So its Worlds Aids Day on Monday. Lhuna is a song by Kylie and Coldplay. AIDS and HIV is still here. The two acts have finished the song and are putting it up online through a new music service called Red Wire. The proceeds from the download will go to organizations assisting those with HIV and AIDS. Check it out here (RedWire)

Thank you. 


Rendered speechless. This is good. Very good. The production is flawless. The vocals are stunning. The message of the song-iconic. The context of the song?-epic. Sam Taylor is clearly doing his own thing and without even a debut single to his name he's already upstaged the likes of fellow male artists Will Young and Darren Hayes. Not that there's any contest or anything. This has got very interesting indeed. Please have listen here.

Salem Al Fakir-finally landing in the UK from Arlanda

Salem Al Fakir is an amazing artist. He is incredibly talented & a tad cute too. His inflections, couplets and brilliant melodies make his material nothing but pure joy. Piano is his key instrument but can also play the violin, bass, drums, guitar and xylophone. A bit of a genius then. Heavily influenced by the 1970's and 1970's, you can hear traces of Stevie Wonder, Burt Bacharach, Jackson Five, Frank Zappa and even Al Green in his music. All of which makes for a rather happy experience. Take for example the song Good Song (see here). The video mirrors The Temptations and the chirpiness of the track denies any possibility that one could refrain from not smiling. In the past, he has worked with Robyn but you can't really hear that in his very original music. With material like Its True, Its Only You Part II and This Is Who I am, Salem is definitely another act to watch out for next year.

Indeed, next year he will be putting out his follow-up to the lush "This Is Who I Am" LP which you can buy through Cdon here. So far on this side of the Norwegian Sea, he is releasing an E.P through Parlophone and this contains the glorious It's Only You Part II. This should be a teaser of things to come. Mixing in subtle electro snowflakes with easy synth melodies, Its Only You is pretty much embodies warmth. Both the first album and the E.P are highly recommended.

Buy here through


A few months ago DontStopthePop featured a little paragraph about this lad called Sam Taylor. He is currently working with Steve Anderson (actually it was through this blog's recent interview with said producer where the tip originated from). Slowly and eventually, his music has appeared primarily on the soundtrack for the adored BBC2 T.V series Beautiful People, sandwiched in-between a glorious remix of Spice Up Your Life, covers of Jolene, Pet Shop Boys and that duet between Kylie and Dannii. The beautiful songs Run Away and Sometimes I Need You are stunning collaborations with those maestros of pop, Terry Ronald and Ian Masterson. I am particularly fond of the uplifting Sometimes I Need You, which is as lovely as the title suggests. I think it's the subtle strings on the song towards the end that make it so special, and yes, rather cute. I think there's even a sample in there. Or something very close to a sample. Perhaps it's just me. I can hear it at the end. Des'ree's Kissing You (from Baz Luhrmann's amazing Romeo & Juliet 1996 film).

Sam is currently recording his debut album and I think it will be certainly one to look out for in early 2009. Although the first two songs we've heard from the project lean towards the subtle/slow side, I've got a feeling there will be an upbeat/pop side to the album. It's just a hunch though for now. A hunch based solely on pretty much nothing. On a side note, if you were watching Children In Need (see here) the other night you might have caught Sam supporting Leon Jackson on the vocals for his new single Creative.

There is a tremendous amount of soul and ambiance in his voice, which kinda sets him apart from a number of other male singers out at the moment. In fact, his vocal delivery reminds me of the criminally underrated yet legendary singer Shaun Escoffery (check out his brilliant Days Like This and Into the Blue). (Me starts to imagine a Sam Taylor-Escoffery collaboration – it would be amazing!). I can't wait to hear more from Sam...bring on the album I say!

