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POP INTERVIEW: Thanks To YouTube And Immense Talent, Vocal Powerhouse Andra Day Signed A Record Deal. Hear What Everyone Will Be Raving About.

One listen and you’ll understand why Andra Day should be on everyone’s playlist.

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You may not have heard about Andra Day yet – but it won’t be long. It was barely two months ago when the singer posted a handful of videos on YouTube – singing mashups and covers with a voice that will knock you off your feet. Now, she’s got a brand new record deal. One listen and you’ll understand why. I chatted with Day about online stardom, the unpredictability of ‘planning’ your career, and what’s next for the artist.

GETTING TO KNOW ANDRA DAY

BRIAN: I have to tell you – the moment I watched and heard you sing on YouTube, I thought “In my own small way, I want to help the world see this woman!” I want to contribute in whatever way I can to your success! Have you found that to be happening a lot where people want to help, or do you instead feel more from the people who are ‘barnacles’ – who just want to jump along for the ride and take advantage of it in what might be the wrong way?

ANDRA: The funny thing is – this is like night and day – I had actually experienced that through the early parts of my career – I had experienced the ‘barnacles’ – But this is such a blessing in my life – my manager and my producers – I’ve never met people that are so passionate about me! They want to see me succeed and I had never seen that before outside my family. It’s such a blessing.

MORE OF THE INTERVIEW BELOW… But here she is singing Jessie J’s “Mamma Knows Best”!!

BRIAN: You come from a musical family… your sister is also really musical too, right?

ANDRA: My sister and I jam together a lot – random stuff – my sister plays guitar and piano. She’s actually the genius.

BRIAN: Has it always been music for you? When did this love affair start?

ANDRA: I guess I’ve always loved music. My dad was always into Motown and soul and R&B, my mom loved classic rock. But actually, I was a dancer when I first started. When I was five I started dancing – and I guess it really went that way right into music

When I was 12, I went to a performing arts school called the San Diego School for Creative and Performing Arts,  and I was exposed to jazz and classical. I was in the sixth grade. It consumed me, pretty much.

PHOTO AT LEFT BY  Giuliano Bekor. Check out more of his work at www.giulianobekor.com/

BRIAN: This year, you posted a bunch of videos of yourself performing.  Suddenly out of nowhere, there you were – and people all over the world (myself included!) were blown away. When did you realize that these videos weren’t just being viewed by a few people – that they were in fact going viral?

ANDRA: I didn’t expect it to happen this way, so it’s a pleasant surprise to say the least. I mean, I’m still working! I’m still working on songs – so I wasn’t really thinking about it at first.

In one day we recorded a bunch of them – we were planning on doing this over a course of six months to a year. Then, my manager was calling me. When (views) got up to hundred, I was excited – but when it went upwards of 100 thousand, I was like ‘I cannot believe this is happening.’

And the label interest – and offers on the table – in went crazy in under two months! I’m still kind of catching up.

Here she is with a mashup of (Amy Winehouse) and (Lauryn Hill) “He Can Only Hold Her” vs “Doo-Wop That Thing”

BRIAN: You got some offers – what made you able to wait?  Wasn’t it killing you?

I think because I was with such a great production company – my manager, my producer – Jeffrey Evans and Buskin Entertainment, they are more than capable of putting out something themselves. They have the ability to do it and promote it on their own.

UPDATE: Great news! In the days since this interview took place, Andra Day signed a record deal with Warner Brothers! So the waiting has certainly paid off.

BRIAN: Are you modeling your career track off of anyone in particular?

ANDRA: Yeah – Michael Jackson! Hahaha! I’m just kidding! No, not really. I never thought that I would be doing YouTube videos and go viral. I remember when I was young and I would have this ‘plan,’ but time and God would intervene, and be like,’No.’ Well THIS was my plan.

We don’t model my career after anyone specific, but we do like to model it after something organic – not too overproduced. Let the audience relate. Any artists that are similar to that I kind of relate to.

BRIAN: You’ve got a great look… Does that come naturally to you or do you have some good advisors around…

ANDRA: It’s funny… that’s pretty much me. We thought about stylists, and it’s not necessarily that what they sent over wasn’t amazing – but when you’re trying to put on something that doesn’t feel natural and you’re moving and singing on stage and feeling uncomfortable ….I’m glad to have the freedom.

BRIAN: What do you hope for next?

I know it sounds cliché, but I do want to reach people – because there is a much more personal story in what I’ve done with this album, as opposed to when I was younger just doing what I thought my music was supposed to be. There are a lot of lessons in my music now, and I hope it translates to people. It’s more about forgiveness and being forgiven, and being completely honest.

And sure, I’d like to get it across to people in a 60 thousand stadium!

BRIAN: You will! It won’t be long now!

Follow AndraDayMusic on twitter!

