Staff Picks

  • Jose Soto
    Published a day ago
    Shakira: Once Only a Latino Act, She Is Now a True Staple of Globalization

    Shakira: Once Only a Latino Act, She Is Now a True Staple of Globalization

    I first heard Shakira in 1995 while accompanying my mother as she ran some errands. Sitting in the backseat of the car, I took interest in a song which began to play on the radio. The musical style of the song was familiar; similar to the songstress aesthetic of the 90's crafted by artists such as Joan Osborne, Alanis Morissette, and Jewel. However, the voice was not familiar whatsoever. What was more surprising is that she was singing in Spanish.
  • Bralen Williams
    Published 5 days ago
    Top Albums of 2019

    Top Albums of 2019

    2019 was another year for music. There is been so much good and bad projects overall. Even though the year isn’t technically over, 2019 has had some great albums. Different artists this year I think tried to expand more than fans what were used to hearing and tried experimenting. It worked for some artists and didn’t work for others as well. On the other hand, many artists created projects that I personally enjoyed. Some can agree that these were albums to highlight the year.
  • Aidan Black
    Published 10 days ago
    How I Got My Track on Spotify Editorial Playlists

    How I Got My Track on Spotify Editorial Playlists

    On the 26th of July I released my track "Take It Back." It hit several big Spotify Editorial Playlists and racked up 100,000 streams in the first two weeks.
  • James Crawford
    Published 11 days ago
    My BandLab Addiction

    My BandLab Addiction

    I love BandLab and, as far as I know, BandLab most certainly loves me.
  • Vocal Curation Team
    Published 12 days ago
    To the Beat: October 2019

    To the Beat: October 2019

    To the Beat is back with a new roundup curated from all your October stories. This month’s playlist is chock-full of hits, including everything from spooky soundtracks to emotional ballads that take us back a few decades. We had creators sharing their passion for so many different styles of music and diverse artists, and we couldn’t be more grateful for that. We’ve already added some of these tracks to our personal favorites, and we’re sure you’ll find something new that you’ll love too!
  • Bralen Williams
    Published 13 days ago
    New School: Hip-Hop’s New Leading Class

    New School: Hip-Hop’s New Leading Class

    Hip-Hop has been around for many years and has told the story of how different people are struggling and can relate to each other. Hip-Hop is about sharing your struggles and realizing everyone who listens have that one thing in common and you can turn it into art. I have been listening to hip-hop for years now. I grew up on rap greats like Nas, Jay-Z, Lil’ Kim, 50-Cent, Eminem, Kanye West, Lil Wayne and many more. Ever since then, I have started paying real close attention to what these musical geniuses say. Now in this generation, only a few people are actually continuing to do what hip-hop has been for the last years and making it into the right way. I pay attention to the lyrics, which help people relate and listen. Also, I listen to authenticity as rappers talk about real-life situations and not fake things, and trying to be someone they are not. I recommend some new listeners take this into perspective of these new artists. I believe after listening for a long time, these 10 rappers of the new school are finishing the path “old school” rappers started.
  • Philip Jancsy
    Published 15 days ago
    Album Review: Kanye West—'Jesus Is King'

    Album Review: Kanye West—'Jesus Is King'

    First things first: This is not another commentary piece on the curiosities of Kanye West's life, but an honest opinion about his new album, Jesus Is King. I'm sure there are people who're better equipped to write about what Kanye's been up to lately, so that's not what I'm trying to do. But of course, Kanye is such a big character, that, maybe by design, it sometimes get's impossible to completely distinguish between his person and his artistic creations. So, full disclosure: I've been a Kanye fan for quite some time now. Maybe not the biggest fan, but I appreciate his musical talent, his unique character and the way he always tries to push boundaries.
  • Don Klees
    Published 23 days ago
    A Tapestry of Sound and Vision

    A Tapestry of Sound and Vision

    Even before MTV made “music video” an everyday term, rock and roll existed as a visual medium almost as much as a sonic one. One of the most obvious side effects of this duality has been the numerous attempts to encapsulate the cultural significance of rock music for television and film. Though not focused solely on rock music, the documentary series Soundbreaking, which aired on PBS before being released on DVD and digitally, is arguably the most successful effort to date. Somewhat paradoxically, the fact that that the program isn't totally focused on rock and roll is what makes it virtually definitive on the subject.
  • Vocal Curation Team
    Published about a month ago
    To the Beat: September 2019

    To the Beat: September 2019

    To the Beat is a new series curated by our team, from your stories. Creators on Beat share all kinds of music everyday, so we wanted to make it easier for you to access it all in one place. At the end of every month, we'll be sharing a playlist with songs that have inspired our creators to share stories about them on Vocal. From music that makes you dance, to songs that bring a smile to your face, or those that helped you get over a breakup—you'll find a little bit of everything on To the Beat.