Welcome to #TBT Mixtape, Billboard’s series that showcases artists’ very own throwback-themed playlists exclusive to Billboard’s Spotify account. The curated set features the artists’ favorite tracks from their youth and childhood.
Swedish singer-songwriter Shy Martin is just a day away from the release of her sophomore EP Sad Songs, and it’s clear how she’d land on such a dense title and theme just from the looks of the music she grew up on.
On a compilation that includes Linkin Park, Paramore and Lana Del Rey, the 26-year old chronicles her upbringing on certified classics and unabashed emotional bangers now infused in her broadening range of acoustic bedroom ballads and ethereal electro-pop jams.
In particular, a certain mid-aughts rock phase represented on the playlist showcases a type of earnest confessional songwriting that allowed Shy to finally project her own instincts as a writer onto a musical backdrop.
“I’ve always found it easier to express myself through writing and it’s been a very important outlet for me since I was a kid,” she shares in her playlist introduction. “When I learned how to combine my writing with music I completely fell in love with songwriting.”
Check out Shy’s full #TBT Mixtape statement below along with some exclusive throwback pictures to mark the day.
“I grew up in a house where music was constantly flowing through the speakers. My mum and dad have always loved music, so even though they didn’t play any instruments, music was a big part of my childhood.
I remember sitting in the kitchen watching my dad sing out loud whilst cooking and my mum making songs up in the car on our way to kindergarten. I started singing when I was still learning to talk and it didn’t take long until I was singing about absolutely everything I did. Looking back at old family movies, there isn’t a single one where I’m not singing, dancing or performing in some way.
I grew up listening to whatever my parents were listening to: Jimi Hendrix, U2, Roxette, Linkin Park, Ebba Grön, The Beatles, ABBA. When I was 12, I started playing in a band with some friends and had a period of only listening to rock and emo. There were maybe three years where every inch of my walls was covered in pictures of My Chemical Romance and I carried around CD’s from Paramore, Bullet For My Valentine and System of a Down. When I started high school, my brother introduced me to Bon Iver and soon it was the only thing I listened to along with Coldplay and Ed Sheeran.
Growing up I wrote tons of diaries, poems and stories. I’ve always found it easier to express myself through writing and it’s been a very important outlet for me since I was a kid. When I learned how to combine my writing with music I completely fell in love with songwriting.
This playlist is a collection of songs that have inspired me along the way and still bring me back to certain moments of my life. From hearing my dad blasting ’Hey Joe’ in the kitchen to listening to a whole crowd of people singing ’Summertime Sadness’ in a muddy festival field. All the bus rides to my high school with ‘Holocene’ on repeat, and road trips in LA with ‘Slide’ playing at the loudest volume.”
It’s been more than a year since Miley Cyrus told us She Is Coming with her fiery 2019 EP, and now, she’s here.
The star took to social media on Thursday (Aug. 6) to reveal that the first single off her long-awaited album, She Is Miley Cyrus, is arriving August 14.
“I know it feels like you’ve been waiting forever and ever …. but no more….. She is finally here,” Cyrus tweeted alongside the glamorous cover art. “My new single MIDNIGHT SKY. AUGUST 14th. PRE SAVE NOW.”
While Cyrus has yet to announce release date for She Is Miley Cyrus in full, “Midnight Sky” is available for pre-save here.
In the latest episode of “GAGAVISION” posted to Gaga’s Instagram Thursday (Aug. 6), the “Rain On Me” singers argue about Grande’s vision after Gaga accidentally scratched her eye. “I shanked her with my nail by accident dancing,” Gaga explains of the mishap during choreography.
“Lady Gaga scratched my eye!” Grande reveals in a sing-song fashion. “It’s an honor, I hope it scars.” But Mother Monster wasn’t having any of that and chased her around the set with Neosporin trying to tend to her dear collaborator, who wanted the scar because she felt like she was in an action movie.
“Listen to your mom!” the Chromatica singer commanded while pinning her down at one point in their tiff. “You have a scratch on your face, you can’t get infected before the video! Please let me put Neosporin on it!”
Gaga and Grande currently lead with nine nominations each for the 2020 MTV VMAs, including one co-nomination for their “Rain On Me” stormy sensation in the video of the year category. “I’m still glowing from all of the love for ‘Rain On Me’ from the VMAs!” Gaga captioned for the IGTV episode. “So @arianagrande and I wanted to share some of the fun we had making the video.”
“I love youuuuuuuu so much,” Grande wrote back on Twitter while sharing the last snippet of their behind-the-scenes footage.
Watch Episode 48 of “GAGAVISION” below.
