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Violinist Lindsey Stirling stopped by to talk about her new album “Brave Enough,” which is out August 19. The lead single, “Something Wild,” is in the upcoming Disney film “Pete’s Dragon,” out August 12.

Stirling also chatted about performing with Celine Dion and meeting Steven Tyler at the Billboard Music Awards, the death of Christina Grimmie and the fact that she turns 30 in September.

The good news for Troye Sivan fans is that the singer has a busy year of touring the globe ahead, so chances are you’ll get to see him in your neck of the woods at some point.

The bad news is he seems nowhere near ready to begin work on the follow-up to his debut studio LP, “Blue Neighbourhood.” But of course, the album isn’t even a year old yet.

“I’m going to be honest with you, I haven’t started writing yet,” he told me on my radio show last week, prior to his Vevo concert with Alessia Cara and performance on “The Tonight Show.” “I mean I have so many ideas and think about new music every single day but for me I don’t think I can write an album on the road.”

This is a common conversation I have with singer/songwriters: some can easily churn on out tunes while touring but for the most part others find it at best very difficult. Sivan tossed his name in the latter category.

“I think I need to actually like, be somewhere stable and kind of just like chill out for a second,” he admitted. “I could throw something together but I don’t want to do that and I want my second album to be really, really special.”
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Sivan even floated the idea of waiting until his touring is finished at the end of the year before setting up a base somewhere to work on his next project. Before then he’ll tour the States a second time and promote his new single, a remix of “Wild” that features the aforementioned Cara, a singer he said felt like his little sister.

“It’s weird because I’ve only met her like, maybe 10 times but I swear I mean it,” he insisted. “I really honestly feel super protective over her and yeah, I just think she’s super special.”

Cara is younger than the “Youth” singer but only by a year; the Canadian-born artist turned 20 earlier this month while Sivan hit the big 2-1 on June 5.

“I sort of had my crazy nights when I first turned 18,” Sivan, who was born in South Africa but raised in Australia, revealed. “So for me, (not being 21 in the United States) was more of just an inconvenience like, ‘Can I please just have a beer with my dinner?’”

Sivan would even try his luck on occasion.

“’Hey yeah, I’ll grab a Sapporo,’” he’d order, before looking away from the waiter. “And hope to God that they wouldn’t card me and they always did.

“I’d have to go through the whole thing where I’d have to put on this performance and pretend I left my wallet at home but yeah, now I don’t have to do any of that.”

And that’s good news too, but just for Sivan and whoever he’ll be breaking bread with in the States this year.

Scoring an infectious song of the summer, touring with Maroon 5, collaborating with the likes of David Guetta and Shakira along with performing on almost every television show imaginable. These are the experiences that shaped “Primary Colours,” the sophomore album from Magic! that was released earlier this month.

“’Rude’ is a great song and so it never feels corny to sing; it always feels like there’s soul in it and there’s heart in it,” said lead singer Nasri Atweh. “Of course it was hard to sing it every night; it was monotonous.”

But the success of “Rude” only motivated the quartet as it wrote and recorded “Primary Colours.”

“If we could get that same reaction for other songs… because ‘Rude’ has a reaction that… nothing in the world has this reaction. Only like, chocolate ice cream has this reaction!” Nasri continued. “So when you get that for the one song you want it for all of the songs.”
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Matter-of-fact, “Rude” directly inspired another track on the band’s new release, “Dance Monkey.” Like most of the other songs on the Canadians’ second LP, it’s catchy and born in the reggae-pop sound that Magic! has become known for. Other highlights include the Sean Paul-assisted lead single “Lay You Down Easy” and its follow-up, “Red Dress” about a girl who takes forever to get ready.

“The guy’s waiting (for the girl to get ready),” Magic!’s front man explained. “And then when she’s looking all hot, he’s like, ‘Alright, let’s take your clothes off.’”

Another cut with the same playful sentiment is “Gloria,” which documents the love a man has for a woman even though she clearly should not be trusted.

“Gloria is a dirty, dirty…girl,” Nasri said. “’Glorias’ are everywhere, girls and boys.

“The fun thing about that song is that my character is so helpless because he just wants a girl as beautiful as Gloria.”

The problem? Nasri’s character takes Gloria on a cruise, only to return to their cabin one night with a bottle of wine and find her in bed with two other men.

“We’re looking forward to making that video.”

In the meantime, Magic! will continue promoting the new album before performing a handful of dates in July and August, including a free concert in Syracuse, N.Y. on August 27. The group then plans to head out on tour this fall.

Adam Friedman performed an acoustic version of his single “Lemonade” and then chatted about working with Mike Posner on the track and going to school at Berklee with Charlie Puth.
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Michael Grubbs, the lead man of the indie pop outfit Wakey Wakey, stopped by to chat about the album “Overreactivist” he released in February and how he sometimes lives vicariously through others to write music.
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Chrissi Poland chatted about opening for Lady Gaga, landing a gig in Vegas and writing her debut full length album in the desert before returning to New York to record it.
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Singer/songwriter Benjamin Wagner stopped by the show to chat about his new album, “Great Lakes,” which he decided to release weeks earlier than his initial target date of Summer Solstice. Wagner explained why he pushed up the date and spent two years writing and recording the tracks.

