Julian Fernando Casablancas is an American singer/songwriter, the lead singer of the American rock bands The Strokes and The Voidz, founded in 2013. In the midst of The Strokes' hiatus between the release of their third and fourth albums, Casablancas embarked on his solo career, during which the album Phrazes for the Young was released in November 2009, as well as a multitude of collaborations with several other artists on their work—examples are The Lonely Island's 2009 album Incredibad and Daft Punk's 2013 album Random Access Memories. In conjunction with the release of his solo album, Casablancas founded the independent record label Cult Records in 2009. In June 2014 Cult Records entered a label services agreement with Kobalt, represents artists such as The Growlers, Rey Pila, Karen O, several others. Casablancas was born in New York City to Spanish-American business mogul John Casablancas, the founder of Elite Model Management, Jeanette Christiansen, a Danish former model and Miss Denmark.
When Casablancas was eight, his parents divorced. He once stated that he wanted to be closer to his father, this, "translated into teenage rebelliousness." His mother subsequently married painter Sam Adoquei. Adoquei helped shape Casablancas' early musical taste by exposing him to music such as The Doors, markedly different from the Phil Collins-influenced music he listened to as a child. Casablancas knew the bassist of The Strokes, Nikolai Fraiture, since they were six, while both were attending Lycée Français de New York; when he was 13, Casablancas' father sent him to Institut Le Rosey, a boarding school in Switzerland, where he met future Strokes member Albert Hammond Jr. Casablancas returned to New York and attended Dwight School with two other future Strokes, Nick Valensi and Fabrizio Moretti. Casablancas never finished high school, but took a GED and continued to take music classes at Five Towns College, where he says he first enjoyed himself in class. Upon meeting future guitarist Nick Valensi and drummer Fab Moretti at Dwight School in Manhattan, the three began to play music together.
He reconnected with guitarist Albert Hammond Jr.. The band was formed in 1998 when Hammond was accepted into the band, with Casablancas as the lead vocalist and main songwriter and Nikolai Fraiture on bass; the band began rehearsing a fourteen-song set which included "Alone, Together", "Barely Legal", "Last Nite", "The Modern Age", "New York City Cops", "Soma", "Someday", "Take It or Leave It" and "This Life". Most of these songs now feature different lyrics. A demo sent to the newly reformed Rough Trade Records in the UK sparked interest there, leading to their first release via the website of the UK magazine, NME, who gave away a free mp3 download of "Last Nite" a week prior to the physical release as part of The Modern Age EP in 2001; the EP sparked a bidding war among the largest for a rock and roll band in years. Shortly after, The Strokes' critically acclaimed debut album Is This; the band has received the highest of praise for Is This It, it set the stage for what people expected to “save rock” in the new millennium.
Though some would argue that such statements left unreasonably sized shoes to fill, The Strokes are still recognized as one of the most influential garage rock bands of the early 2000s, paving the way for many new alternative bands to come. Statistically, all albums released following their debut were not nearly as successful or well-received by fans and critics. In an excerpt from Lizzie Goodman's Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock and Roll in New York City, 2001-2011- named after The Strokes' track- Strokes guitarist, Albert Hammond Jr comments, "With Room on Fire, people were giving us shit because they said we were sounding too much the same. With the third album, we were getting shit. We got fucked by the same thing twice!"After the release of the two other albums and several major tours, the band took a 5-year break before returning with their fourth album Angles in 2011. The five-year hiatus was said to be the result of conflicting solo projects, sobriety issues, unspoken emotions.
