Kris Allen

Kris Allen stole the hearts of many this past season on American Idol and, as a result, was crowned winner. Since then, he released his self-titled album and stormed the charts with his first single, a cover of The Script’s “Live Like We’re Dying,” while his performances of “No Boundaries” and “Heartless” garnered similar success.

Before he took the stage at Madison Square Garden for Z100’s Jingle Ball in December, Allen filled the press in on his busy year. Read below to find out more on the singer-songwriter, his album, and his run-ins with the cast of Boy Meets World.

What’s your opinion on the Adam Lambert controversy at the American Music Awards?
The first question, huh? Nice. Get it out quick, that’s good. Okay. I didn’t know what you were talking about. I didn’t know if something new happened. You never know. I thought it was Adam being Adam. I’m going to get a shirt that says, “That’s Adam.” It’s who he is. Obviously, he couldn’t do that stuff on Idol so you’re getting to see the real Adam now.

Can you tell us what songs didn’t make the album?
There are a couple. I wrote a song with Mat Kearney that didn’t end up on the album and there are a couple of mine that didn’t end up on the album. Whatever ended up on the album is what we felt like was the best album stuff, so it was good.

I saw you tweeted about meeting Ben Savage. Was that the highlight of your year?
That was great! I met Topanga earlier this year and I met Corey in the airport last night. We stayed in the same hotel.

How are you and your wife adjusting to the long distance relationship?
We actually have had a long distance relationship for five years before this stuff, so this is nothing new to us. We wanted it to end, but…

What do you love most about her?
What do I love most about my wife? That she puts up with me.

What made you release the B-side to The Script’s song as your first single?
What made me? I thought the song was good and obviously the Script wrote the song. I felt like it would be a good transition from the Idol stuff to what’s going on now.

Do you think it’s a good or bad thing that you and the other American Idol contestants released your albums the same day?
I think that’s usually how it goes. I didn’t see it as a bad thing. I think we obviously share fans. If people want mine, Adam and Allison’s CD they’re going to get it.

What do you do to combat writer’s block?
I usually go take a walk or hang out outside. Usually I like to go outside if I’m having inspiration problems.



Jay Sean

Photo Credit: Wendy Hu

British singer-songwriter Jay Sean has been working in the music industry the past seven years and is finally seeing success in America. His hit single “Down” topped the music charts earlier this year and current song “Do You Remember” is achieving similar status. Right before his performance at Z100’s Jingle Ball concert he filled the press room in on his latest single, dedicated fans and plans for 2010. Read on for more of UK’s heartthrob.

Can you tell us about your latest single, “Do You Remember?”
I wanted to create an anthem. I wanted to create something that, whether it was a group of old school friends or old lovers or a family, whatever it is, it’s one of those moments that when the song comes on you guys start reminiscing about all the great times that you have been through. That’s what I wanted to create.

Is there one highlight from 2009 that stands out for you?
I think it would probably have to be the moment where I went to number one in America with my single “Down.” That was definitely a moment where life didn’t feel real at all.

What’s the difference between UK and US audiences?
It’s funny because the US audience has been…the way I describe it here, success in America is like a snowball. You see it develop, you can literally see it grow. It just becomes so insanely huge. It’s gone from doing shows where there might be a couple hundred people to this where there are 15,000 people all singing back the words that you’ve written. You really see it grow. It’s pretty insane over here.

Have you ever performed a random act of kindness?
Yeah. I think it’s important to do that actually. It’s funny, because in this day in age it’s very difficult to find a truly altruistic act. A lot of the time when you donate to charity, especially if you’re in the limelight like we are, it can be seen as just something you’re doing for press. I like to do something, especially right now in the winter. The other day I had a slice of pizza that I didn’t eat and instead of throwing it away I gave it to someone who actually needed it. It’s little things like that. There wasn’t a camera in sight. It’s things like that that are important to do for other people.

Have you enjoyed any special treatment being in the limelight?
The best thing about getting a higher profile is that you have a platform to make a change and make a difference. You can either not choose to take that platform and abuse it or you can take it and do something good with it. For me, I’m trying to take the platform I have and be a good role model for the kids. In terms of other little perks, sure, you get cool clothes and you get stuff thrown at you.

What’s the weirdest thing that’s happened to you since you got famous?
It’s usually something from fans. ‘Cause fans can be seriously fanatical. I’ve had girls who have gone…when I was on tour in Australia, they went from city to city. It was a 10 day tour and they caught the plane each time. On the last date they actually came onto the stage and jumped on my back, about four or five of them and took me down. It’s pretty aggressive actually.

What’s your New Year’s resolution?
My New Year’s resolution is always the same actually. Every year I try to live in the moment. It’s all a whirlwind. I’ve been doing this for seven years and I’m like, “Okay, next year I’m going to really try to take this in.” Do a blog. Take it all in so I have stories to tell when I’m older. For me, I’m going to try and do that next year.




Photo Credit: Wendy Hu

Having attended several press conferences over the past year, there is always one artist that peaks the interest of those in the press room with their intriguing and shocking answers — this year it was pop singer Ke$ha. At least, this was the case when Ke$ha entered the room at last week’s Jingle Ball concert and told us what she’d be getting for Christmas. You can’t make this stuff up, kids.

The pop newbie will be hitting the road next summer for Lilith Fair, the all-female festival, joining forces with Colbie Caillat, Sara Bareilles, Sheryl Crow and many more women rockers. Read on to find out more about Ke$ha’s fashion style, upcoming album and hit song, “Tik Tok.”

You just got asked to participate in Lilith Fair. How do you feel about that?
That is news to me as of yesterday and it’s really exciting to be in the category of strong women all touring together. I’m really, really excited about it.

How aware were you of Lilith Fair the first time around?
Not. I think I was a baby.

What was “Tik Tok” written about?
“Tik Tok” was written about . . . one morning I woke up surrounded by a bunch of babes. It was like Babe Fest ’09 in my room ’cause all my friends crashed. And then I woke up feeling like Diddy. And so, I wanted to document the night before.

Who is your style icon?
I am inspired to dress like African safari animals and/or Keith Richards.

What are you asking for the holidays?
I’m asking my mom for . . . she found my placenta and she’s crushing it up and making it into a necklace because I think it makes you psychic.

How was it performing tonight at Jingle Ball?
Tonight was mental! There were so many people and I was so nervous and I never thought that I would get the pleasure of playing Madison Square Garden at 22. I feel so lucky, but it was really scary!

Tell us about your album.
My album is coming out in January. It’s called Animal and it’s definitely a super positive, fun record, but it’s not just all party songs. I think people are going to be really surprised at the depth of the record and also the different styles I experiment with.

Is it true you snuck into Prince’s house and got kicked out?
True. I did sneak into Prince’s house. True, I got kicked out.

What surprised you about his house?
Nothing surprised me about his house. I got his address and snuck under the fence and inevitably got in, walked in on him having band practice, left my CD for him and then got out.

Should young girls look to you as a role model?
I think there are certain things young girls can look to me as a role model for. I’m not saying everything. But, I do think it’s an important thing that I’m promoting. Happiness and the amount of money you have or make has absolutely no correlation ’cause the happiest times in my entire life have been when I haven’t had two dollars.

Do you have a favorite fashion designer?
I dig through the garbage.

$1 from every Jingle Ball ticket sold is being donated to Food Bank For New York City. How does it feel to be part of this charity?
I’m excited to finally have some sort of goal to help somebody else. That’s amazing and I’m going to definitely continue to do so with people and animals in the future.

How did you come to work with Dr. Luke?
Dr. Luke called me actually, one day out of the blue and flew me out to New York and then L.A. We just got along. At this point, he’s like my brother so it’s amazing.

