Help UNICEF Help Children In Ukraine: Donate Here

Help UNICEF Help Children In Ukraine: Donate Here

In times of emergency, it’s the children who suffer the most. Right now, over seven million children in Ukraine and its bordering countries are in need of food and clean water, medical care, clothing and a safe place to sleep.

For the past 75 years, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has built an unprecedented global support system for the world’s children. UNICEF‘s mission is to deliver the essentials that give every child an equitable chance in life: health care and immunizations, safe water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. UNICEF USA advances the global mission of UNICEF by rallying the American public to support the world’s most vulnerable children.

War in Ukraine has intensified, posing an imminent threat to more than seven million children. Heavy weapons fire along the contact line in eastern Ukraine has already damaged water infrastructure and schools. UNICEF is scaling up its emergency response inside the country while also racing to meet the urgent needs of vulnerable children and families on the move as they stream into neighboring countries.

Beasley Best Community of Caring is proud to support the humanitarian efforts of UNICEF for the children affected by the crisis in Ukraine.

Please consider donating to UNICEF’s efforts, and get more information from the frontlines, here.

Mooski Went From The Marines To ‘Track Star’

Mooski Went From The Marines To ‘Track Star’

The How I Wrote That Song limited series gives music fans a front-row seat for conversations with songwriters behind some of the biggest hits of yesterday and today. You’ll learn the stories behind the songs from the people who wrote them. New episodes will be released every other Monday through December 12. How I Wrote That Song is produced in partnership with Beasley Media Group, XPERI (HD Radio), and BMI.

Mooski is one of hip-hop and R&B’s most exciting new acts. After finishing serving four years in the Marines, he began focusing on his music career. And with “Track Star” — a song about a woman who won’t commit to a relationship — it looks like he’s on his way to stardom.

“Track Star” is a huge hit – talk about how you wrote it.

So I just got out of the Marine Corps and it had been like a few months. This was at the top top of 2020. I had just worked a 12-hour shift at my job, I was on my way back home. I was listening to instrumental (tracks) and stuff. My whole setup was: work Monday to Friday and then on Saturday and Sunday, I’m in the studio, so I’m just trying to catch a vibe. So, I found this instrumental and I just lock into it, man.

So, I’m driving and the vibe is just coming to me, I don’t even want to write anything down. I was just vibing and recording it on my Snapchat, trying to write the song.

So what were you going through? I’m guessing that you were going through it with somebody at that time to be inspired to write these lyrics of somebody who just can’t commit. You make the metaphor. She’s like a track star. She just takes off.

Yeah, yeah, for sure. You know what I’m saying? It’s just something is definitely pulled from a real place. You know, it is something that I’ve been through before or something I’ve seen before. You know what I mean? So I just really wanted to really want it to be transparent, completely transparent and swallow all pride and just put everything out there so people can really connect to it. I want this song to be like one of those things that clicked because it is things that you say in your head that you never really let come out of your mouth. And so it really connected with everyone.

https://youtu.be/es8z8k2hr6Y https://omny.fm/shows/how-i-wrote-that-song/mooski-how-i-wrote-that-song/embed

Oak Felder on Alessia Cara’s Unusual Breakthrough Song

Oak Felder on Alessia Cara’s Unusual Breakthrough Song

The How I Wrote That Song limited series gives music fans a front-row seat for conversations with songwriters behind some of the biggest hits of yesterday and today. You’ll learn the stories behind the songs from the people who wrote them. New episodes will be released every other Monday through December 12. How I Wrote That Song is produced in partnership with Beasley Media Group, XPERI (HD Radio), and BMI.

Warren “Oak” Felder is one of the most successful writer/producers that you’ve never heard of. He keeps a low profile, and doesn’t have a sonic imprint that identifies songs as his productions. But his discography includes songs by Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Ariana Grande, Britney Spears and Demi Lovato, among others. In this excerpt from our conversation, he discussed the journey in taking Alessia Cara’s first single, “Here,” to number one.

He worked on the song with his occasional songwriting/partner Andrew “Pop” Wansel. They both had different ideas for a sample that they wanted to use in the song: Pop wanted to use Issac Hayes’ “Ike Rap II” from his 1971 album Black Moses, Oak, meanwhile, wanted to use Portishead’s song “Glory Box”… which samples “Ike’s Rap II.”  Oak told us the whole story. Check it out below, and beneath that watch or listen to our podcast episode with Oak.

“You know, sometimes they are projects that you come across, that people have tried, people have made an attempt to do things… and just nothing gets off the ground. And that doesn’t say anything about the artists themselves and whether or not they’re viable.

But most of the executives involved, the production companies and the other label people and management people, and there’s all these other people that are kind of involved and they’re telling me, ‘We want her to sound like Lorde meets Taylor Swift.’ And so in my mind, I’m rolling my eyes a little bit because I’m like,'”OK, you want her to sound like the two largest artists out here.’

I understand shooting for the Moon, though, because a lot of people can only see things in those terms. But my response to them was, ‘Oh, I’m so glad you said that. You know what? I was striving for mediocrity today, but since you said that, now I’m going to try to give you a big hit!’

And so the whole week we’re in and she’s playing us, these different songs that she’s partially written and we’re kind of picking the ones we like the most. ‘Here’ was the first one we picked. And they immediately shut us down and they said, ‘No, no, no, no, no, no. This one’s a little too weird. We have this other one that is a smash: ‘Seventeen.”

