Posts by Billy Johnson, Jr.

  • Weird Science: Steve Aoki Talks Throwing Cakes, Interviewing Visionaries, and Ties to Benihana

    Billy Johnson, Jr. at Live Nation 2 mths ago

    On Feb. 28 at 10 p.m. PT/1 a.m. ET, Yahoo Live will live stream Steve Aoki's concert from the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. Tune in HERE to watch!

    Steve Aoki has been pegged as the longhaired, wild and crazy EDM DJ/producer with a penchant for  throwing cakes into the crowd during his concerts. There's some truth to that image, but such antics only reflect the more lighthearted aspect of his personality. Aoki shared his more intellectual side when he recently stopped by the Yahoo Music offices to discuss Neon Future I , the first part of his double-album, and its companion piece, the Neon Future Sessions , a WIRED interview series with cultural and technological visionaries. "When I'm at a show, I'm there to have fun," Aoki told Yahoo Music. "Let's just not care for a moment. So this cake in your face is to make you lose your mind. And it's not about caring about whatever you are wearing and caring what other people are thinking about you. Out of the context, I'm trying to develop something else."

  • Ricky Martin Debuts Beautiful Ode to Puerto Rico During Yahoo Live Concert

    Billy Johnson, Jr. at Live Nation 2 mths ago

    Ricky Martin was excited to share new music Wednesday when he played a 70-minute set at New York's Gramercy venue, streamed on Yahoo Live in partnership with Live Nation. As he interspersed tracks from his 10th solo album, A Quien Quiera Escuchar , released Tuesday, with some of his catalog favorites, a clear standout was the new tune "Isla Bella," a tribute to his homeland.

    [Related: Ricky Martin on Being Himself: 'It's Fun to Block Bigots on Social Media!']

    About midway through the show, Martin announced that he would be singing his favorite song from his latest release. "It represents a lot to me," he told the crowd, "and I know that anyone who had to leave their country looking for a better life [can relate]." When he mentioned the word "country," someone in the audience shouted, "Puerto Rico!" Martin looked into the crowd, smiled, and nodded in solidarity.

    He then swayed his hips again, much to the crowd's delight.

  • Imagine Dragons' 'Smoke + Mirrors' to Include Hotel Room Mixes

    Billy Johnson, Jr. at Live Nation 2 mths ago

    Imagine Dragons performed four songs from their new album, Smoke + Mirrors , during a 30-minute afternoon concert Thursday at the Mayan theater in Los Angeles. Just before playing, members Dan Reynolds, Daniel Wayne Sermon, Daniel Platzman, and Ben McKee discussed the songwriting process with Billboard editor Joe Levy.

    Frontman Reynolds revealed that the new album features vocals recorded in hotel rooms. "I had a lot of angry nextdoor neighbors in hotels," he explained. "'Cause at 2 in the morning, I'd be recording, like screaming into my laptop. And they'd be pounding… I actually got a lot of very polite calls from the front desk. It was like, 'Sir, there's a lot of noise reported on your floor, and it's kinda aiming towards your room. Is it you?' I always said, 'I don't think so,'" he jokingly added. Despite the interruptions, Reynolds was able to salvage some of the footage. "Quite a few of them made it on the record," he explained.

    Indie-pop Metric kicked off the event with a three-song set that included a new, still-untitled track and "Synthetica."

  • How G-Eazy Proved His Haters Wrong

    Billy Johnson, Jr. at Live Nation 3 mths ago

    On Feb. 4 at 9:45 p.m. PT/12:45 a.m. ET, Yahoo Live will live stream G-Eazy's concert from The Wiltern in Los Angeles. Tune in HERE to watch!

    Every rapper's catalog includes a song conveying the sentiments of G-Eazy's "Far Alone." It's their I-told-you-I-would-make-it mantra. Or in the words of the track's featured vocalist, Jay Ant, "They used to always say I couldn't go too far alone … But now I'm here, bitch."

    Even though the artist born Gerald Earl Gillum was still celebrating his independence at the time he penned "Far Alone," he still had plenty to brag about. Without major-label support, he managed to produce quality music, impressive high-concept videos, and millions of YouTube plays.

    G-Eazy breaks down his rap business game like a true student of veteran Bay Area artists Too $hort and E-40, who created the blueprints for hip-hop's independent hustle by selling music out of the trunks of their cars and using their leverage to secure major deals with Jive Records.

  • Ozomatli on Surviving the Music Business for 20 Years

    Billy Johnson, Jr. at Live Nation 3 mths ago

    On Jan. 10 at 10:15 p.m. PT/1:15 a.m. ET, Yahoo Live will live stream Ozomatli's concert from the House of Blues in Anaheim, CA. Tune in HERE to watch!

    "The running joke in the band is that this is the longest relationship any of us have ever been in," Ozomatli saxophonist Ulises Bella tells Yahoo Music. In 2015, the band that released its seventh studio album, Place in the Sun , last year, will celebrate its 20th anniversary, a major feat in the ever-changing, ever-fickle music business. 

    Group therapy ( along with their love for music) has been key to Ozomatli's longevity. This is not to say that the band lineup has not changed a lot over the years, but learning how to communicate effectively has been integral to their success. Through their trials and tribulations, they received guidance to help them communicate "on a healthy level."