What are you looking forward to for Christmas?
Honestly, I’m not looking for anything this year, except my placenta in a necklace, but I’m excited about being able to give presents this year that are going to be badass.



Justin Bieber

I was backstage at the Jingle Ball concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City last Friday night, where Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, Owl City, Boys Like Girls, and the other hot artists of 2009 performed. Before Justin sang “One Less Lonely Girl” and “One Time” for the screaming crowd, he beatboxed for press behind-the-scenes, professed his love for Beyoncé (multiple times!), and told us what he looks for in a girl. Check out the revealing Q+A!

Who is your favorite singer?

With all of your success, is there anything you’ve gone out and splurged on?
Not really. I buy a lot of candy.

What’s your New Year’s resolution?
My New Year’s resolution is…I’m going to stop eating as much candy.

You’re going on tour soon. What can a fan do to stand out from the crowd?
Be really loud. Be as loud as you can.

Who is your celebrity crush?

Have you ever had to deal with stage fright?
Not really.

What’s your favorite album of the year?
Blueprint 3.

What are some of your favorite songs from the year?
I liked “Use Somebody” [by Kings of Leon] and “Battlefield” by Jordin Sparks.

What has been the most misunderstood thing about you?
I don’t know. I think people have gotten their points pretty straight.

What’s the most important item to you?
Probably luggage because I travel so much.

Out of everything that has gone on this year for you, can you point to one highlight?
I got to go to Germany and I got to perform for 17,000 people.

How is it being in New York for the holidays?
It feels great. Being in New York for the holidays is great. The spirit here is fantastic and among that, being able to perform at Madison Square Garden is legendary. It’s going to be awesome.

You and Taylor Swift seem to be pretty close friends. Has she given you any advice about the industry?
Not really. When we talk, we talk about fun stuff.

What do you want for Christmas?
For Christmas I just want to go and see my family up in Canada.

Who’s an artist you’d like to work with?

What’s your favorite candy?
My favorite candy is Beyoncé.

What qualities do you look for in a girl?

I look for a girl that has a nice smile and pretty eyes and a girl that can make me laugh because I like to laugh.

What’s going on through your head when you’re onstage performing?
My fans usually.

You can read this interview, originally posted on here.


Boys Like Girls

Photo Credit: Wendy Hu

The music video for Boys Like Girls’ most recent single, “Two Is Better Than One,” featuring Taylor Swift, was just released last Friday. Have you seen it? I chatted with lead singer Martin Johnson (who also wrote the song), guitarist Paul DiGiovanni, and drummer John Keefe at New York radio station Z100’s Jingle Ball concert that very day and got the scoop on what it’s like working with Taylor Swift.

I just heard your duet with Taylor Swift and love it! How did that come about?
John: We saw her say something about us in The Wall Street Journal and our paths crossed.

Paul: She wrote something about us in the paper, and we saw it and got in contact and became friends. We finished up the whole song “Two Is Better Than One.” It was all produced and recorded and we wanted to make it a little bit better. We thought she would do a killer job on it and we just hit her up, and she said she’d do it and it was the coolest thing ever.

Have you found people to be receiving the new single well?
Martin: I just got told in the gifting lounge that one of the people had been to a wedding and the cover band was playing it as the wedding song. We are now a wedding band. [Laughs] I’m blown away. When people react to it and say, “That’s our song” or “That’s my song and that made me fall in love.” That’s really special.

How was working with Taylor Swift on the song?
Martin: It was amazing. She’s really such a nice girl. We had known her for a really long time and had been friends for a while. John played drums on Fearless and then she became the biggest star in the universe. It was like shooting for the stars asking her to sing on the record. We were so delighted and fortunate enough to have her on the record. It’s going to be fun to perform with her tonight.

You have been friends with Taylor Swift for a long time. Have you noticed a change in her?
Martin: No, she stayed the same the whole time. She’s the best.

John: Taylor Swift is the perfect human being. She’s great. She’s such a nice, whole-hearted sweet girl and the biggest super star in the world. My mom would be stoked if I brought her home.

