Didi Benami debut single release “Gasoline” now available on iTunes, GooglePlay and Amazon

If you like non-intrusive music on your ipods, then check out this nostalgic new song from singer songwriter Didi Benami.

While Didi’s rise to fame could be attributed to her stint as a finalist on American Idol Season 9in 2010, she has been performing all her life. She did her dues and her continued love & dedication to her craft are paving way to more opportunities to share her talent to the world.

This is a highly recommended track. Didi’s sincere sound is captivating to listen to. You can’t go wrong with this purchase!

Get it on the Google play app, iTunes and or Amazon. It is also streaming on Spotify for FREE! Check out the “Gasoline” page on Viinyl.

Gasoline is co-written by Chris Seefried and Justin Gray.

American Idol Finalist Didi Benami duets with Keaton Simons on new song “If I Hadn’t Forgotten” (Review)

Keaton Simons’ new single entitled “If I Hadn’t Forgotten” features American Idol Season 9 finalist Didi Benami. It is now available to the public via iTunes and Amazon as a digital download.

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Keaton Simons is a thirty-something, multi-talented singer songwriter, and musician who has albums and EPs attached to his credential along with a degree in Ethnomusicology.

His musicality is always spot on and his voice soulful and bluesy. This was clear on the song “If I Hadn’t Forgotten” originally released as a solo single.

The song itself on first listen renders a feeling that you might have heard it before from somewhere. In its simplicity and timelessness, it could very well be placed in a movie soundtrack or perhaps a TV show.

And placed it was! ABC’s hit medical drama series “Private Practice” picked it up and put the song front and center on its November 3rd episode (EP506) entitled “If I Hadn’t Forgotten.” Not only is the episode the same as the track title, the main character Dr. Addison Montgomery (Kate Walsh) sings a few lines of the song!

“If I Hadn’t Forgotten” took another turn this week with a special release of a duet version. Lending the other half of this now two-tone harmony is the wistful, pulsing voice of Didi Benami.

Simons and Benami are long time friends and Didi has appeared in a number of Keaton Simons shows in Los Angeles.

While the tune could be carried fine on its own solo, we could see why Benami’s voice is the missing piece needed to perfect this song. Says producer and owner of Revolver Recordings (where the song was mixed and recorded), Mikal Blue:

“it was suggested that Didi could come and do a duet on one of (the) songs. I thought it was a great idea but I’ve no idea how amazing it was gonna sound. As soon as it got Didi’s voice into this track, the whole track took on a new vibe; it was beautiful hearing them both.”

In a post from Official American Idol site about the song release, Benami affirms:

“I’m very happy and excited about it. It’s been a long time in the works for me to get something out there, and I think the wait brought us to just the right song at just the right moment.”

Keaton Simons Didi Benami
via officialdidibenami.com

Whether there was conscious effort to bring in Didi Benami to ‘complete’ the track, the result is sublime and universally appealing. The give and take, the push and pull, the symbiosis brought the song into a whole new tier.

Benami’s voice hooks you in, inviting you to her world as she sings about the lost love. There is longing and yearning as she professes: “And I don’t know what you’ve been dreamin’ of, if your heart is haunted by our love, and I don’t know if you’ve tried movin’ on, But I can’t get past the way we left off…” leading into the chorus blending in tastefully with Simons’ crisp vocals:

If I knew now
What I knew then
If I hadn’t forgotten
What we meant
If I’d held on
Through the hard times
If I’d done what I needed to make things right
I’d know love before I lost it
If I hadn’t forgotten

Where the two draws the connection to the song, Benami might have sentimental attachment to it from the beginning as revealed on the behind the scenes video: “When I first heard the song, I felt like it was the last relationship that I was in, and it just brought me back… to what I could have done differently… It’s a message of hope for those of us that overthink everything and for those of us that don’t…

The track is Benami’s debut release since going on a nationwide American Idol tour in 2010. She was in New York City two months ago at the Rockwood Music Hall for an intimate showcase of what she’s been working on as far as her music goes. She is off to the Bahamas for a charity concert and dinner weekend on  November 11, and she’s chosen to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (www.stjude.org/musicgives).

We wish both of these artists much success in their respective careers and we surely won’t mind another collaboration in the offing.

There is a streaming song preview at Didi Benami’s Official website. You can check out Keaton Simons official site here. You could get FREE song download from Didi’s fansite. They have a contest giveaway going on at their site as part of supporting the song and Benami.