Critical links

Run Away (Youtube Link)
Sam Taylor Myspace
Official Site
Photos from Myspace

OCEANSHIP-Hotblack-Legal Download (Absolutely beautiful, beautifully absolute)


You know when Kate Bush runs up to that hill with all those sacred, tort and yet identifiable wistful emotions? Its a beautiful song. As is Coldplay's Fix You, Annie's Why and Robbie Williams Angels. They connect. They have with me anyway. Sitting at the bus-stop on the way to school facing another lecture from ones science teacher regarding a failed test. Or, realizing a lover was now an ex and was never, ever, coming back despite all your hopes. Or, that rush of love when a dearly missed friend appears from the arrivals lounge at an airport looking rather flustered from their long-haul flight and yet so happy to see you. These songs somehow encapsulate tearful moments of both joy and sorrow. They entwine the human nervous system and sink into the veins. So much so that occasionally they tip into the realm of annoyance (how dare a song get me to feel that way!). 

Well, when I first heard Hotblack by Oceanship my heart skipped a beat. This was, for me, one of those guitar based songs which was distinctly emotional but manages to cross into that weird realm of pop. This track, this epic opus, secures that strange twist of amalgamating strands of genres of rock with soothing simple poppy chords.  The chorus isn't simply just good but instead tucks you up in bed so cosy you refuse to get out. Effortlessly warm in melody, OceanShip (consisting of Brad Lyons on vocals and Carly Paradis on piano) refuse to produce traditional guitar pop. Check out their songs on myspace. Don't Me Wear Out recalls second album Siobhan Donaghy with its spookily echoes reverberating throughout the glorious yet bewildering piece of music. It needs to be listened to be understood. It unclicks itself. Deconstructive music at its best. 

So, Hotblack is available to download today for a very short time (the Itunes version of Hotblack will be of a much higher quality-this is just a teaser/taster!). You see, they are on the verge of releasing their album Stateside & I personally can't wait to hear the entire Cd if the myspace songs are anything to go by. Hotblack is also the lead single with a video to appear very soon. Brads tender yet bold voice fuses so well with Carly's beautifully tempered piano playin'. I love the blips, the strings and spiraling emotions expressed on Excited. Yes, Oceanship are a very interesting band indeed. If there is any justice in the world this band will go places next year. I truly hope so!  Absolutely beautiful and beautifully absolute! 


Christine Milton is a Dontstopthepop legend. Danish pop royalty! She is the original, singer behind the global hit Superstar (covered by three other female singers no less!). Her album Friday (2004) is a wonderment of hardcore dance/rnb hits that still sound as fresh now as they did on their release. Hailing from Denmark, her sound would eventually filtrate down to the mainstream of current pop music. Yeah, it is my believe that you can trace the likes of Rihanna's recent hit singles, hits by Jordin Sparks & Chris Brown, Kylie's Speakerphone and the general wave of music that amalgamates pop with a rnb to Christine's debut album. Its all in there. After a break from the pop world Christine is back with a new album, new single and brand new look. So, DSTP thought it timely to interview the Ms.Milton. We discussed her future album, the state of the music industry, how it is changing and Jamelia!

Welcome back to pop! Its been quite a ride! Quite some time since we saw you last doing music. What have you been up to?

Thank you! I have been finishing a basic education, I have traveled and practiced my songwriting.

Tell me about Tilbage! What does it mean?

Tilbage means Back or left. It’s basically a song about being a bit naive when it comes to love. It’s about the “perfect” man who gives you everything you want, and still there’s more left to be given. But in the end it’s all just an illusion and not necessarily what you really want….

Will you do an English version of your songs?

I sure hope so!

Who are you working with on your album?

I’m working with a Danish producer team called Madness4Real, Jonas Kur (songwriter) and Pitshifters (producers).

Will you be writing some of the new songs?

Yes I will be co-writing some of the new songs, as i was co-writer on Tilbage.

When will it be out?

Hopefully it will be out by January!

I loved your Friday album! I Know its old but it’s a classic. If you listen back to it now, you can totally hear the current wave of singers like Britney, Jordin Sparks and Madonna and their slice of dance mixed in with rnb. Its like an early template for the sound of 2008. If people wanna trace the origins of Britney's
Blackout album I would direct them to Friday. How was that entire process?

