Singer Anne Wilson has become a household name since releasing her debut single, “My Jesus,” this summer, which recently hit No. 1 on the Billboard chart for Christian music.
The 19-year-old co-authored the song with Christian artist Matthew West and music producer Jeff Pardo.
“I’ve been blown away by how God has been using My Jesus to impact so many lives,” Wilson told Billboard. “I’m so honored that He chose me to be His vessel for this specific time and season. My favorite part so far has been seeing people sing My Jesus at shows to the top of their lungs and hearing stories of how they’ve been impacted by the song. I would’ve never dreamed that God would use this song in such a mighty way.”
The Lexington, Kentucky native grew up playing music, mainly the piano, then sang in front of an audience for the first time when she was 15. Sadly, that performance was during her brother’s funeral who was killed in a car accident at the age of 23.
On that somber day, Wilson sang “What a Beautiful Name,” a popular Hillsong Worship anthem. She later recorded a video of the song with some friends and posted it on YouTube.
“This song is dedicated to the loving memory of my beloved big brother, Jacob,” Wilson wrote in the video’s caption. “Thank you Jacob for always encouraging us to praise God, work hard, and always be kind. We love and miss you more each and every day.”
That YouTube video attracted the attention of a producer in Nashville which eventually led to Wilson working with Capitol Christian Music, according to Religion News.
“The unprecedented success of My Jesus is just the beginning, and we cannot wait to see what is to come for Anne,” said Capital Christian Music co-presidents Brad O’Donnell and Hudson Plachy in a statement.
Over the past few years, Wilson has worked to strengthen her singing and writing skills.
Even though she was shocked by the success of My Jesus, Wilson said it’s been a blessing to see the song resonate with so many people.
“It’s been a whirlwind of emotions,” she told Religion News. “Just thankfulness and gratefulness, watching God take my story, which was something so broken, and turning it into something so beautiful.”
Wilson is currently on tour with Big Daddy Weave and working on new songs for her upcoming album due out next year.
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7 new songs are ready to challenge the 50 songs on the LGBTQ Music Chart from Monday. For the challengers for next week chart, we had over 30 submitted songs to choose between, but still only 7 available spots. You can vote on these songs from Monday – here is the voting page.
Smashby & Divina De Campo – «Make a scene»
Smashby is not just the one that got away on MTV’s hit dating show Love Squad, he is taking the world by storm with his catchy bops and infectiously energetic persona.
Divina De Campo is the stage name of Owen Farrow, a seasoned British drag queen and singer. Known for her high soprano and 4-octave range, Divina has been featured on national television programs including The Voice, All Together Now, and most recently on the first season of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.
Jack Vidgen – «Goodbye»
Jack Vidgen, the boy we fell in love with at 14 when he won Australia’s Got Talent, is now 10 years older, 10 years wiser with an incredible story to share.
Allen King & Pol Prince – «Sugar Daddy»
Allen King is the only one that has been on the LGBTQ Music Chart from the start and still has the same song ( «My Boy» ) on the chart ! Now he is back with his new single «Sugar Daddy».
Reigen – «Happy»
He makes his version of pop from his apartment in Brooklyn. So many influences – he is a big fan of other artists big and small all over the world.
Van Hechter – «The Delight»
They are true disco brothers, Chauncey from NYC and Van from Montreal, together they have created a collection of tracks drenched in the queer experience from campy disco to deep and dirty. An unlikely duo, Van and Chauncey are excited for their musical adventures in the future.
Graver Ekow – «Drama»
Over a beat that sounds like the insides of a robot malfunctioning, Graver Ekow showcase their trademark witty and abrasive lyricism in a bid to live drama free. But this is less of a plea for help and more of a violent warning to those who would dare cross the pair.
Memory Flowers – «Soon It will all be ours»
When synthwave and postrock meet, euphoric melancholia ensues. Joyful queer introvert with a new album out September 2021.
This playlist are updated every Friday with new music – so it might not reflect the artists mention above. Like it, so you don’t miss out on brand new music! Only songs that is released on YouTube and Spotify can be added to the LGBTQ Music Chart.
