Welcome to another instalment of What’s Going On. This week, I’ve got Fat Joe’s new collaboration with internet DJ/producer sensation Amorphous, a fresh cover of one of my personal favorite Pet Shop Boys songs and so much more. As always, if you dig what you’re hearing, be sure to stream and follow these artists.
Fat Joe ft. Amorphous – One of the bright spots of last fall was the rise of Amorphous. The 23-year old Orlando based DJ and producer went viral with his mind-blowing mashups that displayed his amazing ear for music. His mashup of Rihanna’s “Kiss It Better” with Luther Vandross’ “Never Too Much” particularly struck a chord with music lovers around the world and got the attention of famed hip-hop producers Cool and Dre. Dre put the mashup on Fat Joe’s radar and that’s how “Sunshine (The Light),” Fat Joe’s first single since 2019 was born. The breezy track takes inspiration from the Amorphous mashup and also features Rihanna’s vocals from “Kiss It Better” on the hook. And on top of all of that, Amorphous was featured in the star-studded music video alongside Fat Joe, DJ Khaled, Diddy and Cool and Dre.
Listen to Fat Joe’s new single “Sunshine (The Light)” ft. Amorphous below.
Natalie Gelman – With her new single “2020,” folk-pop singer-songwriter Natalie Gelman has released the perfect song to help us all leave last year in the rearview mirror. Natalie was headed into 2020 with plans to play gigs around the world but found those plans derailed due to the global pandemic. Inspired by going down a Tyga and Missy Elliott-fueled rap rabbit hole one night, Natalie channeled the craziness of the year into a catchy pop anthem. “2020” manages to strike the perfect balance between being both cathartic and fun. The accompanying music video hilariously depicts Zoom fatigue and the rollercoaster of emotions that comes with being in quarantine.
Listen to Natalie Gelman’s new single “2020” below.
Jon Batiste – Singer, multi-instrumentalist and all-around talent Jon Batiste is out with “I NEED YOU,” the second single from his forthcoming album WE ARE which is set to be released on March 19 via Verve Records. The bandleader and musical director of The Late Show With Stephen Colbert is exploring the sound of “black pop” with his new album and “I NEED YOU” is a great taste of what that means. Batiste set out to fuse pop, hip hop and the throwback sounds of early 20th century Black social music. The feel-good track features Jon Batiste harmonizing beautifully with himself and flexing his piano and saxophone skills. On what he’s hoping to accomplish with “I NEED YOU,” Batiste says: “This song is a vibe cleanse. After 2020, this is like a warm hug. Let’s bring the vibes back!”
Listen to Jon Batiste’s new single “I NEED YOU” below.
Years & Years – To celebrate the launch of Russell T. Davies’ new series of the same name, Years & Years have covered the beloved Pet Shop Boys classic “It’s a Sin.” Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander stars in the Channel 4 drama series that charts the impact of AIDS throughout the 1980s and the lives, loves, and losses of a friend group. This cover sees the bombastic 1987 dance track transformed into a gorgeous piano ballad with a portion of the proceeds being donated to George House Trust for HIV support. Speaking on his love for “It’s a Sin,” Olly states: “I’ve always loved the iconic Pet Shop Boys and this song’s expression of the gay experience. My character Ritchie loves this song too so I’m really excited to put out our own version. I made this mostly from home just me and my piano so it feels pretty raw and exposed, it’s a really beautiful song to sing.”
Listen to Years & Years cover of “It’s a Sin” below.
Dead Menace – Dead Menace are urging you to have a great 2021 with “Good Year,” their optimistic new single. The UK band consisting of brothers Jack, Dan and Kit used their downtime in 2020 to not only record five singles but also a collection of music videos. Self-described as “three brothers making alternative pop”, Dead Menace cite Chvrches, Post Malone, and Joji among their varied influences. “Good Year” is an infectious electro-inspired track that lyrically pushes the idea that it’s a good year for hedonism, a message that I’m sure we can all get behind. The music video for “Good Year” is downright tranquil and serene, filmed in the Barossa nature reserve.
Listen to Dead Menace’s new single “Good Year” below.