Some of you might remember us going bonkers last year for Series SINGER from China where our beloved Songstress Sandy Lam took home top honours.
The Show is back on Hunan Television and fortunately, YouTube also. While the Series pits on-stage, professional and signed Recording Artists for audience votes, we’d expect competitors to be Chinese or at least from Asia. We were however thrown for a loop when we read JessieJ – yes, “Price Tag”Jessie J– had agreed to sign-on!
While we’d expect there to be a major voter bias, week after week the soulful British star has taken top spot on polls and she’s showing no signs of stopping. And rightfully so, she’s been magnificent!
By her side all this time his is her manager Joel Madden (Good Charlotte) who can be seen cheering her on on-camera. Never mind the awkward audience reactions, the production on this Series is superb and it puts the Artists front and center in a dignified way. We are stoked to see what she’ll pick next week and are willing to bet she’ll at some point go full-on Chinese.
You must witness the vocal perfection that is hercover of Whitney Houston‘s I Have Nothing.
I HAVE NOTHING (Whitney Houston Cover)
Jessie J takes to Instagram to dedicate her performance to Houston, stating tearfully “It’s taken me 25 years to find the courage to sing this whole song on stage. It was one of the most unforgettable and special moments in my life.”.
We’ll never forget meeting Jessie J in Toronto a few years back. Despite not feeling well, she was so lovely! While we don’t think she has had the hits or the material that she truly deserved, here’s to many new people discovering her talent. We remember her Tweeting about being terrified flying Porter finding the plane too small! LOL Dream and live big.
Admit it! You didn’t think GREASE LIVE! was gonna be any good, did you??! I mean, how is it possible to top a Masterpiece? We tried erasing the less-than-stellar GREASE 2 right out of our memories, but have failed time and time again.
Little did we know sitting on our couches at 7:00 PM – an unassuming Sunday night – that Television forever would be transformed for us! What made Alex Rudzinski (Dancing with the Stars) and Thomas Kail (2 Broke Girls)‘s Live TV Adaptation of one of the greatest Films ever made wonderful, was that it captured precisely the charm and energy that made us fall in love with the 1978 Original. This we remind you, is not an easy feat. We’ve seen so many Remakes on the Big Screen in recent years disappointingly fall flat.
Everything from a sophisticated stage design which brought us back to Rydell High right down to the almost identical frame-for-frame replication of the original Film had us in awe. As we cut in and out of commercial break, we got quick flashes of the pandemonium behind-the-scenes, the Actors getting transported in trollies from stage to stage at a frenetic pace, keeping us engaged and rooting for them a laVictoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Most important of all, the casting was phenomenal. Actors like Vanessa Hudgens, Keke Palmer, Carly Rae Jepsen, Julianne Hough and Aaron Tveit didn’t exactly have us jumping for excitement initially, but were we ever off the mark!
Hudgens although a little shaky in her rendition of Look At Me, I’m Sandra Dee, got it together in the Second Act wowing us in full force as a sassy, no-nonsense Rizzo, just mesmerizing in her delivery of There Are Worse Things. What is even more heartbreaking is that Hudgens just yesterday lost her father Greg, channeling her emotions completely tonight on-stage for her biggest Audience yet.
Keke Palmer whom often has been relegated to supporting roles on the likes of Scream Queens and 90210, really shined as flirty Marty, giving Freddy My Love an injection of soul. Promising and underrated describe only the tip of the iceberg for this burgeoning star, who actually is already a veteran.
Broadway star Aaron Tveit was excellent as our Danny Zuko, embodying exactly the endearing unpredictability of being a hormonal teenager. Although making a few modifications to the melodies we loved vocally early, he saved it all for late, stealing our hearts in his powerful performance of ballad Sandy. We only knew him prior from 2012’s Les Misérables, but we now are obsessed.
Julianne Hough perhaps carries the greatest weight of all in the beloved role of Sandy and she did not disappoint at any step, although a bit of fatigue could be heard late after a demanding First and Second Act. She was the perfect Sandy, capturing her naiveté and level-headedness. Vocally, she possessed the strength to deliver for the three-hour show and physically, she was spot-on in her choreography which had her cheerleading and dancing her way beginning to end. It didn’t take us long into the broadcast to realize that we’ve long under-estimated Hough.
What also was amazing is that one of our favourites from the Original surfaced as a Cameo – Didi Conn (originally Frenchy) as waitress Vi and above that, appearances from The Brady Bunch‘s Eve Plumb as Shop Teacher Mrs. Murdock and even Boys II Men as our Teen Angels performing Beauty School Drop-Out. Joe Jonas and his new band DNCE also appeared as Johnny Casino and The Gamblers, while vocal powerhouse Jessie J kicked it all off singing the show’s theme, Grease is the Word.
