Archives For ralphie aversa

He’s the teacher and the student – the leader and the follower. It is this trait that helped Miami born emcee Pitbull reach the top of his game, with back to back top 10 singles, his first LP distributed by a major label, a world tour, and many more cameos on the horizon.

On this particular night, Pitbull, real name Armando Perez, plays the role of teacher. Pitbull provides for his crew, which features your typical litany of managers and stage hands, along with a band and DJ. Pit’s company, Mr. 305 Inc., fronts the money for expenses incurred. The crew chows down on a mix of fried chicken and salad, with a conservative selection of beer, liquor, and soda. In the back of the tour bus, also covered by Pit’s company, where a second flat screen and video game system are stored, I plop down on the leather couch. There, I’m joined by the Miami emcee and another one of his students, David Rush.

“It’s like going to college for free,” described Rush of his jaunt on “The Rebelution Tour” – which bears the name of Pit’s recent release on Mr. 305/RCA. Rush, who is also known as “Young Boss”, wrote and appeared on the club banger, “Go Girl”. Every night of the tour, Rush joins Pit on stage for the track. However unlike most opening acts, the Jersey native sticks around for the entire set.

“I get to learn and experience what not to do, what to do, what works on stage, what doesn’t work on stage, and… you get to study, you get to watch and learn,” said Rush.

Pitbull feels Rush is someone who “knows how to make hit records,” as opposed to just someone who may “stumble over” a hit. But in addition to the creative side, Rush is learning the business aspect of the industry as well – as Pit balances both the demands of his own company and of the record label’s.

Part 1: “Rebelution Tour”, “Ellen”, Mr. 305 Inc.


Part 2: Collaborations w/ Akon, Jennifer Lopez, Shakira; New Music

“I’m out here on my own dime. The label ain’t give me no money for this right here,” revealed Pit. “But to me, I am my biggest investment. Not that the label is treating me bad or anything like that, not at all, they just lettin’ me do what I do.”

What Pit has done is continued and extended the grass roots movement he started in 1997. From the outset, there doesn’t seem to be a magic formula to his success. Pitbull works 24/7 – rarely one to turn down any type of request – whether it’s for an interview, a record cameo, or an autograph. The “on-the-grind” mentality combined with the reliability of the person himself, mixed with a lucky break here and there – has landed Pitbull both street cred and mainstream notoriety, a tough status that only few artists obtain in this day and age.

But after speaking with the emcee, you realize there is one other ingredient to his successful recipe – the hunger and desire to continue to learn. This became evident when I asked Pitbull about his recent collaboration with Jennifer Lopez, who is now releasing music under her alter-ego, “Lola.”

“’Lola’ is what Marc Anthony calls her,” said Pit. “To work with Jennifer Lopez was an honor. Especially someone that’s opened the doors for the Latin’s the way she’s done it in the movie industry, in the music industry. More than anything, I watch them and I learn, yunno? And I’m studying, also.”

The Jennifer Lopez collaboration is just one of many on the way for Mr. 305 himself – also on the docket – tracks with Shakira, Kristinia Debarge, and Janet Jackson. Plus, similar to the Livvi Franc track – you never know what Pit will just hop on.

“Right now I’ve been on tour, since I’m the one funding the bus, I don’t get the studio bus,” he joked. “There’s a lot of riddims out right now, that don’t nobody really know about. I’m about to f*ck ‘em up!”

From the outset, Justin Bieber seems like your typical 15 year-old. He doodles on his own photos, cracks jokes with band mates, and will at times refuse to listen to anyone older than him. Getting ready to walk on stage at The Mall at Steamtown, he hops on his record label rep’s back, only to crash his head in to a door sill. Leaving the mall, in an attempt to retrieve his fallen hat, his ankle is stepped on by a fan, but of course, he tries not to let on to his staff, which laughs at him as he hobbles around, that its bothering him.

But a quick look at what the Canadian-born heart throb accomplished this past year, and “typical” will quickly become the furthest adjective from your mind.

