Taylor Swift Appears To Be Back On Her Snake Bullshit, Y’all

Is this about Kim and Kanye or is this just about some really good boots?

WELP. It appears she is leaning the fuck into the comparison.

WELP. It appears she is leaning the fuck into the comparison.

Kevin Winter

This past August, in anticipation of her new record, Reputation, Swift deleted her entire Instagram and put up three snake vids.

This past August, in anticipation of her new record, Reputation, Swift deleted her entire Instagram and put up three snake vids.

Instagram

I mean, she’s literally wearing a damn snake ring in all her promotional videos because the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now.

I mean, she's literally wearing a damn snake ring in all her promotional videos because the old Taylor can't come to the phone right now.

[SHE'S DEAD, TBH.]

taylorswift.com

And now! Taylor appeared at a fan meet and greet wearing a pair of Gucci boots emblazoned with a snake illustration.

And now! Taylor appeared at a fan meet and greet wearing a pair of Gucci boots emblazoned with a snake illustration.

Twitter: @TSwiftDailyNews

And the Gucci boots retail for $2,400, which is a pretty expensive way to make a statement.

And the Gucci boots retail for $2,400, which is a pretty expensive way to make a statement.

gucci.com

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Taylor Swift Appears To Be Back On Her Snake Bullshit, Y’all

Is this about Kim and Kanye or is this just about some really good boots?

WELP. It appears she is leaning the fuck into the comparison.

WELP. It appears she is leaning the fuck into the comparison.

Kevin Winter

This past August, in anticipation of her new record, Reputation, Swift deleted her entire Instagram and put up three snake vids.

This past August, in anticipation of her new record, Reputation, Swift deleted her entire Instagram and put up three snake vids.

Instagram

I mean, she’s literally wearing a damn snake ring in all her promotional videos because the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now.

I mean, she's literally wearing a damn snake ring in all her promotional videos because the old Taylor can't come to the phone right now.

[SHE'S DEAD, TBH.]

taylorswift.com

And now! Taylor appeared at a fan meet and greet wearing a pair of Gucci boots emblazoned with a snake illustration.

And now! Taylor appeared at a fan meet and greet wearing a pair of Gucci boots emblazoned with a snake illustration.

Twitter: @TSwiftDailyNews

And the Gucci boots retail for $2,400, which is a pretty expensive way to make a statement.

And the Gucci boots retail for $2,400, which is a pretty expensive way to make a statement.

gucci.com

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This Guitarist Was Fired From His Band Over Allegations Of Sexual Misconduct

Matt Mondanile, the former guitarist of Real Estate

Domino Recordings

On Oct. 13, Spin and Pitchfork revealed that 32-year-old Matt Mondanile — best known as the former guitarist of indie rock band Real Estate — was dismissed from the group in 2016 amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

Real Estate originally announced in May 2016 that Mondanile had departed the band in order to focus on his own project Ducktails. But last week, Real Estate issued a statement to Spin, confirming they'd fired the musician over allegations of Mondanile's “unacceptable treatment of women.”

Since then, eight women have accused Mondanile of touching, groping, and kissing them without their consent. The allegations span nearly a decade, and his allegedly inappropriate behavior has reportedly been whispered about among those in the indie music circle.

Seven women shared their experiences with Mondanile in an piece published by Spin today. One woman accused Mondanile of physically forcing her inside a broom closet and “aggressively kissing her” after a Real Estate show in New York City in 2013. She alleged that Mondanile later drove the woman to his apartment in New Jersey, where she was forced to spend the night. “I was afraid, and the entire night I was trying to stay awake,” she told Spin. “It was five in the morning, and he kept trying to move closer to me, and I was moving away … The best way I could describe it was that he was like a dog, dry-humping me.”

Another woman — a classmate of Mondanile's from Hampshire College — alleged that in 2005, she woke up in the middle of the night to Mondanile groping her. “He would say, ‘I just took a Viagra, I can’t help myself,’” she told Spin. “He basically molested me in my sleep. My way of eventually dealing with that was to lock my door.”

Zoe Ligon, a Detroit-based journalist and sex educator, also tweeted, “Matt Mondanile had coercive sex w me when I was drunk.”

Ligon elaborated on the experience with Uproxx today, also alleging that “Mondanile continues to victimize people mostly between the ages of 16 and 21.” “I do think he’s a genuine threat to society, and every promoter and venue that continues to book him is at the point where they’re putting young women in danger,” she said.

An ex-publicist for Mondanile confirmed to Spin that they'd ended their relationship with Ducktails due to the accusations: “When I heard these allegations I spoke with the label and told them I could no longer work with him. The label suggested they would be doing the same. The band firing came later I believe.”

A representative for Domino Recordings — also the label behind Real Estate — confirmed that Mondanile is no longer signed to them. BuzzFeed News has reached out to Mondanile and Domino Recordings for comment.

