The New Star Shining on the Rock & Roll Sky

Written by Lionel Ruegger, Switzerland

“There’s a lot of blind hate out there, but rock & roll is the best way to get to know each other” ~ Sam Kiszka

We go back to the year 2012, to a little town called Frankenmuth, Michigan.  Two twin brothers and high school attendees, Josh and Jake Kiszka, are forming the band, Greta Van Fleet, with their younger brother Sam and friend, Kyle Hauck. They’ve named their band after Gretna Van Fleet, a resident of Frankenmuth. After recording the songs, “Cloud Train” and “Standing On,” Hauck has left the band in October 2013 and was replaced as drummer by the brother’s good friend, Danny Wagner. Along with “Standing On,” they have released several other songs, such as “Down to the River” and “By the Riverside.”

Soon after, the band was signed to the record label Lava Records and they have released their first official single called “Highway Tune” on March 31, 2017. One month later, they released their debut EP Black Smoke Rising with the following songs on it :Image result for greta van fleet album cover black smoke rising

  1. “Highway Tune”
  2. “Safari Song”
  3. “Flower Power”
  4. “Black Smoke Rising” 

Later in 2017, the band toured with The Struts, opened for Bob Seger and released their second EP From The Fires. It’s a double EP, consisting the four tracks from their deput EP and four new tracks, two of them are cover versions:

  1. “Edge of Darkness”
  2. “A Change Is Gonna Come” (Written by Sam Cooke) 
  3. “Meet on the Ledge” (Written by Richard John Thompson)
  4. “Talk on the Street”

In July 2018, the band released their second single “When the Curtain Falls”. Just one week later, they appeared on the TV show The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and made their TV debut by performing the new single. Greta Van Fleet released their debut album “Anthem of the Peaceful Army” on October 19, 2018. It was the top selling album in the first week in the US and debuted on number three of Billboard 200.

  1. “Age of Man”
  2. “The Cold Wind”Image result for anthem of the peaceful army cover
  3. “When the Curtain Falls”
  4. “Watching Over”
  5. “Lover, Leaver”
  6. “You’re the One”
  7. “The New Day”
  8. “Mountain of the Sun”
  9. “Brave New World”
  10. “Anthem”

 

 

Currently, Greta Van Fleet is nominated for four Grammy Awards, including Best New Artist, Best Rock Performance (“Highway Tune”), Best Rock Song (“Black Smoke Rising”) and Best Rock Album (“From the Fires”). The Grammy Awards ceremony will be held on February 10, 2019 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

Even if they’re not going to win any Grammys, they showed the mainstream music industry and the whole world that Rock music isn’t dead at all! It’s alive like back in the 70s, and it will celebrate a comeback the next couple of years!!

 

 

Music In France

Lucas, France

We are at the end of the year, and it’s time for Spotify, the streaming platform of music to reveal the name of the artists the most listened to this year in France. Without surprise, rap, and especially French rap, is almost all you can see in this ranking.

Top 20 of the artists the most streamed in France in 2018:

  1. Damso
  2. Ninho
  3. Jul
  4. Vald
  5. Dadju
  6. Booba
  7. Maître Gims
  8. XXXTentacion
  9. PNL
  10. Drake
  11. Sofiane
  12. Niska
  13. Orelsan
  14. Moha La Squale
  15. Lartiste
  16. David Ghetta
  17. Aya Nakamura
  18. Lomepal
  19. Kaaris
  20. Marwa Loud

 

The rapper from Belgium, Damso, led the ranking this year with his third album “Lithopedion” which broke the record of listening for an album at 61 million of plays. We have to wait until the 16th place to see something else other than rap. It’s David Guetta, the French DJ popular internationally. One thing surprising on this list is that there are only two international artists, who are the two rappers, XXXTentacion and Drake, respectively 8th and 10th in the ranking.

For the past few years, urban music is more and more popular in France. More than number one, even in the top 20 of the singles the most played, where only Vianney, Dua Lipa and Marshmello find a place in this ranking mostly dominated by the rap. “Désaccordé” by Vald lead this top

 

 

Dark Side of K Pop Industry

Luna Speidel, Belgium

Although K Pop generally classifies “popular music” within South Korea, the term is often used in a narrower sense to describe a modern form of Korean pop that is influenced by styles and genres from around the world. The Asian pop singers are becoming more and more popular and, therefore, the music industry is pushing them harder so they can be at their best on stage, which is understandable. CDs, music videos and interviews have been taking their lives to a point where it becomes too much. Is it normal that at almost every concert at least one of the group members faints? Is it normal that they are doing more then 30 different dance routines per night for many months? We should take a deeper look and see if this is human abuse or not.