The Strokes' drummer Fab Moretti claimed the band struggled to process such "subconscious volcanic emotions" because they were still "children" at the time. Though their creative processes has been critiqued by outside observers as “a democracy under a dictator”, Casablancas has encouraged each band member to contribute their own ideas and collectively sort through which ones will turn into something more. Commenting on the meticulous nature of Julian's creative process, Nick Valensi, has said, “his ear is so sharp. He’s the one with the ear for detail in this band. Creatively, he is a force to be reckoned with.” The 2011 release, Angles, is said to reflect the beginning of the more collaborative nature of the band's creative process. The album release was followed by several headlining appearances at musical festivals, including Reading, Coachella and Austin City Limits; the band released Comedown Machine in 2013, as their last album under the contract with long-time label RCA, for which they did no promotion.
The band released an EP, Future Present Past, on Casablancas' own label Cult Records in 2016. As a solo artist, Casablancas set out with an intention to say what was on his mind, both musically and lyrically. Speaking on his experience as a solo artist versus releasing music with The Strokes, the singer has put it “it’s like touring with me or with five of me,” meaning that each member has their own opinionated state of mind. While such statements rai
Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew on the genres of blues and blues, from country music. Rock music drew on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, incorporated influences from jazz and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar as part of a rock group with electric bass and one or more singers. Rock is song-based music with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become diverse. Like pop music, lyrics stress romantic love but address a wide variety of other themes that are social or political. By the late 1960s "classic rock" period, a number of distinct rock music subgenres had emerged, including hybrids like blues rock, folk rock, country rock, southern rock, raga rock, jazz-rock, many of which contributed to the development of psychedelic rock, influenced by the countercultural psychedelic and hippie scene.
New genres that emerged included progressive rock. In the second half of the 1970s, punk rock reacted by producing stripped-down, energetic social and political critiques. Punk was an influence in the 1980s on new wave, post-punk and alternative rock. From the 1990s alternative rock began to dominate rock music and break into the mainstream in the form of grunge and indie rock. Further fusion subgenres have since emerged, including pop punk, electronic rock, rap rock, rap metal, as well as conscious attempts to revisit rock's history, including the garage rock/post-punk and techno-pop revivals at the beginning of the 2000s. Rock music has embodied and served as the vehicle for cultural and social movements, leading to major subcultures including mods and rockers in the UK and the hippie counterculture that spread out from San Francisco in the US in the 1960s. 1970s punk culture spawned the goth and emo subcultures. Inheriting the folk tradition of the protest song, rock music has been associated with political activism as well as changes in social attitudes to race and drug use, is seen as an expression of youth revolt against adult consumerism and conformity.
The sound of rock is traditionally centered on the amplified electric guitar, which emerged in its modern form in the 1950s with the popularity of rock and roll. It was influenced by the sounds of electric blues guitarists; the sound of an electric guitar in rock music is supported by an electric bass guitar, which pioneered in jazz music in the same era, percussion produced from a drum kit that combines drums and cymbals. This trio of instruments has been complemented by the inclusion of other instruments keyboards such as the piano, the Hammond organ, the synthesizer; the basic rock instrumentation was derived from the basic blues band instrumentation. A group of musicians performing rock music is termed as a rock group. Furthermore, it consists of between three and five members. Classically, a rock band takes the form of a quartet whose members cover one or more roles, including vocalist, lead guitarist, rhythm guitarist, bass guitarist and keyboard player or other instrumentalist. Rock music is traditionally built on a foundation of simple unsyncopated rhythms in a 4/4 meter, with a repetitive snare drum back beat on beats two and four.
Melodies originate from older musical modes such as the Dorian and Mixolydian, as well as major and minor modes. Harmonies range from the common triad to parallel perfect fourths and fifths and dissonant harmonic progressions. Since the late 1950s and from the mid 1960s onwards, rock music used the verse-chorus structure derived from blues and folk music, but there has been considerable variation from this model. Critics have stressed the eclecticism and stylistic diversity of rock; because of its complex history and its tendency to borrow from other musical and cultural forms, it has been argued that "it is impossible to bind rock music to a rigidly delineated musical definition." Unlike many earlier styles of popular music, rock lyrics have dealt with a wide range of themes, including romantic love, rebellion against "The Establishment", social concerns, life styles. These themes were inherited from a variety of sources such as the Tin Pan Alley pop tradition, folk music, rhythm and blues.