Bethany Cosentino of indie rock band Best Coast has praised Real Estate for dismissing Mondanile and called the musician “an absolute creep.” (Last year, Cosentino's was one voice of many accusing now-ousted indie music publicist Heathcliff Berru of sexual assault and harassment.)

The allegations against Mondanile came to light in a month where more than 30 women came forward accusing Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault.

In the wake of his scandal, women across the globe have begun sharing their own accounts of sexual assault using the phrase “Me Too,” which has since become a trending hashtag.

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Taylor Swift Was Spotted Filming A Music Video In London And I Have Questions

I’M NOT READY FOR IT.

The entire world (me) went into meltdown when Taylor Swift announced her first album in more than three years, Reputation, will be released on 10 November.

Instagram: @taylorswift

So far this era we’ve been gifted with two singles, a music video that was so full of hidden messages I’m still deciphering it over a month later, and fan theories so in-depth that I’m convinced Swifties are all actual detectives.

So far this era we've been gifted with two singles, a music video that was so full of hidden messages I'm still deciphering it over a month later, and fan theories so in-depth that I'm convinced Swifties are all actual detectives.

Big Machine Records / giphy.com

But in the last few days Taylor has stepped it up a notch, inviting a select few fans to her home in London for ~secret sessions~, where she gave them a sneak preview of the new album.

According to the lucky few fans who were invited, Reputation is Taylor's best album yet, and I CANNOT WAIT.

And with less than a month to go until Reputation‘s release date, Taylor’s also been spotted in London doing something seriously exciting: FILMING A NEW MUSIC VIDEO.

And with less than a month to go until Reputation's release date, Taylor's also been spotted in London doing something seriously exciting: FILMING A NEW MUSIC VIDEO.

(The above image is me and all other British Swifties finding out Taylor filmed a music video in London.)

The Ellen Show

Although we don’t know what song the music video is for yet, it seems to show Taylor and her friends having the time of their lives on a night out.

Although we don't know what song the music video is for yet, it seems to show Taylor and her friends having the time of their lives on a night out.

Josh Dasa / BACKGRID

Here she is chillin’ in the back of a black cab:

Here she is chillin' in the back of a black cab:

Josh Dasa / BACKGRID

And here she is filming a scene on the Millennium Bridge:

And here she is filming a scene on the Millennium Bridge:

Josh Dasa / BACKGRID

Josh, Dasa / BACKGRID

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be coming up with theories about these photos and counting down til 10 November. ONLY 25 MORE DAYS TO GO, GUYS.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'll be coming up with theories about these photos and counting down til 10 November. ONLY 25 MORE DAYS TO GO, GUYS.

NBC / giphy.com

LINK: 14 Truly Mind-Blowing Theories About Taylor Swift’s New Album

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Ed Sheeran Tour Dates In Jeopardy After The Singer Injures Himself In Bike Accident

“Ive had a bit of a bicycle accident and I’m currently waiting on some medical advice.”

Ed Sheeran appears to have broken his arm after injuring himself in a bicycle accident. 🙁

Instagram: @teddysphotos

And it may mean he has to reschedule some of his upcoming tour dates.

instagram.com

But on Monday he took to Instagram to reveal he’s been involved in a bicycle accident and will be updating fans about whether he can stick to his dates in the next few days.

Instagram: @teddysphotos

Ive had a bit of a bicycle accident and I’m currently waiting on some medical advice, which may affect some of my upcoming shows. Please stay tuned for further news. Ed x

We hope you get better soon, Ed!

We hope you get better soon, Ed!

Atlantic Records

A representative for Ed Sheeran has been contacted for comment by BuzzFeed.

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Demi Lovato Revealed The Funniest Prank She’s Pulled And It’s Wild

In which Demi Lovato almost gets peed on by a puppy.

Taylor Miller / Andrew Richard / BuzzFeed

Once upon a time Demi Lovato was just another friend on Barney And Friends. But now, she's a multi-platinum artist, an LGBT activist, and an advocate for mental health. Also, she gifted the world with “Cool For The Summer” which is an achievement all on its own that should not be forgotten.

Demi's sixth studio album, Tell Me You Love Me was released late August, and to celebrate and talk about what this album means to her, she stopped by the BuzzFeed office to answer fan questions. In addition to fan questions, there were puppies, because everything is better with puppies. Here's what happened.

youtube.com

What song on your newest album do you think is the most personal?

What song on your newest album do you think is the most personal?

Demi Lovato: I think the most personal song on this album is either “You Don’t Do It For Me Anymore” or “Ready For Ya.” I think “Ready For Ya” is a song that I wrote that explains a lot about a breakup that I went through.

