For Latin music fans, it doesn't get much bigger than MTV Push Artist of the Week Anthony "Romeo" Santos. The former lead singer of Aventura, the New York quartet that popularized the Dominican folk-pop genre bachata for a new generation, is set for Stateside solo success with the upcoming release of his debut solo album, Formula.
On Formula, the 30-year-old singer fuses his bachata roots with modern R&B and hip-hop, enlisting Lil Wayne, Pitbull and Usher to lend a hand on the album, which features the lead single "Promise." The "Promise" video, which we're premiering below, was directed by longtime Usher collaborator Anthony Mandler. And it may have taken 26 hours to shoot, but it was worth it for Romeo. "He takes your story to another level visually," says Romeo of Mandler. "I experimented in genres and styles that I've never really messed with in the past," says the singer in an interview below.
If Romeo's "Promise" video isn't enough, check out more interviews to learn more about Romeo's roots as a writer growing up in The Bronx, New York. "I try to transmit emotion and soul in my voice, but my true passion has always been writing," says Romeo. "I feel more like a writer than anything else." After writing poems at 13, Romeo began writing songs with other singers in mind, until friends encouraged him to sing for himself. Thankfully for us, the former Billboard Composer of the Year and White House performer got his confidence up and is now ready for the solo spotlight.
+ Watch Romeo's "Promise" video featuring Usher, watch a live performance of "You" and watch Romeo interviews after the jump!
New York-via-North Carolina rapper and MTV Push Artist of the Week J. Cole had already had his name on hip-hop fans' lips when he became the first signee to Jay-Z's fledgling Roc Nation label. While the Hov's co-sign expanded Cole's stature, the rapper had already built up his name through a series of independently released mixtapes, including 2007's "The Come Up." With next week's release of Cole's official debut, Cole World: The Sideline Story, we've got a mess of videos detailing the past, present and future of the buzzed-about rapper.
In the first video, Cole tells us how he got started in music at just 12 years old through an older cousin, but quickly realized he was better than most 18-year-olds and wanted to pursue a career in hip-hop. The rapper reveals the only reason he applied to St. John's University was to live in New York and land a record deal. We've also got videos on Cole's reaction to getting signed to Roc Nation -- "I can't even say it was a dream come true because I never thought it was possible," admits the rapper -- and a brief history of his less-than-stellar encounters as a battle rapper.
Cole also talks about finding the balance between "flash" and "real life" by "staying connected to real-life stories" and reveals to MTV's Sucker Free all the guest appearances on the album, including Drake, Trey Songz, Missy Elliott and his boss Jay-Z. "If it was up to me, I'd live in the studio all the time," admits the rapper. We wouldn't have a problem with that.
Finally, watch Cole's "Can't Get Enough" and "Work Out" videos below.
Cole World: The Sideline Story is out Sept. 27 on Roc Nation.
+ Watch J. Cole interviews and performances after the jump.
Anglophiles, stand up! 22-year-old UK singer and MTV Push Artist of the Week Katy B is already a star in England, but the dance-pop Dubstep singer has been quickly blowing up in America with her hypnotic high-street bad-ass style and genre-bending hits.
Born Kathleen Brien, Katy B is a graduate of London's BRIT School, whose alumni includes Amy Winehouse, Leona Lewis and classmates Jessie J and Adele. She released her debut album On A Mission in the UK earlier this year, and critics and the public pretty much had a meltdown over it, earning Katy a prestigious Mercury Prize nomination for best album. (The award went to PJ Harvey. And if you have to get trumped, you could lose to far worse artists than Polly Jean.)
We've got a musical pick and mix, if you will, of Katy B interviews, live performances and music videos to get you caught up. In the first video, Katy discusses listening to and absorbing R&B artists like Destiny's Child, Mary J. Blige and Erykah Badu before getting into club music as a teen. "Growing up, there was lots of club music and listening to pirate radio in London was definitely a massive influence and a big platform for my music," the singer says. "That was the first place my music got played."
We've also got a live version of "Katy on a Mission," from her MTV Hive "Live In NYC" performance shot just last week. Judging by the video, the hyperkinetic energy of UK clubs has clearly inspired Katy's stage show. Finally, check out the official videos for "Katy On A Mission" and "Witches' Brew," the latter a bizarre, surreal clip featuring bubbling tar, floating books and men in wolf masks. Get involved.
+ Watch exclusive Katy B interviews, videos and live performances:
++ KATY B DISCUSSES HER MUSICAL INFLUENCES.
Watch more videos after the jump.
23-year-old UK singer Jessie J may be a new name, but she's got a long history. Starting her career at age 11 in various London musicals, the BRITS school alum (the same school that boasts Adele, Katy B and Amy Winehouse as graduates) began her career as a songwriter, penning tracks for Chris Brown and Miley Cyrus. "Do It Like a Dude," her first single, was originally pegged for Rihanna, but the singer turned it into an UK hit. Who You Are, J's debut album, would follow in January of this year.
We've got interviews, music videos and live performances to show you all sides of the performer. After a quick intro vid in which Jessie J is dubbed "Act most likely to save pop" by one website (no pressure or anything), find out when people first realized she had a loud voice and when she knew her hobby could be her career. Then follow the singer as she gamely tries to impress a group of jaded New Yorkers on the subway, arguably the toughest crowd in America.
The fashion icon also takes you shopping, trying on different outfits and discussing what style means to her. "Style should not have a brand," says Jessie J. "It should be what makes you feel comfortable. Style is most fun for me when i have a stage performance because there's no limits or boundaries... I like looking like a superhero."
Finally, check out live performances of "Nobody's Perfect" and "Who You Are" followed by the official videos for "Price Tag" and "Who's Laughing Now." Now go impress your friends with your newfound knowledge.
+ Watch more exclusive Jessie J interviews, videos and live performances after the jump.
Before Sarah Palin usurped them, psych-pop quartet and MTV Push Artist of the Week Portugal. The Man were the most famous thing to come out of Wasilla, Alaska. When they're not answering questions about the former vice presidential candidate in presumably every interview, the chameleonic group has been churning out sonically disparate albums every year since 2006's Waiter: You Vultures!.
Now based in Portland, Oregon, the group recently released In the Mountain in the Cloud, a cohesive, psychedelic pop album that doubles as their first major label effort. Vocally, frontman John Gourley trades in his Freddie Mercury-level histrionics for the glammy classic rock of T. Rex's Marc Bolan, augmenting the band's Bonnaroo-friendly sound.
Portugal. The Man have always been hard to pin down, shifting styles within and between albums and incorporating elements of progressive rock, electronic, chamber pop and experimental rock. We've got a few videos to try to tie it all together. We've got their nature-filled video of "All Your Light (Times Like These)" and two live performances from the band. "So American" features the group soundtracking a pickup basketball game in the background, while "Got It All (This Can't Be Living Now)" is a sparse rendition that sounds like the guys just picked up their instruments spontaneously and started jamming. Knowing their laid-back vibe, that's probably pretty close to the truth.
+ Watch exclusive Portugal. The Man videos and live performances after the jump.
Last month we brought you the exclusive premiere of Every Avenue's new single, "No One But You," off their Bad Habits album. Speaking of bad habits, we've pretty much become addicted to the Michigan pop-punk band's biting, breakneck anthem, and we'd be shocked if you've been able to stop obsessing about them too. And now you don't have to, since they're this week's MTV PUSH Artist Of The Week.
Every Avenue recently released their third LP, Bad Habits, and they've been touring the country on the Vans Warped Tour. But they took some time out of their touring schedule and destructive behavior and resultant songwriting to sit down with us for some exclusive interviews.
In the first video, guitarist Joshua Withenshaw discusses how the condom cover art to "No One But You" fits into the bigger picture of the album's artwork. "We're all about safety," the guitarist says half-jokingly. Speaking of safety -- or lack thereof -- the guys are a bit reluctant to discuss the most warped thing they've seen on the Warped Tour (come on, guys!!!), but they'll gladly share all the moshing injuries they've witnessed in the medic tent. And, like anyone would be, they're more than happy to discuss the time Zooey Deschanel tweeted them. (Wouldn't you?) Plus, lest you think Every Avenue's all bad habits and Zoeey crushes, they've got a do-gooder side too, as you'll see in their MTV Act video where they discuss the organization "Keep A Breast," which empowers women to learn how to prevent and detect breast cancer.
Finally, we'll refresh your memory with "Mindset" and "Tell Me I'm a Wreck," two videos from the band's 2009 album Picture Perfect, as well as the audio clip of their new single, "No One But You."
+ Watch exclusive Every Avenue interviews, videos and more:
++ EVERY AVENUE ON THEIR CONDOM ALBUM COVER:
Watch more videos after the jump:
Credit: Jaden Parkes
New Zealand New Wave duo and MTV PUSH Artist of the Week Kids Of 88 have a lot to be thankful for. "My House," the band's self-released first single, became a hit in their home country, while their 2010 debut album Sugarpills earned them scads of good press and a trip to South By Southwest, one of the biggest music festivals in the country. Having toured both as support for Ke$ha and headliners in their own right, the kiwi duo, named after the year of both members' birth, are set to take over stateside.
