Category: Music

Isabela Moner from “100 Things to do Before High School” Releasing Debut Album “Stopping Time” Sep. 18

isabela moner

14-year old Isabela Moner, star of Nickelodeon’s “100 Things To Do Before High School,” is releasing her debut, 12-track album called Stopping Time tomorrow, September 18, which will be available on iTunes,, and other retailers.

The album is a mix of both originals, such as the first single “Dream About Me” which she wrote with her father’s help at age 11, and covers ranging from Beyonce’s “Halo” to Oasis’ “Wonderwall.” In a nod to her Broadway origins, she also performs “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina,” from the Evita revival which ended its run in 2012.

Also of note is the brand-new song “Angel,” which was written by Debbie Gibson.

The song selection seems random at first glance, as even “The Girl From Ipanema” is thrown into the mix, but in Isabela words she explains that, “I have chosen a wide range of songs from all over the world and different decades written, or originally performed, by artists who have inspired me in my search for who I continue to become musically. I wrote my first song, ‘Dream About Me’ when I was 11 years old on the ukulele.  My mother is from Peru and that part of my heritage is very important to me and is reflected on my album along with many other aspects of my personality.”

While there are some cute tracks that will appeal to younger teens, we like that Moner chose to mix things up and show a wide range, rather than release a pure bubblegum pop record for her debut as so many other Disney and Nick stars choose to do. It sets her apart and establishes her as a teen singer already capable of tackling mature music. This is impressive for a 14 year old (she was 13 when she recorded the album) and points to her having a great shot at an enduring career, rather than struggle or even disappear as soon as her series stops hitting the airwaves.

Check out the video for the first single “Dream About Me” here:

About Isabela:

Originally from Cleveland, Ohio, Isabela made her Broadway debut in the revival of Evita at age ten. That same year, Isabela made her national and international television debut as a singer in “The Next Big Thing: New York”. She earned her first feature film lead role in the critically acclaimed “The House that Jack Built”, winner of numerous awards at film festivals across the United States.

In 2013, Isabela went on to star as Wendy in the world premiere of Fly the Musical. Other workshop and theatre credits include: Zorro (Young Lisa), Little Miss Sunshine(Rosa Maria), A Christmas Carol (Sarah Cratchit), Annie (Annie) and Les Miserables(Young Cossette).

Broadway Records’ Van Dean, already an ardent fan, quickly signed her to a recording pact with the intention of developing a more pop-oriented vehicle for her. Says Dean, “I recognized immediately that Isabela is an artist with her own unique vision and is an incredible musician. We started working together when she was only 11 but it was already clear that she had an astounding knack for crafting new songs and making songs we’ve heard before, very much her own.  Given how accomplished she is already, I can only imagine what the future holds for her.  She is definitely one to watch and I am honored to have been there at the beginning.”

Isabela currently stars as CJ Martin in the Nickelodeon show, “100 Things To Do Before High School”. She sings the show’s theme song “Brand New Day”, as well as an episode solo “Rock Out”. She previously appeared in NBC’s “Growing Up Fisher” and the Nickelodeon movie “Splitting Adam”, as well as voices a series regular character on the Nickelodeon animated preschool series, “Dora and Friends: Into the City”. She has performed with the Cleveland Pops Orchestra and Contemporary Youth Orchestra, and has performed at various notable venues such as 54 Below, Lincoln Center, Joe’s Pub, and the Apollo Theater.



Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Drake & More – Top 8 Most Anticipated Hip-Hop Albums for 2015



So Help Me God – Kanye West

What We Know:

The follow-up to West’s polarizing industrial hip-hop album Yeezus, So Help Me God has been described by Ye during a Power 105.1 interview as “bars, songs, cookout music that just feels good … This album is embracing the music, joy. Being of service to the people. I just hope people like it and enjoy it.” According to G.O.O.D. Music member Evian Christ, West requested Otis Redding, sample-inspired production: “He wants something that sounds a bit like Otis Redding, a bit like Mobb Deep.” With Kanye dramatically re-inventing his sound every release, you can never be sure what his projects are going to sound like. We’re excited nonetheless.

