A dive right into the South: Kelly Clarkson prepares for a hot summer in ‘Heat’, the third single of Clarkson’s 8th studio album ‘Meaning of Life’, released in 2017.
The album is Kelly’s first at Atlantic Records, breaking ties with old management of RCA and record label 19. And even though Kelly released music videos for previous singles ‘Love So Soft’, ‘I Don’t Think About You’, and for promo single, album-titled ‘Meaning of Life’, the funky soul track and fan favorite ‘Heat’ was put out without a visual, but hopes are always up. Instead, the single was supported with at least 8 remixes. One of them, the ‘Easy Star All-Stars & Michael Goldwasser Remix’, is highlighted by its Carribean approach, a treat for real reggae lovers.
New York DJ Crew from 1996
The creators behind the reggae mix are no strangers to the Jamaican music genre. DJ Michael Goldwasser and his team are famous for reimagining classic songs or albums with reggae influences since the inception of their independent label Easy Star records in 1996. Some of their reinventions, like 2003s ‘Dub Side of the Moon’ (a remixed version of Pink Floyd’s 1973 album ‘The Dark Side of the Moon’) as well as cover albums of either Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ (labeled by them as ‘Thrilla’) or ‘Radiodread’, a reworked version of Radiohead’s ‘OK Computer’, made the Easy All-Star label a popular New York DJ crew in the reggae niche. Most recently, Michael and his team created a chill summer-esque remix for Janelle Monáe’s single ‘I Like That’ in 2018, offering the song a new life with Bob Marley feels. The organic island vibes of ‘I Like That’ also found their heat – literally – in Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Heat’. With Southern vibes, the listener dives right into the summer with rhythmic trumpets, drums, and strings. While the original version offers Motown uptempo energy reminiscent to Bruno Mars, this version brings out different feels: Vacation-ready in a fun reggae influenced mix for people who crave the south. With a smooth production, the ‘Easy All Stars & Michael Goldwasser Reggae Remix’ creates unique funk vocals with steamy beats.
Restart with new Label
Since dropping eighth studio album ‘Meaning of Life’ in 2017, Kelly celebrates her reinvention with new label Atlantic to offer soul and R&B feels from the likes of Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, En Vogue or Whitney Houston. A theme she wanted to establish since winning the first season of American Idol back in 2002 when she signed a million dollar contract with RCA Records. Known for her soulish covers during the show, her music career was more pushed towards a pop-rock direction, making worldwide hits such as ‘Since U Been Gone’, ‘Because of You’, ‘My Life Would Suck Without You’ and ‘Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)’.
Even though she accomplished great success throughout the last two decades, Kelly did, however, struggle for creative input – having conflicts with songwriter and producer Dr. Luke (who penned ‘Since U Been Gone’) as well as then-music chairman Clive Davis. According to Kelly, Davis disapproved of her self-written ‘Because of You’, and her third studio album ‘My December’ (2007) for not having a commercial appeal, which – due to a clash between the two – lead to bad promotion of the album. Similar stepping stones and creative disagreements continued with RCA and label 19 when she was demanded to continue working with hit-maker Dr. Luke on ‘My Life Would Suck Without You’ despite being on no good terms, and her disagreement of releasing 2009 single ‘Already Gone’, produced by OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder. As Kelly felt the musical arrangement sounded too similar to Beyoncé’s ‘Halo’, which was also produced by Tedder during the same time era, a release-stop was intended but did not go through. Several debates and arguments with her music company eventually succeeded in a truce, but nonetheless decided to part ways with RCA when finalizing her contract with 7th album ‘Piece By Piece’ in 2015.
Kelly’s openness about the music industry gives her the likeliness from fans and critics. Describing her former label and management as an ‘arranged marriage’, then swapped to Atlantic for a new start with own creative input and more self control, creating album ‘Meaning of Life’ as she always intended to do a soul and R&B record. In that case, Kelly gained back her independence, with confidence assuring that there’s much more to come in the future.
In other news, Kelly stars in animation movie ‘UglyDolls’ alongside Nick Jonas, Pitbull, and Emma Roberts, and recorded soundtrack single ‘Broken & Beautiful’ for the film. Outside of music, she announced to host her own daytime talk show ‘The Kelly Clarkson Show’ which is scheduled to premiere on September 9, 2019.
You can check out the Heat Reggae Remix here: