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Online Beat Battle Leads to Unexpected Collaboration, New Single “Out Sick” by Pop Wallace & Boyfrens

Pop Wallace, R&B/pop artist from Carlow, Ireland, is set to drop his latest single, “Out Sick”, in collaboration with Dublin synth-pop artist Boyfrens. The song is a smooth blend of pop and R&B, with nods to early electronica, and a dreamy, trance-inducing feeling throughout.

“I left space. I wanted a feature on this,” Wallace says of the track. As for how he met his collaborator, it was when Soft Boy Records producer Gaptoof ran a series of ‘beat battles’ on Facebook in early 2021, to bring Irish musicians together online in the midst of lockdown. Gaptoof issued a sample, and producers had one week to reimagine it as a new song. The tracks were played on the night, with the best being placed on a mixtape sold on Bandcamp, with proceeds going to MASI (Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland). The event was a success, and brought together many unlikely new friends – including an R&B artist from Carlow based in Arizona, and a synth-pop singer from Dublin.

“Out Sick” features effortlessly smooth production, by Pop Wallace himself, and further developed by Shaun Hennessy (Poxy Records). The song’s lyrics deal with self-sabotage, excess, and self-worth. “My portion of the lyrics are really about binging – being aware of the damage I’m doing, and going through with it anyway.” “I know I’ve done this to myself, always picking from the bottom shelf”.

Boyfrens’ verse hides a heart-wrenching reflection on the reality of self-loathing (“if I could I would leave me”). Wallace says of the track’s raw themes, “this song, though hard, is really beautiful for me, because I know it’s real. It’s been therapeutic.”

Pop Wallace is a singer/producer from Co. Carlow, currently based in Phoenix, Arizona. In 2013, he moved to the US, after meeting his American wife in Ireland. “I used to write and play a lot. And then I moved to America and… did nothing for eight years. But the pandemic made my friends start making new music. Soon we’re thinking of starting up a label, and last year, I started learning to produce music.”

He co-founded Poxy Records in 2020, alongside hip-hop producer Willhouse and songwriter/producer Lenny Melon. “Link Up”, Wallace’s debut single, was released in June 2020. It was popular enough to warrant a successful crowdfund for an entire full-length album for Pop Wallace, “Good Boy”, whose limited edition vinyl record became Poxy Records’ first physical release in less than half a year of its existence.

He has received airplay on Cork’s RedFM, John Barker’s Totally Irish Show. on 98FM, and KCLR, and been featured by outlets including Nialler9 and Pop On Down. Wallace has gone on to collaborate prolifically, with other artists on the Irish scene including Cheesmore, Absentee, Sam Healy, Mila Moonlight and WIllhouse. As part of Poxy Records intelligent approach to crafting top-tier Irish R&B and hip-hop, he is fast proving them a force to be reckoned with on the Irish and international scene.

Boyfrens

Pop Wallace’s influences include Joji, Frank Ocean, Brockhampton, D’Angelo, Kelis, Justin Timberlake, Blue Hawaii and Craig David. His work thus far has drawn comparisons with artists such as No Rome, Crumb, DIIV, Joji, Frank Ocean and Kean Kavanagh. His music is a blend of emotionally-charged pop and contemporary R&B, most often with a dash of dark wit.

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James Arthur Announces Headline Belfast Show

James Arthur today delights fans by announcing tours of both UK & Ireland and North America in 2022.

The tour includes dates at Ulster Hall on 28th March and Olympia Theatre on 29th March.

Today’s announcement lands on a special day –  the fifth anniversary of the release of James’s global smash hit ‘Say You Won’t Let Go’.

James  will be performing songs from his upcoming new album ‘It’ll All Make Sense In The End’ alongside his classic hit singles and fan favourites.

James says: “I’m beyond happy about getting back on the road and seeing everyone again. Playing shows for my fans gives me life and that’s been taken away for the best part of two years so needless to say I’m itching to get back out there and perform for them again. Coming to a stage near you soon!