Release Date: TBD (Surprise Drop Rumored)


All Day (Ft. Allan London & Paul McCartney)

Only One


To Pimp a Butterfly – Kendrick Lamar

What We Know:

After blowing up overnight in 2013 with his album Good Kid M.a.a.d. City (and following it up with his killer Control verse), there was a lot of speculation as to what Kendrick Lamar could do to top his last, seemingly perfect, release. It’s 2015, and Kendrick’s new album To Pimp A Butterfly, is here. Drawing influence from funk, jazz, and spoken word, this record is even more nuanced than his earlier projects, and really does require multiple listens to really absorb. Fans and Critics alike are raving TBaP as a breath of fresh air for any hip hop head just a little bit tired of the modern sound.

Release Date: March 15, 2015



The Blacker The Berry

King Kunta


I Don’t Like Sh*t, I Don’t Go Outside: An Album by Earl Sweatshirt – Earl Sweatshirt

What We Know:

This is Earl at what might be his darkest; I Don’t Like is depressed and moody, brutally honest at times, and that vibe is reflected heavy in the subject matter. Tackling topics like his final night with an ex, his absent father, missed opportunities, and even his feelings about distancing himself from Odd Future, this album hits you hard and heavy; it feels like depression. One of the most impressive parts of the release is the musty, sleepy feel of the instrumentals, original production all done by Earl himself. A very solid record overall, this is definitely a step in the right direction for Earl Sweatshirt

Release Date: March 23rd, 2015




Meow The Jewels – Run The Jewels (& Friends)

What We Know:

All the way back in September, when RTJ’s album Run The Jewels 2 was released, fans assembled on Kickstarter, with the intention of funding a new remix version of the album. The twist? This iteration of RTJ2  would be re-recorded using only cat samples. Like that, Meow The Jewels became an internet phenomenon, with people even outside Run The Jewels’ fan base funding the project just to hear what promised to be a hilarious, albeit ridiculous, result. El-P and Killer Mike jumped on the opportunity very quickly, and promised to give the money raised to support “the families of those who have lost their lives to police brutality this year”, as well as a number of animal related charities. Better yet, artists like Just Blaze, Alchemist, Geoff Barrow (from Portishead), and feline celebrity Lil’ Bub have all agreed to contribute to the album. Is it too soon to call Meow The Jewels album of the decade?

Release Date: TBD


Do Instagram Snippets Count?


Chance The Rapper x The Social Experiment – Surf

What We Know:

After making a huge splash in the hip hop scene with his 2nd mixtape Acid Rap, Chance the Rapper is back, this time teaming up with band and production group The Social Experiment for another free project: Surf. From what we’ve heard so far, Surf is supposed to be even bigger and more musical than his previous projects, focusing the talents of each member of the group into one cohesive project, rather than just a focus on the rapping. Chance himself says this of the project in an interview with Fader: “Every record has like 50 people on it, the idea is to make a singular, four-minute-and-30-second song that feels like a year’s worth of music.”

Release Date: TBD


Sunday Candy

No Better Blues

Nothing Came to Me



Lil Wayne – Tha Carter V

What We Know:

Announced all the way back in early 2012, with a promised release in 2013, The Carter V is Lil Wayne’s purported retirement album. What should have been a simple release, however, has turned into somewhat of drama-fest, with multiple delays in the album dropping, Cash Money Records taking the album hostage, and a lawsuit filed against Birdman by Lil Wayne for $51 million dollars. As an apology to his fans, Wayne self-released a mixtape titled Sorry 4 The Wait 2 in order to tide them over until the album dispute settles; However, fans are still finding themselves thirsty for new Weezy

Release Date: Ask Birdman


Believe Me (Ft. Drake)


Grindin’ (Ft. Drake)

Start a Fire (Ft. Christina Millian)



At.Long.Last.A$AP – A$AP Rocky

What We Know:

