French Producer J-Zen Taps Kid Abstrakt For Uplifting Summer Vibes In ‘Vibrations’ Video

French producer J-ZEN recently tapped West Coast MC KID ADSTRAKT for his single “Vibrations” (or “Vibrações” in Portuguese), which comes from his new album, ‘Standa Lone’.

Originally titled ‘Summer,’ the instrumental took on a whole new meaning once Kid Abstrakt wrote to it. The song was only partially done when Kobe Bryant and his daughter Gianna were killed in a helicopter crash in January. The deaths had a profound impact on the Los Angeles native, but also taught him a valuable lesson.

“When I heard J-Zen’s beat, I imagined having açaí on a hot summer day in Los Angeles. We wanted to capture a feel good vibe but also share a message about appreciating everything you have while it’s still right in front of you. After Kobe & Gigi passed, I knew I had to live life to the fullest every single day.” – Kid Abstrakt

The William Andrade-directed music video reflects the song’s warmth and poignant message in the most fitting way possible. Hit play on the video below…

Duñe x Crayon Shares ‘The One / Ten Years’ Live Session Video

Credit: Paul Perrault

The KCRW and COLORS-tipped Parisian producer duo, DUÑE x CRAYON, have recently unveiled their new live session video for single, ‘The One / Ten Years’, taken from their forthcoming debut album, ‘Hundred Fifty Roses’, out now via Roche.

‘The One / Ten Years’ live session further mines the duo’s penchant for downtempo electronica and tar-thick production techniques, segueing between soul, G-funk, and R&B. Hundred Fifty Roses – as an album – looks to tell the story of the over-connected and often over-stimulating world that we live in. Somewhat dystopian in its exploration, the album, which touches on the sounds of J Dilla, MF Doom and Kaytranada, paints the world of a man out of touch with himself.

Before working together, the pair of producers, who met in 2014 as Roche Musique signings, have forged out successful solo careers with Crayon – previously signed to Kitsuné where he cut his teeth alongside Yuksek – releasing two EPs to-date, securing praise at Pitchfork and more along the way. As well as creating his own music, the artist has racked up a string of production credits working with tipped names from the French electronic and R&B underground scene – Ichon, Blow and L’Or du Commun to name but a few.

Duñe, on the other hand, was championed from the off via Roche Musique, initially as part of the hip-hop duo, Saje, before releasing his own solo material. As well as working on production for the likes of Swing, Julien Granel, and Blow, Duñe has established himself as a prominent live artist on the label’s roster, performing across South Korea, China, Canada, and more.

Sit back, relax and press play on Duñe x Crayon’s ‘The One / Ten Years’ live session video. You can also catch the single via Spotify.

Song of the Day: It’s Alright – Mikano

Emerging French-Cameroonian hip hop artist MIKANO, latest cut, ‘It’s Alright’, is the second installment from his forthcoming mixtape, ‘Melting Balloons’, planned for release in Spring 2020, and is the follow up to the recently released pop-driven, Afrotrap single ‘Silhouette’, which saw support from the likes of Discobelle and Marie Claire.

The new single reveals a different side of the rapper, while ‘Silhouette’s’ introspective lyrics celebrated the female beauty in all its diversity, in Mikano’s own words: ‘It’s Alright’ is “a party song about hype girls in clubs looking for that star life. Even though what they’re doing can be frowned upon, who are we to judge? It’s alright, girl do you”.

The compelling visuals accompanying the single directed by Juliette Labrousse, the emerging directing talent expanding the narrative horizon of the new French music scene with unique music videos for Fang The Great, Dona and Noe’, explore the dark side of our human nature through metaphors.

With ‘It’s Alright’ and a debut mixtape on the way, Mikano is set to become one of France rising hip hop stars and on to watch closely in 2020. Check out the video for single below…

New Rapper Mikano Reflects On Gender And Identity With Single, ‘Silhouette’

French-Cameroonian hip hop newcomer MIKANO, reveals pop-driven, Afrotrap single ‘Silhouette’ released last Wednesday (27th November).

The brand new cut is the first installment from his forthcoming mixtape, ‘Melting Balloons’, planned for release in Spring 2020.

On the meaning behind the song, Mikano explained: “It celebrates the female beauty in all its diversity. The word ‘Silhouette’ entails an outline with a featureless interior, we can see it’s a woman, but we can’t see her skin colour”.

Entirely produced by up and coming Parisian producer Sutus, the single mixes a pop-driven afrobeat melody with trap-tinged beats; “I wanted to create a genre-blending track, unifying different music cultures, the African element with British and American styles,” clarifies the young rapper.

Growing up in cities as diverse as Abu Dhabi, Cairo and Amsterdam, Mikano – who now resides in Paris –  is the perfect example of a Third Culture Kid whose music has been dramatically influenced by his rootless past. Inspired by artists from different genres such as Agnès Obel  and Alabama Shakes, Mikano’s first two EPs ‘No Devices Found’ and ‘Blind Man Dreams’, have seen support from some of the most prestigious French music publications including Tsugi and Rolling Stone.

Most French speaking rappers struggle to find fame outside France – even though the country is the second biggest market for hip-hop. It is time for a French, English speaking rapper to break the rules, and Mikano’s ‘Silhouette’ has the potential to set the young rapper on the right path for international success.

Check out for video for the single below…

Keltoum delivers a superb jazzy soul jam, ‘Stop To Play’.

Taken from her debut eponymous EP, ‘Stop To Play’ is the latest single to be released from KELTOUM. The fast-emerging artist from France is already being compared to leaders in her field like Sade, Jill Scott and Erykah Badu as her neo-soul and pop influences caress from all sides. An original composer and player KELTOUM also brings to the table a unique French sensibility which demonstrates the sort of warmth felt by Janet Jackson or perhaps Alicia Keys at their most impassioned. The list of greats she could be compared to could go on but KELTOUM herself has struck her own blend of jazz and smoky vocal which is hard not to melt away to.

KELTOUM has already picked up fans across the board including some distinguished influencers like Gilles Peterson among others at Jazz FM and beyond. Her live show is also on another level as the energy of her trio seem to get the best of her tantalizing subtle soul voice bringing emotion to all who see her play, such as those who attended Gilles’ Worldwide festival in Sète last year where she completely bowled over the crowd.

Check out ‘Stop To Play below…and while you’re at it…take out and listen to her EP – ABSOLUTELY STUNNING.