Deezer now on Windows Phone 8

Today we’re thrilled to announce our new Windows Phone 8 app, which features a revitalised home screen and a host of enhanced features to put the focus where it belongs, on music discovery.

The new home screen highlights local recommendations, as chosen by our dedicated editorial teams all over the world, while the recommended albums and playlists will also sit under the ‘Discover’ section. Unlike other digital music services that rely purely on algorithms to make recommendations, we uniquely employ music experts to unearth the best new releases in their country. In fact, over 20% of our global team are dedicated to this task, listening to over 250 albums a week across every genre. Their hand-picked selections give you unparalleled access to the hottest tracks around.

Deezer Windows Phone 8

With Deezer on Windows Phone 8, it’s not just the editorial teams who get to share their favourite tunes. The new app allows you to share the tracks and playlists you love, so you can recommend your own hot new pick to millions of other music fans around the world.
In addition to music discovery, the app also gives you immediate access to your favourite tracks through the Windows Phone tiles. And if that wasn’t enough, you can now sync playlists, albums, MP3s and individual tracks directly to your phone, meaning your pocket jukebox won’t eat up your data allowance.

“Beyond the editorial recommendations and access to Deezer’s 25 million tracks, the design of the new Windows Phone 8 app provides a really sleek experience. The tiles, huge cover art, and a smooth user interface take full advantage of the Windows Phone 8 platform and give people a great way to listen to and share their music.” – Daniel Marhely, Deezer founder.

“Deezer’s commitment to take advantage of personal features available only on Windows Phone will create a unique music experience for people on the go.” – Todd Brix, General Manager, Windows Phone Apps, Microsoft Corp.

The Deezer Windows Phone 8 app is available now and works on all Windows Phone 8 devices. Download it for free from the Windows Phone Store.

I Just Can’t Get You Out Of My Head!

earworms2Certain songs, especially TV and film theme tunes, are designed to stick in your head. While some people may enjoy having an internal jukebox, others enjoy it less. If you are amongst the latter, good news! Scientists claim they have discovered how to make the brain block out the offending tunes.

“Earworms” are typically both catchy and annoying, with an upbeat melody and repetitive lyrics. According to researchers, one way to break the repetitive cycle is to solve anagrams, or do something that is mentally engaging.

The research suggests that solving anagrams or reading a novel are good ways to keep earworms out. Dr Ira Hyman, a music psychologist at Western Washington University explained, “if you are cognitively engaged, it limits the ability of intrusive songs to enter your head. Something we can do automatically like driving or walking means you are not using all of your cognitive resource, so there is plenty of space left for that internal jukebox to start playing. Likewise, if you are trying something too hard, then your brain will not be engaged successfully, so that music can come back.”

Chart topping songs of Lady Gaga such as Alejandro, Bad Romance, Just Dance, and Paparazzi came out as strong contenders for earworms. Katy Perry’s California Girls also rated highly. Hyman added: “Choruses tend to get stuck in your head because they are the bit we know best and because we don’t know the second or third verse, the song remains unfinished. Unfinished thoughts are more likely to return.”

Here is a playlist of some of the catchiest tunes, as used by the researchers, along with some of our favourite TV tunes that are sure to stick in your head for hours. Press play if you dare.

 

 

HackItaly: Hackers, Pasta, and APIs

We were wondering what to expect when we first landed in the middle of the Venetian countryside for HackItaly. Massimo Ciociola, MusixMatch and HackItaly founder, promised us an “Italian style” hackaton, all pasta & APIs.

When he took us on a tour of the venue, H-FARM Ventures, we were blown away by the place. Let’s just say that we’re used to hacking in dark spaces, and in comparison, H-FARM is the VIP spot for startups. The pasta part was no lie either :)

No need to guess why more than 400 developers rushed in from all over Italy for the weekend. Check out photos from the event here.

Hackers could use the Deezer APIs in addition to the APIs from Italian startups such as StereoMood, MusixMatch, and Technogym, to name a few. After two days of coaching and coding, we were amazed by the number of Deezer hacks and their quality. You’ll find more about the 2 winning projects below.

 

 

Wake Up Duel

If you have trouble crawling out of bed, this is the app for you. This social alarm clock allows you to send songs to your friends’ phones at a specific time. Especially effective at getting you out of bed if you don’t like the choice of music!

Reverse Music Search

You’re desperate to find a particular song and can only remember a few words? Simply type the lyrics you can recall on Reverse Music Search and you’ll have the matching song within seconds.

 

These are only two of the fantastic projects from the event. All hacks are worth a look on HackerLeague. A warm thanks to Massimo Ciociola, the HackItaly team, and H-Farm for organising. Can’t wait for HackItaly 2014!

By Julie Knibbe, Tech Evangelist at Deezer.