Afbeeldingsresultaat voor kpop groupsAfbeeldingsresultaat voor kpop groups

The multi-million dollar industry that is controlling the lives of the big stars, makes everything look so glamorous and nice. But what the fans and the outside world in general doesn’t know, is that behind that fake image the artists are working 12 hours and maybe more a day every day to make everything look perfect. This leads to a form of abuse and is often hidden by the industry itself. You can’t force someone to stay on their feet and give everything they’ve got on a stage in front of millions of their fans. The fainting and collapsing on stage is a message and gives all the hidden darkness away. The industry can’t control everything and certainly not health.

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When you become someone famous in that industry, your whole life is being controlled and getting out of it is almost impossible. Things like dating and getting married are not allowed, unless the significant other is approved by the industry. Everything is made for the artists to become more famous and for that to happen every detail counts. Most of the Kpop singers need to have plastic surgery to maintain their beauty and achieve the perfect look that the fans want. But again, this is something that the entire industry keeps secret so the performers look like natural perfection. Their diets are really strict and can go to a point where these celebrities starve themselves to keep up with their perfect body image. That’s also one of the things that causes the lack of energy and fainting on stage.

 

 

With all that negativity that’s hidden, you would think that the artists make a lot of money out of it so it’s at least worth something to them, but even on that level, the Kpop stars are victims of financial exploitation. For one show, a regular Kpop group generally earns $4000, 90% of which goes to the company and 10% gets divided between the singers. The singers are also threatened with blackmail so they don’t break the contracts, which are often for long terms, and stay in the groups. In the end, it’s a really dark industry that’s is created to give people what they want so the company gets to make as much money as they can.

Anti-Fans Sometimes Try To Kil is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Dark Side Of The K-Pop Industry And Idol GroupsAfbeeldingsresultaat voor dark side of kpop industry

Carnival of Sion

Baptiste Ostertag, Switzerland

What is it ?

The carnival of Sion is a big celebration which is every year during the first week of February.Carnaval de Sion

A lot a people are going there, most of the time in costume, just to enjoy, watch the parade, party and meet people.

A lots of groups come to Sion, to play music, as you can see in the picture below !!carna_sion24.jpg

Then in the evening, people, specially the young adult, are going under a big pavillion to do party all the night.carna_sion25

Here you meet a lot of people you know, you can dance and drink all the night, even if you’re not 21 (Not like in the USA), and you can enjoy the particular music which is being played by the brass band.

Here is an example :

The most important thing there is to enjoy yourself, and the fact that almost everybody is disguised makes the carnival really fun, because sometimes you can’t recognize people.

The Eurovision Song Contest

By Mareike Rupaner, Germany

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The Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) is an international competition in Europe. European nations must choose each year a singer, who represents their county. The best singer, who has the post points, wins the contest. He hosts the next contest in next year in May.

It all starts on the 24 March 1956 with seven nations. A very strict rule fo2r participants was to sing in their country’s national language, but it relaxed with the year 1973. After that in 1999 the participants could sing in every language, which they want. Today it’s mostly in English.

In the contest, the participants have two options to get points. One the one hand, normal people can vote with televoting by telephone or SMS. On the other hand, there is a national jury, for each participant, which gives the other country’s points. The point’s Scala starts at 1 – 8, 10, and 12 points.

Since the 1990’s more and more countries join to the contest, so the organizer takes two sem3i-finals to find the Top 50. Only the “Big Five”: France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom are automatically in the Final.  The map shows, how many and in time the nations join to the contest by decade.

Fun Fact:  In 1974, ABBA wins the contest for Sweden

In 2015, the ESC celebrated 60 years anniversary. For the first time Australia joins to the contest and since that, it is very strong part in the contest.

The ESC is very important thing in Europe and in the European culture. Almost all nations of Europe join to one place, local or watching at the television.  Look and enjoy the next contest. On the 12th May, 2018, the Final is in Lisbon; don’t miss it or you can watch it next year 🙂

Take a look to the official site: https://eurovision.tv/ 4

Interview of Maxime DELAERE

by Bettina Clauss, France

maxime delaere

What’s your favorite hobbies ?

His favorite hobbies are writing and swimmimg .

What’s your favorite meal ?

Raclette

Do you have pets ?

One cat

Where do you like to travel ?

Fiji Island because the landscape are beautiful and it’s hot.

What type of music do you like listen to  ?

