Hosted By: Tieks

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Our friends over at F&F seem to have a fabulous habit of officially picking the best Dance tunes for their TV ads. Summer 2014 saw the use of one of the most sought after Dance tracks in recent years, FCL’s ‘It’s You’, and this Autumn, yes, they’ve done it again! What better way to complete their new Urban Retro look than with music from Tieks; the 90’s inspired, soul-charged beat maker, responsible for the killer Dance track ‘Sing That Song’ featuring Celeste (we love a good feat.).

Ahead of the single release on 19th October, we caught up with the man behind the music and had a chat with Tieks about the ever-growing popularity of the Dance music movement.

Tieks on why Dance music is so hot right now…

I think that it’s a reflection of the way the music industry’s moved from a record buying public to how people consume their music. People used to go to a shop and buy your record, now they’re consuming it by going onto the internet or actually going to a gig or festival or club. You can’t put on a festival everyday, you can’t put on a gig every day but you can put on a club night every day, and so I think it’s a by-product of how the shift has happened…When we’re on computers, I had this conversation with Duke (Dumont), it’s hard to emote art via a computer screen, so the more soul you have what ever that soul is, we’re always trying to search for the most soulful vocal possible and I think at the moment it’s reaching over…

Superstar DJ vs. Producer – What’s the difference?

The whole idea of producer has changed… I think Hip Hop and Dance music change what the producer is, where as pop music is fifty years old, it’s a new industry… It goes both ways. You have these guys who are DJ’s who are now producers but then you have guys who are producers who are DJ’s in their spare time, but then their job is more and more becoming a DJ. We’ve got guys like Calvin Harris, he wasn’t a DJ when he started, he was a writer and a producer and now he’s a superstar DJ, but it goes the other way, you’ve got guys like David Guetta who are more DJ’s. I think the technology has allowed it as well, it’s simplified the process to a degree, it’s allowed more cross pollination of the change of rolls.

How do your peers and contemporaries influence your music?

I think it’s actually counter-productive to look at what your peers are doing. As musicians we’re always taking something from somewhere, we’re taking something to try and make something new, to put a new twist on it, but I try and steer clear. There’s always going to be similar things because there’s a sound of the moment, using the same tools, going to the same clubs; there’s always going to be similar things. I tend to listen to the older productions/ older acts, guys like Todd Edwards and I’m a massive fan of the ‘French touch’ so I still listen to all my Daft Punk albums. That was the stuff in the 90s that I was listening to, but then again I love Disclosure, I think they’re incredible, it’s a very different sound to what I do. Duke Dumont is an amazing producer who I’ve worked with and he’s ones of the guys who does things that not a lot of people can do to be honest, and (Julio) Bashmore, those guys are sort of like a cut above.

On how it feels having recently gained support from the likes of Annie Mac, Zane Lowe and DJ Target…

Its good, being in the music industry as an artist writer or producer is very tough, you have to keep up in order to make sure you’re still relevant, so to get support form certain people is definitely beneficial. I wouldn’t say it’s something I long for or something I’ve tried to seek out, I just want people to like the music. I think the by-product of that is that hopefully the right people hear it and the people like your Annie Mac’s play it; they’re a good gateway to everyone else who are fans of them. It just means you can go to a bigger audience which is what we all want.

And next up? Any future album plans?

I don’t know, I’m an albums guy, I’m sort of that last generation I guess of kids that bought albums the early 2000s, the dark ages! In fact I did an album when I was 18, it was a House record and it was terrible. I just did it for myself, it was on mini-disc. At the moment I don’t know if I’m going to do an album, it’s about what the current climate dictates and I don’t know if the current climate people need albums right now. If I did an album I’d do it for myself but right now I’m happy trying to bang out as many amazing singles as I can right now and we’ll see.

Can’t get enough of Gorgon City, Breach and Disclosure? Then we guarantee you’ll be loving Tieks, so check out his Dance inspired Hosted By station and tune into songs from some of his favourites, such as Duke Dumont, MNEK, Shift K3Y, Klangkarussell and loads more. 

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The best Alternative 80s songs ever

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The 80s wasn’t all about massive hair-do’s, colourful clothes and blasting Club Tropicana on endless repeat. Oh no – for the discerning music fan it was the decade that gave us everything from The Smiths to the Stone Roses, via Echo & The Bunnymen and Public Image Ltd. 

With the birth of alternative rock as we understand it today, the 80s proved that even when life seems gloomiest, music is always be there to save the day.

That’s why we’ve compiled some of the best tracks together into our Alternative 80s station – just tune in below and enjoy a fitting tribute to doing things differently.

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Always team NME, never Smash Hits.

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THE SMITHS (for many of you, probably the only band that mattered in the 80s)

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FAC 23 – LOVE WILL TEAR US APART

Beautiful. Heart-aching. Rarely bettered.

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Every school day in the 80s, ever.

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How we all wished we could do our make-up

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Brand New & Brilliant - Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj / Shift K3Y / Nick Mulvey

Is that a slight chill in the air? Autumn’s definitely on its way – and so are a fresh heap of exciting new tracks! That’s right, it’s Brand New & Brilliant time again, as we cherry pick out some of the week’s hottest new releases.