Bieber performed last Thursday exclusively for 97 BHT listeners inside The Mall at Steamtown. Usher signed the teenage crooner to a deal after watching some of his YouTube videos – the most famous being Bieber’s cover of Chris Brown’s “With You”. But Usher wasn’t the only A-lister trying to court the 15 year-old.

“Well, what happened was, it was in Las Vegas. And it was Justin Timberlake in the red corner, it was Usher in the blue corner, and I’m pretty sure it was a technical knockout,” joked Bieber before he performed for almost 1,200 people inside the mall. I asked if Usher offered that much more than Timberlake, to which Bieber replied, “No, uhm… it was a technical knockout.”

Now with the upcoming release of his debut LP, My World, Bieber sports an enthusiastic fan base throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as two hits charted in the Top 30. Just a few weeks ago he popped up on NBC’s “The Today Show”, and who could forget his cameo at the MTV Video Music Awards? Yes, the 15 year-old had the daunting task of introducing Taylor Swift’s performance, immediately after KanYe West interrupted the starlet’s acceptance speech on stage. Bieber witnessed the fiasco from the stage, and then went on to offer impromptu kudos to Swift on-air, before introducing her.

“I don’t think as a new artist, or anybody, really goes off topic of like, what they’re supposed to say on the teleprompter,” Bieber noted. “I kinda took a risk… having to introduce Taylor Swift on top of that was kinda scary, but I mean, she’s amazing. She’s a really nice girl so, I was honored to be able to introduce her.”

Bieber was also honored to take part in Kidd Kraddick In The Morning’s “Band Camp.” For a week straight, the singer joined the morning show to help a group of kids form a band. Bieber notes that he enjoyed the experience, but in typical 15 year-old fashion, did have one complaint.

“The only crappy part was I had to wake up at like 5 in the morning, every single day,” Bieber said. He uses his iPhone as an alarm – and also as a way to connect with his fans. The same day he performed at the mall, uStream, a web site that allows for live web video chatting, sent Bieber an iPhone application that allows him to stream live video to the web site.

“I just got it today,” Bieber said, still kinda taken aback that uStream would send him the app before it makes it available to the general public. “But like, it’s cool that I can uStream from my phone.”

Bieber will then send the uStream link out to his Twitter followers, all 300,000 plus.

“I don’t know why (I have that many followers),” he joked. “I’m not that cool.”

Download the mp3

Attorney Robin Bond is a regular guest on The Ralphie Radio Show, and an expert on labor law, so we asked he asked her about the situation regarding David Letterman/Quinnipiac University internships.

Visit Robin’s Site Here.

Better late than never for We The Kings – who finished recording the new LP, Smile Kid about two weeks after expected.

Last time I chatted with WTK front man Travis Clark, the band was on the eve of releasing “Heaven Can Wait” to radio stations across the country. With The Ralphie Radio Show receiving the track a day early, I asked Travis when we could expect an LP. He originally noted that the band hoped to finish work on it before October. I reconnected with him and guitarist Hunter Thomsen on Tuesday, October 13.

Download the mp3

Check out the performance here.

“Last night I finished the last vocal for it,” said Clark. “So it was a little delayed, but it was worth it, because it’s perfect now.”

Clark is also relieved the band finished recording it before embarking on its current tour with All Time Low, Hey Monday, and The Friday Night Boys. We The Kings will release the sophomore LP on December 8.

J.R. Rotem believed “Whatcha Say” needed to be someone’s first single. Sean Kingston already had that lead hit in “Fire Burning.” I-Yaz wrote and sang on the beat – but even the artist himself knew it just didn’t work. Then Jason Derulo sang on it, with the sped-up sample of Imogen Heap’s “Lost and Found.” While others within Rotem’s camp may have known of the forthcoming success, Derulo did not.

“We all liked the song, but I mean, we never knew that it’d be my first single or that people would have received it so well,” revealed Derulo, who stopped by The Ralphie Radio Show before performing at The Woodlands for 97 BHT listeners.

“We’ll make six songs in a day. I mean, “Whatcha Say” is definitely special, and we definitely got spine chills from it, but it’s amazing that people are being so receptive to it, and I couldn’t be more pleased.”