 

“Bagboy” by The Pixies on Deezer

We are very pleased to welcome the Pixies’ latest release, “Bagboy”, on Deezer. This is the first new song for the band in nine years. It’s worth the wait. Even without Kim Deal on board, Bagboy is a reminder that Pixies still manage to pack in more innovation, excitement, and splendid riffs into 4 minutes and 52 seconds than a lot of rock bands manage in their entire careers.

According to Black Francis, the blues-based musical ideas in the song have been around for some time, as have his favourite song writing spots: “The lyrics, coincidentally, were composed at a Starbucks Coffee in Harvard Square in Cambridge, about a hundred feet from where, 25 years ago, I composed some of the lyrics to an old Pixies song called ‘Break My Body.”

A hearty “welcome back” from us at Deezer!

You may have 99 problems but getting your baby to sleep needn’t be one

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Rockabye Baby! takes chart-topping songs and transforms them into lullabies, making children’s music that parents also love. Their latest release, Lullaby Renditions of Jay-Z, is a surreal experience, likely to have all the adults up dancing at your next kids’ party.

To celebrate the weird and wonderful world of children’s music, we have launched a children’s radio channel curated by our global team of Deezer Editors. Instigated by Yasmin, our Editor in Brazil, the idea was for the radio to be enjoyed by children everywhere and for it to even help with language learning.

The curation process brought up a few surprises. “It was interesting to discover that many of the songs from my childhood exist other places in the world – just in a different language and sometimes with a slight twist on the idea.” Yasmin’s favourite discovery was “Que Se Vengan Los Chicos”, sung by the great Argentine singer Mercedes Sosa.

Press play and turn up the nostalgia. And if you have little ones, we hope they enjoy this as much as we do.

 

Five Minutes Of Your Time: Robin Thicke

If you haven’t heard ‘Blurred Lines’ yet – heck, we’re not even mad. That’s amazing. One of the year’s biggest hits, it has taken the world by storm and thrown a certain Robin Thicke into worldwide superstardom – thanks in part to a particularly risqué music video. We caught up with Mr Thicke recently to talk about how he feels about his new found fame and, of course, that video…

Although ‘Blurred Lines’ was your first global hit, you’ve been releasing music for over a decade – It must feel like it’s been a long time coming?
You work so hard and you always think that maybe this will be the song and that will be the song, and then when it finally happens you just have this big cheesy smile on your face the whole time. I’m just enjoying every second and I always hoped when we made the record that, y’know, I feel like this could be a good crossover song. I think that I always thought it could be a pop song and to actually see it go No.1 in forty countries is way too good to be true. It’s like the biggest cherry on top of an already very happy cake.

You’ve written songs for the likes of Christina Aguilera and Usher – do you prefer writing for yourself or for other people?
I haven’t written for anyone else the last ten years because once I was able to sing my own music then I didn’t have to compromise anymore, ’cause when you’re writing for someone else you’re worried about what they want to say or what they don’t want to say or what style of music they want… but I think the fun thing about it is the money.

You teamed up with Pharrell Williams for ‘Blurred Lines’ – how was he to work with?
Well Pharrell and I we did the song last summer, almost a year ago we wrote the song and I was holding onto it as I was working on the album, trying to figure it out and then my manager and a few other people that I know well were like “I think that Blurred Lines song is my favourite one on the new album you’ve got,” and my manager was like “I think we should put it out.” And then once we shot the video and of course everyone got it and everyone thought it was a smash and we just got lucky.

You’ve said that you deliberately tried to fill the video with taboo subjects – did you not worry that it could backfire on you?
It was amazing to shoot, the girls were so loveable and funny and had great sense of humour. The idea for the nudity was actually the directors’, I just told her that I wanted the video to be very funny, like Benny Hill, so it’s very silly – and then she goes, “well what if the girls are nude?” And I was like… “That could work,” haha. Then we agreed that we would have a whole bunch of props, so the props ended up being sausages, a lamb, a taxidermy dog, an enormous syringe. We wanted to do everything you’re not supposed to. Cigarette smoking, nudity, we wanted to put it all in there.

My wife actually came up with a lot of the great ideas, like the needle and the car going down the girls back – the wonderful thing about my wife is she’s always an artist first and a wife second, so she supported the video, came up with great ideas and then when she saw the video she wanted to watch it about 10 times in a row. And then she jumped my bones so it obviously had a positive effect.

What can we expect from your upcoming album?
Soul music has to be more serious because you’re digging deep and you’re trying to talk about your life and your issues and your addictions, your problems – and you’re trying to find a way to get through those problems. That’s what a lot of my music has been, if I get through the tough times, but with this album instead of just talking about it I decided to just make a very fun, lighthearted album that helps us get through the tough times but doesn’t have to mention how tough they are.

