Music Observer

Oscar Isaac and Zoë Kravitz Will Host SNL This March

Photo: Vanity Fair

Two high-profile celebrities will appear on “Saturday Night Live” on NBC this coming month. The network has announced Thursday that Oscar Isaac and Zoë Kravitz will be hosting consecutive episodes. 

Isaac and Kravitz, first-time hosts, will anchor after John Mulaney. He will mark his start at the highly esteemed SNL Five-Timers Club when he hosts on February 26 at the first post-winter Olympics episode with LCD Soundsystem. 

Isaac has been on the show before. The actor, who is known for his roles in films like “Dune” and “Ex Machina,” showed up dressed with a pirate hat wearing a hook on his hand during the Halloween episode of “What Up With That” with Jason Sudeiki as host at the time. 

Now, he’ll not come as a guest but officially as a host, taking over on March 5, with Charli XCX as his musical guest. Last December, Charli XCX was supposed to join the episode hosted by Paul Rudd; her appearance, however, was set aside due to COVID restrictions. 

Kravitz will follow Isaac hosting on March 12. And Rosalía will appear as her musical guest. “The Batman” lead actress has made an appearance on SNL before. She appeared in the Donald Glover episode and performed in 2018. She promoted her song “Saturday,” carrying a red Solo cup in her hand. 

SNL is broadcasted on NBC on Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT.

“The Batman” Will Have Its Own “Bat-verse,” says Matt Reeves

Photo: Cinema Blend

With the upcoming latest installment “The Batman,” American filmmaker Matt Reeves wants to create a new Bat-verse as an offshoot.

The film follows Dark Knight’s second year—portrayed by Robert Pattinson—a murder mystery that involves familiar characters from the canon: the Riddler (played by Paul Dano), a serial killer that preys on Gotham’s corrupt aristocrats; Selene Kyle (portrayed by Zoë Kravitz), who will later set off as Catwoman; and the Penguin (played by Colin Farrell), aka Oswald Cobblepot, who is just a mid-tier mob lieutenant in the film and has not even reached a good enough villain achievement. 

“The Batman” is created as a story on its own and not standing within DC’s universe (DCEU); Reeves has already been thinking of plans to broaden this world outside the big screen.

Two new shows in the works at HBO Max will have the “Cloverfield” director as executive producer; one is a Gotham City Police Department drama announced back in July 2020 while another circulates the Penguin’s rise to power.

“What I really wanted this movie to do is create a Batverse,” Reeves told a media outlet. “You don’t do a story and go, ‘This is Chapter 1’ because you might not get to do Chapter 2. So, the story had to stand on its own. But the thing about it is that the Bat world is so rich with character that as you’re starting to come to an end, you can already start thinking about the next thing. Because the idea, of course, is that Gotham’s story never ends.” 

As per Reeves’ statement, the Penguin show appeared out of discussions with HBO Max, which wanted more than sideline characters from the film. 

“I was thrilled by that,” Reeves says. “I said [to HBO Max], ‘To be honest with you, the thing that was going to be the seeds of what I thought the next story could be in terms of the Penguin is that I saw there being this kind of ‘American dream in Gotham’ sort of story, almost like “Scarface;” the rise of this character who we all know will achieve mythic status.’ He is underestimated, and he’s like a time bomb … They were like, ‘Oh my God, we’re in!’ And that was really exciting because, by that point, Colin had already given life to this character.”

Despite Reeve’s hold back on giving more information about which characters will be spotlighted next, he clearly showed his hopes for these projects because of its focus on characters. 

Batman is coming to the theaters on March 4.

Paul McCartney Announces a Tour

Photo: Forbes

The Beatles’ fans will twist and shout at this news.

The Beatle Paul McCartney has announced his first tour dates since 2019. This coming April, he’ll be launching in Spokane and ending in New Jersey by mid-June. 

“I said at the end of the last tour that I’d see you next time,” said McCartney in a press release. “I said I was going to get back to you. Well, I got back!” 

In 2020, McCartney released “McCarney III,” his most recent album, before signing up a long list of collaborators – including Beck, Phoebe Bridgers, St. Vincent, Devonté Hynes, Damon Albarn, and many more – for “McCartney III Imagined,” the accompanying LP, the following year. 