Music journalist Robert Christgau characterizes rock lyrics as a "cool medium" with simple diction and repeated refrains, asserts that rock's primary "function" "pertains to music, or, more noise." The predominance of white and middle class musicians in rock music has been noted, rock has been seen as an appropriation of black musical forms for a young and male audience. As a result, it has been seen to articulate the concerns of this group in both style and lyrics. Christgau, writing in 1972, said in spite of some exceptions, "rock and roll implies an identification of male sexuality and aggression". Since the term "rock" started being used in preference to "rock and roll" from the late-1960s, it has been contrasted with pop music, with which it has shared many characteristics, but from wh
Christina María Aguilera is an American singer, songwriter and television personality. Her work has earned her five Grammy Awards, one Latin Grammy Award, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, she has sold more than 75 million records worldwide, making her one of the world's best-selling music artists. In 2009, she ranked at number 58 on Rolling Stone's list of 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. Billboard recognized her as the 20th most successful artist of the 2000s, in 2013, Time included Aguilera on their annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Born in Staten Island, New York and raised in Pennsylvania, she appeared on the television series Star Search and The Mickey Mouse Club in her early years. After recording "Reflection", the theme for Disney's 1998 film Mulan, Aguilera signed with RCA Records. Aguilera earned the title "Pop Princess" in her early years. Aguilera earned two number-one albums on the US Billboard 200 with her self-titled debut album in 1999 and Back to Basics in 2006.
Her albums Stripped, Bionic and Liberation all reached the top-ten in the United States. Furthermore, her Spanish-language album Mi Reflejo and the holiday album My Kind of Christmas each topped Billboard component charts in 2000. Several of Aguilera's songs have experienced international success, including "Genie in a Bottle", "What a Girl Wants", "Come On Over Baby" from her self-titled debut, which each topped the Billboard Hot 100, "Dirrty", "Beautiful", "Fighter" from Stripped, "Ain't No Other Man" and "Hurt" from Back to Basics, the collaborations "Lady Marmalade", "Moves like Jagger", "Feel This Moment", "Say Something". Beyond her music career, Aguilera starred in the film Burlesque and has been featured as a coach on six seasons of the reality competition television series The Voice since 2011. Aside from her work in the entertainment industry, Aguilera is involved in charitable activities through her work as a UN ambassador for the World Food Programme. Christina María Aguilera was born in the Staten Island borough of New York City, on December 18, 1980, to Shelly Loraine Kearns, a musician, Fausto Xavier Aguilera, a United States Army soldier.
Her father is Ecuadorian, while her mother has German, Irish and Dutch ancestry. Her family moved because of her father's military service, lived in places including New Jersey, New York, Japan. Aguilera and her mother alleged that her father was physically and abusive, claims which he denied. Aguilera used music as a form of escape from her turbulent household. Following her parents' divorce when she was six years old, her younger sister Rachel, her mother, moved into her grandmother's home in the Pittsburgh suburb of Rochester, Pennsylvania. After several years of being estranged, Aguilera expressed interest in reconciling with her father in 2012. Growing up, known locally as "the little girl with the big voice", aspired to be a singer, singing in local talent shows and competitions, she won her first talent show at the age of 8, in which she performed Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance with Somebody". In 1990, she appeared on Star Search singing "A Sunday Kind of Love", was eliminated during the semi-final rounds.
