Our Interview with Jessie Ware

I hide behind metaphor and fantasy…”, Jessie Ware

South London’s Jessie Ware transfixed a packed Spotify office this week with a spectacular voice and a set of none-more-sultry torch songs. Jessie began her professional life as a backing singer for Jack Penate before first appearing on a record with producer SBTRKT. After an intensive burst of song-writing activity with David Okumu from The Invisible (who wrote recent single Devotion), Kid Harpoon, with whom she wrote Wildest Moment, and the house music producer Julio Bashmore, Ware’s album – also called Devotion – is now a real, striking and wonderful thing. “I owe an awful lot to those three,” she says. “They really brought me out of my shell.”

What music did you grow up listening to?
Dusty Springfield, Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald and the Grease soundtrack. My mum loved soul, but my dad wasn’t much into music – i think the last record he bought was Tina Turner’s Private Dancer!

Was a there a particular song that made you want to be a singer?
Yes – it was Maria McKee’s, Show Me Heaven. I wanted to do it on Stars In Their Eyes! It’s so uncool, but that was the one for me. Maybe I’ll do a cover of it – it could become a live favourite…

What was your first experience of singing live?
I was 10 and I sang the first verse of Away In A Manger in a Christmas Carol Concert on my own. It was a swinging sort of jazzy version. Everyone looked at me and went, “Oh, you’re good!”

How much will we learn about Jessie Ware by listening to Jessie Ware songs?
A lot! I’m everywhere, but I do sometimes hide behind metaphor and fantasy. A little bit of distance is good. Wildest Moment is about my best friend – her wildest moment was throwing a mudpie in my face – while Taking Water is about my little brother. To be honest, that one can make me cry before I’d even started it. I’m getting used to that level of emotion. You can tap into the emotions straight away.

Who do you think has done it all right?
Sade. Annie Lennox. Frank Ocean is doing it right currently. All three are great soul singers and they all know what they want to do. There’s a confidence in their music.

What do you want from all this?
I want to see some of the world, play a few hot places – like Brazil! I’d like people to know the words to the songs and I’d like to tour a lot. And I’d like to make a second record. Does that sound greedy?

Not at all. Finally, what is the greatest record ever made?
Oh wow, that is such a mean question. For nostalgic reasons, Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. The sentiment and story-telling is incredible and the songs and the lyrics are just so beautiful. But also, Sade’s Diamond Life! That record never gets boring. I could imagine being on a desert island listening to her singing to me forever and ever.

Exclusive music from the session will be available on Spotify from September the 3rd.

#MusicMonday playlist brought to you by @MonaFims

Our friend @MonaFims has this #MusicMonday’s recommendations.

Monday and time for a brand new playlist!

We start this week with a singer/songwriter from Santa Monica, CA: Zach Yudin also known as “Oregon Bike Trails”. I love the nostalgic, retro pop feel of his music and especially his song “Cayucas”. We continue with another American: This time an old favorite from Athens, Georgia: The amazing “Of Montreal” with their catchy song “First Time High”

Next song in our playlist this week is by a Canadian indie rock band, formed in Belfast in 2004: “Paper Lions” and their song “Ghostwriters” from their lastest album “At Long Creek”

We continue with two bands from Australia. First a four-piece indie pop band called “San Cisco” and their song “Reckless” and then time for a rhythmic and catchy indie pop tune called “Mr Polite” by “The Jungle Giants”

Last song in our playlist this week is Grizzly Bear’s second single from the forth coming album called “Yet Again”.

If you have song suggestions for next week’s playlist, be sure to drop them in Mona’s Spotify Inbox.

Subscribe to the playlist and you will get a mix of twenty new Feel-Good tracks every Monday.

How To: Embed a Spotify Play Button on your Blog, Forum or Website

Since we launched the Spotify Play Button earlier this year, many bloggers, forums and websites have started using our Play Button to share music in a easy and elegant way. You can also add a Play Button to your website, forum post or blog.

All your fans have to do is hit play to enjoy the music.

Follow the simple steps below and you’ll have your site singing in seconds.

1) Open Spotify and right click on the Album, Track or Playlist you would like to embed.

2) Click on “Copy Embed Code”.

3) Paste this code in your blog or website in the HTML editor view.

4) That’s it!

