Taylor Dayne Talks About Her New Album And Being An Opening Act For The Bad Tour

Sources: HNGN – By Michael Lello | All Things Michael


In the late ’80s and early ’90s, you’d be hard-pressed to turn on the radio and not hear Taylor Dayne. With massive hits like “Tell It To My Heart” and “Love Will Lead You Back,” the Long Island-born performer landed 18 songs in the top 10 of Billboard’s charts and sold 75 million records.

After what was perceived as a 10-year hiatus – she didn’t release an album in the United States between 1998’s “Naked Without You” and 2008’s “Satisfied” – Dayne is firmly entrenched in phase two of her career, which has thus far been a success. “Beautiful,” the lead single from “Satisfied,” hit the top of the Billboard Hot Dance chart, and “Crash,” from the same album, was used by ABC in a promotional spot.

Now, Dayne is developing a re-recorded, re-mastered version of her greatest hits for an upcoming release, and today she drops her new single “Dreaming” and the song’s accompanying video, which makes its exclusive premiere at HNGN.com.

We chatted with Dayne today about the new song and video, the process of revisiting her biggest songs for the upcoming release and opening for Michael Jackson on his gargantuan “Bad” tour.

HNGN.com: Today’s a big day for you, with both the single and video for “Dreaming” coming out. You’ve obviously been through this before, but how does it feel this time?

Taylor Dane: Oh my god, it’s always exciting. You do all your work, the preparation, and it’s just so funny because it’s gone 360 degrees to where we started – back in the day, we were just releasing singles.

And then the song always goes through the machine and you try to put your best foot forward artistically. Hopefully the fans get it.

HNGN.com: Tell us about the process of creating “Dreaming.”

TD: I collaborated with some young guys; they’ll send me a track and say, “What do you think?” It wasn’t written very recently, it was a couple years ago, but it kind of went a little retro but also allowed me to deliver vocally what I want to do. It’s really an end-of-summer, Indian Summer song, and pop, of course. It’s retro with a little kick in there from the ’70s and Blondie too. It’s a fun track, it’s sexy.

HNGN.com: What about the process of making the video?

TD: It’s back to basics. You’re seeing what we did. I took a photographer, a dear friend of mine, Chris Ameruoso, I told him, “I need to do this really guerilla style.” I trust him and how we work together. I really feel that I’ve done very high-end videos and very beauty-oriented videos, but I wanted it to be dream-esque, with a little bit of slow motion. And we captured the song. You’re seeing it kind of guerilla style, but at the same time it looks quite beautiful, and I think it really captures the song. It’s just me, but you get the essence of the waves and the movement.

HNGN.com: Is the single part of a full album? What else should fans expect from you in the near future?

TD: I’ve re-recorded my greatest hits, so as they say, I’m building some leverage and platforms out there to get the audience reacquainted with my music so I can make some noise with my greatest hits. I’m not sure whether that’s going to turn into duets or different versions. We’re having a really good time with it, and there’s a lot of people coming out of the woodwork to get involved.

HNGN.com: You took a break for about 10 years to focus on family. How would you describe your time away from the music business?

TD: Nothing stopped on my end, but you did notice that the music industry changed during that period. [The break] wasn’t on purpose. I signed with BMG Germany, and then we had a few mergers with BMG and Sony. I had kids unconventionally and I moved – I live in L.A. now. I did release a bunch of singles.

HNGN.com: You opened some shows on Michael Jackson’s “Bad” tour, which ran from 1987 through 1989. What do you remember?

TD: Well, I mean you have to remember it was the height of Michael’s career. It was the culmination of everything we ever witnessed on stage, which was the ultimate entertainer who took it to the next level. …

It was complete pandemonium. They would show people passing out at the shows. It was absolutely mayhem, but it was the most exciting thing. It was the greatest show on earth.


Read more here

Review: Orianthi Impresses Live At Hard Rock Cafe

Sources: ABS-CBSnews – By Jackie Dosmanos | All Things Michael


It’s the third and final leg of female guitar whiz Orianthi’s first visit in Manila. Previously, she strutted her stuff at the Chef & Brewer in Ortigas Center and 19 East in Sucat, Paranaque.

