October 12, 2018



The 3rd Annual Peace Song Awards celebrates the world’s most enlightened musicians—representing diverse genres, such as Rock/Pop, Hip Hop/R&B/Spoken Word, Country/American Roots/Folk, Classical/Choral/Opera, New Age/Ambient/Instrumental, World Music/World Beat, Jazz, Music Video-- and songs that can guide the way to peace on earth.

·       Jury Panel Members who will be judging this year's competition include 5-time GRAMMY winner Stewart Copeland (The Police), GRAMMY-winner and Oscar-nominee Siedah Garrett (co-wrote MJ's "Man in the Mirror" and sang with him on "I Just Can't Stop Lovin' You," among others), legendary actress/singer/songwriter Maria Conchita Alonso, award-winning composer and member of famed New Age band "2002," Randy Copus and many other iconic experts. Plus the prizes are cash and equipment.  DEADLINE TO SUBMIT IS NOVEMBER 1, 2018.  www.peacesongawards.org (click here)

TV/Film Composer Steven Chesne’s Powerful World Music Album, “Sapient: A Cantata of Peace,” Dominating 2018 Awards Season So Far with Top Honors

After an intense journey studying the shared themes of peace and human oneness taught by Buddha, Lao Tzu, Jesus, Mohammed, the Sikhs, the Hindu, the Jews, the Cheyenne, the Kikuyu, and the Baha’i, TV/Film composer Steven Chesne’s latest world music masterpiece, “Sapient: A Cantata of Peace,” is taking industry awards by storm. Debuting September 13, 2018, each track on the album is a moving, musical interpretation of a tradition’s words of peace and oneness accompanied by music and vocals influenced by its distinct culture, language and place in history. The album culminates in a powerful finale, “Nyansapo: The Wisdom Knot,” in which Chesne weaves each of the recorded interpretations one on top of the other, in a masterful achievement in counterpoint. (“Chesne has to be one of the finest composers of his day to create a moment of genius like this…” – One World Music.) A portion of sales from “Nyansapo: The Wisdom Knot” benefits UNICEF and protecting the world’s most vulnerable children. 

Listen to “Sapient,” www.chezworks.com/sapient.html (CLICK)

“Sapient” honors to date:
·        Global Music Awards (Gold Medals for “Best Album” and “Best Composition”)
·        John Lennon Songwriting Contest (“Best World Music Song”)
·        International Songwriting Competition (“Best Composition”)
·        International Music & Entertainment Awards (“Spiritual Album of the Year”)
·        Clouzine Int’l Music Awards (“Best World Music Album”)
·        Hollywood Music in Media Awards (Official Nominee)
·        Chesne special featured guest on influencer Holly Shaw’s iTunes podcast “Performers & Creators Lab” discussing “Sapient,” premiers today, CLICK

In preparation for recording, Chesne met with historians, translators, clergy, monks, rabbis, imams,  linguists, etc., to study these sacred writings. He chose vocalists who had deep understandings of the traditions they were interpreting, so they felt comfortable being naturally expressive.

“Bringing these powerful teachings back into the spotlight during this challenging phase of our evolution, made this the most important project I’ve ever done,” said Chesne, a long-time voting member of The Recording Academy. “The response has been thrilling and humbling. If I were lucky enough for ‘Sapient’ to receive a GRAMMY® nomination, this music and these universal truths would reach the widest of audiences, and that’s always been my goal.”

“… this is an album for the entire world, without doubt.” -- Steve Sheppard, Music Reviewer

Chesne’s prolific career has spanned from symphonic to film and television. He has composed more than 300 primetime television scores, including “Batman: The Animated Series,” “Family Matters,” and “Hanging with Mr. Cooper.” He also has scored 17 theatrical art-house films, and ASCAP formally recognized his creative contribution to art-house cinema. His orchestral works include four symphonies, two concertos, two orchestral suites, and more.

Married to Diane Chesne, a concert pianist, the couple has two sons, Dimitri and Dorian.

October 11, 2018


Award-winning TV/Film composer Steven Chesne is today's featured guest on Hollywood influencer Holly Shaw's popular iTunes podcast, "Performers & Creators Lab." On the episode, Shaw talks to Chesne about the motivation behind his recently released, award-winning "Sapient: A Cantata of Peace" -- "I've always been fascinated by ancient traditions and teachings of love, peace and oneness...we are broken right now...music and unity can help the world heal."

