Get to know MTV's PUSH Artist Of The Week, The Wanted
We've said it before, then we said it again, and now we're gonna say it one more time: Boy bands are back. And we can all thank the U.K.'s The Wanted. Much like the American boy bands of the '90s (*NSYNC, Backstreet Boys), The Wanted didn't come together on their own. They were instead formed in 2009 during a mass audition, and they got to work right away on their first self-titled album. After their debut single "All Time Low" went to No. 1 on British charts in 2010 just months after forming, we (and the rest of the world) figured it was time to start paying attention.
We sat down with MTV's PUSH Artist Of The Week to discuss all the pressing issues that an up-and-coming crossover boy band must face: which American venues they'd love to play, what they think of their American fans and, of course, their real feelings about Justin Bieber, with whom the band shares manager Scooter Braun. "He actually sent us a tweet before saying he's really enjoyed being on tour with us which was really nice 'cause compared to our half-million followers, he's got about 17 and a half million." Friends in high places (or with millions of Twitter followers) are always good friends to have.
The Wanted's most recent single, "Glad You Came," was recently covered on "Glee," which pretty much means these dudes are set for life. Check out their second album, Battleground, out now.
+ Watch The Wanted's live performance of 'Glad You Came' below, and see tons more interviews and videos after the jump.
After The Format's breakup in 2008, former frontman Nate Ruess took his lemons and turned them into... fun. Literally. Nate got together with Steel Train's Jack Antonoff and Anathallo's Andrew Dost to form their new band, fun. And the dudes have been having a blast ever since.
Named one of MTV's Artists To Watch 2012, fun.'s vintage-sounding pop-rock places them just enough outside of the mainstream music box to make you ask the DJ what song you're hearing while somehow remaining universally resonant. (That's tough. Nice work, guys.) Some jams on the band's upcoming Some Nights album (out tomorrow) are grand and anthemic, bringing to mind the likes of Queen (I said it!), while other tracks have you wondering if you're still listening to the same CD.
Get to know this week's MTV PUSH artist with our sweet collection of interviews and videos. Hear fun. let us in how they got together as a band, what fans can expect to hear on the new album compared with their debut EP, and just what the stunt people had to go through to pull off the band's completely destructive (and completely badass) video "We Are Young," featuring Janelle Monáe.
fun.'s Some Nights album is out tomorrow, Feb. 21, on the label Fueled By Ramen.
+ Watch fun.'s "We Are Young" video below, and check out more interviews and performance videos after the jump.
You've definitely seen Belgian-Australian musician Gotye's (pronounced "GO-tee-yay") "Somebody That I Used To Know" music video by now. If not, you either do not have an internet connection or you haven't been born yet. The viral hit has garnered more than 67 million views on YouTube (!!!), introduced the world to fellow musician-we-were-accidentally-sleeping-on Kimbra and gave a whole new meaning to the words "paint by number."
But Gotye's not only about one music video. The experimental singer-songwriter has been performing music since his teens and releasing albums for the past 10 years. He's won five ARIA Music Awards and was recently nominated for a 2011 MTV EMA for Best Asia and Pacific Act. As this week's MTV PUSH artist, check out exclusive performances and interviews to see what else Gotye's been up to besides winning the arts and crafts game. (No seriously, we have the video to prove it below.)
Gotye's known for his unique sampling of multiple acoustic instruments in his songs, and we asked him about which instrument he couldn't live without: "I like to think I play the studio as my main instrument... But I guess [if I had to pick] it would be drums. The drum kit was my first instrument... But rhythm only is not very satisfying for me after a while, so if you took my studio away, I'd be lost." Multitalented and diplomatic. Gotye for President 2012?
Check out Gotye's latest album Making Mirrors, out now.
+ Watch more from Gotye below and after the jump including a live performance of "State Of The Art" and a pretty adorable craft project he made just for us.