James has sold over 30 million records worldwide and has to date released three hugely successful albums ‘James Arthur’ (UK No.2), ‘Back From The Edge’ (UK No.1) and ‘YOU’ (UK No.2), alongside nine solo UK Top 40 singles. He has had two No.1 smash hits and was awarded a disc for reaching a billion streams on Spotify with ‘Say You Won’t Let Go’, the No.1 global hit that brought the singer-songwriter from Middlesbrough back from the edge (it currently has 1.7 billion streams on the platform). James recently dominated the airwaves and charts with his storming collaboration with Sigala ‘Lasting Lover’. The track was a No.1 airplay song in the UK, No.1 on iTunes and Top 10 on the Official Singles Chart.

James recently signed a new record deal in the UK with Columbia Records, a co-deal with Columbia Records Germany, and announced his new album  ‘It’ll All Make Sense In The End’,  his 4th long play release, is coming later this year.

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Foy Vance Set For SSE Arena Concert

Singer-songwriter Foy Vance is pleased to announce his largest ever headline show at The SSE Arena, Belfast on Saturday 02nd April 2022. Foy’s second studio album on Ed Sheeran’s Gingerbread Man Records and the follow-up to 2016’s The Wild SwanSigns Of Life will be released on September 10 on CD, LP and digital formats and is available to pre-order. 

Signs Of Life is the sound of a beloved singer-songwriter at the peak of his powers. It’s also the sound of a man – a husband, a father, a sinner, a drinker – belatedly coming to terms with his demons. Driven by powerful percussion, “Time Stand Still” features a soaring, emotive vocal from Vance, who was struggling with an addiction to alcohol and painkillers at the time of writing.

“I had my first extended period off the road after twenty years of constant touring,” says Vance. “And I realised: wow, I drink two bottles of wine and at least a half bottle of vodka a day. I’d start the day with codeine to get myself sorted, and I’d smoke joints throughout the day. So I realised: I have so many incredibly bad habits here. I’m showing all the signs of death, getting ashen, grey, smoking more, drinking more, smoking more…I hit a wall.”

“It was my manager that made me get help,” Vance continues. “And in those moments, you do wish time would stand still. Can’t I just stop here and sit in this moment before I have to take up that mantle?”

Signs Of Life was recorded in three locations: Vance’s Pilgrim studio at home on the shores of Loch Tay in Highland Perthshire, another recording set-up in a nearby Dunvarlich House, and at Plan B’s Kings X studio in London. The album was written and played more or less entirely by Vance, with able assistance from young Northern Irish producer Gareth Dunlop. Serendipitously, Dunlop had been inspired on his career path by a chance encounter with Vance many years before.

“When I was around 14 years-old I wandered into a coffee shop in Belfast and saw Foy playing in the corner,” Dunlop explains. “I was completely spellbound by what I heard. It was a lightbulb moment that sent me on the road of wanting to discover my own voice and musicality. I would never have imagined that I would be co-producing a record with him 18 years later, and that I would be just as inspired and spellbound by what he does.”

Created out of the grimness of 2020, Signs of Life is an album of dawn after darkness, hope after despair, engagement after isolation, uplift after lockdown. It comes in bold sleeve artwork that reflects Vance’s desire to embrace all sides of everything, all humanity’s textures. Shot on a 160-year-old camera which does arresting things with colours and shading, the back image is of Vance as a bare-chested, bare-knuckle boxer. On the front, he’s in a dress, blonde wig and theatrical make-up.

“They’re just mad, striking images, and I loved the fact that it was male and female. You know, life’s extreme, life’s volatile, life explodes into reality sometimes, and stops just as quick. So to be struck by images on the cover made sense.”

At any time, Foy Vance’s new collection of songs would be a tonic. At this particular time, they can’t arrive a moment too soon. “That’s a huge part of it,” says Vance. “Signs of Life is about re-emergence – me in my own soft revolution, the world re-emerging in what we’re about to see as we hopefully go back to some semblance of normality. But just life in general – flowers growing through the cracks in Chernobyl. Life finds a way, doesn’t it?”

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