107.5 the River Presents: Live. Life. Love.
Why Don't We and Dan + Shay
Lauv, Kim Petras, Jake Miller, Caroline Kole
1402 Clinton St.
Doors 6:00 PM / Show 7:30 PM
This event is all ages
Watch & Listen
Why Don't We
Since their formation in 2016, Why Don’t We haven’t stopped…
Instead, these five young men—Jonah Marais, Corbyn Besson, Daniel Seavey, Jack Avery, and
Zach Herron—have forged ahead at warp speed. In under two years, they innovatively amassed
a diehard fan base through grassroots engagement in the digital arena fueled by a prolific
outpouring of new music, constant social media engagement, and sold-out cross country tours
where online “likes” materialized I.R.L. into millions of screaming fans worldwide.
Prior to coming together, each member stood out as a performer in his own right. Jonah and
Corbyn often livestreamed in-home performances to massive audience as Zach served up viral
covers that generated tens of millions of views. Jack built a growing a subscriber base on
YouTube, and Daniel etched a space in the hearts of viewers everywhere on American Idol.
They crossed paths during tours and fan engagements in the midst of these burgeoning solo
Soon, they found themselves on a group text where the idea of joining forces came up. Their
collective response: “Why don’t we?”
Drawing on their respective talents and formidable followings, the group emerged as a
phenomenon. Beyond generating over 300 million YouTube views and 200 million Spotify
streams during that period, the quintet released five EPs—Only The Beginning, Something
Different, Why Don’t We Just, Invitation, and A Why Don’t We Christmas. Along with singles
such as the 2018 Ed Sheeran-penned single “Trust Fund Baby,” this avalanche of music
represented an unconventional approach as their audience constantly received new music at a
record pace. Why Don’t We carved out a place among pop’s elite on the entire iHeart Jingle Ball
tour, including a momentous stop at Madison Square Garden sharing the stage with the likes of
Taylor Swift, Sheeran, and more. They sold out their first-ever headline tour throughout North
America and followed that up by selling out an even bigger headliner in 2018, including multiple
nights in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Toronto.
A tastemaker favorite, they lit up national television shows like Good Morning America and Live
With Kelly and Ryan, among others. Rolling Stone dubbed them “An Artist To Watch,” and The
Today Show described their meteoric rise as “one of pop music’s biggest breakout stories.”
This transformation into international renown resulted from a quiet grind as they angled toward
superstardom the old-fashioned way—one performance at a time—whether online or on stage.
“When you see the numbers go up on social media, it’s great, but it’s just some pixels on your
screen,” says Corbyn. “When you go on tour, you realize these are real people. We get to put a
face, a voice, and a name to each fan. It’s so cool to experience that energy. We just want to
have a great time with everybody.”
The group’s full-length debut for Atlantic Records, 8 Letters, provides the soundtrack to that
“great time.” Merging pop, R&B, hip-hop, and even Latin vibes, it reflects their ambition to as
Zach puts it, “do something original and different and bridge gaps.”
Jonah adds, “By making those first five EPs, we found our sound. However, we needed to reach
the next level. We all agreed we had to focus on not just making an album, but creating
something that we could really stand behind and be proud of. All of our work led up to it.”
“We sat down and really focused,” Jack recalls. “We carefully chose every song. We never took
this many months on a project. We wanted to give something special to our fans, because they
deserve the world.”
Staying in a West Hollywood Airbnb for three months, the boys tirelessly worked on what would
become 8 Letters alongside a bevy of high-profile collaborators, including The Monsters &
Strangerz [Zedd/Maren Morris, Nick Jonas], Prince Charlez [Rihanna], Mozella [Charlie Puth,
Miley Cyrus], Mick Schultz [Jeremih], Sam Hook [Omarion], and more.
“Hooked” – the first song unveiled in advance of the album release - impressively shot to #3 on
iTunes’ Overall Songs chart ahead of artists such as Post Malone, Shawn Mendes, and Ariana
Grande, and was streamed over 16 million times on Spotify in its first 2 months. With its
hypnotic and hashtaggable hook, the follow-up “Talk” further amplified anticipation, besting that
feat, hitting #1 ahead of artists such as Maroon 5, Cardi B and Drake among others.
The epic title track “8 Letters” illuminates Why Don’t We’s progression. Between sparse piano
keys and sweeping sonic flourishes, each voice shines and soars as they share the spotlight in
harmony. The chorus proves unforgettable as they ask, “If all it is 8 Letters, why is it so hard to
“8 Letters means ‘I Love You’,” explains Zach. “It’s basically about a complicated relationship.
