Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Young Pals Music celebrated a banner year, releasing more new projects in 2010 than ever before. The boutique record label also forged a fruitful and ongoing collaboration with acclaimed guitarist and songwriter Dennis DelGaudio.
That alliance with DelGaudio resulted in the production duo DNA (Dennis DelGaudio & Ayhan Sahin), and their debut album recorded at Young Pals’ 2C Studios, “Calling Card,” featuring the consummate vocals of Karine Hannah on all 12 tracks. The crafty melodies, plugged-in instrumentation and soaring, anthemic vocals that parade across this collection embodied a true artistic union for Young Pals.
The project reached another part of the globe when Italian record label TAM, founded by longtime Young Pals collaborator Tony Amodio, released “Nada Mas,” by Gabriella Torres in Italy—an Italian-language version of “One Lie,” which appeared on DNA with Karine Hannah’s “Calling Card.”
Meanwhile, Hannah, who has released three previous albums on Young Pals, performed a series of sold-out performances at New York’s elegant Metropolitan Room throughout the year, including her show “AM Radio” featuring favorite covers from the late 1970s and early 1980s originally made famous by male artists.
DNA also issued the saucy sing-along single “Bitch Slap!” from “American Idol” finalist Norman Gentle. The toast to outgoing “Idol” judge Simon Cowell features a maddeningly catchy chorus, throbbing beat and an accompanying video clip featuring a cameo from “America’s Top Model” judge Nigel Barker, along with a cast of Broadway dancers—and Cowell himself (okay, as a stand-up cardboard cutout)—which literally stopped traffic in Manhattan’s Times Square as hundreds of passers-by joined in the tribute.
“Bitch Slap!” garnered critical praise from the likes of The Los Angeles Times, Yahoo! Music and Fox News, while the music video received more than 50,000 online hits in its first week of release in May, as well hot AC radio airplay.
Adam Shenk’s debut album “Suitcases” was also released in May, launched with a sold-out performance at New York’s Bitter End club. Produced by Sahin with music & lyrics by Shenk, the 14-track disc meshes pop and contemporary R&B with old-school soul and shades of jazz. Imagine classic Simply Red infused with the youth and verve of Chris Brown. Adam has been performing non-stop throughout the year in and around New York based clubs promoting “Suitcases.”
Young Pals also released the third album from Parisian artist Lybert Ramade, “Une autre chance,” in December. The album, recorded at 2C Studios in Brooklyn, comprises songs composed by Sahin, translated and sung in French. Highlights include “Ecoute moi,” the jazz-infused radio-ready opening track; frenetic dance toss-ups “L’heure des heros” and “Je suis comme je suis”; elegant ballads “Plus loin” and “Si jamais”; and pop confection “7 vies.” The project also includes English-language track “Another Bad Mistake,” a duet with Karine Hannah. A host of U.S.-based songwriters contributed to “Une autre chance,” including Sahin with DelGaudio, Tinatin, Bernadette O’Reilly, Emre Yilmaz, Chuck Taylor, Garth Ploog, Hannah, Ghia Gabriela Szwed, Adam Shenk, Jeff Franzel and Daniel Pitt Stoller. All French lyrics were written by Lybert Ramade and Nathalie Krassilchik. The album was mixed by Mehmet Kemaloglu, who was based in New York as 2C’s intern for four months during the spring.
Over the course of the year, Sahin also contributed to a Haiti Earthquake relief project initiated by Jim Papoulis’ FoundationForSmallVoices.org, to raise awareness for the earthquake disaster and to fund and direct money for Haiti relief. His song “We Will Lift You Up” was translated into 35 languages, with vocal production by Sahin for the Turkish, Russian, Greek, Italian and French versions. Performers for those renditions were Sahin, Tinatin, Ileana Exaras, Tony Amodio and Karine Hannah, respectively.
Other 2010 collaborations include songwriting with Jose Promis, Peter Elias, Jerri Bocchino, Tinatin, Wallace Wilholt Jr., and recording with Astoria Boulevard, Emre Yilmaz, Erica Jacob, Mike Moon and Damien Jack Slater.
Sahin is currently working on a four-song EP with Tinatin, the celebrated vocalist, songwriter, author, journalist and radio personality, who has both recorded and composed chart-topping singles and won awards in Europe, including runner up in the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest.