It's been a year since Olivia Rodrigo's debut album "Sour" was released. I knew of her thanks to the Disney+ show "High School Musical: The Musical: The Series'” and her song "All I Want '' that had subsequently blown up on TikTok. When her single "driver's license" dropped in January of 2021, the anticipation for the song was incredibly high. Olivia did not disappoint. Her songwriting portrayed the intense heartbreak she had gone through as a result of this breakup, and the pain resonated with listeners. Olivia connected with her audience emotionally, and we were all hooked. By the time her album dropped, in May of 2021, after having heard a few singles since "drivers license," like "deja vu" and "good 4 u," she was a household name. When she finally announced a tour for the spring of 2022, there wasn't a single person I knew that didn't want to attend. I was one of the lucky ones that got the chance to see her live at Radio City Music Hall on her first-ever tour.
On August 27th, 2021, English singer-songwriter Maisie Peters released her debut record, “You Signed Up For This.” Though her debut album was only released last year, Peters isn’t technically the new kid on the block. She started uploading videos of her music to Youtube in 2017 at fifteen. Then accumulated half a billion streams worldwide and sold out iconic venues in London, all before she released an album. She released two EPs with Atlantic Records, “Dressed Too Nice for a Jacket” and “It’s Your Bed Babe, It’s Your Funeral,” and, before the pandemic, was lined up to open for Niall Horan on tour. But, with the worldwide shutdown, she had the opportunity to work on her album. “You Signed Up For This” charted at number 2 in the UK, and on March 1, 2022, Peters began her month-long North American tour.
Last weekend, the 60th Annual Grammy Awards, one of music's biggest nights, aired on CBS. There were some incredible performances including Kesha's powerful and inspiring rendition of her song Praying, Pink's raw, artistic performance of her song "Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken" and Logic's words in support of women and immigrants. Esteemed artists like Ed Sheeran and Bruno Mars were amongst the winners of the night bringing home the Grammys for Best Pop Vocal Album/Best Pop Solo Performance (Ed) and Album of the Year and Record of the Year (Bruno). There were a few controversies this year, including the number of male winners significantly outweighing the number of females (there was one female winner), but one, in particular, resonates with me
A Love Letter to Songwriters
When I was fourteen years old my musical palette was limited. Before I entered the doors of high school the music I was exposed to was the oldies station my mom listened to in the car, hand me down cd’s including but not limited to Britney Spears, N’SYNC as well as Hilary Duff, a pop genius that to this day I still jam to. I had yet to develop my own sense of taste when it came to melodies, lyrics and the singers that brought them to life. Not long after I found my little group of comrades in my freshman year did I learn that I needed to up my game if I was going to fit in. And that is where this love story begins.
Two years after the release of their EP Simple Life, their official transition as a country duo, Megan & Liz have re-entered the scene. On March 11th their new EP DEUX dropped and it quickly topped the country charts landing them at #4.
If you have't been following these two, they paved their own way in the music industry, starting out as YouTubers. They posted weekly videos filmed in their Mom's kitchen in their Michigan home, mostly covers while occasionally uploading original songs they wrote themselves. Flash forward a few years and they've released several EP's, grown an incredible fan base via their active use of social media, and, despite their label being dissolved, these two have consistently been at the forefront of their career. They promote their work, they write the lyrics, they interact with the fans and have done so since the very beginning.
At fourteen she was nominated for an Oscar for her role as Mattie Ross in the award winning film True Grit. She’s more recently known for her role in Pitch Perfect 2 as Emily along with her friendship with the queen of pop, Taylor Swift. Hailee Steinfeld, 18, is now dipping her toes into the world of music. On August 4, 2015 she released her first single Love Myself, an anthem for self-love as well as a song that spiked a lot of speculation. Following the success and chart topping hit, Steinfeld released her first ever EP entitled Haiz on November 13, 2015 with four tracks including: Love Myself, You’re Such A, Rock Bottom, and Hell Nos and Headphones.
Ed Sheeran's X Tour
On May 29th I had the pleasure of seeing Ed Sheeran live for the second time at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, NY. The first time I ever saw him was on the Red Tour in 2013 as an opener for Taylor Swift. She's the reason I looked into his music in the first place. I had heard his infamous single The A Team played on the radio incessantly. I had nothing against the song or him but the hype around all of it didn't make him anymore interesting either. When Swift announced he was going to be her opener for tour I decided it was time I became familiar with his music. I would be seeing him perform after all, I might as well know some songs. I began delving into his album + and slowly started to understand. Sheeran, like Swift, is a songwriter. He writes from life experience and is no stranger to the subject of love. It didn't take long before I found myself replaying songs like Drunk and Kiss Me, two of my favorites off his first album.
In the past couple of years I've gotten more and more involved in social media. I've joined an online magazine, Scriptoeris, and I've become a part of the wonderful Dream On Youth team. With that being said, my strong presence online, as well as my love for music, has introduced me to some artists I may not have been aware of if it weren't for the Internet. Some you may have heard of because of previous posts of mine and some because they've become more popular in recent years. For me these are artists that are truly dedicated to their craft, their "fan bases" and don't get nearly enough credit for their talent.
Just Living That Simple Life
If you don't already know these talented, gorgeous twin singing duo then I'd like to introduce you. They're names are Megan (brunette) and Liz and if you aren't already a fan you will be after you listen and buy https://t.co/kliuc5zFcA their new EP "Simple Life." I myself have been a fan for a few years now and believe me when I say their music gets better and better with every new song and relatable lyrics that come with it. They're 21 and originally from Michigain until they moved to Nashville in 2011, then to LA in 2013 and back to Nashville where, for them, it feels more like home.
After having a rough start to the year, not releasing their very first debut album due to the collapse of their label, the twins have rebounded with a bang, A bang that has brought them to the #4 spot on the Country chart on iTunes that is! Their new EP "Simple Life," which was released June 3rd, has personal and honest written all over it. It is clear from these seven brand new songs that the genre of Country music and Megan and Liz were meant to be. I don't think we've ever heard such raw and a clear cut level of talent from them, like this, ever before. I've always known they can sing, and I've always loved their music, but this EP is different.
On Tuesday night I had the pleasure of attending Demi Lovato's Neon Lights Tour at Nassau Colesium. I've been a fan of hers myself since Camp Rock premiered and it was a thrill to finally get the chance to experience her perform live.
I remember it was my sophomore year of high school, the week of my birthday, when she released her first album. My friend had mentioned it at one point and I hinted that my birthday was coming up with hopes she'd get the hint. She did. The entire week after, I listened to that album on the bus ride on the way to school every single day. Now every time I listen to it I hear the tune of the next song in my head before it starts playing.
Stories have always been my safe haven. I hope my words can be the same for you.