She performed the same song during an appearance on Pittsburgh's KDKA-TV's Wake Up with Larry Richert. Throughout her youth in Pittsburgh, Aguilera sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" before Pittsburgh Penguins hockey, Pittsburgh Steelers football, Pittsburgh Pirates baseball games, in addition to the 1992 Stanley Cup Finals, she attended Rochester Area School District in Rochester and Marshall Middle School near Wexford, attended North Allegheny Intermediate High School before being homeschooled due to bullying. In 1991, Aguilera auditioned for a position on The Mickey Mouse Club, although she did not meet its age requirements, she joined the television series two years where she performed musical numbers and sketch comedy until its cancellation in 1994. Her co-stars included Ryan Gosling, Keri Russell, Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake; when she was fourteen, Aguilera recorded her first song, the duet "All I Wanna Do" with Japanese singer Keizo Nakanishi. She sent her cover version of Houston's "Run to You" to Walt Disney Pictures in hopes of being selected to record the theme song "Reflection" for their animated film Mulan.
"Reflection" peaked at number 19 on the U. S. Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart. After the recording of "Reflection", Aguilera attracted attention of RCA Records A&R Ron Fair and was signed with the label afterwards; the label started presenting Aguilera with tracks to record and laid foundation for her debut album. While catering to making Aguilera's debut a "wonder introduction of a singer" like Barbra Streisand, RCA was pressured by contemporary teen pop craze involving Aguilera's peers including Britney Spears, leading to the label rushing the production process and aligning Aguilera to be part of the teen pop trend, they decided the lead single off the album would be "Genie in a Bottle", a trendy pop and R&B track released in June 1999. The single was a major commercial success, peaking atop the Billboard Hot 100 and record charts of 20 other countries, it has sold over 7 million copies. Following the success of the single, Aguilera's eponymous debut album was released in August to commercial success, peaking at number one on the Billboard 200 and was certified eight times platinum by the Recording Industry Associa
The Strokes are an American rock band from New York City. Formed in 1998, the band is composed of singer Julian Casablancas, lead guitarist Nick Valensi, rhythm guitarist Albert Hammond Jr. bassist Nikolai Fraiture, drummer Fabrizio Moretti. Following the conclusion of five-album deals with RCA and Rough Trade, the band has continued to release new music through Casablancas' Cult Records. Met with widespread critical acclaim, the Strokes' 2001 debut, Is This It, helped usher in the garage rock revival movement of the early-21st century—and ranks number eight on Rolling Stone's 100 Best Debut Albums of All Time, number two on Rolling Stone's 100 Best Albums of the'00s, 199 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and number four in the NME top 500 albums of all time. Lead singer-songwriter Julian Casablancas, guitarist Nick Valensi, drummer Fab Moretti started playing together while attending Dwight School in Manhattan. Bassist Nikolai Fraiture befriended Casablancas while the two attended the Lycée Français de New York.
At age 13, Casablancas was sent to Le Rosey, a boarding school in Switzerland, to improve his academic performance. Casablancas met guitarist Albert Jr. in Switzerland. When Hammond came to New York to attend New York University's Tisch School of the Arts, he shared an apartment with Casablancas; the roommates started a band, first performing at The Spiral—followed by the Luna Lounge on the Lower East Side of New York, at Manhattan's popular Mercury Lounge. Ryan Gentles, the Mercury Lounge's booker, quit his job to become the band's manager; the band began rehearsing a fourteen-song set —including, "Alone, Together," "Barely Legal," "Last Nite," "The Modern Age," "New York City Cops," "Soma," "Someday," "Take It or Leave It," and "This Life". Most of these songs now feature different lyrics; the band sent a demo to the newly reformed Rough Trade Records in the UK, sparking interest there, leading to their first release. The EP sparked a bidding war among the largest for a rock band in years. In August 2001, the Strokes made their first appearance on the cover of the publication The Fader in its ninth issue.
