Puja Patel


New York, NY

  • Robyn and Röyksopp in New York City, August 2014

    Q&A: Robyn and Röyksopp on Max Martin, Ziggy Stardust, and Bananas as the Perfect Food

    When Robyn and Röyksopp (Norwegian DJs Svein Berge and Torbjørn Brundtland) first went into a studio together in 2009, their resulting "Girl and the Robot" became the most anthemic dance-pop to come out of Scandinavia since Annie's Röyksopp-produced "Heartbeat" in 2004. Five years after that first run-in, the trio reunited to release a mini-EP called Do It Again, with the hopes that it would be the broader, conceptual project that one-off singles wouldn't allow. In turn, the five-track EP is a place where the trio shake out their experimental pop, drawing from punk ("SayIt"), spaced-out synths ("Monument") and Max Martin-influenced power-pop ("Do It Again"). The latter is the project's undeniable hit, a tongue-in-cheek blend of EDM's trance-glow glut paired with a thudding bass and Robyn's vocal despair.

  • Beyoncé

    Watch Beyonce Own the VMAs With Her 16-Minute Medley

    The one true winner of the VMAs was undoubtedly Beyoncé, who performed a powerful medley of songs from the surprise self-titled album she dropped at the tail-end of last year. It was a fitting move for the MTV ceremony, since when when Beyoncé was released, it came complete with a video for each track.

  • Prince

    Prince Announces Two New Albums and Delivers First Single, 'Clouds'

    Back in June, the Star Tribune gave Prince fans something to hyperventilate about. The singer had signed a deal with Warner Bros. in the months prior and gave the paper an exclusive listen to several unheard tracks, including one that was based around a visual still from Purple Rain. There was promise of electronic experimentalism, sparkling electro-funk, and an actual full-length release that would drop as soon as his record label would let him. "Every No. 1 song, every Top 10 song, every song in the Top 40 is at least six months old," Prince said then. "We should be able to make music and put it out now."Wait and you shall receive: Early this morning, Warner Bros. announced that there will be not one but two albums coming from the Purple One next month.

  • sam smith

    Sam Smith Gives a Grammys-Worthy Performance at the MTV VMAs

    Tonight's MTV Video Music Awards opened with a bang, with a bedazzling entrance by Katy Perry and RiFF RaFF, a powerhouse performance by Jessie J, Ariana Grande, and Nicki Minaj, and Taylor Swift shaking it off like it was 1929. Considering all the flashing lights, rehearsal snake bites, stage-fails that haunted the night's other divas before the big show, it's probably for the best that Artist To Watch nominee (and dear friend of Kim Kardashian) Sam Smith kept things simple for his turn at the mic. The British singer gave an unplugged performance of his Billboard chart-topping single "Stay With Me," showing that he didn't need leotards and glitter to sparkle. By the end he had even brought a tear to his own eye.And hey, how about some GIFs?

  • Ceremonia

    Exploring Mexican Electronic Music With Toy Selectah at Ceremonia

    A word of advice: Don't miss the bus to Ceremonia. The Mexican music festival isn't the easiest place to get to, though it might have the most gorgeous backdrop of any we've been to. Tucked away in the mountains outside of Toluca, about an hour west of Mexico City, the festival is something of a boutique showcase of local music and the American indie and pop whose influences have seeped below the border. "It's an interesting way to curate," says performing artist Toy Hernández before his set. The trippy jazz-house of Flying Lotus and graceful groove of Jacques Greene battle on separate stages in the background. "Having a festival somewhere like this is still rugged and trashy in a good way.