BuzzFeed

DL: The hardest song to record was “Smoke & Mirrors” which is on the deluxe version of the album. It was a very emotional song that I wrote on, that basically reminded me of some very emotional times that I went through.

DL: I actually—you will have to wait and find out, because I recorded something recently that I think you will like.

What has been your favorite fan interaction or experience?

What has been your favorite fan interaction or experience?

DL: I haven’t had a favorite fan experience because all of them are so special. I think anytime a fan tells me that I’ve saved their life is extremely meaningful and it just matters so much to me. It’s kind of unfathomable, so it really means a lot.

BuzzFeed

DL: This album is different from my other albums because it’s more soulful, and I think it’s the most mature out of all the albums that I’ve made. And I’ve done a lot of growing up personally and professionally so, I think that that’s the reason why.

How do you deal with a breakup?

How do you deal with a breakup?

DL: I deal with a break up by leaning on my closest friends, and by getting out into the dating scene again. I think that it’s important not to dwell on certain things and just to get back out there and have fun.

BuzzFeed

DL: I think I would love to act at some point. I’ve just been so focused with music right now that I haven’t had the chance to.

DL: I have considered making a Christmas album. Hopefully I’ll do that soon, you never know!

Social media can be really tough on a person mentally! Any tips on staying sane and confident in a world where every photo is Facetuned and photoshopped?

Social media can be really tough on a person mentally! Any tips on staying sane and confident in a world where every photo is Facetuned and photoshopped?

DL: I think that learning to love yourself is very important. And learning to love yourself in the skin that you're in is important. It can be difficult at times and of course the pressures are high, but I think that as long as you love yourself that’s all that matters.

BuzzFeed

DL: I think having a #1 single was definitely a career highlight, and also getting my Grammy nomination.

DL: I think I would love to direct at some point, but — maybe the next one, who knows.

You’re an inspiration to your fans and to other people who have gone through tough times. What does it mean to you to be able to inspire and change the lives of others through your fame?

You're an inspiration to your fans and to other people who have gone through tough times. What does it mean to you to be able to inspire and change the lives of others through your fame?

DL: I think that it’s really important that you use your platform for good. And if I’ve been able to use my tough times and use them as — there’s puppies, I don’t know! There's puppies. I think that if I’m able to use the difficult times that I’ve been through as lessons for other people, then I think I’m happy to inspire others.

BuzzFeed

DL: I decided to name my album Tell Me You Love Me because it’s one of my favorite songs off of the album and it also is a very vulnerable and raw title.

DL: I’m not planning on getting more as of right now, but that’ll change i’m sure. My favorite tattoo is my lion on my hand.

Who’s the first person you call when you have good news?

Who's the first person you call when you have good news?

DL: The first person I call is either my mom or my best friend Marissa. It’s definitely my mom actually, and then I call Marissa. But I tell them good news and they get so excited for me because they're so supportive and I love them so much.

BuzzFeed

DL: The funniest prank that I ever pulled on somebody was I pulled a prank on my security guard, and in Vegas it’s legal to hire a lady of the night to make surprise visits for somebody. So, I did that and i sent her to my security guard’s room, and told her to be very forceful and make herself enter the room. And she did just that, and he was very startled and i’m glad that he didn’t keep her.

You can download Demi’s new album Tell Me You Love Me now, and catch her documentary DEMI LOVATO: SIMPLY COMPLICATED when it premieres tomorrow on YouTube!

You can download Demi's new album Tell Me You Love Me now, and catch her documentary DEMI LOVATO: SIMPLY COMPLICATED when it premieres tomorrow on YouTube!

Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed

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Scotland’s Next Big Hip-Hop Artist Also Runs His Local Food Bank

Conor Ashcroft

Ryan McGeady, the winner of best hip-hop artist at last week's Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMA), has told BuzzFeed News about his other life, in which he runs his local food bank in Glasgow.

McGeady, known as Kid Robotik, runs the food bank in the Drumchapel area of Glasgow helping to train volunteers, organise fundraising drives, and raise awareness of the bank to make sure it reaches the people who need it most.

McGeady, 26, won the SAMA as a solo artist but he's also part of a hip-hop collective, called TogoFam, that released an album earlier this year, with all proceeds going to the Drumchapel food bank.

“I've been writing music for half of my life now,” McGeady told BuzzFeed News. “I was 13 when I first picked up a pen and started to write poetry. I first got into it as a way to cope with adolescence – I was never exactly the most popular kid at school, but I wasn't exactly an outcast either.

“I never knew how to fit in or how to feel. Writing gave me a new sense of freedom. It was around this time my older brother put me on to hip-hop music and so it just kind of stuck. Also I'm a terrible singer, so it was rap or nothing.”

youtube.com

McGeady's mother helped establish the Drumchapel food bank and the rapper, who was then unemployed, started helping as a volunteer before getting more and more involved. His time at the bank, as well as his experiences with drug addiction and mental health issues, helped shape his work and social activism.

