Ciara On How She Stays Fit For Her Music Videos: 'You Definitely Have to Get Your Cardio Game Strong'. The singer stars in Equinox's new short film LIFE, shot by fashion photographer Nick Knight. Ciara's "Level Up" isn't just a hit song and a viral dance challenge -- it's its own lifestyle mantra, one that's inspired both the singer and her fans to set goals and motivate each other to achieve them. "Leveling up means that you're making decisions to do better in life," the singer, who stars in Equinox's new LIFE short film -- directed by fashion photographer Nick Knight -- tells Billboard. "It can mean a lot of things. It can be something as simple as taking the first step you need to take to advance [in your career]. Or if it's in a relationship, making sure that you're loving yourself and also giving 100 percent." The message also applies to fitness -- no surprise for Ciara, who's been producing intense, dance-heavy music videos for almost 15 years. "Have a plan that works for you, and don't worry about what anybody else is doing," she advises. "Commit to that plan so you can be your best self. There's no better feeling than the day you don't want to work out and don't feel like doing it, but you go and do it and push yourself. You feel 100 percent better. For me, I feel like I can conquer the world when I push myself at those moments." The music video for "Level Up" -- which made Billboard's list of the best music videos of 2018 -- features some of Ciara's most heart-pumping choreography to date. "You definitely have to get your cardio game strong," she says. "For me, when I'm preparing for a lot of dancing, cardio is a focal point for my workout routines. It's the thing that helps me sustain all of the intense choreo that we do. But more than anything, you have to have fun. When you're having a good time, the routines that we do don't feel as heavy. When you're having fun with all of it, it feels lighter." With a body of work that includes her gravity-defying moves in 2006's "Promise" and her mesmerizing "Ride" routine from 2010, Ciara admits she sometimes feels the pressure to top her last project. "I'm always thinking about how I hope to do something that's going to feel fresher than the last video I gave my fans," she says. "It makes me push myself harder each time. When your fans do show you love, you're like, "Oh my gosh, I really hope they like this next visual." I definitely have those thoughts in my mind. I just always want my fans to be happy, and I hope they like when I put out something new." Good news for them: More new music and dance routines are coming in 2019. The singer recently told Billboard about her plans for next year. "I'm looking forward to giving my fans more music and continuing to take them on my journey in life and music," she said. "I've been enjoying the connection I've been having with my fans. So I'm excited about that, and of course touring. I'm looking forward to hitting the road and sharing my tour with fans as well." (Billboard)

Radio Host Ebro Darden Joins Apple Music as Global Editorial Head of Hip-Hop and R&B: Exclusive. Hot 97 (WQHT) New York morning personality and Apple Music Beats 1 anchor host Ebro Darden has been appointed Apple Music's global editorial head of hip-hop and R&B. In this newly designated role, which he starts Wednesday (Jan. 2), Darden will manage a team of hip-hop and R&B editors in developing editorial strategies for artists, albums and song releases in the U.S. and globally. Based in New York, Darden will continue to host his popular Hot 97 show, Ebro in the Morning (Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-10 a.m. ET). He will also continue to showcase the latest hip-hop music, news and issues on his own show via Apple Music's global live stream Beats 1 (Monday-Friday, 3 p.m.-5 p.m. ET). Prior to Darden's appointment, Carl Chery served as Apple Music's head of artist curation with a specific focus on hip-hop and R&B before segueing to Spotify last April. In announcing Darden's expanded role at Apple Music, the service's global director of editorial, Rachel Newman, tells Billboard, "We're excited that Ebro is joining us in a full-time capacity. Having dedicated his life and career to hip-hop, R&B and pop music, he has so much to offer. One of Ebro's most defining characteristics is that he has great ears for where R&B and hip-hop are transcending and evolving to beyond even the borders of the U.S. He'll obviously take a leadership position for us not just in hip-hop and R&B but also in the communities where the music is made, which is also exciting and something unique to Ebro." Rachel Newman, Apple Music global director of editorial Outlining his immediate goals, Darden explains, "First things first is making sure that we're firing on all cylinders in the best way possible, helping consumers find the music that they love and also helping artists connect with consumers in a real way. Once I learn about what's needed to achieve that, it will be about looking ahead and figuring out ways to serve the communities where hip-hop and R&B music is made. Black music comes from the community. This is music made by people living real lives and artists speaking on behalf of those real lives." "If we're doing our job," Darden continues, "we'll be able to get down at the community level and connect with people to not only help artists service their communities but help those communities thrive. This is a global position as well. So, as we build this out, I'll be doing the same thing I want to do in America in the U.K., Africa, India, Japan, Brazil and other countries. I'll be wherever R&B and hip-hop are being consumed and working to create communication amongst communities around the world through Apple Music -- making sure that black music is getting recognized and developing the next superstars." Darden initially joined Apple Music in 2015 as an anchor host of the company's Beats 1 global live stream alongside Zane Lowe and Julie Adenuga while simultaneously launching his own influential show on the streaming service. In the three years since its launch, his show has featured insightful conversations with a diverse slate of established and emerging artists. Guests thus far range from talents such as Meek Mill, Cardi B, Migos and Chance the Rapper to Ariana Grande, Janelle Monae, J Balvin, H.E.R., SZA, Khalid, Miguel and Jennifer Lopez. Darden's tenure at Hot 97 includes a four-year term as the station's music director from 2003-2007. Promoted to program director in 2007, Darden helmed that post until 2014. During the period between 2008-2013, he also served as VP of programming for Hot 97 parent Emmis Communications' New York City properties. (Billboard)

Toby Keith to Perform at Oklahoma Governor's Inauguration. Toby Keith performs during the Oklahoma Twister Relief Concert to benefit United Way of Central Oklahoma May Tornadoes Relief Fund at Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium on July 6, 2013 in Norman, Oklahoma. Country music star and Oklahoma native Toby Keith will be among the performers at a series of events marking the inauguration of incoming Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt. The three inaugural events will take place between Jan. 10 and Jan. 14 in Lawton, Oklahoma City and Tulsa. Stitt announced Tuesday that Keith would be performing at the Oklahoma City inaugural ball on Jan. 14. Other performers at the Oklahoma City event include the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, the Cherokee Youth Choir and country singer Jimmie Allen. Tickets are $250-per-person for the black-tie affair. Stitt, a Republican and political newcomer, defeated Democrat Drew Edmondson in the November election. (Billboard)


Popular posts from this blog