Foremost international Club Promoter/King of nightlife in Canada, Christopher S. Jeyarajah aka Chris Jey is set to align his craft with the emergence of Afro-beat sound on the international music scene.
Chris Jey who is also the Ceo of BMW Promotion Company, a company which has planted its roots by holding the first and only concert ever performed by Biggie Smalls in Toronto, working with concerts for Wutang Clan and Ice Cube, and launching the early careers of countless DJ’s worldwide, is ready to jump on the train of the Afro-beat genre of music which has taken over music waves around the world.
Since Afro-beat Music is gradually gaining acceptance and getting bigger internationally, as an established club promoter, Chris Jeye aka Chris Jey sees the vision, which is why he plans to join the waves by bringing the likes of top Afrobeat music artists like Davido, Tiwa Savage and other top African artistes, tour with them around Canada and probably take them on a tour around the world.
Chris Jey Promotions strives to provide its people with the best value for their money and entertain them beyond their wildest expectations when they come out to shows. The company, BMW, has grown over the years and is proud to be one of Canada’s top urban marketing and event companies.
Speaking about the company, Chris Jey said; “Our network consists of over 8000 Facebook Friends, 17000 Twitter followers, 14000 subscribed email addresses, as well as 2100 phone numbers for spreading the word about events. Count on Chris Jey Promo for top artiste and talent bookings, event planning and organization, marketing and promotions, as well as venue and night club scouting. We have a powerful street team to spread the word and bring the party every week of the year.”
As part of his plans to align with the Afro-beat wave, Chris Jey Plans to tour Nigeria and other African countries in 2020.
Leonardo DiCaprio’s environmental group has donated 3 million US dollars (£2.3m) towards the relief effort, while Sir Elton John, actor Chris Hemsworth and Pink have also donated.
Waller-Bridge’s custom made tuxedo is closest to a UK size 12, according to the listing.
She has also signed the label of the lace and silk trouser suit.
In a video shared on the official Fleabag Twitter account, the writer and actress showed fans where celebrities had touched the outfit, including Tom Hanks when he shook her hand, Sir Elton John giving her a hug and the shoulder where Olivia Colman “rested her cheek”.
“Most significantly perhaps, if you are a Fleabag fan, this suit is completely covered head to toe in Andrew Scott hugs,” she added.
Money raised will be donated to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief & Recovery Fund, WIRES Wildlife Rescue Emergency Fund and Wildlife Victoria.
Waller Bridge said: “I’m very excited that this stunning, one-of-a-kind, couture tuxedo created by Australian geniuses Ralph & Russo will continue its journey by contributing to this urgent cause.
“If money raised by its auction can help raise funds to fight the disaster in Australia, the future impact of this suit will be far greater than the luck it brought me and the Fleabag team at the Golden Globes last weekend.”
Omole Oluwatobiloba popularly known as Tobiloba is a Romania-based Nigerian artiste from Osun State who describes his genre of music as Afro-Gospel, in this interviews he takes us on his musical journey, his beliefs, visions, hopes and fears.
To be honest, I never really was the type of person that just wanted to leave the country,as a matter of fact I used to advocate that it really didn’t matter that much where you were,as much as the kind of person you were.
So, when I mentioned to a few of my friends that I thought the next phase of my life involved moving out, they were quite shocked, I moved to Romania to pursue my education as a doctor but very honestly deep down I just felt it was the next thing to do at that phase of my life. So I simply followed the inspiration, but yeah College was just a means to an end,which was to align to the instruction of that season of my life
You said your genre of music is Afro Gospel, what exactly does that mean and what does it entail?
See, we all have why we do what we do. As I earlier mentioned, classification is not really the big deal as much it’s actually the content and the spirit behind a song, music is powerful, even from a scientific point of view.
The sounds we listen to are waves, and a couple of researchers have actually proven it that cells do respond to sound waves and if a human is a community viable cells that shows us how powerful music is. It’s not a joke, the power is not even in the classification as much as it is in the effect of the music. Some so-called secular music move people towards love and even more than some gospel music. Yes, I dare to say that even though some people might disagree, not everything that is labelled gospel is healthy for the spiritual growth, some actually hinder it. See, music is too powerful to just subject people to anything because they are classified as gospel or secular.