As volunteer coordinator at the food bank, McGeady ensures everyone who volunteers there knows how best to help the people who need it and leads drives to raise funds for and awareness of the service.

“It's an absolutely horrible state of affairs [that food banks exist in modern Scotland] but unfortunately it's a necessity,” said McGeady. “For some people this is life and death, so we need these services here to make sure they have a safety net when things get tough.

“In today's current political and economical climate every single one of us is just one bad day away from having to access a service like ours, myself included. What I will say, though, is through the service we provide we have helped so many people who had slipped through the cracks.

“As well as providing food we also help people with debt advice, mental health issues, and budgeting advice with the help of other organisations. So as much as it sucks, it's also a great thing.”

Cameron James Brisbane

McGeady said he was “absolutely shocked” but “over the moon” to be recognised at last Thursday's SAMAs, which celebrate the best emerging artists in Scotland across seven different categories.

His work is increasingly focusing on social issues in Scotland, but up until now has largely revolved around his own experiences of poverty, mental illness, drug addiction, and the feeling of alienation he's encountered in his mid-twenties.

“I was raised to be very politically and socially aware but I tried to keep that away from my music,” said McGeady. “Since working at the food bank and being so close to these issues, it's hard for it not to bleed into my art. I've spoken about poverty in my music and it's something I plan to tackle further on my next projects.”

He added: “I've always been very open about my battles with mental health and drug abuse, so these themes pop up a lot. On my last project I tackled the issues of being in your mid-twenties: losing old friends, struggling to find your place, losing family members, and generally just feeling absolutely lost in the world.”

McGeady has taken inspiration from fellow hip-hop artist Darren “Loki” McGarvey, who has become a well-known social commentator in Scotland in the past few years and this year published his first book, Poverty Safari.

McGeady said hip-hop is becoming an increasingly important vehicle for young Scots to express their anger towards society and the government, and for educating all Scots on what it's like to grow up in poverty in modern Scotland.

“I think with hip-hop anywhere in the world, there will always be ties to politics and activism,” said McGeady. “It's a genre of music born out of rebellion against the status quo and in Scotland there have always been artists who talk about these issues – most notably Loki.

“He really brought politics and social issues to the forefront of his work and influenced a whole generation. Also, guys like Respek BA, and more recently Danny Kelly, Zesh, Oddacity, Young Brido, and many more, have challenged the government and social issues.

“The younger generation have really taken to talking about their experiences of growing up in poverty in Scotland. It can only be a good thing – the more people share their experiences, the better understanding the general population will have about these issues.”

He added: “It's a great time for music and activism – I just hope we can all pull together and really make a change.”

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I Am Fucking Obsessed With Britney Spears’ Latest Painting

People who like culture. This is for you.

I used to think I had the answers to everything, but now I know that life doesn’t always go my way because Britney Spears just posted a video of herself painting squiggles and flowers and I’m fucking floored.

I used to think I had the answers to everything, but now I know that life doesn't always go my way because Britney Spears just posted a video of herself painting squiggles and flowers and I'm fucking floored.

b-listofficial.tumblr.com

For those who don’t know because you’re a POS LOSER and don’t follow the best person on Instagram, Leonardo di Britney is a prolific painter. Her previous work titled “Leaves” sold for $1.2 million* at Barney’s.

For those who don't know because you're a POS LOSER and don't follow the best person on Instagram, Leonardo di Britney is a prolific painter. Her previous work titled "Leaves" sold for $1.2 million* at Barney's.

*Not actually lol.

Britney’s iconic insta

Now, there’s an Instagram video showing the creation of a whole new masterpiece I’m calling “Flowers and Squiggles.”

Now, there's an Instagram video showing the creation of a whole new masterpiece I'm calling "Flowers and Squiggles."

instagram.com

The video starts with Britney wearing her artsy fartsy smock, and then it peers around to her masterpiece.

The video starts with Britney wearing her artsy fartsy smock, and then it peers around to her masterpiece.

britneyspears / Via instagram.com

This, THIS, my friends. This is art. Vincent van Gogh and his nasty-ass ear are rotting (well actually probably not because he’s been dead for like 700 years,) my fourth grade art teacher, Mrs. Komp, is shivering, and the MOMA has gone into foreclosure because it’s suddenly irrelevant and Chateau Spears has outsold it.

This, THIS, my friends. This is art. Vincent van Gogh and his nasty-ass ear are rotting (well actually probably not because he's been dead for like 700 years,) my fourth grade art teacher, Mrs. Komp, is shivering, and the MOMA has gone into foreclosure because it's suddenly irrelevant and Chateau Spears has outsold it.

britneyspears / Via instagram.com

The camera quickly zooms into some paints and then…

The camera quickly zooms into some paints and then...

britneyspears / Via instagram.com

…boom! A wardrobe change. No more smock, now she’s wearing a flowy frock!