It’s hard to say ‘I Love You’, because you don’t know if your significant other loves you back.
Simultaneously, it’s got a few other meanings. There are eight songs on the album. Most
importantly, 8 Letters is our way to say, ‘I Love You’ to the fans.”
Tapping into a Latin swagger, the upbeat and undeniable “Friends” captures what Corbyn calls,
“a dope summer vibe.” Meanwhile, “Choose” reflects their collective passion for hip-hop as
catchy cadences border on rap rhyme schemes and hyper confidence.
On “Fallen,” the band’s resident virtuoso Daniel picks up the cello and creates a rich sonic
backdrop. “I didn’t bring my violin or viola, but I was able to take my cello and make it sound like
a full orchestra. I love to bring that musicality to what we do. We took a ton of chances with the
album, and it was really cool. It’s something we’re going to do more of and part of what makes
the group special.”
“I hope people can appreciate the art behind what we do,” says Corbyn. “I hope they take away
something positive. We’ve dreamed of putting out an album forever. We’ve been looking
forward to this moment in our lives. Now, we’re here. ”
Jacks leaves off, “Be on the lookout, because this is only the beginning!”
Dan + Shay
With pristine, soaring vocals and a knack for writing expressive songs with rich imagery and strong melodies that resonate with fans, Dan + Shay (Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney) have earned their place among an illustrious group of trailblazing, genre-blurring male duos.
Country, rock, and popular music acts of the day – including the Delmore Brothers, Louvin Brothers, and the Everlys – created the template for the close harmony and fierce instrumentation that have defined Dan + Shay. It’s the foundation of this career defining album which debuted at No 1 on the Billboard Country Album Chart.
“The third album was pivotal after the success of the first two records,” said Dan. “We had hits on country radio and we built this super loyal fan base and we felt added pressure because there were certain expectations and we didn’t want to let them down. Most importantly, we wanted to deliver a body of music that would resonate with the people who got us where we are in the first place.”
“It was our responsibility to the fans to put out the best music we could, and we got there with this record,” added Shay. “We were very aware of where we are musically and in our personal lives, and this feels unique and still true to who we are.”
Both men married in 2017 and Shay welcomed a baby boy. The pressure of writing and recording the follow up to their groundbreaking second album Obsessed, which won awards, set sales milestones, and spawned two No. 1 songs (“From the Ground Up” and “How Not To”), should have been daunting. But the duo had a clear mandate as songwriters and in the studio: “Let the best song win.”
They found a winner with the first single “Tequila.” The two week No 1 single is one of the Top 10 streamed country songs of 2018 and the fastest rising, highest streaming, biggest selling single of the duo’s career. Written by Dan, Nicolle Galyon, and Jordan Reynolds, the song is a strong shot with a twist. Far from being a party anthem, “Tequila” is a message about lost love and the unlikely triggers that bring those memories pouring back.
“We combed through more songs than we ever have for this record and we felt this was the single to launch it,” said Dan. “It had a thoughtful lyric and melody and it was Dan + Shay 3.0. The song, the vocal track, everything represented where we are on this record and it became the cornerstone piece for the whole project.”
A perfectionist with savant-like attention to detail, Dan co-produced the album with longtime collaborator Scott Hendricks. He claims he would still be tweaking the duo’s first record if it weren’t for Shay, who was willing to call “time” when necessary. It’s that level of trust and confidence in each other as artists that strips away any bluff or bravado leaving a no-holds-barred level of honesty and authenticity.
“We know exactly what we want because we know our fans and we hold that in high regard,” said Shay, who clearly enjoyed the process. “It has to be right. It has to have that Dan + Shay sound.”
The creative bar was set, but the themes that connect Dan + Shay to their devoted audience have stayed the same with love – finding it, living it, and sometimes losing it – at the center of their repertoire. They have merged timeless subjects, instrumental grooves, and infectious beats into a hybrid that is both sweetly nostalgic and undeniably current.
The pair have songwriting credits on nearly every track, but they also enlisted an elite list of creative collaborators.