So, I sat down and did the production and finished writing it with them, and when you listen to that production, it very much does sound like a Taylor Swift meets Lorde production. It’s a great song. I love the record. And so during the week, that’s pretty much how it progressed.

Saturday rolls around all the executives take the day off. So now it’s me. Sebastian Kole, Alessia Cara, and Pop was with me that day. I’m like, ‘Let’s work on ‘Here.’ Let’s just do what we want. I got the perfect sample for this. It’s a Portishead song.’ Pop is like, ‘No man, that ain’t it! I got this other sample, it’s an Isaac Hayes record [‘Ike’s Rap II’ from Black Moses].’

Now, mind you were saying this to each other without actually playing the samples. So we go back and forth about it for about 20, 30 minutes until Pop plays the Isaac Hayes sample, I’m like, ‘Wait a minute, this is Portishead!’ I had never heard Isaac’s version up until that point, I’m ashamed to say. And Pop had never heard Portishead. So he’s like, ‘Oh my God: we came up with the same sample at the same time for this production!’

Then we did the track. We cut that record and we almost kind of hid it after we did it. It was like, ‘Let’s put it away, because we might get in trouble!’ That’s almost what it felt like. Did another week [in the studio] with Alessia, recording another songs, including ‘Scars to Your Beautiful’ and everything else that was on the first album. And then when when it came time to pick the single from what I understand, I think the label really wanted to go with ‘Seventeen,’ because they were very focused on that record and Alessia kind of put her foot down, and said, ”Here’ needs to be the first record.’ The label pretty much said, ‘OK, we’re going to go with your recommendation.’ And that song had a nice, beautiful, slow climb to number one over the course of almost a year. It eventually got to number one, I was so proud of that fact.”

https://omny.fm/shows/how-i-wrote-that-song/oak-felder-how-i-wrote-that-song/embed

SmokePurpp Talks ‘Audi’: ‘I Kind Of Spoke It Into Existence’

SmokePurpp Talks ‘Audi’: ‘I Kind Of Spoke It Into Existence’

The How I Wrote That Song limited series gives music fans a front-row seat for conversations with songwriters behind some of the biggest hits of yesterday and today. You’ll learn the stories behind the songs from the people who wrote them. New episodes will be released every other Monday through December 12. How I Wrote That Song is produced in partnership with Beasley Media Group, XPERI (HD Radio), and BMI.

“Whatever your mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” A guy named Napoleon Hill wrote that quote almost a hundred years ago in the 1937 book Think and Grow Rich. The world today doesn’t have that much in common with that era — back then, the average salary was less than two grand a year, rent was $26 a month, and gas was ten cents a gallon.

But the power of positive thinking has always been that took a select few from rags to riches, or at least from obscurity to fame. And that was the case with Smokepurpp and his hit “Audi.” The singer/rapper/producer, who was born Omar Jeffery Pineiro, told us about that song and a few of his other hits.

Talk about how “Audi.” changed affected your path, your journey.

“Audi.,” that’s the song that changed my life. I had this song in my phone, and in my catalog for over a year… I was never even planning on dropping it. It was just like other songs. And yeah, when I signed my deal, that was literally the first single we put out.

Sometimes, if you have the right line in a song, it really hits. Like some Beyoncé songs have, like, “I woke up like this,” and everyone says “I woke up like this.” She sings “You got to put a ring on it” and everyone says that. And your line, “I don’t want friends. I want Audis.”

Exactly. It’s probably something that [anybody can relate to that, you know?

Has it come more true now, more than it was at the time that you wrote the song? Now you could actually afford Audis. 

Of course. At the time, I couldn’t. I couldn’t afford it. I feel like I kind of just spoke it into existence. You know, I think manifestation is real.

Check out the rest of the interview below.

https://omny.fm/shows/how-i-wrote-that-song/smokepurpp-how-i-wrote-that-song
Better Than Ezra: The Tragedy That Inspired ‘In The Blood’

Better Than Ezra: The Tragedy That Inspired ‘In The Blood’

“In The Blood” came on the heels of your first hit, “Good.” It seemed like “In The Blood” was also on the radio every hour on the hour. So talk about that song and the line, “Who did you love before? Who did they love before you?” 

There’s some interesting things about that song. If you listen to I was completely inspired lyrically, melodically by a Catherine Wheel song called “Black Metallic.” That was their big song. Listen to “Black Metallic” and you can hear  where I got part of the melody. I’ve said that to people before, and they go, “I don’t hear it.” I say, “Well, I do.” I was definitely inspired by that song melodically.

But the lyrics… I usually don’t tell people where my head was, but my girlfriend at the time, her uncle had had AIDS and he was in the last stage of battling AIDS. He passed away in ’96. It was really about AIDS and it was literally about: what’s in your blood? Do you really know the person you’re with and who did they love before you and who did they love before them? And it was really just a very literal lyric to me. It was really about her uncle Patrick, who was an amazing guy. He was an editor for The Advocate. He lived in West Hollywood and he was still somewhat healthy. But dealing with it was a tough time. But that’s what the lyrics are about. So it really wasn’t about a relationship. It was really about this man. I rarely told people about that because it’s kind of heavy.

Check out the rest of the interview below. 

https://omny.fm/shows/how-i-wrote-that-song/kevin-griffin-of-better-than-ezra-how-i-wrote-that