Saturday, September 27, 2008

Music: Commonly Unique

I decided to do a little something different and post something about names that most people don't know. I love Beyoncé and Britney but there is more to music than the typical Mainstream female artists. Here are four of my favorite not so well known names in music. They all have individual style and offer a little something different. In the words of the Real Group's song, they are "Commonly Unique".

Annie is a Norwegian pop artist who debuted with her album ‘Anniemal’ four years ago. Below is the video for her first single I Know UR Girlfriend Hates Me from her second album 'Don't Stop'. The song was described as "sweet, scrumptious electropop" by Digital Spy. She's pop at it's best- light and giddy. When I listen to her I think of 80s artists Stacy Q and Cyndi Lauper with a modern makeover. In this video I can definitely see some Robert Palmer influence.



Born Stefania Gabriella Germanotta, 22 year old Lady Gaga is an American singer/songwriter who has written for The Pussycat Dolls in the past. Her first single, Just Dance reached number one in Australia and Canada. She's known for her bleached blond hair and her futuristic costumes. [Christina Aguilera swagger-jacked her style at the VMAs this year] Lady Gaga is said to be writing songs for the new Britney Spears album due out later this year. Below is the video for Just Dance.




Brooklyn based Santogold was born Santi White and studied Music and African American Studies at Wesleyan University. Her stage name came from a friend's nickname for her and she has cited 80s pop as her biggest influence. Santogold has also often been compared to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and M.I.A., which she dismisses. She says they have similar influences but implement them in different ways. I agree. Below is the video for my favorite song by Santogold, Lights Out.




What can I say about 31 year old Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam? Known as M.I.A., she is a British artist of Sri Lankan descent that I first heard of through her workings with Missy Elliot and Timbaland. Her single Paper Planes featured in the video below has reached top ten on the Billboard 100 despite M.I.A. previously not being able to obtain a work visa to record in the states due to a suspicion of terrorist ties. Being a graphic designer, M.I.A. designs her own album artwork and plays a big role in the direction of her videos. Her blend of electronic, Hip-Hop, and pop influences is not able to be categorized. Paper Planes is from her second album Kala.


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