Happy Monday! Kickstart your week ahead by checking out all of the new music that has just been released in this roundup of new songs, new albums, and new artists that you need to be listening to.
From a new album by Migos, to new songs from DNCE and Julia Michaels, to new collaborations from Zedd & Maren Morris and Sting & Shaggy, to our expert picks, take a look at this week's New Music Report.
Migos - Culture II
Migos' long-awaited sequel to its first Culture project is finally here. Culture II has a whopping 24 tracks on it and each one is better than the last. Some of the songs have already been released as single such as “Stir Fry” and “MotorSport.” Some of the guest features on the project are Ty Dolla $ign, Drake, Gucci Mane, Big Sean, 21 Savage, 2 Chainz, Travis Scott, and more. Plus, not only did Quavo flex his productions skills on Culture II, but so did Kanye West, Metro Boomin, Zaytoven, and more. It’s definitely worth a listen… or five.
Justin Timberlake featuring Chris Stapleton - "Say Something"
Another week, another new Justin Timberlake song. We've heard "Filthy" and "Supplies" from Man of the Woods, but now we have "Say Something," Justin's new collaboration with country superstar Chris Stapleton. "Say Something" is an upbeat, guitar driven pop song that shines the light on Timberlake and Stapleton's undeniable vocals, and even more incredible relationship as friends and as amazing collaborators. On Twitter, Chris said of collaborating Justin again, "Proud to be a part of this my friend." Justin and Chris previously came together for their unforgettable 2015 CMA Awards performance of "Tennessee Whiskey" and Justin's "Drink You Away."
Along with the release of the song, is the "Say Something" music video, directed by Arturo Perez Jr. The visual opens with Justin in a basement setting, creating the beat for "Say Something" on a laptop and studio equipment. Then, he walks over to a guitar, picks it up, starts playing, and takes the elevator up to meet Stapleton as the song builds from JT's original beats.
Sting featuring Shaggy - "Don't Make Me Wait"
If you asked Shaggy what he was doing last summer, he'd tell you that he was working on a record called "Don't Make Me Wait" inside of Los Angeles' famed Village studio. Fueled by a throbbing bassline, the three-minute track heard the dancehall star singing an ode to an unforgettable romance with his usual "come and get it" lure. But the song went onto another form after Martin Kierszenbaum, Sting's manager and Shaggy's former A&R executive, sent the former Police bassist the draft of the song. It was shortly afterward that Sting left his home in Malibu and surprised Shaggy by busting down the studio door and singing the track's hook. Throw some Ting - Jamaican grapefruit soda - and Gin into the mix, and you have the ingredients to their warm team-up, which was released across all major platforms on Thursday (January 25).
Zedd featuring Maren Morris & Grey - "The Middle"
The Recording Academy has recruited a variety of chart-toppers for yet another #MoreMusic surprise and this time the collaboration hears Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey all on one track called "The Middle.” "The Middle" clocks in at three minutes and hears the worlds of country and EDM crossing paths. Heavy on the synth, the bouncy cut puts Maren at the forefront as she sings about compromise and having a lover take the initiative to meet her halfway. "Oh baby/ Why don't you just meet me in the middle/ I'm losing my mind just a little/ So why don't you just meet me in the middle/ In the middle/ Baby," she sings on the vibrant hook. Zedd first introduced this song in a one-second teaser snippet on Twitter.
DNCE - "Dance"
Can you believe that DNCE have yet to release a song called "Dance" until now? Joe Jonas and company are back with a Ricky Reed-produced number that is sure to get you, well, dancing. On Friday, the band performed the new number during The Ellen DeGeneres Show, which just so happened to be the host’s 60th birthday. "Dance" marks the group's latest effort since their collab with Rob Stewart for a remake of "Do You Think I'm Sexy."
Topic & Ally Brooke - "Perfect"
Ally Brooke has paused her Fifth Harmony obligations to release a collaboration with German DJ Topic called "Perfect.” For this slice of solo Harmony, the pop star gets the chance to sing about the power of acceptance. "There's always going to be somebody smarter/ Someone prettier who works a little harder/ Someone that ain’t afraid to take it further/ And every time I feel like I ain't really worth it/ Then you say I'm perfect," she soars on the radio-friendly hook. "This song has a message that is close to my heart. I hope you love it and I hope it speaks to you like it does to me,” Brooke wrote on Twitter.
Maroon 5 featuring A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie - "Wait" (Remix)
Maroon 5 has whipped up another surprising collaboration with the release of their "Wait" remix featuring A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie. The song, which is about asking for a second chance at love, hears the Bronx rapper offering something a little more sentimental to listeners. Sure, Maroon 5 knows how to shine on a song by themselves, but this star-studded team-up is way more electric than the original. “Wait, can we work this out? I've been thinking out loud all day / Don't let me down, can't live without my bae,” A Boogie spits. “And she wanna leave, but I think it's easier/ If you let me be, you should come and see me, girl / Just think about it, girl, you should know I still think about you.” If you remember correctly, the original version of the cut was the second single off Maroon 5's latest LP, Red Pill Blues.