+ Gotye, "State Of The Art (Live)"
Imagine inviting a brand-new friend you met a few weeks ago to your art residency in Greece and coming back to the States as part of a five-piece indie pop-rock band. That's not a Sophia Coppola movie; that's actually how Grouplove got started -- Hannah Hooper and Christian Zucconi met on New York City's Lower East Side and jetted off to Greece together days later. After spending the summer in Crete making music with Sean Gadd, Andrew Wessen and Ryan Rabin, the group decided to try to make the band work in L.A. Their song "Tongue Tied," from the group's first studio album, Never Trust A Happy Song, was featured in an iPod commercial, so we'd say it's working pretty well.
Get to know Grouplove, this week's MTV PUSH artist, in our exclusive video interviews and performances. Catch the band's live renditions of "Tongue Tied" and "Itchin' On A Photograph," and get some insight from the group on the healing power of music and their warm, fuzzy thoughts on live shows: "It feels pretty euphoric when it's going well. You feel all the music coming individually... coming to this point." We dig, jive turkeys.
Grouplove's debut studio album, Never Trust A Happy Song, dropped in late 2011. Check them out on tour in the U.K. and the U.S. this spring, including two dates at Coachella.
+ Watch Grouplove's "Tongue Tied" video below, and catch more interviews and performances after the jump.
Not many bands can walk around saying they're "big in Canada" and mean it, but Marianas Trench isn't lying. The Vancouver, British Columbia-based pop-punk band has been making music since 2001, and they have about a bajillion Canadian music awards to show for it. After shopping his solo material around when he was a teenager, lead singer Josh Ramsay eventually hooked up with guitarist Matt Webb, bassist Mike Ayley and drummer Ian Casselman to form Marianas Trench, and it's about time these dudes make their way across the border, eh?
Get to know the MTV PUSH artist of the week with a look through our exclusive video interviews and performances with Marianas Trench. The guys open up about finally getting a hit with their 2006 single "Shake Tramp," the making of their "Fallout" video (or "Fall-oot" as those crazy Canadians like to say), and the concept behind their latest album, Ever After: "The idea with the album was that every song would lead into the next one so the whole album is continuous... I think later when people see all the videos from the album, it's gonna be cool and it'll all line up into one big thing." So, kind of like "Lost," we're guessing.
Marianas Trench's third studio album, Ever After, is out now on 604 Records. The first single, "Haven't Had Enough," was released in June 2011 and quickly shot to the No. 1 spot on iTunes Canada Top of the Charts and Pop Downloads. (I've also personally listened to it more than 100 times, if that means anything to you.)
+ Watch Marianas Trench's live performance of "Haven't Had Enough" below, and check out tons of videos and interviews after the jump.
We don't have to look much further than this band's name to know that we already like their attitude. Created by lead singer Chris Farren in 2001, Fake Problems were originally a solo project. But nobody wants to be lonely (Ricky Martin and Christina Aguilera reference), so bassist Derek Perry, guitarist Casey Lee and drummer Sean Stevenson joined Farren, and the new four-piece set out to conquer the indie music scene in their hometown of Naples, Fla. Now they're on MTV, Mom! Dream big, kids!
Fake Problems' wide array of influences (Cursive, Bright Eyes, Hank Williams) are evident on their latest album, Real Ghosts Caught On Tape. And even though their latest folk-infused indie rock single is titled "Songs For Teenagers," this isn't your typical teenage fare: "Let it go, let it go all the way down/Till there's nowhere left to fall/It's a shame all the ways we build ourselves up/Just to let each other down." But fans shouldn't be too surprised -- Fake Problems has already toured with renowned rock acts Against Me!, The Gaslight Anthem, and this spring, Say Anything.
We caught up with Fake Problems to discuss how they got together and some of their favorite tracks from the record. The guys also had a lot to say about the direction they're headed musically: "This time we wanted to do something that was just us playing in a room, just what we could do in a band. Songwriting-wise, [Real Ghosts Caught On Tape] is the most cohesive [album], and we all think, the best."
