Song of the Day: Royal – Lyne Nsongo

On the back of signing a new music partnership with Crep Select, London-based Belgian Congolese songstress LYNE NSONGO follows up with her latest single titled ‘Royal’, produced by Ocean and engineered by Hot Money (Stefflon Don, Krept & Konan, Stormzy). Serving as the first taste of her upcoming sophomore EP, the song sees Lyne speaking to women, wanting to make them realise their worth and their royalty, with the London-based singer, songwriter and producer affirming that “you were made of gold, handmade by the only One”.

Speaking about the inspiration behind ‘Royal’ and her desire to create empowering and inspirational music, Lyne Nsongo says, “The song comes from discussions I had with some of my female friends who were at very low points in their lives, I just want to lift them up and make them see their worth. I’ve realised that it’s my calling to deliver this empowering message through my music. If I can become an inspiration for girls out there to follow a good path in life, I believe I will have achieved my purpose in life. I have a gift and I want to use it to impact my world”.

Born in Belgium, Lyne Nsongo grew up in a very musical household, and honed her skills in music academies and dance classes as a child, before developing her sound further with collaborations with her brother and producer D.E.W.I. Now living in London, she comes with support from the likes of Trench Magazine, Red Bull, Capital Xtra, Missguided, Reprezent Radio and GirlsIRate, and is fast-becoming one to watch in the UK’s resurgent R&B music scene and beyond, as she brings her genre-bending slant on the genre and her hopeful inspirational message to the forefront.

Check out the official video for ‘Royal’ below…

Song of the Day: Colorblind – Mae Krell

New York-based singer-songwriter MAE KRELL‘s single, ‘Colorblind’ was written and recorded in quarantine, created remotely from start to finish with the help of producer and multi-instrumentalist Jakob Leventhal. Over swirling, sliding guitars and sparse drums, Mae grieves the end of a relationship in painful and relatable detail: “I squeezed your hand, you flinched / The skies turned black, I blinked / I never practiced my goodbyes / I didn’t think that I had to.” Mae’s sharp lyrics and aching vocals brim with palpable emotion as they call back memories of a love that once was.

“I wrote ‘colorblind’ in the midst of what I thought was going to be the end of a relationship with the first girl I ever truly fell in love with,” Mae says of the inspiration behind the single. “I’ll be the first to admit that I feel everything too much, but during the couple of days that this was going on, I really felt like the world was ending. I was wildly sad while also being very restless in a way that I had never experienced before.”

Following a two-year hiatus, Mae Krell returned in early 2020 ready to embark on a new musical era. With a newfound maturity and understanding, she has perfected her folk-pop sound and introspective lyrical chops. At just 22 years old, Mae exudes a musicality wise beyond her years. Influenced by revered singer-songwriters like Bob Dylan, Phoebe Bridgers and Gregory Alan Isakov, her songs are intimate reflections that confront trauma, self-love, and personal truths. Her singles have amassed millions of streams to date, with last year’s singles “wash,” “home,” and “garden,” all individually breaking over 500K streams.

In addition to her artist career, Mae has worn many different hats in the music industry. She was photographed live music from the likes of Rolling Stone and Sony RCA, founded the online music publication Tongue Tied Magazine and, most recently, started Bitch Mgmt, a multimedia marketing and PR company. With a multitude of career milestones already under their belt, Mae is taking it one day at a time and focusing on writing and recording songs that reach new emotional heights.

Check out the lyric video for ‘Colorblind’ below…

Album Interview: Fireside Chats – Jason Griff

After rocking the blog with singles, ‘Peruvian Encrusted Swordfish’, ‘Detlet, plus album ‘Dream Team: A Stokely Hathaway Joint’, all of which he collaborated with good friend and rapper Jihad Scorcese, it’s great to catch up with producer JASON GRIFF to discuss his debut album ‘Fireside Chats – and also to remember Scorcese, who sadly passed away in January.

NLM: Hey, thank you for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC. How is 2021 treating you so far?

JG: Thank you! It got off to a rough start two weeks in when Scorcese passed away. It was, and still is, hard to bounce back from that, but I’m handling it as best I can. Other than that, it’s been pretty good.

NLM: You recently released your debut album, ‘Fireside Chats’ back in May. What is the public perception on the project so far?

JG: So far everyone seems to really like it. I got a lot of praise and coverage from outlets that had not really shown any love in the past so that’s exciting. I’m sure a lot of people hate it too but I haven’t heard much of that and it probably wouldn’t phase me anyways.

NLM: How would you describe the album’s sound to potential fans?

