FAULT Weekly Playlist: TOTEM

It’s always great to see more diversity in the music industry and TOTEM one of the artists cropping up that’s challenging perceptions. TOTEM is an Indian-American man who weaves smart political and social commentary into slick pop production. Proving that pop music doesn’t have to be thoughtless 4-on-the-floor beats, his skill of turning astute cultural criticism into catchy earworms is bringing him surprising success.

TOTEM is currently working on his EP, which will be out this summer, but before that we asked him to put together some of his current favorite songs. Take a listen below.

Calvin Harris – Heatstroke

“I love this new new disco feel that Calvin Harris is doing. This and Slide have been on repeat. Pharrell’s pre-chorus is so unexpected but feels so good. I loved Jamie XX’s last album and this is as close as we have come in pop music.”

Kodak Black – Tunnel Vision

“The hook is an earworm and that detuned sample in the background reminds me of a song from Lauryn Hill’s “Unplugged” album. You gotta listen to this under the influence in a dark room.”

Future – Mask Off

“I read something in the New York Times magazine about this song a couple weeks ago and it made me appreciate this song a lot more. I had no idea about Future’s personal transformation. Also, the recorder sample.”

Julia Michaels – Issues

“It’s great to see songwriters win as artists, and Julia Michaels deserves to win. She and Justin Tranter have been writing exclusively hits for over a year, and this one is no different.”

Vice feat. Jon Bellion – Obsession

“Jon Bellion is one of my favorite songwriters and vocalists. This is such a feel good tune.”

mansionz – Wicked

“I hate the shtick, but this song is really good.”

Drake – Blem

“My favorite song off the new Drake playlist. I really envy his melodic simplicity.”

KAYTRANADA – Got it Good

“I was really late on KAYTRANADA, but this is the song that got me. Nice to hear Craig David’s voice too. His kind of pop R&B is what the world is missing right now.”

Frank Ocean – Chanel

“I’m always amazed how many really dynamic melodies Frank Ocean can fit into one song. This one sounds so fresh but classic.”

Zedd and Alessia Cara – Stay

“Zedd is a musical genius. The drop in this song has so many elements I love— space, harmonies, vocoders. Simplicity at it’s most impactful.”

Wireless Festival reminds London why it’s a must visit!

 

London’s premier day festival returned to Finsbury Park over the weekend of 8-10 July 2016, with a stellar line up to accompany some stellar weather. Headliners across the weekend included Calvin Harris, The 1975, Chase and Status, Future, Sigma and Boy Better Know, with FAULT Magazine attending the first two days.

A former FAULT cover star, and firm favourite in the office, Miguel graced the main stage on Friday and didn’t disappoint. With his incredible and distinctive voice, Miguel performed with a real energy as he lapped up the crowd’s excitement. With a mix of songs from his latest studio album Wildheart as well as his sophomore album Kaleidoscope Dream, those who basked in the London sunshine were treated to one of R&B’s elite talents hard at work. Miguel took time to address the recent police violence in the USA, with an emotional address for an end to violence. In addition to being an incredible talent, it was touching to see Miguel tearing up while he bared his emotions.

Making their Wireless debut, the 1975 were the chief support act to Calvin Harris and showed why they are one of the hottest bands in the world. With their new album (deep breath) I like it when you sleep, for you are so beautiful yet so unaware of it topping both the UK Album Chart and the USA Billboard 200, this was a chance for a lucky crowd to see a band soaring to the top. And they more than delivered. With their ability to deliver instantly catchy songs, the crowd sang along to hits such as ‘Girls’ and ‘The Sound’. Chief support act this year, don’t bet against The 1975 headlining Wireless very soon.

By now it was time for the headline act, and they don’t get much bigger than Calvin Harris. The world’s highest paid DJ (and for good reason) was the main event and was introduced by undisputed A-list star Will Smith. An endless run of hits followed including ‘I Need Your Love’, ‘Summer’, ‘We Found Love’ and this year’s summer anthem ‘This Is What You Came For’. Accompanied by an incredible light show, coinciding with the setting of the sun, it made for a perfect end to day one of the festival.

Day two, and an amazing day at Wireless on Friday only strengthened our desire to get back there for more of the same.

One of the hottest hip hop artists in the world, Future, graced the main stage and whipped the Saturday crowd into a frenzy with his highly respected flow and lyrics. Hits such as ‘Where Ya At’, ‘Wicked’, ‘Jumpman’ and ‘F*ck Up Some Commas’, Future satisfied his huge UK fan base with a lively and passionate performance.

We then headed over to the Pepsi Max Arena to see Sigma perform a live DJ set, with stunning results. The impressive tented area made for an intimate atmosphere, with thousands revelling in the drum and bass tones of the English duo. With the sun still shining, the crowd partied hard to a great atmosphere, and showed how Sigma have deserved the acclaim they’ve received after years in the shadows.

Saturday closed with legends of the drum and bass scene, Chase & Status. Having been on this rodeo throughout their career, the duo had no problem entertaining the crowd, calling up Tempa T and George The Poet to supplement their set. Closing with ‘Blind Faith’, it turned out our faith in Chase & Status’ headline set was fully justified.

We loved the diversity of the line-up, with Wireless Festival attracting a broad spectrum of artists and with that, people attending the festival. An incredible weekend came to a close for us, just wishing we could have made Sunday as well.

Until next year!

 

Words: Kelvin Lyster

Alesso sits down with FAULT Magazine to discuss success, collaborations and new music!

 

EDM has risen to new levels of prominence in recent years and right at the very heart of that, stands Alesso. Despite acquiring success and fame as a musician, DJ and producer at a very young age, he bucks the trend of being persistently in the media. His achievements are undeniable yet he has remained grounded and almost enigmatic as he oscillates from a reserved disciple of music to lord of the dance (music). Since 2012 Alesso has been charting gold and platinum hits with big names and has wracked up an obscene number of downloads and plays across all mediums. If he can achieve all that he has in four years and at 25 years of age, you have to wonder what he will be able to achieve in forty.

 

You have had well in excess of half a billion plays across all platforms with hundreds of millions of views on Youtube alone. When was the first time you felt as if you’d ‘made it’?

I don’t ever feel like I’ve made it. I’ve set goals for myself since the beginning of my career. Like I hope I get to release a track, then I hope I play at least one live show a month, I hope I get to signed to a label. So each experience for me has been incredible and I don’t take anything for granted.

 

You’ve played some of the best festivals and venues in the world and this got me wondering: what would you say is the best moment of your career so far?

There isn’t just one particular moment I can pick. I’ve had a few. Headlining the Sahara Tent at Coachella not only once but twice. My own show at the globe in Stockholm and now this year headlining Summerburst festival has all been monumental moments for me.

 

If you could choose to play anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I love going to Asia. It’s one of my favorite places in the world and I enjoy my time there so much.

 

You’ve collaborated with A-list music stars like Calvin Harris, Usher and David Guetta. So, in a similar vein, if you got to choose your next collaboration, with whom would it be?

Drake.

 

Knowing what you know now, is there any warnings you would have given 16-year-old you before your music career took off?

Enjoy every moment. Don’t take anything for granted. And it’s always going to be hard work.

 

Similarly, what advice would you give to aspiring musicians who want to follow in similar footsteps to you?

Just stay passionate, be confident, be brave and you will find your way.

 

If you weren’t a musician, what would you be?

I think I would still have a job in entertainment or music in some capacity.

 

What should we look out for from you in 2016?

New music!

 

What is your FAULT?

Making people dance!

 

Words: Robert Baggs