Pop Smoke – FAITH

“Pop Smoke’s presence looms large in popular music, and this album helps to explain why.”

Billboard

“The speed with which hip-hop superstars like Travis Scott and Nicki Minaj were gravitating toward him for collaborations portended great things, suggesting that the king of New York might someday become the king of everywhere else, too”

The New York Times

“Pop Smoke retains the intensity that made him great”

Pitchfork

“The rapper’s posthumous debut album shows us why he remains the voice of New York City”

Rolling Stone

Today, Victor Victor Worldwide/Republic Records releases the highly anticipated new Pop Smoke album FAITH. The follow-up to his posthumous debut album Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon, FAITH delivers a star-studded tracklist featuring Pharrell, Kid Cudi, Kanye West, Pusha T, Future, Rick Ross, The-Dream, 42 Dugg, 21 Savage, Rah Swish, BEAM, Bizzy Banks, Takeoff, Lil Tjay, Swae Lee, Chris Brown, Quavo, Kodak Black, and TRAVI. The album also includes “Demeanor,” the collaboration with pop powerhouse Dua Lipa who teased the song on her socials last week.

Earlier this year, Pop Smoke’s aforementioned album became the best-selling album of the year so far. Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon earned the title of the longest running #1 Hip Hop/R&B Album since 1990, and landed the #1 spot for two non-consecutive weeks. The album, which has over 7 million units consumed worldwide , also reached the #1 spot on the Top Rap Albums chart and charted in the top five on the Billboard 200 for 34 weeks, becoming only the fourth album this century to spend that many weeks in the top five.

Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon has launched three RIAA certified platinum songs (“Hello,” “Got It On Me,” and “Something Special”), two 2x platinum songs (“The Woo” and “What You Know About Love”), two 3x platinum (“Mood Swings” and “Dior”), and the 4x platinum “For The Night.” “Dior” was also nominated for a GRAMMY for Best Rap Performance and, to date, Pop Smoke has amassed 20B streams worldwide and counting.

In celebration of FAITH, iHeartRadio will also launch The iHeart Radio Feature 5 with Pop Smoke. The 25 minute show will feature a number of songs from the album along with audio from some of the featured artists walking fans through the making of the album. The show will play across iHeartRadio’s entire network of Hip Hop stations as soon as the album is released on Friday, airing specifically at 12AM ET/9PM PT, 9AM local, 12PM local, 5PM local and 7PM local times. Across all iHeart Rhythm stations, 4 songs from Faith will be playing once every hour on Friday.

About Pop Smoke:

Christened “Brooklyn Rap’s Homecoming King” by The New York Times, noted for bringing “a sense of excitement to New York rap that had been absent for years” by Complex, and averaging nearly ten million monthly listeners on Spotify, Pop Smoke carried Brooklyn as the Borough’s next icon in the wings. His breakthrough 2019 mixtape Meet The Woo has 3 billion streams globally and in a stellar review, Pitchfork claimed, “The Brooklyn rapper makes good on the promise of ‘Welcome to the Party’ with a debut full of the hardest, dirtiest tracks he can manage.” He turned up at the top of 2020 with the Gold certified Meet The Woo 2 and debuted at #7 on the Billboard Top 200. Meanwhile eight certified singles, including five that are platinum or multi-platinum, garnered a combined certification of 10M. Most recently his posthumous debut album Shoot For The Stars Aim For The Moon debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, spent 34 weeks in the Top 5, had the most weeks at #1 in the history of the Billboard Top Hip Hop/R&B Albums chart since 1990, landed the #1 spot for two non-consecutive weeks, topped the charts in Australia, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland upon its release and became the UK’s biggest debut album of 2020. The album has garnered over 11B streams, launched three RIAA certified platinum songs (“Hello,” “Got It On Me,” and “Something Special”), two 2x platinum songs (“The Woo” and “What You Know About Love”), two 3x platinum (“Mood Swings” and “Dior”), and the 4x platinum “For The Night.” “Dior” was also nominated for a GRAMMY for Best Rap Performance and, to date, Pop Smoke has amassed 20B streams worldwide and counting.