Cuts on the album include the upbeat “Alone Together,” written with Jesse Frassure and Hillary Lindsey, which opens with a head-turning dose of rock ‘n’ roll resignation: if two people meet and are alone, they might as well be alone together. Soulful and influenced by R&B, “What Keeps You Up at Night” was written by Nick Jonas’ music director Chase Foster, Jordan Minton, and Jordan Reynolds with electric guitar provided by none other than Keith Urban. The soaring “Keeping Score” is about living in the moment and not worrying about what comes next and is punctuated by the searing vocals of Grammy winning super star Kelly Clarkson. “All to Myself” takes the duo down a new musical lane with classical guitar and a distinct Latin beat punctuating the sultry lyrics. “No Such Thing” a collaboration with ‘90s hit maker David Lee Murphy and track-phenom Matt Dragstrem. And “Stupid Love,” composed with Jon Nite and David Hodges of Grammy-winning band Evanescence.
The chemistry between Dan + Shay isn’t familial, but it felt that way when they met in 2012 and started writing songs the next day. Dan was raised in Pennsylvania and studied finance at Carnegie Mellon University; Shay grew up in Arkansas and was previously signed as a solo artist to T-Pain’s Nappy Boy Entertainment label.
“We had both been writing separately, but the moment we got in the writers’ room it just clicked,” Shay recalled. Together they found the sound that had eluded them as solo acts. “We’ve written non-stop since then and we have always known this is where we wanted to take our music.”
The duo introduced their fresh, pop/country approach in 2014 with Where It All Began, featuring the No. 1 “Nothin’ Like You.” They were the first new country duo in Soundscan recorded history to debut at No. 1 on Billboard’s Country Albums chart. Their second outing, Obsessed, debuted at No. 2 and they have since reached more than 1 million album equivalents.
Tallying more than sales figures, Dan + Shay have garnered 10 award nominations including nods from the Country Music Association, Academy of Country Music, CMT, Radio Disney Music Awards, and the American Country Countdown Awards in addition to claiming trophies from ASCAP and BMI for “From the Ground Up.”
They have appeared on numerous national TV shows including “Ellen,” “Good Morning America,” “Today Show,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live!,” “Dancing With the Stars,” “The Bachelorette,” “Live! With Kelly,” the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, the CMA Awards, and recently the ACM Awards, where they debuted a stripped-down version of “Tequila,” which received the single highest streams that day (702K).
And their list of career benchmarks doesn’t end there. Early in 2017, Dan + Shay released "When I Pray for You," a song recorded for the faith-based film The Shack. They also had a song featured on the hit TV series “Nashville.”
Energetic performers, Dan + Shay devote the same attention to touring as they do in the studio.
“On the road our time is best spent meeting fans, and hanging with fans and the radio stations who play our music,” said Dan. “When we are on the road, we are giving our full attention to the live show and when we are in Nashville we are fully focused on making music.”
“We give the best show we can every single time because even if there are only 20 people in the room there might be someone who is seeing you for the first time and you want to do the best show you possibly can,” added Shay. “You want them to have the same experience they would have if there were 100,000 people in a stadium. We have that responsibility as artists and performers.”
They’ve gained a lot of experience thrilling fans including multi-year, sold-out headlining tours. In 2018, they will open for Rascal Flatts on their Back to Us Tour. But they are also busy building an enthusiastic following overseas. In 2017, they had two performances at C2C in London at the O2 Arena and the Dublin 3Arena; and in early 2018, they sold out 10 back-to-back concerts in four international territories including the U.K., Germany, Ireland, and the Netherlands.
And like The Everly Brothers, who built a huge international fanbase, the Delmore Brothers, who were musically sophisticated and technically proficient, and the Louvin Brothers, who bridged the two acts with stunning vocal interplay and traditional themes, Dan + Shay are establishing a new tradition with pliable harmonies, instrumental skill, and a passion for well-crafted songs.
“We are very proud of the music,” admitted Dan. “We worked hard on it. We made the record we wanted to make. No one told us what we needed to sound like. We spent the time and this is how we wanted Dan + Shay to be represented, today.”
For as much as he embraces modern musical innovations, Lauv picks up a thread that can be traced back to timeless troubadours.
“We’re in a really interesting age,” he exclaims. “There are artists who write, produce, sing, and do everything by themselves. I look at it like the new generation of ‘singer-songwriters.’ There’s something that I want to say, and I’ve learned how to utilize the tools at my disposal to tell a story. Technology is at a place where you make music with whatever you can get your hands on—instead of just a guitar. As a creator, one of the most special and important things to me is to make music that feels classic and timeless at its core, but to do so in a way that sonically breaks boundaries and defies what’s been done with genres.”
