This week’s instalment of What’s Going On is a bit of a youth movement. I’ve got a collection of new songs and music videos from some of the best and brightest young stars currently on the scene: Kjersti, LILHUDDY, Johnny Orlando, and renforshort. As always, if you dig what you hear, be sure to follow and stream these artists.
Kjersti – Kicking off this week’s column focused on young talent is rock-pop prodigy Kjersti Long. After writing her first original song at the crazy age of 9 and performing in rock clubs by the age of 11, the now 14-year old singer-songwriter has all the makings of a force to be reckoned with. Her new single “Not Your Princess” delivers girl power in spades. An empowerment anthem that speaks to the importance of being who you are and living outside of the stereotypes people set for you. With its uplifting lyrics and Kjersti’s powerful vocals, “Not Your Princess” succeeds in making a statement. And if that isn’t already cool enough, Kjersti has also covered the Beatles’ 1966 hit “Eleanor Rigby” and put her own unique twist on the macabre classic. The future is bright for this one.
Listen to Kjersti Long’s single “Not Your Princess” and her cover of “Eleanor Rigby” below.
Johnny Orlando – In a move that showcases his versatility, Canadian singer-songwriter Johnny Orlando hooked up with DJ/production duo DVBBS for his new single “I Don’t.” The collaboration delivers all of the upbeat pop vibes that we love from the brilliant 18-year old performer but the EDM production from DVBSS makes it ready for the dancefloor. As the weather gets warmer, “I Don’t” is sure to be a spring/summer jam. Speaking on working with DVBBS, Johnny Orlando says: “I grew up listening to DVBBS, and finally being able to work with them has been an incredible experience. I’ve learned so much from these guys, and I hope this isn’t the last thing we do together. I think the pop-EDM crossover works really well on this track and that it’s a perfect way to kick off the warm weather!”
Listen to Johnny Orlando’s new single “I Don’t (with DVBBS)” below.
renforshort – Toronto-based singer-songwriter renforshort is really having a moment. Her song “i drive me mad” was featured in the debut episode of the new HBO Max series GENER+TION, she’s received heaps of praises from outlets like NME and now she’s out with her new single “exception.” The talented 18-year-old has crafted her own signature style of alt-pop and “exception” fits perfectly in that mold. Mixing pop sensibilities and teen angst with elements of alternative and grunge, the second single from renforshort’s forthcoming sophomore EP is an enchanting listen and is sure to replicate the same success as her previous singles “virtual reality” and “nostalgic (luvsick).”
Listen to renforshort’s new single “exception” below.
LILHUDDY – LILHUDDY is no stranger to What’s Going On. The TikTok superstar has been featured on here several times before and now he’s dropped the acoustic version of “The Eulogy of You and Me”, his second single via Immersive/Geffen Records. Stripped down, you can really hear just how solid of a pop song “The Eulogy of You and Me” is at its core. Vocally, the singer also known as Chase Hudson sounds great over the paired down piano and guitar arrangement. As an added bonus, the acoustic music video was shot at the iconic venue Whiskey A-Go-Go in Los Angeles. A lot of young social media stars make the jump into music but it’s clear that music isn’t just something to do for LILHUDDY and he’s got what it takes to make a lasting impression.
Listen to the acoustic version of LILHUDDY’s new single “The Eulogy of You and Me” below.