The Strokes released their debut album, Is This It, in the US in October 2001. The album was produced by Gordon Raphael. RCA delayed the North American release over concerns with the album's cover and lyrics; the UK-released cover features a black-and-white photo of a gloved hand on a woman's naked backside, shown in semi-profile while the North American version replaced it with a photo of particle collisions in the Big European Bubble Chamber. RCA replaced the track "New York City Cops" with "When It Started", as the former featured inflammatory lyrics in the wake of the September 11 attacks; the track "New York City Cops"—featuring the refrain, "New York City Cops, they ain't too smart"—was listed as No. 12 on New York magazine's "Ultimate New York Playlist" on March 1, 2010. Despite its delayed release, Is This It received critical acclaim—among other accolades, four stars from Rolling Stone, a 9.1 from Pitchfork Media. The album made many critic's top-ten lists, was named the best album of the year by Entertainment Weekly and Time, NME urged readers to attend the Strokes’ shows—as they were touring some of the "best pop songs ever".
While critics noted the influence of CBGB stalwarts Television and bandmates said they had never heard the band, instead citing the Velvet Underground as a reference point. After the release of Is This It, the band toured around the world—including Japan, New Zealand and North America; the self-made mini-documentary "In Transit" was filmed during the summer tour of Europe. In August 2002, the band headlined the UK's Carling Weekend festivals for the second time, subsequently playing at New York's Radio City Music Hall on a bill with the White Stripes. Jack White joined the Strokes on stage to perform the guitar solo on "New York City Cops". During that period, the band appeared as musical guests on numerous late-night talk shows. Is This It yielded several music videos, all of which were directed by Roman Coppola. Is This It has had an enduring impact on critics alike. In 2009, NME named Is This It as the Greatest Album of the Decade; the album placed second on a similar list compiled by Rolling Stone.
In January 2011, Rolling Stone conducted a survey among their Facebook fans to determine the top ten debut albums of all time. Is This It came in at number ten and was the most recent behind Pearl Jam's 1991 debut; as of 2010, Is This It had sold over 3.5 million copies worldwide. The group began recording their follow-up in 2002 with producer Nigel Godrich, but split with him in favor of Gordon Raphael, the producer of Is This It. Recordings with Godrich were never revealed. In August 2003, the band toured Japan, playing a couple of the upcoming songs: "Reptilia", "Meet Me In The Bathroom", "The Way It Is", "Between Love & Hate" and "12:51"; the band played Paul Anka's "My Way" with Japanese lyri
Adelaide is the capital city of the state of South Australia, the fifth-most populous city of Australia. In June 2017, Adelaide had an estimated resident population of 1,333,927. Adelaide is home to more than 75 percent of the South Australian population, making it the most centralised population of any state in Australia. Adelaide is north of the Fleurieu Peninsula, on the Adelaide Plains between the Gulf St Vincent and the low-lying Mount Lofty Ranges which surround the city. Adelaide stretches 20 km from the coast to the foothills, 94 to 104 km from Gawler at its northern extent to Sellicks Beach in the south. Named in honour of Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, queen consort to King William IV, the city was founded in 1836 as the planned capital for a freely-settled British province in Australia. Colonel William Light, one of Adelaide's founding fathers, designed the city and chose its location close to the River Torrens, in the area inhabited by the Kaurna people. Light's design set out Adelaide in a grid layout, interspaced by wide boulevards and large public squares, surrounded by parklands.
Early Adelaide was shaped by wealth. Until the Second World War, it was Australia's third-largest city and one of the few Australian cities without a convict history, it has been noted for early examples of religious freedom, a commitment to political progressivism and civil liberties. It has been known as the "City of Churches" since the mid-19th century, referring to its diversity of faiths rather than the piety of its denizens; the demonym "Adelaidean" is used in reference to its residents. As South Australia's seat of government and commercial centre, Adelaide is the site of many governmental and financial institutions. Most of these are concentrated in the city centre along the cultural boulevard of North Terrace, King William Street and in various districts of the metropolitan area. Today, Adelaide is noted for its many festivals and sporting events, its food and wine, its long beachfronts, its large defence and manufacturing sectors, it ranks in terms of quality of life, being listed in the world's top 10 most liveable cities, out of 140 cities worldwide by The Economist Intelligence Unit.