If you describe my music as gospel that’s fine, but I don’t write from a place of classification, I write from a place of calling and my content is orientated in the direction it is because the motivation behind my call to serve in this area does not permit me to make such weighty decisions on the premise of financial gain. Money is not bad and issues around it should be managed properly to avoid penury and enable continuity, but money should not be the driving force deciding the content behind such a powerful decision to influence another human that much.
Why gospel music in the first place when its circular music that’s more accepted and more commercially viable?
Afrogospel was actually just a name given by a few people in the industry here in 2016, because of the content of my music which they categorized as related to God but at the same time didn’t really fit into the typical “American” gospel vibe they were used to. Mine had the African touch to it, I heard it then and I didn’t mind it, I think it was my PR person back then that first described it as that as she needed to pitch my sound to a few people and I didn’t mind it being called that. But honestly in terms of genre I don’t believe in classifying artists and boxing them but for easy understanding and to help fit into the already existing templates that we use to classify music. I was okay with that, because of where my content eventually drives my listeners to, but I maintain that the Gospel is not genre, and I don’t like to be classified not because I don’t know what I stand for, but because the labelling gives room for the audience to demand from my creativity only what they think my “genre” stands for and the call to be an artist is bigger than existing labels, it is a call to prepare the mind of the masses for the culture of tomorrow and sometimes the culture of tomorrow might need to negate the existing traditions we have today. So yes, I am an African man, a Nubian, and I am a friend of God, and my art is only from that perspective, but it’s not limited to those walls.
What is your general opinion about Nigerian music, particularly the street music and Afrobeat?
Nigeria music has always been global because it’s good music. I know there is a recent wave of international collaborations across many genres even on the “Gospel”platform,it seems like the world is suddenly awakening to the sound from us as an industry, but to be honest Our music has always attracted global attention. We probably didn’t celebrate those success that much in the past because there probably was not social media to hype some of those successes, but some of our elders and fathers did have significant breakthroughs back then. Some of them played at world famous festivals in the past and platforms, so our music has always been a vibe even on the international platform. I remember being on the production set of an advert campaign for a Swedish headphone company not as a musical artist in 2013, just for photos and the Swedish photographer on one of the sets was seriously blasting Fela’s ‘Water no get enemy’, spitting the lyrics like a second language. So our music has always been a vibe globally, the good thing is, we now have the opportunity to see in real time how the world is appreciative of our sound, we can see videos online of major celebs on the western platform vibing to our sound, and all these also contribute to the hype, which is definitely a good thing, the recent collaborations also help to open up the sound more but our music has always been a vibe. A tight vibe.
There are worries about Nigerian music being all about beat and not strong on lyrical content and message, what’s your take on this?
My answer to that is, it depends on who you listen to. Like most entertainment industries we have various types of artists but if you are out to look for intellectual content, I can boldly say we have quite a number of artist to boast of, maybe they don’t get enough support from the industry but that doesn’t mean they aren’t there. So, I don’t think it’s fair to classify every one under one roof and pass such a remark. It is true that there are people who just want to blow and would put anything on a good beat, literally anything. But that doesn’t mean there are not other artists who are painstakingly detailed about their lyrical content. So my conclusive answer to that would be it depends on who you listen to and if we want to hear better content on our mainstream platforms let’s all be more supportive towards better content, we all have a responsibility. At the end of the day it’s a cycle, entertainment influences the people, the people influence the industry and the industry influences entertainment and the career of content makers, so it’s a cycle that we all play a role in.
When did you start music professionally and how has the journey been like?
It depends on the age group, it can be quite a cultural shock but we are breaking grounds gradually, the youth and young adults are more responsive to foreign ideas and thanks to the internet today, entertainment can cross borders without much hassle. So yeah, it’s taking a lot of work but people are beginning to respond. So I’d say it’s good enough for now and it will even get better in the future.
Apart from making music, what else do you do?
I am a doctor, I practice medicine in the field of psychiatry. I also write my own plays and produce them in theaters under an organizations called The Ndicy Vision, these plays like my music are inspired from the same perspective.
What is unique about your own brand of music and how do you get inspiration to write and produce songs?
In terms of sound I’d say it’s a fusion, I love to experiment, I don’t like to be boxed, I appreciate a sound that is rooted in diversity, but mostly it always has an element of the African background to it, either in groove or in language, but in terms of content I’d say, a music that’s moves humanity away from fear and every thing that comes with it towards Love, Life and Light, the way God intended it from the beginning.