JG: It’s a punk rock-inspired hip-hop album. But it’s not a bunch of corny mash-ups, it sounds like a rap album. You can enjoy it if you’re not in to punk at all.

NLM: What inspired you to produce the album?

JG: When I was a teenager I was heavy in the punk scene, going to shows all the time. I got older and started making beats so I had the idea to combine my two favorite genres.

NLM: What is/are your favourite single(s) from the album and why?

JG: There’s 2. “Adapt” feat. Alaska is one because he really killed that beat and gave me a lot to play with and take it to the next level. The other is “Summer of Punk” feat. Scorcese. He really did the work on that one. The first version he did was cool but I gave him a bunch of research to do and he ended up referencing all those bands throughout the song.

NLM: The album features a host of promising rappers, including Scorcese (who sadly pass away in January 2021). What was it like working with him?

JG: He was like a rap personal trainer, always pushing you to take it up a notch to the next level. I wouldn’t be releasing music in 2021 if I hadn’t met him.

NLM: How did your friendship with Scorcese came to fruition?

JG:We met via Zilla Rocca when Scorcese was looking for producer to do remixes of an album he had put out. I did one for the project and we hit it off right away and started working on the Dream Team album.

NLM: What are the top three qualities you would associate with Scorcese?

JG: Dedication. Hustle. Humor.

NLM: Do you have other project(s) for 2021?

JG: Yes! I have an album called Human Zoo with Alaska coming out in September via Insubordinate Records. I’ll also have productions on several projects from other artists and some singles and maybe a beat tape or two. At the label we will have Alex Ludovico’s solo album and some posthumous Scorcese releases.

NLM: How can potential fans find you?

insubordinaterecords.com will get you all of my music. I’m on Twitter and IG as @iamjasongriff and a majority of my catalog is on all streaming platforms, just search for Jason Griff (or sometimes just Griff)

Fireside Chats is now out

Douglas McGuire Delivers Summer Anthem, ‘Island’

Alternative-pop singer-songwriter DOUGLAS MCGUIRE shares his brand new new summer anthem ‘Island’. Having collaborated with Grammy award-winning engineer James Auwarter of Coda Room Audio (Kanye West, Rhianna, Jay-Z, amongst others), McGuire creates fun and uplifting material that connects to his listeners, largely due to the dedication and commitment that can be heard in every word he sings.

Speaking more on the release, Douglas explains: “This song is the final in a trilogy of songs about a girl I only dated for a couple of weeks, but who had a very profound impact on me and my life. The lyrics carry strong nautical themes, which collectively come to represent the ups and downs of the relationship I once had, and where I am right now in life as well as with respect to the relationship I had with this girl.”

Born in Croydon, and raised in the heart of the Suffolk countryside, the France-based producer/singer-songwriter has been described by fans and professionals alike as Taylor Swift/The 1975 hybrid – with a distinctive, sombre, and smooth vocal tonality and an endearing honesty behind his lyrics, juxtaposed with major, uplifting chord progressions that have an undeniable mainstream appeal.

Have a listen to ‘Island’ below…

Alt-Pop Artist Cyprss Tackles Body Positivity In Latest Single, ‘The House I Hate’

CYPRSS‘ new single addresses her struggles with self-confidence and body positivity. 2020 sparked a conversation about mental health, and within that, the way we see our bodies. ‘A House I Hate’ tackles this issue head on, using the image of a house to represent her body. Sonically, the song is inspired by Billie Eilish’s eerie dark pop sound and contains a hip-hop inspired groove.

‘A House I Hate’ identifies the things CYPRSS wishes she could change about her physical being while also expressing a desperation to accept herself. After the second chorus, there is a an “ear-wrenching explosion of synthesizer sounds” that CYPRSS says “resembles the intense energy of animosity I felt towards my body when writing this song”.

Cyprss says: “My favorite thing about this song is that, though it is honest about the pain of self-hatred, it doesn’t end there. As I’ve been working the steps of recovery in my own life, it has changed my perspective of myself. Am I always super confident and never struggle now? No. But I’m learning to silence the negative voices in my head and give power to the healthy ones.”

‘A House I Hate’ ends with the thought that perhaps healing doesn’t come from covering up or changing our bodies, but rather from changing the way we see ourselves.

CYPRSS has always been an advocate for mental health through her music. Her signature song ‘Underworld’ dives into a place of “ice-cold terror”, describing the experience of someone in the midst of deep depression and anxiety.

The name CYPRSS is inspired by the strength and resilience of cypress trees which can grow and thrive in very harsh environments.

Why not check out ‘A House I Hate’ below…