An astoundingly lengthy documentary called The Beatles: Get Back was released by Peter Jackson last year. It talked about the creation of “Let It Be.”

Take a look at the schedule below.

04-28 Spokane, WA – Spokane Arena

 05-02 Seattle, WA – Climate Pledge Arena

 05-03 Seattle, WA – Climate Pledge Arena

 05-06 Oakland, CA – Oakland Arena

 05-13 Inglewood, CA – SoFi Stadium

 05-17 Fort Worth, TX – Dickies Arena

 05-21 Winston Salem, NC – Truist Field

 05-25 Hollywood, FL – Hard Rock Live

 05-28 Orlando, FL – Camping World Stadium

 05-31 Knoxville, TN – Thompson-Boling Arena

 06-04 Syracuse, NY – Carrier Dome

 06-07 Boston, MA – Fenway Park

 06-12 Baltimore, MD – Orioles Park

 06-16 East Rutherford, NJ – MetLife Stadium

Netflix Announces Production of BioShock Live-Action Movie

Photo: The Verge

Netflix has announced that they will create a live-action movie based on the retro-futuristic video game series BioShock.

In an unexpected move, the streaming giant announced they would collaborate with 2K and Take-Two on a live-action adaptation of Ken Levine’s well-known immersive game set in an underwater city supposed to be home for Earth’s most remarkable minds before falling into havoc.

The film’s production has been in motion for a year now, but the lineup of actors and filmmakers who will be involved remains unclear.

BioShock is a game in an underwater city named Rapture; it was released in 2007 as a successor of SystemShock. The players are drawn to the depths, only for them uncovering details about this supposed haven’s past; it turns out not all inhabitants were downfallen as they thought, with armored giants called Big Daddies haunting the place. 

BioShock is one of the most famous games in a decade. So it created two follow-ups: BioShock 2 and BioShock: Infinite. But the latest version currently in development is under a new studio, Cloud Chamber, without Levine in the team. 

“Netflix is among the best and most forward-thinking storytellers in all of entertainment today. We are thrilled that they share our vision and commitment to the BioShock franchise, which is beloved by millions of fans around the world,” says Strauss Zelnick, CEO at Take-Two, in a statement.

“2 K’s Cloud Chamber studio is deep in active development on the next iteration of the series, and coupled with our partnership with Netflix, we remain highly confident that BioShock will continue to captivate and engage audiences like never before,” Zelnick continued.

For some time now, BioShock has been aimed for a Hollywood adaptation. Briefly following the pilot of the first game, Gore Verbinski, Pirates of the Caribbean director, wanted to do a live-action movie. However, producers put the project on hold due to the director’s planned budget and R-Rating, and eventually, the project was laid aside entirely.

Dua Lipa, Green Day, and My Chemical Romance Are Headliners for 2022 Firefly Music Festival

Photo: Business Wire

Another festival is up for fans to go to this year. 

This coming September, the Firefly Festival will pop as Dua Lipa will headline the last night of Delaware’s famed fest, with Halsey, My Chemical Romance, and Green Day to conclude the event. The fest will kick off from September 22 to 25. 

Among the lineup are Weezer, The Kid Laroi, Big Sean, Zedd, Porter Robinson and Gunna, with Avril Lavigne taking the top spot on the roster and Jamei XX, Charli XCX, Gryffin, and Bleachers. 

The fest will also have performances by Rainbow Kitten Surprise, The Head and the Heart, Jungle, Conan Gray, All Time Low, Yungblud, Cordae, Willow, Saint Jhn, Ashnikko, Manchester Orchestra, Cold War Kids, 100 Gecs, Princess Nokia, and more.

Produced by AEG Presents, Firefly Music Festival will also include Dayglow, Girl Talk, Little Simz, Benny the Butcher, San Holo, Wolf Alice, Mallrat, Anna of the North, and up-and-comer Gayle. 

The festival will be held at the scenic Woodlands of Dover Motor Speedway, with camping sites accessible for guests and visitors. It is positioned within driving distance from prominent metropolitan regions on the East Coast, such as Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and New York City. 

Festivalgoers can draw on the proximity of Amtrak service to Wilmington, Delaware, and SEPTA and Greyhound bus line service. 