Orianthi flew to Manila primarily to promote her latest single “Every Road Leads To You,” a recent collaboration with Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora. The bigger come-on to see her performance begins with the YouTube videos in which she trades licks with the likes of Steve Vai. She also played in rehearsals with the legendary Michael Jackson in rehearsals for a world tour aborted by the Gloved One untimely demise. Her own idol Carlos Santana said Orianthi would be at the top of his list of candidates he’d pass on the baton when the legendary guitar player decides to lay down his axe for good.

All seats were already taken at the appointed show start. The crowd, who spent a two-hour wait feasting on Hard Rock’s gastronomic delights, stood up and cheered when the diminutive (by rock standards) Orianthi finally walked up to the stage.

She wore a top hat, black dress with sequined black coat and a black pair of short pants. The more striking things about her were her long blonde hair and the slight drawl when she greeted the audience with a curt, “How are you?”

After a spiel about loving every minute of her stay in Manila and a promise to be back soon, Orianthi launched into “Heaven In This Hell,” a crunchy pop-metal fare where she regaled the audience with a smooth, virtuosic guitar shredding solo before the fade-out. A batch of songs from her two previous albums got the same treatment before she unleashed a stirring cover of Santana’s blues classic “Europa.”

Orianthi picked up the pace once more with a pop-rocking “According To You,” the song she performed with Carrie Underwood at the 2009 Grammys. With her fluid guitar work, it broke the teenage wunderkind Orianthi from relative obscurity to mainstream fame.


She then delivered a wildly appreciated guitar run that rocked the funk in Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition” followed by a luscious jam with former General Luna lead guitarist Caren Mangaran. The latter was particularly impressive because instead of the typical grimace of male shredders, the crowd witnessed two lovely smiling faces comfortably picking melodic chords from their respective instruments.

Occasional wolf whistles issued at the back end of the hall but they came mostly from artist manager Ronnie Henares who had a hand in bringing Orianthi to Manila.

In fact, there was hardly any obvert sensuality emanating from the stage. Instead, an almost reverential awe came from the audience marveling at the peerless playing from Ori and her superb interaction with an all-Filipino back-up band.

The musicians played well together showcasing the support band’s remarkable timing at the beginning of every song, allowing Ori wide room to explore with her guitar. They may have known each another for only a week or so, but the apparent spontaneity of the whole show felt as if drawn from a long experience playing off each player’s strengths.

It’s easy to name check the sources that inspired Orianthi’s young career – ‘70s Santana, ’80 Eddie Van Halen, ‘90s Steve Vai.

On this night however, she was one original figure apart from her idols. Heroine or goddess of shred, all right, but also this generation’s best guitar slinger, to boot.

Read more here


Sources: Heedmag | All Things Michael


Acclaimed A-list dancer and rising solo artist Alvester Martin concludes his illustrious dancing career as the male lead in Michael Jackson’s latest music video titled A Place With No Name, the second single off of the musical icon’s posthumous album Xscape.  The video went viral last night via Michael Jackson’s Twitter, and everyone is talking about it!

Alvester Martin has gained legions of fans, having toured and performed with such icons as Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Rihanna, Jennifer Lopez and Queen Latifah,  Finally stepping into his own, and already noticed for his good looks by Essence Magazine, Alvester has recently signed with Universal Music Group as a solo recording artist.  His debut album entitled Love Me or Leave Me is slated for release in the Fall/Winter of 2014, and will be exclusively distributed through Emagine/Universal Music Group!


Check out Alvester as the lead in Michael Jackson’s latest video “A Place With No Name”

***BONUS*** Here’s his new single “So High.” Check it out.

Read more at Heedmag

Orianthi Remembers Michael As “Very Sweet And Very Encouraging”

Sources: Interaksyon – By Edwin P. Sallan | All Things Michael


Although she’s currently in town to promote her own shows, acclaimed rock guitarist Orianthi doesn’t mind talking about the music icons that she has had the privilege of meeting and working with.

Chief among them is of, course, the late King of Pop Michael Jackson who personally handpicked the 29-year-old Adelaide native as his lead guitarist for his much-publicized but ultimately aborted “This Is It” world tour in 2009.

“Working with Michael Jackson was a truly surreal experience for me. I played in front of him during my audition and he asked me to do ‘Dirty Diana’ and ‘Beat It’. I remember him as being very sweet and very encouraging,” Orianthi recalled during her press conference at the Hard Rock Café in Makati shortly after her arrival in the country.