Check out her YouTube Channel!

For more POP Profiles and interviews follow @BrianBalthazar on twitter! 

Entertainment

Planters ‘Baby Nut’ Has Somehow Already Turned 21 And People Are Not Loving The News

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2020 keeps getting nuttier.

The world was shocked when the iconic Mr. Peanut was killed during a pre-Super Bowl ad earlier this year. There wasn’t much time to mourn, however, before a new nut was thrust onto us like back-to-school commercials in July. Yes, after the 59-year-old mascot met his untimely death consumers were introduced to his reincarnate, Baby Nut. With big, expressive eyes and a tiny stature fans began to swoon over the cute branding revamp and accepted him as the new mascot. Well as if 2020 hasn’t been crazy enough, Planters just released a new commercial celebrating Baby Nut’s 21st birthday and I’m not sure how to feel about it.

According to a quick Google search, a peanut plant takes 4-5 months to reach maturity. So with Baby Nut being born in February, he is technically right on track in his growth cycle. The OG Mr. Peanut was the reigning mascot for 59 years so does that mean he was actually over 3,000 peanut-years old? The accelerated aging is not explained in the new ad with Baby Nut (Young Adult Nut?) simply saying “it’s been a weird year.” Reactions on Twitter are largely negative but as always, hilarious. Here are some of the best:

Yikes. Good thing Baby Nut is old enough to drink now…looks like he might need to throw back a few to handle some of these reactions.

To follow Peanut Jr.’s official account click here.

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Entertainment

The Last Blockbuster Store In Existence Is Now Listed On AirBNB

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Netflix could never.

Remember how exciting it was to take a trip to Blockbuster back in the 90’s? You’d try to get there early enough to rent one of the latest “new releases” before everyone else in the neighborhood got to them. You’d beg your parents for some popcorn and candy which were conveniently placed on the checkout line. And if it was a whole family outing, you’d wander off to look at all the films and games that you were never going to rent but found comfort in knowing you could rent someday. Gosh, it felt like you could spend days inside one of those movie meccas. Well good news, now you can because the last Blockbuster in existence is now listed on AirBNB!

The retailer, located in Bend, Oregon is offering up three one-night stays for up to four guests for folks who want an “end of summer sleepover.” The store has added an adorable living room set up which includes a pull out sofa and a big screen tv so guests can binge all their favorite films. Oh and there’s snacks! Along with providing ideas for a perfect 90’s night the ad also suggests that you should “help yourself to some NERDS, Raisinets and popcorn (heavy on the butter), but make sure you save room for a couple slices.”

Credit: AirBNB

There is a catch to the whole experience though, the listing is only available to Deschutes County residents. Is it too late to move!?! Manager Sandi Harding explained that the publicity stunt is a response to the newfound economic uncertainty due to the pandemic. “Not much has changed at our store – not even our prices – and that’s just how we like it! We think of ourselves as a family, and that includes everyone from the global travelers who come to visit, to the lifelong friends and couples who first met as Blockbuster employees. The Covid-19 pandemic has been a test of our community unlike any other, so we decided to list this stay to keep this tradition alive during these uncertain times.”

Such a clever way to keep this iconic 90’s treasure trove alive! To check out the AirBNB listing, click here!

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Celebrities

Disney+ Series ‘Muppets Now’ Reveals Shocking Detail About The Swedish Chef

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Bork, Bork, Bork?!

If you haven’t taken the time to check out the new Disney+ series Muppets Now, stop reading and start streaming! The improv sitcom is an unscripted, segmented series in which our favorite fur-covered friends put together a digital show. Think The Muppet Show meets millennials. I watched the first episode, which became available for streaming as of July 31st, and I smiled through the entire thirty minutes. It’s cute and campy and reminds us all why we love The Muppets so much. I was enjoying the childhood nostalgia of seeing Kermit the Frog, Fozzie Bear, Miss Piggy and the rest of the gang when suddenly our favorite gibberish-spewing chef came on the screen to partake in a cooking challenge. Of course I was prepared to giggle at the Swedish Chef’s horrendous attempt at cooking but I was immediately distracted and could only focus on one shocking detail!

Credit: Muppets Now

Did you see it? Can you see what I was distracted by?! The stached Swede is wearing a wedding ring on his left hand! The Swedish Chef is married?!?!

Credit: Muppets Now

I mean, sure, it’s not surprising with the sexy foreign accent and killer eyebrows but still, I would have never guessed the chef had someone waiting at home for him! Since the chef is one of the few Muppets to actually feature human hands, I first thought the ring might have belonged to a neglectful puppeteer who forgot to take off their ring. But I did a quick Wikipedia search and apparently the Swedish Chef has been donning the gold ring since 2010 and is known to be married!

I guess there truly is a lid for every pot.

Muppets Now is now available for streaming on Disney+.

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