Song of the Day: Through The Clouds – Jay Phelps (ft. Simon Jnr)

A household name in the UK jazz world, Canadian-born, UK-based trumpeter, DJ and composer JAY PHELPS teams up with Birmingham MC Simon Jnr ‘Through The Clouds’. It’s the second single from his forthcoming album ‘The Now’, releasing via Platoon in partnership with Black Lives In Music.

With a career spanning 20 years, Phelps has performed as a sideman with some of the world’s top names, including Amy Winehouse, George Benson and Wiz Kid. His work as founding member of award-winning contemporary jazz group Empirical in the late 2000s garnered international acclaim, an early precursor to the explosion of UK jazz that has since followed. As a bandleader, he’s explored multiple styles, threading together the jazz language and tradition with contemporary influences, always with one eye on the future.
His status as an innovator and enabler on the UK jazz scene has seen him host regular shows on Jazz FM and Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide FM, and draw praise from The Guardian, Jazzwise and London Jazz News.

The forthcoming LP ‘The Now’ brings together a cross-generational collective of musicians. It’s a journey from the underground, club-centric UK jazz scene, through to the house-filled streets of Detroit and progressive sonics of LA. Phelps continues on his mission as a connector of dots, bringing together multiple generations of musicians at the forefront of the UK’s jazz scene, including David Mrakpor (Blue Lab Beats), Tom Ford (Chris Dave, Reuben James) and Nicola Guida (Secret Night Gang). The record draws inspiration from hiphop, G-funk and broken beat, with Phelps and co weaving between styles through
conversational improvisation, thoughtfully crafted melodies and a combination of vocal and horn-led arrangements. Continuing with the west coast vibe explored on lead single ‘Finding Centaurii’,

‘Through The Clouds’ invokes shades of Anderson Paak’s jazz-fuelled soul-funk. Phelps’ playful muted
trumpet is paired with Ruta Sipola’s flute in conversation with Mrakpor’s vibraphone, with the instrumental finely balanced against Simon Jnr’s lyrical flow, setting an inspirational tone of breaking through and looking past adversity.

“I wanted the catchy melody to be traded around the band, as it’s the largest ensemble featured on the entire album. Simon Jnr came through and provided the lyrical masterpiece, which tied in perfectly to the themes I wanted to convey on the instrumental.” -Jay Phelps. Have a listen to

‘Through The Clouds’ below…

Song of the Day: Jazz Bar – Otysee

Independent composer and recording artist OTYSEE made his solo debut in 2019 with the single ‘Almond’. That track introduced a multi-talented, multi-instrumentalist producer from Germany who deals in laid-back grooves. His mostly instrumental tunes mix elements of jazz, pop, and hip-hop into laid-back lo-fi vibe.

Since his debut, the prolific producer has amassed a remarkable volume of work. In less than four years, otysee has released four full-length albums and over fifty singles. Growing up in a musical household, the young artist learned to play a number of instruments. Prior to launching this current project, the multifaceted musician collaborated on a number of projects and worked as the drummer in a rock band.

‘Jazz Bar’ is the latest single from otysee, released last month via all major streaming services. A wah-wah electric guitar introduces the track as the beat drops on a downtempo jazz-hop groove. Piano, bass, drums and guitar accompany the soloist, conjuring images of a smoky late-night cocktail lounge.

Check out ‘Jazz Bar’ below….

Song of the Day: Scream999 – Sola

London-based multi-instrumentalist/producer/vocalist SOLA‘s single ‘Scream999’, portrays a hauntingly beautiful sound, led by Sola’s captivating silky vocal, combined with an intense instrumentation and heavy drum tracks, perfectly capturing the song’s dystopian themes of information overload and desensitization.

Of the song, Sola shares: “’Scream999’ is a critique of the internet age. We’re constantly bombarded with information competing for our attention, which makes it easy to lose focus of what’s important. It’s about becoming desensitised to suffering, screaming into a void where everyone around is too distracted to notice or help. The video, directed by Rosino, tried to reflect the songs themes through filming in a dystopian setting, with the broken tv screens and distorted visuals representing the information overload technology has caused.”

‘Scream999’ follows on from Sola’s recent, romantic single ‘Abide In U’, featuring drums from acclaimed musician Moses Boyd which garnered support from the likes of CLASH, COLORS, Wonderland, BBC Radio London, Noctis Magazine, ENFNTS, Trench Mag, Dazed, BBC 1Xtra, BBC 6Music and BBC Radio 1 amongst others.

‘Scream999’ was released via Jamz Supernova’s label Future Bounce. Check out the video for single below…

Song of the Day: Father Time – Kale Gawd

KALE GAWD freestyles over Kendrick Lamar’s track ‘Father Time’, where he describes that moment when all control becomes lost in the void of your past.

He says of the freestyle: “I have always been a huge Kendrick fan, and Father Time moved me more than any other cut off of Big Steppers – to the point where I felt compelled to tell a story of my own.”

Kale Gawd offers his daily freestyles on Instagram – why not head over there –

But before you do, make sure you check his ‘Father Time’ freestyle below…

Song of the Day: I’m Drinkin Rum – Sovereign Tugz

SOVEREIGN TUGZ hits the ground running with his first single of 2023 ‘Im drinkin’ rum, a promotional song for the Im Drinkin rum brand. After being performed live for crowds at Telford’s Jerk fest in 2022, it is out now.

This new release is sure to be a hit with fans of both Sovereign Tugz and ID Rum. With both Tugz and Just Dan doing their thing over this Error produced instrumental, this song is sure to get everyone up on their feet, while the smooth taste of ID Rum will provide the perfect accompaniment for any night out.

Hailing from the Black Country area of the West Midlands, rapper and entrepreneur Sovereign Tugz (formerly known as Thugz SNE ) has long been an advocate of the independent grind; a recognisable trait that has shown its head repeatedly in both life and in music. Predominantly known as a rapper, Tugz can also be found in the studio as executive producer and engineer for other artists, some who ended up signing to his record label See No Equal Entertainment. As a musician Tugz is mainly a hip hop artist but has always shown the ability to transfer those skills to genres outside of his own, such as his feature on Rose Bates’ Rewind (Remastered) The name Sovereign Tugz came about to emphasise the importance of freedom and independence, something that is seen in his consistent work ethic and stoic mindset.

Since 2010 Tugz has been self releasing projects and singles, each one better than the last with the latest project being 2015’s Streets 2 Tha Studio which was followed up with a barrage of singles such as The Bad Guy and other ventures such as SNE Online, a Hip hop only radio station that connected listeners and shows across the world and his all new OG rolling Papers, just a few examples of the hustlers ambition that had gained him recognition in 2018’s ‘Uprising’ documentary which had featured in cinemas and film festivals in The UK, Europe and America.