With this quarantine at times comes creativity. Here are a few artists who haven’t let this time get them down and have come up with fantastic results.

Billy Porter Releases New Single – ‘For What It’s Worth

GRAMMY®/EMMY®/TONY®-winner Billy Porter has released a soul-stirring cover of Stephen Stills’ “For What It’s Worth,” as performed by Buffalo Springfield, continuing the legacy of using his art as a means to raise consciousness. “I decided to record ‘For What It’s Worth’ because I wanted to have my art and my music matter, make a difference,” Porter said. “I’ve always been a political person. I come from the generation where the music reflected what was going on in the world, in the day. The song was written and performed sort of during the Civil Rights Era, the Vietnam War, it was protest music and I wanted to have a hand in bringing that back and speaking truth directly to power.” Porter has re-imagined the folk-rock classic adding a soulful spin that rocks out as much as it “grooves out.” Porter’s innovative take finds him laying down multiple vocal parts that build to an uplifting crescendo that takes the iconic tune into new territory. The song is produced by Zack Arnett of SUR and executive produced by Bill Butler and Carmen Cacciatore for The Butler Music Company Inc.

 With the outbreak of the Coronavirus, national attention has shifted from the 2020 Election cycle to the worldwide pandemic, for which Porter feels “For What It’s Worth” is also well suited. “One of the heartening things that I’ve seen during the Coronavirus outbreak is how we’ve all banded together. Everyone doing their part, checking on each other, using technology to connect with one another,” said Porter. “I think the messages in ‘For What It’s Worth’ are so relevant now. It’s a song about unifying and coming together to make a change.”

While Porter steadfastly encourages folks to stay focused on the present, with everyone doing their part to help battle COVID-19, he’s also keeping an eye on November when U.S. citizens will be voting for a new president.

“While we’re all stuck at home, now is a great time to make sure you’re registered to vote,” he said. “The election is comin,’ y’all. Let’s get ready and stay ready.”

“I have never been asked to ‘update’ ‘For What It’s Worth’ to accommodate Modern Times by anyone, ever,” Stills said. “Modern Times seem to circle back and find it yet again an appropriate reflection of uncertainty and suspicion. We always do the same thing. Any form of eccentricity, or failure to conform, or difference in race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion or political dissent results in your being cast as one of the ‘Other.’ An ‘Outsider.’ A term that leaves you open to being shunned, bullied, demeaned or suspect, ‘Less than’ American. Billy Porter gets all of that and has done a masterful job of capturing the essence of the original Buffalo Springfield rendition, recorded the day after it was written, and made it his own. Pure genius.”

“For What It’s Worth” is the follow-up to Porter’s most recent single, “Love Yourself,” which hit #1 on the Billboard Club Play Songs Chart in summer of 2019 and was timed to World Pride/Stonewall50. The video for “Love Yourself” was a celebrity lip sync extravaganza featuring cameos by Porter’s “Pose” co-stars along with Cyndi Lauper, Kelly Ripa, Debra Messing, Lin Manuel Miranda, and designer Christian Siriano, among many others.

“I hope people are inspired to not give up, to continue to have hope, and to understand that the only way change comes is for the people to come together and demand it,” Porter concluded.

Register to Vote!  https://linktr.ee/TheeBillyPorter

Pet Shop Boys

Announce Brand New Single ‘I Don’t Wanna’ Taken From Their Highly Acclaimed Current Album ‘Hotspot’.

‘I Don’t Wanna’ is taken from the recent album ‘Hotspot’, which was released to widespread critical acclaim in February.  The album entered the UK album chart at number 3, matching the chart entries of its predecessors in the trilogy of albums produced by Stuart Price. It is Pet Shop Boys’ 17th top ten album in the UK. It also reached number 3 in the German and Spanish album charts and number 1 in the USA on Billboard’s Top Dance/Electronic Albums chart, making it the fourth Pet Shop Boys album to accomplish this.