  • What We Learned From 15 Minutes With VMA Headliner Jessie J

    What We Learned From 15 Minutes With VMA Headliner Jessie J

    When "Bang Bang" was released in late July, it immediately landed in the Billboard Hot 100's Top 10 while debuting at #1 on iTunes' digital download chart, falling just behind Ariana Grande's "Problem" in sales. The song has since become a powerhouse of a summer anthem with UK's Jessie J, America's sweetheart Ariana Grande, and anaconda-appeaser Nicki Minaj's brassy, bubblegum belts garnering comparisons to "Lady Marmalade," another diva-fronted collab that became a hit almost exactly ten years before. The Max Martin produced single is Jessie J's first massive stateside success since 2011's "Domino," and with a new album in the works and an officially confirmed performance at the VMAs alongside her "Bang Bang" costars next Sunday, Jessie J has launched herself back into the U.S. limelight.

  • bleachers, jack antonoff

    Jack Antonoff's Bleachers Isn't a Side Project. So We Played Him Some Famous Ones, Anyway.

    Jack Antonoff's new band is all about revisiting his past. Raised in the suburbs of Bergenfield, New Jersey, the songwriter and fun. guitarist started his current band Bleachers while he was on tour for fun.'s Some Nights, taking cues from his first band's live shows to write for the second. "I was seeing things on tour, that made me want to go home and try different things," says Antonoff. "The way a hook would make a crowd physically rise and fall. I wanted to lift people up and bring them back down not just emotionally, but sonically." The end result of that impulse was Bleachers' Strange Desire, an album that came mined from the traumas of his teen years - the tragic deaths of a sibling and a cousin, 9/11, an illness and recovery - while drawing on the pop, soul, and rock influences of his childhood.

  • kanye west, beyonce, jay z, kim kardashian

    Choosing Sides: Bey-Z vs. KimYe (A Roundtable)

    In light of all the Kim/Kanye and Beyoncé/Jay Z fireworks over the past month, we've assembled a roundtable of experts to discuss and dissect the two most powerful couples in music. Has Beyoncé really been calling out Jay Z during their On the Run tour dates? Do we actually believe in Kim and Kanye's love story? SPIN editor Puja Patel, frequent contributor Anupa Mistry, VIBE editor Clover Hope, New York Times tech reporter Jenna Wortham, and Buzzfeed music editor Naomi Zeichner limn the tabloid mysteries of the Wests and the Carters.PUJA PATEL: I think it's safe to say that our obsession with Beyoncé and Jay Z is rooted in their enormous musical talent. They were each the best at what they did by a fairly large margin, and when they consciously coupled, it felt like a perfect merger, equals both artistically and professionally.

  • Marilyn Manson, Eastbound and Down

    Marilyn Manson's Debut Turns 20: A Modern Portrait of His American Family

    This month Marilyn Manson's powerful debut Portrait of an American Family will celebrate it's 20th anniversary. In honor of Manson's place as an alternative, industrial-rock icon, we've compiled a list of the singer's more resilient moments in pop culture. (For all of his goth-loving gloom, the man sure does have a sense of humor about himself.) From his cameo as a porn star in Lost Highway to the time he got into a lawsuit battle with SPIN's own Editor-in-Chief, we've covered it all. Read SPIN's Marilyn Manson cover stories — 1998's autobiographical excerpt Running With the Devil and 2007's Marilyn Manson: Return of the Living Dead while you're at it.1997: Plays the role of a porn star in David Lynch's Lost Highway Featured in a cameo alongside his bandmate Jeordie White aka Twiggy Ramirez.

  • Magic!

    Q&A: Magic! Talks 'Rude,' Lorde, and Hosting Snow's Pizza Party at Chuck E. Cheese's

    Yesterday Magic!'s relaxed, summertime groove "Rude" took the throne from Iggy Azaelia's "Fancy" as ruler of the Billboard 100 singles chart. It's the fist reggae-identified track that has topped the charts since Sean Paul's 2003 dancehall banger "Get Busy," and the first non-Jamaican artist to deliver such a track since fellow Canadian Snow's "Informer" in 1993. And with it's inescapable radio popularity and comically cutesy hook—wherein a boy scolds his girlfriend's father for his antiquated stance on interracial marriage—"Rude" has become one of the undeniable songs of the summer.Their success is brand new, but Magic! didn't come from thin air.

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