Orianthi added that even if she didn’t get to play with MJ in front of millions of fans for the planned tour, she did get to perform with him during rehearsals for the last three months of his life prior to his untimely demise, footages of which were included in the film, “This Is It”, a documentary about the tour.

“We had a blast working together. I learned a lot from our band. They’re all my friends now,” she further said.

Michael Jackson's "This Is It"

Orianthi also spoke fondly about playing with other artists like Carlos Santana, Alice Cooper and Bon Jovi’s Ritchie Sambora whose song, “Every Road Leads To You” she performed with her acoustic guitar before the start of the press conference proper.

“They’re all very cool people. It’s always very cool to meet your idols,” she mused.

Orianthi will headline her own shows on August 22 at the Chef and Brewer on Emerald Ave. in Ortigas Center; August 25 at the 19 East at Km. 19, East Service Road in Sucat, Paranaque; and August 27 at the Hard Rock Café in Makati.

For ticket inquiries, contact Chef and Brewer at 6387023 for her August 22 show; 19 East at 8376903 and 09494984405 for her August 25 performance; and Hard Rock Café at 8934661 to 65 for her August 27 concert.

Read more at Interaksyon

International Guitarist Orianthi Recalls Her Experience Working With Michael Jackson And More

Sources: Yahoo – By Maridol   | All Things Michael


Many are called, but few are chosen.

Australian musician Orianthi is one of the privileged ones who have worked with Michael Jackson in in rehearsals for his aborted “This is It” concert series (he passed away before the series kicked off).

The King of Pop himself called an incredulous Orianthi and asked her to be his guitarist in his London show, a privilege granted only to the the likes of Eddie Van Halen, Slash and Jennifer Batten.

“Working with Michael was surreal. He was brilliant,” Orianthi said at a presscon in Hard Rock Cafe last Tuesday, August 19.

Human and hilarious 

But the Gloved One was also as human as can be.

“He was inside a giant spider covered with crystals while ‘Thriller’ (one of Michael’s signature songs) was playing. But he couldn’t get out. So he continued to move in circles until he said, ‘Can someone get me out of this?”

Orianthi found this hilarious.

Michael must have seen so much promise in the young guitarist, he advised her: “Project. Do what you wanna do. Don’t hold back. Just entertain people because that’s what we were born to do.”

Playing with legends

Santana is another mentor.The legendary musician is one of the big reasons Orianthi became a guitarist. Her guitarist-father took her to a Santana show when Orianthi was 11 and she was blown away.

Five years after, Orianthi shared the stage with Santana himself in a performance she will never forget. The legendary guitarist heard about Orianthi and invited her to his soundcheck to jam with him.

Impressed, Santana asked her to go on stage when he had a concert tour in Australia.

“I thought it was just to have my guitar signed. I would have been happy.”

‘Never fear’

But Santana asked her to stay on stage where she played for 35 minutes and performed solo.

He also advised Orianthi: “Never fear. Just play.”

Michael Jackson and Santana are not the only music icons Orianthi has worked with.  The others are Aerosmith’s Steve Tyler, Alice Cooper and Bon Jovi’s Richie Sambora.

After seeing singer-songwriter and Journey lead vocalist Arnel Pineda’s show, Orianthi wants to add him to her list of co-performers and collaborators.

“He’s such an incredible singer. He has such amazing talent and an incredible range. He’s a great person too.”

The words are music to the ears, not just of the press people, but of Rene Walter, president/CEO of Management (USA) which handles the two artists’ careers.

Chicken adobo fan

The collaboration, Walter added, must happen ASAP.

Orianthi herself wants to feel the Manila music scene. After stepping out of the plane the night before the presscon, the occasional chef can’t wait to look around and taste chicken adobo.

“I’m really excited to be In Manila for the (Every Road) tour. I can’t wait.”

The tour, named after “Every Road Leads Home to You,” the new single by Bon Jovi’s Richie Sambora in which Orianthi is featured, will take her to Chef and Brewer (Friday, August 22), GMA 7’s “Sunday All Stars” (August 24), 19 East (Monday, August 25), MYX (Tuesday, August 26) and Hard Rock Café (Wednesday, August 27).

The first-time Manila visitor brings with her decades of experience performing all over the world – Russia, Japan, India, other parts of Europe and her native Australia.

