Blog | music

  • See the new Degrassi intro - right now.

    Posted on 06/24/2011 by Lisa

    You have to wait until July 18th to see the new episodes, but you can watch the new intro RIGHT NOW. The new theme song was recorded by singer-songwriter Alexz Johnson, and it's pretty much amazing:

    Alexz is in NYC this week, but she had a time for a quick chat with me. After I fangirled out for a minute about being on Skype with Alexz Johnson, we got down to business:

    I just watched the new Degrassi opening, and I love it! How did that come about?
    It came up very naturally; it wasn't planned. I was sent the track, and they said "Can you do anything with this?" Demo Castellon was producing it, and he remixed my indie Voodoo album, and so I think I was just in the right place. They asked if I'd put a vocal on it, and then they liked it the best.

    The latest promo for Degrassi: Now or Never is really intense, and I know some of the fans are worried about what's going to happen to their favorite characters -- but when I listen to your version of the theme song, I'm like, "They will make it through! I believe everyone will get through all this drama somehow."
    That's so funny you say that, because that's what the feeling behind it was. I've been through my own hell on the career and music end, when it comes to major labels, and my own ups and downs, feeling like "Can you do it anymore?" I really pulled from my own experiences as I sang it, and it's like... "Screw it! You can do anything!" I wanted people to feel that when they heard the vocal. I really wanted it to be strong and powerful.

    Alexz JohnsonSo we know Degrassi's going to have a crazy-intense summer. What about you? What do you have planned?
    I'm working. I just released an album called Voodoo: Reloaded, which is really exciting. When I get back to Toronto, I play The Drake on the 27th, go to Nashville to do some songwriting, and then I'm back in Toronto to do a music video for "Look at Those Eyes," which is my next single. I'm expanding my reach to the States this summer. Being located in Canada can sometimes be difficult, but I'm hoping to do a U.S. tour and either open for someone or be a co-headliner.

    I'm also working on my next record, and I have maybe 40 songs that are done. I have some songs with Bruno Mars, Mike Elizondo, and Toby Gad... some pretty strong writers, so I'm excited. I'm excited to put them all together and see where my head is at, and the kind of record I want to make. Being indie and being Canadian, I'm trying to really expand my reach. It's so exciting to be doing the Degrassi theme. I'm just finding a way to get my music out to people.

    I know a lot of TeenNick fans were excited to see you trending on Twitter a few months back. What was that like?
    It was crazy! I have some pretty awesomely loyal fans. I just did an online show yesterday, and it was really cool. I'm trying to find innovative ways to reach my fanbase, which is all over the world -- but being on an indie label, I can't just pack up my band and fly us to Europe to do a tour. I'm trying to find a way to do it all, but sticking true to my sound.

    I love that you can perform live shows online, and that we can talk on Skype and see each other, even though we're a country apart. It seems like a cool time to be an indie artist. Yay, the Internet!
    I have some friends who are filmographers, so I've also been making a lot of videos and putting them online, just hanging out and singing songs. It's one of those things where like... you come to terms with the fact that you don't know if you're going to make a living. You don't know how things are going to unfold, but you do it because you love it, and there's nothing else you can do. I'm at a point in my life where there is no alternative. I'm just going to keep doing music. I'm not as hard on myself as I used to be, and the last couple years have just been so much fun and creative. It's been great.

    Alexz, thanks so much for talking to me. I can't wait for the fans to see the new open!
    I'm so excited. This really happened out of nowhere and I'm so excited to be a part of it.

    So... what do you think of the new open?

  • This summer... TeenNick Rocks Out!

    Posted on 06/20/2011 by Lisa

    Want a summer full of rock shows? So do we. (This summer isn't just about Degrassi.) Watch awesome artists rock out on stage, every Friday night in July and August.

    TeenNick Rocks Out starts Friday, July 1st at 10pm et with Beyoncé: Live in Las Vegas!

  • What Songs Do YOU Want to Hear on Degrassi?