CAP CARTER – GOLD

Fresh off the back of his live Q&A and YouTube global video premiere, Cap Carter releases his second single and video ‘Gold’.

When Cap Carter first wrote, ‘Gold’, it was a song that reflected on the breakdown of his parents’ marriage. Living with his father post-divorce led to a strained relationship with his dad, creating a tension that remained for years. Recently though, ‘Gold’ has taken on a different meaning.

Cap says that his own marriage breakdown led to him re-considering the way he saw his father, and explains, “I wrote this two-and-a-half years ago, not knowing that I would be in the exact same spot as my father, trying to win my life back.” His marriage breakdown, and a stint in rehab, led to the pair reconnecting and during a traumatic period in his life, he found his father again.

There’s a juxtaposition between ‘Gold’s heart-racing production and Cap’s vulnerable, emotional lyricism. Moments of softness are nestled in the production, such as the guitar on the track being inspired by Johnny Cash, something his mother used to listen to at home. Cap grew up in Mt Druitt, an area of Western Sydney that’s become renowned for producing world-class hip-hop talent. He’s embraced the music he’s heard coming out of the area, while also proving it’s a hotbed for all types of music, not just hard-hitting hip-hop.

The openness and vulnerability of Cap’s music has always allowed him to connect with his fans on a deeper level than just an artist-fan relationship. With 10s of thousands of followers on both Instagram and TikTok, a quick glance at the comments of his posts show how much his music resonates with his fans. He’s not afraid to showcase his true self, allowing his audience to relate to his experiences. Cap is an open book, showing the reality of his journey to winning his life back.

‘Gold’ showcases the strength of Cap’s voice, something he’s always prided himself on. As he says, “I’ve experienced a lot of unresolved anger and trauma, and I made sure to let that out when we were doing the vocal takes”. This is a track that you can scream along to if need be. His voice has always been able to fill any room, big or small, and ‘Gold’ is an anthem for those looking to push forward.

Cap is 10 months sober now, having gone to rehab. ‘Gold’ is the sound of a man rising from the ashes and embracing a life that looks different than he might have previously expected. For those that need the help to keep going, let ‘Gold’ be your soundtrack.

ABOUT CAP CARTER

Born in Manila, the western Sydney raised Cap Carter released his major label debut single, ‘Relapse’, at the start of 2021. Building a global and dedicated fan base with his original music and honest storytelling, Cap stands out for his and distinctive and authentic vocals. Writing through his own personal and lived experiences, Cap works a fusion of r&b soul with an edge and grit that is unique and refreshing.

Shane Nicholson Releases New Single ‘And You Will Have your Way’

Three-time ARIA Award and 11 x Golden Guitar winning Shane Nicholson is back with his new single ‘And You Will Have Your Way,’ from his upcoming album Living In Colour, set for release on 20th August.

Nicholson is a skilfully talented individual; one who is equally adept at songwriting, producing, performing and recording. As he enters the third decade of his recording career, he grapples with his emotions in response to a good deal of personal turmoil. Appropriately, he has turned this emotion into a remarkable new single, ‘And You Will Have Your Way’. “In my 20s the world seemed basically full of possibilities”, says Nicholson. “I had this idea that there were elders to me that were learned, educated people, intelligent people, and they took care of everything. Then my 30s came along and I had kids. I started thinking about what the world would be like for them. By the time my 40’s arrived my old world-view had almost completely fallen apart, and I had reached peak cynicism.”

‘And You Will Have Your Way’ is an almost-jaunty shuffle that disguises some deep questions about who to trust, and who to love. Nicholson says: “I guess, in a broad sense, the song is an admission that I find it difficult to have love for everyone and everything that we are and that we’ve become. I sometimes struggle with that a lot.” A surprising admission indeed from Nicholson, a magnetic talent who has enjoyed the highest accolades in the Australian music scene.