It was ranked the most liveable city in Australia by the Property Council of Australia in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Before its proclamation as a British settlement in 1836, the area around Adelaide was inhabited by the indigenous Kaurna Aboriginal nation. Kaurna culture and language were completely destroyed within a few decades of European settlement of South Australia, but extensive documentation by early missionaries and other researchers has enabled a modern revival of both. South Australia was proclaimed a British colony on 28 December 1836, near The Old Gum Tree in what is now the suburb of Glenelg North; the event is commemorated in South Australia as Proclamation Day. The site of the colony's capital was surveyed and laid out by Colonel William Light, the first Surveyor-General of South Australia, through the design made by the architect George Strickland Kingston. Adelaide was established as a planned colony of free immigrants, promising civil liberties and freedom from religious persecution, based upon the ideas of Edward Gibbon Wakefield.
Wakefield had read accounts of Australian settlement while in prison in London for attempting to abduct an heiress, realised that the eastern colonies suffered from a lack of available labour, due to the practice of giving land grants to all arrivals. Wakefield's idea was for the Government to survey and sell the land at a rate that would maintain land values high enough to be unaffordable for labourers and journeymen. Funds raised from the sale of land were to be used to bring out working-class emigrants, who would have to work hard for the monied settlers to afford their own land; as a result of this policy, Adelaide does not share the convict settlement history of other Australian cities like Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart. As it was believed that in a colony of free settlers there would be little crime, no provision was made for a gaol in Colonel Light's 1837 plan, but by mid-1837 the South Australian Register was warning of escaped convicts from New South Wales and tenders for a temporary gaol were sought.
Following a burglary, a murder, two attempted murders in Adelaide during March 1838, Governor Hindmarsh created the South Australian Police Force in April 1838 under 21-year-old Henry Inman. The first sheriff, Samuel Smart, was wounded during a robbery, on 2 May 1838 one of the offenders, Michael Magee, became the first person to be hanged in South Australia. William Baker Ashton was appointed governor of the temporary gaol in 1839, in 1840 George Strickland Kingston was commissioned to design Adelaide's new gaol. Construction of Adelaide Gaol commenced in 1841. Adelaide's early history was marked by questionable leadership; the first governor of South Australia, John Hindmarsh, clashed with others, in particular the Resident Commissioner, James Hurtle Fisher. The rural area surrounding Adelaide was surveyed by Light in preparation to sell a total of over 405 km2 of land. Adelaide's early economy started to get on its feet in 1838 with the arrival of livestock from Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania.
Wool production provided an early basis for the South Australian economy. By 1860, wheat farms had been established from Encounter Bay in the south to Clare in the north. George Gawler took over from Hindmarsh in late 1838 and, despite being under orders from the Select Committee on South Australia in Britain not to undertake any public works, promptly oversaw construction of a governo
Leonard Albert Kravitz is an American singer, songwriter and record producer. His "retro" style incorporates elements of rock, soul, R&B, jazz, hard rock, pop and ballads. In addition to singing lead and backing vocals, Kravitz plays all of the instruments himself when recording, he won the Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance four years in a row from 1999 to 2002, breaking the record for most wins in that category as well as setting the record for most consecutive wins in one category by a male. He has been nominated for and won other awards, including American Music Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, Radio Music Awards, Brit Awards, Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, he was ranked number 93 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. On December 1, 2011, Kravitz was made an Officer of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, he played Cinna in the Hunger Games film series. Kravitz was born in Manhattan, New York, the only child of actress Roxie Roker and NBC television news producer Sy Kravitz.
