Valentine's Day is right around the corner, which is hard to believe considering half of you reading this probably still have your Christmas trees up. Anywho, that loving holiday that makes couples swoon, Hallmark rich, some single people bitter, and probably Manti Te'o a little conflicted is fast approaching and what better way to set the mood then with some really good music about the "L" word? The two artists I'm profiling on the first "A-Sides" of the year have two love songs that are as infectious as your co-worker's cold.
Rachel Brown's "Bumblebee" is a sweet song that's really a love letter to anyone who's ever been in love. The song, which she performed last week at an A-Sides session filmed within the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains, NY, is off her debut EP "Building Castles" which dropped late last year. The NYC singer/songwriter's honest lyrics and unique sound has drawn praise by critics and celebs like Wyclef Jean and the immortal John Stamos. In addition to being a multi-talented musician, Brown has smarts, too. Case in point: she went to Harvard, and you didn't. Watch her performance of "Bumblebee" below followed by the dropping of some knowledge in an interview. Love it. Love her. Like me?
Like Brown, Chris Wallace is a lover not a fighter. His Top 40 pop/dance hit "Remember When (Push Rewind)" - one of iTunes 'Best of' 2012 - continues to climb the charts at a time in which his TV appearances are multiplying like Gizmo wearing floaties in a watercooler. Last night, the singer/songwriter made his his national late night TV debut on ABC-TV's "Jimmy Kimmel Live! , and he's set to appear on Mario Lopez's show next month. The Indiana native seems ready for stardom. He's got the looks, the talent, and the "hits" on YouTube. So, feel free to be jealous of him. He's about to break out like a zit at the center of a freshman's nose. I caught up with the rising star off line for an interview. As Adam Yauch - God rest his soul - would say: "ch-ch-check it out."
Describe your upbringing in Hebron, IN.
Hebron, IN is about an hour outside of Chicago, but very rural. From an early age, I was slated to take over the family countertop and cabinet business. Music [kind of] became me rebelling against that.
With that in mind, it must be a trip to know "Remember When" is in heavy rotation on NYC's Z100, and other pop stations, yes?
Yeah, it is very surreal to me. The songs I write are like children of mine...and hearing 'Remember When' played on the radio is like seeing my child graduate from college. There is no feeling like it in the world.
Oh, college. I'm still paying for it! Anyway, what was the thought process in Push Rewind as an album title?
All of the songs I write are mostly autobiographical, so Push Rewind is pretty much my thought process when writing lyrics. Also, Push Rewind was the first lyric written for 'Remember When' and the album. It really just seemed to fit perfectly.
I'm guessing you're too young to ever had the experience to actually "push rewind" on a tape deck, right?
Haha, my first recording device was actually a Tascam 4 track recorder that used a tape.
You share your name with a Fox News reporter. Has this hurt you at all? I mean I think he's kind of a jackass.
It really hasn't hurt me. Maybe the Google search might confuse people at first [laughs], but most of my fans have no idea the news reporter even exists.
What's the first new year's resolution you plan to break?
I really like video games... probably not ever gonna be able to give that one up.
What's your schedule look like for 2013? Touring? Back to the studio?
I'm definitely going to be on the road for most of 2013 and 2014, and hopefully I'll be doing some international touring, too. But while on the road, I'm always writing music. And when I'm home in LA, I'm always writing and producing music for and with other artists. I've definitely already started writing my second album though.
Good stuff! Hey, is more cowbell the cure for Bieberfever?
Hmm... Actually, I recently read that scientific research shows: the only cure for Bieberfever is to listen to Chris Wallace's 'Push Rewind' 38 times in a row.
Rounding out the love vibe for today is the premiere of Betty Who's "Somebody Loves You," which the talented singer filmed at a NYC dance studio. Watch. Listen. Love.
About A-Sides with Jon Chattman:
Jon Chattman's "A-Sides Music" series features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometimes humorous) way. No bells, no whistles -- just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, I'm hoping this is refreshing.