Last month, Heinemann publishers reissued the classic books Pet Shop Boys, Literally and Pet Shop Boys versus America. The books, written by Chris Heath, were originally published in the early 90s and each documents the group on their 1989 and 1991 tours respectively. Pet Shop Boys versus America also features on-tour photography by legendary rock photographer Pennie Smith. These reissued volumes include new introductions from Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe and new afterword by Chris Heath.

The BFI has also announced it is to release a restored version of Pet Shop Boys’ 1988 feature film It Couldn’t Happen Here, directed by Jack Bond and starring Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe alongside Joss Ackland and Barbara Windsor. Unavailable worldwide for the last 30 years, the film has been newly re-mastered by the BFI from a 4K scan for release as a limited edition Blu-ray/DVD on June 15.

Pet Shop Boys’ Dreamworld tour has been postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic and the European dates are being rescheduled with an announcement expected early next week. UK dates have already been rescheduled for May 2021 – tickets for the original dates will remain valid for the new dates.

Michelle Kash Finds Freedom with “Personal Jesus”

Singer-songwriter Michelle Kash has released her moody, sultry cover of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus” along with a cinematic video that serves as an artful peek into Michelle’s world. With a smoky, soulful delivery and a personal style somewhere between Debbie Harry and Old Hollywood pinup, Michelle’s seductive, fiery take on alternative pop is equally evocative and empowering in its confidence and charisma. In between echoes of swelling synths, her voice tows the line between a coy croon and a commanding chant on “Personal Jesus,” painting her as a 21st century temptress. The single is released via Love Animal Records, a Los Angeles based indie music label built by artists, for artists and is distributed by Ingrooves Worldwide.

 “When I sing ‘Personal Jesus,’ I have a vision of a sexual savior within myself or that I look for in others,” she explains. “It’s gritty and shadowy like an after-hours party. I hadn’t seen a woman cover the song, which added a different dimension. It paves the way for where I want to go musically,” shares Michelle. “Personal Jesus” follows Michelle’s two previously release singles, “Smoking Gun,” a mesmerizing track about succumbing to the irresistible temptation of a toxic lover. Her follow up single, “Hurt Me” examines the difficulty of staying happy in a relationship without passion from a partner.

 Inspired by everyone from Aretha Franklin, Joan Jett, Patti Smith, and Jefferson Airplane’s Grace Slick to Fiona Apple, Cat Power, Portishead, and Florence + the Machine, Michelle grew up playing guitar and piano and writing poetry of her own and was surrounded by art and creativity during her globe-trotting childhood. Finding solace in spirituality, Michelle began going on meditation retreats, and it was during a retreat in Utah when she discovered her singing voice while meditating and her purpose became clear. Michelle started performing in her hometown of New York City before moving to Los Angeles where she performs at venues across the city. In addition to her music, Michelle has had a lifelong commitment to philanthropy and advocating for gender equality, female empowerment and is a fierce fighter for animal rights. Stay tuned for a lot more to come from Michelle this year.

GRAMMY-winning global superstar Kelly Clarkson releases new single

“I Dare You”

GRAMMY-winning global superstar Kelly Clarkson has unveiled her brand new single “I Dare You” – available now via Atlantic Records. Penned by Natalie Hemby (The Highwomen, Kacey Musgraves), Laura Veltz (Dan + Shay, Maren Morris) and Ben West (P!nk, Lady Antebellum) with production by longtime collaborator Jesse Shatkin (Sia, Jennifer Lopez), the track is a sensational anthem of resilience by way of love and positivity.

“I Dare You” arrives alongside a five-track collection of multi-language duet versions, sung with a canon of internationally acclaimed vocalists in their native tongue. The bundle sees Clarkson joined by Zaz (“Appelle Ton Amour” – French Version), Faouzia (“كنتحداك” – Arabic Version), Blas Cantó (“Te Reto A Amar” – Spanish Version), Glasperlenspiel (“Trau Dich” – German Version) and Maya Buskila (“בוא נראה” – Hebrew Version) – truly encapsulating the song’s message of all-inclusivity.