Listen to some of the ground-breaking music as well as find out more about his "masterful achievement in counterpoint" with the powerful finale, "Nyansapo: The Wisdom Knot." I promise you will walk away with insights on art and humanity.

CLICK HERE (Performers & Creators Lab with Holly Shaw/StevenChesne

For more on "Sapient: A Cantata of Peace," visit www.chezworks.com/sapient.html

October 7, 2018


Cher’s new album Dancing Queen debuts at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, tying for the diva’s highest-charting solo album ever. It also earns the biggest sales week of 2018 for a pop album by a woman, and Cher’s largest sales week since Nielsen Music began electronically tracking music sales in 1991. Did I mention she's 72 years old?!

The Billboard 200 chart ranks the most popular albums of the week in the U.S. based on multi-metric consumption as measured in equivalent album units. Units are comprised of traditional album sales, track equivalent albums (TEA) and streaming equivalent albums (SEA). The new Oct. 13-dated chart -- where Dancing Queen debuts at No. 3 -- will be posted in full on Billboard's websites on Tuesday, Oct. 9.
Cher also reached No. 3 with her previous studio set, 2013’s Closer to the TruthDancing Queen -- comprised entirely of ABBA covers -- bows with 153,000 units, of which 150,000 are in album sales. Dancing Queen’s sturdy bow was encouraged by sales generated from a concert ticket/album sale redemption offer for her upcoming U.S. tour, as well as old-fashioned album sales through stores like Target, Walmart, iTunes, Amazon and the like.
Dancing Queen is also the top-selling album of the week with 150,000 copies sold. It marks Cher’s first No. 1 on the Top Album Sales chart and her largest sales week for an album since Nielsen Music began electronically tracking sales in 1991. Cher’s previous biggest one-week sales sum came in 2003, when The Very Best of Cher started with 122,000 copies sold (April 14, 2003 chart).
Dancing Queen also tallies the biggest sales week for a pop album by a woman in 2018, and the second-largest sales frame for a pop set this year (trailing only the debut week of Justin Timberlake’s Man of the Woods, when it started with 242,000 copies sold on the Feb. 17-dated list). The last pop album by a woman to yield a larger sales week was Taylor Swift’s reputation, which sold 232,000 in its second stanza (chart dated Dec. 9, 2017).
Well done, diva!!

September 29, 2018

Cher & ABBA: A Match Made in Pop Culture Heaven or Kitsch Karaoke at Best? My review of Cher's new ABBA covers album "Dancing Queen"

Well, listen, when I was watching "Mamma Mia 2" and Cher stepped off that helicopter for what would be the most amazing 4 minute movie-stealing cameo in history, I thought to myself, "Self, ABBA and Cher...can't get any gayer than that!"  And then she sang "Fernando" and it all unfolded before me...Oh. My. Cher. She's gonna do a cover album. Genius. And that's exactly what we later learned.

My initial response was it's going to all depend on whether Cher owns the songs and really makes them her own or if she was going to have people producing the album that wouldn't know how to make iconic songs reimagined for an iconic figure. The reality is...it's both. But not in a bad way like I thought.

Let me explain...Cher is a performer and an actor and a singer..in that order...she also knows she doesn't have many more albums or tours at 72 years young. She knows she's hot (again/still) and she doesn't take the opportunity lightly. That's why I felt this was a way bigger risk than, well, everyone in the world who thought it was a slam dunk.

Cutting to the chase: Cher worked with producer Mark Taylor of "Believe" fame. Mark does probably the biggest disservice by lazily putting the "Cher auto-tune voice a la 'Believe'" throughout many, many of the songs. Bor. ing.  The arrangements for all of the songs are practically identical to the original versions. I thought surely there would be a techno powerhouse reimagining of at least "Dancing Queen."  Nope. He basically updated the original versions (except for perhaps "One of Us" which is just synths and Cher and a big, big, theatrical power ballad that has to have Celine seething -- and then the delivery by, not Cher the singer, but Cher the phenom actor. One of my faves on the album, along with "Winner Takes it All" -- again, not because they've been reimagined but because they are delivered by a woman who took these lyrics to heart -- even the upbeat, silly ones like "Waterloo"). She discovered the complexity of the songs from vocal and lyrical points of view and then performed them.