    Posted on 05/23/2011 by Mary

    Which bands' music do you think belongs on Degrassi?
    Sav and Holly J are dying to hear which bands you'll mention.

    I had a brief chat with Degrassi's Music Supervisor last week -- he's the one who gave us all that great info last season about how they picked the songs that went in each scene -- and he told me three very interesting things:

    1) He's not the kind of person who minds getting inundated with submissions.
    2) He's curious about your favorite music, and which bands (including the widely unheard of) you think would totally work on the show.
    3) He doesn't mind if you tweet him directly about it! He's @jvonhollen. Or, if yr not a twittering type, you can post in the comments and I'll make sure he sees it.

    Seriously, you could even send him a link to your own band's demo if you wanted to! Why not, right?

  • Songs from Tonight's Degrassi

    Posted on 04/22/2011 by Lisa

    Here's a list of the songs from Drop the World, pt. 2:

    Digital Daggers music on TeenNick's Degrassi

    "Head Over Heels" by Digital Daggers
    Check the Degrassi page for a sample.

    "Shake Suga Shake" by Codi Jordan

    "Running" by The Jefferson

    "Ignite" by Ali Pierre

    "Stupid Boy" by Lisha Cash

    "A Little Bit (reloaded)" by Alexz Johnson

    "Big Love" by Parlovr

    "Don't Be Deceived" by Philip LaRue

  • Songs from Tonight's Degrassi and Gigantic

    Posted on 04/15/2011 by Mary

    Tons of great info on all of this week's Degrassi songs from their music supervisor! Check it out... (his quotes in italics).

    Kopek music on TeenNick's Degrassi

    "Sin City " by Kopek
    From Eli's scene out in the abandoned church with Julia's picture.
    Check the Degrassi page for a sample.
    "This gritty rock track was begging for Eli to take out his shotgun. Another superb Eli moment, we're wondering what he's up to, and whether he really means to pull the trigger or not. 'Sin City' blows away all his reasoning, and we're left with the beast inside - and we're left wondering if Clare is next. "

    "Amazing" by The Red Directors
    From that first scene, as Eli goes to the bookstore to pick up his copy of Gothic Tales.
    "The Red Directors had just started writing songs as a band when we found them. We had actually used this song in the background of episode 1038, and the editors and producers loved it so much they decided it was worth a superb feature use. The song's vibe and inspiration is perfect for Eli, his excitement, accomplishment, sheer joy! "

    "This Kind of Love" by Latch Key Kid
    The song Clare likes because it's "happy, like springtime."
    "This musical moment went through some rigmarole, but in the end this song fit perfectly with what was happening. We are big fans of Latch Key Kid and we're really happy he's such a good fit with the show. Go back and listen to his track in the Degrassi Takes Manhattan special!"

    "Heart of Gold" by You Say Party! We Say Die!
    From the E-Clare "I think we need a breather" scene.
    "We've been big fans of You Say Party! for a long while, then we realized their tracks would be perfect in the show, especially for such an emotional moment. The entire XXXX album (and the subsequent remixes) deserve to be heard - check out the whole album! "

    Jonathan Clay music on TeenNick's Gigantic

    • "Get You Out" by Jonathan Clay
    • "Time to Wake Up" by Carly Patterson

    You can hear samples of both songs over on the Gigantic page.

  • Songs from Tonight's Degrassi and Gigantic

    Posted on 04/08/2011 by Mary

    Tons of great info on all of this week's Degrassi songs from their music supervisor! Check it out... (his quotes in italics).

    Ash Koley music on TeenNick's Degrassi

    "Mary The Inventor " by Ash Koley
    From the standardized test scene.
    Check the Degrassi page for a sample.
    "This scene went through many songs before we nailed this one. There were budget issues, tempo issues, vibe issues, nothing was working until Ash Koley graced our minds once more, and solved all our problems. Ash Koley came to perform an acoustic set in our office one day, and we've been in love ever since. If you freeze-frame on the test the students are taking online, you'll notice one of the math problems is about 'Mary' - a nice little present for you hardcore fans!"