So, when I write , I write from my highest point of the revelation of truth I have at that season of my life, my lyrics are always reflective of my walk with divinity and the perspective He has afforded me in that season, but in terms of subject I can write about anything but I infuse it with the highest level of revelation I have as at that time, void of the bias of financial gain.
When did you start music professionally?
I professionally recorded my first single in 2013 and that would be my first step into professional music. God’s been faithful, I know it probably would sound like a cliche to say “it’s not been very easy” but like anything that’s worth doing you have to pay the price. itely bright!! Let’s go…lol
What do you fear most as a musician?
My biggest fear as a musician would probably be to get the opportunity to influence humanity through my art and use it negatively. I mean I am very intentional about my content because I understand the power of arts and music; these things shape our culture and more consequentially shape our future because, we pass on the values from today’s culture to the next generation.
So, I would really hate to get a chance to play such a pivotal role and mess it up, that scares me ,the gravity of such responsibility scares me and I use it as a motivation to make better choices but it doesn’t really paralyze me because I know I am not alone
I know, I know. It seems like ages ago. The world’s on the brink of a war with Iran and the Royal Family is in tatters, but apparently the new decade only started 11 days ago.
The preceding 10 years were hardly a walk in the park, either – and musically-speaking, it was a time of innovation, upheaval and disruption.
Streaming changed the way we listened to music, and music changed in response to the way we listened. Songs got shorter, genres bled into one another, and language barriers dissolved.
Observing all these changes were Charlie Harding, a songwriter, and Nate Sloan, a professor musicology. Before the 2010s, they’d been snobby about pop music. Then, on a road trip, they heard Carly Rae Jepsen’s exquisitely catchy Call Me Maybe.
They were struck by the way Jepsen subverted their expectations of melody and arrangement to create a feeling of awkward nervousness as she asks a guy out on a date.
“Jepsen hesitates before singing the first word of the chorus, ‘hey,'” they explain. “It’s unexpected, but effective, like she’s working up the courage to say her piece.
The chorus’s underlying chord progression reinforces this feeling, avoiding the song’s harmonic “home” in a way that makes the listener “feel giddily unmoored,” they add.
Now they have a book by the same name – subtitled “how popular music works and why it matters” – with each chapter studying a basic principle of music through the prism of a single, ubiquitous banger.
We called them up in the dying days of 2019 to discuss the decade’s biggest musical trends, and how they shaped our experience of music.
1) The anti-chorus
The decade had its fair share of memorable hooks, from Pharrell’s Happy to Sia’s Chandelier – but choruses suffered an identity crisis during the decade.
Take, for example, Katy Perry’s Dark Horse. The bridge builds and builds in anticipation of a climax (Perry even sings “are you ready for a perfect storm?“) but when you get to the bit where the chorus should be, the song disappears down a black hole and you’re left with a spooky synth riff over a pounding bass drum.
“This was one of the most surprising insights we found when researching the podcast and writing the book,” says Sloan. “Since the 1960s, it’s been a tenet of popular music that all songs follow the verse-chorus format, but the last decade has seen a real shift away from the dominance of the chorus.”
In their book, Sloan and Harding trace this phenomenon back to Rihanna and Calvin Harris’s We Found Love. Released in 2011, the song initially behaves like any other pop song, with a verse-chorus structure that culminates in Rihanna singing the hook, “we found love in a hopeless place,” four times.
But then Harris does something unexpected: Instead of circling back to the second verse, the tension ratchets up like a rollercoaster climbing to its apex.
As a synth rises in pitch and snare drums clatter, the excitement builds until, at 1’08”, there’s an almighty crash and the song’s elements unite around a single, fist-pumping groove. And it’s this section, more than Rihanna’s hook, that represents the energetic peak of the song.
This technique – the build and drop – was borrowed from dance music but compressed to fit the pop format, prompting Sloan and Harding to christen it “pop drop”.
“What’s fascinating about the pop drop is it helped introduce people’s ears to a new song form,” says Harding. “It made listeners more comfortable with hearing things that don’t fit into the dominant structure of the past 75 years.”
And so we end up with songs like Dark Horse, or Ariana Grande’s Problem, or the Chainsmokers’ Closer, where the chorus is no longer the focal-point of the song.
