Archive For The “Music” Category

On ‘CAPRISONGS,’ FKA twigs vibrates at her highest frequency

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On ‘CAPRISONGS,’ FKA twigs vibrates at her highest frequency

Interdisciplinary artist-musician FKA twigs released ‘CAPRISONGS,’ her debut mixtape and first release with Atlantic Records, on Jan. 14, 2022.

Orograph/Courtesy of the artist

Orograph/Courtesy of the artist

Pluto scoffs at superficiality. The planet’s transit, the way that the planet’s movement activates and interacts with a person’s natal chart, demands for connection with core purpose. It is a chance to break through illusions and probe deep in search of inner truth: to evolve and be reborn without perfunctory airs.

Born Tahliah Debrett Barnett, singer-songwriter FKA twigs celebrated her 34th birthday yesterday. A Capricorn and member of the Pluto in Scorpio generation according to her chart, twigs experienced a powerful transit during the last Pluto retrograde, a time of significant reflection and potential, the timing of which coincided with the process of creating her transformative new release CAPRISONGS.

The British musician and interdisciplinary performing artist first entered the pop-industrial complex as a backup dancer in music videos, a career of appearances that led to the development of a character. Alluring and nymph-like in nature, twigs’ avatar sang songs of yearning — operatic elegies about giving and taking, how quests for power destroy relationships and interrupt intimacy. With a duo of EPs and her cult favorite debut album LP1, twigs made a name for herself on a meta image that toyed with the gaze of whoever looked upon her. Capitalizing on seduction’s wealth, she created an avatar that presented both herself and her music as an uncanny valley: “I come alive because you want me,” her foundational works seemed to whisper. “You want me because I make you feel alive.”

The first fracture in twigs’ constructed, guarded image came with 2019’s MAGDALENE, her second studio album. Made in the midst of physical and emotional upheaval, twigs found solace in the historically misinterpreted image of Mary Magdalene. A project of mirrors and introspection, twigs confronted the binary trap she laid out for herself. Over sparse instrumentals, twigs’ soprano became clear for the first time. Lost in translation, now neither whore nor virgin, she located a version of herself inside of a centuries-old story about the demands made of women. For all its visceral intimacy, MAGDALENE still centered a covert twigs, one reconstructed through a familiar story. It was a different reality for her to disappear into.

On her new album CAPRISONGS, twigs finally lifts the veil. Once an aloof video girl; baroque lounge crooner; sword master; pole dancer; and wushu artist, twigs chaotically layers her previous personas on top of one another to reveal Tahliah Barnett, messy but free. Ranging from eerie ballads to sweaty club bangers, each track speaks to the highest expressions of her Capricorn sun, Sagittarius moon and Pisces Venus. With CAPRISONGS, she throws her rulebook out the window and dives into the depths of her abundance. She finds herself embracing traditional hooks for the first time in her musical career and ambitiously shifts her sound to showcase pop’s experimental, avant-garde potential. Doubling as her debut mixtape and first major label release, CAPRISONGS asks: what does a space where twigs, recalibrated and vibrating at her highest frequency, sound like?

Aided by new collaborator artist-producer El Guincho, twigs tests the boundaries of genre. She plucks traditional elements of synth-pop, dancehall, grime, neo-soul and ambient, splices them, and arranges them in a matrix only she — and authorized guests — can enter. This is essential twigs, a level of production she’s been evolving toward her whole career. Even sampling a taste of Ariana Grande’s addictive “yuh”s throughout the mixtape, she flits between incredulous ’80s MC on “oh my love;” contemplative, punk-adjacent beat poet on “which way” featuring Dystopia; whining bad gyal on mixtape highlight “papi bones” alongside hip-hop grime master Shygirl; and earnest altar boy attempting guidance on “lightbeamers.”

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Wildly varied in sound, twigs’ desire to rediscover experimentation’s exhilaration weaves a compelling thread throughout CAPRISONGS. Describing the project as a “journey back to herself,” its deviations offer a glimpse into twigs’ up-and-down, nonlinear process behind fulfillment, both in self and in her art. “I wanna be more confident, I really do,” twigs shares softly with a friend in the opening interlude of “meta angel,” the mixtape’s initial recall of her signature sound. Surrounded by a choir of her vocals layered on top of one another, she trips over insecurities, the constant deluge of negativity that restrains her light.

