Browsing Tag

Grammy Awards

Behind The Brand: Songza

It’s one thing to stream curated playlists on Songza.

It’s quite another to hear insights about the music app from an insider.

Eric Davich - Songza

Name: Eric Davich (@EricSongza)

Position: Co-Founder & Chief Content Officer

Education: Music, Bowdoin College

Favourite app, other than your own: Waze

Favourite band: Phish


Favourite Songza playlist: That varies based on my context – where I am, what I’m doing, what I’m feeling. A playlist that I discovered recently and played on my way to work is called Sensitive Men of the ’90s.

Professional role model(s): We have a lot of mentors and advisors that are really close to the Songza family. My dad has been a very hard worker and has a very entrepreneurial creative spirit. He’s responsible for my love of music. He’s been incredibly supportive as a father and as a mentor my whole life.

What excites you about working at Songza?

We’re a very small tight-knit team here. Everyone’s got their own quirky personality and is very excited to be working on this product. It’s a real pleasure and honour to work with the Songza team, who are in many cases smarter than me [laughs]. I’m privileged to learn a lot from [them].

What is the culture like at Songza’s headquarters in New York?

We’re a quirky and weird bunch. Our office space is bare bones. We’re not one of those start-up companies that buy lots of expensive furniture or goes into the cool, hip area of town where all the other start-ups are. We’re in our own little place, away from the action, so we can keep our heads down and stay focused.

Why should music lovers download and listen to Songza?

Songza­—more than any other service by a mile—is effortless to use. Without you having to give us any information, we’re able to accurately predict what you are doing and feeling and recommend expertly curated content that’s going to make that moment better. No other service is able to deliver that experience for free nor do they have the personality.

How would you describe Songza’s personality?

Songza feels like your much cooler friend who always knows the right thing for every moment.

You’ve previously described Songza as a “lifestyle enhancer.” How has your lifestyle changed since Songza launched?

My life has changed immensely since launching the Songza business because everyone that I know now uses something I’ve created in their daily lives. In addition, I’ve been able to garner the attention and respect of a lot more people in the music and technology industry, as well as celebrities who now use Songza on a regular basis.

In terms of how Songza as an application has enhanced my life, I listen to a lot more music than I ever could have imagined. New moments in my life have been identified as moments that could use a soundtrack.

If Songza could partner with any brand(s), which brand(s) would you pick?

We would be most excited about working with Nike and Lululemon. Both are really great brands that started as athletic wear brands and have established themselves as lifestyle brands. People think of Lululemon and Nike as brands that are great at curating for their life, not just yoga and running. Their clothing and apparel is for athletics and fashion. I think both companies do a really great job at listening to their consumers and serving them with things that will make their life better. That’s very much in line with what we’re trying to do at Songza. Working with brands like that would add value to the user experience on our service.

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5 Questions With Familiar Strangers

Familiar StrangersFamiliar Strangers (Ryan Peters, Josh Gladstone and Daniel Draper) put on a great show Sunday night at Drums N Flats. Their set list included original songs like Bar in Seattle, as well as covers of Avicii’s Wake Me Up, Barenaked Ladies’ Pinch Me and The Lumineers’ Ho Hey. 

Which band do you want to reunite this year?

Ryan: Groove Street

Josh: On The Rocks

Daniel: Dispatch

Who would you like to see win big at the Grammys?

Ryan: Taylor Swift

Josh: Mumford and Sons

Daniel: Daft Punk or Robin Thicke

Do you think music videos are still important?

Ryan: Videos are a good way to get to know the band’s personality. OK Go have a really cool music video with them walking on a treadmill, which showed off their quirkiness. I think [music videos] are still important.

Josh: I think we’re in an age of visual people because of YouTube etc., so if people want to get famous, they have to go down that route, or else they won’t have a presence. But in my opinion, music should always be primary.

Daniel: I don’t think they help artists sell music, but they’re good for artists that want to make a statement. I like Lupe Fiasco and Macklemore because they recently came out with some interesting videos. What Beyoncé did by putting out a video for each song was incredibly unique and made a statement. They’re not just dancing videos; they’re telling stories.