French Rap

 

 

ED SHEERAN

Paula Mota – Uruguay

Edward Christopher “Ed” Sheeran is a really talented singer and songwriter, who also play the guitar. He was born on February 17, 1991, in Halifax, West Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom. With only 26 years old he is doing very well in his career, everybody knows him and loves his songs.

He has a characteristic romantic and melodic style, and sometimes he does some raps too. Besides singing and writing songs, he also plays the guitar. His talent led him to compose for important artists. ‘Love Yourself’, the ‘megahit’ of Justin Bieber, is an example. Like ‘Everything has Changed’, by Taylor Swift. He also did it for One Direction with ‘Little Things’ and ‘Over Again’. Also, originally, ‘Shape of You’ was written for Rihanna.

Sheeran comes from an artist family. His father John is an art curator and his mother Imogen is a jewelry designer. Also, he has an older brother, named Matthew, who has studied music at university and is now a classical composer. He had been playing music since he was a child in Framlingham, Suffolk, a small town of 3.000 inhabitants. His childhood was not perfect. His stuttering, reddish hair and the fact that it was not good for sports made him an easy target.

Sheeran started writing music in his early teens, recording a self-made album called Spinning Man when he was thirteen in 2004. In addition to making music at home -he put out an EP titled The Orange Room in 2005- he’d busk on the streets and play whatever stage he could find. At age of sixteen, Sheeran dropped out of school to start his professional music career in London.

In ‘Take it Back’, included in the deluxe edition of his album X (2014), sings: “For four years I did not have a place to stay, but that kept me focused (…). I went from sleeping in a subway station to sleeping with a movie star (…). You found me singing in the streets when it was cold. And now I’m perspiring on stage on a sold out tour.”

Sheeran made his first steps playing comedy, hip-hop and jazz clubs, and open-mic nights. Uploaded songs to the web and thousands of students began to share their music. It did not take long to get the attention of Elton John, today his musical godfather.

 

Nowadays, he is paired with Cherry Seaborn, his high school sweetheart, with whom he reunited in New York. Moreover, he has a group of friends he has known since he was 10 years old. He is doing pretty well, he is on the best moment of his career, and we can see that his personal life is going really well too. I believe that a lot of good things are coming with him. So be aware!!

 

Tomorrowland Festival : All about Unity

Gladys Lebrun, Belgium

You probably never know the real meaning of “enjoying yourself” before experiencing the electro music festival “Tomorrowland.” Belgium sure is a small country, but definitely full of resources, and as far as the fun is concerned, Belgian people know what they are talking about. Everything is made for you to spend a really good time during the four days and the festival takes place in July. So if you are lucky, the weather can be really good in Belgium these days.

Tomorrowland-2017-B2

What is it?

Tomorrowland is one of the biggest festivals in the world. With over 180,000 people, every country is represented in this festival. This is the real thing about it, you feel like you’re taking part in something bigger. With over 12 stages, the festival is open from Friday until Sunday and from noon until 1 am. So, you will definitely never get bored. DJs from all around the world come to Belgium to meet an eclectic public, for example : David Guetta, Hardwell, Martin Garrix, Avicii or Tiesto for the most famous, but the festival welcomes also less famous DJs, like the young Henri PFR well known in Belgium.

tomorrowland 2017

“Yesterday is history, Today is a gift, Tomorrow is a Mystery”, this is the slogan of the famous electro music festival Tomorrowland and it’s a pretty good summary of the state of mind of the people coming to this festival : Just enjoy the moment.

Why do you absolutely have to go there?

Definitely to have fun and enjoy some time with your friends, but, the best of all, is that you will have so many crazy stories to tell. Because anything can happen at Tomorrowland, everything is possible. When I was at the Tomorrowland festival for the first time, I was so excited to experience it because it’s a really big event in my country, Belgium. So many people come from all over the world just to appreciate the music. It was so crazy to meet people from different cultures. I met a Brazilian guy and when I asked him “Are you enjoying the festival?” He just answered “I’m having the best time of my life “. That’s why every fan of music should experience this festival because anybody on earth can have fun there.

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Furthermore, most people camp during the five days just outside the festival area. Even there, there’s a lot of ways to enjoy yourself because the party keeps going after the festival. The facilities are also great. There’re shops, a supermarket, a radio station, a hairdresser and so many places to eat food from different countries. This is the perfect spot to meet new friends to enjoy the festival with.

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The only thing wrong with Tomorrowland is that the tickets are sold out in 30 minutes so you have to be very lucky to get the chance to go in the Festival. I’ve been there twice but only the years where there were two weekends instead of one so obviously you had more chance to go. But never stop trying to go, I swear, it worths the wait.