Executive Produced by Danger Mouse, At.Long.Last.ASAP features collaborations with FKA Twigs and Clams Casino, and according to an interview with Billboard, this project seems to be Rocky at his best and most experimental: “People really don’t know the other side of me. The deeper side, the more musical side, the more intellectual side. When I first came on the scene it was more of this trendy, bourgeois, pizazz attitude. That’s still me but at the end of the day I think that kind of overshadowed the whole purpose of me doing what I do. I’m an incredibly diverse artist, I’m a universal artist. At least that’s how I see it.”  And according to another interview with GQ, “there’s Rocky’s signature jet-setting swag and the usual fashion shout-outs, but you can also hear psychedelic ’60s London and introspection. You hear Rocky singing. And acoustic guitar.” While the new direction Rocky is taking his music might seem out of left field for some hip hop heads, fans are all excited to hear what he comes out with next.

Release Date: May 26, 2015



Lord Pretty Flacko Jodye 2


Views From The 6 – Drake

What We Know:

The second Drake album scheduled to be released this year, and successor to If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (IYRTITL‘s title being a dig at Birdman). Not much is known about this project, which comes as no surprise; No information regarding his last release was revealed by Drake officially until the day the project dropped: tracks from the album were teased through a short film called Jungle, and the project wasn’t officially announced until the day of its release. Even with a release as cryptic as that, Drake sold about 495,000 in three days, and his next official album is bound to do better. We have no idea how it’s going to play out sonically, but there’s a good chance there’ll be mention of women, and his sensitivity.

Release Date: TBD


How About Now

Karmin Adds “Along the Road” to its Slate of Cool Music Videos

Pop/Rock duo Karmin, comprised of members Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan and best known for their mega-hit “Brokenhearted” which was played everywhere, released a new music video last night for “Along the Road.”

karmin photo_41181It’s a cool addition to a pretty funky collection of music videos from the pair, who recently parted ways with their label Epic Records to go a more indie route.

What’s cool about the vid is that it was taken in a single shot, which is hard to do. Also, if you are into sneakers, you are going to like it too.

Check out the new video here, and if you are not too familiar with Karmin, scroll down for their official bio and some more videos:

Karmin Official Bio

The journey for Karmin’s Amy Heidemann and Nick Noonan has been a wild one to say the least after the duo signed to Epic Records and scored the double-platinum hit “Brokenhearted” off their 2012 EP Hello, and appeared on Saturday Night Live. Not to mention, Amy’s stunning appearance gracing the cover of Rolling Stone. Along the way they have earned esteemed accolades from hip-hop heavy hitters ranging from The Roots’ Questlove, Diplo, Jermaine Dupri, and The Game. The duo has performed more than 600 live shows and has racked up over a billion collective views of their eye-popping videos (fueled by the devotion of millions of loyal fans around the world, who call themselves “Karminites”).

With triumphs to long to list, the duo have not forgotten their roots as two Berklee College of Music graduates that have been on a crazy journey since being pulled from their basement apartment in Boston and set on the tumultuous path to music stardom. They are recipients of the American Music Award and have appeared on SNL, Dancing With the Stars, Good Morning America, and The Ellen Show, just to name a few.  “We were kind of in a honeymoon phase for a while, like, ‘Holy sh*t, that actually happened?’” Amy says of the events of the last few years.

Karmin photo_41341After surviving the hype of a major label deal, the band parted ways with Epic Records in order to pursue a distinct creative vision that is represented on their upcoming album, Leo Rising,due out later this year. Despite the struggles they’ve endured, Karmin have emerged with a stylistically wide-ranging and truly artistic statement-making album that finds them presenting the most authentic version of who they are to date. All this thanks to clear-eyed, honest storytelling, sonic boundary-pushing, and expanded creative control with Amy and Nick serving as executive producers and Nick stepping up as both a lead vocalist and producer.

“We were ready to make a new sound where you’re like, ‘Nothing else sounds like this,’” Amy says.  “I think Lorde, Macklemore, and Goyte have proven that artsy, original music can be accepted by the mainstream and millions of people can love you for being unique. We wanted to find out what made us unique without too many people talking in our ear.”

