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This week's round-up: New music from Ana Popovic, Nate Smith and Slash


Big band blues funk, new country and a classic gets a glow up on this week's round-up







Ana Popovic - Queen of the Pack




Celebrated guitarist and vocalist Ana Popovic brings her new musical adventure “FANTASTAFUNK” Big Band Project to prestigious music festivals this summer, including Monterey Jazz Fest, California, Notodden Blues Fest, Norway, Pori Jazz, Finland, and more.To coincide with the news of the Big Band Project, Ana has released the live single “Queen Of The Pack” on all streaming platforms HERE.The live performance video of “Queen Of The Pack” is now available on YouTube HERE.Get your dance, get your groove!  FANTASTAFUNK yourself! Indulge in this super exciting powerhouse funk & blues, rock & soul, gospel, and R&B experience.  A superb band FANTASTAFUNK merges styles and is a musical fusion of Stax and Motown with contemporary guitar-driven grooves and delivers the sound that you have never experienced from Ana Popovic before.It’s based on some of Ana's songs delivered in a new way.  It’s also been made for this new project, mixed with some great funk, soul, gospel, and blues sounds and standards - that the audience will love hearing again, great grooves and excellent musicianship. Multiple vocalists, percussionist, drummer, 3 horns, bass, keys, guitar, it’s an 11-piece band that will be a showcase to remember on any of the leading music festivals today.

 

About the making of FANTASTAFUNK“I felt ready to form a big band, for quite some time,” explains Ana.  “I just felt I knew exactly what I wanted to hear from my live performances, and what instrumentation was missing for that sound in a 6-piece band formation. The final push was the making of my 2023 album, Power.”Continues Ana, “An album like Power demands a band like this, one that will really be able to fully come to life. That’s the way it was originally thought of and created.  I felt ready to give myself a chance to create that kind of a sound.  So many new influences, such as gospel, old school funk, soul, R&B, I really wanted to bring that record to life on stage.“This is how the idea of the big soul funk formation came about. Power was recorded in different cities in Los Angeles, Dallas, Detroit, Orlando. It gave me - exactly what it’s title states - Power to get through most difficult time in my life, being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2020. It practically infused ‘life’ back to me.”“Now, four years later, and leaving all that behind, I feel great in my skin, I delivered a positive, inspiring record, and so much fun to play live. Following hundreds of shows since then, as energized as I was after my treatment was done, I was ready to take on, not just touring, but fronting a 11-piece power / jam / groove formation!”



Nate Smith - Bulletproof ft Avril Lavigne




Nate Smith who was revealed yesterday as the Academy of Country Music's New Male Artist of the Year, has today shared 'Bulletproof (feat. Avril Lavigne)' which they will perform together at the Awards this evening in Frisco, Texas. The 59th ACM Awards, hosted by Reba McEntire, will be free to stream globally on Prime Video (no membership required) from 8pm ET (16 May) / 1am UK time (17 May). 


Nate released his 7-track EP Through The Smoke last month via Sony Nashville. The project features his current US radio single 'Bulletproof' - #15 on the Billboard Country airplay chart this week, as well as 5 additional new songs and a cover of Nirvana’s 'Heart Shaped Box'. 

With over 1.3 billion career streams, Nate started 2024 dominating Billboard’s Country Airplay chart with a ten-week consecutive run at the top of the chart with his smash hit single 'World On Fire', which has over 210 million global streams to date. This feat ties Morgan Wallen’s 'You Proof' for the longest run at No. 1 for his song 'You Proof' and marks Smith as the first artist to achieve this run with a second single at country radio and consecutive week run.

Only 19 songs went No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart in 2023, two of which belong to Smith. Both 'World on Fire' and 'Whiskey On You' are featured on Nate's self-titled debut album.


ABOUT NATE SMITH:Featuring a mix of gritty backwoods soul, rock ‘n’ roll swagger and velvet-thunder vocals, Nate Smith’s personal journey inspired him to be a beacon of country-music hope, an inspirational mission he puts front-and-center. A California native, former worship leader, and lifelong music lover, Smith approaches that mission with a background as eclectic as it gets. Learning guitar at 13, Garth Brooks, Elvis Presley and Bob Seger were among those informing his powerful, fire-from-within vocals, while Michael Jackson made him crave the spotlight and Nirvana gave his sound a jagged edge. In 2018, Smith lost everything he owned in the devastating Camp Fire which tore through Paradise, California, now known as the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in the state’s history. Although his family was safe, he struggled to cope and turned back to music, hoping that it would help comfort himself and others. Help it did, inspiring a month-long road trip across the U.S. to Music City, writing music and playing dive bars along the way. 

Since making it to Nashville, the singer’s “powerhouse tenor” has become “perhaps country music’s fastest-rising beloved voice” (The Tennessean). He’s made a huge splash with songs such as his Platinum-certified multi-week No. 1 hit “Whiskey On You,” which was lauded as the “breakup song of the summer” by Country Now and “an enormously satisfying country kiss-off anthem” by Stereogum. The smash hit has racked up over 450 million total global on-demand streams to date, contributing to Nate’s billion total catalog streams globally. Nate released his debut, self-titled album along with the deluxe version on April 28. The hefty 26-song project hit #6 on Billboard’s Country album charts and #30 on the Billboard Top 200. His latest single off the album, “World On Fire,” reached No. 1 on the country radio charts in December, and has remained at the top of the charts for ten consecutive weeks. The CMT Awards and ACM Awards nominee spent the summer touring alongside Thomas Rhett and Cole Swindell. Nate is managed by Kevin “Chief” Zaruk and Simon Tikhman with The Core Entertainment.


Slash ft Demi Lovato - 'Papa Was A Rolling Stone'




SLASH the iconic, GRAMMY®-winning guitarist and songwriter has released his highly anticipated sixth solo album titled Orgy of the Damned today, May 17 on Gibson Records HERESLASH’s Orgy of the Damned is now available worldwide digitally and on vinyl and CD HERE


Today, Friday, May 17, SLASH has also revealed the third single and a new video for “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” featuring Demi Lovato’s powerhouse vocals. Watch/share the “Papa Was A Rolling Stone” video which portrays Demi LovatoSLASH and his blues band Johnny Griparic (bass), Teddy ‘ZigZag’ Andreadis (keyboards), Michael Jerome (drums), and Tash Neal (vocals/guitar) recording the song in the studio fused with historical footage and a 70s raw energy and vibe befitting the song HERE.


“Slash is a legendary talent and friend I've known for years, so I was thrilled to collaborate with him again for his project. He brought such an amazing energy when we were in the studio and reimagining this iconic song together was effortless and fun. He had such a clear vision for the song and I’m grateful that he wanted to honor my story. I’m so proud of what we created!”


-- DEMI LOVATO

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