“To me, that’s the most exciting development of the last 10 years – the disintegration of the chorus and the slate of possibilities that will open up for artists in the future,” says Sloan.
“It’s very hard to do something like that,” chips in Harding. “Think about drama, for example – it’s difficult to have a play that doesn’t have three acts, because form is often the thing that gives us comfort.
“So even though the pop drop itself might be more of a mid-2010s phenomenon, it’s very important in terms of how it disrupted the standards.”
2) Songs started shrinking
According to research from Quartz, the average length of a song on the Billboard Hot 100 fell from 3’50” in 2013, to about 3’30” in 2018 – and the trend appears to be accelerating. Last year, Lil Nas X became one of music’s biggest break-out stars thanks to his viral hit Old Town Road, a song that’s just 1’52” long.
The downward pressure on song durations is all down to streaming.
“Streaming services incentivise listening to an entire song, because that’s how they calculate payments,” explains Sloan. “And if you listen to the whole song, it increases the likelihood of it being placed on a playlist.”
Furthermore, streaming services pay artists per play – irrespective of how long a song lasts. So every time someone streams Kanye West’s 2010 nine-minute epic Runaway, it generates the same revenue as a play of the three-minute-long Gold Digger. It’s no surprise that his latest single, Follow God, clocks in at 1’45”.
“The trend is definitely towards shorter songs,” hit songwriter Ryan Tedder told the BBC last year. “People are doing two or three things at the same time and if you get three minutes into a song and it’s not almost over, you’re probably skipping to the next song, and that’s just the truth.”
That’s not the only effect streaming has had on song structure. Intros are shorter – some songs even open with a blast of the chorus – and fade-outs are a thing of the past.
“A fade-out, just like a long intro, is another way to lose people’s attention,” says Harding. “It’s a matter of sustaining attention all the way through.”
“What’s the famous adage in playwriting? Enter late, leave early,” adds Sloan. “Maybe it’s similar in pop songwriting.”
3) Singing like you’re speaking
As hip-hop has become the dominant form of music, it’s stylistic tropes have begun to bleed into pop. As a result, you hear artists like Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran employing the rhythmic cadence of rap, often in melodies that hover around a single note.
The technique gives their songs intimacy and immediacy – it feels like you’re being spoken to – and when they finally soar up the musical scale in the chorus, it’s like a sunlight piercing a darkened room.
Sloan traced this phenomenon back to Outkast’s 2003 hit single Hey Ya!
“We found this amazing quotation from Andre Benjamin, who said he was really nervous to release that song because, at the time, the idea of a rapper singing was unthinkable,” he says. “Now, if you fast-forward 16 years, it’s commonplace. so we really see him as setting that template.
“The other important link in that chain is Kanye West’s 808s and Heartbreak, which really introduced the use of auto-tune as a way for rappers, who may not be comfortable singing, to share their ‘beautiful voices’ with the world.
“And through those two developments, you get an artist like Drake who is constantly oscillating on the edge of rapping and speaking and singing – which in itself is an old technique – in opera it’d be called Sprechgesang.
“So it’s a relatively recent development in pop, but one which might have longer roots in the history of classical music.”
4) Pulling a Beyoncé
On 13 December, 2013, Beyoncé upended the music industry. Without warning and without promotion, she dropped an entire album – the self-titled Beyoncé – accompanied by 17 music videos.
Three years later, she did it again with Lemonade, a visual album that tackled black identity and female empowerment; and hinted that her husband, Jay-Z, had been unfaithful.
Accidentally or by design, that record was the first part of a triptych, with Jay-Z responding on 4:44; before the couple reconciled on a joint album and tour, titled Everything Is Love.
“It’s a great example of how an artist today isn’t simply a musician, they’re entirely inter-textual,” says Harding.
“Our relationship to pop acts is no longer just about the song – it’s about the video, it’s about the live tour, it’s about the mediation through social media. It’s all of those elements that connect us to that artist.
“And often when we hear the music, it’s really acting as the signifier, the thing that brings us back and ignites our memory about that artist.”
Inevitably, the rest of the industry jumped on the bandwagon, with Drake, Frank Ocean, U2, Rihanna and Solange all firing out “surprise” albums in the latter half of the 2010s.
The stealth approach may only work for artists at a certain level of fame, but it can cut through the noise in an era when 40,000 songs are uploaded to Spotify every day.