The 24-year-old independent singer, songwriter, and producer resembles an auteur in his assemblage of electronic tones, airy beats, jazz-inspired guitars, and soulful vocalizations. A self-described “hopeless romantic,” his music could be likened to Chris Martin and The Weeknd teaming up to score a movie. Resonating with fans worldwide, that approach yielded over one billion cumulative Spotify streams in under a year’s time, a consistent spot on Spotify’s “Top 100 Most-Listened To Artists in the World,” and a sold-out headline tour as his profile skyrocketed.
However, he took the first step on this journey at the age of five when his parents enrolled him in piano lessons. To accompany his older sisters, he picked up viola two years later before discovering guitar at nine-years-old. As the family moved between San Francisco, Atlanta, and Pennsylvania, his tastes shifted between everything from Eminem and Green Day to Underoath and The Postal Service, comprising an eclectic musical DNA. During high school, the budding talent turned his attention towards production.
“There was something about the recording process that intrigued me,” he recalls. I thought,
‘What if I started making music, me, my instruments and my laptop, building out what I was hearing in my head?’”
After logging countless hours in his bedroom writing and producing, Lauv, real name Ari Leff, entered the prestigious Music Technology Program at NYU in 2012. Under the auspices that he’d “make music for other artists,” he passionately maintained the same prolific output until penning “The Other” and “Reforget” during 2014. At that point, he uploaded the tunes under the name “Lauv”—Latvian for “Lion”—nodding to his mother’s roots in Latvia.
“I couldn’t imagine someone else singing these words,” he admits. “They were really special to me. I hadn’t thought about being an artist for a long time. I put so much pressure on myself in high school, but this was something I had to do. It was the first time I was being vulnerable in a real way. It was exactly what I wanted sonically. I was being the most genuine I’d been to myself with this music.”
“The Other” quietly took the internet by storm. Premiered on a friend’s blog, the song virally lit up HypeMachine. Fueling the 2015 Lost in the Light EP, the track eventually generated 100 million-plus Spotify streams and placed on Today’s Top Hits and the Global 100—all from his dorm room. Relocating to Los Angeles and signing a publishing deal with Prescription Songs, he co-wrote the platinum-certified Top 5 smash “No Promises” by Cheat Codes and Demi Lovato as well as the Pitchfork-endorsed “Boys” for Charli XCX, among others. In the meantime, “I Like Me Better” became his second bona fide smash. It vaulted past the 450-million mark on Spotify, soaring to the top of the Global and Viral Charts in addition to going Top 5 on iTunes internationally.
By early 2018, “I Like Me Better” had garnered platinum certifications in seven countries, gold certifications in three, and is now certified double platinum in the United States. Extolling the song, Time wrote, “‘I Like Me Better’ is transforming into a proper summer jam without losing its meditative qualities.”
A mélange of plucky synth chords and a 90s-inspired drum break, the electrifying production snaps into a soulful staccato refrain, “I like me better when I’m with you.”
“I was reflecting fondly on the beginning of my relationship when I first moved to New York for school,” he says. “I was in a place where I was honestly kind of lost. I didn’t really know where I was going or exactly who I wanted to be. Out of nowhere, I fell in love. I didn’t know about everything else in my life...I was trying to figure it out, but the one thing I knew was I was happier since I met that person.”
“I Like Me Better” comprises just one phase of Lauv’s debut project, I met you when I was 18.
“I wanted to let people experience the songs in the order of the story they’re meant to tell,” he continues. “Everything I’ve written and released so far has been about my time of self- discovery, self-definition rather, in New York City and this first real love. The songs are all connected and I want people to get the full picture. And I want them to unfold it the same way I have.”
Ultimately, Lauv’s vision has only just begun to unfold.
“When listening to I met you when I was 18., I want listeners to feel the way I’ve felt on this whole journey,” he concludes. “For me, becoming Lauv was about realizing it’s okay to be vulnerable, honest, and not hide your emotions. In being open, you realize that more people
than you might’ve thought feel the exact same way or have been through the same things. We live in a world where a lot of people are afraid of really expressing themselves. They want to portray an image of perfection on social media. The reality is we’re human. I want you to hear my music and feel, ‘I can be honest and vulnerable with the people around me.’”
Lauv is currently on the road for his Fall 2018 World Tour and is also set to open for Ed Sheeran on his stadium tour later this fall.
Somewhere between 90’s American pop and 80’s European disco, rises the undeniable voice of Kim
Petras. Nodding to influences as diverse as Britney Spears, Baltimora, and the “Brat Pack,” the “side
bun” sporting German-born and Los Angeles-based songstress powers up a new pop paradigm, sharing
intimate lovelorn storylines over explosive production.
