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You need to know about Hoodie Allen


February 3, 2016

Hoodie Allen is proof that hard work makes a career. While I could leave you with that bold statement, his journey so far is too interesting to pass up on. From successful mixtapes (worth mentioning are Pep Rally and Leap Year), Hoodie started making waves, quite literally. The good old word of mouth rumored this dude to be three things in particularly: 1) Able to put on a tight show. 2) Actually knows his craft. And last but not least, 3) he is immensely polite and grateful to his fans in person and online. Kindness gets you somewhere, and Steven aka Hoodie Allen has shown it works if you mean it.

The buzz kept getting bigger in 2012 when his first EP All American (listen to ‘No Faith In Brooklyn’) debuted at number 10 on the Billboard 200. This was when people started asking the question, when is he going to sign with a big label? We are writing 2016 and that is still an unanswered question, and I do not think it will happen anytime soon. It was followed up by another mixtape Crew Cuts, and in 2014, he released his debut album People Keep Talking which featured Ed Sheeran on ‘All About It’ topping charts like iTunes. Oh, and he then proceeded to be part of Fall Out Boy’s tour Boys of Zummer.

Still an independent hip hop artist, he released his second album Happy Camper in January, which despite being available free, also topped many iTunes charts as well as hitting number one on the Billboard independent album list. He has toured harder than most. The UK, Europe and North America and Australia. The new album will to no one’s surprise be combined with a new major tour in the US.

The repetitive fact here is, that Hoodie Allen is all about the “show it don’t tell it”. The once Google-employed Steven is honing his craft, creating a buzz and repeating it, and if you do it enough times it gets you somewhere. Most artists would at this stage of their career have signed with a major label and given some of their responsibilities away, but there is not a creative angle where Mr. Allen has not been involved. And that shows.

Let Hoodie show you what he is capable of at a gig, and I promise you, will remember it as one of the best concerts of your life.

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Justin Bieber and Ed Sheeran Team Up for “Love Yourself”


November 9, 2015

It’s safe to say Justin Bieber is well on his way to a full fledged comeback, after releasing his smash singles “What Do Mean” and “Sorry”.

Just when you think he can’t outdo himself, the Biebs releases “Love Yourself” with the help of Ed Sheeran. The two songbirds harmonize for a pleasant, sweet and slow song. The song is both acoustic and intimate, and tugs on one’s heartstrings.

With a cheerful melody, the track reminds us that love can really shatter you to the core, and that narcissism is not the way to make a relationship work.

The song pointedly addresses how girls use Bieber for his fame, as Bieber and Sheeran chime in together for the chorus:


Article by Natalie Harmsen

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Rudimental and Ed Sheeran Drop Track Together

News, Pop, Singer/Songwriter, Videos

September 26, 2015

Rudimental’s new single dropped this week and you need to hear it. They have teamed up with Ed Sheeran to create “Lay It All On Me” and I want this track to be laid all over everywhere for as long as possible.

In general I am a Rudimental fan, but they have got it going on lately. From the first listen this song had me in love. Not only does it have a great dance beat and is super catchy, but it’s got Ed Sheeran. I think I pretty speak for much everyone under the sun when I say that he could make almost any song better than it may have already been.

In true Ed Sheeran style this song, no matter its beat and synth is still very romantic. The lyrics speak to helping a loved one with struggle and overcoming hardship but all while making you want to dance and sing. Is there anything he can’t do? (I’m going to go with no, there isn’t). This pairing is amazing and it close to the likes of the much loved pair of Sam Smith and Disclosure.

If this song does nearly as well as anything Sam Smith and Disclosure have brought us, I can only hope there are so many more collaborations like this between Rudimental and Ed.

Rudimental hasn’t just limited themselves to one great collaboration lately either, they have also done some amazing work with both Will Heard and Mahalia on similar electronic tracks.

At the end of the day this song is going to be on repeat all over the world today from both Ed and Rudimental fans. Dropping this track made my day and I’m sure it made a great deal of other peoples as well. The full single is available now for purchase on iTunes and for streaming on Spotify.

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Review: Macklemore & Ryan Lewis feat. Ed Sheeran // Growing Up (Sloane’s Song)

Events, News, Pop

August 14, 2015

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis have re-emerged with their new single “Growing Up (Sloane’s Song)”. It’s a sweet tribute about *shocker* growing up; a touching open-penned letter to his daughter.

It’s cute, but not special. Ed Sheeran’s vocals on the chorus is what makes the song worth a listen. My eyes started to glaze over after he rapped “wear a helmet don’t be stupid” “camp, fall in love, and dance” because it started to feel like a clichéd teen movie. I’m sure everyone else will fall in love with this song. It’s nice, but it’s not something I would ever buy, or go out of my way to download. The only part that sets itself apart is Ed Sheeran’s jazzy chorus, complete with horns and a choir. Macklemore should stick to what he does best; anthemic raps like the ones that thrusted him into the spotlight and won him Grammys. That is the kind of music I want to hear more of. If I wanted a song like this, I’d listen to a different artist. But none the less, the world will be watching as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis poise themselves for a comeback of Thriftshop-esque proportions.

Article by Natalie Harmsen

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Ed Sheeran’s 10 Best Covers

Editors Choice, Folk, News, Pop, Singer/Songwriter, Videos

June 12, 2015

It’s been said by some people, that when Ed Sheeran covers a song it no longer belongs to the original artist. As a six-time Grammy nominee, he always manages to put his own soulful spin on each song, and usually makes it better. If a folk-pop singer/songwriter can pull off anything from rap to R&B, there’s something to be admired.

