"I don’t think that the real enemy of the music industry is illegal downloading," Mario Armando Lavandeira, Jr., professionally known as Perez Hilton, tells The Hollywood Reporter. "I think the real enemy of the music industry is radio."
His words are bold, and he says them quite animatedly, but they served as the main source of inspiration for the blogger's latest 14-track compilation, "Pop Up: #3," presented by Opus Label.
He speaks of this third installment in his ongoing series (he’ll start another in the coming months, and intends to make three total next year) as something more obscure, featuring songs that one might not hear on the radio. Simply put, Hilton does not think radio offers enough musical diversity, and he hopes to bring some of those unfamiliar yet equally-talented artists to listeners with his compilation.
"I view this as a great outlet to promote lesser-known artists, and it’s a great vehicle for discovery," Hilton explains. "I was excited for the opportunity to create something different and that is an alternative to Now That’s What I Call Music!, which is just giving people what they know."
Hilton has a strong background in music -- he calls it "my biggest passion in life" -- and has experience managing artists and throwing music events. His previous compilations demonstrated Hilton’s discerning ear, featuring lesser-known artists early on, artists who have since broken into the mainstream music scene. His "Pop Up: #1," for example, featured Capital Cities' "Safe and Sound," which has spent 30 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100; his
"Pop Up: #2" featured buzz-worthy artists Sky Ferreira and Charli XCX.
The majority of his latest compilation includes songs far from the singles charts, including Loreen's "We Got The Power," Icona Pop's "We Got The World" and Betty Who's "Somebody Loves You" to name a few. One artist, Stamp, is unsigned.
"There’s a little bit of everything," Hilton explains. "There’s artists from Sweden, artists from the UK, artists from France on here. There’s everything from a jazzy vibe to a singer-songwriter vibe to pure dance to straight pop."
Speaking of pop, the cornerstone of the album, Hilton maintains his defense for the genre. "A lot of people might look down upon pop and think it’s cheesy -- although I don’t think any of the songs on here could be described as cheesy -- but I proudly wave my 'Call Me Maybe' flag. I love that song, and songs like that. I love pop music and I’m not embarrassed to say that."
So will Hilton’s picks be another predictor of future pop gold? We’ll find out if "Pop Up: #3" finds similar success when it is released exclusively on iTunes on Dec. 3.
This article was first published by The Hollywood Reporter