A Triple Threat Extraordinaire Iconic Idol, Singer, Actor, International Child Celebrity affirmed by Channel News Asia (“CNA”), Singapore-born-Chinese-Portuguese, Emiliano Cyrus aged 13 is not only an international media favourite “Singapore Electro-Pop Prince” “Music Wonder Boy” cum a champion kart racer and a champion gymnast, but also a certified golden chart champion singer by China National Radio, this young almighty heartthrob fondly known as Wonder Boy who so far crowned 8 champions in total with 3 singles on authoritative music charts in China music scene.
【Singapore Entertainment News】3 Sept 2021
Recently, prominent media helmed “21st century warmest child voice” the youngest champion celebrity singer Emiliano Cyrus|EC Yiping, crowned 4 Champions dominating 3 authoritative music charts in China with his 12th single “Autumn Rain” within 3 weeks of its debut. This song topped both the renowned music charts of “Universal Music Chart” & “Global Chinese Golden Chart” (“Golden Chart”), during its 1st week of launch and also emerged as a double champion on both “City Pop Music Chart” & “Global Chinese Golden Chart” in the 3rd week. Mentioned in the issue of 210716-210806 “Golden Chart”, there were many notable mega stars in the Chinese music industry, such as Jackson Wang Jiaer, Cai Xukun, Wang Yuan, Gong Jun, Zhang Yunlei, Chris Li Yuchun, Li Ronghao, etc. The competition was a fiercely intensive tough fight like no other. What a glorious accomplishment to be able to attain all champions through the consecutive weeks in the “Golden Chart” with such ferocious competition. This proves the growth of the unshakable strength and popularity of Emiliano Cyrus.
This is not the first time for this Singapore-born-Chinese Portuguese to have achieved such outstanding results, dating back to his 10th single “Sweet Fragrance” a movie theme song which make him the youngest certified champion singer by the China Media Group and China National Radio on “Golden Chart” on 25th Dec 2020. This youngest record breaker was also the crowning triple champion on “Golden Chart” continuously for 3 weeks in March 2021 for his 11th single “Long Sword”, a 3D animation opening theme song on Bilibili.
It is a global phenomenon that Emiliano Cyrus became the youngest child artist ever in history who has been crowned the title of golden champion, certified by China Media Group (“CMG”) also known as “Voice of China”, is the predominant state media company by means of radio and television broadcasting in the People’s Republic of China. It was founded on 21 March 2018 as a national holding firm for China Central Television (“CCTV”), China National Radio (“CNR”), China Radio International (“CRI”) and China Global Television Network (“CGTN”). “Global Chinese Golden Chart” is the most important stage for Chinese music. It combines the resources of global Chinese radio stations and popular music platforms jointly create an Indicative and Authoritative global Chinese pop music. It soon became an authoritative and respected music vane within the industry!
“Autumn Rain” is the movie theme song for “Distant Home” (originally known as “Home, Spring and Autumn”), a story based on poverty, reflecting the true lives of ordinary families set in a rural remote village, Pengshui of Chongqing City surrounded by the vast beautiful mountainous landscapes. It vividly reflects the changes faced by the poverty-stricken lives of masses. Emiliano Cyrus was supposed to be starring in this movie as an optimistic protagonist who is suffering from cancer however due to the pandemic, travelling was not possible hence it’s unfortunate that he couldn’t act in this movie. “Long Sword” is the opening theme song for listing company Bilibili’s annual Major production “Sword Storm” released on 2nd March 2021, a futuristic realism 3D animation. “Sweet Fragrance” is the official theme song composed by Ms Zeng Yan, a “Golden Horse Award-winning” musician, for the movie in China, where he acted as the young lead, titled “Covenant of Slam Dunker” a tale of high school basketball team in pursuit of their dreams, exuding positive youth vibes with sports vitality hailed with determination and perseverance in a showcase of unity and sportsmanship, that was released in China cinemas in December 2020.