Nicolson’s storied career started in the late 1990s with his first Brisbane based band Pretty Violet Stain. With a solo career launch in 2002 with the release of ‘It’s a Movie’, he’s since followed up with nine albums, including 2015 ARIA Award winning ‘Hell Breaks Loose’ and 2 x ARIA Award winning albums with Kasey Chambers – the platinum selling, ARIA No.1 album ‘Rattlin’ Bones’ and ‘Wreck and Ruin’. With 11 x CMAA Golden Guitar awards under his belt including 2021 APRA Song of the Year for ‘The High Price of Surviving’, Nicolson has also been recognised internationally with 2 nominations for USA Americana Music Association awards. As a seasoned producer, Nicholson has been busy working with Alex Lloyd, Tori Forsyth, Beccy Cole, Michael Waugh and Camille Trail.

Nicholson is a rare talent who has bridged the gap between Alt-country and the mainstream. He crafts his songs seamlessly and can wrap up difficult subject matters with music of uplifting beauty and charm. Today’s release of ‘And You Will Have Your Way’ captures Nicholson’s charismatic talent for writing striking songs that pay tribute to the unpredictability of human experience. The single follows on from ‘Harvest on Vinyl’, the jangly, heartfelt dedication to Neil Young’s 1971 masterwork, which charted at No.11 on The Music Network’s CountryTown Hot 50 airplay charts.

His forthcoming studio album Living In Colour is available to pre-order now and is out on August 20th. Nicholson will be hitting the road from August to December for a string of headline shows, and you can also catch him playing at festivals including the North Queensland Rockin’ Country Festival, Gympie Music Muster and Deni Ute Muster.

Carl Ray – I Can See Clearly Now

Inspire Your Community With Carl Ray’s Heartfelt Tribute To Mentor Johnny Nash

“WRITERS: JOHNNY NASH;RAY WAS MENTORED BY THE LATE JOHNNY NASH, WHO GAVE HIM HIS START. RAY TAKES NASH’S MILLION-SELLING 1972 REGGAE-TINGED POP CHART TOPPER, ADDS HIS OWN LYRIC CONTRIBUTIONS AND REINTERPRETS THE TEMPO TO BECOME A COUNTRY ROCKER. INTRIGUING. AND THE MESSAGE OF HOPE IS TIMELESS.”-ROBERT K. OERMANN

“What a rockin’ new spin on a timeless and incredible classic! The vocals just seem to hug you. This is exactly what the world needs right now! It feels like Carl Ray tuned his heart to the healing the nation is seeking… this song should be played everywhere! This would’ve made Johnny Nash very proud.” – Danica Hart, Chapel Hart

“Country music singer/songwriter Carl Ray adds his signature voice and amazing songwriting talents to bring us his version and refreshing tribute to Johnny Nash’s 1972 classic hit “I Can See Clearly Now.” This is a guaranteed chart-topping single and Johnny Nash would be proud!”- Judy Shields, The Hollywood Times

“Carl Ray’s tribute to artist Johnny Nash is a deliciously country-fried version of a classic reggae hit. Ray demonstrates that genres can be pushed as far as the imagination will allow.” – Matt Bailey, The Music Universe

“Here at Country Music News International we talk to the people you need to listen to… and you need to listen to this – a fresh new version by Carl Ray of a song that has been the soundtrack to so many lives – I Can See Clearly Now!” – Nigel Sharpe, Country Music News International

“Carl Ray has a pure quality to his voice. He has made Johnny Nash’s “I Can See Clearly Now” fresh as the day it was written, but with his own special touch. A perfect tribute to Johnny’s biggest hit and now Carl Ray has made it a smash hit again!” – Ward Bond, host of LCW Music Edition

“‘I Can See Clearly Now’ is a message of hope. In the darkest times of our lives, there is always light that can overshadow and overwhelm that darkness. This song is that light and that is why it has stood the test of time. Our greatest days are ahead of us. Our attitudes truly determine our altitudes. Let’s spread this message of hope like our lives depend on it-because it does.” – Carl Ray

Country music singer/songwriter Carl Ray’s latest single, “I Can See Clearly Now” serves as a breath of fresh air and hope while remaining true to the classic masterpiece originally sung by his mentor, Johnny Nash. During their friendship, Nash and Ray agreed that they would one day record a record together. Turning back the hands of time to fulfill this promise, Ray found the inspiration to pay homage to his musical hero after Nash’s passing in 2020 while witnessing the hardships the world has faced over the last year. Ray’s upbeat version of this classic is a true sensation that delicately weaves new life into the storyline. The tune is laced with his tenor appeal which has been often compared to Nash. Ray’s rendition of “I Can See Clearly Now” single will surely become a household favorite once again, having us all singing, dancing, and looking past obstacles to dream a brand new dream for our world.