Everytime I hear "Gimme Gimme Gimme" I think of Madonna's huge hit "Hung Up" which sampled the track. I mean, can you imagine if when we downloaded this album "Gimme Gimme Gimme" was actually a surprise duet between Cher and Madonna?  Every gay man in the world would commemorate it as a more important holiday for the community than even, dare I say, Halloween? Sadly, that's not what happend.

Nonetheless, the other song that gets a funktified remake-ish is "The Name of the Game" and between the arrangement and Cher's understanding as to how to perform the song, it feels like a Cher anthem almost like "Jesse James" or "Heart of Stone" (acoustic guitars and all!).

"Fernando" -- thank the music Gods and Goddesses for accidentally forgetting that Andy Garcia had a very forgettable "duet" with Cher in the movie on this song-- I know, you probably don't even remember that.

Don't get me wrong, this is a CD worth getting ABBA-SOLUTELY. It's 10 songs that Cher recorded!!  Come on!  And she dives into this project with great respect and determination to do right by the  material, the hype, her fans, and herself.

It takes the caliber of someone like Cher to be able to make a project like this mean something. It means that Cher is still sassy, relevant, candid, Tweeting, recording and making movies. It means a lot to everyone who is trying to make it in this business because she has never ONCE changed who she was or made any apologies for mistakes. And she's been able to accomplish way more than most.

The arrangement/production of this album gets a 2.5 out of 5 for just seeming lazy...but also lucky! Why?  Because Cher's singing and performance and delivery of these get 5 out of 5 stars. She's that good.

When you can do what's essentially a re-recording of some of the biggest (and some say cheesiest) pop songs in history and make them mean something new or bring out the original intent, then that's an amazing fete and a perfect reason for the ultimate Cherabration.

September 25, 2018

Ron Roecker Predicts 2018 Halloween Costume Trends and Digs Up Holiday Spending Stats that Will Make You Scream!

Did you know more than 200 million people participate in Halloween each year in the U.S. alone?!  Or that in 2017, U.S. consumers spent $9.1 billion on everything Halloween ($3.4 billion on costumes, $2.7 billion on Candy, $2.7 billion on decorations, more than $400 million on greeting cards with total dollars spent per person equalling an average of $96 for women and $77 for men)?

We didn't either! But pressure certainly continues to build year after year as people spend more and more money creating clever, timely, relevant costumes that represent the latest fads or happenings in pop culture, politics, fashion, music and more. So, we thought we'd take a little weight off of your shoulders and give you some insight into what we believe will be the top costume trends this year from coast-to-coast.

It's still all about the superhero regardless of how polished he/she may be -- especially if they were just introduced this year and had great success or if they've been able to keep the momentum going.

  • A) Wonder Woman has been able to maintain her high-profile kick-assness over the past year and she absolutely represents equality and empowerment, two very buzzy themes that will be around for a while. Oh, and you might have missed it but there was this cool cat that came roaring into theaters with his first full-length showing and, wow, did he make that cash register purr!!  
  • B) Black Panther...was a hit with EVERYONE...small, tall, old, young, white, black...and he had the power to bring us all together. Black Panther will be THE absolute hottest costume come October 31 for adult males and children. Other hot heroes and characters will include Deadpool and Venom.
  • C) Cher. Speaking of being a hit with EVERYONE...this certainly has been the year of the Cher!  Who else could be in a movie for less than 5 minutes and literally be credited for making Mama Mia 2 the global smash it is?! And an ABBA cover album by CHER? BELIEVE!!! Young, old, gay, straight, black, white...doesn't matter...she will be revered some more come October 31 when "ABBA Cher" will be unleashed by drag queens and adoring fans everywhere.
  • D) If you think you've escaped "It," think again...the place is going to be crawling with sadistic clowns, sharp teeth and a seemingly harmless balloon (just when you thought a clown couldn't get any creepier...).
  • E) If you look at this year's Toy Fair and the latest fashion on the runways, you know "plush" is gonna be everywhere. Designers have already started turning to iconic brands such as Curious George, to bring him back to plush life and there's been a renewed interest in characters from our youth that would have amazing application in plush -- and, thus, in adult-sized versions, as well. Expect to see Toucan Sam and a host of other blasts from the past, reimagined.
  • F) Plan on seeing clones of the newly minted "queen of TV" (thanks to its surprising sweep of the recent Emmy Awards), the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel!  That vintage wardrobe, the hair...come on! Women AND men will be marvelous! It doesn't matter if it's live action or animated, we have some of the best, most unique TV characters right now for Halloween inspiration -- plan also on seeing "Eleven" from "Stranger Things," all the characters from "Bob's Burgers," homeless or Confederate-flag toting Roseannes, Game of Thrones and maybe even some gun-fightin' "West World" wannabees.
  • G) Just as ugly holiday sweaters have become the "it" item of Christmas, the "ugly Halloween" sweater has become the lazy, uninspired persons easy way out!
  • H) "The Incredibles." 'nuff said. (Also representin' will be "Star Wars," "Deadpool," "Guardians of the Galaxy," "Jurassic World.")
  • I) See B) and add "other kick-ass warrior" and female empowerment/equality.
  • J) As some comedian once said, "Halloween is a chance for women to dress like sluts and for men to dress like women." I rest my case.
  • K)  Adult Black Panther. See B).
  • L) In 2017, consumers spent more than $350 million on Halloween costumes...for their pets. I have nothing more to say about that...
  • M) "Hotel Transylvania 3" was another huge hit for the franchise and with some amazing, beloved characters that fit right in with the Halloween theme of, well, Halloween, plan on seeing the gang reappear POOF!
  • N) See J) "dress like sluts" 
  • O) The Donald. (I'm guessing "Bride of Putin," "On His Meds Donald," "Super Sized Donald") ...got a million of 'em. 
So what are YOU going to be this Halloween? I really need to know, so, please, don't ghost me.