“Autumn Rain” is composed and written by the famous Singapore talented music producer Roy Li Fei Hui, the winner of “Golden Melody Awards” in China, who also brought about many popular songs in the Chinese Pop Music industry. Composed classic songs like Jeff Chang “Love Like a Tide”, Tony Leung “Sad Lover”, Eric Moo “When I Think of You”. He is well-known in the Asian music scene and awarded many top music charts such as best male singer, best local singer, best composition, best lyrics, best album, and best producer. As a pioneer of the music industry, Roy Li pays special attention to discovering talented singers of the younger generation. “Autumn Rain” is not the first collaboration between Emiliano and Roy. Emiliano’s own unique ethereal and pure voice is highly recognized and attracted Roy Li as his music mentor, resulting in countless collaborations “Long Sword” Emiliano’s 12th single.
“Autumn Rain” the rhythm at the beginning of the song is psychedelic, forming a lyrical atmosphere that slowly unfolds, Emiliano using his crystal clear, pure & highly memorable voice to lead us into the throbbing of “the blue-sky hides” which Roy Li is known to exceptionally express such emotions. As the song progresses on, the melody gradually becomes louder, paired with Emiliano’s powerful vocal cords & rhythmic tempo switching the mood of the movie “Distant Home” to a climax of sweet, beautiful, and emotional. Emiliano’s warm voice is penetrating and full of tenacity. To release all the power contained in this song, combined with the psychedelic and hazy, richly layered tune, makes it beautifully complementary. The poetic lyrics translates confusion and bravery of chasing one’s dreams. It speaks about a beautiful masterpiece which signifies rain washing away one’s illusion, lighting up the paths of dream. A song of dreams, hopes, determination and destiny untold, Emiliano conveys hope and light with his powerful vocals. A song that drives you to push past obstacles & boundaries, making “the impossible” possible.
Well-known as “Singapore Electro-Pop Prince” and “Wonder Boy”, his first single “Wonder Boy” debuted in 2017, followed by “The Closest Embrace” in 2018 which helmed as “The Warmest Child Voice of the 21st Century”, Emiliano Cyrus is popular for his live performances where he is often invited performing LIVE on international stage by many countries like USA, France, Philippines, Malaysia, and of course Singapore and China. For his epic live performances since he was 10 years old with his most notable SOLO LIVE performance in front of a 50,000 avid music lover audience at Nanchang Music Festival for 30 minutes non-stop where he rocked out 5 of his singles with LIVE band, shared the same stage with Chinese mega stars Hua Chenyu and Chris Li Yuchun. Affirmed by Channel News Asia as an “International Child Celebrity” as well as many China media. Today, he is a force to be reckoned with in both the international entertainment scene & the global music industry where his vocal cords go beyond his age, proving age is just a number and success is possible through immense hard work, sweat and long nights. The future is filled with a road of opportunities and endless possibilities for this young star. As he continues to rise towards more fame, there will be more collaborations and endorsements. He is the perfect definition of an artist who is bold enough to dream with a heart full of passion. Emiliano Cyrus, is now a 13-year-old “Teen Celebrity” with international influence, a truly almighty triple threat extraordinaire iconic idol, who has emerged as the pioneer representative of the millennial generation. The future of Emiliano will surely bring about new hopes & astounding creative contributions to the Global Chinese music scene!
Welcome back to a new selection of my weekly new electronic music picks. For those who are yet unfamiliar with Dirty Disco. We are a weekly electronic music chart show where I pick new releases from the scene I think you should check out. Through the years the weekly Dirty Disco podcast has more and more grown into a go-to place to discover new music for DJs, music professionals and music lovers. Recording a weekly show for you is a real pleasure to do and I’m always very happy with all the kind feedback that I receive from you. So thank you very much for being here with me and sharing the passion in music.
I curated 24 new tracks.
For this week’s electronic music chart show episode 421, I managed to curate 24 new tracks from various EP’s and LP’s. That I dropped in this 2 hour mix session which is also available as a “DJ only” mix here. Among this week’s picks are 6 tracks that you can buy as a vinyl record, and there are 4 LP’s by the Paloma VS Virus Vol 5 compilation where I will play you a few proper dream house tracks from. More very deep dream house on the Dutch Batavia Records label that recently released their Spring Tide Vol 2 compilation.
Here in Dirty Disco frequently played Austrian DJ and producer Demuja just dropped a hot new album titled: Period Of Time on his very own Muja label. And last but not least House music legend Kerri Chandler dropped a very dope new track on his own Koaz Theory label including a bunch of remixes and alternative versions on his “Prayer EP” where he collaborated with Rev F.L. Brown on.
