New Lease Music’s Top Ten Albums Of 2021

Ok guys, here’s your chance to check out the Top Ten Albums of 2021 – and I have to say, this is a pretty dope list! I hope you think so too, so enjoy!

Be sure to check out NEW LEASE MUSIC’s Top Ten Songs of 2021 tomorrow.












Fusing indie pop with influences of country and folk music may seem like an odd partnership on paper for many, but this is what fundamentally makes up Toronto artist Michael Baker’s three-piece project, ‘Hasten Mercy.’

The haziness of the 80’s inspired synths softly poke through the hazy backdrop introduces the EP through the single ‘Star You Are.’ The guitar rounds up the three-and-a-half production, giving off a rich Americana sound.

With the driving grit of the electro bassline being the main feature, the second offering, ‘These Things’ (personally) more takes on a trippy downtempo tone, contributed by the woeful presence from the piano and violins.

Offering an appealing imitate setting, the artist invites us into his world through the final single, ‘I Break Everything’. He uses a vocal instrument to give a wholesome folk ballad that works perfectly against the soft electronic backdrop.

Michael Baker, who is the man behind the moniker Hasten Mercy, is known for pushing the boundaries to the extreme when it comes to experimenting with different genres. His solo project is a true testimony of his ability to merge unlikely genres into a very pleasing collection. All three singles have a solid potential for commanding regular attention on contemporary radio stations.

Have a listen to Hasten Mercy’s mini collection below…

Must Listens: I Break Everything, These Things

Quick Chat With…Cilla Raie

I have to confess…CILLA RAIE has got to be one of my top three favourite singers right now. Her latest EP ‘Reconnected’ has definitely got me jumping out my seat, so it’s an absolute pleasure to catch up with the North Londoner to talk about her six-track set.

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

CR: Thank you for having me. 2021 has been the best year for me so far career wise. I have been extremely busier than ever and so much has happened in a short space of time from having backing from Arts England/National Lottery which enabled me to release two singles ‘Motives’ and ‘Open for Love’ Ft Tiffany Evans. Including my debut EP ‘Reconnected’. I’ve now just gotten support from Help Musicians/MOBO to put together another project, so its been up and onwards from the start of the year.

NLM: You released your EP, ‘Reconnected back in August. What is the public perception on the project so far?

CR: Honestly the reception has been AMAZING! the EP reached number 2 on the UK R&B/Soul Albums chart on Itunes just behind Amy Winehouse’s album and before The Weekend’s album. Never ever in a million years did I think I could achieve that. We did something special for it and sent out gift packs to everyone who has supported. All the tastemakers at BBC 1xtra, BBC Radio London, MTV, Wonderland, Earmilk, Trace Urban etc all showed love. Most importantly I have an amazing fan base who are constantly streaming, sharing, posting, showing love. I feel blessed.

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

CR: The sound of the EP is nostalgic late 90’s/early 2000’s era, I wanted to bring back that old school feel as far as the production went. That era of music was and still is one of my favourite eras so I wanted to bring that element back within UK R&B and just vibe out.

NLM: What inspired you to produce the EP?

CR: The EP was actually a long time in the making, I had taken a break for 2 years when I had my child in 2017, before this I was actually in the studio 24/7 making the new EP. I created a journey of events that happened before, during and after that period of time. I wanted to convey those series of events on ‘Reconnected’ hence why I named the EP this, as it represents being reconnected back to my passion of music, after being away for so long and loosing all hope. Once Arts England/National Lottery stepped in I knew it was the perfect time to put everything together as I has the freedom to do so.

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

CR: U & I ft Subten is my favourite song, at the moment on the EP. I am literally always changing my mind depending on the mood and season. But I love everything melodic about the song, the harmonies, the rhythmic changes, the switch up on Subtens verse. Again it’s another throwback feel track that makes you feel good.

NLM: What message would you like the listeners to take away from your EP?

CR: The message I want listeners to take away is that, no matter how disconnected you may feel at points in your life. Always remember everything is temporary and you can always ignite the flame back to your true self and your desires.

NLM: If you had to feature one mainstream artist on the EP, who would it be and why?

CR: One mainstream artist I really want to work with and who I have grown to love over this past year is Shenseea. I truly admire here and she is so versatile so I would have her on the EP to bring in her flavours. I love seeing female artists working together too and just breaking barriers. I worked with Tiffany so working with another female artist would be great and to crossover into another market too.

