Sea Sessions Surf and Music Festival has managed to get EVEN BIGGER this year; already boasting Norwegian pop sensation Sigrid, Two Door Cinema Club and Clean Bandit as headliners.
The festival takes place in Donegal's Bundoran every year; a uniquely Irish haunt which has sold-out tickets weeks before the festival over the last four years.
Now they've added major names like Jax Jones, The Magician, Wild Youth, Hermitage Green, The Sugarhill Gang with Grandmaster Melle Mel & Scorpio, Le Boom, Jerry Fish, Bitch Falcon, Trojan Sound System, Kormac and Inhaler to the lineup.
He said: "We’re delighted with this year’s lineup and with our new additions. We think it is by far our strongest lineup yet! There’s something for everyone there, from Sigrid to The Sugarhill Gang, Two Door Cinema Club to Jax Jones and everything else in between."
"We’ve sold out the last 4 years so we expect this year to be no different. We’ve even got a surprise or two still left up our sleeves. We literally can’t wait until the summer."
Ariana Grande has some SERIOUSLY dedicated fans, who will back her up no matter what the circumstances are. Even if it means destroying a new song of hers to replace it with a slightly newer banger.
The Sweetener singer has proven herself to be a good sport, and now she's supporting a campaign against her own single (and pure BOP) 7 Rings.
The pop star's fans have randomly launched a movement called #Boycott7Rings in order to dethrone the song from the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, but not for the reason you think…
Basically, the 25-year-old singer has dropped track after track for her loving fans, and they want her latest single Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I'm Bored to take the number one spot.
The song features on her new album (the second in six months) called Thank U, Next, and has some pretty controversial lyrics.
Some call it toxic femininity to encourage a man to break up with his girlfriend to get with her, others say it's just another incredibly catchy banger from our gal. Oh, and the video features the SEXINESS of Charles Melton.
If you're unfamiliar with Melton's work, he's basically one of the hottest lad on the Riverdale planet. And there are many of those, as we know.
Ari's fans are either sneaky or pure genius, we can't decide. It seems the singer herself is very open to the chart swap, throwing her support behind the campaign.
She wrote to Twitter; "Y'all are so insane and funny and I love you. Nothing's funnier than “boycott seven rings”….. I can’t. Whatever’s meant to be will be, babies. I ain’t going nowhere."
They really are insane. To be fair, the campaign is a total win-win for pop's reigning princess.
Fans begged her to tweet the hashtag, which she did but later deleted, writing, "Are you happy now?" We're guessing they were ecstatic.
An especially devoted fan is having a streaming party to block the song, to which Ariana replied:
"This is a wild time for us, do ur thing but also like how is this our problem right now …… what the f*ck." Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored is 100 percent a stand-out hit from her new album, and the saucy music video is helping.
The gal can't escape the huge chart success, so we wish her our congrats. She deserves it with all those tunes she's dropping, and even got a Grammy out of it.
Grammy-nominated singer Bebe Rexha has just SHAKEN our rage cages by revealed designers are turning down the opportunity to dress her for the Grammy Awards.
Why? Well, because she's a (stunning) size eight.
The 29-year-old is nominated in the Best New Artist and Best Country Duo/Group Performance categories at the upcoming awards show, and claims she's having trouble finding the perfect gown because of designers and their weight expectations.
The star uploaded an Instagram video detailing her frustration, saying;
"So I finally get nominated at the Grammys and it’s like the coolest thing ever,"
"And a lot of times artists will go and talk to designers and they’ll make them custom dresses to walk the red carpet, right? Like you go to any big designer. So I had my team hit out a lot of designers and a lot of them do not want to dress me because I’m too big," she added.
We've all got more than fond memories of tunes such as Gotta Tell You and Always Come Back To Your Love, and soon we'll be hearing brand new music from the versatile singer.
We sat down for a chat with the woman herself, and once our starstruck fever calmed down, we managed to ask her a few questions.