His father was of Ukrainian Jewish descent. His mother was of Bahamian descent, was from a Christian family. Through his mother, Kravitz is the cousin once removed of television weather presenter Al Roker. During his early years, Kravitz did not grow up in a religious environment. After a spiritual experience when he was 13, he started attending church, becoming a non-denominational Christian. Sy Kravitz was a Green Beret, his brother, Leonard M. Kravitz, followed in his footsteps to the military, becoming a Private First Class. Lenny Kravitz would be named after this uncle, killed in action in the Korean War at the age of 19, while defending against a Chinese attack and saving most of his platoon. In 2014, he posthumously received the Medal of Honor in a ceremony that awarded it to 23 other servicemen who were passed over because of their ethnicity. Kravitz grew up spending weekdays on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, with his parents, attending P. S. 6 for elementary school, weekends at his grandmother Bessie Roker's house in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Kravitz began playing them as drums at the age of three. At the age of five, he wanted to be a musician, he soon added guitar. Kravitz grew up listening to the music his parents listened to: R&B, classical, opera and blues. "My parents were supportive of the fact that I loved music early on, they took me to a lot of shows," Kravitz said. Around the age of seven, he saw The Jacksons perform at Madison Square Garden, which became his favorite group, his father, a jazz promoter, was friends with Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby Short, Miles Davis and other jazz greats. Ellington played "Happy Birthday" for him one year when he was about 5, he was exposed to the soul music of Motown, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, Gladys Knight, The Isley Brothers, Gamble and Huff growing up who were key influences on his musical style. Kravitz went to see New York theater, where his mother worked, his mother encouraged his dreams of pursuing music.
In 1974, the Kravitz family relocated to Los Angeles when Kravitz's mother landed her role on The Jeffersons. At his mother's urging, Kravitz joined the California Boys Choir for three years, where he performed a classical repertoire, sang with the Metropolitan Opera, he took part in Mahler's Third Symphony at the Hollywood Bowl. It was in Los Angeles that Kravitz was first introduced to rock music, listening to The Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, the Grateful Dead, Black Sabbath, Creedence Clearwater Revival, KISS, Pink Floyd, The Who. "I was attracted to the cool style, the girls, the rock'n' roll lifestyle," Kravitz said. Kravitz's other musical influences at the time included Fela Kuti, Bill Withers, Marvin Gaye, Pharoah Sanders and Miles Davis. Kravitz attended Beverly Hills High School. Maria McKee, actor Nicolas Cage and musician Slash were his classmates. In 1978, Kravitz was accepted into the school's well-respected music program, he taught himself to play piano and bass, made friends with Zoro who would become his long-time collaborator.
Kravitz wanted to be a session musician. He appeared as an actor in television commercials during this time. With record labels still telling him his music was not "black enough" or "white enough", Kravitz decided to record an album on his own. Kravitz had met recording engineer/keyboardist/bassist Henry Hirsch in 1985 when recording a demo at his Hoboken, New Jersey recording studio; the two shared an interest in using real instruments and vintage recording equipment, as well as a love of R&B, rock. Kravitz would go on to collaborate with Hirsch on most of his albums. Kravitz began working on his debut album with Hirsch over the next year and a half, with Kravitz's father paying for the studio time. Kravitz met saxophonist Karl Denson and invited him to play on the song, "Let Love Rule". Kravitz was so impressed with his playing. Denson toured with Kravitz for the next five years. In October 1988, after completing most of the recording, Kravitz approached friend Stephen Elvis Smith who had served as the Music Supervisor on Lisa Bonet's spin-off of The Cosby Show, A Different World.
Smith had worked with Kravitz' mother, on the hit sitcom The Jeffersons. Kravitz urged Smith to assist him in finding a record deal. In
The Smiths were an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1982. The band consisted of vocalist Morrissey, guitarist Johnny Marr, bassist Andy Rourke and drummer Mike Joyce. Critics have called them one of the most important bands to emerge from the British independent music scene of the 1980s. In 2002, NME named the Smiths "the artists to have had the most influence on the NME". In 2003, four of the band's albums appeared on Rolling Stone's list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Based on the songwriting partnership of Morrissey and Marr, the group signed to the independent record label Rough Trade Records, on which they released four studio albums, they have released several compilations and numerous non-album singles. They had several singles reach the top twenty of the UK Singles Chart and all four of their studio albums reached the top five of the UK Albums Chart, including Meat Is Murder which hit number one, they remain cult favourites. The band have turned down several offers to reunite.