Follow up to the minute updates from the two on their social network:

@DidiBenami on Twitter
@KeatonSimons on Twitter

Keaton’s Official Facebook | Didi’s Official Facebook

Sara Ramirez on Extra at the Grove singing “The Story” (VIDEO)

Tony winner Sara Ramirez finally get to mix the best of both worlds by being an actress and singer!

The much talked about “Grey’s Anatomy music event” was for the most part a huge success thanks to Sara who lead the ensemble of cast singing well-loved music used on the show over the past few years for the special musical episode.

Promoting her self-titled EP and the Grey’s Anatomy album (available exclusively on iTunes), she stops by to meet Mario Lopez at the Grove last Thursday, March 31. She performed “The Story” originally performed by Brandi Carlile. The song is featured on her EP and the Grey’s Anatomy album.

The whole world is still talking about Rebecca Black and how she ‘ruined’ Friday (?)

Is this the world’s way of escaping from what’s happening in Libya or Japan and elsewhere?

While we should not forget to keep in touch with the seriousness of world events, entertainment is here and looks like YouTube’s biggest internet sensation yet may be staying on for a bit.

Rebecca Black’s name has been the topic of conversations on Twitter, trending for five days straight now. In the Twitter world and its fast changing topics covering serious talks to the mundane, staying on the trending list for even a day is very, very hard to achieve or sustain.

So why the fuss?


We’re not really sure except the fascination that Rebecca must have had an epiphany when she wrote the lyrics to the song. It goes like this:

Yesterday was Thursday (Thursday), today it is Friday (Friday), we, we, we so excited, we so excited, we gonna have a ball today. Tomorrow is Saturday, and Sunday comes afterwards.

It really didn’t dawn on us until this song that after Saturday comes Sunday afterwards… So if not for the elementary lyrics, is it the repetitive beats, the visuals or the magic of auto-tuning? Why has this video garnered over 36 million hits in records time?!

Rebecca Black has gone on to be on morning and late night shows in the US. The song “Friday” is released as a single on March 14 on iTunes and believe it or not made it in the Top 20 bestsellers list when it hit the music store. It is now available on Amazon and currently on the Top 150 list. The song spawned a bunch of covers on YouTube and a variety of parodies from the absurd to the even more ridiculous.

Did she really ruin Friday for you? We say she’s winning!

A new “Voice” in reality television premieres April 26th, it isn’t Idol or the X-Factor (Videos)

NBC promises that the new singing competition, “The Voice” will be like no other.

It isn’t American Idol or the X-Factor where too often, contestants are picked or NOT picked for a number of reasons other than their singing talent. The idea: they’re looking for a ‘true vocal talent” – judging the talents based ‘purely’ on their voices hence the ‘blind audition.’

Blake Shelton, Grammy Award winners Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green and Adam Levine (Maroon 5) make up the coaches/judges who will help shape America’s next top singing star. Carson Daly hosts the series, which premieres April 26th.

NBC has teamed up with hit-making reality show pioneers John de Mol, Mark Burnett and Warner Horizon Television to bring Holland’s top-rated vocal talent discovery show “The Voice of Holland” to America. The grand prize winner of this new competition will receive $100,000 and a record deal with a major label!

Auditions promo: “Casting Calls”

Meet the cast:

Blake Shelton (Blake Tollison Shelton: born June 18, 1976, in Ada, Oklahoma) is an American country music artist. In 2001, he made his debut with the single “Austin”. Released as the lead-off single from his self-titled debut album, “Austin” went on to spend five weeks at Number One on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts. (Wiki page)

Cee Lo Green or simply Cee Lo (Thomas DeCarlo Callaway: born May 30, 1974), is an American singer-songwriter, rapper and record producer. He originally came to prominence as a member of the southern hip-hop group Goodie Mob, later launching a critically acclaimed solo career. (WIKI page) His latest hit is the song “Forget You” or “F*** You.”

Christina Aguilera (Christina María Aguilera: born December 18, 1980) is an American recording artist and actress. Aguilera first appeared on national television in 1990 as a contestant on the Star Search program, and went on to star in Disney Channel’s television series The Mickey Mouse Club from 1993–1994. Rolling Stone ranked her number fifty-eight on their list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time, ranking as the youngest and only artist on the list under the age of thirty. She was ranked the 20th Artist of the 2000–09 decade by Billboard and is the second top selling single artist of the 2000s behind Madonna. Aguilera has sold nearly 50 million albums worldwide making her one of the best-selling music artists of all time. (Wiki page)

Adam Levine (Adam Noah Levine: born March 18, 1979) is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. He is the frontman for the alternative, pop-rock band Maroon 5.