...boom! A wardrobe change. No more smock, now she's wearing a flowy frock!

britneyspears / Via instagram.com

But seriously, we are not worthy of Britney Jean Spears. Now, get some culture and watch the video. You won’t be disappointed. The music is worth the *pressing play* alone.

britneyspears / Via Instagram: @britneyspears

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Asian-Americans Are Disrupting An Unwelcoming Music Industry

Far East Movement.

Transparent Agency

For years, racist trolls on social media would tell Far East Movement to “go back to Asia” — even though everyone in the group was born and raised in Los Angeles.

The quartet-now-trio came to fame with their 2010 dance track “Like a G6,” becoming the first Asian-American group to hit No. 1 on the Hot 100. However, they struggled to produce another certified hit for years after. Fed up with the US music industry and executives who told them they were too difficult to market, Far East Movement considered quitting their career as artists.

But then, ironically — and like many other Asian-American artists making pop music today — they went to Asia, and it changed their outlook on the music business forever.

Far East Movement didn’t know all that much about the pop music scene abroad prior to 2012, when they decided to put making music on pause to travel and do some soul searching. “You couldn’t ask us to pick out one song or one artist [from Asia],” FM’s Kevin “Kev Nish” Nishimura said, sitting alongside his bandmates James “Prohgress” Roh and Virman “DJ Virman” Coquia in their office in West LA. Yet as they were introduced to acts from Korea, China, and Japan, they began to recognize the potential and star power of the talent being developed in Asia.

BTS at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards.

Ethan Miller / Getty Images

Turns out, pop artists in Asia are as influential as major artists in the US, even if they’re unknown to the American mainstream, as Nishimura put it. Consider a group like BTS, for example: The seven-member band made history in September as the first K-pop artist to debut on the Billboard 200 album chart in the top 10 with Love Yourself: Her. On the day of its release, the album also peaked at the No. 1 spot on the iTunes Album Charts in a record-breaking 73 countries.

That’s why Asian-American pop acts — who have traditionally been shut out of the music industry stateside — have shifted their focus to reaching listeners abroad, especially those in Asia who are hungry for new music. Not only is there more opportunity for work and exposure in places like Shanghai and Seoul, but the financial returns are higher as well.

And recently, many American artists — Asian and not — have tried tapping into the multibillion-dollar pop music market in Asia. Diplo and Skrillex, for example, each stand to benefit from having teamed up on songs with singer CL of the now disbanded Korean girl group 2NE1, and vice versa; Timbaland and Chinese pop singer Jane Zhang, whose upcoming English album he is producing, now each have exposure on opposite sides of the ocean.

“It’s a different world now,” Nishimura said — one that requires “localized marketing plans for each region,” which Far East Movement has implemented when managing their Asian-American-centric label Transparent Agency. When they released their latest album, Identity, they “struck individual, localized deals” with South America, China, Korea, Japan, and the US, instead of courting US label deals only. The album ultimately peaked at the No. 1 spot on the iTunes dance chart and launched the group onto Top 40 radio again.

Starnews / AFP / Getty Images

K-pop entertainment companies like S.M. Entertainment have embraced that type of strategy for years, with their most famous artist, Exo — arguably the most popular K-pop group today — as evidence. Though typically perceived to be a Korean band, Exo actually started off as two subgroups: Exo-K (“K” being short for Korean), whose members are ethnically Korean; and Exo-M (“M” for Mandarin), which was split between two Korean and four Chinese members, including ex-member Kris Wu, who is now a superstar in China. Each would record and promote songs in both Korean and Mandarin to cater to and capitalize on the two major markets. (They’ve since united as one massive group.) Additionally, K-pop labels also prioritize making music that caters to fans in Japan, currently the world's second-largest music market: Not long after a K-pop group's debut, they also begin learning Japanese and preparing to break out there.

That approach is very different from a typical US deal, like the one Far East Movement had when they were previously signed to Interscope Records. “One thing that we’ve learned is the disjointedness of the big corporations,” said Nishimura, saying that US labels have yet to prioritize adapting music to specific markets across the world. For the most part, music gets “worked in the United States, and if it doesn’t pop, it dies right here. It doesn’t get a chance to live.”

“Go out in Asia. You are welcomed there. Get that following, and bring those global numbers back here.”

That’s why Far East Movement now encourages their artists to go overseas. “Go out in Asia. You are welcomed there. Get that following, and bring those global numbers back here,” Nishimura said.

It’s sound advice, considering the potential in China’s music market alone. Home to 20% of the world’s population, China boasts a massive consumer market, with a lot of cash to spend on music. 58% of China’s wealthiest citizens pay to see live events every year, compared to 51% of all Americans, according to a recent Nielsen study. The country’s sheer spending power is encouragement for more and more American and European artists — from massive pop acts like Taylor Swift and Usher to EDM artists like Tiësto and Steve Aoki — to tour in China, among other Asian countries.