Next to these new LP’s. There are even more must-have EP’s that I selected this week. Some of the highlights you really need to check out are:
Ankle Release – Dodgems EP on Flankup Recordings.
From the very beginning I have been a fan of the Italian label Flankup Recordings (co-founded by Discojuice). Until now all of their vinyl releases are top-notch pure quality material. There latest addition is no exception and brings the Italian duo Triplex and Fabietto Delgado together under their Ankle Release alias with 3 warm and deep grooving house tracks.
Dodgems EP gives you 3 tracks where you’ll witness the meeting between the hip-hop underground culture from Triplex and the more Disco-Funk vibes from Fabietto which seem to be a perfect fusion that created 3 very dope from high quality Nu Disco vibed tracks.
Ankle Release with Dodgems on Flankup is not only a must-have must listen to 12 inch EP. But also a one to watch artist duo we will def hear more from in the near future.
Our favorite producer from Isreal and friend of Dirty Disco is back with another premier league release on the Frankfurt based NDYD Records label. Yonatan Rukhman delivered two uplifting with a very positive sentiment tracks on his Saul Good EP.
First there is the main title track Saul Good which gives life to a soul sample from 1970 where Yonatan added a gritty bassline and a sunny feel-good vocal hook to.
The second track on this EP is titled “Fatal Desire” and captivates Yonatan’s life slogan: Everything you do is fatal desire. This groover is more of a retro chill disco house track that combines and old school lounge sample, vocal ambient synth work with a powerful climax.
A cool fact and described by Yonatan in his own words is:
I think for this track I was inspired by the “Patiently Waiting” compilation by Mostly Cozy which I heard for the first time on your show.
Some other cool facts about this EP release:
Traxsource has included both tracks in various charts – Essential NuDisco, Essential Disco House, Weekend Weapons and Hype Charts. “Fatal Desire” was also on the Traxsource Instagram story as “Now Trending”. Both tracks are currently in the top 100 for NuDisco on Traxsource with “Fatal Desire” peaking at 21. “Saul Good” was premiered on Le Visiteur Online and “Fatal Desire” on Moskalus. Check out his music here.
I think for this track I was inspired by the “Patiently Waiting” compilation by Mostly Cozy which I heard for the first time on your show.
Engage and support.
I’ve been running Dirty Disco for 8 years as a non-profit music show. This could not be done without the support I received from listeners. Therefore your support is very important to keep Dirty Disco running, so please keep supporting which can be done in many different ways. In my opinion the best way to support Dirty Disco is also the cheapest way, which doesn’t cost a thing except a little bit of your time. Your engagement is very important and valuable for Dirty Disco. So feel free to post links to our website or podcast episodes and tell your friends through your social channels about the weekly electronic music chart show. Engage in video’s or any other creative way you can think of.
Dirty Disco 421 Track-listing.
The weekly electronic music chart show wouldn’t be complete without a tracklist. Therefore you can find the tracklist every week exactly in the same place which is here at the bottom of the music blog post that goes with the current episode. If you are looking for track-lists from older episodes you can go here. Once again your support means a lot to me and having you tuning in is a real pleasure so thank you very much for being here and enjoying the music.
Wilson reaches unprecedented success with debut single “My Jesus,”
a Historic No. 1 Song on Radio and Top Christian Song
NASHVILLE, TENN. (AUGUST 31, 2021) Capitol Christian Music Group’s newest singer-songwriter, Anne Wilson, has become the first female solo artist to hit No. 1 with a debut song on the National Christian Airplay chart since the chart’s inception in 2003. This comes as her unprecedented success continues with her debut single, “My Jesus,” topping the radio charts in just 14 weeks after it received an impressive 49 adds out of the box at radio, continuing this week as a multi-week No. 1 song reaching 10M in audience. As Capitol CMG’s most successful debut single from a new artist in more than a decade, the 19-year-old’s “My Jesus” has held the top position for multiple consecutive weeks on the Hot Christian Songs chart, which combines airplay, sales, and streaming data.
“We are honored to partner with Anne and release her music to the world,” shares CCMG Co-Presidents Brad O’Donnell and Hudson Plachy. “The unprecedented success of ‘My Jesus’ is just the beginning, and we cannot wait to see what is to come for Anne.”
The groundbreaking response to “My Jesus” continues to climb to new heights each week as it makes its way to being this year’s breakout song. The official music video for the single has more than 5.3M YouTube views and 14M views on Facebook, and the song has charted on both the Spotify Viral 50 chart and Shazam Top 200. With her three-single EP, My Jesus, along with the recently released live EP, My Jesus (Live in Nashville), Wilson has quickly amassed more than 37M streams.
Introducing her music to a new crowd, Wilson will also perform on the historic Opry stage this weekend with her Opry debut on September 4th. She can also be heard on Apple Music’s Country Faith Radio talking with Lady A’s Hillary Scott, who said of Wilson, “(she) is so incredibly talented, has the voice of an angel, and I am extremely grateful to have her as my guest on this week’s episode of #CountryFaith Radio.”
“My Jesus” was co-written by Wilson, Matthew West, and Jeff Pardo. When she’s not touring, she’s working on her full-length debut that will be coming in 2022. For more information on Anne Wilson visit annewilsonoffical.com.
Being vulnerable is the easiest thing and the hardest thing to do in the world. Rod Wave fans know that, and love him for it.
As soon as the chart-topping 22-year-old crooner is announced, every fucking phone goes up in a multicolored wave that the previous rapper had asked for, but failed to elicit. Granted, the fans were braving Stage 5 Austin for Mr. Teddy-Bear-Heart-on-My-Sleeve, not NoCap (who also stunts lyrically), but rat-a-tat rhyming isn’t what the Rod Wave crowd came for. They came for the feels.
Rod Wave performing at Stubb’s. (Photo by Jana Birchum)
Wave’s show is as no-frills as you get and the most manufactured drama came from rising up to the stage slowly on a moving platform amidst smoke, drums, and soft choral chanting. The crowd was a mix of ages, from the boxer-braid crop-top crew trying to scrub X’s off their hands to adults their mama’s age. Opening with “Street Runner” off March’s album Soulfly, for which the tour is eponymously named, Wave and his whole squad, mostly hometown friends, rocked a uniform of white tees and distressed blue jeans. If the heartbroken lyrics in the opener (“Loving you is my greatest sin”) didn’t tell us this was the kind of smart softie everybody wants to give a hug, immediately, the St. Petersburg born Z-lennial, né Rodarius Marcell Green, announced “I was kinda nervous.” His last two albums may have hit the top of the charts, but he’s just a shy big kid.
The ecstatic audience hyped up with higher energy “Poison,” off 2019’s breakout debut Ghetto Gospel, bouncing to fast snares and autotuned despair as Wave aggressively reminded himself he “Don’t want no more love, I feel it’s poison.” He took us through his depression and isolation with “Dark Clouds,” off second album Pray 4 Love. That 2020 collection is Wave at his darkest, with stark production and soulful piano tinkling. Perhaps that’s why Wave is so prolific – three albums in three years, successively climbing to ever-higher spots critically and commercially. Like all anguished talents, the only thing he can do is tell us about it through his art.
A sea of phones in the air Rod Wave on his SoulFly tour. (Photo by Jana Birchum)
Wave gives a nod to his come-up with “Cuban Links” (featuring Kevin Gates), and bares his heart with “Dark Conversations,” and each song has the audience swaying and crying like a Sarah McLachlan concert over rhythmic trap beats. By the time we’re halfway through and Wave puts his hair down, wipes his sweat off, and begins the opening bars of “Abandoned,” where he talks about growing up feeling abandoned by his parents after his father went to prison, his mama remarried, and his uncle Derek took him in, he’s told us why he looks for love in all the wrong places. Wave chokes up through the opening bars, and even perched far out in the crowd, my usually staunch friend, who also lacked parental affection at a young age, had a tear in his eye.
The second half kicked off with the TikTok hit that started it all: 2019’s viral “Heart on Ice,” an addictive jam that first introduced the then-19-year-old to fans around the world, and ended with a bit of a jam sesh from his band.
