Last year we stumbled upon talented Los Angeles-based singer Mikhala Jené, when she released her amazing stand-out single “Is It Better?”, produced by Roc Nation Producer Deputy. Today we’re blessed with an acoustic cover she did for Ariana Grande’s track “Best Mistake.” Give the cover a listen below along with reading an interview that I did with her last year before our site went under massive reconstruction
What kind of music were you exposed to growing up?
I was exposed to a lot of gospel growing up. My mother sang in the church choir and always played music throughout the house. In fact, the first songs I ever learned to sing were the songs she led at church. So I’m very familiar with every album from Kirk Franklin, of course, and other artists including John P. Kee, Donald Lawrence and Yolanda Adams, just to name a few. I also grew up in the 90’s, an era when R&B was at the forefront. So naturally, I listened to divas like Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Toni Braxton and girl groups like TLC, Xscape, SWV and Destiny’s Child. I also loved listening to Faith Evans, Kelly Price and the teen queens Brandy, Aaliyah, Monica and Mya.
At what age did you pursue a singing career?
I would say I pursued a career in music in stages. I led my very first solo at church when I was 14 and the response from the congregation was unbelievable! After that pivotal moment, I knew for sure that music was my calling and purpose in life. I continued to focus on my studies and graduated high school early at 16 so that I could put all of my energy into music. Shortly after that, I began writing my material. However, it wasn’t until I was 18 that I started recording, performing and taking the steps to be discovered.
What Artist(s) past or present would you say have the most influence on your career?
The artists that have influenced my career the most are Aaliyah, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Brandy and Beyoncé. All of them have contributed to both my sound and my idea of who I want to be as an artist. I admire how they all have distinctive styles that have stood the test of time and are often emulated. Therefore, it’s very important to me that I leave my mark in music and be an artist with a legacy as well.
Your latest single “Is it Better?” is an amazing record, How did the track come about, and what the writing process like during the making of it?
Thank you so much! I actually wrote “Is it Better?” over a year ago around Christmas. My producer Deputy was in NYC at the time when he called me late one night and told me to write a song to Ice Cube’s “Today was a Good Day.” So I went on YouTube and listened to the instrumental and instantly on the first listen the melody and words began to come. I kept hearing, “Tell me is it better? Is it better for you baby?” All I could imagine was a girl basically telling a guy, “I told you so.” I wrote the verses in about 10-15 minutes and called Deputy and sang it to him. He loved it! He immediately recognized its potential. He made a few provisions and told me to call him back with the changes and I did just that. I called him back with the complete song and at the top of that following year I recorded it and I guess you could say the rest is history!
What’s your opinion on the current state of music?
I think music is a direct reflection of the state of mind that society is in. We’re living in a time where people’s attention spans are shorter. You have to grab their attention immediately, which is often done with meaningless lyrics and chants that are catchy but lack the substance that I’m accustomed to hearing in music growing up. People from the past 10-20 years and further were immensely talented and made great music that felt good to your soul. Somehow we got caught up in gimmicks and antics, but I think we’re finding our way back to music with depth and heart. There are plenty of artists today that make great music. I think it’s an exciting time in music because artists are less afraid to experiment and mesh genres. It’s just sometimes overshadowed by superficial nonsense. Like fashion, music goes through cycles and trends. Some songs are here today and gone tomorrow. In the end, it’s real music that endures the ever-changing music scene regardless of what’s popular at the time. Real music that is timeless is the kind of music I intend to make.
Going through your you-tube channel i stumbled upon a video of you singing Mariah Carey’s “Hero”, at your father’s military retirement ceremony. what was it like growing up with your father in the service?
Honestly, growing up with a parent in the military can be challenging at times because they’re often away or your family travels constantly. Men and women who serve sacrifice a lot to protect our country and ensure our safety. I love my father and I am so proud of him for his dedication to serving this country. I understand it wasn’t easy, and that’s why “Hero” was the perfect song to sing for him at his retirement.
If you weren’t involved with music what else could you see yourself doing?
Oh my goodness! It’s so hard for me to say because I have so many interests outside of music; one of them is drawing. Before I began pursuing music, I was preparing myself to go to college for fashion illustration and design. While in high school I had already taken my prerequisite classes and everything! However, if I had not been artistically gifted in any way, I definitely would have wanted to be an anthropologist or archaeologist. I’m obsessed with history and the study of ancient civilizations. Everyone who knows me knows that I am a big nerd at heart.
When can the fans like myself expect a full-length project?
I’m currently putting the finishing touches on my EP titled “No Story.” It should be out sometime in February. We decided to name the project “No Story” because the first question I’m often asked is, “What’s your story?” or “What’s your thing?” as if I am expected to have some sort of shtick. The answer is simple. There is no story. There are no gimmicks. I’m just a girl from a small town in North Carolina who loves to sing and is eager to share her gift with the world. Everyday I’m learning, growing and writing my story, and all I want is for you all to be a part of it.