September 21, 2018


Deadline: Sun, Sep 30
During the entire month of September, the Performers & Creators Lab Podcast is challenging you to take your artistic work – your dance crew, flash mob, hug tunnel, eye gazing experiment – whatever you’ve got! – into public spaces in order to raise awareness of the urgent need for the inclusion in entertainment and media. What do we mean by inclusion? We're talking about POC, PWD, LGBTQ, women and people of all ethnicities, sizes, and differences.  
1. Share your work in a public space.
2. Videotape your performance.
3. Post it on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, or Instagram) using the hashtag #PACLchallenge.
4. Now you’re Instantly Eligible to Win!
What You Can Win:
Artist with most likes on video gets to be Featured Guest on the podcast, promoting you and your work to thousands of listeners around the world. Plus! A VIP Day of Coaching & Night Out (for dinner and a show!) with Creativity Coach, CHT, Holly Shaw. $2,500 value. Check the website for other awards and prizes.
Be sure to subscribe to the Performers & Creators Lab Podcast where the winners will be announced on October 10th.


To celebrate the United Nations' International Day of Peace, Composer/Singer/Songwriter Jill Palmer created and arranged this "Medley of Peace" for 2018. A mixture of the iconic "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and her own "The Only Way is In", the two songs embody altruism, being there for others, and perfectly capture the message of the 70th Anniversary of Human Rights. "A peaceful society is one where there is justice and equality for everyone." - The Right to Peace - The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70.

"Medley of Peace"
("Bridge Over Troubled Water" copyright Paul Simon;
"The Only Way is In" copyright Jill Palmer,

all rights reserved.) When you're weary, when you're feeling small When tears are in your eyes, I will dry them all I'm on your side, when times get rough. And friends just can't be found, Like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down. Do you know your heart is your strongest part? Do you know how special you are? Do you feel inside is your strongest guide? Do you live every day like it's your last? Oh, believe the best
Yeah, and give up all the rest It's up to you to begin The only way is in....
Ooh, ooh, ooh , ooh, ooh Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh Do you know that love is here? It's the only real thing, And here to guide your way You are made of light And your wings will take you flying Higher than you've ever been The only way is in. Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh It's gotta be the whole world It's gotta be everyone You've gotta learn to see The light inside It'll be your guide.

September 20, 2018


Official Statement: September 21, 2018 (Austin, TX)

Today, in celebration of United Nations’ International Day of Peace, music composer/producer Kevin Wood presented a check celebrating the total donations of more than $5,100 given to LoveLight, a non-profit that helps vulnerable children in South Africa build sustainable lives. The organization receives 100% of the proceeds from “Music that Matters,” a charity compilation CD of New Age, World Fusion and relaxing music produced by Wood. 

