Beck (born Bek David Campbell, 8.7.1970) is an acclaimed American musician, singer and song writer of alternative pop music.
Childhood: Beck was born in Los Angeles, California. His father was David Campbell, a musician and his mother was Bibeb Hansen, a visual artist.
In the 1980s, Beck quit high school and travelled to Europe, where he developed his musical talent by working as a busker. He returned to the US in the late 80's, and became involved in New York's anti-folk movement.
Early Career: Beck released the Banjo Story cassette in 1988, which has subsequently been released as a bootleg. At the end of the decade, he returned to L.A., playing everywhere from coffee shops to punk clubs, as well as busking on the streets. He sometimes busked with Chris Ballew, of the band The Presidents of the United States of America.
Tom Rothrock and Rob Schnapf, of Bong Load Records, signed Beck to their label. The song 'Loser', which was a collaboration with the hip-hop producer Carl Stephenson, became a success after it was played on Santa Monica College Radio, KCRW. A record label bidding war ensued and Beck signed to Geffen, who offered him the least money, but the greatest amount of freedom.
The Breakthrough: Beck's debut full-length studio album, Mellow Gold was released in 1994. Around the same time, he also released Stereopathetic Soulmanure on Flipside Records as well as One Foot in the Grave, on Calvin Johnson's K Records. This was followed by a worldwide tour and a main stage slot at 1995's Lollapalooza.
Beck initially called on Schnapf and Rothrock to produce the follow up to Mellow Gold but eventually the recordings were shelved. Instead, he enlisted the Dust Brothers, who had produced Paul's Boutique by the Beastie Boys. Odelay was both a critical and commercial success. The album launched the singles 'Where It's At', 'Devil's Haircut' and 'The New Pollution'.
The follow up to Odelay, Mutations, was released amid complex legal wranglings, which remain unsolved to this day. The album was originally intended for release by Bong Load Records but Geffen intervened and released the album against his wishes. In 1999, Beck won the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Performance for Mutations.
Mutations was then followed by Midnite Vultures. The album was accompanied by a world tour, which included an elaborate set as well as a brass section to augment his existing live band.
Beck went on to contribute a number of tracks to film soundtracks, including 'Deadweight' for A Life Less Ordinary, a cover of 'Diamond Dogs' (by David Bowie) for Moulin Rouge! and a cover of 'Everybody's Got To Learn Sometime' (by The Korgis) for Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind.
2002's Sea Change became Beck's first Top 10 album in the United States. The album featured his father's string arrangements and with Nigel Godrich on board again, the production sound was reminiscent of that on Mutations. Following the release of the album, he embarked on a tour that saw The Flaming Lips appearing both as his opening act and his backing band.
Guero, released in 2004, brought the Dust Brothers back into the production seat. The album also featured a collaboration with Jack White of The White Stripes.
In 2006, Beck began using a live feed video during his live shows. The videos featured puppets of him and his band, performing the songs simultaneously with the live show.
Beck seventh studio album was The Information, released in 2006. The album featured the singles 'Cellphone's Dead' and 'Nausea'. This was followed by a non-album single, 'Timebomb', which was released via iTunes in August 2007.
In early 2008, it was revealed that Beck had been working with the respected producer Danger Mouse on a new album entitled Modern Guilt and that the singer Cat Power had contributed vocals to the album. The album was released in July 2008.
Personal Affairs: In 2004, Beck married Marissa Ribisi, an actress. They have one son, Cosimo Henri and a daughter, Tuesday. Both Beck and Marissa are Scientologists.
Doug Aitken is a multimedia artist who takes an in-depth look at society's art today; with the likes of music, dance and physical artwork in mind. On his exploration, he takes a 4,000 mile trip from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean (that's New York to San Francisco) picking up a variety of artists along the way and making stops to witness some incredible 'happenings' throughout the country. He gets the chance to speak to musicians in their droves, all eager to open up about their experiences and interpretations of their art. The trip takes place over 24 days and features such spectacles as Beck being joined by a gospel choir in the enormous Mojave desert; an expanse which spans California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona. 'Station To Station' is an artistic documentary roadtrip with a difference. Directed by Doug Aitken ('The Source'), it includes appearances from some 43 musicians and artists including Beck, Jackson Browne, Thurston Moore, Patti Smith, Mavis Staples, Cat Power, Ariel Pink's Haunted Graffiti, Dan Deacon, Cold Cave and many, many more. The movie is set to be released in cinemas on June 26th 2015, after which the Station to Station: A 30-Day Happening event will kick off.
The song drops just months after his Grammy win this year.
There's always an air of mystery about Beck and that's what we love about him. Now he's surprised us once again with an infectious summer anthem entitled 'Dreams' as he continues to spread joy across Europe during this year's festival season.
Beck returns with a new single 'Dreams'
Earlier this year he landed two Grammys for his 2014 album 'Morning Phase', so it's safe to say we were not expecting any new material so soon. But it seems we might be looking at a new album in the near future, as this LA rocker brings us our first taste of his latest studio progression: 'Dreams'.