“I Can See Clearly Now” is available to download and stream on all digital services and was exclusively premiered by Nashville.com!

“Johnny Nash is an American treasure. Nash was a great father, son, and husband. I was privileged to have this legend open up the treasure chest of his heart to me,” shares Carl Ray. “He was a friend, mentor, big brother, and sometimes a pain in the butt. We sang in church together, we prayed for this country together, went hunting, fishing, and often sang underneath the Texas stars. Nash even taught me how to write songs and more importantly, how to ride a horse! I hope this tribute makes him proud, as I know he is listening from above.”

“I Can See Clearly Now” achieved success in the United States and the United Kingdom when it was released in 1972, reaching number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and Cash Box charts. It also reached number one in Canada and South Africa.

Guided by Johnny Nash, Carl Ray has been performing and writing music for years and his passion shines throughout every song he creates. Ray puts even more heart into “I Can See Clearly Now” as a way to thank the person who helped him get his start in music. Ray has a unique experience of not only being a country music entertainer but a co-host on “Atlanta Live” with his wife, Gail Williams. He has released multiple singles including “I Stand With This Country” which was released in 2020 and went to #1 in Cash Box 2021.

Ray has shared the same bill with Marty Stuart, Pam Tillis, Jason Aldean, Wade Hayes, Mark Wills, Neal McCoy, The Del McCoury Band among others.

He has been interviewed by the Associated Press, Billboard, US News and World Report, Legacy Magazine, Green Card Magazine (Paris, France), Richmond Times, and recently on Newsmax, Rolling Stone, Dispatch, Denver Post, and many other print and major online outlets.

Ray has also recorded with The Queen of Bluegrass Rhonda Vincent, David Ball, and Johnny Nash. Ray has also penned several songs for his mentor Johnny Nash which Nash recorded on his last album “Here Again.”

To keep up with future events and everything Carl Ray, follow the social channels linked below.

Hillsong UNITED – Know You Will

Today, multi-award-winning and platinum-selling artist Hillsong UNITED announced the release of their brand new digital single “Know You Will.” Out now with an accompanying lyric video, “Know You Will” serves as an anthem of hope for uncertain times written by UNITED’s Joel Houston, Ben Hastings and Dylan Thomas.
“‘Know You Will’ speaks into the nature of where we’ve been for the last 18 months – uncharted territory,” says UNITED’s Joel Houston. “It has been a crazy year for the world in a lot of ways. Faith can sometimes seem like a distant thing, but it becomes real when everything that you didn’t realize you were dependent on gets thrown on its head.”

Adds Houston, “We may look at a circumstance and see the impossible, but God is good at the impossible. Even when there’s a lot of if’s, but’s, and doubts, the story of God is that He’s always made a way. It’s often unexpected, it’s different to how we think it should be, and how it should look. We know though, that through it all, God’s sovereignty has not been shaken and His plan is what will prevail through the middle of everything. He has proven Himself good so many times before and it’s no different now.”

Undisputedly one of the genre’s most influential artists in the history of contemporary Christian music, Hillsong UNITED continues to impact millions of lives across the globe. The group has sold over 6.5 million albums globally, garnered 3.3 billion worldwide career streams to date, and remains the No. 1 Christian artist on all social media platforms with over 13 million fans combined.

For more information, visit www.hillsongunited.com or @hillsongunited on all social platforms.

About Hillsong UNITED

Hillsong UNITED is a multi-award-winning, platinum-selling artist whose chart successes (repeatedly no. 1 on Billboard’s Christian charts and up to #5 on Billboard 200) are only bested by the millions of lives they’ve impacted across the globe. Reporting over 50 million people singing from the Hillsong catalogue songs every Sunday, the modest band born from a youth ministry out of Hillsong Church in Australia, touts a reach of over 10 million across all major social network platforms to date, including 2.1 billion minutes garnered from YouTube viewers. Comprised of an evolving, eclectic mix of musicians and songwriters, the band is led by Joel Houston and Taya, names that have become synonymous with Christian radio, dominating airwaves with every new release. Their last four studio albums have each topped the USA Christian chart, with “Zion” and “Empires” charting no. 1 (“Zion” recently also went Gold in the US); “Oceans,” written by Houston and band member Matt Crocker recently went triple platinum in the States, counting 200+ million streams and reigning on top of the Christian songs chart for a record 54 weeks.

In studio, on tour or at home, Hillsong UNITED is committed to writing songs that speak truth, create a unique sound and connect people everywhere with God, evident by the success they’ve seen globally. With over 50 countries and six continents visited, Hillsong UNITED continues to sell out arenas and stadiums around the world, including sold-out nights at the Forum, STAPLES Center and The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, The Toyota Center, Oracle Arena, Air Canada Arena, American Airlines Arena (Miami and Dallas), and Red Rocks to scratch the surface. Hillsong UNITED functions from the deep understanding that everything they do is an expression of a really extraordinary God doing what only He can do, through really ordinary people.

ELYAZ – The Place Where We Belong

New single from rising artist and record producer ELYAZ! 100% self-made, with a delicate touch for Sound Design, Mixing and Mastering he achieves total creative control and freedom, combined with his guitar playing, piano and voice. Extra: Official Video written and directed by the artist!

The artist has received over 2 million streams on Spotify and 1.5 million streams on YouTube.

The Place Where We Belong – The Story

The pages of an old book tell the tale of a lost seadog on a quest to find a faraway emotion. A hidden treasure map and a long-forgotten spyglass will guide him on a journey to rediscover the strength and beauty of a lost love. At the foot of a waterfall, a mysterious woman comes forth with a pyramid in her hands bringing a message held among the memories of an ancient library.

Holly Rhoades – Done (Better World Music)

The UK’s rising songstress Holly Rhoades turns in a song of reflective and personal poignancy, as her explanation reveals. “Every time I write I use it as ‘therapy’ but this song in particular resonates the hardest. It’s my most vulnerable song to date where I was in a specific headspace and time in my life where I felt stuck, trapped and part of a game but it was time to cut that cord and “Done”. Was my way of doing that.” On release now through all major outlets via Horus Music.

Will Day & Brooke Schubert – Simple Then

Country artist Will Day is proud to announce the release of a new track entitled ‘Simple Then’, featuring fellow powerhouse country artist Brooke Schubert. ‘Simple Then’ is a song of love and heartbreak. It tells the story of a couple who fell in love at a young age but as time goes by, they drift apart. Early in their relationship, there were no complications, life was simple, fun and carefree. The boy breaks the girl’s heart, and they soon realise that there is no fairy-tale ending.

“When Jared (my producer) and I wrote ‘Simple Then’ we knew straight away that we wanted it to be a male/female duet, it was just about finding the right fit. In my opinion, Brooke has one of the best voices in the country, so we were stoked when she agreed to come on board. It was wonderful working with such a professional. It’s a special track and Jared, Brooke and I are really happy with how it’s turned out.” – Will Day.

This song comes hot on the tail of previous supercharged single ‘Countrified’ which enjoyed solid airplay on Australian country radio when it was released in April, reaching #12 on the KIX Country Hottest 20 Charts and remaining in those charts for 5 consecutive weeks. The song was added to full rotation on iHeartCountry Australia and the music clip was spun on CMT Australia. Gigs followed, with Will performing at Brisbane’s Town and Country Music Festival and up in Rockhampton to a full capacity crowd for Round Up at CMC Rocks with rave reviews.

