Looking back at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards

The 2014 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs) were perhaps one of the most memorable ever. They set themselves apart through likeability, humility and true glamour. Those who attended it, like Eric Schiffer, still say that the show stood out from all other past and subsequent VMAs. It was a show in which all levels of entertainment, from the downright mediocre to the true stars, stood side by side. For once, it was less about lewdness and more about true talent. Of course, there were some clear exceptions, such as Nicki Minaj’s performance, but even that was tame by her standards.

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HP and Arjan Writes Present Special Preview of Ellie Goulding’s New Album in New York

Last night at Manhattan’s posh Hotel on Rivington penthouse suite, HP and blogger Arjan Writes presented a special preview of “Halcyon,” the new album by British pop sensation Ellie Goulding. Best known in the United States for her monster hit, “Lights,” Goulding has gone on to great success stateside, appearing on “The Late Show with David Letterman” and “Saturday Night Live,” as well as a special guest appearance at the White House last December, where she sang Christmas carols onstage with Barack Obama. For all of her enormous success in the last few years, though, Goulding is a very humble, down-to-earth and endearing personality.

The evening began with a bit of background on Goulding, who grew up in the small town of Hereford and got heavily into music early on. “My mum was cool with music,” she says. “She would buy every new thing that was out. We really had no money, but whatever we did have, she’d spend it on CDs and tapes.” Idolizing singers like Bjork, Joni Mitchell, Beyonce and Stevie Nicks, Goulding says she quit college because “something was pushing me into music.” Elaborating on what that something is, she also says, “Having people come together for the same cause is really important. The fact that I can do that with shows is really awesome.”

Delving into “Halcyon,” we heard samples of a few tracks, including the clearly Bjork-influenced “My Blood,” which shares thematic water imagery with other songs on the album. Goulding says, “I have a fascination with the ocean, being lost at sea. I kind of want to be a mermaid.” The title track, “Halcyon,” addresses another theme of the album in its plaintive chorus: “When it’s just us, you show me what it feels like to be lonely, you show me what it feels like to be lost.” “I write songs out of being alone,” Goulding says. “I’m around people all the time, but there’s a theme of loneliness on this album.”

That is not to say the album is relentlessly downbeat or somber, however, as Goulding is quick to point out that “I like making things that give people hope, I suppose, in the least cheesy way possible.” Ellie Goulding’s career certainly seems to show a lot of hope, with unreleased collaborations with the likes of Skrillex and Swedish House Mafia possibly on the way “in the next couple of years,” proving her mantra that anything could happen.


Video of the Week – Beyoncé

If you didn’t already know that Kanye West was a jackass, he proved it last year when he interrupted Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at the MTV Video Music Awards to proclaim that Beyoncé “had one of the best videos of all time.”

Everyone agreed that it was a dick move by Kanye, but he did have a point about Beyoncé’s video. Most of you have already seen it, but check out this video of Beyoncé performing “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It).” It will definitely get you in the mood for the weekend!