Carson Daly, (Carson Jones Daly: born June 22, 1973) is an American television host. He is the host of NBC’s Last Call with Carson Daly, a late-night talk show that began airing on January 7, 2002. (Wiki page)

“The Difference is the Voice” promo ad

“Best in the Business” promo ad

“You Had Me at Hello” promo Ad

Jennifer Aniston wants to be the next YouTube sensation with SmartWater “sex tape” (Video)

There isn’t really one. A ‘sex tape’ doesn’t exist but that’s the whole point of trying to attract ‘hits’. The title has to be sensational and provocative if need be… Did Jennifer Aniston succeed? So far she’s had over 6 million views on YouTube for the video since it was uploaded a week ago.

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Jennifer Aniston is poking fun at today’s marketing methods in her new YouTube video for SmartWater.

Aniston remarks that she can’t just tell people how great her product is —she has to go viral, which apparently includes animals, dancing babies and double rainbow guy.

Watch more videos of Aniston our Online Video Guide

She ends by asking her video helpers, “What are we going to call this video?”

“Jen Aniston’s sex tape?” they say.

Aniston’s response: “I love it.”

via FOX News

An inexpert review: American Idol 10 Top 13 Studio Recording Compilation on iTunes (album audio sampler)

We forget how big companies get ‘there’ – by becoming very enterprising cough-cunning-cough-shrewd. iTunes is no different.

When they premiered the American Idol Top 13 compilation after midnight, March 10th- they conveniently released the ‘album only’ download first for a good number of hours until users were fuming mad with negative reviews. It meant shelling out $7.99 for the complete set when most fans want only 2 or 3 songs from it.

We were among the anxious ones! iTunes’ trick worked on us. We bought the entire thing because we thought they weren’t selling the singles– only to find out this morning, they offered them for $1.29 each!! Just as well so we can put in our two cents on it.

As our title suggests, we are no expert on music but we love music. We can’t live without it! We go by what we feel, how the song affected us or connected with us. So with that, we can always agree to disagree.

The entire album is ‘strategically’ arranged. You’d think they go by the order of performances on Idol. Nope. They wanted to start and end the album with a bang, squeeze in the other notables in between the bad ones and there you go, you have one entertaining album that you’d want to listen on repeat [except for 2 or 3 we wanted to delete but feel guilty because we paid for them]!

 

We will review by the album order [the bracket is the order of their performance on Idol]:

01 Casey Abrams – With a Little Help From My Friend by the Beatles [2]

What a way to open the album! Very smooth, a lot of soul in there from Mr. Soulman himself! We hope he’s not another Taylor Hicks in the making though. A lot of ummmphhs and ooohhs and if you’re not into that, could be distracting for you, as well as the backup harmonies that keeps echoing, following Casey like his own shadow! The band is also somewhat overpowering that Casey seems in battle with the instruments.  Casey’s rendition excellent. Thumbs down for the production!

02 Naima Adedapo – Umbrella by Rihanna [13]

Naima is the clear winner on this album. Read, on this album. Her song stood out as the only commercial track out of the 13. She sang one of Rihanna’s most recognizable tune which makes her current and likable. Her voice sounds sooo good! Very recordable, radio friendly! Best produced track in the album. The fact that this song has been covered enough, and to squeeze in a unique reggae/rap interpretation to it that’s hip is a winner.

03 Lauren Alaina – Any Man of Mine by Shania Twain [1]

We don’t like country but we like Shania Twain. Lauren fans please don’t get mad but if you look up Karaoke in the dictionary, they just added the picture of Lauren. Sorry. She is the most overrated contestant this season. She may sound great onstage ‘live’ but this record speaks- she sounds generic. Maybe in a few years, her voice will change and she’ll find her own sound. If she’s going country, she won’t be able to compete with Carrie Underwood or even Kellie Pickler sounding like that.

04 James Durbin – Maybe I’m Amazed [6]

Maybe I’m amazed indeed! James really showed his soft side in this tune. Just when we were starting to dislike him because he is TOO rockish for our taste, he delivers this unpretentious and honest rendition. We felt he held back a little on this recording, his live performance was way better but we liked this one too.

