Director Guy Ritchie Talks Inspirations for “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.”

D4D_9237.DNG

With The Man From U.N.C.L.E., British director Guy Ritchie takes the classic 60’s spy series and twists it into modern day action in a way only he can. Famous for his quick-talking scripts and unexpected plot twists, the director applies his signature style to a genre and era of film that he was eager to work with; “the 60s just felt fresh to us ironically.” Ritchie sat down with us at give some insight into The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and the inspirations behind it.

While Ritchie didn’t personally compose the score for the film, he had a strong hand in the process… “Daniel Pemberton [the film’s composer] and I had… well, we’re very excited about the soundtrack and it meant a lot to do it. But let’s just say there’s lots of shouting going on in that relationship.” In general, Ritchie says they went heavy on 60’s vibes with the film’s music, including everything from Nina Simone and Roberta Flack to Italian and Brazilian songs of the period.

We asked Ritchie to talk a bit about what he’s personally listening to at the moment. Here’s his epic response…

My favourite thing at the moment is folk music that’s anything to a thousand years old, all those old songs, because they capture everything to me about the narrative. There’s a spiritual element, there’s a material element, there’s conflict, there’s blood, there’s guts, there’s love, there’s ghosts and magic and the expression of everything interesting and there’s irony and paradox, all captured within these old poems. Like “The Wife Of Usher’s Well”, which is six or seven hundred years old, it captures something that no contemporary music can capture and it’s highly sophisticated in it’s creative expression.

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. comes out August 14th. Check out all of Guy Ritchies musical inspirations right here in his personal playlist

20 Million Reasons to Say Thanks

What a difference a year makes! At the end of May 2014, we reached 10 million paying subscribers and 40 million active users. Today, we have reached more than 20 million subscribers and more than 75 million active users. 10 million subscribers in our first five and a half years – and another 10 million subscribers in just a single year! That’s an average of one new subscriber every three seconds over the last year. Wow. And, more people listening on Spotify means more payouts to the creators of the music you love.  As we grow, the amount of royalties we pay out to artists, songwriters and rights holders continues to climb faster than ever. We have now paid more than $3 billion USD in royalties, including more than $300 million in the first three months of 2015 alone. That’s good for music, good for music fans … and good for music makers. Take a look at what it means for four different types of artists. The blue columns show average actual payouts over the last 12 months, which started with 10 million subscribers; the green columns show our projected average payouts over the next 12 months, starting from our new baseline of 20 million paying subscribers.

one year payout niche.heritage one year payout top 100. global superstar (1)

Here’s how we did it.

We could have never achieved this growth without all of you: the music fans who listen, discover, share and celebrate music and artists every day. Thank you, 20 million X. 20 Million Reasons To Say Thanks

Dive into the World of Powers…

With the Powers first season finale having just been released on PlayStation, you may be wanting to dig deeper into the world of Powers…

poweres730x400-1

Powers follows two homicide detectives, Christian Walker and Deena Pilgrim, as they work cases surrounding people with superhuman abilities. Adapted from the acclaimed comic book, there’s a rich array of ways to explore the world of Powers and it’s dark, dramatic take on the neo-noir cop show (with a superhero slant to boot).

Take a look at these playlists compiled by Powers’ creative team, including showrunner Charlie Huston and his world-class ensemble of actors. These musical portraits follow the storylines of the series’ main characters and express their emotional arcs through music. You’re sure to come away with a deeper understanding of the show that marks PlayStation™Network’s first forray into scripted, original programming. 

Christian Walker, the embattled homicide detective at the center of Powers, used to be a hero – until he lost his powers at the hand of his former mentor, Wolfe.  His choice of Arcade Fire’s “My Body is A Cage” as a lead-off track is no accident. Played by Sharlto Copley of District 9 and Chappie fame, Walker’s internal conflicts echo the show’s overall themes.

Retro Girl is an icon in the Powers world and emblematic of the contradictions in the show’s characters. Portrayed by Michele Forbes (Battlestar Galatica, True Blood, The Killing), she is about justice, true heroism… and endorsement deals. It should come as no surprise that her songs include the anthemic “The Power,” the ironic Abba hit “Money, Money, Money” and Depeche Mode’s brooding “A Pain That I Am Used To.”

Acclaimed comedian, writer, and actor Eddie Izzard inhabits the role of Wolfe. A dangerous man at the dark end of the balance; he keeps the Powers universe in check. His love of both Nat King Cole’s sonorous croon and Queen’s bombastic anthems further clarifies his mindset. 

And that’s just a start. There are also character mixes from Detective Deena Pilgrim (played by Susan Heyward) and Johnny Royale (played by Noah Taylor). These carefully curated mixes are a tantalizing entry into the darkness and mystery that lies at the heart of this acclaimed adaptation. 

Get Hard’s Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart Flex Their Music Muscle

Get Hard Squad Flexes Their Muscle What do you get when Kevin Hart and Will Ferrell team up as one of the most badass duos to date? Well, we’ll let the guys do the talking. After we sat down with Mr. Hart and Mr. Ferrell to help us peer into the mind of these tougher-than-nails characters the comedy Get Hard, slated to hit theaters on March 27th, made perfect sense. We wanted to peel back the layers to see what music soundtracks the moments to James King’s (Ferrell) and Darnell Lewis’ (Hart) lives. A simple question that could help us uncover who James King, “a Harvard Elitist”, really is. Frederic Chopin kicked off the playlist, a classic choice, but the playlist of tracks runs the gamut. Selections that range from “Chopin to Katy Perry. [But] That’s James King for you”. What about Darnell? The “fraud” who needs to pick songs that “promote [his] fraud-ness and make him appear tougher than he is.” His violent, tough choices can all be found here on Darnell’s playlist. The two of these characters teaching James how to survive on the inside helps us understand just how many laughs we’re expected to see. The men behind the frauds? Kevin Hart had a personal pick that made a whole lot of sense.

I pick Eye of The Tiger. I feel like in my life I’ve never had the Eye of The Tiger, you know, by doing this movie there was a fierce look in my Eye of The Tiger. You know what I’m talking about!
When I showed up every morning I got to workin’… there’s a look I give that’s reminiscent of a tiger!
Will quickly substantiated this claim with his own view.
You’d arrive at the set with a gigantic speaker on top of his SUV just blasting Eye of the Tiger. It sent a message to the cast and crew.
That like, look, first of all I’m Kevin Hart, in fact he edited his own name. And where it was just like “Kevin Hart’s” got the Eye of the Tiger… I mean it was just crudely edited but it let everyone know he was ready to come to work!
That wasn’t all though. Music to soundtrack the movie filming is one thing, but what about the first mixtape that you ever made?
[Kevin] Mine was definitely a love mix, I was 8, 8 years old. Salt-N-Pepa ‘Push It’ is what led it off. I wanted this girl bad. It went from Salt-N-Pepa ‘Push it’ to ‘Can you Stand the Rain’. Yeah, weird memory. I remember the tape kept getting messed up so I had to wind it up a little with my finger. True story. I was quite the romantic.

Even though Will couldn’t bring up the exact memory of making a mixtape he did have an absolute blast immersing himself into this role.

Anytime you get to play a fish out of water, which I think is what’s unique about the movie, is that we’re both fish out of water. He’s trying to act like a guy who’s been in prison and then I’m trying to adopt what I think is the way to act tough and indoctrinate myself in.

Though we can’t tell you if Darnell succeeds in training James for prison, we can leave you with one more reason why Get Hard is the comedy to watch this year… T.I. makes a larger-than-life cameo! Make sure to hit the theaters March 27th and see if Darnell succeeds in his journey with James.
Kevin’s Playlist
Will’s Playlist

Father John Misty On Love and New Music

FJM1

Father John Misty is an intense musician. Or, at least, very complicated. The project of ex-Fleet Foxes member Josh Tillman, the second LP, I Love You, Honeybear, was just released this past Tuesday. The album takes a broad, although at times unsettling close, look at love; all in Tillman’s cynical, mostly tongue-in-cheek tone.

Josh on his new album versus his debut, Fear Fun

This album was definitely harder because I had to overcome my intense fear of being sentimental. This one is a lot more intense, a lot more vulnerable.

The album cover really articulates what the new album is. It’s an encounter with intimacy and what comes from that… what qualities manifest. Here it was a lot of jealousy and neediness. I kind of turned this woman into a sacred object instead of letting her be a human.

On “The Night Josh Tillman Came To Our Apt.”…

You have these two pretentious, misguided people. One of which is me. Obviously. It’s really important to me that this song isn’t a figurative kind of thing. No, this is about a thing that happened. What am I doing there? What did I want? Really I just wanted my narcissism and vanity fed. I wanted to be around people who didn’t demand any intimacy out of me.

On “Bored In The USA”…

If nothing else it’s a way for polite, white liberal people to point at a straw man version of the grotesque American. If you can’t see yourself in any part of that song then it’s not a good song.

On love and his wife, Emma…

Intimacy and love is not a passive, consumer experience. You have to make it for yourself.

 

 

 

 

NERVO Drop Exclusive Single on Spotify

FOTOGRAF: ADRIAN BRETSCHER -

It feels like NERVO is on top of the world. Or maybe that’s just the effect of their huge, new House anthem (aptly called “It Feels”). The Australian duo, made up of sisters Mim and Liv Nervo, just released the track for an exclusive two week pre-stream on Spotify.

We asked the endlessly busy group to sit down and respond to our pressing questions about their life, such as, “What’s it like DJing next to your sister every night for the past decade?” They were kind enough to give us some answers…

Liv: Mostly it’s nothing but positivity and having good time. Though sometimes, it can get a bit sticky. We have slight arguments about what to play next, but we pretty much love it… We usually plan the beginning and the end of every set, then in the middle we just play whatever the crowd is vibing to the most!

What differences do the two of you have, in terms of musical taste?

Liv: We both generally like and can see the beauty in most music, from a range of genres. Though Mim might bring me something from the deep house world, that I love and have never heard, or vice versa. Mim tends to lean towards the deep house world, while I like more of the tech house grooves.

Check out NERVO’s brand new single, exclusively here on Spotify: 

 

Grammy Winners of 2015

 

Beck for Grammys

The night was surely unpredictable but also, unforgettable. From Beck’s huge win, performances that ranged from Hozier to Paul McCartney and everything that makes Music’s Biggest Night always a must watch.

Beck came home with Album of the Year and is already at 18 million streams and counting… The list of winners includes the best of the best with another well-known star showing up numerous times: Sam Smith. Whether it was Pharrell’s symphonic rendition of ‘Happy’ or Katy Perry’s emotional performance, the evening surely lived up to the hype.

Record of the Year: Sam Smith – “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)”

Song of the Year: Sam Smith – “Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)”

Album of the Year: Beck – “Morning Phase”

Best New Artist: Sam Smith

Best Pop Duo/Group Performance: A Great Big World With Christina Aguilera – “Say Something”

Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album: Tony Bennett & Lady Gaga – “Cheek To Cheek”

Best Pop Solo Performance: Pharrell Williams – “Happy”

Best Pop Vocal Album: Sam Smith – “In The Lonely Hour 22 Things We Learned Hanging Out With Sam Smith”

Best Rock Performance: Jack White – “Lazaretto”

Best Rock Album: Beck – “Morning Phase”

Best Rock Song: Paramore – “Ain’t It Fun”

Best Alternative Rock Album: St. Vincent – “St. Vincent”

Best Metal Performance: Tenacious D – “The Last In Line”

Best Rap Performance: Kendrick Lamar – “I”

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration: Eminem Featuring Rihanna – “The Monster”

Best Rap Song: Kendrick Lamar – “I”

Best Rap Album: Eminem – “The Marshall Mathers LP2”

Best R&B Performance: Beyoncé Featuring Jay Z – “Drunk In Love”

Best Traditional R&B Performance: “Jesus Children” – Robert Glasper Experiment Featuring Lalah Hathaway & Malcolm-Jamal Warner

Best R&B Song: Beyoncé Featuring Jay Z – “Drunk In Love”

Best Urban Contemporary Album: Pharrell Williams – “Girl”

Best R&B Album: Toni Braxton & Babyface – “Love, Marriage & Divorce”

Best Contemporary Instrumental Album: Chris Thile & Edgar Meyer – “Bass & Mandolin”

Best Dance/Electronic Album: Aphex Twin – “Syro

Best Dance Recording: Clean Bandit Featuring Jess Glynne – “Rather Be”

Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media: “Frozen” – Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez, Tom MacDougall & Chris Montan, compilation producers

Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media: “The Grand Budapest Hotel” – Alexandre Desplat, composer

Best Song Written for Visual Media: “Let It Go” – Kristen Anderson-Lopez & Robert Lopez, songwriters (Idina Menzel)

Best Country Album: Miranda Lambert

Best Country Solo Performance: Carrie Underwood – “Something In The Water”

Best Country Duo/Group Performance: The Band Perry – “Gentle On My Mind”

Best Country Song: “I’m Not Gonna Miss You” – Glen Campbell & Julian Raymond, songwriters

Best Bluegrass Album: “The Earls Of Leicester” – The Earls Of Leicester

Best American Roots Performance: Rosanne Cash – “A Feather’s Not A Bird”

Best American Roots Song: Rosanne Cash – “A Feather’s Not A Bird”

Best Americana Album: Rosanne Cash – “The River & The Thread”

Best Folk AlbumOld Crow Medicine Show – Remedy

Best Music Video: Pharrell Williams – “Happy”

Best Music Film: “20 Feet From Stardom”

Producer of the Year, Non-Classical: Max Martin

Best Instrumental Composition: John Williams – “The Book Thief”

Best Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella: Pentatonix – “Daft Punk”

Best Arrangement, Instrumental and Vocals: Billy Childs – “New York Tendaberry”

(Official list provided by Rolling Stone)

Spotify’s own Sessions playlist including many nominees available right here.

 

 

 

 

 

Mila Kunis explores Jupiter and Beyond

JUPITER ASCENDING

Jupiter Ascending is set to make a splash this weekend during its opening debut. This film is the latest Sci-Fi epic from the Wachowskis, starring Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum. Mila was kind enough to step away for a few minutes and give us a snapshot of all things revolving around the movie and her character, Jupiter Jones. This short chat about the film was the perfect jumping off point for a deeper talk with Mila that spanned the movie’s design, music, and beyond.

