Archives For simon cowell

Since 2010, Niall Horan has been on quite the rollercoaster. The Irish-born singer first came to fame on “The X-Factor” across the pond, where Simon Cowell hatched the bright idea to pair him and four other contestants together. What followed was a phenomenon: five chart-topping albums, sold-out stadium tours and millions upon millions of screaming fans.

But now Horan is signed to a different record label, releasing music as a solo artist and moving at a speed that must feel more comfortable.

“Yeah, it’s great,” when asked Horan about the pace of his new project with Capitol Records. “I kind of just made a decision that I would do everything at my own pace and I said it to my manager and to my label and they were completely supportive of it.”

Horan essentially told them that he would work on the album and he would notify them when it was finished. Update: it’s pretty much done.

“I’ll probably release it in the fall or something,” he said. “I just have to do a little bit of production stuff and it’s all kind of recorded and stuff like that.”

The Irishman doesn’t have a title yet but he has released two songs from the LP, “This Town” and “Slow Hands.” When I asked about the song selection, it sounded like the former wasn’t really intended to be a proper first single.

“I just wanted to let people know I was still doing music to be honest and it just kind of happened,” Horan explained of releasing “This Town.” “It took a life of its own.”

There was definitely a more methodical approach behind “Slow Hands.”

“I wanted to kind of beef things up a little bit and show I was a little bit more diverse,” Horan noted. “The whole album wasn’t going to be all finger-picking stuff.”

Horan started writing for the project in “March or April of last year.” The singer hopped in-and-out of the studio between days off before “This Town” started climbing the charts and the project’s timeline sped up – something Horan credits to those aforementioned fans, who have stuck with him throughout the entire ride.

“Britain’s Got Talent” singer Calum Scott stopped by to chat about his breakout single, a cover of Robyn’s “Dancing On My Own.” Scott also shared his experience singing in front of Simon Cowell, meeting Lady Gaga and working in the HR department of a company overseas.

On September 4, 2014, Leona Lewis wrote a letter to her fans. Posted via a snapshot on Twitter, the singer talked about a “rollercoaster year” and “taking the huge step away from Syco and Sony.” Syco Entertainment is Simon Cowell’s record label; Lewis landed with Cowell after winning “The X-Factor” in the UK over eight years ago.

But after four albums, including one of the holiday variety, Lewis felt it was time for a change. She left Cowell for Island Records, and a year and a week to the date of dropping that open letter, Lewis will release her new LP I Am.

She does not find the timing too significant though.

“I didn’t even realize it would be a year,” she told me. “It wasn’t planned like that. Naturally it just happened that the album was kind of done around then and it was time to release it.”

Lewis later clarified that she had been working on this material for much longer than six or seven months; rather almost two years.

“Before (the letter) I had gone out on my own and started creating the album,” Lewis noted. “I was making it but I didn’t know what label I was going to sign to or what was going to happen.”
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This album started by Lewis simply creating music with no other purpose or plan besides the creation itself. She collaborated with super-producer Toby Gad (“All Of Me,” “If I Were a Boy”) and their work led to I Am.

Outside of a track penned by Diane Warwick, Lewis and Gad receive writing credits on every song. Other writers who contributed to the LP include Anne Preven and Wayne Wilkins. There are no featured artists on any of the songs outside of Leona.

“I think for this album it was so important to just kind of have it as my own thing because it was so personal,” she explained. “So collaborations as far as producers yeah, but not artist-wise.”

Lewis will drop I Am on September 11. The first single at U.S. radio is called, “Thunder.”

It certainly isn’t easy spending your career in the limelight, especially in the day of instant reaction on Twitter and instant meme-ification on Tumblr. “The X-Factor” judge Kelly Rowland is well-aware of this.

“Sometimes it’s really hard for me to hide my facial expressions because… it’s hard,” Rowland tried to explain during a chat at the FOX TV Radio Junket for the Television Critic Association Awards. “Sometimes people get up there and you’re like, ‘Oh, why?’”

A Rowland reaction to a male attempting to cover Britney Spears’ “(Hit Me) Baby One More Time” already has the web buzzing. The Destiny Child singer cautioned that she’s already given “a lot of those looks,” but that she is also impressed with a lot of the artists that have auditioned thus far.

“America has some serious talent and people who are really ready and willing to work hard,” Rowland said. “They’re chasing a dream. I know what it’s like to chase a dream.”

Rowland’s fellow judges Demi Lovato, Paulina Rubio, and Simon Cowell also know what it takes to make a dream a reality.

“We’re three women who obviously love music and enjoy being on the panel, and we happen to get along,” Rowland said of her relationship with Lovato and Rubio. “Simon made a good decision. I don’t know if he knew that we’d get along or not, but it feels good that we do.”

Rowland also doesn’t know if Cowell realized he would be essentially pitting himself against three women, but he did.

“We totally team up on Simon,” Rowland admitted. “He gets a little challenge from us.”

Given Cowell’s recent trials and tribulations in the headlines, surely it’s a challenge that he doesn’t mind. The two night season premiere of “The X-Factor” airs this September on FOX.

Most 14 year-olds aren’t taking time off of school to do press surrounding their first headlining concert. Of course, Carly Rose Sonenclar isn’t your typical teenager. “The Westchester, NY-native and “X-Factor” runner-up will play the Best Buy Theater on August 10.

