Concert Preview: Emily King

bBjW2KcvAE19ElVaiForUvmnQvbP26hld-ZXkQxeoCE,qomIi-saXz-sXwe_wF3aZeRhsyVqWHGmf4-Q9dEVNGQ,9kK1BKZdv20Ci6Q_CqrAUBcitjYCNp4_nDy1OzfayC8Singer-songwriter Emily King will be performing at the Doug Fir Lounge in Portland, OR on August 5th. Want to get to know this talented, Grammy-nominated it-girl before seeing her live? Then you’ve come to the right place. ūüôā

Born in New York City, Emily has been surrounded by music her entire life. Her parents, Marion Cowings and Kim Kalesti, were a traveling singing duo while she was growing up, and Emily herself began to pursue music at the age of just sixteen. Her debut album, titled East Side Story, was released in August of 2007. USA Today rated it four out of five stars, and it was even nominated for a Grammy award in 2007 for Best Contemporary R&B Album of the Year. And Emily’s success didn’t stop there. Also in 2007, Emily toured with John Legend, opened for a few iconic artists such as Alicia Keys and Chaka Khan, and even Maroon 5! In 2012, she opened for singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles. (One of my favorites!)

Egi-F7vB5wni3XQF2Ern1XXy-HHOGEdsricDj-VxKykEmily’s distinct style and image have caught the eyes and ears of fans around the world. Although Emily was initially working with a record label until 2008, she’s worked on her music independently since, and her latest album, The Switch really reflects that. And I’ve got to say, this album is absolutely brilliant. The Switch features some killer bass, simple-yet deeply-emotional lyrics, and hypnotizing harmonies sung by Emily herself. Fans of Alabama Shakes, Kitten, and London Grammar will appreciate Emily’s breathy, compelling voice that truly fills your headphones in a way I haven’t ever heard before.

emily-king-the-switch-lp-stream-715x715Emily will be performing songs off her latest record, The Switch during her tour this summer, which was released just this last month on the 24th of June. A few of my personal favorites off this album are “Already There,” “Off Center,” “Distance,” and “The Switch.” Each song tells a relatable, descriptive story and Emily’s vocals make each song absolutely unique in their own way. This album is heavily influenced by indie, soul, and R&B musical style, and Emily’s soulful¬† vocals makes this album a perfect soundtrack for your summer. It’s been on repeat for me the past few weeks!

With a strong, charismatic stage presence, some killer tunes, a phenomenal new album, and simply an amazing, refreshing voice, Emily King is guaranteed to put on an amazing show this August. Make sure you grab your tickets now while they last, and feel free to tweet me pics & reactions to the show when you’re there!

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Surrounded By Music In New York City

I recently took a week-long trip to NYC with my family. New York is an incredible city with extraordinary people, performers, shows and buildings. While I was there, I wanted to check out any music-related NYC landmarks and experiences that I’m always hearing about. Here’s some of the things I was up to!

              Tori Kelly Popup Concert

imageI woke up one sunny, Monday morning in NYC and began scrolling through my Instagram feed. I stopped scrolling when I saw that Tori Kelly had been on Good Morning America just a few hours before. I freaked! I figured she was hanging out in NYC somewhere, so I went through her Twitter page and tried to figure out where she might be. After a while, I found out she was planning to do a popup concert in Union Square for dedicated fans that went through a scavenger hunt to find her.

Around 5 pm that day, I was standing less then 3 feet away from Tori, watching her belt out the lyrics to her latest hit “Nobody Love,” and a few others. Although it was super hot outside, it was so worth it to see Tori again!

  Hard Rock Cafe

While my family and I were exploring Times Square, we made a stop at the legendary NYC Hard Rock Cafe. The place was decked out in all types of guitars, autographs, and outfits worn by famous artists on stage, such as Hailey Williams from Paramore. I was in a music lover’s dream. I picked up one of their classic T-shirts during my visit, and it’s pretty cool to wear it & say I’ve finally been to a Hard Rock Cafe! (Below is a picture of me wearing my shirt to work.)

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 Strawberry Fields (John Lennon Memorial)

imageOn the edge of Central Park is a small, quiet area designed to be a memorial for the legendary John Lennon. The spot is directly across from the Dakota Apartments, where Lennon was shot in 1980. It’s surrounded by a green, plant/hill area called Strawberry Fields, named after The Beatles’ iconic song “Strawberry Fields Forever.” In the middle of the path to Strawberry Fields is a mosaic (that is supposed to represent a teardrop) with the word “Imagine” placed in the middle, which is the title of John Lennon’s most famous song.

The spot was beautiful, with so many people stopping to admire the design which was covered in flowers. Nearby, a busker softly serenaded the crowd with songs by The Beatles, including one of my favorites: “Let It Be,” which I caught a small clip of. It was so moving to experience this amazing tribute to John Lennon in person.

 NYC buskers & street performers

All over NYC are buskers, street performers and young artists who are making a living by  serenading crowds rushing by in subway stations & on NYC streets. I loved it, because pretty much everywhere I visited in New York I was surrounded by music. One of my favorite moments was seeing a man in Central Park who was playing the saxophone. I played the saxophone for about four years, so I always love watching others play.

imageAnother one of my favorite moments was walking through Washington Square Park during the evening. It was so alive! Under the Washington Square Arch, people were taking turns belting out their favorite tunes, dancing and laughing the night away. It was so cool to see a group of complete strangers connect over music in that way. If you’re an August Rush fan, you’ll instantly recognize this spot from the movie.

imageIn the middle of Central Park under a beautiful bridge, a singing group called Infinity’s Song filled the air with their incredible voices. People stopped immediately as the passed, drawn to the sound of their harmonies. The group switched off singing solos, then all together as their voices reverberated off the walls of the bridge, creating amazing acoustics. Check out my video of them below. (Fun fact: the day after I took this video, Tori Kelly found them in Central Park, too. She was intrigued by their voices, and ended up asking them to join her onstage the next night at her sold-out show at the Best Buy Theater in NYC. Incredible.)

                                      Bleecker Street Records

image11713198_871068056299071_1481854557_oEven while rushing around crazy-busy NYC, I still found time to stop and do one of my favorite things: browse through records & CDs at a record shop. I stopped in  the famous Bleecker Street Records, which is located in the heart of NY in Greenwhich Village. I bought some cool stickers (The Who & R.E.M) for my laptop while I was there, and got lost in the store for a bit. Downstairs, I met a friendly (and fuzzy) record store employee who liked being pet. (See left!)

Bleecker Street Records was pretty cool, but it’s nothing compared to the amazing record store I work in, Music Millennium.

imageBroadway Musical

On my last night in NYC, I went to a Broadway musical at the Stephen Sondheim Theater with my mom! We saw “Beautiful,” which is a musical about singer Carol King’s life and music. It was absolutely amazing! The sets and costumes were incredible, the transitions were flawless, and the actors had beautiful voices. Carol King’s songs were weaved into the story of her life, which was so fun to watch and listen to. I would¬†definitely recommend getting tickets to see this show if you are planning to take a trip to NYC anytime soon!