It is time again to select a Buzz Artist for the month of June and it was a little difficult this month, to be quite honest. I was initially planning on doing the Buzz Artist post this month on Fiona Apple because she is making a comeback in a major way and is one of my favorite artists of all-time, however the more I thought about it the more I realized that, much as I love her, Fiona Apple is not what the Buzz Artist posts are about. She is a well-known, established artist who just hasn’t been around in a long time. I was initially thinking that it would make sense to include her because, while people may know who she is, they may not know that she is back with a new album, however I did a little research on the internet and it has been pretty highly publicized that she has a new record out. So, I scrapped that idea. There were a few newer artists that I considered featuring but there was one that just kept coming up in my mind ahead of the pack: 2008 UK X Factor winner, Alexandra Burke. Alexandra is pretty well known in the UK but, in spite of many talked about plans for it, has never hit in the US. It’s a shame because her music is absolutely brilliant and she is one of the strongest vocalists in the industry today. So, she seemed like the perfect choice to showcase here on Beausic as the Buzz Artist for the month of June!
Alexandra first auditioned for the second series of The X Factor in 2005 in the 16-24 group under judge Louis Walsh but did not make his final group of 4 because he felt that she was still too young for the competition. After a few more years of experience and additional vocal training, she returned in 2008 and fell into the Girls category under judge and most beautiful girl in the world, in my opinion, Cheryl Cole. Cheryl selected her for her final group of 4 and put her through to the live round, where she eventually went on to win the whole series! This was also the first season of The X Factor that I actually watched and I actually rooted for Alexandra the whole time, so I was really excited to see her win! I wanted to include some highlights from her time on The X Factor, so you can check out her audition and some of my favorite performances from her on the series below!
The X Factor Audition
Week 1 – “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”
Week 3 – “Candyman”
Week 5 – “Without You”
Week 8 – “Toxic”
Week 9 – “Unbreak My Heart”
Finale Duet with Beyonce – “Listen”
After her X Factor win, Alexandra released her debut single, a stunning cover of the Leonard Cohen classic, “Hallelujah,” which became the Christmas number one for 2008 and stayed at the top of the charts for three consecutive weeks! The following year, Alexandra released her debut album, “Overcome,” which was preceded by the single “Bad Boys,” featuring US rap artist, Flo Rida. She went on to re-release this record and release 5 hit singles from the record, including “Bad Boys” and “Start Without You,” both of which went to number one. She has also released 2 more singles in advance of her follow-up record, “Heartbreak On Hold.” Including “Elephant” which features Colombian-American DJ Erick Morillo and is one of my favorite songs of her career so far. I have loved all of the singles Alexandra has released and many of them have had absolutely gorgeous music videos to accompany them, so I wanted to feature these singles here. Check out each of Alexandra’s singles below. In most cases, I have included the actual music video but some were a little more difficult to find on YouTube, so I included live performances instead. Check them all out below!
“Hallelujah (The X Factor 2008 Final)”
“Bad Boys (featuring Flo Rida)”
“All Night Long (featuring Pitbull)”
“Start Without You (Remix)”
“The Silence (Live at The X Factor)”
“Elephant (featuring Erick Morillo)”
“Let It Go”
Earlier this month, Alexandra released her sophomore record, “Heartbreak On Hold.” This record leaked a couple of weeks ago and I have been absolutely loving it ever since! The whole album is really brilliant and marks a very different direction for Alexandra in her career. Much like the singles “Elephant” and “Let It Go,” featured above, the entire album has a very strong, hardcore dance sound. It is much less pop and urban influenced than “Overcome” and takes on a really strong dance sound, which works beautifully for Alexandra’s voice. What’s been really interesting, though, is the fact that in the time leading up to the release of the record and in promotion for the record, Alexandra has been posting performances to her official YouTube channel of acoustic versions of some of the album’s tracks, as well as a few really gorgeous cover tracks from other artists. I find it really brilliant because it is offering a really stark contrast to the album itself and offers a really cool, different take to the songs. I wanted to showcase some of these performances, as well, which you can check out below!
“Let’s Wait Awhile” (Janet Jackson Cover)
“Jar of Hearts” (Christina Perri Cover)
“Let It Go”
“Thinking About You” (Frank Ocean Cover)
“Heartbreak On Hold”
“Daylight Robbery” (Imogen Heap Cover)
As always, I also put together a little sampler of some of Alexandra’s music for you guys to download. This includes all 9 of her single releases, as well as one album track that is, by far, my favorite track of Alexandra’s career, called “They Don’t Know,” which I am actually considering singing as my audition for Disney’s American Idol Experience next month, which I am doing for my birthday! I just had to include this track, though, because it is such a beautiful, heartbreaking, stunning ballad and one that I feel like everybody should hear and be familiar with. It makes such a powerful statement and is a message that I think is really important for everybody to hear. So, definitely pay close attention to that one when you do listen to the sampler.
Alexandra Burke Sampler
- Bad Boys (featuring Flo Rida)
- Broken Heels
- All Night Long (featuring Pitbull)
- They Don’t Know
- Start Without You (featuring Laza Morgan)
- The Silence
- Elephant (featuring Erick Morillo)
- Let It Go
- Heartbreak On Hold
So, there you have the Buzz Artist for the month of June! I definitely recommend everybody check out this sampler and give her music a chance! I absolutely adore her and really love her music. I really hope that you guys check it out and love it just as much. On a different note, this actually marks the start of an unintended theme for the week here at Beausic. I am actually really excited about this week here on the blog – I really love the posts that I have planned for this week, so long as I can execute them as I am envisioning in my head! Here’s hoping! In the meantime, I wish you all a beautiful week ahead and a beautiful life!