Retaining her femininity

Orianthi’s road tours are with predominantly male musicians she treats like brothers.

How has she managed to retain her femininity in a male-dominated field?

“I may be one of the guys. But I must be myself,” she replies.

It was not easy being herself at first. One of Orianthi’s school teachers asked her to try the harp instead because it’s “more feminine.” Orianthi stuck to her guitar, and the rest, as they say, is history.

To those who want to follow in her footsteps, Orianthi has this to say, “Never give up. Continue what you’re doing.”

By continuing what she’s doing, Orianthi can’t ask for more.  She’s having the time of her life.


Read more at Yahoo


Interview With Michael Jackson Bassist Alex Al

Sources: Broadway World | All Things Michael

MJ musicians Johnathan Moffett and Alex Al

MJ musicians Johnathan Moffett and Alex Al

You might not know the name Alex Al but you’ve definitely heard his work. From Michael Jackson‘s bassist to recording with people like Stevie Wonder, Beyoncé and Sting, Alex is everywhere. He recently talked with Breedlove about his various projects and of course about his Breedlove gear.

Breedlove: You have done so many things in your career…what is the first thing that jumps out as a memorable moment?

Alex Al: First off, I’d like to thank you for asking me to be Breedlove’s featured artist this month.

Probably, the most memorable moment for me would be getting the call for Herbie Hancock‘s Grammy award winning ‘Tribute to Gershwin’ project. I didn’t know it at the time, but the record would go on to help break down the musical barriers between classical and jazz music. The project also featured the legendary genius of Stevie Wonder, with whom I had worked with, and it also connected me with legends, Joni Mitchell and Wayne Shorter, all in a single day. It was an amazing record to be a part of.

BL: Being on the Michael Jackson “This is It” movie…what was that like:

AA: Working with Michael in the ‘This Is It’ movie, was one of greatest musical experiences of my life. Being there with him everyday taught me the importance of hard work, perseverance, and being committed to your art 100%, while striving to always be kind to others in the process. To be able to support Michael during this musical venture was truly an epic experience for me. No one knew it at the time, but the King of Pop was making history all over again with ‘This Is It’. It went on to become the most successful music movie documentary of all time. In its first opening weekend it grossed $101 million worldwide, making it the number one film at the box office, and on its theatrical run, the film’s worldwide revenue gross was nearly $300 million. The love for Michael’s music is ever growing and worldwide. To be a part of this was truly a magical journey, a musical and memorable gift that I greatly cherish. We all miss him dearly.

BL: Do you have a favorite Michael track?

AA: Being a long time fan of Michael’s music, and fortunate enough to also record with him in the studio, I would have to say that ‘Human Nature’ is one of the most beautiful melodies I have ever heard Michael sing. It’s also one of the best songs in the history of pop music in my opinion.

BL: Also being a session musician you’ve had the chance to play on quite a few albums. Do you have a style of music you like best?

AA: I’ve been asked that many times. I don’t really have a favorite style of music. I mostly enjoy combining different styles of music together. I feel when done authentically, it brings a diverse group of people together, which I think is always a good thing. I come from a very diverse musical family. Each family member had a definitive style of music they cherished from Gospel, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Classical and Soul music. I think I embraced it all and the love they had for it, and I try to bring this musical focus into the studio when recording bass on Pop songs. Growing up in such a diverse musical place as Detroit, Michigan, the sounds of Motown and every other style of music was on the radio. As a result, it has always been my goal as a bassist to combine the Motown bass sound of the legendary James Jamerson with the Minneapolis bass sound of Prince.

BL: Who is the best player you’ve recorded with?

AA: On genius musical level, I would have to say Stevie Wonder. He is a true musical genius several times over.

BL: You just recently came off the Arsenio Hall Show. We were lucky enough to come watch and it was full of energy. What’s the big difference with playing for a live TV audience and play on stage for an arena?

AA: Anytime I work with late night icon, Arsenio Hall, a good time is always had by all. Everyday Arsenio brought this creative positive energy into the TV studio, so as his bassist I wanted to make sure I did the same. Being on his stage with a great group of musicians, the Posse 2.0, you realize that it’s like being in the recording studio and playing live at the same time. You know every note will be heard for a lifetime, yet you have to take creative chances to keep things exciting.