There have been whispers of musical comebacks for many years now, considering her first album Gotta Tell You was released back in 2000 when she was only sixteen-years-old.
While the rest of us were figuring out creative ways to abandon school for a few hours and day-dreaming of Zack Morris from Saved By The Bell, Samantha was making CHUNES.
So why choose now to release her long-awaited album number two? Samantha is a woman of many talents, trying her hand at Masterchef in 2017, as well as appearances in Dancing On Ice and on ITV's Loose Women.
“It’s been in the works for a couple of months, so for me I did Manchester Pride last summer, and I was so blown away by the response. As I was onstage I was literally like, why don’t I have any new music to perform? This is stupid, like it’s ridiculous. I’m one of those people who gets in their own way all the time. Even if I think of doing something, I’ll think of 20 reasons not to do it. I thought, ‘No, enough it enough’. I was afraid to do it again. The timing just feels good, and now I’m seeing that everyone is coming back, I thought, ‘What is going on?’ Hang on a second, I was coming back first!”
Damn right she was. Samantha's popularity with a range of audiences and people of all ages has to be noted, but why do so many listeners seem to relate to her?
“That’s a great question, and I don’t really know the answer. It’s just one of those things, a nostalgia thing. I also think because I was so young when I started, a lot of people literally feel, and they have, like they’ve grown up with me. People have even stopped me in the street to say, ‘Oh hey, how are you?’ as if they know me. I’ve been around for a while, I think there’s that kind of connection where people have really gotten behind me, it’s like I’m a cousin of theirs. It’s that kind of thing, it’s brilliant.”
Samantha still returns home to Dublin fairly regularly, and her little daughter Sage calls it her home too. We wondered if she had stayed up to date on Ireland's current homelessness crisis?
“It’s scandalous, it’s absolutely shocking. That’s why I thought this Just Eat campaign was just such a no-brainer. I’d love if they could double what they did last year, which in itself was incredible. Even especially being home at the minute, and it’s so cold, you just think, ‘Oh my God’, it’s not right. There’s a lot of young kids that are homeless, and it’s heartbreaking. Being a mother now myself, it’s just awful. You never know what goes on in someone’s life, it can happen to anybody, you just never know what kind of bad things could come somebody’s way. It can happen to everybody, and everybody should chip in," she says.
She's partnered up with Just Eat this year for their annual National Takeaway Tuesday to raise funds for the Peter McVerry Trust, who do vital work for the homeless. To date, Just Eat customers have generated over €50,000 for the Peter McVerry Trust, enough to move five people out of homelessness and into better futures.
Samantha comments; "This takeaway campaign is perfect, because you can order food on a Tuesday, get a 10 percent discount and chip in 10 percent to 2019’s Just Eat charity of choice, the Peter McVerry Trust. So you’re doing something good."
Does she notice the homelessness which is also prevalent in Los Angeles too, while she's spending her down-time there?
“Again, who am I to talk about anything, but there are definite areas. Santa Monica area and Downtown area, what I find is that a lot of the problems there are mental health. These people should be in facilities, in LA for me I notice, it’s a lot more of that. Whereas here, it’s more people who are getting a bad run of things. It just seems to be different circumstances, I suppose," she emphasises.
Her daughter Sage was born in 2015, with her husband Torray Scales. We're immediately jealous of Sage, because she's already heard some of her mum's new material;
‘Nightmare before Christmas is her thing. We listen to that soundtrack, and I love it as well, so it’s great. Sometimes she said, ‘I wanna hear mummy’s songs’, she approves of the new songs, thankfully. She’s very sweet, but other times she’s like, ‘Ok, back to Disney’, she laughs.
“She says she lives in LA and lives in Dublin, she loves being home. She gets totally spoilt rotten at home. The back and forth is her norm, she doesn’t know any different.”