Do you have plans for the New Year?
John: We’re going to Michigan to play a New Year’s show outside. It’s going to be awesome!

Watch the “Two Is Better Than One” music video below.


You can read this interview, originally posted on here.


Adam Lambert

Photo Credit: Wendy Hu

Adam Lambert has been garnering much attention after his jaw-dropping performance at this year’s American Music Awards. Controversy aside, the American Idol runner up has graced the cover of Rolling Stone and was recently named one of “The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2009” by Barbara Walters.

At the end of the day, Adam Lambert is a true entertainer and his performances indicate this. Friday night at New York radio station Z100’s annual Jingle Ball concert, Lambert filled us in on his latest single, the album, For Your Entertainment, and one of his biggest fears.

Tell me about your new single, “Whataya Want From Me.”
Pink and Max Martin wrote the song together. And I believe that their initial intention was about a relationship and about being in a situation where you’re in a little bit over your head. You’re wondering, “What is it that you want from me?” But thank you for sticking around. And now it’s so appropriate, considering some of the recent controversy and ownership of different social groups and what I should be to other people. It is a great way for me to say, “What do you guys want from me?” I’m doing my best. The best lyric in the song is, “Yeah, I’m a freak but thanks for loving me, you’re doing it perfectly.”

With all the tracks you wrote for the album, For Your Entertainment, are there any songs that didn’t make the cut?
Pretty much everything is out there in one way or another. There are a certain amount of tracks on the standard release and then there are bonus tracks on iTunes and then there’s an international release with some extra songs. I’m really happy with the way it turned out. It’s all out there in some way or another.

What are your fears?
That people won’t want to buy the rest of my music. That people will stop being interested. I think that’s my biggest fear.

What’s your New Year’s resolution?
[My] New Year’s resolution is to continue being positive and try to live in the moment and enjoy this.


Which Jingle Ball Interview Do You Want to Read First?

I’ve fully recuperated from the insanity that was Jingle Ball. I have to say, I didn’t realize just how crazy teen girls are for Justin Bieber until Friday night! Wish I remembered to bring my earplugs!

Last week’s poll I asked you which Jingle Ball artist you’re most interested in reading about. The results were a landslide between John Mayer and Taylor Swift. Unfortunately, they canceled their interviews Friday, but I did catch them live and will have a full report in the upcoming days.

While I didn’t get any exclusives with Mayer or Swift, I was in the press room for most of the night and got a few questions in for each band performing, including Boys Like Girls on their new single “Two Is Better Than One” featuring Taylor Swift as well as Jay Sean and the difference between his UK and US audiences. Let me know which artist you’re most interested in and I’ll transcribe it quickly and get it up for you on the blog!

Which Jingle Ball Interview Do You Want to Read First?

Boys Like Girls
Jay Sean
Justin Bieber
Kris Allen

Which Jingle Ball Artist Are You Most Interested In?

This coming Friday I’ll be covering New York radio station Z100’s annual Jingle Ball concert. I have access to the press room for artist interviews throughout the night as well as tickets to the show, so be sure to follow me on Twitter for up-to-the-minute exclusives.

The show will be held at Madison Square Garden and includes performances by John Mayer, Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber, The Fray, Boys Like Girls, Owl City, Kris Allen, Jay Sean and more. I’m not sure how many questions I’ll get in for each artist, so in this week’s poll I want to know which artist you’re most excited to read about. Feel free to leave additional suggestions in the comments.

Which Jingle Ball Artist Are You Most Interested In?

John Mayer
Taylor Swift
Justin Bieber
Kris Allen


Sean Paul

Releasing his first album in over three years, Sean Paul is back on the road and as busy as ever. Having produced hit singles for Beyoncé and Rihanna in the past, Sean Paul has made a name for himself not only as a hit producer, but also as a solo reggae artist. While singles “Gimme the Light” and Billboard Hot 100 hit “Get Busy” accelerated his solo career, being heard on Beyoncé’s No. 1 single “Baby Boy” helped to elevate his staying power.

