Do you remember where you were the first time you heard Outkast tell you to 'Shake it like a Polaroid Picture'?
How about when Nickelback told you to 'Look at this Photograph'?
Or when Taylor Swift provided the soundtrack to your Love story?
Join Myles Galloway as he takes you through the biggest songs in the world - with new interviews and newly unearthed archive footage from the artists themselves.
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My World: The True Story of Justin Bieber's 'One Time'
Did you ever catch Bieber Fever? The first reported cases of this communicable disease began popping up in 2009, throughout Canada, or maybe it was the United States.
It was hard to tell considering the fever was spread via performance videos on YouTube by an aspiring teenager named, you guessed it, Justin Bieber.
Before he was captaining NHL all-star teams and selling over 150 million records, Justin Drew Bieber was just a young boy being raised by a single mother and his grandparents in Stratford, Ontario.
From the young age of seven, Justin took a shine to music, first singing around the house, then performing in front of others at church. He taught himself how to play piano, guitar and trumpet, and took drum lessons. Soon after he began covering popular songs. Then one day he took his guitar with him and began singing on the streets of Stratford.
Busking led to Justin competing in the Stratford Star talent contest when he was 12 years old. He sang a cover of Ne-Yo’s “So Sick” that earned him a respectable second place. His mom filmed his performance and proceeded to upload the video to YouTube for family and friends to see. But soon it wouldn’t just be friends and family watching his videos.
Singing the songs of Ne-Yo, Chris Brown, Justin Timberlake and more and posting homemade videos of the performances online, Justin was beginning to build an audience at the age of 12. He was one of the first real YouTube sensations. And he was getting noticed. Some executives from a few record labels reached out to Justin’s mom, but she couldn’t afford to hire a lawyer to look over any offers so they were forced to pass. And then along came a guy named Scooter.
This is the true story of Justin Bieber's first hit 'One Time' with newly unearthed audio from Justin Bieber, including interviews from the Encore team.
Contains audio from 'And The Writer Is... Tricky Stewart!'
We Shine Together: The True Story of Rihanna and Jay Z's Umbrella
It might be hard to think of Rihanna as anything other than the multi-hyphenate superstar that she is today.
At time of recording, fans have been waiting for more than eight years for a proper new RiRi album, with 2016’s ANTI being the last full release from the original Bad Gal - but this period of waiting hasn’t made Rihanna any less popular.
Back in the year 2007, Rihanna was at a bit of a crossroads - She’d released two albums as a teenager in ‘05 and ‘06, and although her second record A Girl Like Me achieved a decent amount of success in the US, and ended up becoming her first Platinum album in Canada, critics were starting to become… well… critical of her sound.
Despite the fact that she was still so young, Some critics were growing tired of the Caribbean sound she’d made her name on with ‘Music of the Sun’ and ‘A Girl Like Me’ and some were anticipating that Rihanna would pan out to be nothing more than a Beyoncé knockoff.
Still only 19, Rihanna just needed a chance to grow, and she had the superstar quality that afforded her the support she needed to bet on herself, and experiment with her sound.
In the early days of 2007, Rihanna began working on her third album, which would of course go on to be titled ‘Good Girl Gone Bad’ - a not so subtle message to the world that she was shedding the innocent-girl image that she was synonymous with.
This is the true story of the monster first single off of that album 'Umbrella' ft. Jay Z. With newly unearthed audio and additional clips from MTV News and Genius.
We Could Do it Real Big: The True Story of Drake's 'Best I Ever Had'
It’s hard to remember a time when Drake wasn’t the biggest rapper in the world. He is Canada’s most successful AND influential artist of the 21st century. As both a rapper and a singer he has pretty much single-handedly put our country on the map for hip-hop and R&B.
He is a five-time Grammy winner, has 85 million monthly listeners on Streaming Services- more than any other rapper - and holds the record for most number 2 singles on the Billboard Hot 100. He also ranks fifth behind the likes of the Beatles and Mariah Carey with the most number 1 singles.
By the mid-2000s when Drake embarked on a rap career, Canadians already knew him from Degrassi The Next Generation. Of course, His name wasn’t Drake back then, it was Aubrey Graham, a teenager from the Toronto neighbourhood of Forest Hill, who caught his break when he was cast as Jimmy Brooks.
Aubrey left the show during its eighth season to pursue music full time. As much as he had become a star on Canadian television as an actor, he wanted to go global with his music career.
Drake dropped his first mixtape, Room For Improvement, on Valentine’s Day 2006. He was still working on Degrassi at the time, but had already made some connections in the rap game. Drake would wait a year before he followed up Room For Improvement. But in that time he had already made connections that would help him advance his music. Among the producers he brought in to make beats for him were 9th Wonder, who had worked with Jay-Z, Destiny’s Child and De La Soul, Atlanta’s DJ Toomp and a couple of local guys: Boi-1da once, and Noah “40” Shebib.
Jas Prince was an aspiring rap mogul from Houston, Texas looking to become a legit rap mogul like his father, J Prince, founder of Rap-A-Lot Records.
While he was looking around MySpace one day in 2006, he found Drake’s artist page and saw a lot of promise in the tracks posted. He played some of the songs for his dad, J Prince, but he couldn’t hear what Jas was so excited about.
