POP COR­NER

Rihanna sends love, and bikes, to Malawi

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - COVER STORY - Ailbhe Malone

Track of the week:

Chas­ing Highs by Alma You’ ve prob­a­bly spot­ted Alma on Charli XCX’ s In stag ram. She’s a Fin­nish singer and she’ s got prop­erly neon hair. But her sound will sur­prise you– de­spite her in­dus­trial look, we’ re in Tove Lo ter­ri­tory: smart and sexy pop with a 90s vibe, and not a drop of Trop­i­cal House in­sight. Who can re­sist as Alma’s alto voice calls out across the dance floor :“Who’ s go­ing to be the first one to move? I want to get closer to you.”

He roof the week is Rihanna –not only did she launch a make-up line( F en ty Beauty ), she also part­nered with bike share com­pany Ofo to fund ed­u­ca­tion in Malawi, and also to give bikes to stu­dents who can’ t get to school. Rihanna said in a press­re­lease: “I’m so happy about the Clara Lion el Foun­da­tion’ s new part­ner­ship with Ofo be­cause it will help so many young peo­ple around the world re­ceive a qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion, and also help the young girls of Malawi get to school safely, cut­ting down those very long walks they make to and from school all alone.”

Mean­while, Jay Z toldthe Metro that Cold play’s Chris Martin is a genius .“I have been in the in­dus­try long enough to know when I’m in the pres­ence of a genius ... and Chris Martin is just that .” He went on, warm­ing to his theme: “In years to come, Bri­tain will look back at him as a mod­ern- day Shake­speare ... He is an in­cred­i­ble record­ing artist, an in­cred­i­ble song­writer, but where he re­ally comes alive is per­form­ing live. If you get the chance to see Cold­play live, doit–you ain’t gonna re­gret it.”

Zero of the week are record ex­ecs de­cid­ing her ethos, Char li XCX told BBC Ra­dio 1: “I get asked ques­tions about fem­i­nism all the time ... I’ m not some­body who is wor­ried about wear­ing re­veal­ing out fits or per­form­ing provoca­tively on stage–as long as that’ s my choice .” She went on ,“the sec­ond it is an in­struc­tion from a manor a record la­bel then it’s not cool.”

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