A brand new week, and a brand new playlist of 5 kick-ass songs to shake your boo-tay to people! I’m Shourya, your resident music-geek, Pop Freak and Neo-Soul Junkie. So stop literally everything and pay attention, cuz it’s R’n’B veterans Brandy and Monica, Alt-Rock icons Garbage, Rapstress and potty-mouth extraordinaire Nicki Minaj, the cutest Pop duo in the history of EVER: Karmin, and Disco-Pop outfit Scissor Sisters, all in the house today!

‘It All Belongs To Me’ – Brandy and Monica

Brandy and Monica

Ah nostalgia! Back in the 90’s, the resurgent new sound of R’n’B/Hip-Hop/Soul/Neo-Soul was defined by the then relative neophytes like Brandy, Mary J Blige, Aaliyah, R. Kelly, Monica, TLC, Lauryn Hill, Maxwell, Erykah Badu etc. Barely in their teens back in 1994-95, vocal powerhouses Brandy and Monica exploded on to the scene with their respective debut albums, resulting in a new wave of R’n’B, that would eventually be instrumental in shaping the sound of the 90’s. Both their debut albums went on to spawn multiple hits, and went multi-platinum. And of course the news of a brewing rivalry between the two young divas was inevitable.

Who would have predicted back then that riding on this wave of speculation, the songstresses would join forces to create one of the biggest hits in the history of contemporary music! At the height of their rumored rivalry, Brandy and Monica joined forces for a stunning no-holds-barred power-packed diva-licious duet about a feud over the same guy, titled ‘The Boy Is Mine’, which served as the first single for both their sophomore albums. The result? A whopping 13 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100, the highest selling single of 1998, a Grammy Award, through-the-roof global multi-million album sales, multiple #1 singles, the works! Brandy and Monica were officially global superstars, and they were instrumental in bringing R’n’B to most parts of the world where R’n’B was yet to be accepted as a part of mainstream music, especially in Asia, including India.

Both the leading ladies of the 90’s R’n’B revolution have had some of the most long lasting careers in the music business, and 18 years after they first arrived, they still command the same respect they did back in the day, cuz of, well, you know, real talent? Remember how that sounds? Non auto-tuned? No? Shame! But seriously, quality music and flawless vocals are something that both these women have consistently delivered. So it came as no surprise when fans started commencing mass hysteria of unprecedented proportions when, after 14 years since they created their genre-bending duet, the veterans announced that they would be collaborating again for the first single from both their debut albums! Honestly, my life had meaning again. There is a God after all.

‘It All Belongs To Me’ is the brand new duet by the R’n’B Royalties, and is the first single from Monica’s new album, her fifth consecutive Billboard top 10 album ‘New Life’ released 2 weeks ago, and Brandy’s upcoming album ‘Two Eleven’ scheduled for a June release. The Rico Love-produced mid-tempo R’n’B jam is a classic mix of some rich melodies and some catchy hooks, with both Brandy and Monica’s vocals on point! The song and the video is a sequel to ‘The Boy Is Mine’, only in this case, the impossibly gorgeous looking women are on the same side, getting rid of their douche of a boyfriend! I don’t know if it’s nostalgia, or the fact that I come from a school that literally worships the ground that Queens Brandy and Monica walk on, but I totally love both the song and the video! Check out the Chris Robinson-directed video right here:


‘Blood For Poppies’ – Garbage


2012 is the year of comebacks, and when Alt-Rock Royalties Garbage, led by the extraordinarily flawless Shirley Manson, announced their jump on the bandwagon, the world, just like that, became a better place to live in. 7 impossibly prolonged years after their last album ‘Bleed Like Me’ debuted at a career-high #4 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart, the band released their first single ‘Blood For Poppies’ from their 5th studio album ‘Not Your Kind Of People’, awaiting a May 17th release (I CANNOT possibly wait any longer FYI). I’m a part of the worldwide legion of fans who’ve flailed and seized to songs like ‘I’m Only Happy When It Rains’, ‘#1 Crush’, ‘Milk’ and ‘Stupid Girl’ (in case you have no idea what I’m rambling about, you might just wanna give their greatest hits, ‘Absolute Garbage’ a listen), I was only too happy (read psychotic) to hear Shirley’s power-vocals over the heavy guitar riffs of ‘Blood For Poppies’ that retained the classic sound of Garbage! Watch the Matt Irwin-directed black-and-white video with a retro-vibe right here :