As for that band name? Fake Problems represents the way the band makes their music -- with a "no problems or commitments" attitude.
Fake Problems' Real Ghosts Caught On Tape is out now on Side One Dummy. Check out their brand new video, "Songs For Teenagers," below.
+ Fake Problems, "Songs For Teenagers (Live)"
Watch more video interviews and performances from Fake Problems after the jump.
Last year we were pretty spot-on with our predictions about who to keep an eye on in 2011: Wiz Khalifa's currently brushing shoulders (and SAG cards) with Snoop Dogg, Tinie Tempah reminded us why Brit club music is seriously the best and Warpaint continues to score us some major indie cred. So now that it's 2012, let's take a look at who we'll be watching out for this year. Let's take a closer look at Frank Ocean, Walk The Moon, Lana Del Rey, Dev, A$AP Rocky, Wallpaper., Avicii, Electric Guest, Kendrick Lamar, fun. and Alabama Shakes.
Frank Ocean: You probably already have a Frank Ocean jam on your iPod. If you don't, you definitely have a Frank Ocean-assisted jam on your iPod. The R&B New Orleans native (and probably the most gentle member of Odd Future) has already been in the studio with Beyoncé, Kanye West and Jay-Z (together!), and that was before he was even signed.
Walk The Moon: It's a common belief that there are literally zero people on the planet that don't love Walk The Moon's "Anna Sun." The Cincinnati indie rockers combine synth-heavy hooks with happy harmonies to create what are sure to be some of 2012's most repeat-worthy songs. Plus, how can you hate on a keytar cameo?
Lana Del Rey: New York native Lizzie Grant -- you probably know her as Lana Del Rey -- took the internet by storm with her 2011 song "Video Games." She also managed to create an entirely new music genre while she was at it: "Hollywood sadcore." With her striking visuals and modern take on romantic nostalgia, say hello to everyone's new favorite indie crush.
Dev: California-based pop singer Dev is about to tear up 2012 like a G6. No, literally -- her song "Booty Bounce" that was sampled in Far East Movement's inescapable car jam "Like A G6" is what launched it to No. 1 in the United States, and the recent new mom is just getting started. Dev released her debut album The Night The Sun Came Up at the end of 2011.
A$AP Rocky: After hits like "Purple Swag" and "Peso" got Harlem rapper Rakim Mayer's name circulating around the hip hop elite, it was his 2011 mixtape "LiveLoveA$AP" that made him a standout. After hitting the road with Drake this past fall, we're looking to hear much more from A$AP in 2012.
+ Check out our entire list of 2012 Artists To Watch after the jump, as well as tons of videos, performances and interviews from the bands.
Outasight (born Richard Andrew) might not look like your typical Yonkers-born rapper (DMX, Jadakiss, Styles P), but a good song is a good song. His debut single, "Tonight Is The Night," was not only featured in a national Pepsi commercial and broke the top 30 on the Billboard Pop Songs chart, but we also can't stop playing it. That's got to be worth something.
This week, we're filling you in on Outasight's creative process, what he thinks about performing live, and "Tonight Is The Night"'s party rockin' video. When it comes to laying down tracks, Outasight isn't exactly concerned about the result: "I don't really think about making people dance. It first has to be about me being comfortable with the song, writing lyrics that are honest... and making sure it's just who I am" -- a great tip not only for writing music, but also for picking a new hair color. (Think about it.) Outasight also lets us in on where he's "the most normal": onstage. "[Performing live] feels right... I had the amazing opportunity... to perform in front of 20,000 people, and I think I could get used to that."
'Sight also shared his thoughts on his hit "Tonight Is The Night," explaining that the more people that hear your music, the more momentum it's going to gain. "[The song] got new levels of exposure that I've never really had... Starting off with the Pepsi commercial and then having a chance to be introduced on a national platform like 'X Factor'... There's just more people hearing it." True, but they're also liking it. That's another key factor in the equation.