Rod Wave at Stubb’s on Saturday night. (Photo by Jana Birchum)
Wave isn’t a showman and prefers to interact with fans through his microphone. Even when he came down the stage halfway to take photos with adoring teens during “Rags2Riches,” it was obligatory, and then let us know “I never really wanted no fame, but I really love doing this shit.” That was a spoken interlude that, for once, you believed.
As the first concert I’ve covered since Miss Rona crushed live entertainment, Wave’s enraptured crowd and soul-baring lyrics reminded me why music gives me hope for humanity. That an album that can hit number one on the Billboard Hot 100 is popular because it’s what everybody feels, sometimes.
Billboard and Logitech For Creators have unveiled the Song Breaker Chart, a music industry-standard ranking of creators who are driving music consumption through content creation. This new monthly chart is the first of its kind to give credit to creators, recognising their role in helping songs break into the Billboard charts through memes and dance challenges originated or amplified on social media by the creators.
The Billboard Song Breaker Chart is inspired by Logitech’s Song Breaker Awards, held earlier this year ahead of the Grammys to celebrate creators and their role in curating our music playlists and pop culture. In collaboration with TikTok, Logitech honoured originators such as Jalaiah Harmon (@jalaiahharmon) creator of the “Renegade” dance and Keara Wilson (@keke.janajah) creator of the “Savage” dance. Other creators will also be recognised, like amplifiers who are responsible for amplifying the challenges to their audiences, such as Larray (@larrayeeee) and Michael Le (@justmaiko). Following the successful awards show, which had more than half a million viewers, Billboard and Logitech recognized the need to spotlight creators’ impact on the music industry throughout the year, and developed the Song Breaker Chart.
“We’re excited that this partnership with Billboard is taking what we started with the Song Breaker Awards a step further,” says Meridith Rojas, global head of entertainment and creator marketing at Logitech For Creators. “The Song Breaker Chart is the music industry recognizing creators as pop culture powerhouses, and celebrating TikTokers who propel songs into the music charts with dance challenges and creators who encourage their large audiences to join them in a trend.”
“Every day, we see new trends exploding in popularity across social platforms and we are beyond thrilled to highlight these breakthrough creators who are redefining stardom in the music industry,” says Julian Holguin, president of Billboard. “We couldn’t be more excited to partner and build upon what Logitech has created with their Song Breaker Awards to uplift and shine a light on this new crop of talent who are disrupting the traditional business model and influencing millions in the process.”
Creators and trends on this month’s Song Breaker Chart are:
“I never thought of being on a chart, it’s like a next-level type of popular,” says Vanessa Clark (@glitchgirlmaster). “Music brings the best out of us, especially weird dance moves. With the glitch, it was me doing random moves to songs with amazing beats like Missy Elliott’s ‘Get Ur Freak On’ and Luci4’s ‘Kurxxed Emeraldz.’ If you have a weird dance move that you want to pair with a song, make a TikTok about it, no need to be shy, be you. You never know, it might become a trend!”
“The music industry has changed and social media has been at the forefront of that change,” says Jason Derulo, singer, songwriter and dancer whom TikTok dubs the “king of TikTok.” “This chart is indicative of how powerful it is to have a presence online. Billboard, thank you for recognising.”
The Billboard Song Breaker Chart will be released on the second Tuesday of each month, with the inaugural ranking released this week. The chart ranks the top creators on social media platforms including TikTok and YouTube, who amplify music and music-based trends that often result in their success on charts such as the Billboard Hot 100. From dance challenges that help songs go viral to funny videos that introduce new audiences to the classics, creators are changing the way we listen to music. Monthly rankings are created using a blend of engagement and view data from these platforms provided by analytics partner Shareablee, plus streaming and sales data as provided by MRC Data.
Although writing music is first and foremost a creative endeavor, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t compositional formulas that can dramatically increase the odds of a song sticking in people’s ears. The same thing goes for writing, painting, photography, comedy, and cinematography. Coming back to music, a new study has demystified some aspects that make a song popular, showing that harmonic surprise is an important factor in predicting which piece of music will be perceived as pleasurable.
What’s more, this preference evolves over time as we become accustomed to certain musicalities. Yesterday’s fresh music can grow old, so common harmonies in popular music need to be constantly shifting to catch the listener by surprise.