Their first major single, “Along the Road”, from their upcoming release, depicts feelings of birth, renewal and new transitions exquisitely, describing the bittersweet feeling of friends and loved ones traveling in and out of life. It serves as a departure piece for the cutting edge duo. The real-life couple also released a music video filmed at YouTube Space in Los Angeles, CA and can be seen on Karmin’s YouTube channel. Earlier this year, Karmin released a taste of their new sound with songs, “Sugar” and “Yesterday.” Leo Rising will be released later this year, alongside a short film and a traveling art exhibit.

“Our live show is of the utmost importance to us because we feel so confident going out and performing the music,” Amy says. “Live, we’re more of a rock band,” Nick says. “It’s great to have a pop hit, but it immediately puts you in a super pop box and we’re not that at all. It’s much deeper than that.” With their new found freedom and creative control back in their hands, Karminites will be thrilled to know the band will be hitting the road again later this year. “We are so proud of the show,” Amy adds. “It’s an emotional and energetic roller coaster, like the album is. It’s not choreography and confetti, but raw energy and musicianship.”

Blake English from After Romeo Sings Johanna from Sweeney Todd

So we became fans of After Romeo after we interviewed them back in November (you can see that video at the bottom of this page), but we didn’t realize just how talented each individual member was.

Take Blake English for instance. Not only can he dance and sing pop music, but he also has a powerful voice for musical theater. It seems that Blake has been performing in musical theater since he was a wee lad, and you can tell by a couple of videos he put up on his Youtube channel where he performs “Johanna” from Sweeney Todd and “It Takes Two” from Hairspray.

We were shocked–in a good way! What do you think of his voice? (watch the vids below)

And we wonder what secret talents the rest of the boys have? ; )

Follow Blake English on Twitter and Instagram!

Travis Miller Seeks to “Shine” With New Album

travis miller

Pop/R&B artist Travis Miller has released his debut full-length album “Shine” today. For those unfamiliar with him, his voice sounds a bit like Justin Timberlake meets Robin Thicke, without being a copy of them. He has his own signature, and leans more towards soul than pop.

While there are a few tracks that you can nod your head to on the album, the standout tracks are the downtempo ones, such as the stellar title track “Shine” and the ballad “Just a Memory.” It is on these where the artist fully explores his vocal range and really shows his soul and individuality. The uptempo songs, frankly, are just okay, and seem to constrain him vocally, with the exception of “Want It All,” which is an interesting, mid-tempo bass-heavy track with excellent production. Probably the potential hit of the album besides the two ballads mentioned.

All in all, good debut and we look forward to hearing more.

Full track listing:

  • Love
  • Want It All
  • Sirens
  • Think About It
  • What I Need
  • Shine
  • Pointless
  • Livin Good
  • Angel in Disguise
  • Just a Memory

Travis_Miller_Shine copy

Check out the album here:


Bruno Mars’ Sisters The Lylas’ “Voices” – Music Video or Underwear Ad?

Tahiti BTS[1]So we are a bit behind the times we guess, and have just discovered that superstar (and teen fave) Bruno Mars has four singing sisters (yes, real-life sisters). They call themselves The Lylas, which is an acronym for “Love You Like a Sister.” They had a TV show and everything.

Anyway, Bruno has written a song for them, called “Voices,” and the ladies have recorded a music video for it that features them artistically cavorting around in underwear. Bench Body brand underwear, to be precise, and this is unmistakable due to the numerous closeups of the brand name in the spot.

JaimeBTS[1] This is a great example of what is known as “branded content,” where a company sponsors the production of a video or other work in some way, in exchange for their logo or product to appear somewhere in the piece. This has been going on forever and is an accepted way for artists to get much needed funding for their projects. Think about the term “soap opera,” which came into existence because soap companies sponsored these shows back in the early days of TV. Same type of thing, although back then they simply said “This show is sponsored by” instead of having the actors use the soap in their scenes.

In truth, its a pretty good deal where mostly everybody wins. In this case, the video is pretty tame by today’s standards and shows some artistic flair, and the advertising is not terribly intrusive.

