Three Is a Magic Number (Jackson Harris, Zander Bleck, and Kelly Hogan)
“The Next Big Thing” is a term that gets passed around more than a Kardashian at a clambake (I don’t care if that makes sense), but in the case of our next “A-Sider,” it’s pretty damn true. Seventeen magazine compared Jackson Harris to Zac Efron, and he’s already been mentioned in Teen Vogue, Popstar and Twist — to name a few. Not bad for a guy who hasn’t released a full-length album yet, huh?
Harris has been building a fan base for two years following his cover of Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ “Empire State of Mind,” which went viral. His first single “Long Story Short” was almost as successful, and his current single “Come Back Down to Earth” is probably going to be playing on your radio soon (yes, your radio, sir.) The soon-to-be pop star just filmed that song’s music video with Pretty Little Liars’ star Lucy Hale, but you can hear and see it here first. Below is an acoustic performance of the song filmed at the Music Conservatory of Westchester in White Plains, NY followed by an interview. Speaking of which, Harris will perform with his band this Tuesday at a benefit for that music school. In any event — Watch. Listen. Love.
“Come Back Down to Earth”:
Like Harris, Zander Bleck is getting some “next big thing” mentions – notably from music heavyweight Jimmy Iovine. Yep, the acclaimed producer, Interscope head, and American Idolgloriously prickish mentor has taken a liking to the New Jersey rising star. A self-professed fan of 1980s anthem rock, Bleck will unleash his old-school feel later this year with his debut album “MONUMENT.” Late last month, the musician performed his lead single “Temptation” on “A-Sides” at the Primary Wave Music Listening Room in New York City. Watch it below, and you’re welcome ladies.
A Chat with Bleck
Unlike the two “rising stars” above, Kelly Hogan has been around the block for awhile – singing back-up regularly for Neko Case and collaborating with greats like Mavis Staples and a bevy of amazing artists. (Bevy, by the way, is a wonderful word.) Hogan is ready to “Hulk” up now by taking center stage with “I Like To Keep Myself in Pain,” which dropped June 5. Backed by Booker T. Jones, James Gadson, Gabe Roth and Scott Ligon, the talented musician brings her country-esque pop and soul in her debut. Twelve of the 13 tracks on the album were written by ridiculously talented musicians and songwriters (she penned the song “Golden”). Robyn Hitchcock wrote the title track, and she performed it on A-Sides last month. Filmed at the Music Conservatory, watch her and her band teach us all a lesson in badassness.
“I Like To Keep Myself In Pain”
About A-Sides with Jon Chattman
Jon Chattman’s music series features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometimes humorous) way. No bells, no whistles — just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, I’m hoping this is refreshing.