Haim hail the Sound

BBC’s Sound of 2013 has a winner. The poll in its 11th year, Haim have been elected as rising stars of the year ahead. London R&B duo AlunaGeorge is the runner-up. New York-based rapper Angel Haze came in third.
Previous winners were Michael Kiwanuka (2012), Jessie J (2011), Ellie Goulding (2010), Little Boots (2009), Adele (2008), Mika (2007), Corinne Bailey Rae (2006), The Bravery (2005), Keane (2004) and 50 Cent (2003). Other names you may have heard of ending up in the top five in previous years include Frank Ocean, Marina and the Diamonds and Florence and the Machine.
Californian sisters Este Danielle and Alana Haim started out in a family band with their parents but have since made their own way. The girls, though only in their early twenties, already supported Florence and the Machine and Mumford and Sons on tour, and have already been compared to the sound of Fleetwood Mac. They all play guitar, drums and sing. Judging the names shortlisted before, they will surely deliver their promise.

Adele drops new 007 Skyfall

Friday morning, at 0.07 hours -get it?- to be precise, the official theme song to the latest Bond film was released. Following the rumors, it comes as no surprise that Adele delivers the newest Bond track. In less than 10 hours after release Skyfall was already topping the iTunes download chart. The piano ballad backed by a full orchestra is a return to some of the earlier classic Bond Themes such as Goldfinger and Diamonds Are Forever, and strays from the more recent pop efforts. Beautiful and fitting. Another (Bond-)Diva in the making.

Survival of the Fittest

Adele -who recently announced she is pregnant- and Leona are said to duet at the Opening Ceremony, but this week British rock group Muse unveiled the official song of the 2012 London Olympic Games, Survival.
The choice of song is under discussion. It is being described as epic, inspirational and uplifting. Or, over-the-top and overblown madness. The song opens with a lengthy instrumental, before bringing in crunching guitar riffs and slamming drums, and a backing choir to top it all off.
Power Ballads such as One Moment In Time by Whitney Houston, featured in the 1988 Summer Olympics, are of a more subtle kind. Barcelona, the operatic duet by Queen front man Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballé, which opened the 1992 Olympics, was a less obvious choice of song, but an indestructible favourite to many, including yours truly. At many a sporting event speakers will pump Queen’s anthem We Are the Champions.  If Queen were still around they would have been picked without a doubt.

Adele’s Home Run

After taking home six Grammys last week, Adele took away two prizes at the Brit Awards 2012: British Female Solo Artist and Album of the Year. The artist was thrilled to win in these two categories on home turf. What an incredible run this girl, and her album 21 have had the past year. The roller coaster ride really got a kick start after last year’s performance of Someone Like You at aforementioned Brits.
British Male Solo Artist and Breakthrough Act both went to Ed Sheeran. Coldplay came in winner of British Group. Other live performances included Florence and the Machine, Blur, Noel Gallaghers High Flying Birds, Bruno Mars, Olly Murs, Coldplay and Rihanna, who sang in front of three huge paint-boxes. Watch the latter, and Adele’s Rolling In The Deep below. You’d almost believe fairy tales do exist.

Whole lotta love for Kiwanuka

We -like so many- are eagerly awaiting the release of Michael Kiwanuka’s debut album, just days away. The BBC Sound of 2012 winner has already been dubbed a new Bill Withers. Former winners include Adele and Mika. Needless to say this act is very promising. In a session he played at the BBC’s Maida Vale studios, Kiwanuka turns a guitar cruncher into a Soulful Funk-fest. Watch his cover of Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love. Whole lotta love!