So here are the top 10 best covers, ranging  from Blackstreet to Beyonce. It must be noted, that all of his covers are fantastic. There was a wide of variety to choose from, and while I love his cover of ‘Someone Like You’ by Adele, ‘Baby One More Time’ by Britney Spears, and ‘Wish You Were Here’ by Pink Floyd, these 10 are the ones that I think are the best.

Honourable Mention: Chasing Cars – Snow Patrol

Ed has been good friends with Snow Patrol’s lead singer, Gary Lightbody for several years. They got to know each other quite well when Ed opened for them on their North American tour back in 2012. He’s always been a fan of the alternative rock band, and it shows with this cover. You can tell Ed really likes the song, as he even makes reference to it in his song ‘All of the Stars’.

10. Who You Are – Jessie J

Jessie J made this song a power ballad thanks to her vocals. Sheeran goes in the opposite direction, stripping it back down to the bare vocals, piano, and guitar. Needless to say, it works quite beautifully.

9. Skinny Love – Bon Iver

Back in 2011, Ed released his debut album +. That same year, he covered ‘Skinny Love’ during a Sun Biz Session in December. Since then, + has been certified 6x platinum in the United Kingdom.

8. Drunk In Love – Beyonce Vs. Brown Sugar – D’Angelo

Everyone knows ‘Drunk In Love’ was one of the songs of the year in 2014. At the 57th Grammy Awards, it won Best R&B Song and Best R&B Performance, and was certified platinum in numerous countries. Ed later went on to perform at the Stevie Wonder tribute with Beyonce in February of 2015, proving that the unlikeliest of artist can come together to make beautiful music. Near the end of the cover, ‘Brown Sugar’ makes a brief but oh-so sweet appearance, taking ‘Drunk In Love’ to new heights.

7. Stay With Me – Sam Smith

Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith are friends and fans of each other’s music. So obviously Sheeran does an amazing job on a song that needs someone with his vocals to do it justice.

6. Take Me to Church – Hozier

It’s hard to find someone who can sing a song like this with enough passion and soul to rival Hozier, but Sheeran manages to make it work.

5. Wayfaring Stranger

There aren’t many words that can describe the pure brilliance of this one. Simply, the loop pedal gives this song the depth it needs to be fantastic.

4. Be My Husband – Nina Simone

Nina Simone is a legend. She has been an important musical influence on everyone from Kanye West to John Lennon. Few could take a song like this and truly make it theirs, but lo and behold, this cover plays out like one of Sheeran’s own songs.

3. Trap Queen – Fetty Wap

Only Ed Sheeran could do this with such style and flair. Entertainment Weekly wrote the truth when they described this cover as “an acoustic play on the song that’s more appropriate for a romantic night in than an evening at the club”.

2. Dirrty – Christina Aguilera

Bring on the funk with this one. Sheeran makes this song more upbeat and dancable. While this is a Christina classic, in a heartbeat I can say I prefer the cover to the original. By showcasing his rapping skills as well, Sheeran effortlessly makes the song flow with ease.

1. No Diggity – Blackstreet/ Thriftshop – Macklemore mashup

Ed Sheeran and Passanger are probably the only folk singers who could pull this off. With over 16 million views for this mashup, it’s clear that something magical happened here.

Both singers are armed with guitars, and Passenger’s unique vocals are perfect for the harmonies.

All that’s left to be said is that this proves there’s nothing Ed Sheeran can’t do.

Article by Natalie Harmsen

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Concert Review: A Ginger With A Loop Pedal Changed My Life

Editors Choice, Events, News, Pop, Rock, Singer/Songwriter, Videos

June 7, 2015

This week, thanks to a very well thought out early-birthday gift, I had the chance to go and see “Ginger Jesus” himself, the one and only Ed Sheeran. Now, as someone who generally feels that concerts are life-changing experiences needing to be had by everyone, this is the first one I have been to that I can say I was seriously moved by.

The first thing you need to know about an Ed Sheeran concert is that he is the only one on stage. There is no band, there is no back up singers, there is nothing but a guitar, a couple of loop pedals at his feet and of course Ed himself.

To be brutally honest this had me in a slightly sceptical position at the beginning of the concert, although I had seen recordings of his live performances online before, this was a have-to-see-it-to-believe-it event for me, and well, I saw and I now certainly believe.

Ed not only has a set of vocal chords like no other but he uses a loop pedal and guitar to create complete and utter magic right before your very eyes and ears. During his performance of ‘Give Me Love’ it is almost like you forget that he is the only one on stage, it sounds as if there is a choir of Ed’s serenading the stadium. During ‘You Need Me Man, I Don’t Need You’, you almost want to hold your breath as you can’t help but think his guitar might go up in flames at any moment due to the astonishing speed of his strumming, but wait, is that drums you hear too? Nope, that is the loop of Ed banging away on his guitar to create yet another element to his performance. He truly is a marvellous one-man band.

He also never stops for more that 30 seconds at a time to switch guitars or have a mouthful of water. Never in my life have I seen one man play with such stamina and consistency. His songs blend into each other like cream into coffee and in in the time that one song has bled into another you can go from dancing to crying and right back again without even realizing what has hit you.

Ed lives up to his nickname as “Ginger Jesus” a million times over and I feel like I have been blessed by the music god’s to have seen him put on a show like he did. I never thought that I would be so taken back by a guy with a loop pedal and an acoustic guitar, but here I am in complete shock and awe of what I have just witnessed. I have fallen in love in that mysterious way that Ed talks about in ‘Thinking Out Loud’ let him make you fall in love in that way too, go see an Ed Sheeran concert. You won’t regret it, I promise.

Article By Emily D’Orazio

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