Passes are available and start at $299 and fetch up to $2,699 for Super VIP weekend passes. Tickets go on presale starting Friday, February 25 at 10 a.m. ET. Festivalgoers can sign up for the presale here

There are no COVID-19 safety measures like vaccine requirements or negative tests required for the event; the festival site, however, says it will oblige all local protocols at the show in September. Check out the complete roster of artists here.

“Donda 2” Will Only Be Available in Stem Player, Says Kanye West

Photo: Engadget

Kanye West has announced that his latest album, “Donda 2,” will not be available on any other streaming platform but from a so-called Stem Player for $200.

His Instagram post read: “Donda 2 will only be available on my platform, the Stem Player. Not on Apple, Amazon, Spotify, or YouTube.” Moreover, the reason behind the exclusivity lies in how artists are compensated when their songs are released on those platforms.

“Today artists get just 12 percent of the money the industry makes,” he continued together with a short video from the new album. “It’s time to free music from this oppressive system. It’s time to take control and build our own. Go to stemplayer.com now to order.”

According to the website – which advises you to read every piece of information in all caps, feeling like West is yelling at you to swallow the pill and payout your hard-earned money – the platform is worth $200.

The player’s edge from other platforms is different from the one on this site. For example, consumers can customize any song, download new tracks and put in effects such as echo or feedback to make their experience more fun. 

On Thursday, West wrote in another Instagram post additional information about the player, “You can play four different elements of the track: vocals, drums, bass, and music. It also has an MP3 player available.”

West revealed what appeared to be a tracklisting for “Donda 2,” the offshoot of his previous album in 2021, “Donda.” He also talked about Stem Player in more Instagram posts, encouraging fans to “be a part of the revolution.” 

“I feel that same feeling like when I first moved to New York to make it in music. I ain’t know what was gonna happen, but I knew I had to move. After ten albums, after being under ten contracts. I turned down a hundred-million-dollar Apple deal,” his post read, further stating, “No one can pay me to be disrespected.”

He also said that Stem Player lets him name his price for his art.

“Tech companies made music practically free, so if you don’t do merch sneakers and tours, you don’t eat,” he further said. “Jay-Z made Tidal and fake media attacked him. Well, in the words of my big brother, come and get me. I’m willing to die standing ’cause I ain’t living on my knees no more.”

West said there are currently 67,000 active Stem Players and 3,000 new ones created every day.

Paapa-Berchie and Building a Music Career from Scratch on His Terms

From the church to the mainstream music scene, Paapa-Berchie is a 23-year-old music prodigy aiming for success in the hip-hop genre. Paapa-Berchie started his music journey from school choirs, acapella groups, and national music competitions. He struck some luck when he received classical voice training during high school, which propelled him into a scholarship at UNC-Chapel Hill.

College changed everything for Paapa-Berchie, and within the past year, he has built a career destined for greatness. The Crofton, MD-born singer and songwriter, thrives on his authentic and intriguing sound, setting him apart as a young musician. He draws influence and inspiration from iconic artists like Tupac, Notorious B.I.G., Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott, Meek Mill, H.E.R., J. Cole Rihanna, Ty Dolla Sign, Lucky Day, Kehlani, Masego, and many others.

He released his first single, “Dreams,” in 2019. Since then, Paapa-Berchie’s work ethic has stood him out. Following his first single, he has released other songs like “The Throne” and “So Bad” featuring Naim. He also released an EP titled, Be  Blessed and a sophomore mixtape titled O.P.E.R.A, which houses hit singles like “TiDal Wave,” “Lavi$h,” and “Hometown.”

Since he chose to concentrate on his music career, it has become the only thing that matters. He shared, “I know that out of all my competitors, there is not a soul that would be able to do the same thing I am doing. The style I bring is unique, provocative, and intriguing. Instead of giving consumers something that is almost considered the ‘atypical rapper/singer,’ I bring a whole new vibe and joy to the game.” 

Paapa-Berchie is a gifted instrumentalist with skills in playing the piano and the saxophone. He’s also on the path of versatility with his ability to sing, rap, and create music in multiple genres. He’s also learning Twi and Spanish languages to enable him to create music in those languages and capture more fans from other parts of the world.

Paapa-Berchie is building his music career on his terms. His music appeals to hip-hop enthusiasts, R&B enthusiasts, classical music enthusiasts, and anyone who loves to listen to a different style of new music and get introduced to a new vibe. He values his creativity and makes sure he puts his all when creating music. “We are entering a new decade where listeners are looking for the songs that are out to evolve. Everyone is tired of the same pattern and style of music of the past, and the time is now to be introduced to a new sound that can help shape the future of music,” he said.