Last week Sean Paul filled us in on his newest single, “So Fine” as well as life dealing with the constant camera attention. Read below for more on his upcoming album and passion for music.

Tell us about your new single.
New single is called “So Fine.” I think it’s a perfect summer giant. It’s very bouncy. I usually cover stuff that you can hear in the clubs, in the cars. It’s raunchy but also sounds smooth. It has a cool attitude.

Other than that, the record I’ve been working on for three long years. I’m glad to be back on the road. The road is hectic right now. It’s called Imperial Blaze suggesting the king’s fire. I feel like I am a king of certain types of music right now. I’m doing it as hot as ever. Imperial Blaze comes out August 18th. I’m shooting a video for the first single next week.

You’ve collaborated with so many artists over the years. Is there one specific artist or song that stands out as a favorite or most memorable?
All of my work, to me, is just something I’ve put so much thought into. I want people to feel a good feeling off of it. I remember when I heard songs that I like, I try to put that feeling, whatever it is. It might be a madness that nobody else is understanding what I’m talking about. But, that’s what I try to do. All of them have been special to me. I can’t. Every experience; working with a different producer or a different artist is something that you learn from.

What triggers the passion inside of you?
There’s a lot of different things. My motivation towards music is always wanting to have my say out there. To be able to have my five minutes with all these press people and say, “Yo, what up?” And if there’s something really on my mind at the time, I can say it. That’s what motivates me. It’s good to be in the public eye and have my own opinions.

Do you ever get used to the camera flashes?
That’s crazy. It’s very blinding. They’re like, “Sean, here. Here.” I don’t know where I’m looking. I’m not used to it. When do I get used to it? I don’t know. Who is used to people screaming, “Hey! Hey!” in your face and taking pictures? I’m not used to it. It’s cool. I’m liking that they’re taking it, but I’m just not the type of person into that type of thing. I’m usually the person that likes to see everyone else before they see me. Sort of incognito.


Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em

Photo Credit: Wendy Hu

Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em (or Soulja Boy) took the charts by storm in the fall of 2007 with hit single, “Crank That (Soulja Boy).” Not only did he invent a new dance that was everywhere in the clubs, but the song reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. A pretty impressive feat for a kid just in high school.

His story is inspiring, having recorded and released his debut album independently, soon after his music taking off on the Internet and then signing a record deal a few months later. With current hits, “Kiss Me Thru the Phone” and “Turn My Swag On” heating up the charts, there’s nothing this 18-year-old can’t do. Read on for his advice to up-and-coming musicians and his definition of swag.

What to you is swag?
Swag is different for each person. For me, swag is the type of jewelry that I wear, the type of clothes I wear or how I have my hair shaped up in the morning. For another person, it’s your appearance. Your style is your swag.

I’ve heard about your notebook of goals. What’s your advice for other teens?
When I was in high school I had a composition notebook and I wrote my list of goals down that I wanted to accomplish in life. One of them was to have a platinum album, to be successful as a famous musician. My advice to anybody who wants to be successful, I just say; believe in hard work and determination because I am living proof that your dreams can come true.

What music beyond Hip-Hop are you listening to? Any rock artists?
I got Lady Gaga on the iPod right now. I’m got digging her latest album. If you want to count Lil Wayne as rock.

With all the money you spend on your bling, do you find it’s appropriate where there are people that can’t afford to eat every day?
I work hard for the money I got with all the hard work that I put in. Whatever I buy I feel as if I should be able to wear it. It’s like a trophy to me. I actually do an annual event every year in Mississippi to help raise money for the kids, but I had to miss that event to come here and perform.

You started as an independent artist and produced the album yourself. What’s your advice to upcoming artists?
I believe in hard work and determination. Any upcoming artist that wants to be successful at anything that they do, I would just say it is possible. Anything is possible. The sky is the limit.