Overloaded with anxiety, she lets it all out on the dance floor as the mixtape transitions into lead single “tears in the club.” Building from Arca’s reggaeton-inspired keys, the R&B-pop track highlights the mixtape’s purpose: catharsis through physicality. A failed love has embedded itself in her body – “I wanna get you out of my hips, my thighs, my hair, my eyes, tonight’s the night,” she declares in the bridge – and the only solution is twigs’ reflexive dancer impulse to process emotion through movement. To be connected with the flesh is to leave the mind behind, and twigs plans on hogging the dance floor all night long.

Throughout CAPRISONGS, twigs opts out of delivering devastating gut-punch lyrics, instead choosing to express herself as succinctly and simply as she can. In incomplete sentences, an unspoken desire bridges her disparate thoughts, and her soprano susses out the moment’s feelings and opens up to its potential. She alternatively murmurs in place of words, repeats herself as if meditating. Still a tension between twigs’ desire to be honest and lingering need to remain hidden arises; even though she’s channeled positive happiness to pen her most authentically autobiographical lyrics to date, an overwhelming amount of autotune and digital distortion muddy their raw honesty. As vocal manipulation has been integral to twigs’ music and avatar for years, it tracks that she’d be hesitant to give it up on a project so personal. Unfortunately the distortion sounds too robotic in some cases, specifically on “minds of men” and “pamplemousse,” as if Amazon’s Alexa downloaded poetry software and delivered the result on loop.

Despite the mixtape’s digital saturation, there’s an undeniable warmth to CAPRISONGS. Curated primarily through DMs and Facetimes, another process first for twigs’ discography, its primary strength lies in the narrative interludes and soundbites of friends, collaborators and loved ones. They call her out, bring her close and affirm her worth. “I love you … I wish you could see in you what I see in you, what everyone sees in you,” one friend says. “That’s the golden stuff right there, and these are your golden years, so have fun.”

The need for encouragement and vulnerability and sharing that need with listeners is an intimacy unlike what we’ve previously experienced of twigs’ emotional depth. As her most collaborative project to date, CAPRISONGS reveals growth in twigs’ production expertise. Surprising features from Daniel Caesar, Jorja Smith and The Weeknd are seamless as twigs creates space for their unique sounds inside her own. Bareface confessions continue with the Arca-assisted “thank you song,” as she opens the mixtape’s closer with plaintive honesty: “I wanted to die, I’m just being honest. No longer afraid to say it out loud.” The track is saturated with emotion as twigs expresses gratitude for the love of the people around her, admitting that their care saved her life. Delicate and unafraid, “thank you song” harnesses core facets of the twigs’ we know best and uses them to innovate her material.

Even with its otherworldly ambience, twigs comes down to earth on the community-oriented CAPRISONGS, her lyrics anchored in reality for the first time. She’s vulnerable in her trying, celebratory in her discovery, generous with what she shares. As the mixtape progresses, the more that love is poured into her, the more she’s able to share it with others, chiefly her listener. Triumphant and external, the mixtape is a milestone of significant personal and professional transformation. FKA twigs has liberated herself from the confines of her character.

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Review: ‘Caprisongs,’ the latest from FKA twigs

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Review: ‘Caprisongs,’ the latest from FKA twigs

Pop singer FKA Twigs released new music on Friday, a mixtape called Caprisongs.


MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Changing gears now – we’ve got some new music to help you start the week just right. Pop singer FKA twigs has just released her latest album. It’s a mixtape called “Caprisongs.”

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “RIDE THE DRAGON”)

FKA TWIGS: Hey. I made you a mixtape.

MARTIN: It’s her first album since 2019 and since her lawsuit against her ex-boyfriend, actor Shia LaBeouf, accusing him of sexual and emotional abuse, which he denies. The album is already getting rave reviews, so we called NPR Music’s LaTesha Harris to walk us through a few standout tracks.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “PAPI BONES”)

FKA TWIGS: (Singing) Let’s start it again. Boom, boom, take us when you can’t find the one. But everybody wants to send out for my love. Sticky, sweet, I’m going to be like a killer, a killer, a killer.

LATESHA HARRIS, BYLINE: So what stood out to me about “Papi Bones” – and this is partially my favorite track on the mixtape – is just how completely evolved her sound is. There’s elements of Afrobeat and dancehall here, and that comes from producer El Guincho. The blaring alarms, the steel drums – this is completely different from what we’ve come to expect from twigs.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “PAPI BONES”)

FKA TWIGS: (Singing) Oh, you’re so damn fine. We bump and grind and twirl. The champagne bubble up. My champagne bubble girl. Oh, you’re so damn fine. We bump and grind and twirl. The champagne bubble up. My champagne bubble girl.

HARRIS: The different layers of instrumentation and the different sounds that she brings into the project are so much more maximalist than we’ve expected from her. And I feel like that sonic experimentation kind of reflects, you know, how she’s been able to discover new things about herself, new things about her art.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “TEARS IN THE CLUB”)

FKA TWIGS: (Singing) Tears in the club ’cause your love’s got me f***** up. Tears in the club.

HARRIS: So on “Tears In The Club,” which features The Weeknd, there’s a really interesting dynamic between twigs as a narrator and The Weeknd as an observer.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “TEARS IN THE CLUB”)

THE WEEKND: (Singing) There’s no, no escaping me. Let it out like therapy. There’s no, no escaping me. Around your girls, in the club, on the road, on the radio.

FKA TWIGS: (Singing) Tears in the club ’cause your love’s got me f***** up. Tears in the club. I’m going to drown in the beat now. Tears in the club ’cause your love’s got me f***** up. Tears in the club.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “THANK YOU SONG”)

FKA TWIGS: (Singing) I wanted to die. I’m just being honest. No longer afraid to say it out loud.

HARRIS: The importance of “Thank You Song” on this mixtape is obviously to close out the mixtape and kind of sum up all the gratitude that twigs is feeling. It’s very interesting to end on this very slow-tempo ballad, but I think it works because it’s encapsulating everything that the mixtape is about. This mixtape is a journey about her healing and her discovery of herself again.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “THANK YOU SONG”)

FKA TWIGS: (Singing) Love in motion. My heart’s open. Thank you. Thank you. I’m OK. ‘Cause you care, I made it through today.

HARRIS: I think “Caprisongs” is her most honest and authentic project she’s released. And I think that’s when you really see, like, the heart of her as a musician but as a person as well. It really feels like she’s been able to blossom in her vulnerability and really share that with her listeners.

MARTIN: That was NPR Music’s LaTesha Harris talking about FKA twigs’ new mixtape “Caprisongs,” which is out now.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “CARELESS”)

FKA TWIGS: (Singing) You can be careless. You can be careless with me. You can be careless. You can be careless.

Copyright © 2022 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

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Grammy-nominated artist Cordae on his latest album, ‘From A Bird’s Eye View’

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Grammy-nominated artist Cordae on his latest album, ‘From A Bird’s Eye View’

NPR’s Scott Simon talks with Grammy-nominated hip-hop artist Cordae about his second full-length album, From A Bird’s Eye View, and the benefits and drawbacks of sudden fame.

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Amaarae (feat. Kali Uchis, Moliy), ‘SAD GIRLZ LUV MONEY (Vigro Deep Amapiano Remix)’

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Amaarae (feat. Kali Uchis, Moliy), ‘SAD GIRLZ LUV MONEY (Vigro Deep Amapiano Remix)’


Universal Music Group on
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By now, Western ears have had plenty of chances to jump on the Amaarae bandwagon. The original version of “SAD GIRLZ LUV MONEY” was released in 2020, and the remix featuring Kali Uchis landed on numerous 2021 best-of lists (including ours). So why are we covering it again in 2022? Because it might just be the Trojan Horse we need to introduce amapiano to America. The rising style of dance music out of South Africa is a spacious, mid-tempo form of deep house music that is slow enough to chill to, but dramatic enough to fill dance floors. It’s only relatively new, emerging 10 years ago in KwaZulu-Natal and catching fire across the African continent two years ago. The remix here is provided by Vigro Deep, a 20-year-old producer who’s already secured a foothold in the U.K. and has said explicitly he’s ready for a worldwide audience. We’re listening.

