Shout out to Jesus for splicing them together for us lmao!

IN REAL LIFE Talks with @ThisFunktional at the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor

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Jesus of ThisFunktional.com & According to Kristin got the chance to speak with newly formed boy band, In Real Life, at the Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor event in Long Beach, CA.

After winning spots in the final band on ABC’s Boy Band, a debut single that charted soon after its release, a debut video that has surpassed the milestone of 1 million views, a contract with Hollywood Records and a manager (Johnny Wright) who has worked with some of the top artists in the industry (*NSYNC, Justin Timberlake, Backstreet Boys), In Real Life is in a great place right now and this is only the beginning.

With some long distance help from yours truly, they spoke with Jesus about getting more involved in the writing process, how much creative control they’re being given, being role models and working with Johnny Wright.

Check out the interview below:

Meet the guys:

Chance Perez, 19, of Seal Beach, CA – He’s a loving father of a beautiful 2-year-old girl, Brooklyn, and was a fan favorite on ABC’s Boy Band from the beginning. Chance almost gave up on music in order to pursue a career as a firefighter, but luckily he gave the show a chance and made the final 5.

Drew Ramos, 19, of Bronx, NY – Drew won us over during his audition when he proudly stated that he was a momma’s boy. His love for music led him to singing on the subway in NY and now he’s 1/5 of the world’s newest boy band. He’s a self-proclaimed nerd who loves Star Wars and video games, and we’re all on board!

Michael Conor, 18, of Cleveland, OH – Michael gave fans something different throughout his time on the show. Not only is he a creative genius who can rap & freestyle his way out of anything, he’s also a violinist and a loving big brother. At times Michael had to work harder than most in order to embrace the singing part of the show, but he succeeded and made his way to the final band.

Sergio Calderon, Jr., 16, of Redwood City, CA – Sergio also brought something different to the show by adding Spanish verses to the songs. He gave up his dream of playing professional soccer in order to pursue a career in music. Now he’s part of In Real Life, singing and making everyone laugh one day at a time.

Brady Tutton, 15, Shorewood, WI – Brady was one of the youngest on the show, but proved his talent when he sang in Italian during his audition and consistently wowed the judges each week. As a classically trained singer, an actor, and an all-around lovable guy, Brady gets to showcase his talent with his unofficial big brothers.

Also, check out this adorable shout out Jesus managed to get for my niece and me since we weren’t able to be there:

You can follow the guys on social media here:

In Real Life:               Twitter | Instagram | #lifelines

Chance Perez:           Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
Drew Ramos:            Twitter | Instagram | Facebook
Michael Conor:         Twitter | Instagram |
Sergio Calderon:      Twitter | Instagram
Brady Tutton:           Twitter | Instagram

 

To learn more about the legendary Queen Mary, click HERE

Why JHype Should Still Be On ABC’s ‘Boy Band’ | #jhype #boyband @JHypeOfficial

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I grew up during the peak of the boy band era. You know the one I’m talking about . . . the one where it was either *Nsync OR Backstreet Boys. The one where we had posters plastered to our walls like wallpaper and attempted dance moves in our living rooms. The one where we watched ‘Making the Band’ when O-Town was put together.

You know what New Kids On the Block, *Nsync, Backstreet Boys, O-Town, New Edition, 98 Degrees, etc. didn’t have?? A 14-year-old beatboxer who SLAYS.

Personally, I was an *Nsync girl because . . . Justin Timberlake, but I decided to check out an episode of ABC’s Boy Band just to see how the judging was handled even though Nick Carter was one of the architects (you can take the girl out of the boy band era, but you can’t take the boy band era out of the girl). My niece, who is 13 decided to watch it with me and that was a wrap. We both got sucked back into boy band land. Let me also state, for the record, that even the One Direction boys didn’t have the greatest auditions on X-Factor (at all), but Simon Cowell saw something in them that he thought would work as a boy band. Clearly, he was onto something because they grew into their voices and have all managed to put out great solo singles and records.

I want to start out by saying that I’ve always been a fan of hearing people beatbox because it’s just not something that everyone can do. We saw JHype’s audition for Boy Band, where Timbaland even went up on stage to join him and it was incredible. I’m not just saying that because he’s my niece’s favorite either. Here’s the audition:

Now, I can’t sit here and say that JHype ever had the best vocals on the show, but he had something that no one else had (aside from Michael Conor)–originality. My issue is that he knew he didn’t come into the competition as a singer and worked extra hard to improve, but even through all of his hard work and growth, Nick still knocked him down each week. No constructive criticism that he could take in and try to perfect, no recognition for the hard work he was putting in, nothing. The only person who gave him credit was Timbaland.