Over the next few years, he sees himself creating chart-topping music, getting nominated for awards, and being named among the trending artists on national and global charts. Making music is a passion, and Paapa-Berchie is committed to making it work out for him.Learn more about Paapa-Berchie on his official website. Also, follow his social media pages on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Facebook.

Adele to Reside in Vegas from January to April

Photo: Getty Images

Caesars Palace Las Vegas will be a new favorite spot for Daydreamers (fans of Adele), as the “Easy on Me” singer announced on Tuesday, November 30, 2021 on Twitter that she will be starting a residency in the hotel. The show that is expected to run from January 21 to April 16 of 2022 is titled “Weekends with Adele.”

We will see Adele performing two shows every weekend at the Colosseum, which has a capacity of 4,100 and has served as home residence of fellow major artists and acts Celine Dion, Cher, Mariah Carey, and more. 

At the moment, there is only one weekend, February 18 and 19, on which Adele has no scheduled performances. As stated in the Caesars Palace schedule, Van Morrison, a Northern Irish singer-songwriter who denounced the validity of science behind social distancing and quarantine, will be performing at the venue on those nights. 

Tickets will be available on pre-sale through registration on Ticketmaster on December 7.

The announcement comes at the rear of the release of “30”, the songstress’ fourth studio album and latest, critically acclaimed album. The album is a huge hit both in the US and in the UK as it debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, days after its release and became the best selling album of 2021. 

Marking her album’s release, Adele filmed a television special “An Audience with Adele” at London Palladium which became an immense success. Various celebrities attended the event, including Beyoncé, Dua Lipa, Emma Watson, Idris Elba, Naomi Campbell, and Josh Gad, to name a few. 

Fans have anticipated this concert as in her appearance in 73 Questions with Adele, she addressed the question about shows and concerts eagerly. In her interview with Vogue when asked when fans can see her in concert, Adele said, “As soon as possible. I am ready to go, really. It’s just up to COVID. So just keep wearing your masks and don’t be spreading that Delta and who knows?” gathering positive reactions from fans. 

This upcoming residency will mark a phenomenal episode in the music industry and surely be sold out. 

Bri Blvck Announces Her Presence in the Music Scene with an Infective Pop Song, “Paper”

Many music careers have been birthed in the past year, and while some have gotten duly recognized and hit the spotlight fully, many others haven’t gotten quite the attention they deserve. Violinist and performer Bri Blvck falls into the latter category, and the burgeoning talent is set to prove to the world how much talent is embedded in her through her most recent single, “Paper.”

Bri Blvck’s artistry is one characterized by utmost attention to detail and biding of time. She spent years perfecting her craft and getting it right before she released “Paper,” which is bound to serve as a gateway for fans to see her immense talent. The Charlotte, North Carolina-bred musical talent started music as early as when she was five years old. Her earliest music experience started in church and playing the violin in an orchestra. Music was an integral part of her life growing up, and she took full advantage of the inspiration and creative energy she was surrounded with. Now her years of developing her music skills are about to launch her into a life of stardom, inspiration, and impact.

Coming from a musical family with a pianist for a mother and two brothers who sing and play instruments, towing the music path was natural for Bri Blvck. Being surrounded by people who understood her music and what it stood for was all the motivation she needed to pursue her dreams, and today, she’s living that dream where her music can be discovered by people globally. Her new song, “Paper,” features elements of impeccable production and the song, a catchy pop sound, is laced with hi-fi vocal harmonies to refine the sound.

“Paper” is a detailed record that proves how much Bri Blvck is committed to quality. And coming three years after her last release on any major platform, this song is a great way to make a re-entry into the music scene. Bri Blvck is undoubtedly an artist worth looking out for. The raging pandemic played a huge role in helping Bri Blvck get deeper into her element. Even though there was lingering uncertainty about the state of the creative space, she remained relentless by channeling the pent-up energy from the lockdown to create a masterpiece that “Paper” is.