So we are not knocking anyone here, we just want to point out to you teens that sometimes you might miss an effort to influence you when it is not obvious. You might think you are “thinking for yourself” when in reality you just wanna buy something because you have been repeatedly exposed to advertiser messages without even knowing it!
directors Sam Malko & Riley Reiss[1]

Now that you do know, check out the video below, and if you like the song you can buy it here:

Heck, you can even buy some Bench Body underwear if you like that too!


Allie’s “Wake” Playlist

0000By Allie Costa

I love music. I’m liable to burst into song at any given moment (and yes, I take requests!) Even when I don’t have music playing on the radio, there’s still music playing in my mind. So it’s no wonder that I like creating playlists for characters and shows I’m working on and then listen to them before the curtain goes up or the camera starts rolling.

I’m currently playing Samantha (aka Sam) in the play WAKE, which runs at the Fremont Centre Theatre in Pasadena now through May 25th.  Written by Carey Crim and directed by Matt Kirkwood, the show brings us into the home of the Harrisons, where my character lives with her mother and her grandmother. My mom hasn’t left the house in the past three years, ever since my character’s father died in a freak accident. Luckily, the mom can work from home – ironically, she’s a mortician, and part of our house is a funeral home, passed down through the generations. Wake is a wonderful show, filled with humor and heart. As my character says, it’s a way of proclaiming yes to life in the face of death.

Here’s a player for you to hear the songs – free streaming music!

Wake by Allie on Grooveshark

Here’s a full list of songs:

Linger by Jonatha Brooke
Father Daughter Dance by Joseph LoDuca from the Leverage soundtrack
Birthday Girl by Matt Nathanson
Time Lapse Lifeline by Maria Taylor
4ever by The Veronicas
Mother Mother by The Veronicas (cover; originally recorded by Tracy Bonham)
Revolution by The Veronicas
Hook Me Up by The Veronicas
Someone Wake Me Up by The Veronicas
Popular by The Veronicas
I Don’t Wanna Wait by The Veronicas
Leave Me Alone by The Veronicas
Goodbye to You by The Veronicas
You’re All Telling Stories by Maria Mena
Nan You’re a Window Shopper by Lily Allen
Time by Jonatha Brooke from My Mother Has 4 Noses
Why You Always Here by Katy B
Go Away by Katy B
Song About Home by Mandy Moore
All The Love by Maria Mena
You Hurt The Ones You Love by Maria Mena
It’s Time by Maria Taylor
Nothing Everything by Mandy Moore
We Could Wake by Azure Ray
Destination by Nickel Creek
Where is Love Now? by Nickel Creek (cover; originally recorded by Sam Phillips)
Home by Gabrielle Aplin
Islands by Sara Bareilles000

allie costaAllie Costa is a Los Angeles-based actress working in film, TV, theatre, and voiceover. She can usually be found on a set, in a theatre, or in a secondhand bookstore. She worked with the hosts of Teens Wanna Know on the film Nerd Wars! Her character, Natalie Grace, was named after legendary actresses Natalie Wood and Grace Kelly.

Allie is an active member of readergirlz, a literacy and social media project for teens which was awarded the National Book Award for Innovations in Reading. If you missed this year’s Operation Teen Book Drop and would like to participate in future events, reach out to readergirlz via Twitter – @readergirlz #rockthedrop – or Facebook, or just ask Allie for details!

Allie’s Website

Travis Miller Releases “Livin Good” Music Video

Travis Miller 3

Southern California continues to be arguably the most important breeding ground for independent music careers. The sheer amount of talent here — from singers, songwriters, rappers, and dancers to filmmakers and music producers — makes it hard to keep up with all the releases and pick out favorites.

Up and coming artist Travis Miller’s new video for “Livin Good” definitely makes an impression. The spot covers a day in the life of a poor sap who suffers various indignities as he goes about his business (like having a girl beat on him for no apparent reason, and driving a car with a taped-up Target shopping bag in lieu of a window). All this while he ironically brags about how he is “Livin Good.” Throw in some krump dancing and other street styles, and it makes for an entertaining four minutes and 12 seconds.

Check out the video below, and peep Travis’ social media here: