band crush: alunageorge


skyping with London’s band of the moment.

"We're stuffing our faces with food right now, so we're glad you don't have this on video," AlunaGeorge singer Aluna Francis tells me in between laughs during our Skype call last week. I can't help but laugh with her since— I'm not going to lie—it's a little bit weird Skyping with a band, because you're basically just talking to yourself at the computer. But this duo is too funny to make it the slightest bit awkward. It's clear that after some major onstage and studio bonding time, these two just get each other.

Since first linking up via MySpace, Francis and producer George Reid have been the missing pieces to each other's puzzles; Reid's glitchy, genre-tripping beats are the perfect complement to George's crisp, clean vocals. It's been three years since they first met, and the duo has made major waves since then. 

Not only were they shortlisted for the 2013 BRIT Award, but they also finished up second in BBC's prestigious Sound of 2013 poll. Not too bad for a group who hadn't even released a debut album. "We didn't want to release a full-length record straightaway before people really got a chance to know us as musicians," Francis explains. "When I was growing up and hearing bands for the first time, the album was so important; it was almost like I couldn't trust a band until I heard their album." 

Listeners will be able to do just that starting today, since twosome's debut albumBody Music officially drops—and needless to say, AlunaGeorge is totally trustworthy. Unless you've been living sans Internet connection over the past 12 months, chances are you're familiar with singles like "Your Drums, Your Love" and "Attracting Flies," which have already burned up the blogosphere. Spiffed-up versions of those tracks are included on the record, but alongside fresh tracks like the thumping "Lost & Found" and the super smooth "Kaleidoscope Love." 

The result is a '90s-inflected, shimmery package that fuses throbbing beats with singalong choruses and classic songwriting. Which, as Francis points out, is the ultimate goal. "We want the record to sound new and different to your ears, but still with that familiarity so you can listen again and again." With an album this catchy, they definitely don't have to tell us twice. 

The band is busy prepping for an American tour (Reid's first time in the U.S.) and creating "fast food maps of everywhere we want to go—McDonalds, Burger King, all the American spots." So until you can catch them live, feel the AlunaGeorge vibes and get a sneak peek of their debut album Body Music below. 

Photo by Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images.

It marks her third duet with Nas

Here are some words that I never expected to read or hear again: There is a new song with Amy Winehouse. But here we are in 2019, and Salaam Remi has granted me a wish. On Valentine's Day, the Grammy-nominated producer and frequent Winehouse collaborator (also responsible for hits like Miguel's "Come Through & Chill") released "Find My Love" which features rapper Nas and that powerful and haunting voice that I have come to love and cherish so dearly.

Representatives for Remi said that the Winehouse vocals were from an old jam session the two had. Remi was a producer on both of Winehouse's albums, Frank and Back to Black. "Find My Love" marks the third time Winehouse and Nas have done duets under the direction of Remi. They were previously heard together on "Like Smoke," a single from her 2011 posthumous album Amy Winehouse Lioness: Hidden Treasures, and "Cherry Wine" from Nas' 2012 album Life Is Good. Winehouse died of alcohol poisoning on July 23, 2011, before they could complete production on her third album. My heart is still broken about it as she is by far my favorite artist.

"Find My Love" is set to appear on Remi's Do It for the Culture 2, a collection of songs curated by him. Check it out, below.



Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

"In the midst of chaos there's opportunity"

Following the travesty that was Fyre Festival, Ja Rule wants to take another stab at creating a music festival. Good luck getting that off the ground.

On Thursday, the rapper spoke to TMZ, where he revealed that he was planning to relaunch Icon, an app used to book entertainers, which is similar to Billy McFarland's Fyre app. He told the outlet that he wanted to create a festival similar to Fyre to support it.

"[Fyre Festival] is heartbreaking to me. It was something that I really, really wanted to be special and amazing, and it just didn't turn out that way, but in the midst of chaos there's opportunity, so I'm working on a lot of new things," he says. He then gets into the fact that he wants to form a music festival. "[Fyre] is the most iconic festival that never was... I have plans to create the iconic music festival, but you didn't hear it from me."

Ja Rule actually doesn't seem to think he is at all responsible for what came from Fyre Fest, claiming in a Twitter post that he was "hustled, scammed, bamboozled, hood winked, led astray." Even if that's his feeling, he should realize that anyone involved with Fyre shouldn't ever try their hand at music festivals again.