Part 1:
“Whatcha Say”, Forthcoming LP

Part 2: Performance at The Woodlands, A.J. In The Afternoon

Check out Jason’s performance here.

However, for Derulo, there is one drawback to the song’s success – some radio stations play an edit sans the trademark “J-R” stutter and “Jason Derulo” shout out over the beginning. The Miami-born singer feels that he can work around such an edit on the next single.

“Next time, I’m gonna actually put it inside the song, where it’s like, ‘Mhhmm Whatcha Sa-Jason Derulo!’” he joked. “Try taking that out.”

We’ll see if Derulo follows through on the follow-up single. While Derulo hasn’t named a second track for radio release – he has played “Ridin’ Solo” at radio performances. The song samples The Verve’s “Bitter Sweet Symphony” – and describes a bitter sweet breakup in an uplifting tone.

Derulo will open up for Lady GaGa on The Monster Ball tour this winter, and release his self-titled, debut LP in early 2010.

Download the mp3

The Wingman attempts to help a woman jump out of “the friend zone” with a crush.

Visit The Wingman on MySpace or Facebook.

Jason Castro postponed the release of his debut, self-titled LP to next year – he says it should be released in early 2010. On the day he announced the delay, Castro spoke with The Ralphie Radio Show on why he pushed back the date.

“I’ve spent the last year working on this record, and I’ve just poured so much in to it,” Castro said. “We’re still mixing and there’s still just a couple last minute tweaks that – we just still don’t have it all together, so, we don’t want to rush it out.”

Download the mp3

Castro insists the LP will drop in the beginning of the next calendar year – noting January as probably but definitely by February. Meanwhile, the American Idol alum will continue to put the finishing touches on the record while touring the country, performing at malls and promoting the album along with its first single, the catchy “Let’s Just Fall In Love Again.”



Theory Of A Deadman revealed on The Ralphie Radio Show about a month ago that the band passed on a headlining Fall tour to support Daughtry’s arena tour. Chris Daughtry heard the interview.

“I was very flattered that they took us over (their own tour),” said lead singer Daughtry. “Any band like that, that’s doing it big in the rock world, that’s not too cool for school to hang with the Daughtry boys… we’re very flattered and honored.”

It’s certainly a humble statement from the front man of a band that has sold over 7.5 million albums worldwide to date. It seems as if Daughtry assumes nothing when it comes to the rock and pop realms.

“Same with Nickelback, when we did that tour… these guys are huge in the rock world, and we just feel like the freshmen in high school just trying to get our props.” Daughtry said.

Props or otherwise, the band is clearly doing something right as it readies for its first arena trek – a new venue that will bring a different performance.

“We’re gonna have pyro this time, I think,” said Daughtry. “Our stage is obviously going to be bigger – more production, more lights.”

Download the mp3

Click here to purchase tickets to Daughtry’s show at Wachovia Arena.

Chris noted that the target set time is about an hour and a half. This brings yet another facet in to view – the physical preparation.

“Any time you’re playing that long, as a singer, (it’s) definitely a stretch, especially when you’re used to playing, yunno, an hour at the most,” he said. “And these songs, some of them are just ridiculous to sing. Some of them… once you listen back to it, you’re like, ‘Why did I write that?’”

So Daughtry is hitting the gym to ready himself for the 36 date jaunt that begins October 19 in Topeka, KS. So is guitarist Brian Craddock, but he joked that it’s for different reasons.

“I developed, while in Germany, this beer gut,” Craddock admitted, while laughing. Although, Daughtry quickly pointed out that everybody sings during the show at one point or another.

Everyone doesn’t “tweet” though. Craddock is the self-described cynic of the crew – ever since a bad experience with his MySpace profile and spam, he stays away from the social networking sites. Meanwhile, Daughtry updates his Twitter account all the time. Apparently, he even checks his “at replies.”

“I think I see you on Twitter a lot,” Daughtry commented regarding my posts. “If I check, when I’ve only gotten maybe 40 or 50 tweets in, I can stay on top of it.”