05 Ashthon Jones – When You Tell Me That You Love Me [3]

Never been a fan of this particular song and Ashton didn’t do anything to make us like it. Diana Ross has gazillion hits and she’d pick this one, beats us! She’s pitch-y all over the place. Not sure how this record got past the studio! She just really ‘wasted’ her opportunity. The judges saved her and put her on the wild card, for this? We don’t want to go “there” but it’s clear the judges picked her on the wildcard to add ‘more color’ to the show. Kendra Chantelle should have been in the Top 13!! It didn’t help that all three judges desperately tried to praise her live performance when it was all wrong. Hate to say it but probably the worst track in the album. She’s got the confidence of a diva but she ain’t one– yet!

06 Stefano Langone – Lately [10]

OMG! Stefano can sing and he can sing Stevie Wonder!! And he can sing like he owned the song! The intro was great until the arrangement got weirder and weirder towards the middle and end! What the heck is this genre?! House music? Still Beautiful though, his fantastic vocals pulled it through.

07 Jacob Lusk – I Believe I Can Fly [8]

We feel bad critiquing Jacob. We believe he is the next Luther Vandross. What on earth is he doing singing an R. Kelly song?!! Argh! if they can only place Jacob’s “God Bless the Child” on this album then it would have been perfect. Instead, we get this trite and over-exhausted song of “I Believe I can Fly.” Yawn. Jacob didn’t do anything with this song. Second Worse.

08 Scotty McCreery – The River [12]

We didn’t think it’s possible but Scotty can make anyone like Country. Didn’t we just write we don’t like country? Scott McCreery has country flowing in his veins and it shows in his every performance. The kid can sing country and he will be embraced by country fans!

09 Paul McDonald – Come Pick Me Up [4]

Paul’s voice is really unique. It is nice to just LISTEN to him instead of watch his borderline ‘spastic-i’m-having-a-slight-seizure-‘ dance moves performance onstage. At some instance, his voice is too ‘throaty’ so he should watch out and control it. This is soft and sweet. Paul, you should sing David Gray’s “Babylon.” It’s right up your alley- you’d nail the song!!

10 Thia Megia – Smile [9]

Thia made us truly smile on this one. Her voice is so sweet and innocent yet powerful, rich and controlled at the same time. Her live performance was off because the transition from intro to the jazzy part was sloppy. The studio recording sounded great! The transition was smooth and flowing. The instrumental beats in the middle of the song (1:35) is addictive! This is the sweetest surprise in the entire album. We loved it. She deserves to go far in the competition.

11 Haley Reinhart – Blue [7]

So Haley, not your fault but we’re just not a fan of yodeling… and since when were you a country singer? Are you as confused as we are as to the kind of artist you want to be? Very lounge-y and karaoke-esque. If you sing more like that, you’d replace Lauren’s photo in the dictionary under the definition of “karaoke.”

12 Karen Rodriguez – I Could Fall In Love [11]

NOT. Karen just sang this song. No flavor, too bland for our taste. If we wanted to Listen to a Selena song, we’d listen to Selena. Yawn. Next.

13 Pia Toscano – All By Myself [5]

We’re trying to force ourselves to love this version because Pia’s vocals here is just unbelievable! Our issue is the song itself. Again and again we hear it every season- during audition, Hollywood week or the idol stage. Having said that, they didn’t save the best for last for nothing. Pia, if she plays her cards right- can win this whole competition. She is THE COMPLETE PACKAGE ARTIST. Bravo!

Thoughts? Violent reactions? Do share.

X Factor Coming to America on September 2011 (Promo Videos)

The X Factor is Simon Cowell’s brand new singing competition and they’re on a mission to find America’s next undiscovered superstar.

The X Factor debuts on FOX this fall and they’re giving away the biggest television pot prize to date– a $5 million recording contract with Sony Music.

What’s great about The X Factor is that it is open to anyone – vocal groups and solo singers, over the age of 12 – and there’s absolutely no upper age limit. (So it could be you!)

Over the coming months, auditions are coming to these US cities: New York, Miami, Dallas, Chicago, LA and Seattle.

Lady Gaga has it. The Beiber has it. Madonna and Katy Perry both have it. Have you got it?



Simon Cowell on Extra, talks about possible judges?