Mila Kunis has played a variety of roles, from That 70s Show to voice acting for Meg Griffin in the hit television series Family Guy and a stellar performance in the critically-acclaimed film, Black Swan… all this success helped to land her this latest role as heir to the throne, Jupiter Jones. Though it may seem challenging to jump from role to role, Mila explained “Every character has something that is going to be relatable. And so you always play each character independent of the other. There’s never really any comparison between forms. But this movie required so much more physical acting then anything I’ve ever done which made for the most appealing/exhausting piece of it all.” As Mila went on to explain how this physical acting manifested onto the vast sets that were combined with cutting-edge computer graphics, the conversation began to steer more towards how everything started to come together into this living world on the big screen.

The amazing level of design that encapsulates the universe of Jupiter Ascending required a creative head that could live up to the hype. Kym Barrett provided “brilliant” work and fostered “collaborative design tailored just for each character.” Jupiter’s elaborate wedding dress, shown in the numerous trailers and coverage leading up to the release, reveals the attention to detail that truly brings this story to life. Even Channing Tatum’s unique dog-like ears became part of the discussion. When almost calling them elf ears, Mila laughed and made sure to remind us there are only dogs in this world but it still didn’t distract her while shooting.“It’s not so bad. It blended in well enough where it doesn’t stand out. Some of the things that Channing tried on provided some more distracting, exaggerated versions than the one we ended up with though. I actually ended up, kind of, getting used to those pointy ears.” As Mila began opening up and describing the amazing world being created on screen, dog ears and all, we had to bring up the epic soundtrack scored by Michael Giacchino.

“I just saw it complete this week and it was so seamless and so beautiful,” she said. Giacchino is responsible for some of the greatest scores in recent years. Films like Star Trek, Mission Impossible: III, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and the legendary television series Lost, Alias and Fringe. She had the highest praise for the moments created with this “symphonic” underlying music. But what about a moment in Mila’s life that is forever attached to a certain song? Hint: It’s by none other than Kanye West.

…There’s one song will always stand out to me when I was shooting Oz The Great and Powerful where I played it every, single day. I murdered that album to no end! And then I went to the concert in Detroit and saw him play live… but that one song will always forever mean Detroit to me. That song’s on my playlist!

Find out what Kanye song soundtracked Mila’s Detroit adventures in her own Jupiter’s Jams playlist; exclusively on Spotify. As our talk winded down, Mila revealed that she’ll be “focus[ing] on being a mommy for a little while longer.” She added, “and then go from there to figure out my next job. But I have no desire at this very moment to go into work. I own a production company that I love doing which requires me to stay home which is amazing so I’d like to focus on that for a bit as well.”

Click the play button here to enjoy some of Mila’s favorites that were inspired by her role and be sure to check out the blockbuster movie, Jupiter Ascending, opening today!

 

 

 

 

 

Introducing Touch Preview. A better way to preview any song, album, artist or playlist.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Ever find yourself endlessly browsing through playlist after playlist, looking for the perfect music? “Teen Party” or “Party Hits”… how do you decide without listening?

Well, good news. Now, with Touch Preview, you can quickly get a sneak peek of any playlist, song, album or artist before you hit play. Just hold down your finger to the screen – you’ll instantly hear the music start.

And you can now save tunes you like to Your Music with one quick left-swipe. Building your collection of favourite songs has never been easier or faster.

It means less time looking for the perfect music, and more time actually listening to it.

Oh look, here’s a nice video we made.

Both Touch Preview and our new swipe gestures are available to iOS users from today, and will soon be rolled out across other platforms.

Spotify paints it black with new look for Windows Phone

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Today we’re bringing Windows Phone users the best-looking Spotify ever. With a darker theme, refreshed typography and rounded iconography, playing your favourite music has never looked so good. Our new design makes accessing your favourite music smoother than ever before. The new dark theme and refined interface lets the content come forward and ‘pop’, just like in a cinema when you dim the lights.

We also know that you’ve been looking for more ways of managing your music. So today we’re bringing Your Music to Windows Phone: helping you save, organise and browse your favourite music the way you want to. Save albums and browse their beautiful cover art, gather your favourite artists and create playlists for every mood and moment. Found a song or album that you like? Just hit save to add it to your collection. It’s that simple.

We’re also bringing you our updated Browse feature, delivering even more relevant and localised content. So regardless of whether you’re looking for something to fall asleep to, or the perfect playlist to get you geared up for your big night out, finding the right music for every moment is easier than ever.

Our new design, Your Music and the updated Browse will roll out to all Windows Phone 8 users starting today.