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FKA twigs (feat. Shygirl), ‘papi bones’

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FKA twigs (feat. Shygirl), ‘papi bones’


Young Turks and Atlantic Records on
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More than two years after the release of her second studio album, the transcendent MAGDALENE, British singer-songwriter FKA twigs has dropped CAPRISONGS, her first mixtape and major label debut under Atlantic Records. Gone is the mournful crooner with haunting, operatic vocals; in her place stands a club rat on a mission of hedonism. A highlight of the mixtape’s various hyperpop-adjacent bangers is “papi bones,” featuring hip-hop grime master Shygirl.

“We gon’ run the dancefloor,” a boisterous DJ shouts over a heartbeat pulse before alarms sound and the steel drums begin. Co-produced by twigs, El Guincho, Fakeguido and Jonathan Coffer, the Afrobeat-dancehall track is addictive, cathartic in its physicality. twigs’ usual operatic soprano has been updated for a digitized rallying cry, accented with the lilt of a chiming bell. A song equally suited for spilling bronzer in the sink during the pre-game and whining on the floor, veiled in haze, “papi bones” raises a glass to all the Champagne bubble girls around the world.

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RuPaul, ‘Smile’

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RuPaul, ‘Smile’

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RuPaul’s 2022 album Mamaru is the final death knell of bubblegum hyperpop. Throughout the thirty-minute record, Ru somehow manages to commodify and repackage the sounds of almost every single musician who has made an impact on queer internet communities over the past several years, including but not limited to Shygirl, Kim Petras, Namasenda and the late SOPHIE, who is rolling in her grave at the familiar fruit production on a song named “Pretty Pretty Gang Gang.”

The most egregious rip-off comes in the form of the third track, “Smile,” a song that could be mistaken for a karaoke version of Charli XCX’s “anthems” if I heard it from outside of the club. To say the song is exactly the same would be an insult to Charli: It’s like if Mamaru‘s producers heard how i’m feeling now and tried to recreate it from memory after a blackout-inducing hit of poppers. Everything feels lifted, from the overprocessed Auto-Tune to the jittery synth riff in the chorus. Had “Smile” came out in 2019, I would’ve thought it came with a Dylan Brady production credit — however, in 2022, the scene has already moved on, giving “Smile” the mark of bleak corporate reappropriation. It’s a reminder that everything that made the OG hyperpop scene interesting and different is quickly being swallowed up and watered down for a larger audience, particularly one that embodies hegemonic, straight-approved forms of LGBTQ expression.

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How Ronnie Spector and ‘Be My Baby’ became a pop-culture sound of sex in 1987

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How Ronnie Spector and ‘Be My Baby’ became a pop-culture sound of sex in 1987

Ronnie Spector, posing in 1971

Jack Kay/Getty Images

Jack Kay/Getty Images

Dunk, da-dunk, chh. Dunk, da-dunk, chh. NANANANANANA…

It was August 1987, and a potential moral panic over suggestive gyrating proved unnecessary when Dirty Dancing turned out to be a coming-of-age romance where the dancing was not, in fact, all that dirty. It was, however, about a young single woman having sex she enjoyed (and did not come to regret) with a man who was powerfully hot. As such, while it’s not a dirty movie, it is a pretty sexy movie — particularly if you were 16 when it came out. Which, as it happens, I was.

It started with a credits sequence in which images of people dancing … well, dirtily? … were accompanied by the unmistakable, indelible, irreplaceable sound of “Be My Baby,” the 1963 classic performed by The Ronettes. They were led by Ronnie Spector, who died Wednesday at 78.

