Inside The Collection: Weekly Curator Picks

Some of this week’s newest music and genre station highlights on Pandora, fresh from our curation team!

Artist Debuts


Manifesting a sultry combination of R&B, electronic and hip hop music; PARTYNEXTDOOR showcases his smooth sounds with October’s Very Own camp. After touring with Drake, Future and Miguel, this Canadian vocalist has been groomed to be the next OVO star. His futuristic slow jams flicker through your speakers like candlelight.

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 8.50.35 AMConnecting Stars

Connecting Stars is a South African folk-rock duo made up of Cheryl Engel, a studio session singer and Martin Engel, former bass player of rock band Tree63. Opening with the anthemic track “Pieces,” their self-titled debut release weaves acoustic guitar, piano with haunting melodies, harmonies and strains of glockenspiel, mandolin, ukulele and harmonica. Read More →

Pandora Whiteboard Sessions: Hunter Hunted perform “Operating”

Hunter Hunted, formed in 2012, is an indie pop duo based in Los Angeles. Composed of Dan Chang on guitar, Michael Garner on keys and both musicians on vocals, the group’s sound is often described as melodic dance mixed with pop, rock and indie components; their station plays artists such as Coldplay, Local Natives and Keane.  Hunter Hunted, along with their live band, performed a special acoustic version of “Operating” at Pandora’s Oakland headquarters.

Artists on Pandora…Prologue

blog_post_image3Today marks an exciting new chapter for Pandora. From the first day we launched, we have looked forward to the time when we would begin enabling artists to become active participants in the service. Personalized internet radio has a set of capabilities that make it unique in its potential to empower musicians and activate fans. Where broadcast radio spins a few thousand different songs a year, we play hundreds of thousands. And as we approach 10% of all radio listening in the U.S., the audiences for many of these artists are becoming very meaningful. Combine that scale with the rich understanding of each listeners’ taste and the ability to communicate with them in a personalized, one-to-one way and you have an opportunity to reinvent how music is discovered and promoted, allowing it to flow much more freely between artist and fan.

I spent years in working bands, back before the web came along, and it was the challenge every band faced in building an audience and surviving that was the original inspiration for this company. So much great music has never reached its audience because it never found a home on broadcast radio…without radio, all we had were flyers and a staple gun. We have the chance to change that in a fundamental way.

The first step in making that happen is a partnership with artists and their labels. Close collaboration and the active involvement of musicians and their partners is crucial to a successful design and implementation. Today, the first such partnership for Pandora was formally launched through an agreement with Merlin. Merlin is the world’s largest organization for independent record labels, whose members represent over 20,000 labels. This agreement will give us the flexibility to accelerate the discovery of thousands of bands, and to enable them to begin actively communicating with their audience on Pandora. Read More →

Inside The Collection: Weekly Curator Picks

Some of this week’s newest music and genre station highlights on Pandora, fresh from our curation team!

Artist Debuts 

Majid Jordan

Majid Jordan are a production and R&B duo out of Toronto that were featured on Drake’s hit single “Hold On, We’re Going Home,” off his critically acclaimed 2013 album Nothing Was The Same. Formerly known as GOOD People, Majid Jordan have been active since late 2011 and were most recently signed to Drake’s record label OVO Sound. Their debut single “A Place Like This” blends dark and soothing melodies with a distinguishing hip-hop sound.

Screen Shot 2014-08-04 at 9.40.24 AMChristopher Tin

Christopher Tin is a two time Grammy award-winning composer whose work combines classical and world music influences. He has composed music for films, commercials and video games – being best known for his composition “Baba Yetu” featured in the 2005 game Civilization IV. He made history with this track by winning the first Grammy ever awarded to a piece written for a video game. His newest work The Drop That Contained The Sea debuted at Carnegie Hall in April, and comprises ten songs sung in a different language including “Water Prelude,” voiced in Proto-Indo-European as well as “Waloyo Yamoni – “We Overcome The Wind,” featuring the Soweto Gospel Choir and sung in the South African language, Xhosa. Read More →

Inside The Collection: Pandora’s Guide To Colombian Rhythms

If you’re looking to stretch it out and dance this weekend, we recommend tapping into the boundless rhythms of one of the most musically and culturally diverse nations in the Americas, Colombia. We’re highlighting the incredible musical output that Colombia has generated over the past 70-plus years by offering up a trio of genre stations: Cumbia Colombiana, Salsa Colombiana and Vallenato.

The rhythm that has become most synonymous with Colombian identity is that of Cumbia. Centuries in the making and born out of the confluence of African, Indigenous and European cultures; Cumbia is by far the most popular Latin American dance rhythm and continues to be endlessly appropriated and adopted up and down the hemisphere, spawning countless offshoots and innovations.