Lil Wayne - Dedication 6: Reloaded
Surprise, surprise! Lil Wayne just dropped Dedication 6: Reloaded. For those who aren’t already aware, this latest release is from Weezy’s DJ Drama-hosted mixtape series. On the mixtape – which is Wayne’s 7th mixtape since 2011’s Tha Carter IV – the rapper spits bars industry beats. There are also tracks on the project that we’ve never heard such as “Bloody Mary” with Juelz Santana, “Big Bad Wolf,” and “Family Feud” with Drake. So, what are you waiting for? Listen to it now!
Jason Aldean - "You Make It Easy"
Jason Aldean has returned with a brand new single called "You Make It Easy," and announced a brand new album Rearview Town. "You Make It Easy" is Jason's first single since his 2016 They Don't Know album, as well as his first piece of new music since the terrifying shooting during his set at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas last fall. The song was written by Florida Georgia Line, who had Moran Wallen sing on the demo version of the track. Jason recently told iHeartRadio of his new single:
"Tyler came over to the house one day, and we just kinda spent the day riding around in the truck and listening to songs, and he goes, 'Yeah, man. We just wrote this thing on Friday.' This was like, Monday. And he's like, 'Yeah, we just wrote this Friday,' you know, whatever, and played it for me, and I immediately knew that it was something special. And, my first question was, 'Are you guys gonna cut this?' And he goes, 'I don't know.' And I was like, 'Well, I want to if you're not.' And, he just kinda said, 'Well you're going in before us, so if you want it, it's yours.' And, so that's kinda how it happened and that was just one of those songs to me that I felt like was pretty special first time I heard it, and felt like it was gonna be a big song for us."
Mike Shinoda - Post Traumatic EP
Six months after Chester Bennington's death, Linkin Park's Mike Shinoda is releasing music, under his own name in an EP called Post Traumatic. The EP contains three songs, "Place To Start," "Over Again," and "Watch As I Fall," and were all written and produced by Shinoda, who is also responsible for all of its accompanying visuals. On social media Mike explained of Post Traumatic:
"The past six months have been a rollercoaster. Amidst the chaos, I've started to feel an intense gratitude - for your tributes & messages of support, for the career you have allowed me to have, and for the simple opportunity to create. Today, I'm sharing three songs I wrote & produced, with visuals I filmed, painted, and edited myself. At its core, grief is a personal, intimate experience. As such, this is not Linkin Park nor Fort Minor. It's just me. Art has always been the place I go when I need to sort through the complexity and confusion of the road ahead. I don't know where this path goes, but I'm grateful I get to share it with you."
X Ambassadors - "JOYFUL"
X Ambassadors are back with another new single, "JOYFUL," and it's an ode to keeping yourself centered even when the world is crashing down. It's the first taste of the band's new album of the same name, which is scheduled to drop this spring. On the song, frontman Sam Harris proves that it's easy to be mindful of the social landscape without coming off too hard. Expect to hear new material when the band embarks on a mini-tour in February and March, hitting markets like Montreal, Philadelphia and Brooklyn.
Tiësto featuring Gucci Mane & Sevenn - "BOOM"
"BOOM" -- new song from Tiësto. No, really. That's what it's called! The DJ/producer superstar released a brand new version of his original collab with dance music duo Sevenn, featuring rapper Gucci Mane. The party anthem sees the rapper stepping into the dance music world, however this isn't the first time Tiësto has dipped his toe into hip hop. He's previously worked with artists like Three 6 Mafia and Busta Rhymes among others. In a press release, Tiësto explained of his new collab, "I've always liked Gucci's flow and music, so I approached him and he was down. What I've learned about teaming up with other artists is that everyone's ear is different and everyone has their unique approach to working with a track. I know my sound very well, which can make collaborations difficult because I'm not willing to compromise my style. But, when my collaborations work, they really work. This track is an example of that."
Saint Sinner - "blood"
Producer/songwriter/singer Saint Sinner just released her brand new single, "blood." In case you're just discovering the 21-year-old, she is a "jungle hop kid" who "floats across genres with her mesmerizing vocal and unique production style, curating brooding waves that invite you for a ride." And this perfectly describes her new song. "blood" was written and produced by Saint, also co-written with Moses Elias, and produced with Greg Hansen and Jon O'Hara. In a new interview with Ones to Watch, she explains of the meaning behind the track:
"'Blood' came at a time when I really needed someone to have my back. And it ended up being me. I was surrounded by religious people who had an idea of who I should be and what made me deserving of their definition of love. Eventually, I landed at 'f*** you.' And that’s when 'blood' arrived. But it's not only that, it's also a call to similarity between us all. My blood is 1 part blue to 1 part red, and yours is too, whoever you are. So I guess it’s a 'F*** you. But I won’t stop loving you.'"
EMERGING ARTIST OF THE WEEK: Anitta
Anitta. No doubt you've seen her name before. The 24-year-old Brazilian native is adored in countries all over the world, and has accumulated a massive fanbase -- which is why she is nominated for an iHeartRadio Music Award this year as a Social Star Award nominee.