Wow thank you! That makes me really proud. It was a very exciting process, I learned a lot from it. I was not involved in the writing process, but picked out the songs that I liked. I was very young (17 years old) and this whole new world I entered was very different from what I knew before.

My favourite track on the album was So Addictive. Well actually two! Addict. They were rather addictive. The mixes were really good too. What was your favourite track?

My favorite track on my album Friday, must be ’Superstar’ or ’Shine On’.

Were there any tracks left-over from that album-if so…can we hear them somehow? I’ll pay!

It depends– how much will you pay? ☺ Yes there where some tracks left-over from Friday, but they have not been released.

What was it like working with legends Cutfather and Remee?

It was amazing! They are very talented and professional – and nice people to work with.

Do you look back at those years and go “What the hell…”. What was the experience like?

Well, sometimes I do. But I think I do that mostly because I’ve gotten older, and I might have done some of the things differently today. But it was a great experience, and I don’t regret that I did it.

In the past ten years the music industry has changed beyond recognition. Acts like Radiohead are giving away their albums. Robyn is doing it by herself. Things like Idol are morphing the paths that talent is discovered! With the internet too, there is a sense of brilliant urgency. I’ve asked this question to other singers before and from some differing perspectives it truly is in the hands of the artist but then again it isn't. Promotion has changed and so many new singers have emerged, that perhaps, might have been overlooked by majors. Where do you think its heading?

I think you should look at this great change as a positive thing. It forces artists to think differently and it opens up whole new possibilities for everyone. I think it is heading towards a much more creative and colorful worldwide music environment.

Where do you see yourself in this evolving music scene?

I see myself with a lot of possibilities and a great responsibility to make things happen myself.

How did you feel about Jamelia’s version of Superstar? I was all expecting you to release that single in the UK! And then I hear it on the radio and shes singing it. She has said her thoughts on the matter and your original. It basically saved her in the UK.

I think she made a great version of Superstar. I can’t hide that I would have loved to be the one who got to release it in the UK, but I definitely do not blame Jamilia for anything.

Did you know she was actually the third singer of that song? An Israeli singer called Roni (see here) had done her version & released it as her first single after winning Pop Idol. It was a massive hit for her.

Yes, so I’ve heard! I have a very good Jewish friend, who told me this after he returned from a trip to Israel. It’s a popular song! ☺

There are currently four versions of Superstar. Your original, Roni’s cover (sung in Hebrew), Jamelias version and an American singer has just done one. What is the low down of that entire affair? There were even rumours of a court case!

Yes, there is or was a court case, but I’m not involved in it, so I can’t really tell you much about it.

An AnR at Jamelia’s record company, went on record saying that Superstar was a great song and didn’t care that you’d had a hit single already in Denmark. His words were “I’m not even aware of that the productions are identical.” Thoughts on this?

No, not really. I guess he’s just doing his job.

He added that your original did not pose a “threat to Jamelia’s artistic credibility” because “UK record buyers are probably not even aware of the other version.”. I’d like to say in your defense that I am a UK record buyer and was very aware the original version. And you know what, Christine the original is better...

Well, first of all I very much appreciate that you like my version better ☺ It’s difficult for me to say whether he’s right or wrong about people not being aware of my version. All I know is that the press and people in Denmark showed quite an interest in the story.

To me, those kind of comments originating from a record company individual actually exposes how much the majors have to learn about their customers in the age of the internet, youtube and globalisation. Britney says in her track Piece of Me, there’s a panic in the industry. Would you agree?

Yes, in a way I would agree with that. I think those majors who can not adjust to the changes or make up new ways themselves must be having a serious panic attack in these times ☺

Okay, to wrap up…Christine, I cannot wait to hear more from you in the next couple of months. Can your lucky Danish fans expect to see on you on stage?

They definitely can! And I will also release a new single very soon.

And perhaps, will you ever tour the UK?

I would absolutely love to tour the UK! So if I ever get the chance there’s no doubt that I would do it ☺