In my first report for OK! TV, I went backstage at Hammerstein Ballroom during soundcheck for VH1’s “You Oughta Know” concert. Mary Lambert, Aloe Blacc, and American Authors all stopped by to chat about the show and what they’ve been up to this past year.
OK! TV airs in New York weeknights at 11:30 pm on WLNY TV (channel 55 on TWC/10 on FiOS).
Tove Lo, who at the moment has the number one song on pop radio with “Habits (Stay High),” stopped by “Ralphie Tonight to chat about her hit single and album Queen Of The Clouds.
The Swedish singer/songwriter also looked back at her performance on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and talked about the creation of the “Habits” music video.
“It’s exciting man,” Nick Jonas said on “Ralphie Tonight.” “It’s great to get this new music out.”
And on Monday, that new music saw the light of day. The youngest of the three that comprised the “Jonas Brothers,” Nick released a solo, self-titled album Monday through his new deal with Island Records. Chances are you knew this, as it was impossible to miss Nick on TV (“Fashion Rocks”), radio (for one, my show, which played the hit single “Jealous”) or print (you should not need a reminder about his much talk and tweeted about photo spread in Flaunt Magazine).
“Every day is a new discovery for people about who I am and what I’m willing to say; what I want to say in my music,” the 22 year-old explained. “It’s a thrilling thing to get to start over and be reintroduced to people.”
The “Jonas Brothers” were a huge success – touring the country, selling millions of albums globally, and starring in Disney movies. But as soon as the brothers parted ways with Disney and Hollywood Records, the three were able to have more control over whom they were and how they wanted to be perceived. Perhaps it was then that at least or especially from a musical standpoint, it made sense for the group to disband. They eventually went their separate ways professionally in 2013.
Now the youngest Jonas of the three is back in the spotlight, but there are a number of noticeable differences this time around. Now grown-up, Jonas wasn’t afraid to pose in his boxers for Flaunt, or cast his girlfriend, former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo, as his co-star in the music video for “Jealous.”
“There were some preconceived ideas of what I was comfortable with and who I was,” he noted. “I think just kind of trying to educate and give people a better idea is what I’ve been doing.”
In that sense, Jonas’ new project is already a success. And while his priorities may have changed (whose don’t when they grow older?), the bond with his brothers has endured.
“I played (the album) for my brothers,” Nick revealed. “They heard it and loved it.
“They more give their opinion on what they think should be singles and stuff,” Jonas continued. “It’s helpful.”
So far, the project has gone better than Jonas could have anticipated, and it’s far from over. “Jealous” is still climbing the pop radio airplay charts, and the artist is slated to perform at this year’s “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.” It is Jonas’ first time back since, you guessed it; he appeared on it with his brothers back in 2007.
Ryan Cabrera holds a special place in “Ralphie Tonight” history. The artist is one of two celebrities to be interviewed by me in my car. He is also the first to take part in a new game we have called “Celebrity Jukebox.”
The game places celebrities on the street in a situation where they have to perform random songs that strangers request to raise money for a charity of his or her choice. Cabrera raised $50 (the max) for and chose Habitat For Humanity as the beneficiary.
Cabrera also stopped by to talk about and perform his new single “House On Fire” from his forthcoming EP. His first album, Take It All Away turned 10 years old in June, so the Texas-born singer looked back at the creation of that LP with co-producer and Goo Goo Dolls’ front man John Rzeznik.
Taylor Swift covered Vance Joy’s single “Riptide” during a recent appearance on BBC Radio in the UK. Joy, a 26 year-old singer/songwriter from Australia, posted a video of the performance on his Facebook page along with, “There is a lot of emotion and joy in this cover. Thank you Taylor Swift.”
And in perhaps another sign of his appreciation, Joy told me Monday on “Ralphie Tonight” that he preordered Swift’s new album, 1989. At the time we spoke, he did not yet have an opportunity to listen, but stated he was a fan of “Shake It Off” as well as “Out Of The Woods,” two songs released ahead of the album’s Monday reveal.
Joy also noted that, via his manager, he noticed an impact from the world’s biggest pop star co-signing on one of his songs.
“I saw my manager a couple of days later and he said, ‘There’s been a lot of feedback about the cover and… it’s kind of I guess brought the song in to a whole new field of people’s vision,’” Joy recalled. “I saw these big bags under (my manager’s) eyes and I knew he’d been working hard.”
But for the artist from Melbourne, the experience transcends the priceless exposure.
“As a songwriter, I just admire what a great cover she did,” Joy stated. “Totally flattered.”
The nod from Swift comes as the Aussie begins his attempt to break in to the US market. It’s been a good year for Australians, as 5 Seconds Of Summer, Sia, and Iggy Azalea have all enjoyed success in the States.
“We get all the American music, we get all of the music from the UK,” Joy began to explain. “The sound of Australia is a unique sound but it’s also very easily passed around the world. There’s no barriers to sharing music now.”
While Joy talks about the globalization of music with the same subtle confidence he exudes on his debut album, he is quick to mention that the aforementioned artists are big names, and is a bit hesitant to be grouped in with them because of that. But when jokingly asked if he or 5SOS would be approached in a mall back home first, the hesitation vanishes.
“Definitely (5 Seconds Of Summer)!” he said through laughter. “I definitely wouldn’t get mauled. I think people would be like, ‘Oh, is that? Oh, maybe not? Oh, he’s gone.’”
Joy is speaking from personal experience at this point, so the confidence is definitely back.
I caught an exclusive look at the filming of Apl.De.Ap’s music video for his song “Be,” which will be on iTunes November 28. The track serves as the first single from his forthcoming solo album. “Be” features Honey Cocaine. The final scenes for the video were shot at PhD Rooftop Nightclub inside Dream Downtown in New York.
Apl also gave his thoughts on whether a Manny Pacquiao/Floyd Mayweather fight will ever happen, Fergie’s new song, and Will.I.Am’s new wearable device during his chat for “Ralphie Tonight.”
I was on hand as The Rockettes held their first rehearsal for this season’s “Radio City Christmas Spectacular.” The show kicks off November 7 and runs through December 31. Tickets are available here.