Essential Music of 2016 – IP 56

We’re back with another installment of our Best of the year episodes with our Essential Music of 2016 picks!

So why was this music Essential? These albums and songs acted as the soundtrack of our lives this year and brought us joy, helped us through pain, gave us life, empowered us and sometimes even made us cry. This is the music that fed our souls and we are thrilled to share it with you.

There’s no question that artists we’ve loved for years, like A Tribe Called Quest, Beyoncé, Gwen Stefani, Sia and David Bowie continued to provide music that is as relevant and vital in 2016 as it was decades earlier. But our minds were also blown (and our hearts tugged) by a younger generation of music artists — from Solange’s honest and inspiring A Seat at the Table, to Frank Ocean’s heady and heartfelt Endless and Blonde, to Blood Orange’s introspective opus, Freetown Sounds.

We also shine a light on some of the great songs of the year including works by Kendrick Lamar, Bruno Mars, Rationale, Kamasi Washington, James Blake, One Republic and Miguel.

And this list would not be complete without Sean rejoicing one more time for the Hamilton original cast album.
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Amita recommends reading this behind the scenes article on the making of Sia’s This is Acting album.

Here is the emotional Gwen Stefani video for Used to Love You that Amita connected with.

Sean loves this duet between legends Judy Garland and Barbra Streisand and would love to see Beyonce and Adele recreate this incredible collaboration.

Amita and Sean both believe Solange created two of the most gorgeous videos of the year: Cranes in the Sky and Don’t Touch My Hair.

Fall TV Review, Bruno Mars, Childish Gambino – IP 48

This week, Inside Pop helps you deal with increasing demands of Peak TV. We review the new Fall TV shows we’re sampling, the returning shows that are still solid and the programs that are either being saved on our DVR or on the cusp of being buried in the Pop Culture Graveyard. Some of the shows that make the list include: HBO’s Insecure, Hulu’s The Mindy Project and NBC’s The Good Place & This is Us.


We also discuss the new single from Bruno Mars, “24K Magic” and analyze his Vegas party themed video. Plus, Amita’s Big Sell features music from Atlanta star, Donald Glover, aka Childish Gambino.

The multi-talented creator, writer and director of the hit series also sings and raps and Amita handpicks three singles from his last album Kauai, “Palisades”, “Sober” and “Pop Thieves” for #BigSell30. We also discuss his creative collective- Royalty, featured here in GQ Magazine as well as The Roots musical collective discussed here.

Listen. Share. Subscribe and follow us @Popinsiders on Twitter and Instagram. And don’t forget to join us in the Big Sell 30 Day Challenge!

Big Sell 30 Day 8: Bruno Mars’ new single- “24K Magic”

Hey y’all! Amita here with today’s #BigSell30! Join us and experience one new piece of pop culture every day for 30 days!

I had a whole other idea for what I was going to sell today but I scrapped it as soon as the new Bruno Mars single “24K Magic” filled my ears on Friday! This funk/dance/pop/soul instant hit is giving me the throwback feels!! This single feels like the love child of his 2013 hit “Treasure” and 2015 smash single “Uptown Funk” with Mark Ronson. And if you were living under a rock and haven’t heard one of these- let me break it down for you- 1 fun party dance song + 1 even more fun party dance song= new get on the dance floor single!

bruno-mars-24k-magic I woke up to this fun party song as it was playing on the radio when my alarm went off and then had the pleasure of hearing it again in my Spotify Release Radar playlist and I was hooked.

I’m a huge fan of Bruno Mars’ first two albums and think he is an incredible musician and songwriter, but his live performances are what really impressed me- remember when he and Beyoncé had a dance off at the Super Bowl earlier this year?! Or when he brought down the house during the 2014 Super Bowl halftime show?

He is definitely on my list of people to see in concert and when his album drops on November 18th, you can guarantee it will be on repeat in my house and I’ll be on the watch to see when he starts a new tour!

When Bruno announced the single release on Instagram he said “You can call it my first single, but I call it the invitation to the party.” Thanks for the invitation Mr. Mars. Consider this my RSVP.

You can listen to single and watch the Vegas party themed video here.

How do you even make a video to this song without just having a party for hours?!

As always, let us know if you have a Big Sell for us for #BigSell30 on Twitter and Instagram @PopInsiders and leave a comment below to let us know what you think of our Big Sells so far!