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Stephen Colbert’s 3 Favourite Things

There is “so much [comedic] talent out there and not enough time to show it all,” Sandra Bullock astutely said during the People’s Choice Awards. The award-winning star of The Heat and Gravity took home four trophies on Wednesday night, while I sat at home wishing I had her brown wavy locks.

Kat Dennings, my other favourite brunette Hollywood star, dazzled in her role as co-host. When she quoted fans’ tweets and introduced which song Beth Behrs would sing next, she quickly made that segment a highlight of the 40th People’s Choice Awards. I promised my Facebook friends that I won’t blog more about the dance move Miley popularized last year, so let’s just say Beth’s rendition of Wrecking Ball was epic. Matt LeBlanc joked about singing a song too, but claimed that he couldn’t due to time constraints. The former Friends star then announced that The Big Bang Theory (the show with a Barenaked Ladies theme song) was named Favourite Network TV Comedy.

Kaley Cuoco AKA television’s sweetest newlywed accepted the award for Favourite Comedic TV Actress. She started the year with a bang by wearing a pink Vera Wang dress to her wedding, which she decorated with an upside-down cake hanging from a chandelier. Watching her in the opening sequence on the set of 2 Broke Girls was amusing. Remember, stars are just like us. They’re busy people who care about loyalty programs at Jamba Juice.

Whereas Justin Timberlake spoke about his team in the context of how they’re obligated to deal with his neuroses, Jennifer Hudson brought her sister into the spotlight to emphasize the importance of teamwork and family. “My mother always taught us that without family, you have nothing,” she said. Cover girl material right there. Sponsorship-related pun intended. 

Photo: Billboard

Photo: Billboard

Surprisingly, last night marked the first time Britney Spears won her a People’s Choice Award. Britney celebrated her prize and comeback in a dress that screamed Las Vegas style and reminded me how much I want to return to the west coast.

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Never Say Never

Justin Bieber and Dancers

I never thought I would see Justin Bieber perform live, but never say never!

Though I didn’t immediately recognize opener Hot Chelle Rae, it was fun to see them play their 2011 hit Tonight, Tonight, which instantly became familiar when they closed their set with it.

More than half an hour after Justin’s scheduled stage time at the Air Canada Centre on Thursday, a dramatic ten-minute countdown began. When he emerged from the ceiling wearing oversized wings, the first thing I thought of was Pink’s showstopping trapeze act at the 2009 Grammys. Justin may not have done any acrobatics, but his entrance was more than enough to excite fans.

Justin Bieber Toronto

From there, Justin literally started the show with a bang, as fireworks went off during his first song, All Around the World. Usually stars hold off on fireworks and confetti until the encore, so it was cool that these effects were used early on.

The themes for the graphics, video backdrops and dancers’ costumes ranged from outer space to underwater. Justin changed outfits at least four times and my favourite part was how he rocked fire engine red high top sneakers. (You know how much I love all things red!)

Justin Bieber Toronto

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Maria Aragon Was Born To Be A Star!

In her interview on Friday with 104.5 CHUM FM’s Joey Brooks, Lady Gaga said that her intent with her latest single, ‘Born This Way’ was to create a song with an “un-apologetically positive and strong and empowering” message.

Each time the station introduces her song now, they refer to her performance on the Grammys, when she emerged onto the stage from an ‘egg’ before launching into a highly choreographed dance.

Lady Gaga always gives something people to talk about, but now that she has broken records for digital downloads, she is making headline news. ‘Born This Way’ is the fastest selling single on iTunes – quite an accomplishment for a 24 year old. Speaking of young talent, Lady Gaga also intends to invite YouTube superstar Maria Aragon to join her on stage at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto on March 3rd. I can’t help but think about how Avril Lavigne once joined Shania Twain on stage and look where that punk princess is now…like what the hell! Imagine what the future holds for 10 year old Maria, especially once she has some professional vocal training.