Furthermore, outdoor music festivals like Ultra and Storm have also risen in popularity among Chinese citizens, due to the growing interest in EDM across Asia. The EDM industry in the Asia-Pacific region is currently estimated to be worth about $950 million, according to a 2014 report compiled by researchers for the International Music Summit: For context, that’s 15% of the genre’s global worth.

Yultron, a Chinese-American artist signed to Transparent Agency, performed this past August at the Chengdu leg of Storm Electronic Music Festival, a Chinese-founded EDM festival established in 2013. He believes there’s a hunger for the new infusion of dance music because Asian music tends to be very “formulated.” “Everything that’s popular is fed to them. Boy bands. K-pop stars — even [those] in China,” the producer told BuzzFeed News. “Then when we [Americans] go over there, people are like, Whoa, what is this? This is awesome. For them, it’s just so exciting and fresh and new.”

Yultron performing in Chengdu in August 2017.

Instagram: @yultron

Rap has begun to pick up steam in China as well, with the rise of artists like China-native Higher Brothers and reality series like The Rap of China, the country’s first-ever hip-hop competition show, which premiered this past summer on the online video platform iQiyi. Although the show has garnered mixed reception, it drew millions of viewers (one episode even drew in a billion views). On it, veteran rapper MC Jin — who was the first Asian-American rapper to be signed to a major label, DMX’s Ruff Ryders Entertainment, in 2004 — had his rebirth as “Hip-Hop Man,” his alias for the competition.

According to Yultron, the speed at which Chinese listeners are consuming music far exceeds the pace of music output in the US. “People think that China is still really behind, musically, but they’re actually not … I remember maybe three years ago, everyone was into big room house music. Now bass music is starting to blow up quick.”

“People think that China is still really behind, musically, but they’re actually not.”

Nishimura said he observed something similar in K-pop: “There aren’t these long-term songs like there is here [in the US].” As an example, a song like Bruno Mars’ “24K Magic,” released in October of last year, still gets radio play in the US now almost a year later; that kind of longevity isn’t the norm in the world of K-pop, with the cycle of Korean music lasting about a month. “The K-pop artist needs to put out another song three months later, or else they're forgotten about,” Nishimura said. Hot tracks can be quickly replaced by any one of the young aspiring singers who are recruited, put through intensive label-run training programs, and primed on how to become “idols.”

Kevin Woo is one such artist who became a star through the idol trainee system, but what sets the 25-year-old apart from his peers is that he is American. Born and raised in Northern California, he became enchanted with K-pop at a young age and moved to Korea when he was 16, where he amassed a large following during his time in the four-member band Xing and, later, a six-piece act by the name of U-KISS.

Although Woo is a US citizen, he says Korean fans “still accept me as a Korean,” but they also love that “[we] say stuff that normal Koreans don’t” during interviews and interactions with fans. “So I think that’s why we receive a lot of love from the Asian market,” he said. It helps that he’s an English-speaker too, as “they look up to people who speak English” — which may be why Korean labels have recruited a number of Asian-Americans over the years.

K-pop stars are also brought up in a system designed to help them succeed, whereas Asian-Americans have historically been excluded from the American music industry. Matthew Kim, better known as BM or Big Matthew, is a member of DSP Media’s Kard, one of Korea’s few co-ed groups. He told BuzzFeed News that it’s unlikely he would have had a career in music had he not been recruited by the Korean entertainment company. “They supply all of the training we get. In my case, they provided a room, where I could live in in Korea, dance instructors, vocal instructors, language teachers for various languages … they provide a lot,” Kim said.

“Going abroad…that for me was just that the opportunity came first. There is a demand for people like me.”

For LA-born Amber Liu — a rapper who records her own music and performs in the girl group F(x) — Korea provided her with a golden ticket seldom afforded to Asians in the United States. “Going abroad…that for me was just that the opportunity came first. There is a demand for people like me,” she told BuzzFeed News. F(x)’s skyrocketing fame and K-pop’s increasing international popularity (“there are concerts every month now”) have opened the door to other opportunities in the US, like her recent collaboration with Superfruit (of Pentatonix fame). Although Liu named Linkin Park’s Joe Hahn and Mike Shinoda and Hoobastank’s Doug Robb as role models who gave her confidence that Asian-American musicians could find success in the US, she acknowledged that there “still could be more” Asian faces.

Amber Liu performing at KCON LA in 2016.

KCON USA

Liu, Yultron, and Far East Movement each pointed to the dearth of Asian representation in the larger American media landscape as one reason the music industry has been slow to embrace artists like them.