    "Be My Girl" by Karyn Ellis
    The song playing during Fiona's dream at the top of the episode.
    " The Toronto artist Karyn Ellis and her sombre tones carried us in and out of Fiona's dream, and was the perfect lucid companion to Fiona's confusion and strife. It really felt like one of those songs you would listen to while you sleep, and would bleed into your subconscious and begin forming a dream around it. So we ask you, did Fiona dream about Holly J and think of this song, or was she listening to this song and it formed her dream about Holly J? You decide."

    "The Long Goodnight" by Dead Letter Chorus
    From Adam and Fiona's make-out slash break-up scene.
    "We first saw Dead Letter Chorus perform with Two Hours Traffic here in Toronto; this Australian band of troubadours tour the world stealing hearts. A blend of country, bluegrass, folk and alt-indie-rock, their beautiful harmonies help to paint the stories they tell, including one memorable story about the lead singer's mother not knowing she was adopted until just recently. The resulting music is heartbreaking, longing and boot-swinging all at once."

    "Soundtrack of My Life" by Less Than Jake
    From the studying montage.
    "Less than Jake reached out to us, and who would have known they are huge Degrassi fans? In fact the drummer, Vinnie Fiorello, founder of Paper+Plastick and Fueled By Ramen Records, told us it's one of his absolute favorite shows. We were thrilled to be in such good graces and absolutely had to find a spot for such an epic band. Much love to Less Than Jake from the Degrassi world."

    "Baby I Need You" by Kim Taylor
    From Fiona and Holly J's sleepover.
    "Such a sweet message, wrapped in such a tender musical package deserved some special attention and just the right picture to deliver it. That picture turned out to be tears and snuggling on the couch, and even if there were no secrets between Holly J and Fiona, it still would have made this moment as sincere and honest as it turned out."

    Von Iva music on TeenNick's Gigantic

    • "Living For It" by Von Iva
    • "GLS 08 Remix" by Salme Dalhstrom

    You can hear samples of both songs over on the Gigantic page.

  • Songs from Tonight's Degrassi and Gigantic

    Posted on 04/01/2011 by Mary

    Earlier this week, obsessive8 wrote to say: "Do you happen to have the song list with the music people's commentary for [last Friday's] Degrassi's Hide and Seek Part 2 episode? I just really love the new addition of reading why they chose the songs that they did. And Degrassi always seems to have some of the best hidden gems in music that I cannot find anywhere else. Thanks!!!"

    Yay, glad you're liking the info, obsessive8! We had some technical difficulties getting last week's blog ready in time but it's up now, click here for it. And it's true about the "hidden gems" on Degrassi -- I've noticed that a lot of the music on the show comes from unsigned artists, so you're really getting in on the ground floor with them. Anyway, here's info on all of this week's Gigantic and Degrassi songs (including Degrassi music supervisor commentary -- quotes in italics).

    Bent By Elephants music on TeenNick's Degrassi

    "I Can't Have You" by Bent by Elephants
    From when Fiona kissed Holly J after winning her trial.
    Check the Degrassi page for a sample.
    "The raw emotion of this song is what captivated us in the first place. Chesley Walsh's soulful jazzy voice, combined with a smooth brass and string ensemble pours over with heartache, a bit of foreshadowing for Fiona, perhaps? Another great Montreal band that we're keeping our eyes on. "

    Juliana Joya music on TeenNick's Gigantic

    • "Something About You" by Juliana Joya - you can hear a sample over on the Gigantic page
  • Songs from Tonight's Degrassi and Gigantic

    Posted on 03/25/2011 by Mary

    Here's info on all of this week's Gigantic and Degrassi songs (including Degrassi music supervisor commentary -- all the quotes in italics).