“This is my favorite/hardest project that I’ve ever worked on” explained Clarkson. “It has always been a dream of mine, as I grew up singing in different languages, to find that perfect song, with the perfect message, to connect us all globally and then record that song with several other artists around the world in their native languages. We have put a lot of work into this as a team and decided to continue with our release date of this project because we feel like we all couldn’t be more connected right now across the world, and maybe this message will bring a little hope in this sometimes dark, and isolating time. Thank you so much to all the artists that worked on this with me. We hope everyone out there connects with this message and chooses love instead of fear. I dare you.”

Bright Light Bright Light Drops “This Was My House”

On September 18, Bright Light Bright Light (the performance alias of Welsh international pop star Rod Thomas) will open the gates to Fun City, his meticulously crafted collection of ’80s-inspired disco-pop that he built as a statement of perseverance during restless times. To be released on his own label YSKWN! (in partnership with Megaforce Records and The Orchard) and to include collaborations with a yet-to-be-announced “who’s who” of LGBTQ+ icons and musical trailblazers, Fun City is his love letter to marginalized communities who feel scared or forgotten.

To celebrate the album announce, he has dropped first single “This Was My House,” a sugar-rush of dance floor pop featuring Madonna’s longtime backing vocalist duo Niki Haris and Donna De Lory. The song was produced by Initial Talk who has been delighting throwback production fans with his recent reimaginings of Dua Lipa, Janet Jackson and many other pop artists. Originally written as an banner-waving ode to LGBTQ+ safe spaces, the song should ring universally true to individuals worldwide who are struggling to find peace and refuge during the current political climate and public health situation. Paper Magazine praised the “Studio 54-worthy single” saying “it’s not every day that we get a perfect disco song.”

“The song is about how the safe spaces for the LGBTQ+ community have been fractured of late with a palpable uprising of anti-LGBTQ+ and xenophobic rhetoric, which is scarily even more real now as these public spaces are closed for the foreseeable future due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Bright Light Bright Light about the origins and evolution of the track. “LGBTQ+ people – most notably trans women – are attacked and killed at an alarming rate, and so this song is a fierce statement that every living person deserves to feel safe in the place they call home, whoever you may be.”

While creating Fun City, Bright Light Bright Light was sonically inspired by the legacy of iconic LGBTQ+ artists like Sylvester, Erasure, Scissor Sisters and Hercules & Love Affair, and to capture the spirit of the queer trailblazers before him, he recorded the vocals for the album on the empty dance floor of East Village gay club Bedlam. He hopes Fun City will examine the ways marginalized people stay strong, focused and creative through times of social and political hardships. The album title itself is a historical reference to a quote said by NYC mayor John V. Lindsay who on his first day in office in 1966, amidst a crippling transit strike, said “I still think it’s a fun city.”

“The idea of a deeply flawed but still beautiful world is what the album is about, so I thought it was a fitting image for how the LGBTQ+ world has had to find laughter and solidarity in face of prejudice through history, dancing through pain and living for love in spite of hate,” said Bright Light Bright Light.

Bright Light Bright Light has been a staple of the international LGBTQ+ music scene for over ten years, having released three prior albums and touring as both a solo artist and has support alongside pop royalty like Elton John, Cher, Erasure, Ellie Goulding and The Scissor Sisters. He also collaborated with Elton on his 2016 banger “All In The Name” which he also performed with the music legend on “The Graham Norton Show.”

For the past four years he has curated, hosted and served as the DJ for regular afternoon dance parties (which he affectionately calls the “Romy & Michele’s Saturday Afternoon Tea Dance”) at Manhattan’s Club Cumming and Brooklyn’s C’Mon Everybody. Aside from using his music as a powerful platform for equality, he has also actively fundraised for The Trevor Project, Ali Forney Center, Hetrick-Martin Institute, ACLU, and Elton John AIDS Foundation over the years. For more info visit www.brightlightx2.com