“A lot of people in Middle America, they don't see a lot of Asian people,” said FM’s Roh. “When they can go and watch Kanye, are they going to go watch [Korean rapper] Keith Ape?”

But Yultron‚ who recently signed to H1GH3R Music — a global hip-hop label created by Korean-American rapper Jay Park — said he has observed a change in the music industry’s traditionally old, white gatekeepers. Park, the newest addition to Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label, is evidence of that.

“They don’t get it, and they never let the Asian guys go through it … But I think we're at a point where it's transitioning over. It's our generation now,” said Yultron. “I think we're at the tail end of that. It's already started, the new wave.”

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Meet The Singer Behind The Swedish Hip-Hop Song That People Can’t Stop Vibing To

Meet Cherrie, a singer-songwriter from Sweden whose music video “163 För Evigt” may have popped up in your timeline recently.

People have fallen in love with the song, which translates as “163 Forever”, even though many have no idea what Cherrie is saying because, hello, it’s in Swedish. Still, people are really feeling it, and one Instagram upload has had over 250,000 plays.

While Cherrie, 26, whose real name is Sherihan Hersi, is relatively unknown in Britain, she's a breakout star in Sweden. She rose to fame in 2015 with her evocative hit song “Tabanja” (Swedish slang for “gun”), and earlier this year her debut album Sherihan won in the hip-hop and soul category at Sweden’s answer to the Grammy Awards.

Oh yeah, and she’s also collaborated with rapper Stormzy, on the song “Aldrig Igen (Må Sådär)” – in English, “Never Again (Feel Like That)” – before joining him on the European leg of his tour.

Twitter: @Stormzy1

Cherrie told BuzzFeed News that “163 För Evigt” is a tribute to the 163 postal code – the code of Rinkeby, the Stockholm suburb she grew up in. “A lot of non-European immigrants live here, and the conditions and possibilities for people out here are less fortunate than anywhere else in the city,” she said.

“It’s also me celebrating my career, as it has been tough to get where I am as an independent artist.”

The song contains the line “Om jag lyckas då vi alla kan”, which means, “If I succeed then we all can.” Cherrie said she wanted to make a song that would instil hope in the young people of 163 and others growing up in similar conditions.

“My music is known for its emotional and honest feelings that sometimes come from a dark place,” she said. “This was my first release since my debut album, and I just really wanted to make something that had the same depth but could be positive and something people could vibe to.”

ofbendz / Fred & Olof Bendz / Cherrie & Babak Azarmi / Wasima Ayad / Milena Yigsaw / Amr Badr / Araweelo AB / Via youtube.com

The international reception to the song – including in the Somali diaspora – has left Cherrie in awe, she said: “The fact that this is in a language most people don’t understand and it still translates enough for them to vibe to, it just makes me believe in myself even more than I did before.”

She added: “A lot of people say they can tell that whatever I’m singing about comes from something real through the conviction of my voice.

“Also, it carries a message of self-love and love for others, and even if they don’t understand I know they will feel it, and I’m just happy to be doing something positive through my music. If you listen … with an open mind, you'll feel the energy and message no matter what language I choose to do it in. And for that I’m forever thankful.”

PAUL EDWARDS

Cherrie was born in Norway but grew up in Finland – she says her family were among the first African immigrants to move there, at a time when racial tensions were high. They later moved to Sweden, where she says they encountered a different kind of racism.

“I always felt like racism was more institutionalised here like in the workplace and school,” she said. “Kinda more hidden racism.”

And while things aren’t as tough now, Cherrie says racism is still a huge problem across Scandinavia, despite the region’s liberal credentials. An anti-immigrant party, the Swedish Democrats, is now the country’s second-biggest.

ofbendz / Fred & Olof Bendz / Cherrie & Babak Azarmi / Wasima Ayad / Milena Yigsaw / Amr Badr / Araweelo AB / Via youtube.com

“At the same time I feel like these racists are fading — this is their last fight to stay relevant in an evolving world where people like myself are becoming the norm in society,” Cherrie said.

Cherrie is proud to be a “third culture kid” – someone who has grown up in a different to society to their parents. The singer even contributed to an anthology telling stories from 40 people who identify this way. She also leads workshops in Sweden’s “less fortunate suburbs” to talk about identity.

“The world is changing, third culture kids are everywhere,” she said. “Like, even if you are 100% Swede but you grew up the last 15 years in an area where you have 90 different nationalities, you are bound to understand that all these narrow-minded homogeneous type of people are dying out.

“I definitely see myself as a third culture kid or cross-culture kid. I was born in Norway, moved to Finland, then to Sweden, and then to London and then back again.”

She added: “I think we need to rule our situation here in Europe and build identities that we feel safe with, rather than [allowing] the government or such to put labels on us.”

