The International DJ Expo always has a major focus on artists who make dance music. The different events highlight the current stars, newcomers and the legends providing for a full range of talent (and lots of great shows.) While I was unable to record videos of every live performance (Pitbull's fierce performance with live band, Amber Rose Marie singing "Wanna Be A DJ" at the Casbah, AnnaGrace singing the Ian Van Dahl classics, Naughty By Nature kicking it old school), here are the top performances from the International DJ Expo 2009.
Canadian chanteuse Deborah Cox is comfortable performing in just about any environment; huge concert halls, sweaty underground clubs, and even on Broadway where she starred in Aida. From her breakthrough "Sentimental" and megahit "Nobody's Supposed to Be Here" to her current club smashes "Leave the World Behind" and "Beautiful U R," Deborah has always embraced dance music and club life.
Sometimes I see something so amazing that I have to blog it immediately. The gorgeous Annet Artani proved that she has the goods and can sing live. Impromptu, she stood and belted out her new single "Alive" - a cappella at a luncheon. This proves how much of an artist she really is and definitely one to be watched. Seeing her perform her full show with backing track proved this even further.
The 2008 International DJ Expo and Promo Only Party is credited by many industry insiders with launching Lady Gaga to the stratosphere. Her electric performance really solidified the buzz and presented her to mainstream radio as the next big superstar. This year, the majority of buzz surrounded Kaci's "Crazy Possessive," an edgy dancepop jam with electro and rock influences that.
If Kaci looks familiar, you might remember her trio of UK popdance hits ("Paradise," "Tu Amor" and "I Think I Love You") back in 2001 when she was just 14 years old. Well Kaci has grown up and cowrote "Crazy Possessive."
From gospel singer to boy band crooner, Chris Willis found himself in the studio with David Guetta and Joachim Garraud where they produced the track "Just a Little More Love." Massive international success led to many more anthemic collaborations -"Love Don't Let Me Go," "Stay," and the massive hit "Love is Gone." Chris has two songs ("Gettin' Over" and "Sound of Letting Go") on David Guetta's new CD One Love
After last year's incredible performance by Michelle Williams and buzz about another former member of Destiny's Child performing this year, I was excited to see LeToya Lucket take the stage. She ROCKED! "She Ain't Got" is pure attitude and she was serving it up to the screaming crowd. Hit.. hit.. hit.
The Brit School has nurtured the talents of several of my favorite recent female Vocalists - Amy Winehouse, Imogen Heap, and Adele - to name a few. Up next is Carmen Reece, a new discovery by Mark Feist (Destiny's Child "Emotion," and Jennifer Lopez "Love Don't Cost A Thing.") With that kind of pedigree, it's not a surprise that her American debut single "Right Here" is an incredible slice of r&b pop. Carmen has an incredible voice that soars about the contemporary electro/urban styled production. The vocals also translate well to the clubs thanks to remixes by Jason Nevins, DJ Escape & Tony Coluccio, and our preference Dave Aude. Watch out for Carmen's debut CD Love in Stereo which will be released later this year.
Freestyle legend Lisette Melendez is best known for her hits "Together Forever," "A Day In My Life (Without You)" and "Goody Goody." Watch out for her new single "Stay."
Singer/songwriter, Juilliard graduate, ethereal vocalist, holistic medicine guru and dance diva - Sylvia Tosun has an interesting combination of talents and influences. Dance clubs around the world and US dance radio have taken notice as she's had much success with her chart hits "5 Reasons" and "Underlying Feeling."
Barbadian pop singer Livvi Franc exploded on the scene with her number one club hit "Now I'm That Bitch." Watch out for her next single "Automatic" and her debut CD 'Underground Sunshine' which will feature productions with JR Rotem and RedOne.
With exuberant energy, The Paradiso Girls exploded on the scene with their debut hit single "Patron Tequila." Comparisons to Spice Girls and Pussycat Dolls are inescapable, but meeting them and watching them perform makes me think that the Girls have a long career ahead of them. Judging from their live show, their debut CD will be chock full of hot jams.