“On the way here I was driving by, and I drove past the Best Buy (Theater) and I was just kind of like… smiling,” the singer gushed in an interview with 95.5 PLJ’s “The Ralphie Show.” “I couldn’t even believe it.”

This is the first show that Sonenclar will be the top bill for. In between school finals and other ordinary teenage escapades, she’s planning out the show’s set list.

“We have some ideas,” Sonenclar revealed. “I’ve never worked on anything like this before. It’s really fun.”

The set-list will include covers she’s performed on both the TV show and her YouTube account. The artist thinks there might be room to perform one original song. Sonenclar is currently in “pre-production on her first solo album with Simon Cowell’s SYCO Music. After informing Carly Rose that her fans, aptly named “Carly’s Angels” aren’t too thrilled with that term, she explained exactly what it entails.

“Basically, it’s just the early stages,” Sonenclar responded, referring to the album creation process. “It’s going to require patience, and for me as well. I’m going continue to be putting covers out on YouTube and I have the show coming up, but like as far as the album goes, it might be a little bit longer.”

As surreal as it was for a 14 year-old to preach about patience, Sonenclar showed her maturity even more in explaining why she isn’t in a rush to release new material.

“I want to be an artist that’s here for the long-run, not someone who puts out an album tomorrow and then by the time the next run of ‘The X-Factor’ comes around people are forgetting about me,” she explained. “I’d rather, yunno, if it takes waiting a little bit longer so that in the end, I stay in the music business for longer, then that’s what I’m going to do.”

When we were first introduced to Carly Rose on national TV, judge L.A. Reid referred to her as, “an old soul.” Apparently that characterization extends beyond her vocal range.

More info on the all ages show is available here. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Starlight Children’s Foundation.

There hasn’t been a girl group to take over the United States since a void was left by the Pussycat Dolls and Danity Kane. UK quartet Little Mix is looking to change that.

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“I do find it really strange,” responded singer Jesy Nelson of the idea that there hasn’t been a popular girl band in the States since the aforementioned groups. “Yunno what, it’s time to change it up. Little Mix is here!”

Nelson’s comment elicited laughter from her band-mates. The girls were in a great mood as they walked the red carpet of their performance with J-14 Magazine inside the Hard Rock Café in Times Square. Little Mix’s debut single, “Wings” just cracked the top 40 on the Billboard Pop Songs chart this month.

“We just feel incredibly lucky,” said Perrie Edwards, who by the way, is romantically linked to One Direction’s Zayn Malik. “We didn’t know what the response was going to be like, and so far so good.”

“Wings” will serve as the first single from the band’s album DNA, which will be released in the U.S. this May. The girls wouldn’t reveal if the American version would feature any new collaborations with artists from the States. Jade Thirlwall did divulge some advice received from the 1D fellas about making the media rounds across the pond.

“We did obviously ask them, and they just said, ‘The main thing is to be yourself and just be confident with everything, and believe in yourself,’” she recalled. “And we believe in us, so hopefully it all goes well.”

Little Mix won “The X-Factor” overseas back in 2011. The singers are signed to Simon Cowell’s SYCO Music, and their music is distributed in the States by Columbia Records, which is also the U.S. home for One Direction and Olly Murs.

Good news for “Carly’s Angels” – the name given to fans of Carly Rose Sonenclar. It seems “The X-Factor” runner-up will have no problem releasing her album to the masses.

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“I’m in pre-production on my album,” Sonenclar told me inside the Hard Rock Café in Times Square. The Westchester-native attended J-14’s Little Mix showcase. “I got signed to Simon Cowell’s company, so they picked up my recording option, which I’m very happy about.”

The 13 year-old has good reason to be pleased. It is hard enough for winners, let alone second and third place finishers, to release music on a large scale following a reality TV show. Now signed with Cowell’s SYCO Music, Sonenclar is almost guaranteed a major record label debut with Sony Music Entertainment – probably through either the Epic or Columbia Records imprint.

“I’ve been in the studio, I’m finishing school, and stuff like that,” said the teenager, who is back in New York where she will record most of her music. Sonenclar even brought a group of her friends down to red carpet at the Hard Rock Café for the event.

Another friend that Carly Rose hopes to talk with soon is Britney Spears.

“She just switched agents to my agent, so now hopefully I’m going to be able to get in touch with her,” she said. Spears left William Morris Endeavor for Creative Artists Agency after calling off her engagement with Jason Trawick. He represented Spears, but later stepped down as her agent to focus on their relationship.

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Life & Style Weekly reports in the magazine’s latest edition that Jusitn Bieber and Selena Gomez may be on the rocks after a woman’s claim that Bieber fathered her child. Senior News Editor Jordi Lippe also chatted about Simon Cowell and Kim Kardashian on “The Ralphie Radio Show.”

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The stars were out Wednesday evening with the Hollywood premiere of “The X-Factor” – set to debut on Fox next week. Entertainment Reporter Jill Wilderman was at the event and chatted about it on “The Ralphie Radio Show.”

Jill explained why “X-Factor” will resonate with America, like it already has overseas.

Check out Jill’s blog here and follow her on Twitter here.

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Life & Style Weekly reports in the magazine’s latest edition that Jennifer Lopez isn’t too appreciative of Eva Longoria for reportedly being a shoulder for Marc Anthony to lean on. Senior News Editor Jordi Lippe also revealed that Simon Cowell didn’t like Lady GaGa’s chances on “Idol” if she had auditioned a few years ago.