We’re still waiting patiently on her new project which hopefully releases this year!
Beth Mendes “Like Me”
Beth Mendes sings about heartbreak on debut single “Like Me”
Blown away by her mesmerizing vocals British singer Beth Mendes, makes her Elite Debut in the form of her debut release titled “Like Me.” On The new single Beth sings about after effects of dealing with a bad breakup, the thoughts and feeling of revenge. The new single is based on real life experiences, written by Beth Mendes, and co-written by Jimi Charles Moody. The new single is the first taste of whats to expect from the talented newcomer.
Introducing Canadian Pop Artist FJØRA Aka Alexandra Petkovski
Get Familiar with Alexandra Petkovski the voice behind FJØRA
Canadian pop artist Alexandra Petkovski known under the popular moniker FJØRA, grow up in musical household, at a very young age Alexandra began studying music, alongside her father teaching her play classical piano. These actions led to improv jazz and taking an interest in composition and film scoring. Alexandra later studied music composition, and received her Masters of Commercial Music in Composition and Arranging from Belmont University in Nashville.
Fall is upon us…all the leaves are turning to glorious shades of red, orange, yellow…it is definitely one of my favorite seasons because of the colors • • • As you stroll down a leafy neighborhood, inhaling scents of woods & smokiness, perhaps listen to the sounds of my new EP…♀️ • • • W A T E R C O L O R available everywhere #watercolor #fjoramusic #fallishere
Alexandra is now a resident in NYC attending NYU’s Steinhardt School of Music, working toward receiving her PhD in Composition. Last month the talented pop artist released her début EP, WATERCOLOR, featuring popular tracks “Wild Animals,” and “Zodiac.” Today Alexandra aka FJØRA shares the next single from the project titled “Magic.”
Alexandra speaks on the inspiration behind the EP and her name FJØRA:
“WATERCOLOR is my first EP release, which is why it was important to me that it be reflective of the person I am at this moment in time, It’s a little weird, a little quirky, dramatic, fun – a bit experimental and an exploration of the kinds of music I love and never thought I could be taken seriously for before. FJØRA means ‘rolling tide’ and having been strongly connected with water my whole life, it just made sense that this first ‘shade’ of music I share be encompassed by its name – combining the two most significant things in my life. Water and color. I am truly appreciative of this chance to now let it leave its nest and find its place in all of this beautiful world!”
Shel Bee “2 Late”
Los Angeles popstress Shel Bee kicks off her Elite Debut with “2 Late”
Today we’re presented with a fresh set of tunes from Shel Bee, a 24-year-old singer-songwriter and producer residing in Los Angeles, California. Shel Bee spends her free time working on new material in her home studio alongside her producer boyfriend David aka Vud, or hugged up on the couch with her Dog. Shel’s musical sound is influenced by likes of popular artist such as Lorde, Lana del Rey, Stevie Nicks and others.
Today the talented young pop-stress shares her latest release titled “2 Late.”
Stream Shel Bee’s new single “2 Late” below
Nilka Makes Her Elite Debut With New Single Premier “Arrow”
Nashville songbird Nilka Premiers new album single “Arrow”
Hailing from Nashville today we’re blessed with fresh tunes from singer-songwriter Nilka. Last year the talented newcomer blessed fans with her début cut “Aurora,” later followed up with her début EP titled Find the Wildflower. The EP featured stand-out singles “Dreaming of You,” “Kryptonite,” and “Honeycomb.”
In months to come Nilka will release her next official body of work titled Year of the Escape featuring singles “Horizon,” “Metamorphosis,” “Even If Your Voice Shakes” and “Galaxy for Two”, all of which were produced by go to collaborator Shawn Gough.
Continuing the promotional push Nilka premiers audio for the fifth official single from her upcoming album titled “Arrow.” a smooth dark-pop cut with an alternative-rock twist.
Stream Nilka‘s newest masterpiece below.
Introducing Madeleine Dopico
New York’s Madeleine Dopic shares EP cut “With the Lights Out.”
Today we’re introduced to the sounds of New York-based singer Madeleine Dopico, who quit her job at a HealthTech startup two years ago to focus on her music career. The talented newcomer received her Ivy League degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Health and Societies. Madeleine gained tons of attention with her stand-out single “Nice Boy” which has received over 230,000 plays through Spotify.
On October 5th Madeleine released her 4-track EP Poor Decision Making, today she continues push for project with her latest single “With the Lights Out.”
Give the track a spin, along with the full EP below.
YAYA Makes Her Elite Debut With New Single “In My body”
Caroline Ljungström aka YAYA unleashes new track “In My body”
Swedish singer-songwriter Caroline Ljungström, known under the moniker YAYA, kicks off her first appearance with her latest single titled “In my body,” the first of three offering that she will be releasing this year. In the words of YAYA, she has found a feeling and a sound image that binds her world to 100 percent. The new single follows YAYA’s earlier release “Therapist,” produced and written by YAYA herself.