If you're just getting to know the budding star, Anitta began singing in church in Rio de Janeiro at just eight years old, and can sing in Spanish, Portuguese and English. And when she was 17, she decided to pursue a career in music. Previously, Anitta has released three non-English albums, and in Brazil, her career in music and acting has taken off. But over the last year, she's been working hard to bring her music over to the US, and throughout the rest of the world, teaming up with a few star producers.
Last year, Anitta was featured on Iggy Azalea's "Switch," Major Lazer's "Sue Cara," Poo Bear's "Will I See You," as well as with Alesso on their dance-pop collab "Is That For Me" (which was written by Poo Bear), and J Balvin's "Downtown." And, there is no slowing down for the singer in 2018, as she was just featured on J Balvin's latest single "Machika," which also features Jeon. With last year's Latin takeover in the pop world, which is sure to continue in 2018, and the fact that Anitta has already carved a path working on English music, there is definitely more for her to explore this year.
Thirty Seconds to Mars - "Dangerous Night"
Thirty Seconds to Mars is back with a brand new single, and it's the second from their yet-to-be-named fifth studio album (which will be their first since 2013's Love, Lust, Faith and Dreams). What's amazing about this song is it shows off the band's ability to be diverse in sound, as it takes a step back from their heavier rock style, but yet they still manage to make it sound like a 30STM track. The song itself is about a couple who knows they're no good for each other, but can't seem to hide their feelings. You know, that ol' tale. After hearing the band's first single "Walk on Water," and now "Dangerous Night," can't wait to hear what the rest of this album sounds like!
Kent Jones - "Merengue"
Ah, yes Kent Jones. It's been a while. You may remember Kent from his hit debut single "Don't Mind" (I know you're singing the chorus in your head right now, don't lie), but the 24-year-old is back with -- in the words of DJ Khaled -- another one. "Merengue" will make you want to dance merengue with someone, as he sings in the chorus, "Dance merengue with you mama/Dance merengue know you wanna/A little Marc Anthony/It'll bring you right back to me." Jones also samples Big Pun's "Still Not a Player" with a line in the pre-chorus that goes, "Boricua, morena/Boricua, morena/Domicana, Colombiana, Americana, Italiana."
Follow Nicole on Twitter: @NicoleMastr0
Julia Michaels - "Heaven"
After writing sex-drenched anthems for Selena Gomez and Britney Spears, it's no surprise that Julia Michaels knows how to pen them for herself. And "Heaven," her offering for the Fifty Shades Freed soundtrack, is the perfect example of her talents in the songwriting department. Atop some delicately catchy production, courtesy of MNEK, Tayla Parx, Brian "Peoples" Garcia & Morten Ristorp, the 24-year-old sings about a guy, who has changed her perspective on love, but might not ultimately be good for her. "No need to imagine'/ Cause I know it's true/ They say 'all good boys go to heaven'/ But bad boys bring heaven to you/ It's automatic/ It's just what they do," she croons with seduction over the moody melody. Michaels' "Heaven" follows a heavy set of contributions to the film soundtrack behind the likes of Hailee Steinfeld and BloodPop's "Capital Letters" and Liam Payne and Rita Ora's duet, "For You."
Willie Gomez - "Keep On"
If you told a barely-teenage Willie Gomez that he was going to move from the Dominican Republic to Miami and endure a defining era in his adolescence, it’d probably spark almost too many questions. Now, years down the line and a resume filled with dancing experience for Britney Spears, Kesha and Mary J Blige, the choreographer-turned-budding singer has released his debut single to chronicle that exact journey. Produced by Davy Nathan, who has worked with the likes of Christina Aguilera, Toni Braxton and Patti Labelle, “Keep On” is a soothing pop/trop ode to optimism, detailing the adversity he’s faced in his younger years. "There is nothing more rewarding than singing your lyrics to your own story as you share a positive message with the world. We all need to a reason to 'Keep On,’” he told iHeartRadio in a statement. Click here to buy “Keep On” on iTunes.
Follow James on Twitter: @newyorkinstinct
Lil Wayne featuring Juelz Santana - "Bloody Mary"
Lil Wayne just blessed us with his latest mixtape Dedication 6: Reloaded. The project has a number of hot tracks, but one that really stood out to us was “Bloody Mary.” This song is really special because it features Dipset’s own Juelz Santana. So, you already know that the bars on this track were out of this world. Weezy raps on the beat: “Now who am I / I’m who and why / I’m rude and kind / My cars are computerized / I’m cruising by / Smoking blunts reuben-sized / You fools can try / These tools getting utilized.”
Lil Jon featuring 2 Chainz and Offset – "Alive"
Wow, it’s been a minute since we heard any new music from Lil Jon… almost eight years to be exact. After the artist dropped 2010’s Crunk Rock, he practically went ghost in the music scene. Now, he’s making a comeback with the help of Offset and 2 Chainz. Jon dropped a new song entitled “Alive” and once you hear it, the fast-pasted track will definitely wake you right up. Jon dropped an accompanying music video for it, as well.
Follow Isha on Twitter: @IshaThorpe