“Today, in honor of United Nations' International Day of Peace and, especially its focus on human rights for all children, we are excited to celebrate our ongoing support of LoveLight and its efforts to help children in South Africa live happy, healthy, productive lives.” 
Composer/Producer Kevin Wood, whose latest album “Eternal”
went to #4 on Billboard’s New Age Music Chart

Attendees at the presentation included:
Back Row (L-R): LoveLight volunteers, many of whom travelled to South Africa to be of service, Chris Day, Ginger Juelfs, Kathleen Romine, Lauren Birch, Shawnda Birch and Steve Birch.  Front Row (L-R): Jennifer Wood and Kevin Wood present LoveLight’s Program Managers Martin and Kelly Dowman with an oversized check representing more than $5,100 in donations to date, while being joined by the Woods’ daughter Elise.

For information about Kevin Wood and his latest critically acclaimed album, "Eternal," visit www.kevinwoodmusic.com. For more about LoveLight, visit www.LoveLight.info. 
# # #

Ron Roecker
#peaceday #unitednations #humanrights #southafrica #helpchildren #eternal #lovelight
#newage #worldfusion #relaxingmusic #internationaldayofpeace


Coinciding with the United Nations International Day of Peace (#peaceday) September 21, 2018, TV/Film composer Steven Chesne releases the world premier video for his single "Nyansapo: The Wisdom Knot" from his masterpiece album "Sapient: A Cantata of Peace." 

Each track on the world music album is a moving, musical interpretation of words of peace spoken by Buddha, Lao Tzu, Jesus, Mohammed, the Sikhs, the Hindu, the Jews, the Cheyenne, the Kikuyu, or the Baha’i, accompanied by music and vocals influenced by the distinct culture, language and place in world history. The album culminates in a powerful finale, “Nyansapo: The Wisdom Knot,” in which Chesne weaves each of the recorded interpretations one on top of the other, in a masterful achievement in music counterpoint. 


“Chesne has to be one of the finest composers of his 
day to create a moment of genius like this…” – One World Music

Hear/Buy "Sapient" (click here) 

Steven takes you through the spiritual, technical, musical journey he went on to be able to
pull off the masterful achievement in counterpoint of "Nyansapo: The Wisdom Knot"
in the behind-the-scenes video "Untying the Wisdom Knot."
Untying the Wisdom Knot Demo (click here) 

#peace #dayofpeace #peaceday #unitednations  #humanrights #worldmusic #sapient #nyansapo #grammynoms #buddha #jesus #mohammed #jews #cheyenne #kikuyu #bahai #laotzu #sikhs #hindu 

J Balvin Leads Latin GRAMMY Nominations with Eight for the 19th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards taking Place November 15, 2018