    While the Grammy-winning band has received praises from the likes of Carlos Santana, produced music for video games, toured the world, and made numerous television appearances, Ozomatli isn't considered mainstream. And that's OK by Bella.

  • Taylor Swift Turns 25 on iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Stage

    Billy Johnson, Jr. at 2014 Jingle Ball 4 mths ago

    Taylor Swift ushered in her 25th birthday with 18,000 fans moments after midnight Saturday, as she headlined the iHeartRadio Jingle Ball concert held at Madison Square Garden and streamed on Yahoo Live. "I think I've officially celebrated my birthday with you tonight. I'm 25 years old, New York City!" she told the crowd after performing her No. 1 hit, "Blank Space."

    As might be expected, she was pretty excited to reach such a milestone onstage. She even added a new lyric to "Shake It Off," her final song of the night, interjecting, "It's my birthday!" during one of her chorus runs.


    Earlier in the set — which also included her songs "Welcome to New York," "I Knew You Were Trouble," and "We Are Never Getting Back Together" — she asked the concertgoers to grant a humble birthday wish: to scream loudly.

    "As my birthday present," she asked, "every time I turn the mic to you, scream louder than any concert you've ever experienced." Fans were happy to oblige.






  • 5 Things to Know About iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2014

    Billy Johnson, Jr. at 2014 Jingle Ball 4 mths ago

    On Friday at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET, Yahoo Live will live stream iHeartRadio's Jingle Ball 2014 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Tune in HERE to watch!

    What better way to celebrate the holidays than with your favorite pop stars? The artists behind the year's biggest hits — including Taylor Swift, Pharrell, Ariana Grande, Iggy Azalea, Charli XCX, 5 Seconds of Summer, Meghan Trainor, Calvin Harris, and Shawn Mendes — will descend upon Madison Square Garden on Friday for Z100's iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2014. The event will be exclusively live streamed on Yahoo Live.

    To help you prepare for the four-hour concert, we've compiled a list of things to expect from the all-star event, including the announcement of even more stars as presenters. Take a look:

    Cant wait to see some of you at jingle ball too!!!! still tossing up the idea of one or two christmas themed things. I'm undecided.

    Wouldn't it be awesome if Calvin Harris, Sam Smith, Rita Ora, Pharrell, or Jessie J treated the audience to a guest performance from one of their collaborators? We are feeling optimistic.

  • Yahoo On the Road: Iggy Azalea Embodies Rags-to-Riches Story in Concert

    Billy Johnson, Jr. at Yahoo On the Road 5 mths ago

      Iggy Azalea placed her many artistic stylings on display Thursday during a one-hour set for Yahoo On the Road at the University of Southern California's Bovard Auditorium in Los Angeles. The "Fancy" rapper brought big-budget stage props to the small college venue, but still managed to make the show feel intimate with revealing song choices, as well as selections that highlighted her rapid-fire rap skills.

    Iggy's song "Work" may not have cracked the top 40, but it will remain one of her most meaningful recordings. The 2013 release tells her story of leaving Australia as a teenager to pursue a career in rap in the U.S. During part of her performance of the song, her dancers knelt by her side as she rapped the lyrics, center stage, making the chorus resonate even more: "No money, no family /16 in the middle of Miami." Elsewhere in the song, she talks scrubbing and sleeping on floors before achieving her dream.

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  • Hoodie Allen: Rapper Gets Love From Ellen, Tommy Lee, Ed Sheeran

    Billy Johnson, Jr. at Live Nation 5 mths ago

    Ellen DeGeneres just made Hoodie Allen's day. She opened her Wednesday show dancing to the New York rapper's song "All About It." When he saw the comedian getting down to his track, the MC posted a video of his humble reaction on Vine

    "That was crazy," the rapper, whose stage moniker is an obvious play on filmmaker Woody Allen, tells Yahoo Music. "Stuff like that is really surreal to me." 

    But the independent artist, who released his latest album, People Keep Talking , in October, has grown accustomed to such accolades. His friend Ed Sheeran guests on "All About It," Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee plays his caddy in his Happy Gilmore spoof for his music video "Show Me What You're Made Of," and in 2009, when he was still studying marketing and finance at the University of Pennsylvania, he was nominated for the MTVu Best Music on Campus award. 

  • Singer, Dancer, Drummer? Usher Puts Talents on Display During Live Stream

    Billy Johnson, Jr. at Live Nation 5 mths ago

    For nearly two hours -- without intermission or even a water break -- Usher delivered a high-energy concert Sunday at the Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The event streamed on the Live Nation channel on Yahoo Screen included dozens of hits from his catalog that spans 20 years. Still at the top his game, the veteran entertainer sounded great, nailed his choreography, and even played the drums.

    James Brown was clearly on Usher's mind Sunday. When performing "Twisted," a '60s styled soul record that takes cues from Brown's music, Usher channeled some of the late Godfather of Soul's footwork. Usher showed even more influences from Brown minutes later when delivering new track "She Came to Give It to You" that included a segment where Usher did a Brown "1, 2, 3" countdown and dropped into the splits. He even acknowledged Brown before singing "Without You," the last song of the night. After learning about Michael Jackson's music, Usher said he researched Brown. "I began to study other artists [like] James Brown, Jackie Wilson and so many incredible musicians and found my way to my voice," he told the crowd.