The band's focus on a guitar and drum sound and their fusion of 1960s rock and post-punk, were a rejection of the then-popular, synthesiser-based dance-pop. Marr's guitar work, using a Rickenbacker, had a jangle pop sound reminiscent of Roger McGuinn of the Byrds. Morrissey's complex, literate lyrics combined themes about ordinary people with mordant humour. On 31 August 1978, a 19-year-old Morrissey was introduced to the 14-year-old Johnny Marr by mutual acquaintances Billy Duffy and Howard Bates at a Patti Smith gig held at Manchester's Apollo Theatre. In May 1982 Marr decided that he wanted to establish a new band, subsequently turned up on the doorstep of Morrissey's house – 384 Kings Road, Stretford – accompanied by mutual friend Steve Pomfret, to ask Morrissey if he was interested in founding a band with himself and Pomfret. A fan of the New York Dolls, Marr had been impressed that Morrissey had authored a book on the band, was inspired to turn up on his doorstep following the example of Jerry Leiber, who had formed his working partnership with Mike Stoller after turning up at the latter's door.
According to Morrissey: "We got on famously. We were similar in drive." Conversing, the two found. The next day, Morrissey phoned Marr to confirm that he would be interested in forming a band with him. A few days Morrissey and Marr held their first rehearsal in Marr's rented attic room in Bowdon. Morrissey provided the lyrics for "Don't Blow Your Own Horn", the first song; the next song that they worked on was "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle", which again was based on lyrics produced by Morrissey. Marr included a tempo, based on the Patti Smith song "Kimberly", they recorded it on Marr's TEAC three-track cassette recorder; the third track that the duo worked on was "Suffer Little Children". Alongside these original compositions, Morrissey suggested that the band produce a cover of "I Want a Boy for My Birthday", a song by the 1960s American girl band the Cookies. By the end of the summer of 1982 Morrissey had chosen the band name "the Smiths" informing an interviewer that "it was the most ordinary name and I thought it was time that the ordinary folk of the world showed their faces".
Around the time of the band's formation, Morrissey decided that he would be publicly known only by his surname, with Marr referring to him as "Mozzer" or "Moz". In 1983 he forbade those around him from using the name "Steven". After remaining with the band for several rehearsals, Pomfret departed acrimoniously, he was replaced by the bass player Dale Hibbert, who worked at Manchester's Decibel Studios, where Marr had met him while recording Freak Party's demo. It was through Hibbert that the Smiths were able to record their first demo at Decibel, doing so one night in August 1982. Aided by drummer Simon Wolstencroft, whom Marr had worked with in Freak Party, the band recorded both "The Hand That Rocks the Cradle" and "Suffer Little Children". Wolstencroft was not interested in joining the band, so auditions were held to find a permanent drummer, which resulted in Mike Joyce joining them. Meanwhile, Morrissey took the demo recording to Factory Records, but Factory's Tony Wilson wasn't interested.
In October 1982 the Smiths gave their first public performance as a support act for Blue Rondo à la Turk during a student music and fashion show, "An Evening of Pure Pleasure", at Manchester's The Ritz venue. During the performance, they played both their own compositions and "I Want a Boy for My Birthday". Morrissey had organised the gig's aesthetic. Maker remained onstage during the performance, relating that "I was given a pair of maracas – an optional extra – and carte blanche. There were no instructions – I think it was accepted I would improvise... I was there to drink red wine, make extraneous hand gestures and keep well within the tight, chalked circle that Morrissey had drawn around me." Hibbert however was unhappy with.