This interview was the first in a series last week highlighting independent artists.

The release party for “Great Lakes” was last Thursday at Rockwood Music Hall, and hosted by yours truly.

G-Eazy sent a direct message on Instagram to say he was a fan of her music. Katy Perry tweeted, “she’s one to watch,” with a link to the up-and-coming singer’s single. And a quick Google search of her work won’t yield a single negative review.

There is a lot of buzz around Lèon, a 23 year-old singer and the latest in the line of pop exports from Sweden. From Alesso to Tove Lo to Max Martin, the European country has gained a solid reputation across the pond for its music. Lèon certainly recognizes that, yet has to really wrack her brain when asked why so much good pop music comes from Sweden.

“We have a lot of dark days in the year,” the singer, who hails from Stockholm, attempted to explain during an interview on my radio show. “When summer arrives, you have like two months of bliss and then that’s taken away from you.”

Lèon also guessed that Sweden’s pop perfection could be attributed to the honesty of the songwriters’ lyrics and the country’s melodic language, but even she prefaced all of that with the fact that she just doesn’t know.

To one of her points though, the songstress’ debut single “Tired Of Talking” from her debut EP “Treasure” is based on a true story.

“I’ve had my fair shares of weird situations,” is how Lèon began the tale. “Basically it’s about a person that I had a thing with for years but we were never together.”

As Lèon began to fill in the facts of the story, things became more interesting: the guy is from Sweden, they met when she was 18 and that meeting took place outside of a McDonald’s.

And he probably hasn’t heard the song yet.

“But yeah, that’s basically what it is about. And me just being probably fed up and finally getting some self-respect I guess.”

I sensed Lèon was in a position where she didn’t want to say too much more about the guy but had more respect for me than to lie or change the subject. So naturally, I segued the conversation to McDonald’s – and what the chain is like overseas.
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“I don’t really (eat) McDonald’s,” she said before adding, “It’s pretty fresh I think in Sweden, I think they’re trying to make it (healthier).

Lèon herself has had to modify her diet a bit. At a young age she chewed so much gum that doctors told her she permanently injured her jaw.

“I could chew like, 25 gums a day,” revealed Lèon of her… gum addiction? “Sometimes my cheek swells.”

Now she has to wear a brace before she goes to bed in order to prevent further damage. It’s a rather bizarre story yet relatively speaking, the singer still falls on the tamer side of pop stars with addictions.

Chatted with DJ Pauly D, Aubrey O’Day, Willis McGahee and Jessica White – all stars of the new E! reality show “Famously Single.” We had a bit of fun.

Some news and notes from my fourth consecutive Tony Awards red carpet:

– There was a major scene change this year as the biggest night on Broadway moved uptown from 6th Avenue to… Broadway! The Tony’s were held at the venerable Beacon Theatre, the sister-venue of previous host Radio City Music Hall. Both buildings are managed by the Madison Square Garden Company. Instead of wrapping around the venue, this year’s red carpet simply stretched down two blocks from the front entrance of the theatre.

– It didn’t matter if you were Lin-Manuel Miranda, Leslie Odom Jr. or the guy in charge of lighting… if you were a part of the hit musical “Hamilton,” everyone wanted to talk to you. The production nabbed 16 nominations in 13 categories and took home 11 trophies. Tickets are impossible to come by unless you’re willing to refinance your house. Alex Lacamoire, who won the Tony for Best Orchestrations thanks to the musical based on Alexander Hamilton, smiled when I asked about the amount of ticket requests he has received.
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“That’s wonderful because that means people want to see our show,” he said, in perhaps one of the bigger understatements of the evening. “So hey, no complaints.”

– Certainly Odom Jr. had zero complaints as he beat out his co-star Miranda for the Lead Actor in a Musical category. When I asked Odom if he and Miranda made a friendly wager over the Tony prior to the award show, he found the question so hilarious that he nearly spit out the water he was sipping.

– This was a first: two reporters next to me were hungry, so they decided to walk to a pizzeria, pick up a pie and bring the entire box, paper plates included, back to the red carpet. At least they shared (I did not indulge but they were very kind to offer).

– Neil Patrick Harris shouted, “Work!” when I asked him what inspired his new, shorter haircut. I was tempted to simply tell you that I asked him what his favorite Rihanna song was.

– Nice to see Sara Bareilles on the carpet; she said hello to me before her publicist dragged her inside so she wouldn’t miss the award ceremony. It has been a wonderful Broadway debut for the pop star: her musical “Waitress” nabbed four Tony nods including Best Musical and Best Original Score, which of course was penned by Bareilles herself.

– Of course, there are a lot of artists from all genres of entertainment on and/or involved with Broadway these days. The great Andrew Lloyd Webber offered an interesting response when I asked him about this.

“Providing that you’ve got the right people for the right roles, if that’s what you’re asking me, and they’re cast for the right reasons… that’s great,” the seven-time Tony Award winner, whose musical adaptation of “School of Rock” received multiple nominations, told me. “It really doesn’t matter who you have in a show. Like, ‘School of Rock’ doesn’t have a star, but at the same time it easily could. I mean, James Corden wouldn’t be bad in ‘School of Rock,’ would he?”