Tomorrowland-2017

Finally, I will share with you some of my best memories at the festival.

 

 

Carnival All Around Brazil

By Maria Antonia Lopes, Brazil                                                                                                                Rafaela Reblin, Brazil                                                                                                                            Laura Franco, Brazil

 What is Carnival?

The Carnival is celebrated in Brazil every year, 46 days before the Easter festival. The word “Carnival’ is derived from “carnelevare,”which means the removal of meat. The roots of the festival are believed to be in tradition of Roman Catholics when they abstained from meat and alcohol on certain days as a method to drive away bad things from their lives. Back then, followers of the Roman Catholic Church would indulge in a last day of dance, fun, alcohol and sex just before the start of the abstinence period of alcohol and other sins.

Although Carnival is celebrated in other cities throughout Brazil and other Catholic countries, Rio de Janeiro is considered the Carnival’s capital city. One of the best-known parties in the world, Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is also the largest carnival celebration in the world. It’s filled with music, parades, drinking and people having fun. The carnival, a national holiday in Brazil, runs from Friday night to noon of the following Wednesday. That’s the official length, but many Brazilians turn it into a 10-day holiday. It brings
in about half a million foreign tourists each year.

                             carna111

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro 

The festival is organized by various samba schools in Brazil which are sometimes involved in community services as well. A major parade is made with beautifully dressed samba dancers on the top of decorated moving vehicles that go around the Sambadrome stadium. Often wearing masks and colorful costumes, they dance to the beats of drums and music, Samba is the main form of dancing there. Also, there’s a competition held in the end of the festival, when the crowd has to vote for the best costume, the best vehicle and the best samba school.

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Each neighborhood in Rio has its own Carnival Street Party. There are around 300 of them in Rio every year. The street parties are also called “blocos”, and the atmosphere is just full of life, and everybody who parties is dancing in the streets, singing out loud, and making sure they have a really good time. Anyone is allowed to participate in streets a festival, that’s why it’s so special. There’s no segregation, literally, the whole world is invited.

Carnival in Salvador

Salvador is a city in the northeast of Brazil that has a lot of beautiful beaches and every February the Carnival happens. The Salvador carnival is the most fun one. If in Rio, you are a spectator of the parade, in the Salvador Carnival you are the show.

The event lasts officially for six full days: it starts on a Thursday, then follows the usual five days of carnival ( from Friday to Wednesday at noon).

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The parties have a special name, “Bloco”, and it happens behind the “Trio eletrico” that is basically a big truck moving really slowly loaded with sound equipment’s and with a famous band or a famous singer singing on the top. The Salvador Carnival has some tradition singers like: Ivete Sangalo, Daniela  Mercury and Preta Gil. Contrary to what most people think, carnival is not only about samba, it has funk too and at the moment, the most famous singers of funk are: Anitta and Pablo Vittar.

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Each Bloco sells a different T-shirt called “Abada”. This T-shirt is your entrance ticket and allows you to get inside the rope area. If you enter the V.I.P area of the event, you can see a lot of famous people with the “Abada” totally stylized.

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Carnival in Olinda

The old colonial town of Olinda, a few miles from Recife, became a popular carnival spot in 1977, where every street corner has a band following their own routes. Children, parents, and grandparents all party together. Political and social causes are common themes that are well presented through costumes and music.

One of the main attractions of the carnival in Olinda is the giant puppets made from papier-mâché. The “Homem da Meia-Noite” or “Man of Midnight” is the most famous puppet that officially opens the carnival in Olinda every year; a tradition since 1932.

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For most people here, Carnival is this magical time when it’s totally ok to dress up weirdly, fill your hair and face with glitter, become friends with total strangers and start deep love affairs that last the time of two “frevo” verses.carna10

If you like partying and want to immerse yourself in this rich culture, you should definitely spend Carnival in Olinda. You’ll hardly find a similar event somewhere else, with all the joy and excitement that takes hold of anyone that’s part of it. But truth be told, it takes a good deal of strategy to enjoy everything this party has to offer. So here are some tips for those who will go for the first time:

– Wear comfortable clothes and closed-toe, comfortable and not too beloved shoes – after all, it’s likely they will be destroyed by the end of Carnival.

– Eat well before leaving home, since drinking on an empty stomach is not advisable, but try to avoid heavy foods.

– Take an old cell phone with you instead of your “real one”, if possible.

– Avoid walking against the flow of the “blocos”. It’s easier to wait for them to pass, or to simply follow them.

– Avoid going alone, it’s more fun and safer to go with friends or family.