The FADER Presents Its Annual Icon Issue: A Tribute To The Influential Aaliyah, With Contributions From Producers, Family, Friends and Peers, Plus The Voices Of The FADER Generation Of Artists


The FADER Presents Its Annual Icon Issue: A Tribute To The Influential Aaliyah, With Contributions From Producers, Family, Friends & Peers, Plus The Voices Of The FADER Generation Of Artists

Available on Newsstands and iTunes

New York, NY: The FADER, the definitive voice of emerging music, presents its annual Icon Issue, this time highlighting the life and legacy of the revolutionary songstress, Aaliyah. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Detroit, Aaliyah Dana Haughton entered the music scene with her first album, “Age Aint Nothing but a Number” at the age of 15. From that point forward, Aaliyah began to revolutionize the popscape with a quick and effortless swoop, embodying what the editors of The FADER love right now; her influence in 2008 an omnipresent force from the futuristic megahits dominating the airwaves to the demure pop sensibilities fluttering throughout the underground.

Before Aaliyah’s life was cut short in 2001, the Grammy-nominated artist sold millions of records worldwide–collaborating with producers and artists including Missy Elliott and Timbaland. Although Aaliyah was only in the spotlight for a short time, she had a major impact on these artists personally, and many others professionally including Mark Ronson, Ciara, Method Man, Beth Ditto, and Kid Sister. These artists and more were all interviewed, offering their take on how Aaliyah’s impact has transcended over the years, long after her death.

“It only took Aaliyah a few albums to make an indelible mark on the world of pop music, but today her influence can be felt across numerous genres,” said Chris Richards, Executive Editor of The FADER. “This issue not only tracks that influence, but also offers a more personal glimpse into the life of a true pop visionary.”

Also popping up in FADER 54 is a feature on Sweden’s newest pop maverick, Lykke Li: a product of Sweden’s pool of talented musicans and about to release her first album, Youth Novels. Recorded in Stockholm and New York, her album is set for US release this summer. With the help of Bjorn Yttling, producer and member of Peter Bjorn and John, the album is a collection of dance beats, quirky instrumentation and Li’s breathy vocals. Also between the pages is a portrait of England’s emerging bassline scene–an genre of dance music that’s providing a melodic counterpart to the frustrated energy of London grime; followed by El Guincho–an artist whose dance beats and vocals sprung from Barcelona and spread like wildfire in Spain, his album Alegranza! only to be picked up for US and UK release only four months later. As always, F54 will also be available via iTunes in its entirety, with corresponding audio podcasts, and as a free download at

Highlights Include:

AALIYAH, With Contributions From:

Missy Elliott

“We was gonna save the world. We was gonna change music every chance we got. We was gonna always be family. Forever.”

Mark Ronson

“If it wasn’t for Aaliyah being the face and voice of [Missy Elliott and Timbaland’s] sound they might have never got to where they did. They were presenting their sort of brilliant but challenging breakthrough music through this beautiful young girl who could sing it perfectly.”

Kidada Jones

“I think about her all the time…Anytime she’s brought up or her music comes on the radio, it’s sweet, but it definitely sounds like she found a niche before it was here. If you listen to her music it’s so relevant today, but we had it so long ago.”

Damon Dash

“She was already a fashion icon, she was getting into movies, she had already planted that seed. If she was alive today she would be so relevant. I see little bits of her everywhere I look, in a lot of artists.”

Jomo Hankerson

“I think a lot of that mysteriousness they talk about was just what she was. She seemed like she came here already grown up, from the beginning.”

Also between the pages:

Lykke Li

“I want to be like Patti Smith, Madonna and Edith Piaf all combined into one human.”

T2, Bassline

“I’m just keen to work hard right now. The P Diddys, the Kanye Wests and all those guys are all human beings. They were all born with the same abilities as me. I want to be on their level. I’ve got a lot of things to achieve.”

El Guincho

“My dad was kind of a hippie, he traveled by boat around the islands…When I was little I’d go with him. Once I saw el guincho. It’s a very rare bird, an endangered species there. Most of them live on Alegranza Island. And that image stuck with me. That bird from my childhood, it was like everything from the Canaries that I tossed away, back when I wanted to listen to hip-hop, house, punk rock. And then later realized how valuable it was.”

And of course, The FADER’s own Gen F section where the most essential artists bubbling up from the underground make their debut appearance. This month’s artists include Jeremy Jay, Chip tha Ripper, Sahra Motalebi, Fleet Foxes, Free Blood, Shy Child, The War on Drugs, and Kid Cudi.

About The FADER

Founded by Rob Stone and Jon Cohen, The FADER is the definitive voice of emerging music and the lifestyle that surrounds it. Through in-depth reporting and a distinct street sensibility, The FADER aggressively covers the most dynamic breadth of music and style emanating from the fringes of the mainstream to the heart of the underground. The FADER was the first publication in history to be released on iTunes, and in 2007 was named one of iTunes’ best classic audio podcasts of the year. The FADER is the authority on what’s next.

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