(more…)

Big Green Bus Tour Diary #1

What’s big, green and rolls on 6 wheels blasting music? Spotify on Tour! Our Big Green Bus is hitting the road to bring music to a city near you. Proudly sponsored by BACARDI, Spotify On Tour will take you behind-the-scenes at festivals, offer exclusive secret shows, artist sessions and more!

With a bold green exterior and a full tank of gas, our ginormous boombox-on-wheels hit the road last week. First stop – a star-studded kick-off party in East LA with Grouplove, JJAMZ, YACHT and The Henry Clay People. We then rolled up to San Francisco, meeting artists along the way including KENDRICK LAMAR, ScHoolboy Q, J. Rocc and Ab-soul. While in SF, fans were treated to a secret Spotify Session in the Portero Del Sol park with City and Colour and an epic party at the Haus of Hipstamatic with Geographer.

Get a sneak peek of our first 381 miles here!

Follow the Tour and find out where the Big Green Bus is headed next -

Here comes the Big Green Bus!

5 months
25 cities
Spotify Sessions, Parties, Playlists and more…

This Fall, we’re excited to be hitting the road and bringing music to a city near you! Our Big Green Bus will be making stops at some of the biggest events of the season to create the ultimate musical road trip.

Proudly sponsored by BACARDI, Spotify On Tour will take you behind-the-scenes at festivals, offer exclusive secret shows, artist interviews and more!

Where the bus stops, the party starts!
Catch the Big Green Bus at exciting events all over the US. We’ll be making stops in Portland, St. Louis, New Orleans, Miami and more!

What’s ‘Appening
Our dedicated Facebook app is your home to all the Spotify on Tour action – with tons of pictures, playlists and sneak peeks, there’s no better place to discover where we’re heading next and catch up on where we’ve been!

What’s more – you can Follow the Big Green Bus on your favorite social channels for the latest updates and news!

To whet your appetite, check out our first video from our kick-off party in LA with the awesome JJAMZ!

#MusicMonday playlist brought to you by @MonaFims

Our friend @MonaFims has this #MusicMonday’s recommendations.

Monday and as always I have prepared a new MusicMonday playlist for You!

First song in this week´s playlist is “I Sing I Swim” by “Seabear”, a seven piece indie-folk band from Reykjavik, Iceland. We continue with a solo project by Seabear´s founder and singer Sindri Már Sigfússon; “Sin Fang Bous” and “Catch The Light”.

Next song in this week´s playlist is the dreamy “Time To Wander” by the Australian indie pop duo “Gypsy & The Cat”. We continue with yet another Australian band; Melbourne quartet “Husky” and their song “History’s Door”

“Donora” is an American indie pop/rock band based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I find their song “I Think I Like You” very catchy and cute!

Last song in our playlist this week is by an Irish folk singer and songwriter; The amazing “James Vincent McMorrow”. I love his song “Hear the Noise That Moves So Soft and Low”.

If you have song suggestions for next week’s playlist, be sure to drop them in Mona’s Spotify Inbox.

Subscribe to the playlist and you will get a mix of twenty new Feel-Good tracks every Monday.

Our Interview with Fatboy Slim

Life is a lot easier when you don’t party for two days after a show…”, Norman Cook

Multi-million selling record producer and super-dedicated Brighton and Hove Albion FC fan Norman Cook is a sober, happy, marathon-running father of two with what he describes as a, “buoyant, yet manageable” career. “Life is sweet,” he tells Spotify. “But then, everything is a lot easier to deal with when you go to bed after a show rather than party for two days.”

However, there is another side to Cook and that is the one on show during the two huge Amex Stadium (the new home of B&HA FC) shows in Brighton where his alter ego Fatboy Slim – an “unrepentant party animal” and the person who inspired Skrillex to quit playing in a band and start DJing – appeared. On Friday August 31 a brilliant film put together from the two nights in June when the parties were held, will be screened in cinemas around the world, making Live from Big Beach Bootique, quite possibly, the biggest dance party planet earth has ever seen.

The first reaction to the film is what a real sense of joyful abandon there is to it.
That’s exactly it – joyful abandon is the basis of my entire act! This one was particularly joyful because of the history of our 13-year fight to open this stadium for football and gigs. But after nine years as the team’s official shirt sponsor that place is mine, Elton and Coldplay can wait!”