To reach this conclusion, researchers at Drexel University, Georgetown University, and Loyola University Chicago looked at all the Billboard hits from 1958 to 2019, analyzing the harmonic content of each song. With each passing decade, the harmonic surprise of the top tunes has been increasing, a phenomenon which the researchers have dubbed “inflationary surprise”.
What to write a top pop song? Be different
Why do we like certain pieces of music and dislike others? One prevailing theory is that music evokes a pleasurable response in the human brain depending on the degree to which a song adheres or deviates from what a listener would expect. When we hear familiar songs that sound good to our ears, the brain stimulates a neural reward. This stimulation can equally occur when we hear certain novel types of songs that don’t necessarily adhere to the sound of what we usually listen to.
This notion explains why there is a great deal of variability in musical preferences or why we label some songs as retro and boring while others are fresh and hot. In other words, musical perception is partly based on cultural knowledge.
It follows that surprise in music is an important factor in predicting the popularity of a musical piece. Quantifying a song’s total amount of surprise is possible by analyzing its distinct components, such as harmonies, melody, rhythm, and timbre.
Music that is more likely to cause a pleasurable reaction to listeners tends to place higher on charts, which is why the researchers led by neuroscientist Scott Miles turned to the Billboard Hot 100 as an approximation of popularity and musical reward for their analysis of harmonic surprise.
Previously, in a different study, the researchers proposed two hypotheses as to how surprise affects musical perception. The Absolute-Surprise Hypothesis states that musical popularity is determined by the overall amount of surprise in a piece, based on the notion that dopamine (the ‘feel good’ neurotransmitter) is associated with novelty. The Contrastive-Surprise Hypothesis is not dependent on the total amount of surprise in a song but rather on the contrast between high-surprise and low-surprise sections within a certain song.
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In a 2017 study, Miles and colleagues had analyzed the Hot 100 songs, from Bee Gees’ How Deep Is Your Love to Mariah Carey’s We Belong Together, looking for patterns of sounds that may elicit a pleasurable response in the brain. They found that the most popular songs had a high level of harmonic surprise, including the use of rare chords in verse, following by a more conventional, catchy progression in the chorus. Later, the researchers also added other harmonic patterns to their scoring algorithm, including melody, timbre, lyrics, and rhythm, to devise software that can predict if a song will be well received by listeners.
However, this particular study assumed that the “expected” harmony of music was constant over the years across Western popular music — this turned out not to be the case.
To be successful, a musician needs to be constantly innovating
“This assumption, however, may not have been valid; it is entirely possible that the common harmonies which can be reasonably expected to occur in music may change from year to year,” the researchers wrote.
Instead, in this new research, Miles and colleagues went back to the drawing board and devised a more sophisticated model that analyzed how musical perception and preferences evolve over time along with surprising musical content.
They grouped Hot 100 songs into four time “bins” (each spanning about five years of release dates) and calculated the degree of harmonic surprise for each song. This analysis showed that harmonic surprise increases over time and is more pronounced in the most popular hit songs.
“Such dynamic harmonic expectations highlight the interactions between individual listeners and musicians with the culture around them. The Surprise-Inflation Hypothesis raised by the results presented here suggests that the brain’s craving for surprise causes continuous changes in harmonic distributions in popular music. A musician exposed to changes advanced by other musicians must innovate to be successful. It could be that musicians, learning from the success of high-surprise songs from one year, end up producing more high-surprise songs the next year. This could be an explicit strategy to improve on the part of musicians, rather than an implicit change in expectation on the part of the listeners. However, listeners’ preferences change as a result, forcing musicians to incorporate further changes. Hence, the inherent craving for surprise in each of us may push our entire culture in an endless evolution of musical preferences,” the researchers conclude in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.
A starlet in the making, she is ready to take on the very top of the mainstream, delivering her raw and unfiltered take on contemporary Electro-Pop, Dance and Indie. The track is a powerful statement of her vocal and compositional talent, further accentuated by the crisp production by Ian Barter (P aloma Faith, Gabrielle, Izzy Bizzu) «Infatuated» is the initial single from Bella Vine ’s forthcoming intimate conceptual album, a personal character study of her persona with relatable experiences.
