Popular Music News

Members of the Yellowjackets pose against a yellow backdrop

DownBeat magazine interviews Yellowjackets about latest album, Jackets XL

January 14, 2021

DownBeat magazine recently interviewed the members of the legendary jazz group Yellowjackets, which includes USC Thornton faculty members Russell Ferrante, Willl Kennedy and Bob Mintzer. The group spoke about their latest album, Jackets XL, which DownBeat calls “vibrant” and “robust.” Throughout the interview, the group speaks about the creation of some of the album’s tracks […]

Jensen McRae in white jacket photographed against red backdrop

Jensen McRae’s “Wolves” named one of KCRW’s Best of 2020

January 4, 2021

In KCRW’s roundup of some of the best music of 2020, Popular Music alum Jensen McRae’s (BM ’19) 2020 release, “Wolves,” was named among the top 15 songs most loved by the station’s DJs. “Wolves” is one of a few songs McRae has released ahead of her first full length album, expected to release later […]

Remi Wolf poses in a laundromat

Remi Wolf named to Vevo’s 2021 Artists to Watch

December 15, 2020

Pop artist Remi Wolf (BM ’18), an alum of USC Thornton’s Popular Music program, has been named one of Vevo DSCVR’s 2021 Artists to Watch. The list highlights emerging artists poised for breakthroughs in the coming year, and has previously named artists such as Sam Smith and Billie Eilish. As one of the new class […]

Noa Zimmerman playing guitar and singing on stage

Noa Zimmerman featured in Daily Trojan

November 16, 2020

Noa Zimmerman, a senior in the Popular Music program, was recently featured in a Daily Trojan article about her music and passion for social activism. The piece breaks down two new singles Zimmerman released in October, “Palindrome King” and “Invisible Strings,” and highlights the Artivist Foundation, an organization she co-founded to connect artists involved in […]

Malia Civetz pictured wearing glasses against a bright pink backdrop

Malia Civetz releases new EP, The Flip

November 13, 2020

Popular Music alum Malia Civetz (BM ‘16) released her debut EP The Flip on Oct. 16 with Warner Records. The album was praised for its “powerhouse vocal delivery, sharp songwriting, and a thoughtful overarching message” by ChicagoNow, highlighting singles like “Broke Boy,” which Civetz premiered earlier this year. “When I make music, I think of […]

Rozzi Cane in blue dress sitting in front of a large yellow circle

Rozzi featured in Daily Trojan

October 20, 2020

The Daily Trojan recently featured Popular Music alum Rozzi Crane (BM ‘13), known professionally as Rozzi, in an article about her musical journey as an indie-pop singer. Rozzi is a graduate of the inaugural class of USC Thornton’s Popular Music program. Looking back at her time in the program, Rozzi remembers how the rigorous lessons, […]

Album cover art with drawing of Brian Robert Jones lying on a bed surrounded by band posters and listening to music

Brian Robert Jones talks *NSYNC cover album with Lance Bass

September 24, 2020

Brian Robert Jones (BM ‘15), an alum of the USC Thornton Popular Music program, recently released No Strings Attached, an *NSYNC cover album celebrating the 20th anniversary of the band’s 2000 album of the same name. The album is filled with fresh takes on the original album’s iconic hits, and features appearances by some of […]

Album cover with images of two people standing together with text "Rozzi: Best Friend Song"

Rozzi Releases new single, “Best Friend Song”

September 15, 2020

USC Thornton Popular Music alumna Rozzi Crane (BM ’13), known professionally as Rozzi, released her new single “Best Friend Song” on August 14 with S-Curve Records. The song is a fun and lighthearted friendship anthem dedicated to her best friend Tatti. “Quarantine has made me realize how much I’ve taken friendship for granted. I hope […]

Jensen McRae in white jacket photographed against red backdrop

Jensen McRae featured on KCRW

August 21, 2020

Popular Music alum Jensen McRae (BM ’19) was recently featured on KCRW’s In Residence series, with the outlet describing McRae as “unquestionably one of KCRW’s favorite new artists of 2020.” In her interview, McRae talks about the music she’s currently writing and why visibility is important as a Black artist in the folk-rock genre. “Black […]

Patrice Rushen

Patrice Rushen and Thornton alumni invited into the Academy

July 7, 2020

Patrice Rushen, chair of the Popular Music program at USC Thornton, along with three Thornton alumni—Chanda Dancy (GCRT ’04), Roger Neill (BM ’86), and Jermaine Stegall (GCRT ’04)—have been invited into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Rushen’s classic song “Forget Me Nots” was sampled for Will Smith’s “Men in Black,” from the […]

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