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
— “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.
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.
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.