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DEF JAM'S NEW ENERGY

Cara, Lewis, Afrojack and Bieber Bring Renewed Energy

Steve BartelsDef Jam is showing signs of renewed energy, thanks to a couple of breaking acts and two returning stars.

Alessia Cara is generating real heat with “Here,” which is about to chart at Pop radio and is just impacting Rhythm. The young singer/songwriter has been earning buzz and critical acclaim, and the smoky “Here” looks big.

R&B siren Leona Lewis is getting a warm reception at radio, with her single “Thunder” taking the Most Added prize at Hot AC.

Breaking DJ Afrojack is enjoying a boost from a McDonald’s ad as his “Summer Thing!” prepares to chart at Pop and makes noise at Rhythm.

Big anticipation is building on superstar Justin Bieber, meanwhile, who’s delivering a new track, “What Do You Mean,” on 8/28, coming off the huge Diplo-Skrillex collabo “Where Are Ü Now.” Bieber has promised an “uplifting” new album, which is TBA but expected either late this year or early next.

All of which has Bartels and team feeling especially Def. 

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THE BIG CHEESE
Theories of evolution from 30,000 feet.
THE NEXT GIANT DEAL
A&R in overdrive.
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