Outsight has released several mixtapes since 2007, but his debut studio album is due out in 2012.
+ Check out Outasight's "Tonight Is The Night" video below, and catch tons of interviews and performances after the jump.
Doritos have done a lot for me mentally and spiritually (hello, cheeseburger flavor), but I think California-based acoustic folk singer-songwriter Kina Grannis is even more thankful to the little tortilla chip than I am. After she entered herself in the "Doritos Crash The Super Bowl" contest in 2007 and her original song "Message From Your Heart" aired in more than 97 million homes, Kina quickly scored herself a record deal. Cool Ranch FTW!
Grannis self-released her album Stairwells in early 2010, where it debuted at No. 5 on iTunes Pop Chart. That and her YouTube star status and steadily growing online fan army helped her win an MTV O Music Award for Best Web-Born Artist, where she even beat out Odd Future and The Weeknd. Not easy to do! And now we're checking in with Kina to find out more about what's on her music radar in the next year and what it feels like to become a household name. On what she's most excited about since hitting it big, Grannis explains, "I get to travel around the world and meet all of these amazing people, and they're singing my songs! And to me, that's crazy." No crazier than getting a record deal from a commercial, Kina. Get used to it!
We also go behind the scenes with Kina on the set of her candy-coated video "In Your Arms," where she lets us in on her organic and "handmade" creative process -- for the video, Kina worked with director Greg Jardin to make an entire video out of jelly beans (almost 2500 individual frames comprised of 288,000 jelly beans to be exact!). As the video plays out, the jelly beans soon find their way onto Kina, who's lying on a glass above the canvases, as she becomes one with the tiny pieces of candy. We don't even want to think about the hours and hours (and hours and hours) that went into "In Your Arms," but the result is totally unbelievable.
Check out Kina Grannis' "In Your Arms" video below, and watch more videos after the jump. Stairwells is out now on One Haven Music.
+ KINA GRANNIS, "IN YOUR ARMS"
Watch more interviews and videos from Kina Grannis after the jump.
You might think that a dude who's signed to Red Bull Records might specialize in music made specifically for those 17-hour cleaning binges you find yourself on when the caffeine in your system is likely at medically unsound levels (i.e. "Nyan Cat" on a forever loop). But that's not the case with AWOLNATION. AWOLNATION may sound like an army, but it's really fronted by Aaron Bruno, formerly of Under The Influence Of Giants, Home Town Hero and Insurgence, and the result is a sonic free-for-all. His varied musical background allowed Bruno to reach across genres while experimenting with AWOLNATION, and the eclectic electro-pop results can be found on their debut album, Megalithic Symphony.
First, check out AWOLNATION's new video "Not Your Fault," where Aaron reminds us that any video featuring a claymation version of the artist can't not be liked. In the video, we see Aaron and his bandmates in various stages of distress -- dealing with an abominable snowman, a fire-breathing dragon and (duh) aliens -- while he reminds his cartoon girlfriend that he doesn't mean to yell at her: "Baby, when I'm yelling at you/It's not your fault, it's not your fault, and/Baby, 'cause I'm crazy for you/It's not your fault, it's not your fault, yeah." And just like that, it's happily ever after for all!
If you're trying to pick which playlist to put "Not Your Fault" on, congratulations -- that's exactly the effect Aaron was going for. As he told us in our interview, "It's really hard to describe what this record [Megalithic Symphony] sounds like, and I'm really proud that it's hard to describe." Mysteries and enigmas, man. We dig. Aaron also opens up about how happy he is about his fortuitous success: "The whole success of this band has been a pleasant surprise, and it was totally unexpected. I tend to expect the worst and hope for the best." To date, I'm pretty sure that motto has never let anyone down.
AWOLNATION's Megalithic Symphony is out now on Red Bull Records.
+ Watch the video premiere of AWOLNATION, "Not Your Fault."
Check out more interviews, videos and performances from AWOLNATION after the jump.