Dunk, da-dunk, chh. Dunk, da-dunk, chh. NANANANANANA…

A woman throws her head back with an open-mouthed smile; another runs her hand all the way up her own bared leg to her hip. The opening credits roll. Slow motion, blue-tinged black-and-white, and a choppy video effect make the sequence seem more scandalous than it is, more of a stolen moment. The movie is a love story and a musical; this opener is sex. And so: “Be My Baby.”

Earlier that year, in March, broadcast television had aired what it’s fair to call one of its most anticipated and talked-about sex scenes of the 1980s. It was the 14th episode of the third season of Moonlighting, which starred Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis as Maddie and David, the former cover girl and the hustling fast-talker who ran a detective agency together. The show had held back their pairing as long as it could — fantasy sequences where they kissed, unusual circumstances where they kissed and took it back. TV was very good at giving people what they wanted, but not really, not yet.

In the episode “I Am Curious … Maddie” (the title a reference to a controversial Swedish film), Maddie has been juggling her interest in David with the presence of Sam, played by Mark Harmon. Sam has proposed. David and Sam wind up in a brawl, with Maddie miserable about being caught in the middle and disappointed in both of them. But after an evening out with the faithful Ms. DiPesto, the office secretary, Maddie returns home, where Sam has been staying with her, prepared to turn his proposal down and … have sex one last time. (Look, it’s Mark Harmon.)

In one of those sequences that only happen on television, she breaks it off with Sam, which she explains in a dark room to what she assumes is his blanket-covered form, telling him that she does love him, but she also loves David, and she knows that will be the end. She undresses and gets into bed, but of course, it turns out the form in the bed is not Sam — it’s David. She’s irate, she’s embarrassed, and once again, she’s lost control of the situation. David tells her Sam is gone. It’s just the two of them now. The two men have written the ending without her.

And so, as they have been doing for nearly three seasons, with him in underwear and her wrapped in a sheet, they fight. “This is ridiculous,” she says, adding, “I’m miserable.” He growls back, “So am I.”

It goes like this, starting with him: “Fine.” “Fine.” “Good.” “Good.” “Bitch.” “Bastard.” And she slaps him. He doesn’t react. “Get out,” she says. He doesn’t move. She slaps him again. “Get out,” she repeats. He doesn’t react. And then, when she raises her arm and goes to slap him a third time, he catches her wrist in his hand.

Dunk, da-dunk, chh. Dunk, da-dunk, chh. NANANANANANA…

This is also “Be My Baby.” And they kiss, and then they sink to the floor. While they make out and grab at each other, he turns over a table (kiiiiind of unnecessarily?) and they keep rolling around on the floor. And then we see them in bed, and in maybe the most surprising shot of the scene, they pull back a little bit and smile at each other. Freeze-frame, credits.

Twice in one year, Ronnie Spector’s voice, in perhaps her best-known song, signaled sex, but not just sex: desire, particularly the desires of women. “Be My Baby” had also played under the home-movie montage that made up the opening titles of Martin Scorsese’s Mean Streets in 1973, but in that case seemingly for the nostalgia, for the time period, and perhaps to fit nicely with the shots of an actual infant. But in these two 1987 sequences, its capacity to call out to desire is used, rather than its style and era — which of course are contemporary for the characters in Dirty Dancing, but which belong to one of the many “oldies” used in Moonlighting.

It’s worth a note to recognize that “Be My Baby” was 24 years old in 1987 — roughly the same age “I Don’t Wanna Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith is now. My bones are dust.

“Be My Baby” starts with that thumping, then it adds that NANANANANA, then Ronnie Spector’s voice — which blares along with the rest of the Wall of Sound — and then, a couple of phrases in, just as she reaches the line “So won’t you say you love me,” there’s this tremendous low sounding of horns, this “WAAAAAH” that signals the build-build-build of any good sex song. And then the crashing of the waves on the shore, the train going into the tunnel, you get the idea.

It’s no wonder “Be My Baby” was used to introduce both a romantic coming of age and a deeply dysfunctional sexual relationship that would inspire decades of paranoia about whether couples with sexual tension on television should be allowed to actually have sex. (Most of this springs from a historical misapprehension of what actually happened to Moonlighting, but a myth is a myth.) It’s a simple but essential song with a tremendous vocal that sounds like nothing else.