Listen to an exclusive playlist of Robin Thicke’s favourite tracks on Deezer below:

Five Minutes Of Your Time: Iggy Azalea

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Australian-born, LA-based hip-hop artist Iggy Azalea has been making waves in the US hip-hop scene since moving there at a young age. In the past year or so she has started to see those ripples spreading out around the world, helped by her controversial videos for the tracks ‘PU$$Y’ and ‘Two Times’. We caught up with her to recently to chat about hip-hop, her homeland and haters…

You moved to the USA on your own when you were fifteen – what prompted you to make the move?
I wanted more. I told my mum I was going for two weeks and still live there today. I worked hard to save for the plane fare, as she thought I was only going for two weeks she was cool at the time. There were so many adventures and stories and of course battles and struggles, but it has made me who I am today.

What do you think you would be doing if you were still in Australia? Can you ever picture yourself moving back there?
I cannot envisage myself living there now – but you can never say never. LA is my home. I am very happy there. I go to Australia to see my family and hopefully I get to go there this year on tour.

What do you miss most about Australia?
I miss my family. I miss the candy which we call lollies. The ones I liked were called Minties and Redskins. I miss being able to buy a simple lemonade icy pole (ice lolly) on every street corner.

You listened to the likes of Lou Reed and David Bowie when you were growing up – what drew you towards hip-hop?
The internet. I was trawling the internet and discovered the likes of Eminem. My world opened up. I was hooked. I wanted more. So I found more. I found a crew of Samoan boys – about 40 minute bus ride away – and we would rap together. The most laughable raps you can think of but we loved it.

You’ve claimed that half of the music industry hates you, but you seem like a fairly chilled out and likable person to us – why do you think certain people don’t like you?
Oh, there are always haters but that’s OK. It makes me stronger. I am lucky to have an amazing army of Azaleans and as a rule, I am chilled out and likable… unless of course I am hungry or you diss me, hahaha.

Do you feel that you get treated differently as a female rapper in a scene that is dominated by men?
Of course. But it is not just rap. It is the world. Anyway, everyone has different struggles or challenges in their lives… I am all good with my lot.

And finally, can you recommend us any new music?
I love Ellie Goulding. I love her voice and how she writes songs. I really want to collaborate with her.

Listen to Iggy Azalea’s new single ‘Bounce’ on Deezer below!

StarAfrica Sounds 2013 Winner Announced

Supporting emerging artists around the world is a matter close to our heart. That’s why we’ve been a proud partner of StarAfrica Sounds, an initiative to support the best of African talent. After a huge public vote and an intense round of judging by a professional jury, the 2013 winner has been chosen. Samyr Samson, representing Côte d’Ivoire, was named winner after judges fell in love with his song ‘Guéha’.

“There was no doubt that we would want to be a part of StarAfrica Sounds this year and help discover the very best in young African talent. Discovery is part of our DNA; our editors are continuously on the look-out for great new sounds from around the world that we can introduce to our subscribers in 182 countries. The jury ended up deciding on Samyr Samson, who enticed us with “Guéha”, a track that seamlessly blends tradition and modernity. I’m really pleased for Samyr and we’re looking forward to helping him reach new audiences with this beautiful song” - Pierre Niboyet, Head of Artist Marketing, Deezer.

Samyr will win promotion on StarAfrica.com and on Deezer Africa and North Africa, an introduction to prestigious African music label Musiki, a Deezer4Artists certified account, a one-year subscription to Deezer Premium+, and 3 albums on zimbalam.com.

The four runners-up also win a Deezer4Artists certified account, a one-year subscription to Deezer Premium+, and 3 albums on zimbalam.com. Learn more about the runners-up and the contest on StarAfrica.com

Samyr Samson, one to watch. You heard it here first.

Cruïlla Barcelona

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Cruïlla Barcelona is an annual 2-day music festival, kicking off today. With four stages offering a varied program catering for all tastes, this 6th edition of the festival looks set to be huge. Headliners include Snoop Dog, Wyclef Jean, Morcheeba, Rufus Wainwright, James Morrison and Cat Power, in addition to lots of home-grown talent.

As official partners, we’re live streaming direct from the festival so that you can enjoy the incredible talent on show from the comfort of home. Check out the minisite on Deezer, broadcasting begins at 6.15pm Barcelona time.

If you’re lucky enough to be there, get the most out of the festival with our dedicated app. With a live program, music quiz, PhotoFrame, map, and a festival radio, it’s the essential companion for your Cruïlla experience.

Pour yourself some cerveza and play the Cruïlla Barcelona radio to get in the mood.

 

French Films

Finnish indie, playfully termed “Findie” by our Finnish Editor, Jouni, is on the rise with bands such as French Films and Rubik helping to shake off the stereotypical image of Finland as exclusively the land of metal. We invited French Films, a five-piece indie rock band, to give us an exclusive gig at an old abattoir in centre of Helsinki.

 

With their sixties-influenced pop melodies, coupled with new wave and punk, the band has received love from Pitchfork amongst others. Their first album Imaginary Future garnered the band a European Border Breakers Award (former winners include Adele, Swedish House Mafia, Mumford & Sons, and Lykke Li).