The past year has been a meteoric ascension for Kim – with no signs of stopping. Her debut single “I
Don’t Want It At All,” shot to #1 on the Global Spotify Viral Chart just four days after its release, and the
independent artist has amassed over 12 million streams on Spotify alone over the past 6 months. Kim
was named Paper magazine’s “Most Likely To Dominate the Pop Charts in 2018,” and in making moves
from her position as part of Spotify’s RISE program to her feature on Charli XCX’s Pop 2 mixtape, this
next year is looking to be her biggest breakout yet.
Kim’s brand of escapism remains rooted in a boundless capacity for empathy. Knowing herself from the
age of two, Kim notably began transitioning with female hormone therapy following her 12th birthday
before receiving gender reassignment surgery at the age of 16 and making worldwide headlines. Her
bravery quietly and subconsciously punctuates the music.
“I have unique experiences and have had unique experiences, because I am transgender,” she
continues. “Those experiences one-hundred percent go into my music. Being the outcast and being
bullied makes you work harder in life. I had to fight for everything. At the same time, I’m just a girl going
through heartbreak. It feels the same way to me as any other girl would feel about it. Whether or not
you connect with people has nothing to do with your gender or sexuality.”
Ultimately, her experience and intimate understanding of pop yields a universal vision that’s as
incomparable as it is inimitable.
“For a moment, I’d love for listeners to forget reality and have fun when they listen to me,” she leaves
off. “They don’t have to think about anything negative. I hope they blast it in the cars or when they’re
getting ready and want to feel fabulous. I hope it’s a soundtrack to their lives.”
Ever since Jake Miller began posting his original songs on YouTube a few years ago, the 21-year-old Miami-born pop artist has been building a virtual army of fans. His 470,000 social media community followers call themselves the Millertary and come to his concerts wearing camouflage and greasepaint under their eyes. They are devoted to Miller's irresistible musical blend of pop and hip-hop, combined with the positive messages in his songs. Check out the adoring throngs screaming and chanting his name in this Year In Review clip chronicling his rise on YouTube.
Miller has independently released two EP's: 2012's Spotlight and 2013's The Road Less Traveled, which debuted at No. 1 on the iTunes Hip-Hop chart. His full-length album, 2013's Us Against Them, sold over 33,000 copies and peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Rap chart. One of MTV's 2014 "Ones to Watch" artists, Miller has shared stages with Mac Miller, Flo Rida, Sean Kingston, Asher Roth, Jason Derulo, Cody Simpson, Austin Mahone, and Sammy Adams at various radio festivals, including Y-100's Jingle Ball and the Calle Ocho Festival in Miami, where he performed for a crowd of more than 200,000 screaming fans. He also sold out a 43-city House of Blues Tour before a major record deal, driven primarily by his incredible social-networking presence.
Now Miller is set to extend his reach even further, having signed to Warner Bros. Records, and will release his new single "First Flight Home" on July 5th. Produced by Danish songwriter-producer Cutfather (The Wanted), the track is an irresistible calling card for Miller, who credits Eminem, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, and Drake as inspirations. Hailing from the South Florida community of Weston, Miller began rapping when he was 17, but began to take it more seriously a year later when his YouTube videos caught the attention of local news and radio stations. This led to his first-ever live performance — a plum slot opening for Snoop Dogg in 2011.
Having built the Millertary on his own, Miller is looking forward to seeing what he can achieve with the support of Warner Bros. Records behind him. "It's obviously a dream come true," he says. "The night that I signed my record deal we released a video with my family and friends in it, popping champagne and celebrating, it was the greatest night of my life."
Caroline got her first guitar at age 8, and started songwriting soon after. She took her first paying gig at age 10, started a band at age 11, and has since played for crowds as large as 30,000. She signed a deal with Sony/ATV at the age of 14, and Starstruck records earlier this year. Caroline is currently touring with Reba. She has also opened shows across the country for such artists as Alan Jackson, Martina McBride and Charlie Daniels. Her single, Money To Me, is now playing on country radio, and available for digital download. She now lives in Nashville, TN.. Music City USA!
$22.00 - $27.00
Live. Life. Love. is an annual concert hosted by 107.5 The River to benefit To Write Love on Her Arms, a national suicide prevention organization. The warning signs of suicide & mental health disorders are often overlooked & looked down upon, which results in over 44,000 deaths by suicide in America each year. The goal of this event is to create awareness, encourage those in need of help to reach out, & provide others with resources to help someone in need, all while enjoying live music!
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