‘Simple Then’ is the third single from Will’s upcoming debut album ‘Countrified’ due for release on 23rd July. This release is in the lead up to a national tour, which will reach every state in the country and will include a performance at major country music festival, Savannah in the Road at Mareeba, in October alongside such artists as Lee Kernaghan, Troy Cassar-Daly, The Wolfe Brothers, Brad Cox, Casey Barnes, Southbound and many more. With Will’s immense passion of touring means that he is excited to bring his live show to Australian audiences, especially after taking a year off while the world worked through the Covid-19 pandemic.

With a strong touring ethic, Will is constantly a crowd favourite, delivering a high energy show. He has opened for the likes of Morgan Evans, Shannon Noll, Icehouse, Diesel, The Whitlams, Hoodoo Gurus, The Baby Animals, The Black Sorrows, Col Finle y and The Viper Creek Band while also appearing at some of Australia’s most iconic country music festivals, including Tamworth Country Music Festival, Groundwater Country Music Festival and Gympie Music Muster.

Will is now gearing up for his Brisbane album launch on Saturday 24th July, followed by a hometown album launch in Goondiwindi Saturday 31st July.

In other news, Will has entered into a long-term partnership with premier Australian brand Ringers Western who have been announced as Will’s official wardrobe sponsor.

With a loyal fanbase, a genuine gift of storytelling, combined with compelling vocals and the ability to connect with a crowd, Will Day is fast becoming one of Australia’s premier rising artists and one that will undoubtedly be around for many years to come.

Anita Spring – American Pie

Following on from her uplifting single ‘Midnight Train’, is a high-octane track ‘American Pie’ from country music darling, Anita Spring. Co-written with Mark Narmore from Muscle Shoals, Spring’s latest single and video is a saucy tribute to the people and places she experienced when living and recording in Nashville.

“My new song American Pie is my way of saying thanks to everyone I met in Nashville” explains Spring. “Everyone I collaborated with – and most of all – how much I wanted to stay in their company” she gushes. “This song is my way of acknowledging how special Music City really is.”

The first time listening to the track, you can’t help but notice a new freedom of expression from Spring. Her time spent in Nashville propelled her to indulge in delicious licks with an edge. A new sound for the 2020 APRA Song of The Year nominee, who appears to have graduated into a new evolution of songwriting with a pronounced pluck in her voice and a spicy new flavour to her lyrics.

Spring is taking her distinctive talent into new global territory. “It was always my dream to be in Nashville as a songwriter” enthuses Spring. “I had the opportunity to do this late in 2018. I met the most extraordinary people who have achieved so much in music, who have multiple Grammys. I learned so much from them!” she says, excitedly.

Co-produced by Steve Welton-Jaimes and David Hemming, with engineering by Pete Keppler (David Bowie, Katy Perry, Bonny Raitt) ‘American Pie’ has a distinct international flavour, a sound that will not only appeal to country listeners but resonate with music lovers who love seductive energy and cheeky lyrics. “Give me that sound cause I won’t leave until you turn around” sings Spring. “I ain’t budging, I’m dead on my back …do you like it like that?” she purrs. “See you squirming, that look in your eye, I can’t wait to try, American Pie!”

The accompanying video was shot by Apollo Films in a chalet in Springbook National Park in Brisbane. Directed by Spring, the clip offers viewers a retro vibe with 70s style animations overlaying her on-camera performance.

Spring’s talent has been recognised by local music icons, having been personally invited to support and tour nationally with artists including Tommy Emmanuel, The Robertson Brothers and Christine Anu. Next up for this intriguing songstress, is her appearance on the ICONS Tour, paying tribute to Olivia Newton-John, offering audiences her rendition of Olivia’s greatest hits. Spring will also be lending her backing vocal talents on the upcoming American Trilogy Tour – a tribute show to ‘The King’ Elvis Presley.

A semi-finalist in the 2020 International Songwriters Competition, Spring continues to evolve her craft from jaunty tunes to raunchy pop-rock tracks. ‘American Pie’ is evidence of her diversity as a songstress and her unwavering talent.