You know the premise by now – budding, raw talent builds following through social networking site, catches the eye of someone important, lands a record deal. Sean Kingston reached out to J.R. Rotem on MySpace, and then found the Island singer I-Yaz. MySpace is the same site that helped the career of Colbie Caillat. Priscilla Renea and Esmee Denters were both YouTube sensations before catching the eyes and ears of Capitol Records and Justin Timberlake, respectively.

Thing is, the story is becoming more and more common. While all the aforementioned artists have or are receiving airplay on mainstream radio – there are still others, waiting in the wings, with much more than a webcam to promote their talent.

Enter Tamar Kaprelian.

The 23 year-old wrote, played, and sang for six years. She eventually decided YouTube might be the best outlet to perform, connect, and network until she could get discovered. Then in March of 2008, Kaprelian won an online contest for her cover of OneRepublic’s “Apologize.” Soon after, the band’s record label, Interscope, signed Tamar to a deal.

Almost two years later, Kaprelian will release her first LP, slated for February 2010. Tamar has split her time in the past 18 months between touring, writing, and charity work: the singer is just finishing a 30-day, 30-city tour for Feeding America. Kaprelian joined forces with the likes of David Arquette and The Cheesecake Factory for “Drive Out Hunger”, raising soup donations for the needy. After performing Saturday night in New York City, Kaprelian woke up at her usual 4 a.m. for the next stop – Edison, NJ. This is where I met up with her – to chat about the soup drive and the music projects – amidst the Menlo Park Mall – which echoed with the chants and cheers of caffeine-fueled workers accepting donations.

“I worked for Cheesecake Factory before I signed with Interscope,” revealed Kaprelian. “They’ve been so supportive of my music, and of my career, and so they asked me to get involved with this charity, and I said of course.”

Part 1: Feeding America/Cheesecake Factory, OneRepublic Contest, YouTube

Part 2:
“The Hills”, Armenian Heritage, Forthcoming LP

The tour provides Kaprelian with quite the change of perspective. As we sat in an almost empty restaurant, people who worked a job she once held scurried about around us, setting tables and preparing for open.

“It is very surreal, but I feel very blessed,” Kaprelian said. At two different points during the interview, a server mistook us for two customers. Each time, Kaprelian stopped and thanked the person for attempting to wait on us, before informing them that we were just in the restaurant to take refuge from the noisy chambers of the mall.

Kaprelian wraps up the food drive on October 1, and then heads back to Los Angeles. She’s already worked on two tracks for the LP with OneRepublic front man Ryan Tedder – one of which Tamar reveals is a duet with label mate and All-American Rejects lead singer Tyson Ritter.

“It’s gonna be a cool record… he’s so talented,” Kaprelian said of her time working with Ritter. The collaboration wasn’t her first encounter with AAR – she sang backup for the group on “Ellen”, “Jimmy Kimmel Live”, and “The Tonight Show.”

Butch Walker also contributes to the project, which is yet to be titled. Kaprelian seems to be mulling over three options – Delicate Soul, It Is What It Is, or Sinner Or Saint.

The title may not be chosen, but the first single is: Kaprelian confirmed that “New Day” will be the lead song from the album. The track gained notoriety when MTV featured it in the last scene of Season 5 on “The Hills” – the track served as Lauren Conrad’s swan song. Kaprelian told me that she knew it’d be in the finale, but had no clue as to how and when it would be heard.

“You hope (the song is) at the end,” said Kaprelian. “I was over the moon. We were in the sitting room, and my entire family and I were watching it, and it was just such a great moment.”

Tamar was born in Arizona and also raised in Georgia. Like me, she is proudly of Armenian descent. I even learned something during the interview: apparently Gwen Stefani is also Armenian.

“Family is important to us,” Kaprelian said. “(My family has been) beyond supportive. They’re really happy for me. I think they’re just proud that I get to do what I love to do every day.”

With the recent addition of a third song to iTunes, a radio promo tour set for January, and an LP to follow – the Kaprelian’s will have much to be supportive for, as Tamar will be doing what she loves on a daily basis for the foreseeable future.