You probably already heard the group's "Just a Little Bit" in MTV's reincarnation of "Teen Wolf." While the show hasn't hit New Zealand yet, the first video we have shows the guys' fondness for the original 1985 film. After that, check out why Kids Of 88 named the album Sugarpill, and go behind the scenes on their visit to South By Southwest. "We're freaking out, but we're suppressing it just so we have an aura of confidence," admits singer Sam McCarthy. "When you come to watch us play, you get down and dirty and have a good time."
Finally, the guys spoke with "120 Minutes" host Matt Pinfield about each member's home studio, and if you need reminding, we've got the video for the trippy lead single, "Sugarpills." Consider yourself up to speed.
+ Check out Kids Of 88's performances and interviews after the jump.
If you want to find Wallpaper.'s Eric Frederic, who produces and remixes as hedonistic performer Ricky Reed, start at the club. The Bay Area musician has been making dance floor-friendly electro tracks since 2005, yet it was Reed's 2009's debut album Doodoo Face, with traces of everyone from Daft Punk to Funkadelic that earned the artist serious shine. The MTV PUSH Artist of the Week and "Jersey Shore" musical contributor recently dropped the #STUPiDFACEDD EP, igniting a Twitter movement and instant catch phrase.
We've got some videos to get you familiar with the movement. First, the perpetually sunglasses-clad artist discusses his connection to "Jersey Shore," noting, "When we were contacted to have music in the show, I thought that it made a lot of sense. Although a lot of people may write off that show as silly, there's something very genuine and...very loving and sentimental about those people and their friendship that I think more people relate to than they want to admit."
After a live acoustic performance of "#STUPiDFACEDD," watch Wallpaper. give his hypothetical acceptance speech at the Video Music Awards and learn how Lady Gaga stole his swagger. Finally, the musician gives a quick tutorial on what exactly #STUPiDFACEDD is and, given a list ranging from #mileycyrus to #beingvegan, breaks down what gets included in the movement and whose face is, sadly, not stupid. The more you know.
+ Watch Wallpaper.'s performances and interviews after the jump, and pick up the album on iTunes.
Twenty-one-year-old female rapper and MTV PUSH Artist of the Week Kreayshawn had already earned an impressive amount of shine from directing videos for fellow Bay Area MC Lil B. But it was the release of her first single, "Gucci Gucci," two months ago that launched the rapper from obscurity to ubiquity. The video generated more than 3 million views in its first three weeks and led the Odd Future affiliate and VMA Best New Artist nominee to a $1 million recording contract with Sony. Swag indeed.
Now, the femcee with an affinity for larger-than-life accessories is balancing dual careers, prepping her debut full-length for later this year and directing videos, including "The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie," the lead single from Red Hot Chili Peppers' upcoming album I'm With You.
We've got some interviews and a live Kreayshawn performance to get you up to speed. First, check out the rapper discussing the importance of her Oakland hometown and the influence of her mom, a member of '90s all-girl surf punk band The Trashwomen, on her sound. Kreayshawn also gives an in-depth history of her video director past as well as her obsession with cats. As for her unique image, we've got video of MTV Style's eyeliner challenge with the rapper, followed by a live performance of "Gucci Gucci" shot at MTV in Times Square earlier this month.
+ Watch Kreayshawn interviews and performances after the jump.
New York rapper/singer Theophilus London is prepping for the release of his debut album, Timez Are Weird These Days, and we're celebrating accordingly, honoring him this week as MTV's PUSH artist of the week. But while his star is quickly rising, he's put in serious studio and stage time along the way. The Trinidad-born, Brooklyn-raised musician released numerous critically acclaimed EPs and mixtapes in recent years, including 2009's The Smiths-inspired "This Charming Mixtape," which earned the style-minded artist accolades from New York's scenester crowd. Lovers Holiday, an EP released earlier this year, spread London's name to the quasi-masses and led to an MTV.com "Live in NYC" show at New York's Webster Hall. And we've got exclusive Theophilus London interviews and live performances to get you all caught up in case you were just joining his career in progress.
First, watch a live version of "Why Even Try" from "Live in NYC," then check out Theophilus London discussing his high school days spent battling other Brooklyn rappers for cred and female attention, see what Kanye West told him about releasing an "aggressive single" and hear all about the troubles people still have with pronouncing his first name.
London also gets emotional returning to Webster Hall, the site of his first big show, and waxes on the influence of his home city: "New York is the reason I feel comfortable wherever else I go in the world." Once you're up on London's background, check out the rapper/singer's exhilarating performances of "Wine and Chocolates" and "Flying Overseas" from "Live In NYC."
Timez Are Weird These Days is out July 19.
+ Watch more Theophilus London videos after the jump.