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

CR: Now that I have just released my project in August, I am currently actively preparing for my 2022 EP. I have an amazing single that I’m planning the creative process for and it will most likely be out in Jan/Feb. So my main focus for the rest of the year is just completing this project and recording the rest of the songs.

NLM: How can potential fans find you?

CR: You can find me all over social media:

Finally, any special shout outs to those involved in the production of ‘Reconnected’?

CR: There’s so many people involved in this project that I would like to shoutout. All the producers Peddy Pro, XVR Blck who spent hours mixing and recording with me, Serk Lelabo, Walter Ego, Joey Dyer. The artists Subten and Tiffany Evans. Those involved with the singles from the EP and the EP itself, Liberty Music, Wardah, Now Listen, Exkluse Media, Supreme Runners, Kofi at Yellow Fish. The list goes on thank you all SO much for making this a dream come true.

Check Out Cilla Raie’s EP, ‘Reconnected’ right HERE

Album Interview: Transition – Cheryll

I was first introduced to CHERYLL through her smooth nostalgic number, ‘Fess Up’ and since then, I had my eyes firmly peeled on her next move. So when she dropped her debut EP Transition, I had to catch up with the South London singer-songwriter about the six track project. Trust me, this newcomer is FIREY and I thoroughly enjoyed the Q&A session with her and I hope you will too. Check her out below…

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

C: 2021 has been a year of change and transitioning into a better version of me. I’ve gone through a lot of ups and downs however I feel as if I’ve come out of it stronger than ever.

NLM: You released your EP, ‘Transition’ back in March. What is the public perception on the project so far?

C: My project was received extremely well. Its been played on BBC Radio as well as reaching a number of local radio stations that play it regularly. It has also introduced my sound to a lot of new supporters who now listen/follow me because of the project.

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

C: It’s a new school version of RNB with the nostalgic elements of the 90/00’s – timeless!

NLM: What inspired you to produce the EP?

C: I’ve always known I wanted to release an EP however I was waiting on the right time. I felt like the last year I really transitioned into the artist I’ve always wanted to be and I wanted this project to be a memory of that. I had a few songs written already however when I linked up with D’wante Navire (producer) he really brought these songs to life. I had also gone through some ups and downs in my love life and wanted to express this through the EP.

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

C: My favourite singles on the EP I would have to say are Crushin’, Fess Up & What About Us. They all have that ‘bounce’ that I love even though they are all different tempos lol! I just find myself really vibing to those three

NLM: What message would you like the listeners to take away from your EP?

C: That R&B is still alive and kicking!

NLM: If you had to feature one mainstream artist on the EP, who would it be and why?

C: I’ve always wanted to work with Stormzy – I feel like having him on a feature would just be a perfect combination. His flow x My flow would just make so much sense.

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

C: I have a couple of releases before the end of the year which are quite exciting. I won’t give away too much but yes its definitely something to look forward to.

NLM: How can potential fans find you?

C: Twitter/Instagram – @ohsocheryll
Youtube – Oh so Cheryll
Facebook – Cheryll

NLM: Finally, any special shout outs to those involved in the production of ‘Transition’?

C: D’wante Navire – for the production of the EP. He mixed and mastered every single song and dealt with my craziness on top of that! Hes a real one!

Also Tory and Jollof who have been involved in all the videos for my EP – they are a great team!

Transition is now out

EP Review: Rhyme Slingers -Redd Tune Productions

If you’re regular passer by on the blog, the name REDD TUNES must ring a bell as he has been featured countless of times with EPs that takes you back to the golden hip-hop/boom-bap era.

As always, Redd Tunes pulls a stellar line up for his releases and his project, ‘Rhyme Slingers’ is no exception, as the guest artists gives some extra swag to the irresistibly melodic productions which, at times, takes on a old school soulful favour and modern psychedelic sound. New recruit, Isis Aset, gives off a blazing vibrancy against the woeful violins, creating an almost classical sound in second effort, ‘Crisis’. Old staple Cubian Pete, offers up his unapologetically Londoner flow in ‘Blurrr’.

As well as producing the project, the man himself teamed up with fellow veteran emcee and long-time collaborator TJ Chill for track ‘Pioneers,’ a smooth hip-hop/boom bap piece accompanied by sporadic runs of the piano keys which serves as the perfect platform for both taking turns to showcase their ballsy delivery.

Although this neat set of just seven tracks holds a very similar golden urban sound, Redd Tunes’ Rhyme Slinger, to me, also bursts with a fresh and boisterous sound that begs attention. Check it out below…

Must Listens: Crisis, Blurrr, Pioneers, Anagram of Goldz