Ronnie Spector was still putting out new music when all this happened — the year before, she (and “Be My Baby”) had been integral to the Eddie Money hit “Take Me Home Tonight.” But a legend is a legend not only because of the work she does in the moment, but because of the way her work echoes over decades and shows up over and over again in new ways.

And in 1987, when I was 16, my favorite movie and my favorite TV show agreed on what song was the sound of something sexy on the way.

Dunk, da-dunk, chh. Dunk, da-dunk, chh. NANANANANANA…

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Ronnie Spector, lead singer of The Ronettes, has died at age 78

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Ronnie Spector, lead singer of The Ronettes, has died at age 78

Ronnie Spector, lead singer of the 1960s girl group The Ronettes, has died at 78 after a bout with cancer. She recorded a string of pop hits including “Walking In The Rain” and “Be My Baby.”


MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Ronnie Spector, lead singer of the 1960s group The Ronettes, has died at 78. A statement from her family on her website indicates she died after a bout with cancer. Her song, “Be My Baby” and others with a framework for her strong and beautiful voice – a voice that changed the notion of so-called girl groups by adding a bit of grit to the notion of the delicate female of the early 1960s. Her early work, her entire career influenced bands ranging from The Beatles to the Ramones. NPR Music’s Ann Powers is the producer of the Turning The Tables series, which looks at the influence of women like Ronnie Spector on popular music.

Hey there, Ann.

ANN POWERS, BYLINE: Hello. What a sad moment it is today.

KELLY: Yeah, it is. I feel like I need to establish the soundtrack for this interview. I just mentioned that song, “Be My Baby.” Let’s hear it for a moment as you and I speak.

(SOUNDBITE OF THE RONETTES SONG, “BE MY BABY”)

KELLY: I mean, pause. Yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “BE MY BABY”)

THE RONETTES: (Singing) I knew I needed you so. And if I had the chance…

KELLY: We all know it. Just speak to what made this such a landmark song in pop music.

POWERS: I mean, many people talk about the wall of sound that Phil Spector created – the production of this record. But you know what, Mary Louise? You cannot build a house without a foundation. You cannot build a house without the materials that are the best. And Ronnie Spector’s voice in this song, it defines rock and roll because it defines yearning, youthfulness, ambition, possibility, tenderness and toughness all at once. And I think that’s why this song is so classic.

KELLY: Yeah. Well, and we’ve mentioned already the influence that she had that went far beyond that song and how it went into pop starting in the 1960s and beyond. Give us some examples.

POWERS: Well, The Ronettes, you know, broke through with songs like “Be My Baby” in the very early ’60s, and their biggest fans were some guys from England – The Beatles, The Rolling Stones.

(LAUGHTER)

POWERS: And not only were these…

KELLY: The boy bands – yep.

POWERS: Yeah. There’s a few boy bands, you know? And not only were they fans of Ronnie. They were friends and proteges in a way. Everything about her performance, her style and her vocal technique influenced the British Invasion so much. And then again in the 1970s with groups like the New York Dolls and the Ramones – Joey Ramone’s whole thing is all about wishing he could be Ronnie Spector. Her influence also – you can hear it in Chrissie Hynde’s voice. And today, I think an artist like Mitski – it’s that willingness to go all out in a vocal while still, you know, being self-possessed.

KELLY: And then she was also known just for her personal style. How would you describe it?

POWERS: Well, you know, the eyeliner for one thing, right? (Laughter). I mean, the look of The Ronettes and of Ronnie – a leather jacket, her hair piled high, looking tough, looking beautiful, but also self-invention. The Ronettes were teenagers who imagined their own image, you know? And I think that’s been such a huge influence on rock and roll, too. Ronnie Spector was all about being the person you dreamed you could be. You hear that in her voice, and you see that in her style.

KELLY: Well, Ann Powers of NPR Music, I could ask you more, but I think maybe we just want to listen and bop along for a few seconds.

Thanks for coming.

POWERS: Oh, let’s hear some more. We love you, Ronnie.