With summer winding up and Winter just around the corner, “Paper” is that type of song to keep the memories of summer alive while maintaining a positive mindset at the same time. For Bri Black, getting her music heard is top on her priority and hopefully gains as much traction as possible for her next single or body of work, depending on how her creative juices flow. “Paper” has become one of the song discoveries of the year, and for an artist who hasn’t released any music on major platforms like Spotify and Apple music in the last few years, this is quite a noteworthy return.

For Bri Black, getting noticed is just a step; sustaining the attention is where the real work lies. Over the next few years, she wants to make music for everyone to enjoy while she continues showing off and showing out the talent and skills she possesses as an artist.

Learn more about Bri Blvck on her official Instagram page. Also, stream her music on Spotify.

‘Product of Us’ at Roger Sanchez in Ibiza Conquers the Audience with Their Exhilarating Tracks and Composition, and They Are Here to Stay

‘Product of US’ is a musical duo from Ibiza, Spain. They are Darren Rodgers, aka Damon Hess, originally from Sheffield, UK, but decades resident and now a citizen of Spain, and Dale Nolan aka Dayl from Shannon, Clare in Ireland. Both artists are meticulous in their approach, and they are now known for their tremendous musical talents while keeping the fun up!

Damon, a beloved island DJ with a consolidated career that spans over 10 years internationally, and Dayl, who’s been spinning for more than 8 decades but just popping into the public eye in 2020, have taken the audience high in their feelings. Obviously, they are passionate about music and tunes, but one thing that sets them apart is that they are genuinely best mates, and they take any room for a journey together. They have recently graced the Roger Sanchez event at Eden Ibiza as the closing act for the second installment of the Ibiza club revival. The crowd’s response was nothing short of amazing. Their flow as a duo is something to watch for. No doubt, ‘Product of Us’ is shaping out to be quite the big deal in Ibiza and keeps on reaching the international market ever since prestigious labels such as Anjunabeats featured them in one of the famous label Rising Volumes, with a live set filmed in the said island.

Ibiza has been the world’s meeting point for raising DJs in search of a space to prove their skills to labels, club owners and feed off the energy of sun-seekers from all over the world, but what about duos? ‘Product Of Us’ can’t be categorized; they fall into that type of a beautiful grey area where you have an Ibiza legend Damon Hess spinning the whole dancefloor to the stars and Dayl holding them up there in a nostalgic-like trance, progressing it all together into a crafted experience for the senses.

Partygoers stopped it all when ‘Product of Us’ showed up for their slot in the star-studded lineup, danced with their everything, and stayed demanding more music after they were finished. The duo was able to summon euphoria, and it fell, utterly flooding the whole venue. They have been able to keep the momentum alive ever since they started this venture in mid-2020, especially when being on hold for months because of the world’s current situation. They adapt, know their audience, and cater to them, which might be another way to say; successful. They are quite known now, and even more after tonight, hundreds of attendees with their cellphones out recording the experience. They captivated the entire audience with their peppy tracks and inimitable body language. ‘Product of US’ mainly caters to the listeners of progressive, melodic, and emotional tunes, but their music, in reality, can be universal, the kind of music you could put anyone there, and it would be just wonderful.

‘Product of Us’ has already collaborated with big music labels like Luigi Rocca’s 303 Lovers, Tough Love Get Twisted Records on Sony, and newly released Anjunabeats. The duo has also reached the top position in Beatport in the progressive house category.

‘Product of US’ has already started transforming over their short period as a duo together, joining hands with several other famous artists like Kieran NG, Lewis Dennis, and Jamie Wiltshire.

Immediately after their 2nd event tomorrow, “WNDLRND at Eden again, Damon and Dayl will brace up for the grand release of ‘Reality,’ the first single of ‘Product of US.’

It is pretty much safe to say that in the Island of Ibiza, “Product of Us” has made the most out of this year’s short and overly restricted summer, the boys can deliver, and we will keep hearing about them for years to come.

‘Product of Us’ continues to march ahead as a solid up-and-coming musical genius DUO. They are redefining the progressive and melodic genres in their renewed avatars. Looking into the near future, there’s no doubt; both of these guys are unstoppable. Damon (DJ) and Dayl (Producer) will be producing, fabricating, and labeling a lot of memories with their music in 2022; they will be the product of choice for everyone… the ‘Product of Us’.

https://www.instagram.com/productofus/

https://www.instagram.com/damon_hess/

https://www.instagram.com/daylmusic/