Screen Shot 2014-07-30 at 6.09.00 PMFrom the infectious swing of the early big band interpretations, pioneered by bandleaders like Pacho Galán, Lucho Bermúdez and Pedro Laza, to the stripped down accordion sound of squeeze box masters such as Alfredo Gutiérrez, Lisandro Meza and Andrés Landero; Cumbia as interpreted by the architects of the sound define the genre. Also included are some of the groups that would become international superstars like La Sonora Dinamita and Los Corraleros de Majagual, responsible in large part for so effectively disseminating Cumbia across Latin America and the world. Read More →

Inside The Collection: Weekly Curator Picks

Some of this week’s newest music and genre station highlights on Pandora, fresh from our curation team!

Artist Debuts 

Puss N Boots

Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 9.41.20 AMAfter playing live together since 2008, Norah Jones (remembered for her smash hit album Come Away With Me), Sasha Dobson and Catherine Popper have at last taken their collaboration into the studio. Their debut album No Fools, No Fun features a collection of original songs and covers that were cultivated from their live sets, including “Bull Rider,” written by Rodney Crowell and made famous by Johnny Cash. Over the years, they have shared the stage with the Beastie Boys on the Get Out The Vote tour and joined Wilco at Madison Square Garden, providing background vocals on “Jesus, Etc.”, of which their own interpretation is also featured on their debut album.

Boogaloo Assassins

Based out of Los Angeles, the Boogaloo Assassins are reviving the classic Latin Soul sounds of 1960’s New York. Their natural ease and flair, coupled with the meticulous attention to detail and authenticity, makes diehard aficionados and record-collector nerds smile from ear to ear. They have played a large supporting role in the 50th anniversary celebrations of the famed New York Latin music label Fania, backing up living legends Roberto Roena and Joe Bataan in concerts from East Coast to West. They first came to our attention as an independent artist submission and their debut release has recently been picked up by non other than Fania Records. Read More →

Inside Song: Inviting The Muse

Excellent songs can be made at lightning speed, with little intent, hardly any effort and no training, using a minimum of technical ability. It doesn’t matter how it was made. A good song is a good song, and sometimes all that’s needed are a couple chords, some very simple lyrics and a basic melody. But it’s not often the case that great songs come effortlessly, and even when they do, it’s usually because of something more than just blind luck or “natural” talent.

IMG_1104I started writing songs when I was a junior in high school. Actually, it’s more accurate to say, “I started writing song fragments” back then. I would write a riff (that was a direct rip-off of “Sunshine of Your Love” or “Black Dog”) or a chorus or pages of words that were neither good enough to pass as poetry or musical enough to cram into a verse.

This went on for a couple of years resulting in maybe a small handful of completed songs that time has generously erased. I studied Music Composition and focused on other musical practices before winding my way back to songs. When I did return, I wrote secretly for a few years, fortunately having enough insight to recognize that the songs were “not yet ready for prime time.” It took grinding my way through dozens and dozens of songs over more than a decade before I felt like I had something worth sharing publicly.  Read More →

Pandora Whiteboard Sessions: Perma perform “Little Light”

Perma is an indie alternative duo that combines the voices of Max Bemis from Say Anything and Sherri Dupree-Bemis from Eisley. A blend of pop, punk and acoustic elements, the band’s sound emerged as an interplay between two independent talents connected by a musical love story; Perma’s station features artists such as Lydia, Dresses and The Paper Kites. They stopped by Pandora and performed their song “Little Light”

Inside The Collection: Weekly Curator Picks

Some of this week’s newest music and genre station highlights on Pandora, fresh from our curation team!

Artist Debuts

The Madden BrothersScreen Shot 2014-07-21 at 8.47.19 AM

The Madden Brothers are a new project featuring brothers Joel and Benji Madden, the founding members of the rock band Good Charlotte. Their side project began in 2011 as a way for them to branch away from punk/rock to an “upbeat, sunny pop-rock” sound. They have teamed with producer Pharrell Williams and released their first single “We Are Done” from their upcoming debut studio album, Greetings From California to be released in September. 

Shawn Mendes

Check out this 15 year-old singer-songwriter from Toronto who became an overnight Vine sensation with his six-second cover of Justin Beiber’s “As Long As You Love Me”. It received 10,000 likes within hours of its debut last August and is now liked at well over 2.5 million. This phenomenon lead to a recording contract with Island Records and the debut of an original composition. “Life Of The Party” advances his upcoming EP later this summer. Not only that, he is also preparing to go on tour with Austin Mahone! Read More →

Pandora Whiteboard Sessions: Eric Hutchinson performs “Tell The World”

Eric Hutchinson is an American pop singer-songwriter with roots in both NYC and LA. Distinguished by rhythmic guitar and piano melodies, Eric’s music is often matched to the works of Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, and John Mayer, all of whom can be heard on his station. His catchy acoustic energy can be discovered in the live rendition of “Tell the World” from the most recent album, Pure Fiction.