“Albums have a shorter lifespan because of the ubiquity of access and the lack of physical ownership,” says Harding. “So capturing the moment of release and making sure people listen is an important part of making sure that [a record] has the maximum lifespan and cultural resonance.
“If you miss the audience on those first few days, it’s hard to come back around.”
The answer is a drum beat: The lilting “boom-ti-boom-chk” of the Tresillo, or Dembow, rhythm. Originating in Africa, it made its way to Cuba in the 19th Century, where it became the basis for Habenera music, and ricocheted around the Caribbean until it was co-opted into mainstream pop, thanks to its ability to evoke end-of-term excitement and long, hazy days in the sun.
Last summer, the beat anchored six of the summer’s most-streamed songs, including Bad Bunny’s Callaita and Daddy Yankee’s Con Calma.
“The prominence of the Dembow rhythm is a really exciting opportunity for us as music historians, because it really reveals the changing state of popular music,” says Harding. “It’s very closely related to the rhythms of the New Orelans’ second line that you would find in early jazz; and it’s something that you can hear in early rock and roll songs like Bo Diddley’s eponymous song Bo Diddley.
“Then fast-forward to 2016 and it’s there again in Despacito. It’s one of these things that travels across decades of popular music.
“And what’s really exciting about the current boom of Latin pop is that, unlike Ricky Martin and Enrique Iglesias in the 1990s – this is a style of Latin music that doesn’t seem to be catering to the taste of a mainstream white audience. That’s really exciting to hear on the radio and it’s really exciting to hear it filtering into the sound of mainstream pop.”
…What does the next decade hold?
Technology often drives musical innovation – from the invention of the electric guitar to the advent of auto-tune. Harding and Sloan suggest that the ubiquity of earbuds and headphones could be responsible for a change in the way singers record their vocals.
“Billie Eilish might be representative of that trend,” says Sloan. “We’re going to hear a lot more voices that are really quiet and really intimate and take advantage of the fact we’re all listening to music on our earphones.
“That whispered-in-your-ear sound shares some of the experience of podcasting – that feeling that someone is speaking directly in your ear.
“And I’d just point out there’s other artists like Lana Del Rey and Selena Gomez – both of them are so recorded ‘in close up’ so it feels like you’re present in the room with them; and I think it’s a very effective quality.”
Nate Sloan and Charlie Harding’s book, Switched On Pop, is available now from Oxford University Press.
Neil Peart, drummer and lyricist for Canadian rock band Rush, has died from brain cancer aged 67.
The musician, considered one of rock’s greatest ever drummers, died on Tuesday in Santa Monica, California.
Rush, the band he played with for 45 years, confirmed his death in a statement posted to Twitter.
The statement said Peart, their “soul brother”, had been suffering from glioblastoma – a type of brain cancer – for three-and-a-half years.
“It is with broken hearts and the deepest sadness that we must share the terrible news that on Tuesday our friend, soul brother and band mate of over 45 years, Neil, has lost his incredibly brave three-and-a-half-year battle with brain cancer,” the statement says.
He joined Rush in 1974, drawing influences from hard rock, jazz and heavy metal in a career that spanned four decades.
Peart retired from Rush in 2015 after the band’s final tour, saying the time had come to take himself “out of the game”.
The group, which also featured singer-bassist Geddy Lee and guitarist Alex Lifeson, recorded hits including The Spirit Of Radio and Tom Sawyer. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.
Peart is reportedly survived by his wife, photographer Carrie Nuttall, and daughter Olivia.
Erockfor (Rocky) is kicking off her new year with a cryptic message about new music. The genre-blurring Cameroonian singer-songwiter born and raised in Montreal, Canada, who fuses Jazz and Soul with Hip Hop and reggae, debuted with “How Will I Know,” in October 2019.
The singer dropped a photo of herself recently on Instagram with the caption “Questions is out 1/30.” She further captioned the image: “I’m focused on the path I have chosen.”
Erockfor in a message, reaffirms her revelation for the year. “I will be releasing a single a month all of 2020, with the view of garnering a global audience,” she said.
Erockfor’s 2019 debut was a soulful hip-hop groove. She continues with her style of asking questions that demands answers. In “How Will I Know,” she asked a series of questions: “How will I know if this love is real? She sings, “Does he love me? / Does he care”.