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: Stay Focused – BLKGLD

Hailing from Croydon and of Jamaican descent, identical twins Shereen and Sophia aka BLKGLD enchant us with their beautiful and buttery vocals through their debut single, ‘Stay Focused’ out now on all major download/streaming platforms.

The single innately evokes a nostalgic feeling that transports back to the 90s with their effortless fusion of R&B and Dancehall. This irresistible number has slow wine written all over it, and the meandering baseline is mixed in with a tropical xylophone vibe.

With a musical encyclopedia that is rich with the heart and soul of R&B, the girls site Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Destiny’s Child, TLC,  Boyz 2 Men and Usher  amongst some of their biggest inspirations and influences and their sound marries this together with a contemporary twist. Crediting their seasoned soulful voices to their dad who also sang and often was likened to Nat King Cole himself, it’s no coincidence to why BLKGLD are slaying it.

Cementing their rightful place within the UK music scene and beyond, they have already received co-signs from notable names in dancehall, including Beanie Man and The Fanatix. Their soulful renditions of many classic and future hits have already gained some exciting traction, amassing millions of views across all social media platforms, leading to the duo performing alongside Migos and the late Juice Wrld last summer.

Keeping 100% focused, BLKGLD are ones to watch for 2020…check out the video for their debut below…