Continue reading: Beck Wakes Us Up With His Vibrant New Single 'Dreams' [Listen]
Despite having a pretty incredible music career to his name already, Fun's singer, Nate Ruess, discusses his amazing time working with Beck on his début solo album.
With Nate Ruess releasing his debut solo album, he spoke to us at contactmusic.com about working with Beck - one of his favourite musicians. According to Ruess, his love for Beck stems from the artist's continuing ability to release new and interesting music, as well as his ability to shapeshift musically, and take on various different styles and genres at will.
Nate Ruess is set to release 'Grand Romantic' on 16th June 2015
When Ruess originally reached out to Beck to work on his album, he had already an idea for the song - and it was supposed to sound like Beck's 'Midnight Vultures' album. While he was a fan of both the albums 'Sea Change' and 'Modern Guilt', Ruess didn't want to make Beck record more music like that because he "didn't want to give him more of that, because he'd just been touring with that for a whole year". After continuing to work on the song for a bit, he soon discovered that it "wasn't like 'Midnight Vultures', unfortunately, but it was what it was, and I'm quite proud of that."
Continue reading: Nate Ruess Reflects On "Pretty Phenomenal" Beck Collaboration
People across the world got together with friends on 22nd February to watch the Academy Awards - and for Sir Elton John, those friends happened to be some of the biggest names in entertainment!
Since 1992, EJAF (Elton John AIDS Foundation) has raised over 321 million USD to help combat AIDS/HIV. One of the biggest events on EJAF's calendar is that of the Academy Awards Ceremony - for the last 23 years, Sir Elton John has hosted a special Academy Awards viewing party, in which celebrities from all areas of the entertainment industry come together to watch the Oscars, whilst raising money for the foundation. This year was no exception.
Sir Elton John poses with Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne (Credit Jamie McCarthy - Getty Images)
Of course, as with any Oscar party, members of the Hollywood elite were in attendance, like Alec and Hilaria Baldwin. But also, tremendous musical talent flocked to West Hollywood Park in Los Angeles. In addition to Sir Elton John, Sharon and Ozzy Osbourne were there to pose for pictures, as were Miley Cyrus, LIL' KIM and Kylie Minogue. Moby and Beck also stopped by to help raise awareness for the fight against HIV/AIDS.
In the wake of the Grammys, the Beck-Beyonce mash-up is just what's needed.
The track, entitled ‘Single Loser (Put A Beck On It)’, appeared on SoundCloud late on Thursday. It is discoverable under the artist profile name ‘Beckyonce Knowles-Hansen’, and consists of the vocals of Bey’s 2008 smash hit ‘Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)’ set to the music of rocker’s 1994 breakthrough single ‘Loser’.
Beck pictured at the 2015 Grammys, where he won 'Album of the Year'
Continue reading: Amazing Mash-Up Of Beck And Beyonce Appears Online
The rapper was fuming at the Grammy judges decision to award Album of the Year to Beck, but has clarified some his controversial comments from the weekend
When Beck’s album Morning Phase surprisingly won Album of the Year at the ceremony, beating out multi-platinum records by the likes of Beyonce, Pharrell, Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith, Kanye took to the stage seeming, and afterward denounced both Beck and the Grammys to E! News for not respecting artistry. In that interview, he had said “Beck needs to respect artistry and he should have given his award to Beyonce, and at this point, we tired of it,” prompting masses of reaction on social media in the aftermath.
Kanye West clarified his Grammys comments in a radio interview with Ryan Seacrest
Continue reading: Kanye West Backtracks Over Beck Comments At Grammys
Shirley Manson said Kanye West was increasingly making himself look like a "tw*t".
Garbage's Shirley Manson has accused Kanye West of being "small and petty and spoilt" in an open letter to the rapper after he criticized Beck for winning album of the year at the Grammys. Kanye interrupted Beck's acceptance speech and backstage interview to claim the rocker's win was "disrespectful to inspiration."
Shirley Manson said Kanye disrespected his own "remarkable talents"
The Scottish singer-songwriter said: "Dear Kanye. It is YOU who is so busy disrespecting artistry. You disrespect your own remarkable talents and more importantly you disrespect the talent, hard work and tenacity of all artists when you go so rudely and savagely after such an accomplished and humble artist like BECK.
Continue reading: Shirley Manson Calls Kanye "Small and Spoilt" after Beck Incident
So, Beck won the Best Album Grammy. Naturally, Yeezy had an issue with that.
Is it really a surprise that Kanye West generated one of the biggest headlines from last night’s Grammys? No. No is the answer. What is surprising, however, is that he didn’t *exactly* pull a Kanye, as the media have dubbed his 2009 stunt.
When you're making controvercial statements, it probably helps if you look awesome doing it.
This time, many Grammy attendees held their breath as Kanye took the stage after Beck’s win for Album of the Year (Beyonce was also nominated in the category). But West kept things civil, at least during the show. Only afterwards, speaking to E! News, did he let loose his true feelings on Beyonce’s snub. Beck should have given his award to Beyonce was the gist of it.