What should’ve been taken into consideration is that he was SO good at beatboxing and improving with vocals. Some of the guys only had vocals and even those weren’t consistently good over the past few weeks.

One comment that stands out in particular was when Nick said he was concerned that JHype didn’t have the tools they need to go deep into the competition. Are you kidding me?? Take a poll, sir! I don’t want another cookie-cutter boy band like all the ones we’ve had in the past. I think adding a rapper (Michael Conor) and JHype would be so interesting and different! I just didn’t appreciate that it sounded like Nick had it out for Jay from the very beginning. Stop telling him he has room for growth because they all do! I still do and I’m 33! Plus, let’s be real . . . Nick isn’t the best singer in BSB either, but they’re still relevant as a band! Now we can also add a lack of vision to that list.

With that being said, here is my ideal Top Five:

Chance, Drew, Marcus, Michael Conor and JHype

With JHype being gone now, here is my current Top Five:

Chance, Drew, Marcus, Michael Conor and Mikey

I know what you’re thinking . . . where’s Jaden?? I think Jaden is more of a soloist (and a bad-ass one at that), so I’d like to see him do his own thing. Hey, maybe he could collab with JHype & Miles!

It’s no secret that Jay will do big things now that his name is on the map and he has a strong fan base to keep that going. He would’ve been a GREAT addition, but I’m excited to see where he goes from here. Here’s to hoping that Timbaland and Justin Timberlake reach out and mentor him even further! The future is bright for him without a doubt. I can’t wait to see him prove Nick wrong!

On that note, here’s my favorite JHype performance on the show:

 

You can find JHype on social media here:

Instagram | Twitter

And while you’re at it, you can follow my niece on social media here:

Instagram | Twitter

 

 

April: Days Seven & Eight | Playlists & Plans

YoursTruly

Hey everyone!

I’m sorry for falling behind a bit on these daily posts, but last weekend was my birthday! Never fear, I’m in catch-up mode and will try to combine some days so I don’t bombard you with my rambling lol.

For Day Seven, I wanted to talk about Playlists!

I’m a HUGE music lover and I absolutely love finding new artists. I get tired of hearing the same 5 songs in rotation on the radio, so any time I can Shazam a song from a TV show or movie I’m a happy camper! I’m always taking suggestions too, so if you know of anyone I should check out, comment on this post and let me know!

I have a few playlists going on Apple Music right now, but the one I use the most is eclectic to say the least! I have Hailee Steinfeld, ZAYN, Ed Sheeran, The 1975, Syml, Muse, Lady Gaga, The Chainsmokers, Ruelle and Amber Run. Ruelle is featured a lot on one of my favorite shows, The Originals, and they’re absolutely incredible! I usually add a lot of my Shazam tags to that playlist as well so it’s always growing.

I also have a Justin Timberlake playlist, OneRepublic, The Script and Imagine Dragons. Those four are probably my favorite artists/bands.

How about you? What are you listening to? Is there anyone I should check out?


 
Day Eight is about highlighting what Plans are on my to-do list . . . and there’s a lot! I won’t bore you with everything, but here are the essentials:

  1. Definitely need to hit the gym. In the past year I moved from my home of 29 years to a cute little apartment. For some reason during the chaos of moving and working full-time, I decided it would be a “good idea” to also take 5 online classes. I haven’t had much time within the past year, but now that school has slowed down and I’m almost done, I plan on being at the gym every day.
  2. This past week I started looking for apartments to rent in Georgia, New York and New Jersey. During my search, I stumbled upon a GORGEOUS new home for about half of what it would cost if it were here in Miami. This really made me smarten up about spending/saving money, so saving is definitely on my list of plans.
  3. I graduated high school in 2002 (yes, I’m old) and have been taking college courses here and there ever since. I’ve worked full-time since I was 18 so it wasn’t always easy to put time aside for school. Trying to find online classes or classes that coincide with your work schedule is a bitch! I’ve already received my Associates Degree and Liberal Arts and am about to finish my Bachelors Degree in English – Creative Writing, so now it’s time to think and plan for the possibility of grad school. Am I crazy for considering it? Probably!

 

That’s all I’ll bore you with for now, but let me know what plans you have for the rest of the year!