We couldn't let Samantha go without trying to get the dates for her new music to be released, it had to be done. For the good of mankind. Luckily, she was ready for the question;
“I was hoping to have a date already. I have to have it within the next two weeks, because I want my first release to be latest end of March, early April. So we’re working on it. I’d love to have two singles out by the summer, and the album definitely will be later on in the year, but I’m on it.”
Me: “Calm down, Shane. It’s only January 4th.”
Also me: “Okay, Samantha Mumba and Madonna, it’s 2019–where are the new albums?!?”
One core difference between now and when Samantha started is, of course, the power of social media. She's aware of it as a tool, and this time it's going to connect her even more to her fans;
“That’s what I’m enjoying the most, there’s no random people telling me what I have to do, I’m fully in control of everything. That’s kind of the most exciting part for me. The people I’ve been working with in the States are so creative, they’re really pushing me out of my comfort zone.”
In terms of teasing some collaborations in the pipeline, she's revealed a song with MNEK has been created, and we are SO HERE for it. The artist is known for working with some of pop's biggest names, among them are Dua Lipa and Zara Larsson.
“MNEK I have done work with, yes, I adore him. He’s incredible, he’s so talented. I have done one song with him, and I have my core group of people to work with. I think he’ll actually be in LA again in another couple of weeks, so we’ll do another session there as well. I’d love to bring him in with my people, because I think they’d all mesh really well. I’m excited for what that will bring. He’s such a talent and a joy to work with.”
Is there anyone she's especially got her eye on, in terms of new female talent?
“I just discovered her and I’m obsessed, it’s Donna Missal from the US. She’s incredible, I love her."
Samantha is 36-years-old, and time has only given her even more glamour, wisdom and thick-skin for the tough music industry.
Her new album is set to encompass that sense of maturity;
My new music is pop R’N’B, it’s current to where I am, I’m a grown woman who’s lived a life. I have a lot of things to say. I’m just expressing them, and hopefully other women will relate to it."
Samantha is the newest 2019 mood; let her reign begin anew.
Ariana Grande is releasing a new docu-series, Dangerous Woman Diaries, in which she opens up about her emotions surrounding the "horrendous" terrorist bombing at her concert in Manchester last year.
Grande has spoken before about how the event has forever changed her, and she has now penned a letter expressing her devastation one year on from the heart-breaking tragedy.
The global pop sensation had only just finished her set at the Manchester Arena in May of 2017 when a bomb was detonated in the foyer, killing 22 people as they were leaving the concert and injuring another 500.
She has chosen to share a highly personal letter to her fans, and the series has already released four episodes, the final one depicting her pain and sorrow after the incident.
"I'm writing to you this February 22, 2018," she writes. "It's been eight months since the attack at our show at the Manchester Arena. It's impossible to know where to start or to know what to say about this part."
"May 22, 2017, will leave me speechless and filled with questions for the rest of my life."
"Music is an escape," she continued. "Music is the safest thing I've ever known. Music—pop music, stan culture—is something that brings people together, introduces them to some of their best friends, and makes them feel like they can be themselves."
"It is comfort. It is fun. It is expression. It is happiness. It is the last thing that would ever harm someone. It is safe."
"When something so opposite and so poisonous takes place in your world that is supposed to be everything but that…It is shocking and heartbreaking in a way that seems impossible to fully recover from."
Though Grande was thankfully unharmed physically in the attack, she has described her symptoms of PTSD following the bombing.
She boarded a private plan to Florida, so she could be with her grandmother, before co-organising the One Love Manchester concert for victims and their families, where herself and then-boyfriend Mac Miller performed.
Her fans will now get a behind -the-scenes look at the concert, with footage of Ari singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow to be aired.
Her letter went on to preach about the power of not letting hate win in times like these:
"The spirit of the people of Manchester, the families affected by this horrendous tragedy, and my fans around the world have permanently impacted all of us for the rest of our lives. Their love, strength, and unity showed me, my team, my dancers, band, and entire crew not to be defeated."
"To continue during the scariest and saddest of times. To not let hate win. But instead, love as loudly as possible, and to appreciate every moment."