Pablo Alborán (Prometo), J Balvin (Vibras), Chico Buarque (Caravanas), 
Jorge Drexler (Salvavidas de Hielo), El David Aguilar (Siguiente), Kany García (Soy Yo), Natalia Lafourcade (Musas, Un Homenaje Al Folclore Latinoamericano En Manos De Los Macorinos, Vol.2), Luis Miguel (¡México Por Siempre!), 
Monsieur Periné (Encanto Tropical), Rozalén (Cuando El Río Suena...)
vie for Album Of The Year
MIAMI (September 20, 2018) — The Latin Recording Academy® has announced the nominees for the 19th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards®, the preeminent international honor for excellence in Latin music and the only peer-presented Latin music accolade. The nominees include a diverse group of established artists and newcomers. Leading the list is J Balvin with eight nominations, followed by Rosalía with five. In addition to the top nominees, several artists and producers received four nominations each including, El David Aguilar, Jorge Drexler, Kany García, and Natalia Lafourcade, along with producers Mauricio Rengifo and Andrés Torres.  
"This year’s nominees are a testament to our members’ commitment to excellence and novelty in Latin music," said Gabriel Abaroa Jr., President/CEO of The Latin Recording Academy.  "The Latin Recording Academy received an unprecedented all-time record number of entries for the 19th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards, resulting in a diversified group of talented artists, producers, and songwriters. The members of The Latin Recording Academy continue to acknowledge emerging talent, risk takers, creative innovators, and respected artists that allow Latin music to be discovered, explored and enjoyed, just as it has been for the past century."
The Album Of The Year list is composed of a diverse group of established and new artists, genres, and eclectic collaborations, such as Pablo Alborán (Prometo), J Balvin (Vibras), Chico Buarque (Caravanas), Jorge Drexler (Salvavidas de Hielo), El David Aguilar (Siguiente), Kany García (Soy Yo), Natalia Lafourcade (Musas, Un Homenaje Al Folclore Latinoamericano En Manos De Los Macorinos,Vol.2), Luis Miguel (¡México Por Siempre!), Monsieur Periné (Encanto Tropical), and Rozalén (Cuando el Río Suena...).
The Latin GRAMMY Awards are voted on by The Latin Recording Academy's international membership body of music makers, who represent all genres and creative disciplines, including recording artists, songwriters, musicians, producers, and mixing and studio engineers. The 2018 nominees were selected from nearly 14,000 submissions across 49 categories during the eligibility period (June 1, 2017 through May 31, 2018).
Voting members will begin the final round of online voting on September 28, 2018. Winners will be revealed on November 15, 2018, during the 19th Annual Latin GRAMMY Awards' Premiere and telecast ceremonies in Las Vegas.  The telecast will broadcast live from the MGM Grand Garden Arena on the Univision Network from 8–11 p.m. ET (5–8 p.m. PT).
Following is a list of the nominations in some of the 49 categories. They feature an array of musical genres, as well as some of the most prominent names and brightest newcomers in Latin music. For the complete list of nominees, please visit LatinGRAMMY.com.
Album Of The Year
Prometo – Pablo Alborán
Vibras  –  J Balvin
Caravanas – Chico Buarque
Salvavidas De Hielo – Jorge Drexler
Siguiente – El David Aguilar
Soy Yo – Kany García
Musas (Un Homenaje Al Folclore Latinoamericano En Manos De Los Macorinos), Vol. 2 – Natalia Lafourcade
¡México Por Siempre! – Luis Miguel
Encanto Tropical – Monsieur Periné
Cuando El Río Suena... – Rozalén
Record Of The Year
No Vaya A Ser – Pablo Alborán
É Fake (Homem Barato) – Anaadi
Mi Gente – J Balvin with Willy William
Internacionales – Bomba Estéreo
Telefonía – Jorge Drexler
Para Siempre – Kany García
– Nicky Jam and J Balvin
Danza De Gardenias – Natalia Lafourcade Featuring Los Macorinos
Bailar Contigo – Monsieur Periné
Malamente – Rosalía
Song Of The Year - A Songwriter's Award
Antes De Ti – Manú Jalil and Mon Laferte, songwriters (Mon Laferte)
Bailar Contigo – Monsieur Periné, songwriters (Monsieur Periné)
Danza De Gardenias – David Aguilar Dorantes and Natalia Lafourcade, songwriters (Natalia Lafourcade Featuring Los Macorinos)
Embrujo – El David Aguilar, songwriter (El David Aguilar)
La Puerta Violeta – Rozalén, songwriter (Rozalén)
Malamente – Antón Alvarez Alfaro, Pablo Diaz-Reixa and Rosalía, songwriters (Rosalía)
Para Siempre – Kany García, songwriter (Kany García)
Robarte Un Beso – Mauricio Rengifo, Andrés Torres, Carlos Vives and Sebastián Yatra, songwriters (Carlos Vives & Sebastián Yatra)
Telefonía – Jorge Drexler, songwriter (Jorge Drexler)
Tu Vida Mi Vida – Fito Páez, songwriter (Fito Páez)
Best New Artist
Ángela Aguilar
El David Aguilar
Alex Ferreira
Karol G
Los Petitfellas
Nana Mendoza
Christian Nodal
Claudia Prieto
Benjamín Walker
Best Contemporary Pop Vocal Album
Ser – Axel
Camino Fuego Y Libertad – Pablo López
Cuerpo Y Alma – Beatriz Luengo
F.A.M.E. – Maluma
Miradas – Nana Mendoza
Best Urban Fusion / Performance
Mi Gente – J Balvin with Willy William Featuring Beyoncé
Internacionales – Bomba Estéreo
Yo Contra Ti – Daddy Yankee Featuring Orquesta Sinfónica De Puerto Rico
Sua Cara – Major Lazer Featuring Anitta and Pabllo Vittar
Malamente – Rosalía
Best Alternative Music Album
Claroscura – Aterciopelados
Puñal – Dante Spinetta
Fuerza Arará – Telmary
Mismo Sitio, Distinto Lugar – Vetusta Morla
Aztlan – Zoé
Best Regional Song - A Songwriter's Award
Arránquense Muchachos – Domingo Leiva Delgado, songwriter (Pedro Fernández)
Ayúdame A Olvidarte – Gabriel Flores and Yoel Henríquez, songwriters (La Explosiva Banda De Maza)
Corrido De Juanito – Edén Muñoz, songwriter (Calibre 50)
El Sueño Americano – Salvador Hurtado, songwriter (La Energía Norteña)
Probablemente – Christian Nodal, songwriter (Christian Nodal)
Best MPB (Música Popular Brasileira) Album
Mano Que Zuera – João Bosco
Caravanas – Chico Buarque
EduDori E Marcos – Edu Lobo, Dori Caymmi e Marcos Valle
Campos Neutrais – Vitor Ramil
Deus É Mulher – Elza Soares