PAUL EDWARDS

Her personal influences include all of her identities. For example, she named her independent record label Araweelo after a fearsome queen in Somali folklore who Cherrie says was “probably one of the first feminists ever”.

Growing up, Cherrie heard stories about Araweelo, and even though they were supposed to scare her, they did the opposite and inspired her instead.

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Cherrie is now working on her second album and will be the opening act for Canadian music artist Daniel Caesar as part of Red Bull’s 30 Days in Chicago next month, before heading to South Korea for two shows.

Of course, there's only one question her new army of stans want to know: Will Cherrie be creating any music in English or Somali?

“I have and I’m considering it,” she said. “For me, it all boils down to if it feels right in my gut.

“I know what my music has done in Sweden and if it doesn’t feel as real and important in the next language then it’s not really worth it. But I really believe that I’ll get there soon enough.”

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We’re Calling It Now: This Brazilian Singer Is About To Be The Next International Pop Star

Allow us to introduce you to the amazing IZA.

Okay, world: meet IZA, a pop and R&B artist from Rio de Janeiro who got her start on YouTube.

Instagram: @iza

Ever since she first created her YouTube account in 2014, IZA (full name: Isabela Lima) has covered pop stars like Sam Smith, Prince, Adele and Beyoncé.

After graduating college with a degree in publicity and advertising, IZA worked in video editing before devoting herself fully to her singing. Her work quickly attracted the notice of Warner Music Brasil, who signed her to the label last year.

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And just last week, she debuted the music video for her most recent single, “Pesadão.”

The music video has nearly 1.5 million views, and it's proof that IZA is a serious star on the rise.

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As a black Brazilian woman, IZA credits her identity as one of the driving forces that inspires her music.

“I’m living in a very special time, we need to take advantage of the potential the internet has to communicate. It’s fundamental to getting my message to as many people as possible at one time,” she told Black Women of Brazil in an interview. she analyzes. “I need to talk about these issues because I’m not in front of the cameras and speaking with various different media just to entertain, to have fun…This is also nice, but I have a mission. There are several ‘minas’ negras (black girls) that wanted to be in my place and I carry them with me.

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Which is why it’s no surprise that her recent videos seem to draw stylistic inspiration from the likes of Beyoncé and Rihanna.

Those bodysuits tho!!!

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So, let’s just take a quick superstar inventory here. Amazing moves? Check.

So, let's just take a quick superstar inventory here. Amazing moves? Check.

IZA / Via youtube.com

Soon-to-be iconic style? Check!

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**Flawless** vocals? CHECK!

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Now that we’ve convinced you to become superfans with us, you can keep up with IZA on YouTube here

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And look out for her new album, coming soon in November.

BRB learning Portuguese until then.

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This post was translated from Portuguese.

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Pink Asked Eminem To Collab On A Song And He Responded Like Every Guy You’ve Ever Texted

For a rapper, he’s a man of few words.

From clapping back at mommy shamers, to performing on SNL, Pink has been crushing it lately.

From clapping back at mommy shamers, to performing on SNL, Pink has been crushing it lately.

But, let's be honest, when hasn't she crushed it?

Kevin Winter / Getty Images

Well, the pop star is finally releasing her new album Beautiful Trauma, which features a collab with Eminem. And the whole thing never would’ve happened had it not been for a few glasses of wine.

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She told Entertainment Weekly, “I sneak-attacked him. Max [Martin] and I started making “Revenge”, and I wrote this rap. We were drinking a lot of wine, and then I went home and I thought more wine would be a good idea.”

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“I emailed [Eminem]. This is why they call it liquid courage. And I said, ‘You know I love you. I like that you work with a lot of the same people, like Rihanna. She’s hotter than me, but I’m funnier. So I’m going for a rap Grammy, and I’d like to take you along with me.’ It was this long email, and he wrote back right away and just said, ‘Okay.’”

“I emailed [Eminem]. This is why they call it liquid courage. And I said, ‘You know I love you. I like that you work with a lot of the same people, like Rihanna. She’s hotter than me, but I’m funnier. So I’m going for a rap Grammy, and I’d like to take you along with me.’ It was this long email, and he wrote back right away and just said, ‘Okay.'”

And apparently, just four days later, he emailed the track to her inbox.

Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

“I emailed him again. I was, like, ‘This is the best thing I’ve ever heard! I want to tackle you and rub your face in the dirt!’ He just wrote back and was, like, ‘Okay.’”

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I reached out to him in this case. I love him. I've always loved him. I think he's a lyrical genius. And, I just wrote him a love letter… I wrote him an email, and I said, 'I love you. I've always loved you. I've loved you since you gave me your autograph at the 2001 MTV Music Video Awards… I just wrote this love letter, and he just wrote back, 'OK.'

“OK.” That’s it? I wonder what kind of texter he is. Either way, check out their new song “Revenge,” here!

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