In a new series amid the coronavirus pandemic, Billboard is asking individuals from all sectors of the music business to share stories of how they work now, with much of the world quarantined at home and unable to take in-person meetings, attend conferences or even go into the office. Submissions for the series can be sent to HowWeWorkNow@Billboard.com. Read the full series here. This installment is with Radio Hall of Fame nominated journalist Sway Calloway, the host of Shade 45’s Sway in the Morning.
Sway Calloway: Initially, I felt a case of bewilderment. I caught word that times were changing and [leaving the studios] was a possibility months before [COVID] actually happened. We kind of started the conversation a couple of months prior. We been out of the building since the middle of March. I think someone in January came up to me and said, “Have you thought about how you want to work when this COVID hits us?” I said, “Ah. Come on, man? Really?”
The thing about radio, radio has always been a conduit of information. It’s always managed to adjust through the times. Whether it’s war, the pandemic or natural disasters, you always counted on radio. It didn’t really take that long to adapt. When the decision was made that we would no longer be coming into the studio, at the front of the week, there were rumblings. By the middle of the week when we stopped coming, I may have recorded one show, maybe two shows in advance — kind of a “best of thing” while we figured out what we were gonna do. By the top of the next week, we already circulated these machines called Comrex. They allow you to broadcast from where ever you are and are used to bounce the signal from New York to D.C., where we have somebody in D.C. running it so we can be live everyday.
My objective was to be live everyday. To me, that’s what radio was meant for: for these times that keep some type of normality for your audience. We have a very broad audience with a very broad demographic. So you might have people in their 20’s to people in the 50’s listening in and everything in-between. It’s kind of interesting to me. With Sirius XM, we’re subscriber-based. So you got people from all over the stratosphere checking in. So’d we have people checking in. That part was kind of challenging, but also exciting in being able to rejuvenate everything and see how we would respond. Fortunately, for us, we’ve done live broadcasting since I’ve came on that channel in 2011.
To be honest with you, we didn’t miss a beat. We jumped on Monday, but the conversation got different because of COVID. In the beginning, COVID was a scary thing. If you were in New York, they had more trucks outside of hospitals. So we didn’t know what we had going on. We started hearing about Slim Thug, Scarface, Fred Tha Godson and then, Fred passed away. It was just a very, very depressing time with the quarantine, as well. So having to adjust with being in the house and not having the access to the studio was difficult. It was challenging, but at the same time, exciting, because we came and answered the bell to give the people a service. I think we’ve done that really well. If you listen to the show, it doesn’t sound like it missed a beat.
One of the first guests we’ve had on the show was Giancarlo Esposito. He told us some powerful stories about Adam Clayton Powell Jr., Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and we were speaking about leadership in our communities. That conversation for me was indicative of what we do. When we came on air in 2011, everybody was sharing the same pool of artists, the same pool of guests. And I learned back in the ’90s not to pigeonhole yourself and we got a lot of interest. I’ve always been heavy on politics, even in the ’90s.
From 2011 and on, I really put the political agenda and movement all across the board and also a variety of depth like Judd Apatow, who was on our show as well, talking about one of his new projects. We also had Tamika Mallory talking about Until Freedom and we helped raise awareness about Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery. We had D-Smoke on the show as well to talk about doing his performance at the BET Awards with his mother and brother. So special shout-out to to Heather B, Tracy G, Kelly Jackson, King Tech and DJ Revolution because we really tried to transform the conversation from one dimension to many dimensions.
As a Black man and a journalist, I learned during this climate that we as a people are amazing. That we’re gifted. We have an appeal that’s so alluring and we have a glow that’s so bright that it scares folks. People don’t want us to eat at the table. People don’t even want us to live in an equally balanced society that has no inequities. It tells me that we’re resilient. I learned that when we’re on our square, there’s nothing like us. We’ve seen this before. I think we’re starting to understand that our women are under attack. We need to protect our Black women. The way they attack our women is different. Women have very powerful voices and influence. To me I think they’re the key to all of this #BreonnaTaylor.
You can vote to have Sway Calloway inducted in the Radio Hall of Fame here.
Encompassing menial tasks from fetching coffee to setting up equipment to cleaning up after talent, the job of a production assistant is sometimes thankless and often grueling.
While this plebe lifestyle is far outside the reality of superstars Diplo and Joji, the duo play the PA part in the video for their new collaborative single, “Daylight.”
In the clip, the guys work behind the scenes on a music video shoot for an elderly (and seemingly “I Want It That Way” era Backstreet Boys-inspired) boy band. The pair are tormented by a very tanned, waxed and demanding director before breaking into the wardrobe department and wreaking an innocent sort of havoc on the set.
“Daylight” is the latest single from Joji’s forthcoming LP Nectar, due out on September 25 through 88rising, distributed by 12Tone Music.
Watch the video below.