Although we enjoyed the Broadcast greatly, we knew we were “hopelessly devoted” by the Final Act – the end-of-year Carnival scene to be exact. We didn’t want to say goodbye – which is exactly the same way we felt when he first saw the Original. Truly magical.
Learn more about GREASE LIVE!here and how to stream it.
Download the complete Soundtrack from GREASE LIVE!here.
He’s been hand-picked by the likes of Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Oprah, Naomi Campbell and Justin Timberlake. After four years in the making, DJ Cassidy is set to make an explosive debut with his first Album Paradise Royale, set tentatively for a release in May. The star-studded Affair features collaborations with 22 of the most influencial Musicians of the Disco Era and a roster of Guest Vocalists which will have you asking, “Like, how?!?”. Mary J. Blige, Estelle, R. Kelly, Cee-Lo, John Legend, Kelly Rowland, Passion Pit and so many more lend their talents in a way you’ve never quite heard them before!
DJ Cassidy dons a stylish fedora and a large brooch with the letter “C”, a signature look which matches his level of musical sophistication. We learn he is very hands-on with his approach, humbled by the opportunity to give musical direction to many of his Heroes on his upcoming Disc. He also incorporates a Live Band to his Act when performing live, as he currently opens on tour for Robin Thicke.
“The first step was I sat down and made a Playlist of my favourite 25 songs of that Era (1978-1982)”, says the eloquent New Yorker says to an intimate Audience of Tastemakers at Toronto’s Drake Hotel, “How do I make my songs feel like these Songs?”. He adds, “I made a list of every Musician who ever worked on these Songs – the Drummer, the Guitar Player, the Horn Player and so on. I made 25 lists and what I saw was the same names repeated over and over and over.”. “To achieve my mission, I had to go to the source – so for the past four years, I reunited 22 of the most legendary Musicians to recreate their sound”. He then went-on to premiere four unheard Tracks from his Album.
I was floored by the John Legend and Estelle Track When The Stars Come Out. I try convincing DJ Cassidy this needs to be his Followup Single as we exchange a hug, him telling me he saw me grooving from the stage as he measured reactions from the Crowd. Current Single, Calling All Hearts featuring the vocals of Robin Thicke and Jessie J. Disco Era heavyweights Philip Bailey, Verdine White and Larry Dunn of Earth, Wind & Fire. Mega-Producer Nile Rodgers even brings out the same guitar we hear on Chic‘s Good Times and Madonna‘s Material Girl. But back to When The Stars Come Out, the Track is like nectar to the ears. “I normally call my own shots, but ultimately I trust the Label to decide what’s best”, he says about whichever Track next will see a release.
DJ Cassidy‘s Soulful Funk revival (please do not use the word “Disco“) could well define the Sound of 2014, reconnecting his Generation of Hip-Hop-obsessed Music Listeners to what he calls “the most universal Dance Music of all time”. The Crowd in attendance is delighted by infectious Passion Pit Collabo So Long Baby, a true mark of his ability as a Producer, making them sound convincingly soulful; there is big potential there for a Crossover Hit.
Noticing an R. Kelly Collaboration sequenced late on his Playlist projected onto the screen, the Audience begged for him to play the Track, Make the World Go Round, and they certainly are not left disappointed, greeting it with loud cheers and claps. The Track is a result of multiple flights and sessions with the controversial Singer/Songwriter. It rates among his best work.
I ask DJ Cassidy whom he wishes to collaborate with still. “I submitted a list of 30 Vocalists and immediately got to work with 10 of my top picks”, he reveals. “Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake and Miguel I hope can be on the next Album.”. Well, at this rate, it sure doesn’t seem impossible – wouldn’t you agree?
See our Snap:
Listen to DJ Cassidy talk about his creative process and how he got to make the Album many might dream of, but only he could make:
Check-out Calling All Hearts ft. Jessie J and Robin Thicke below:
Chances are if you love early Spice Girls, you’ll love the care-free, high-energy Disco on DJ Cassidy ft. Robin Thicke & Jessie J‘s catchy new Single, Calling All Hearts. The festive Dance Number is exactly the spirit boost we need amidst this never-ending winter!
Spice Girls aside though, the Track is dripping in authenticity of the Era to whcih it pays tribute. Iconic Nile Rodgers, who by the way is Toronto-bound for Canadian Music Week and Earth, Wind & Fire Vocalist Philip Bailey team-up on this Collaboration and the results are magical!
The Mastermind behind the Track is New York’s DJ Cassidy, hand-picked by Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z for their Legends of the Summer Tour. Did I mentioned that Oprah and President Obama also have requested his musical talents too?