The Roc was in the building when Bridget Kelly stopped by our Hollywood studio to perform for Rap-Up Sessions. Signed to Roc Nation, the New York songstress has already played arenas across the world on tour with Jay-Z and released her 2011 EP Every Girl featuring the Frank Ocean-penned “Thinking About Forever.”
While overlooking the Sunset Strip, Bridget put her raw talent on display with a three-song acoustic set. Backed by a guitarist, she stripped down her single “Special Delivery” and the Ne-Yo-penned “In the Morning,” for which Meek Mill can be heard on the remix. She also delivered a soulful cover of Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody.”
Bridget is readying her full-length debut for release later this year and has recently opened for Mary J. Blige and Brandy. Watch her stellar set below.
Skylar Grey is putting the finishing touches on her debut Don’t Look Down with help from one of the biggest names in music, Eminem. In addition to appearing on the first single “C’mon Let Me Ride,” the Detroit rapper is executive producing the project.
“He showed a lot of interest and support for my project,” the Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter told Rap-Up TV at the MySpace ChapStick Sessions concert. “It kinda happened naturally where he became executive producer of the album.”
The hip-hop superstar has taken a hands-on approach. “I’ve actually been really lucky to have a lot of time with Marshall, giving me advice and feedback on all the songs, helping me pick the songs for the album,” she said. “I think he’s been pretty involved.”
Skylar shows a more playful side on her single “C’mon Let Me Ride,” but it’s not indicative of the rest of the album. “Most of the other songs are a little bit more serious. Sometimes when I’m being serious, I think it’s funny too.”
In addition to writing her own material, she has penned CeeLo Green’s new single “Only You.” “As I started writing more soulful stuff, I realized that it comes really naturally to me, so I hope to do more of it.”
Don’t Look Down is due this spring on KIDinaKORNER/Interscope featuring production from Alex Da Kid and J.R. Rotem.
It’s been over three years, but Jay Sean is finally ready to release his fourth album. “As you all know, the album has been taking a long time. I think it’s about four-and-a-half thousand years so far,” joked the British singer on the red carpet at Cash Money’s pre-Grammy party earlier this month.
The follow-up to 2009’s All or Nothing is done and awaiting a release date. “The album is finally finished. We handed it into Cash Money at the beginning of the year,” he told Rap-Up TV.
The delay is due to a lawsuit that prevented him from releasing music, plus he was taking his time to perfect his sound. “I had to figure out what makes it different. I didn’t want to put out singles that could’ve been sung by Chris Brown or Usher or Ne-Yo. It had to be unique to me and that took me a minute to really understand.”
He also exclusively revealed that the album will now be called Neon (It was previously titled Worth It All). “The album is the best piece of work I’ve done to date, without a doubt in the last 10 years,” said Sean. “This album is a mixture of R&B, of pop, of some rock influence as well, of hip-hop influence. It’s just all of the great genres that I love and I grew up on in one. The songwriting and production on this album is superb. It really took us a long time to get it right, but I’m so proud of it.”
The first single, “Where You Are,” is expected to drop within the next month. “It’s a beautiful song,” he said.
Fresh off his Grammy win for Frank Ocean’s channel ORANGE, singer-songwriter-producer Om’Mas Keith is setting his sights on two of hip-hop’s most-buzzed-about newcomers, Earl Sweatshirt and Azealia Banks.
The Queens-bred Keith could hardly contain his excitement when speaking about the Odd Future rapper’s upcoming album Doris.
“Earl’s album is very special, very creative,” Om’Mas told Rap-Up TV. “There are some very special people on that, and I think Earl is definitely a contender for Best Rap Album of the year next year for sure. I see Earl with Best Rap Album. I see Earl with Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. I definitely see him with a slew of acknowledgements next year.”
He has also been in the studio with Azealia Banks for her debut Broke With Expensive Taste. “I was very pleased to find out that she was an amazing artist, an artist’s artist,” he said. “The stuff that I worked on is very refreshing and creative.”
Om’Mas has been making noise with his own album City Pulse, which be can streamed on SoundCloud.
Emeli Sandé has been winning over fans and critics alike with her acclaimed debut Our Version of Events. During her U.S. tour, Rap-Up TV caught up with the breakout British sensation at her MySpace ChapStick Sessions concert at the Key Club in L.A. The 25-year-old, who is nominated four times at the BRIT Awards, spoke about the transition from the U.K. to the U.S. and writing for superstars like Rihanna and Alicia Keys.
Emeli penned “Half of Me,” which appears on the deluxe edition of Rihanna’s album Unapologetic. “When I heard it, you can really feel that she has connected to the track. I love how she’s interpreted it and made it completely her own,” said Emeli, who met the pop star during a visit to L.A. “She was really sweet, really cool.”
She also ended up writing with Alicia Keys after opening for her at Royal Albert Hall in London. “She’s such a big inspiration,” said Emeli, who co-penned “Brand New Me” and “Not Even the King.” “That was a dream come true. We really connected as people as well as musicians, so it just worked and it doesn’t always work like that.”
The U.K. darling is already plotting her sophomore album and plans to hit the studio after touring in May. “I think about the next record every day. Can’t wait to get back and write again.”
She also shared her love for American rappers including Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, and Drake. “His lyrics are mind blowing. I really love how he words everything,” she said of the Young Money MC.
Right now, Emeli is basking in her four BRIT nominations. “The hard work this year has paid off and to have that acknowledgement feels wonderful.”
From Compound University comes Ne-Yo’s newest student, RaVaughn. The R&B newcomer, who is signed to Ne-Yo’s label, stepped into the spotlight while shooting a video for her debut single “Better Be Good” in Los Angeles. Rap-Up TV was on set as she kicked her man to the curb in the TAJ-directed clip, which features Wale.
“I’m going through this rough patch with my boyfriend and I’m trying to work it out, trying to get it all together,” said the L.A. songstress. “He tells me he wants to go out. I’m hanging with my girls and they’re like, ‘We gotta go to this party. I’m like, ‘No, I’ma try to work it out with my boo.’”
She ends up going to the house party where she runs into her boyfriend, who is there with another girl. But that won’t stop her from having a good time. She breaks into a dance sequence with her girls as the crowd cheers her on.
RaVaughn’s Compound University/Columbia Records debut Love Always is due this summer featuring appearances from Ne-Yo and Marsha Ambrosius.
The full video for “Better Be Good” will premiere on Thursday, February 21.
Young Money is keeping it in the family. Lil Wayne’s daughter, Reginae Carter, has officially joined the roster. The 14-year-old singer, who was formally in the OMG Girlz, is now signed to the same label as her famous father.
“Wayne’s daughter, Reginae, is actually signed to Young Money now,” Young Money president Mack Maine told Rap-Up TV on the red carpet at Cash Money’s Pre-Grammy Party.
You can expect big things from Young Money’s youngest signee. “Just expect greatness. She’s Toya [Wright's] daughter and Wayne’s daughter, so that’s a great combination. She’s a megastar.”
Some of the label’s newest signees also include PJ Morton, Torion Sellers, and the teen group We the Future. “Right now, I’m trying to get the Young Money young’ns going,” said Mack.