‘Starships’ – Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj

Unless you’ve been living under the world’s biggest rock (How’s the weather under there? A toasty warm?), you’ll know that the one and only Harajuku Barbie aka Onika Tanya Maraj aka Nicki Minaj aka Roman Zolanski aka Martha aka potty-mouth extraordinaire is quite simply the biggest thing in Rap right now. Fact – your faves have been SLAYED by this sassy songstress! And with potentially life-changing gender bending lyrics like ‘If you weren’t so ugly, I’d put my d*** in your face’ (from the song ‘Come On A Cone’ on her new album), Mizz Minaj is not going anywhere soon, so deal with it. ‘Starships’ is Nicki Minaj’s new single from her every-credible-chart-topping sophomore album ‘Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded’ (Roman is Nicki’s gay man alter-ego, could your faves ever? Didn’t think so), and is a runaway smash all around the world, creating history in the UK as the highest charting song by a solo female Rapper, peaking at #2 on the UK Top 40 Singles Chart, apart from already being a top 5 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.

Nicki’s concoction of Rap, Electro-Pop, and Dance woven through her signature manically mind-blowing verses which she spits out with gleeful ease may have purists fuming at her for giving up her Rap roots. Although the end result is she’s officially a global smash, a thoroughly bankable brand who has shattered records when it comes to Rap, as well as music in general, being the only female rapper in history to have both her debut and sophomore albums top the Billboard 200 Albums Chart, and who has the gall to experiment with every genre possible and come out with extraordinarily successful results! Check out the video for ‘Starships’ right here:


‘Brokenhearted’ – Karmin


YouTube-covers sensation Karmin is certainly THE pin-up couple of cute! Seriously, could they not look so perfect for a change? It makes us lesser mortals question our flawed existence. Things get a little extra sugary considering that Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan are a real-life couple (so SO gorg!). They’ve literally created mayhem on YouTube with their fantabulous covers of songs by everyone from Foster The People to Nicki Minaj (FYI, Amy can pretty much out-Rap any bitch in the game), and are finally releasing some original material.

Today I feature Karmin’s second single ‘Brokenhearted’, taken from their debut album ‘Hello’ scheduled for a summer release this year. The song’s a breezy and catchy summer jam, not too different from what’s available on Pop Radio these days, but Karmin does bring about some much needed freshness, especially due to Amy’s insane ability to transition effortlessly from smooth vocals to ferocious Rap verses. And how cute is the Marc Klasfeld-directed video where the couple pretends to be not-so-perfect? Aww. They’re just like us y’all! A regular couple who just happen to be a bazillion shades cuter, and with a coupla million dollars more in their bank accounts than us. No big deal at all. Watch the video right here:


‘Only The Horses’ – Scissor Sisters

Scissor Sisters

Let’s just say Rihanna’s ‘We Found Love’ is Calvin Harris’s frame of reference for every song that he’s decided to produce. Can’t blame him though now, can we? The song’s a massive global smash, and Dance music is EVERYTHING right now. In case you’ve had the chance to listen to ex-Girls Aloud chanteuse Cheryl Cole’s new single ‘Call My Name’ and Disco-Pop sensations Scissor Sisters’ new single ‘Only The Horses’ (both produced by Harris), the resemblance IS hard to miss. That does not, however, mean that these songs are blatant rip-off’s. They have their distinct sound, and I’ll probably feature Cheryl’s song in my next post. For now, let’s concentrate on ‘Only The Horses’. I admit, the synth-heavy track is the best track they’ve ever created, a destined summer smash! Taken from their highly anticipated 4th studio album ‘Magic Hour’ scheduled for a May 28th release, ‘Only The Horses’ is accompanied by a befitting video created by Lorenzo Fonda that features, well, horses! Check out the video right here:


Hope y’all enjoyed this week’s play-list! Watch out for next week’s playlist and some interesting new posts coming up soon!

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