Jessie J, Ariana Grande & Nicki Minaj – Bang Bang

Three of the biggest forces in pop team up for this collab of Lady Marmalade proportions. Brimming with sass, this groovy number is the best thing Jessie J has put out in ages – but it’s girl-of-the-moment Ariana Grande who really comes out on top here. Bang Bang has got No. 1 written all over it, and this first-rate threesome is as action packed as it gets.

Shift K3Y – I Know

Continuing to make some of the most exciting UK dance music out there right now, London producer Lewis Shay Jankel – aka Shift K3Y – offers up another futuristic smash on I Know. The follow-up to Top 5 effort Touch, this energetic number trades a soulful vocal line with some seriously squelchy bass. A perfect one for all those Freshers’ Week parties out there, we reckon.

Nick Mulvey – Cucurucu

Now with a Mercury Music Prize nomination under his belt, Nick Mulvey will no doubt be basking in a fresh wave of attention for his stunning debut solo effort First Mind. This week he re-releases standout track Cucurucu - as charming as it is unpronounceable; all delicately chilled acoustic strumming that builds toward an almost symphonic beauty. If Nick’s not on your radar yet, he most definitely should be.

Next Big Thing - Kimberly Anne/ Hudson Taylor/ Pablo Nouvelle

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Ever get the feeling that the world of new music and undiscovered talent is a daunting place? Here at blinkbox Music we certainly understand how overwhelming it can seem, so why not leave the searching to us and take a listen to what could be some of your future favourites.

Keeping you ahead of the curve with our latest batch of Next Big Things, this week we present three unique acts, all carrying different but brilliant musicalness.

Hear their music, plus loads more from our other featured newbies, in our Next Big Thing station here.

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Kimberly Anne

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Introducing rising South London soul singer Kimberly Anne, inspired by her love for poetry and spoken word and influenced by the narrative rapping styles of Nas, here’s one lady who’s absolutely beaming with raw talent and authentic spirit. The songstress has worked with a number of top quality producers (those behind the songs of Bastille, Lianne La Havas and Bombay Bicycle Club) and her latest effort ‘Liar’ is a beautiful soulful cut, melody rich and driven by her powerful vocal. You might have recognised her sweet sound in a recent episode of Made In Chelsea, where the show featured her now chart climbing beautiful cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s ‘Sound of Silence’.  

Hudson Taylor

Already making waves in the UK, this year has seen Irish folk-pop brothers Harry and Alfie gain prestigious recognition from Radio 1’s Hugh Stevens and Zane Low, with both DJ’s choosing their current and previous singles as their ‘Hottest Record In The World’. The boys have spent the summer establishing themselves as a firm live favourite, recently finishing up their massive festival stint, including performances at Reading & Leeds, and next month will see them support Jake Bugg at his live show in Alexandra Palace, London. We sense a big breakthrough over the next upcoming months, and we can’t wait for their debut album, set for release next year.

Pablo Nouvelle

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Like your music mellow? Then you’ll love this Swiss producer who’s serving up something a little different. We first discovered his new track on the website of his label; the same label who’ve brought us Rudimental and Clean Bandit. First entering the world of music producing hip hop and influenced by a melting pot of different genres, Nouvelle’s organic songs are formed through a combination of soulful R&B sounds and relaxed vocal samples, topped off with electronic beats. Have this song on hand for a relaxing Sunday. Best served chilled. 

WIN Tickets To Bombay Bicycle Club’s December Tour

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Fancy winning a pair of tickets to Bombay Bicycle Club’s biggest UK tour to date? Of course you do! 

The four-piece – on a high since nabbing their first No. 1 album back in February – will be taking a jaunt round the UK this December with a run of dates including Earls Court.

All you have to do to be in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets to the date of your choice is tweet us at @blinkboxmusic with the name of one of the artists the band play as part of the exclusive Hosted By station we recorded with the band.

Want a better insight into the influences and inspirations that get the band fired up? Then take a listen right now by following the link below!

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Good luck! 

The full list of December dates is:

03 – LEICESTER DE MONTFORT HALL

04 – PLYMOUTH PAVILIONS 05 – BOURNEMOUTH BIC SOLENT HALL

07 – MANCHESTER O2 APOLLO

10 – WOLVERHAMPTON CIVIC HALL

11 – EDINBURGH USHER HALL

12 – NEWCASTLE O2 ACADEMY

13 – LONDON EARLS COURT

Brand New & Brilliant - Sigma / Professor Green / Lily Allen

As Summer slips into Autumn, we’ve got another bunch of exciting new tracks to get your ears around this week! Remember, you can download the Brand New & Brilliant station to your mobile or tablet any time – perfect for when you’re stuck without wi-fi on the morning commute.

Sigma feat. Paloma Faith – Changing

Ever since this track first debuted, it was clear it was going to be one of the biggest dance hits of the year. It’s easy to see why, with Sigma laying down a hectic drum n’ bass beat to back Paloma’s incredible vocals. This has got Number One stamped all over it, and personally we reckon it’s Paloma’s finest moment to date. That chorus! Just WOW!

Professor Green – Lullaby

The charismatic Brit-rapper is finally back – two years on since his last single graced the airwaves. It’s a confident return though, with new single Lullaby capturing the same melancholy vibes as Pro’s mega-hit Read All About It.

Lily Allen – As Long As I Got You

No one does cheeky, chirpy pop quite as well as Lily Allen. Her new cut is one of the better moments on her provocative Sheezus album, mixing quirky country sounds and a sing-song vocal line. A surprisingly catchy toe-tapper!