EP Review: Summer ’98 – Zee

Hailing from Canada now based in L.A. artist/producer ZEE‘s new EP is definitely a throwback to the late 1990’s, paying homage to hip-hop and R&B of that era. Although this is a nostalgic collection – which evidently draws influences from 90’s R&B heavyweights including Usher, Destiny’s Child and Aaliyah – I couldn’t help but hear some influences of fellow Canadian artist/rapper Drake, particularly in introductory track, ‘Amazing’.

Further along the EP, Zee makes use of samples from some of the R&B classics, such as Kelly Rowland’s/Nelly’s hit ‘Dilemma’, putting a lick of a misty urban/hip-hop bass to the original through fourth effort, ‘All I Need’.

There’s also an air of the late 1980s included in the EP, when Zee put his stamp on Brenda Russell’s classic, ‘Piano In The Dark’ through concluding track, ‘Letting Go’, by dropping a modern R&B/pop version, giving off a summer hazy feel.

Documenting the events of his first summer love (presumably back in the late nineties), Zee encourages us to re-immerse into our most treasured memories – or create new ones – with his feel-good mini collection. Check out the song recommendations and EP below:

Must Listens: Amazing, Crazy Enough, Mean It  

Song of the Day: Ain’t No One – Cilla Raie

Following her last single, ‘Masterpiece’, which racked up over 30,000 plays on SoundCloud, gaining support from MOBO Awards, BBC 1xtra and Link Up TV, CILLA RAIE makes her way to today’s hot spot with her latest single, ‘Ain’t No One’, produced by Joey Dyer (Iggy Azalea – Fancy, Katy B).

Combining her love for R&B and soul music, ‘Ain’t No One’ delivers soft and sultry vocals with heartfelt lyrics, drawing inspirations from the likes of Aaliyah, Mya, Brandy and Toni Braxton.

The North London singer/songwriter began recording music at just 14-years-old, with grime producer DaVinche (Stormzy, Skepta, Wiley) being one of her key mentors during the early stages of her musical journey. Having secured successful sessions and connections with key UK and US producers and writers, this birthed her first self-titled debut EP ‘Cilla Raie’ produced by the likes of Sillky (Mabel, Mahalia, Craig David) and The Arcade (Doja Cat, Khalid, Migos). She later embarked on a national school tour with UK Music and delivering music workshops to students across the UK.

This year will see Cilla releasing a series of singles as well as a body of work due to be released in 2021, which pays homage to R&B and embodying the growing pains of love and life as a young black British woman.

Check out the self-produced video for ‘Ain’t No One’ below…

Song of the Day: Can’t Talk – Tiera Beverly

Produced by Jason Mater (Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Eminem) and Brandon Rogers (Alec Benjamin, Troye Sivan, Bea Miller), TIERA BEVERLY‘s leading single ‘Can’t Talk’ oozes  sultry vocals, dramatic drums and soaring smokey harmonies, creating a throwback feel to Beverly’s love of 90’s girl groups. The track is brought to life with live musicians and twinkling keys, emitting a mesmerizing ambiance and showcasing her love for artists such as Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Aaliyah.

Thematically ‘Can’t Talk’ narrates the journey of youth and realizing that to reach your goals you need to put yourself first. Beverly reveals, “This song was inspired by what I view as the current state that we live in, as far as technology. I do like things about social media, but I do feel like we are in a world so fueled by the need for constant reassurance and instant gratification. I definitely think that a lot of people have such a short attention span and it can cause for insecurity in relationships”.

The Los Angeles-based R&B songstress was born into a family of musicians – her father and grandfather (the famed Frankie Beverly) were both musicians and accomplished artists.

Check out the sultry production for the seductive ‘Can’t Talk’ below…

Song of the Day: Get It Right – Phebe Edwards (ft. Mark Asari)

North London soul singer, PHEBE EDWARDS dominates today’s hotspot and delivers her latest single ‘Get It Right’, featuring The Voice’s Mark Asari. Produced by Luke ‘G Kid’ Grant, ‘Get It Right’, explores whether trust can be reinstalled in a relationship, accompanied with an infectious R&B vibe, reminiscent of the 90s  – think SWV, TLC and Aaliyah.

‘Get It Right’ is the follow-up single to ‘Space’ featuring Cameron Bloomfield, released last year. The single was supported by Music Musings and Such, Lock Magazine, The Music Site and Hype Magazine. The incredible Syleena Johnson featured ‘Space’ on her Spotify playlist as one of her ’Chill favs’.

Phebe is currently working on her long-awaited headline London show. For more details, take a trip to her website.

Before you head off, check out the video for ‘Get It Right’ below:

Music Video Premiere: Romeo Must Die – Dolla$ignDunn

A month after the release of latest track, ‘Romeo Must Die’, DOLLA$IGNDUNN has just dropped the accompanied video for the banger.

The vintage-effect visual features the New Jersey spitter in the middle of basketball court, dropping some gem advice of becoming a player, through his seamless flow. The four-minute production also feature clips of the classic crime thriller, ‘Romeo Must Die’ (2000), starring Jet Li and the late Aaliyah.

This one is too good pass up…watch the video for ‘Romeo Must Die…and remember, you saw it first on NEW LEASE MUSIC.