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Music News Reviews

Shallou creates pure magic on debut album, Magical Thinking

Whether you’re social distancing at home or driving to your (essential) job, consider putting on a track or two from Shallou’s newest album, Magical Thinking. It contains thirty-eight minutes of pure emotional joy that deserves to be thoroughly listened to. The first few seconds of the intro track immediately brought me back to a past summer and pushed all worries I had from this difficult time out of the way. Nothing like a nice drive with ‘‘Forget’’ playing in the background to make you feel like the world is back to normal, even if it isn’t. 

The album surrounds the concept of memory loss, holding onto those intimate moments before they become out of reach. It shifts from the sadness of memory loss to represent the seasons with all of it’s changes and how that relates to people. The album holds an emotional aspect to it; maybe it’s from the introspective lyrics, or the spacious, light tone of the vocals, but it definitely left me with a heavy heart and a breath of fresh air. The production seems slightly opposite from emotional as it stems from joyous electronic pop but does a magnificent job keeping the allure of ‘‘whimsical sadness’’ that Shallou describes in his music. 

The album features collaborators; Ashe, Daya, Zachary Knowles, and many others, that makes it all even more worth listening to as each artist brings their own flair without compromising the overall message in each track. 

My favorite track would have to be, Older featuring Daya. It’s everything you need in a song from the combination of Daya’s vocals, Shallou’s production, and the top-notch songwriting putting it at my number one track on-repeat. The lyrics, ‘‘Maybe one day when I am older, I might understand why love doesn’t happen to everyone who wants it’’ is so beautifully written and performed, it is just the heart-breaking, ambient ear candy we were all looking for. Shallou has built a name for himself as one of music’s most organic artists who successfully gained over three million streams thus far. I cannot wait to hear more from Shallou and expect nothing less than something magical from him on the next release. 

LISTEN HERE 

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Interview with Dhruv

Trading lectures and lessons for studio recording sessions, singer/songwriter Dhruv elaborates on the life of a college student– who happens to have a single with 500k streams, and all without any industry help. If you know anything about music, you know that it is extremely hard to promote an artist without even a little help, but Dhruv’s talent proves otherwise. His first single, ‘‘double take’’ was released in May 2019 and has since amassed over 500,000 streams alone. As a data science major attending Yale University, he plans on making his way into the music industry, one way or the other.

Now, we are not here to talk about how well he seems to be doing in
school. We want to know if his music is any good! I was lucky enough to get the chance to hear his unreleased track ‘‘Moonlight’’ which is set to be released today, February 21st. The song depicts the naivety and simplicity of a relationship, and it is so well-written musically and
lyrically that you’ll be falling in love with it too. Before you go running off to listen to it, here’s the story behind it.

As a queer person of color hailing from Singapore, Dhruv spoke
about the difficulties navigating his identity in a place that was not nearly as progressive. ‘‘Lyrically, it is about pining for something that seems as if it only existed in movies. I wanted to write something intoxicating and beautiful like the love we see on the big screen, something that I’ve never gotten to see represented as much in my sexuality.’’ There are lines in the song that give examples, ‘‘poetry and hand-picked flowers, say you’ll meet me at the altar’’ and ‘‘true love, kinda hoped it would feel like a rom-com’’ that directly represents the movie kind of love that I searched for.

This isn’t just represented in his single. Dhruv plans to release an
EP, ‘‘Con Artist’’ that portrays him navigating different aspects of his
life. Whether that be in love, in his music, or in himself. Dhruv does not perceive himself as an artist, but as someone who simply creates music to share, hence the name, ‘‘Con Artist.’’ While he couldn’t reveal much about his EP, he said it is definitely worth the wait. With the help of his label, TRST. Records, he hopes to make music for those who are underrepresented, a common vision aligned with TRST, which aims to create an environment where their artists can identify themselves in their music and share it with others.

Dhruv sends his love to his fans, and apologizes for the long wait. He made sure to only release what he felt was ready to be heard. Be on the lookout for more of Dhruv and stream Moonlight on all platforms today!

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Crowdsurfer Collection Playlists

February 2020 Playlist

Our resident playlist curator and NYC-based music producer, Sonca Nguyen, has agreed to grace our music magazine with new tunes every month of 2020.

If you don’t yet know her, you should know that her playlists are pretty iconic. From a mix of the latest releases and local favorites, she always seems to capture the mood of the month with her curated playlist.

Head on over to Spotify to check out this month’s playlist for February, and let us know what you think! And while you’re at it, be sure to follow Sonca and Crowdsurfer on Instagram.

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Cellus Hamilton on Rapping in the Subway

We’re so excited to bring you a behind the scenes look at NYC artist and performer Cellus Hamilton. He moved to New York from Atlanta to pursue his music career, and he spends a few hours every week performing in Subway cars to commuters and tourists. We followed Cellus during one of his shifts and talked to him about the process, why he started rapping on the subway, and where he’s headed in the future.

Watch the video below:

If you liked this video, check us out on Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube.

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Music News

New Artist Alert: Molly Lovette

Molly Lovette is an up-and-coming country pop artist. She’s making big moves this year and so enlisted the help of our own Lauren Hayes to make a video to kick off 2020!

Shot in her hometown in Missouri, Molly showcases her voice, guitar skills, and a wardrobe with just enough sparkle (which we love). We’ll be keeping our eyes on this lady as she’s sure to be releasing new music soon.

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Crowdsurfer Collection Playlists

January 2020 Playlist

Our resident playlist curator and NYC-based music producer, Sonca Nguyen, has agreed to grace our music magazine with new tunes every month of 2020.

If you don’t yet know her, you should know that her playlists are pretty iconic. From a mix of the latest releases and local favorites, she always seems to capture the mood of the month with her curated playlist.

Head on over to Spotify to check out this month’s playlist for January, and let us know what you think! And while you’re at it, be sure to follow Sonca and Crowdsurfer on Instagram.