KELLY: Yeah. Remembering Ronnie Spector of The Ronettes who has died at 78.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, “YOU CAN’T PUT YOUR ARMS AROUND A MEMORY”)

RONNIE SPECTOR: (Singing) It doesn’t pay to try. All the smart girls know why. It doesn’t mean I didn’t try. I just never know why.

Copyright © 2022 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

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Moonchild (feat. Lalah Hathaway), ‘Tell Him’

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Moonchild (feat. Lalah Hathaway), ‘Tell Him’

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“Tell Him,” the latest single from L.A.-based alternative R&B trio Moonchild, is a bittersweet re-telling of love gone sour. Over a bouncy, drum-heavy groove and dreamy keys, lead singer Amber Navran fights with everything she’s got to put things back in order: “I give him the food I’m making I give him the money I’m saving / He won’t hear a thing I’m saying / Just wanna make it right.” Soon, soul vocal legend Lalah Hathaway joins the conversation, urging Narvan to communicate her discontent with the simple line, “You gonna have to tell him,” providing an aching snapshot of a relationship in the midst of collapse.

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A 2nd suspect is arrested, another is indicted in rapper Young Dolph’s death

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A 2nd suspect is arrested, another is indicted in rapper Young Dolph’s death

Young Dolph was gunned down on Nov. 17, 2021, in his hometown of Memphis.

Paul R. Giunta/Invision/AP

Paul R. Giunta/Invision/AP

INDIANAPOLIS — A Tennessee man wanted in the fatal shooting of rapper Young Dolph in his hometown of Memphis was captured Tuesday in Indiana, while another man was indicted on murder charges, authorities said.

A grand jury indicted Cornelius Smith, 32, on first-degree murder and other charges in the shooting that killed Young Dolph, the Shelby County, Tennessee, District Attorney’s Office said. Smith, who was arrested last month on an auto-theft warrant involving the vehicle used in Young Dolph’s killing, was being held without bond.

Separately, the U.S. Marshals Service said Justin Johnson, 23, was arrested after a murder warrant was issued for him earlier this month. The agency did not say where in Indiana that Johnson was found.

Young Dolph, whose real name was Adolph Thornton Jr., was gunned down in a daylight ambush at a popular cookie shop on Nov. 17.

U.S. Marshal Tyreece Miller, Memphis Police Chief C. J. Davis and Shelby County District Attorney General Amy Weirich said they would hold a joint press conference Wednesday to provide more details.

The shooting stunned Memphis and shocked the entertainment world. City officials and community activists pointed to the killing as a symbol of the dangers of gun violence in Memphis, where more than 300 homicides were reported last year.

Known for his depictions of tough street life and his independent approach to the music business, Young Dolph was admired for charitable works in Memphis. He organized Thanksgiving food giveaways, donated thousands of dollars to high schools, and paid rent and covered funeral costs for people in the Castalia Heights neighborhood where he was raised. When he was killed, the 36-year-old rapper was in Memphis to hand out Thanksgiving turkeys and visit a cancer center.

A private funeral was held on Nov. 30 and a section of a street in the neighborhood where he grew up was renamed for him on Dec. 15. He also was honored at a public celebration at FedExForum, the home of the NBA’s Memphis Grizzles and the University of Memphis men’s basketball team.

Young Dolph was born in Chicago and moved to Memphis with his parents when he was 2. He released numerous mixtapes, starting with 2008′s “Paper Route Campaign,” and multiple studio albums, including his 2016 debut “King of Memphis.” He also collaborated on other mixtapes and albums with fellow rappers Key Glock, Megan Thee Stallion, T.I., Gucci Mane, 2 Chainz and others.

He had three albums reach the top 10 on the Billboard 200, with 2020′s “Rich Slave” peaking at No. 4.

Young Dolph had survived previous shootings. He was shot multiple times in September 2017 after a fight outside a Los Angeles hotel. In February of that year, his SUV was shot at in Charlotte, North Carolina, more than 100 times. That was the inspiration for the song “100 Shots.”

He said he survived because he had bulletproof panels in his vehicle.

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