Return of the Mack

Out of 78 Awards to be handed out, Adele took home most at this year’s Grammys, winning six out of six nominations. Not the least, the categories in which she won: Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance, Best Pop Vocal Album, and Best (Short Form) Music Video. Foo Fighters came in second scooping 5. Amy Winehouse was also awarded, winning Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, for her duet with Tony Bennett.
Performances came courtesy of Katy Perry, Jennifer Hudson, Bruno Mars, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna – solo and with Coldplay, David Guetta, Chris Brown, Sir Paul McCartney, the reunited Beach Boys – teaming up with Maroon 5 and Foster the People, Taylor Swift, Bruce ‘The Boss’ Springsteen, Foo Fighters, and Adele. Tension was running high as this was Adele’s return since her surgery. Initially she intended to save her come back performance for the BRIT Awards later this month. But after her performance at the Brits 2011, record sales and popularity reached incredible status. Thus Grammy night could not be skipped. The audience really digged the impeccable performance, showering everyone’s fave singer with a standing ovation.
Well done girlie!

Emeli Sandé amazes on Jools

Emeli Sandé is currently burning up the charts featuring on Professor Green’s Read All About It. The Scottish recording artist and songwriter sounds amazing Live. Her acoustic performance on Later with Jools (recorded back in September) proves just that. Her timbre can be placed somewhere between Tracy Chapman and Beverley Knight. Move over Beyoncé!
Sandé first became known as guest vocal on rapper Chipmunk’s debut single Diamond Rings. In 2010 she starred on Wiley’s Never Be Your Woman. She has written for a number of artists including Cher Lloyd, Susan Boyle, Leona Lewis, Cheryl Cole and Tinie Tempah.

 Sandé dropped her first name Adele, to use her middle name Emeli, after one little girl also named Adele became world famous. Sandé looks set to do the same. Emeli’s debut album Our Version of Events will be released February 21st.

Adele does 007

The theme song for the new James Bond movie will most likely be recorded by British songstress Adele. Given the success the singer had these past few months, an obvious choice really. There has not been any officially communication yet. Adele had a slip-of-the-tongue moment during Jonathan Ross’ new show. She mentioned she will head for the studio in November to record one song. A theme song to be precise. When Ross started whistling the 007 tune the singer did not deny. Rumor has it… Hope Adele can conquer her throat problems by then. Kick off of her UK tour, planned this week, was postponed because of it. Get well soon sweet voiced!

What Florence gave us

Lungs by Florence and the Machine is one of those debuts that really make a lasting impact. Yielding several singles such as Kiss With A Fist, Dog Days Are Over and You’ve Got The Love, and remixes alike by The XX and Yeasayer e.g. A new album wrapped up, scheduled for release this fall, a new track has been made available to tease our earbuds. A delightful track full of harmonies, What The Water Gave Me makes us want for more. Co-written by Francis White, who also penned Adele’s Chasing Pavements and Will Young’s Leave Right Now, the song borrows its title from a Frida Kahlo painting and the lyrics refer to Virginia Woolf, suicide and declarations of undying love included. Florence Welch’s dreamy vocals turn this into a pop tune with a twist. Watch out for the upcoming album.

Adele’s got me lost for words

The 5th edition of the iTunes Festival is well underway. The annual free music festival, held at London’s prime venue The Roundhouse for the 3rd consecutive year, already welcomed Manic Street Preachers, Glasvegas and Adele. The latter got green light to sing again just moments before her performance on Thursday night.

The first part of the concert was a little shaky still, was it due to the singer’s illness or her nerves. Have eg seen better live versions of Set Fire To The Rain. From the half hour mark on however, Adele’s voice reached perfection status. Every song was brought flawlessly. The ballads Take It All and a stripped down piano version of One And Only were nothing less but mesmerizing and breathtaking. Covers included Lovesong, If It Hadn’t Been For Love and an immaculate rendition of Bonnie Raitt’s I Can’t Make You Love Me. Scroll down to watch.

In a finale consisting of Rolling In The Deep and Someone Like You, in that particular order, Adele called in a little help from the crowd. Perfect ending to a magical night.

Most of this year’s performances can be watched entirely through the iTunes Store. Don’t miss out, if you can. Still to come, the lineup also includes White Lies, Noah and the Whale, Raphael Saadiq, Coldplay and Moby ao.