September 18, 2018


WASHINGTON, D.C. (SEPTEMBER 18, 2018) — The Recording Academy™ and its members across the country are celebrating today's passage of the Music Modernization Actby the Senate. This movement of the historic bill is a victory for all music creators, setting a clear path to the president's desk.
"The passage of the Music Modernization Act by the Senate is a historic moment for the tens of thousands of music creators across the nation," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the Recording Academy. "Since first proposing the music industry unite around a common bill in 2014, our members have lobbied in Washington and all 50 states to achieve this vision. When creators raise their voices for fairness, they make great progress."
Portnow issued a clarion call for collaboration among music creators in 2014 when he testified before Congress and called for comprehensive copyright updates. Since then, the Recording Academy has activated its membership of performers, songwriters, and studio professionals to advocate for the bill through its flagship initiatives, GRAMMYs on the Hill® and District Advocate day, along with a wide range of regional and online activities.
"The passing of the Music Modernization Act by the Senate is a huge turning point," saidHarvey Mason Jr., Recording Academy National Advocacy Committee Co-Chair and four-time GRAMMY®-nominated producer and songwriter. "This vote says loudly and clearly that music and those that create it are valued by our government and its citizens. We are all so thankful for this step to ensure music makers are compensated fairly."
The Music Modernization Act updates copyright protections to include all creators and ensures that the music industry remains a viable option for the next generation. The Music Modernization Act would accomplish the following:
For Songwriters
  • Create a new and transparent collection entity to ensure that songwriters always get paid for mechanical licenses when digital services use their work.
  • Help ASCAP and BMI secure fairer rates for their songwriters.
  • Establish fair compensation for songwriters when the government sets rates.
For Artists
  • Close the "pre-1972 loophole" so that digital services will pay legacy artists the compensation they deserve.
  • Establish fair compensation for artists when the government sets rates.
For Studio Professionals
  • Give copyright protection to producers and engineers for the first time in history.


We have to be hit with the same message 20+ times for both awareness and trust. We offer targeted strategic ad campaigns across digital/social media platforms that incorporate consistent brand messaging. We research the online visibility and chatter of the product, category, competition and target audience to build campaigns and messaging based on relevant key words. We are able to monitor the success of individual efforts and revise the messaging and placement in order to be most effective with your budget. Each campaign is customized based on the brand, ask, time frame,and budget.

For more about Be Differently services, please click on link below:

For more information about #instagram, #facebook, #google and other #socialmediaadvertising, don't hesitate to send Ron an email at ron@bedifferently.com

September 12, 2018

Composer/Songwriter/Producer Kitt Wakeley Releases Epic Orchestral Album Debut, “Midnight in Macedonia,” Fusing Pop, Rock, Electronica and Featuring World-renowned Macedonian Choir, Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra & Legendary Guest Artists

Wakeley’s Global Debut of “Midnight in Macedonia LIVE!” is November 15, 2018, with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic & Choir & Special Guests at Chevy Bricktown Event Center, OKC