«Infatuated» tells a story of lust that Bella Vine overcame, being the one pining over someone who never even knew. Determined to re-write her own story, at the last minute prior to recording, she had second thoughts and flipped the narrative, portraying herself in control over a hopelessly infatuated admirer. This elevated an empowering message that is relatable to all, whilst also giving an example through Bella Vine’s life experience and positive mindset, with the main purpose to affect women’s lives through empathy and transformation:
«By flipping the narrative, I aimed to empower myself by transforming the message from the stereotypical damsel in distress, to someone in control with desirability, also as far too often women are displayed as heartbroken or pining, so it’s nice to have the reverse be heard».
Bella Vine succeeds at embracing femininity, empathy and woman empowerment, jumping straight into an infectious mixture of Pop tropes, moulded into an experimental and quirky blend of intertwining moods and influences. The devil is definitely in the details with «Infatuated» , with the pristine production building the foundation for the prominent music figure in the making to deliver a stunning vocal display, conveying her unique take on character development, mindset and storytelling.
Bella Vine grew up surrounded by arts, pursuing her passion at New York’s renowned Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, where she developed a deep interest in character traits and explored her inner and outer self. Exposed to a wide range of music genres from a young age, the aspiring singer-songwriter gradually shaped her own sophisticated approach to contemporary pop music. Returning to London to pursue her dreams, she embodies the ‘woman on a mission’, determined to stand out from the crowd by just being herself and make it as an independent artist with a message to be heard.
Heavily influenced by music icons like Whitney Houston and Madonna, Bella Vine also takes inspiration from modern stars such as Dua Lipa and Tove Lo. A prominent music figure in the making, with lots more to offer and a multifaceted upcoming debut album; follow her social for upcoming music releases and updates.
«We are at a critical time», Michael Fairman contends, «and it was important to me that the video depict these struggles in a way that catches viewer’s attention, yet is empathetic and hopeful in its message».
In the video: a homeless man is laying on the street with the simple yet heartbreaking message, «I used to be you» … Black Lives Matter protesters march peacefully but assertively … the rainbow flag waves triumphantly … a soldier, injured in battle, is picked up by servicemen and carried to safety while Michael Fairman sings, «It’s a war I can’t lose».
Fairman shares: «Days often seem darkest before the dawn. In my own life, I have overcome tremendous challenges: Childhood bullying, multiple surgeries due to a spinal condition and chronic pain that I still struggle with today, the sudden loss of loved ones, discrimination, and more. I’ve been knocked down many times but through it all, I’ve somehow managed to get back up and fight on».
It is that reason he chose to include the boxing ring in the music video as the backdrop to the narrative. «I saw it as the perfect analogy for our time». With it being in a gym that was closed to the public, because of the pandemic, it offered an ideal location to shoot while remaining socially distant, and the setting worked to illustrate the isolation portrayed in the song’s lyrics.
A skeletal crew consisting of one cameraman, one lighting tech and Michael came together over the early summer to shoot the music video. Michael took on double duty as performer and director. The only other talent featured in the music video was guitarist Hunter Cohen, and he was filmed alone in the ring. Everyone followed strict CDC protocols, wearing facial masks and washing hands constantly.
In July, as Los Angeles was finally beginning to relax some of its restrictions, Michael and another cameraman were able to add the exterior footage shot in downtown LA. It enabled them to bring the story to its conclusion with: Michael, a runner, an athlete who is an amputee, and children all running towards something – the other side. Those who watch closely will notice when Michael looks up at the stop lights near the beginning of the video, they’re red. At the end, they are green, ushering him to «go» to the other side, towards a brighter future.
Michael Fairman grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Music was his passion and as a teen, he released his first recordings through a small label in Chicago. Once he graduated high school, he moved to Los Angeles and then to New York to pursue a career as a recording artist and songwriter. He performed with a band in rock, pop, and soul clubs, hoping to get signed by a major label. When that didn’t happen, Fairman decided to return to Los Angeles where he began a career in TV Production and entertainment journalism.
One of his great musical influences was George Michael. His passing, along with all of the exciting new ways to make and market music in the digital era, inspired Michael to give his pop star dreams another chance. He co-wrote «Other Side» with producer and engineer, Kyle Mangels, and this marks their third collaboration together.