Katy Perry - "Chained To The Rhythm" ft. Skip Marley
At this point, Katy Perry knows us all too well. With today's release of the superstar singer's new single, "Chained to the Rhythm," the 32-year-old not only makes her overdue return to the top of our playlists but humbly reminds us that she's long been a fan-favorite for a valid reason, singing, "Turn it up, it's your favorite song / Dance, dance, dance to the distortion." While that foreshadowing line may be a safe bet given Perry's impeccable past success, even in the song's first initial run-throughs, its potential to be the next major earworm is undeniable. While Perry is warming up for a 2017 takeover, starting with her recently confirmed performance at the 59th Annual Grammy Awards this weekend, she chose to debut the song in an epic fashion, literally scattering speakers masquerading as disco balls all over the world, inviting fans to participate in a scavenger hunt to seek out her latest tune. "Chained to the Rhythm" enlists a guest feature from Bob Marley's grandson, Skip, who made his debut on our #SpotifyNMF playlist just last week. Much like his new single "Lions," the collaborative track holds a strong-but-subtle political message woven into it, simultaneously inspiring us all to do better and rise above what is looking to tear us down. As Perry readies her first studio album since 2013's Prism, it's clear she's not holding anything back this year, proudly declaring, "We gonna call this era Purposeful Pop."
Migos - Spotify Singles
While Atlanta may have had the upset of the year with last weekend's unpredictably theatrical Super Bowl outcome, Migos is here to save the day. As the rap group continues to hold it down as ambassadors of the culture enjoying the recent fruits of their labor, recently releasing their second studio album, the reigning champs stopped by Spotify's New York headquarters to bless the studio with their signature lavish trap sound and have some fun in the process. Although their album, Culture, debuted at the number one slot on the Billboard charts, the group stays on their grind, even creating a brand new single that doubles as an ode to their recent collaboration with hip-hop's favorite snack food company, Rap Snacks. For their own special edition bags of potato chips, the group went with a sour cream flavor, aptly naming their catchy new track, "Dab of Ranch," after their own Rap Snacks’ branding. After the group posted a viral video of themselves freestyling about the fact they now have their own chip, the next logical step naturally was to lay it down in the studio. During the Spotify session, the group's members go back and forth creating what feels like an unlikely love story, with the lyrics playing into the theme brilliantly, with lines such as "Money like bags of chips / hunnits of bags I flip / finger-licking with the ranch / leaving crumbs on your lips," and "Get your rap snacks with a dab of ranch / If there ain't no more call the ambulance" the song is surprisingly (or not-so-surprisingly) incredibly well-written and full of personality, not straying far from Migos’ traditional bangers. In fact, this one can arguably hold its own weight in the club, proving not everyone can pull off a potato chip tribute quite like the Migos can. Rounding out their session with a unique rendition of their track, "T-Shirt," the Atlanta heavyweights continue to secure their sky's-the-limit legacy.
Adam Friedman - "What If"
Adam Friedman has been wisely preparing for the very stage his career in music has now arrived to for ages. While many artists are eager to release their music into the world the exact second an engineer sends back the master, this emerging singer-songwriter has opted to forge his own path. After graduating from the Berklee College of Music in 2014, Friedman headed straight to the studio, where he worked on Mike Posner's second studio album At Night, Alone, while also creating the original song score for an animated feature film Rock Dog, going on to become the singing voice of the main character, who was played by Luke Wilson. After staying busy with these endeavors, Friedman released his debut single into the wild, with "Pretty Things" going on to debut at #10 on Spotify's Global Viral Chart. Now that he's gotten his feet wet, it's just the beginning, with the LA-based musician today releasing his debut EP, Green. While the 5-track collection features two singles that may sound familiar, his celebrated collaboration with Mike Posner "Lemonade," a track that has since impressively racked up over 6 million streams as well as his lead single, "Sad," the other tracks on the project serve as an exciting reminder that Friedman is slowly and steadily making his way onto everyone's radar. With "What If," Friedman's opening vocals are perfect for a pensive reflection, as he wonders what would have happened if things with someone who had caught his eye went a little bit differently. The ambience of the song then erupts into warm electronic production full of pan flute-esque synths and a delectable variety of drums, swirling with inevitable sing-along moments proving that Friedman's ability to borrow elements from pop and dance music alike continues to work in his favor.
Desiigner - "Outlet"
While 2016 put Desiigner on the map in a permanent way with the release of his platinum singles "Panda" and "Timmy Turner," this year finds the rapper on a whole new level but chasing after the same goals. The 19-year-old is wasting no time getting back down to business after enjoying the breakout success he's now received his first heavy heaping of, recently announcing a six-week U.S. tour to kick off in April. Not only that but he also followed up the exciting news with a fresh new single, "Outlet," a song that shares the same name as the 25-city tour run and gives fans a taste of the new material the G.O.O.D. music emcee has been cooking up for his highly anticipated Def Jam debut, The Life of Desiigner. On the new track, the Brooklyn native navigates less-familiar territory, straying a bit from the patterns used in his previous singles, while tactfully weaving in his signature chirps, buttery rhyme-singing and braggadocios battle cries. While the song interestingly enough doesn't feature the word "outlet," the song doubles as a reminder that the reputedly high energy Desiigner is still charged up and ready to go. While discussing the new single, Desiigner naturally is already looking toward the bigger picture, using his new music as fuel to get him to where he wants to go next, even thinking as ambitiously as an astronaut. "I got millions and trillions, I’m here to entertain," he recently declared. "If I gotta get to the next planet and it’s the first ship going up there and it’s a performance, I want to do that. You feel me? So I’m trying to just be everywhere man, just be everywhere." With "Outlet" the first reveal of what Desiigner has on deck, it's without a doubt that while the rapper may have a long ways to go until he reaches his out-of-this-world aspiration, he certainly is heading in the right direction.
Fifty Shades Darker - Official Soundtrack
With Valentine's Day just around the corner, today's timely release of the second installment of the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise is making sure that regardless of how one may feel about the hallmark holiday, the film's soundtrack is here for the die-hard romantics and the reluctant population alike. As the best-selling book series went on to takeover the big screen, with Fifty Shades of Grey and now Fifty Shades Darker, it's only fitting that the accompanying soundtrack is full of major players, unlikely collaborations and as much sex appeal as the erotic romance tale itself exudes. While the film's first soundtrack birthed some of 2015's most sultry anthems, including The Weeknd's "Earned It" and Ellie Goulding's "Love Me Like You Do," this year's collection appears to hold just as much promise as its predecessor. As recently featured on #SpotifyNMF, Taylor Swift and Zayn's collaboration "I Don't Wanna Live Forever," has already racked up an impressive 175M plays on Spotify, with Halsey's offering "Not Afraid Anymore," gliding past 6M, building anticipation to see what else the star-studded collection has in store. With songs from John Legend, Tove Lo, Sia, Kygo, The-Dream, Nick Jonas, Nicki Minaj and more, Fifty Shades Darker covers a lot of ground, both in both the lyrical sense and genre-wise. With songs ranging from tropical house-tinged tracks to piano-led ballads to sinister pop, the soundtrack explores an overall theme of lust, with each track tackling a new interpretation of the complicated emotion and experience. While the film's at-times controversial plot is a bit more dark than the content of its soundtrack may be, Fifty Shades Darker is poised to dominate theaters and the airwaves alike this weekend and then some, with the conversations surrounding the cultural phenomenon destined to continue well past its debut opening.