In an arena, you have that tidal wave of energy coming towards you being in front of 50,000 people. You rise to the occasion and you have to deliver that energy and more back to the audience. It’s really what sharing your gift is all about on many levels.

BL: Let’s talk gear…you play a Breedlove Studio Bass and a Premier 12 string. What do you like about those instruments?

AA: I really love the Premier 12 string guitar. It’s a beautiful instrument, and every time I pick it up ideas flow through my hands like never before. The tone is full and rich, yet very clear. The Studio acoustic electric bass has a great tone with great response. It’s able to really cover any style of music, which works well for me. These two instruments work well together, because I can track both guitar and bass on any given song, and the combination is massive in sound!

BL: What’s next for you?

AA: With a demanding session schedule, which I am truly grateful for, I am working on my solo record in between projects, and I am writing for other artists as well. I feel that it’s an exciting time for a songwriter and musician, with so many things going on in the world that need to be brought to global awareness through music. This is one of the reasons I believe God gave us music.

Read more at Broadway World

Breedlove’s spotlight on Alex

Choreographer Jaime King’s Boy Band IM5 To Headline Anti-Bullying Tour

Sources: JSOnline – By Piet Levy | All Things Michael


Jamie King, a native of Verona, Wis., directed Bruno Mars’ Super Bowl halftime concert, as well as the blockbuster Cirque du Soleil production “Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour.” He’s also Madonna’s creative director. And one of his latest projects, the boy band IM5, is coming to Milwaukee on Tuesday.

Co-founded by “American Idol” creator Simon Fuller and celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, IM5 is headlining the anti-bullying Allstar Nation Tour, featuring artists ages 12 to 20. Tristan Blaine, The House on Cliff, Jessie Chris, My Only Escape and Danielle Prou are also on the bill.

The Allstar Nation Tour makes a stop at the Miramar Theatre, 2844 N. Oakland Ave., at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Tickets are $15 to $100 at the box office and klikevents.net.


Read more at JSOnline


Michael Jackson Was My Dance Student – Jeffrey Daniel

Sources: Sunday Newswatch | All Things Michael


Shalamar, we were doing a series of concerts at Disneyland and then my Road Manager Stanley, Dillard, said, “Jeffrey, your student is coming to see you.” I said ‘who?

He said “Michael Jackson is coming to see you at Disneyland”’ and I said, ‘really?’ So Michael brought little Janet Jackson with him and they stood on the side of the stage and watched because I was already doing the backslide on stage and body popping and people were going bananas. So, Michael wanted to know this dance so he came down to watch us and the next thing I knew, I got a phone call and that is when I started teaching him in 1980.

But he didn’t do it the moon walk until 1983. I did it on Soul Train in 1979 and in 1982 on Top of the Pops on British television but Michael would do it a year later in the Motown 25th with Billy Jean.

We worked together from 1980 to almost 2000. The last job I had with him was in the late 90s’ and then I moved to Japan in 2000 and I’ve been in Japan since until now that I’m in Nigeria.

The MJ experience

First, it was unbelievable. Michael had a reputation for being very illusive and introverted. Suddenly, you’re just one on one with him, and you’re like, all right. Okay, I have to admit, at first, I was star struck, of course I was. It didn’t take Thriller and Billy Jean for him to become a star, he was a superstar for the black community from the day one. So for me, just being one on one with him was amazing. Our relationship was great.

We really had a lot of fun together and we talked about everything. He was very inquisitive, so he asked about everything.

He and I are both Virgos. I was born August 24th, he was born August 29th and we did not know that we were so much alike in a sense that I’m the kind of person who would wait for someone to propose to me. I had that problem with girls.

Girls are waiting for me to make the first move while I am waiting for them, so a lot of times nothing happens. They think I’m not interested because I’m not jumping on them, but I just don’t jump on things like that. Our musical tastes were also very similar.

…And the beat goes on

Because I was Michael’s choreographer, everybody wanted me. I worked with the actress singer, Vanessa Williams, I did her debut video. I did Johnny Hughes debut video, I worked with Arnold Schwarzzeneger and Danny DeVito on the movie Twins, Baby Face, LL Cool J, Will Smith for the Grammy’s, Japanese artistes that you wouldn’t know, UK artistes a group called Incognito, LaToya Jackson, Randy Jackson, Marlon Jackson, I didn’t work with Janet because I was Michael’s choreographer and she had her own.


Read the full interview here