    JBM music on TeenNick's Degrassi

    "Cleo's Song / Years" by JBM
    From the scenes where Sav tells Alli he has her back, and where the Bhandaris all agree to communicate better.
    Check the Degrassi page for a sample.
    " JBM really touched us; the entire album, Not Even In July is a heartfelt symphony of emotion, and it carried beautifully to television. These songs appear in the show in reverse order: on the album, the beautiful musical masterpiece 'Years' is followed by the nostalgic sadness of 'Cleo's Song'. There were moments in Alli's dad's speech where 'Years' hit everything at just the right moment, lifted the scene, lowered it, sent shivers down your spine. These songs mark a truly beautiful moment in Degrassi history, a moment of change, acceptance and honest love."

    "Write It All Down for You" by Elliott Brood
    From when Holly J is visiting her own personal pharmacy in her locker.
    " We've always been big Elliott Brood fans, a great Canadian act that has built itself a strong fanbase and solid reputation over the years. It's a lyrically powerful song, but this moment was more musical than lyrical, hitting all the right drums, shouting all the right tones for the scene."

    "Pogo" by Eternal Summers
    Take a wild guess which scene this was in.
    "When it came time to spot this episode, we couldn't help but think of the song 'Pogo' for Wesley's pogo scene. It was one of those times when the song appeared out of nowhere, just in the nick of time, and was so crazy that it actually worked!"

    Wil Seabrook music on TeenNick's Gigantic

    • "Happily Ever" by Wil Seabrook - you can hear a sample over on the Gigantic page
  • Songs from Tonight's Degrassi and Gigantic

    Posted on 03/18/2011 by Mary

    Was that Alexz Johnson you heard on Degrassi this week? Why yes, it was. Here's info on all of this week's Gigantic and Degrassi songs (including Degrassi music supervisor commentary -- all the quotes in italics).

    Amos the Transparent music on TeenNick's Degrassi

    "Greater Than Consequence" by Amos the Transparent
    From the scene where Holly J is starting to completely lose it at Little Miss Steaks.
    Check the Degrassi page for a sample.
    "This is a band you should get to know. Hailing from one of our hometowns, our capital Ottawa, these musicians form an emotional powerhouse, diving into the subject without fear or hesitation. If you're lucky enough to see them live, you may hear them rock this song out with electric guitars and a passionate chorus."

    "Boogie Love" by Alexz Johnson
    The song that plays pretty much whenever Wesley pogos.
    " This song stands alone here, offering its fun perspective to Wesley and his tribulations. But Alexz Johnson's album Voodoo is a portrait of the artist, of which this fun part is a small piece. The rest is delicate and intricate, stories of places and people, and one of our most memorable albums of the summer. Of course, there's that whole Instant Star thing too!"

    "A World Too Big" by Jamie Bramble
    From the scene where Alli's looking at her "facerange" page, missing everyone.
    "Jamie Bramble came to us via an Australian named Jamie Brammah (similar name, different guy). Jamie (Brammah) got up at 4am to drive to the office to chat about music, so we knew he had to have some good tunes. Jamie Bramble paints pictures with his music, and we think the phone call was worth it."

    Official Hot Mess music on TeenNick's Gigantic

    • "The Edge" by Official Hot Mess
    • "Born to Party" by Julia Michaels
    • You can hear samples of these songs over on the Gigantic page.

  • Black Eyed Peas to Perform at the KCA!

    Posted on 03/16/2011 by Mary

    The Black Eyed Peas at Super Bowl Halftime, not the KCAs
    The Black Eyed Peas at Super Bowl Halftime, which is like the KCAs but less slime and less fun.

    The Black Eyed Peas are confirmed to perform at the KCA this year! Also confirmed to appear are approximately 1 billion other famous celebrities including:
    Jack Black (he's hosting)
    Chairman Nick Cannon
    Jane Lynch and Cory Monteith from Glee
    Jaden Smith
    Russell Brand
    Shaun White
    And like I said, somewhere around a billion more.

    Tell us in the comments... do you love the Black Eyed Peas, are they your guilty pleasure, or... do you believe that if you can't say something nice you shouldn't say anything at all?

    I still kinda get chills when I think about that 25,000 person "I Gotta Feeling" flash mob on Oprah that time...

    Oh and don't forget to cast your votes for your 2011 KCA Favorites!