Then one day Jas shared Drake’s music with New Orleans rapper Lil Wayne, who had just struck gold with his album Tha Carter II. At first, Wayne wasn’t impressed.
Jas persisted though, and months later on New Year’s Day, he played Wayne a few more songs in the car, one of which was Drake’s remix of Wayne’s own “A Milli,” a song that had yet to be released commercially. That was the moment Drake became legit.
Jas put Lil Wayne in touch with Drake and the next day Drake was flying to Houston to meet with one of his heroes.
Drake ended up joining Lil Wayne for his I AM Music Tour at the end of 2008 and the Toronto kid quickly became the New Orleans legend’s protege.
Every opportunity they could get they would record new tracks, some of which ended up on Drake’s next project. So Far Gone, Drake’s third mixtape, was released on February 13, 2009. One song on the mixtape stood out more than others and it began to catch fire, leading Drake to make a video with one of the biggest artists in the world.
This is the true story of Drake's 'Best I Ever Had' with newly unearthed audio from MUCH, as well as sound from Rap Radar, MTV News, Myspace, and CBS News.
Peace Up, A-Town Down: The True Story of Usher's 'Yeah!'
Usher was born to entertain. It might be hard to believe, but this year marks the 30th Anniversary of his debut album!
Usher was discovered at the age of 13 on television by famed record exec, L.A. Reid, who wasted no time signing him to his LaFace label. Usher’s ascent truly began three years later with the release of his second album, the game-changing My Way, which catapulted him from baby-faced R&B up-and-comer to bona fide casanova.
By the age of 20, he was winning Billboard and Soul Train Awards for his music, but he was also making a name for himself as one of the best dancers in the business, taking cues from his idol Michael Jackson.
Throughout 2001, Usher showed he could evolve as an artist while giving his fan base what they wanted. His next record, 8701 was a smash hit, outselling My Way and establishing Usher as one of the biggest stars on the planet. Songs like “U Got It Bad” and “U Remind Me” both topped the Hot 100 for multiple weeks.
But having finished touring 8701 in 2002, Usher felt the need to get back to music. And this time he wanted to leave an even bigger mark.
Over the better part of 2003, Usher and his expansive pool of producers recorded 40 tracks for his next album. But there was a problem. Usher presented songs to Arista but the album was rejected by the label. Not only that, but Usher’s label boss, L.A. Reid, had reservations about the R&B star’s appeal to audiences. He told Usher to go back into the studio and record some bangers. But Usher was feeling dejected.
Usher needed a hit. And he would find one with some help from the King of Crunk. This is the true story of Usher's Yeah! With newly unearthed audio from Mr. Entertainment himself.
It's Getting Hot! The True Story of Nelly's 'Hot in Herre'
When it comes to the origin cities of hip hop stars over the last 20 plus years - it's safe to say St. Louis, Missouri is not the first to come to mind.
But St. Louis, Missouri is the home of at least one rap superstar that had the world of music following his every move for the better part of the 2000s; Cornell Iral Haynes Jr. Better known to you and I as Nelly.
Nelly released his first single ‘Country Grammar (Hot Sh*t)’ in early 2000, with album release plans on hold until he could prove to his label that he was worth the investment.
He soon proved to be worth the investment and more, spawning 4 hit singles from his first record, and featured on a number of turn-of-the-century classics as well.
While all pretty ubiquitous in their own right; none of these tracks went any higher than #3 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Perhaps Nelly really *was* too tied to St. Louis, much like the label feared back in ‘99.
Maybe what he needed to do to get that Chart topping single was to relocate… maybe he needed to move on from St. Louis and show the world what it was like in a place called Nellyville, because in Nellyville it was getting Hot.
This is the story of Nelly's iconic single 'Hot in Herre' with newly unearthed clips from Nelly Himself, and Interviews conducted by Encore's Myles Galloway.
Also includes audio from: The Fader, June 8th 2017.
Nelly Reveals The Secret History Behind "Hot In Herre"
Previous Encore episodes referenced:
I'm Looking Crazy Right Now: The True Story of Beyoncé and Jay Z's 'Crazy in Love'
This Song is B-A-N-A-N-A-S: The True Story of Gwen Stefani's 'Hollaback Girl'
That's What Makes You Beautiful - The True Story of One Direction's 'What Makes You Beautiful'
The United Kingdom and Ireland has a long, rich history of creating boy bands that have taken the British isles, and often the world by storm.
From the early ‘British Invasion’ and the aptly named ‘Beatlemania’ brought on by the Beatles in the 1960s, to the British glam pop influence of the Bay City Rollers in the 70s, Wham!’s iconic sound of the 1980s, to the well established 90s groups like Take That, Westlife, and Boyzone, to the modern pretenders to the throne like JLS, The Wanted, and McFly - British and Irish boy bands have been influencing music and pop culture consistently for more than 6 decades.
But let’s be honest, there is only ONE DIRECTION this episode could be headed when talking about a British and Irish Boy Band that took the world by storm - this is the story of One Direction’s very first single ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ with newly unearthed audio from Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson and Liam Payne
If you want to see Myles' Journey opening for 1D in Dubai: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YMaJJYnP4y0