The tracks you play in the set all share a love of the power of repetition.
That’s what I do, so they’re all like that! The best compliment I ever had was when I played in Hong Kong. It was a dry gig and an old mate who was there told me afterwards, “You made a very straight man feel very high!”

Can you pick out five for us and explain what you like about them?
Sure. I’d start with;

1. Chuckie Let The Bass Kick In Miami, Bitch!
Every time I play this, instead of saying, “I’m in Miami, bitch” I re-edited it with a rapper I work with a lot called Lateef so it names where I actually am that night. But I mash all these tracks up and it’s now become so bastardised I don’t even use the Chuckie back track any more, I use Bingo Players’ L’Amour. People go ape-shit when they hear their town name. Spotify listeners will have to quickly turn the volume down and shout their own hometown name out!

2. Donna Summer I Feel Love
Donna Summer died the week before the show. I Feel Love was the record that turned me from a dirty punk rocker into someone into electronic dance music. In 1977-1978 there was the whole Disco Sucks movement, but as a kid I thought that record was what drugs must sound like. Years later I heard it when I was on drugs and I was pretty much right!
I Feel Love is utterly ground breaking; it’s the sound of Acid House being invented 10 years early.

3. His Majesty Andre Clubs
He’s my tip for the top, an Italian guy who makes great records! I start my set with that and have done for a year or so. I mash it up with a couple of things then it leads into Fatboy Slim Is Fucking In Heaven. If Donna Summer is the start of the whole thing then Andre is carrying that torch forward.

4. Nari & Milani Up
More crazy Italians hooked on that power of repetition. They’re very hot producers, they make a lot of big-room trance, but this is very old-skool, proper acid house and it triggers the sort of serotonin rush that a lot of modern music just can’t. I chop my version up, so when Spotify users hear the string-led breakdown they need to cue up my track, Right Here, Right Now!

5. Michael Viner’s Incredible Bongo Band Apache
This is a little piece of dance music history. It was a novelty record really, but thanks to the great long bongo section it helped start the whole B-Boy movement. I often play Apache in its entirety when I DJ. I think of it as a palette cleanser, before all the other stuff! As years go by the idea of people like me who were on the B-Boy scene still going to clubs is sort of ridiculous, but I’m trying to instill a sense of history!”

Details on the cinemas showing film is available at fatboyslim.net

Listen to the exclusive, track-by-track commentary of Elle Varner’s new album

After being discovered by MBK Entertainment while attending NYU’s prestigious Clive Davis Program of Recorded Music, Up-and-coming R&B artist, Elle Varner, developed and honed her skills to eventually become one of the first artists featured in BET’s Music Matters campaign for 2010. Listen to her share the stories and ideas behind each of her songs off of her new album, Perfectly Imperfect, on her exclusive track-by-track commentary on Spotify.

Listen to the exclusive, track-by-track commentary for her new album, Perfectly Imperfect.

Thumbs up for radio!

Great news for Spotify radio fans. Now you can enjoy the same Thumbs up (and down) functionality on your desktop as you do on your mobile.

Radio, radio everywhere
This neat update means that all the stations that you’ve tuned into on your mobile will show up seamlessly on your desktop – and vice versa.

Let’s get personal
Radio is all about what you want to hear. By giving a track a thumbs up or down, you’ll help to personalize your stations. Best yet, songs you like from either your mobile or desktop will grow your “Liked from Radio” Spotify playlist – so you can always keep track of new discoveries.

If you haven’t tried free radio yet, download our app for your iOS device from the App Store now.Or get it for your Android device now to enjoy radio on the go!

We’ll be rolling out this update during the day.

Click here to enjoy Spotify Radio on your desktop!

Spotify App of the Week: This Is My Jam

Our music catalogue has millions of tracks. Choose one of them. That song that’s been stuck on repeat, that one you love. Personalize it and share it with the world. This is your jam, and it’s yours for up to seven days. Change it whenever you want, but choose wisely. You only have one at a time with This Is My Jam Spotify App.

You can also follow people if you like their music; and only if you like their music. Then play all their jams with one click. Listen to an evolving radio station of the best music, handpicked every day by your friends.

Click here to add the This Is My Jam Spotify App on your desktop and choose your first one!