Composer/Songwriter/Producer Kitt Wakeley releases epic orchestral album debut, “Midnight in Macedonia,” featuring the internationally renowned Macedonian Choir, the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra (Oleg Kondratenko, Conductor), and legendary special guest artists, it was announced today. “Midnight in Macedonia” is an emotional journey and musical-fusion joy ride that includes the lush strings, French horns and low brass found in dramatic cinema, as well as a diverse serving of ear candy treats, including electronica, pop, rock and piano. The album is Wakeley’s tip of the hat to the iconic scores from epic blockbusters he grew up with, including “Superman,” “The Godfather,” “Star Wars,” and “Rocky.” Special guest artists and production all-stars include legendary drummer Kenny Aronoff (Bon Jovi, Paul McCartney), guitar wizards Paige Harwell, Neal Taylor (Tears for Fears, Tina Turner) and Daniel Uribe, amazing bass player Tim Herndon, three-time GRAMMY-winning engineer/mixer/co-producer Tre Nagella, and mastering engineer genius Kevin Lively. In its global live concert debut, Wakeley will perform “Midnight in Macedonia” with the Oklahoma City Philharmonic & Choir (Kris Markes, general manager), with Oklahoma native Timothy Long, Music Director of Opera at the Eastman School of Music, Conducting, November 15, 2018, at the Chevy Bricktown Event Center in Oklahoma City. For more about Wakeley, visit www.kittwakeley.com

To listen to the album “Midnight in Macedonia, visit:"Midnight in Macedonia" Album on iTunes Click Here

“This was my first time writing a full-length orchestral body of work, so it was three years in the making,” said Wakeley, who wrote, played piano and keyboard and co-produced the album. “You know something might have great potential but then you hear it for the first time being performed by an international, award-winning choir and orchestra, it becomes totally overwhelming.  Then add iconic guest artists you grew up admiring, and the chance to perform it live for the first time in your home state, and it all makes ‘Midnight in Macedonia’ the greatest experience and achievement of my music career.”

With a fearless, unapologetic approach to life and career, Kitt has developed a reputation in the industry for being able to create and capture an emotional melody for any setting, whether he is writing and producing for himself, other artists, TV, film or trailers. A key to his success has been his ability to work across multiple genres, specifically pop, rock and electronica. With that flexibility comes one constant:

“I always have two goals when I approach a project: 1) to take the listener on an emotional journey and 2) to appeal to as many senses as possible. Sometimes I'm in the mood to write an energetic rock or electronica tune, other days it's an orchestral piece, a simple piano line or the need to smash it all into one. Why not? There's no rule that says I can't mix an orchestra with electronica, guitar and rock drums.”

“Midnight” Struck Recently
“My best friend was getting married, so I decided to write a song for both of them, which ended up being the first orchestral piece I’d ever written and recorded,” said Wakeley.  “When I sent them the finished piece, my friend, who is not an emotional guy at all, called me in tears and asked if they could use it for the bridal march down the aisle. I was so honored that the song connected with them so deeply and the reaction from all the attendees was overwhelming. So, I decided an orchestral album was going to be my new challenge. I worked very hard and had the opportunity to have some amazing collaborators and the rest, as they say, is history.”

Wakeley has released numerous full-length rock, pop and EDM albums over the years, including “AudioKaoz,” a hard rock electronica album, which he produced with three-time GRAMMY-winner Tre Nagella. Brian "Big Bass" Gardner, known for projects with Michael Jackson, Motley Crue, Eminem, Travis Barker and Dr. Dre, mastered the album, which peaked at #2 for independent artists per Music Box, Music X-Ray and Sound Exchange.

Wakeley, a voting member of The Recording Academy, and wife Melissa
attend The GRAMMY Awards

Music Education
The first time Wakeley performed in front of a live audience in high school with his band, “Limited Edition,” he knew music had to be a part of his life.  Wakeley also credits his mother for his success, who ensured he was at every practice and concert. “She was my number one supporter, never missed a performance and was always cheering me on,” said the composer.

After graduating high school, Wakeley earned a BA with a double major from East Central University where his band at the time played its first paid gig for $100 and all the free beer and pizza they could consume. “The pay didn’t matter because you couldn’t put a price tag on the euphoria we felt after that performance,” says Wakeley, who then went on to earn an MA from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK.

Wakeley and his wife, Melissa, without whose love, support and respect he could not keep making music, have been married for almost 10 years. They have a blended family of three daughters and one son who are, thankfully, taking the world by storm via college and career. After having to endure the shock, pain, devastation and road to recovery when one of their daughters, at age 22, spiraled into substance abuse, they established a residential treatment center in Oklahoma. The center, called Vizown (which represents “You’re Own Vision),” specializes in dual diagnosis treatment for men and women. For more information, visit www.vizown.com. The couple continues to be committed to raising awareness about the nationwide substance abuse and mental health crisis in the U.S.

To purchase tickets for “Midnight in Macedonia LIVE!” visit: Midnight in Macedonia LIVE (click here)

 # # #