EP Review: The Lovers’ Tape – Shantéh x Joshua. James

What meant to be a standalone track to be release on Valentines Day, singer/songwriter SHANTÉH and producer JOSHUA. JAMES’ new EP, ‘The Lovers’ Tape’ was quickly turn into a four-track project that was written, recorded, mixed and mastered in four days (yes, four days!)

Bringing all angles of a love story to the table – from building trust, to an untimely separation, then from re-exploring the idea of a relationship to finally solidifying a true bond and commitment – ‘The Lovers’ Tape’ possesses a fresh take on 90s Slow Jam – thanks to the warming glow of the background vocals (which takes on a Jodeci-ish vibe in third track, ‘Luvin’ You’), the sombre feel from the piano (featured in ‘Foundations’) and the vibrant guitar plucks, giving off a Afro tone (in concluding track, ‘Meant To Be’). Each aforementioned component are all brought together by an uplifting meaty bass.

There’s no doubt about it that this mini set is definitely for those who love them some good old 90s Sow Jam. I, for one, am really impressed by their quick turnaround on a project of such high calibre – and still have it ready in time for Valentine’s Day. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the South Londoners will join up for another collaboration. Check out ‘The Lovers’ Tape below…

Must Listen: Foundation

Song of the Day: Mañana – Xadi (ft. Nina Cobham)

‘Mañana’ was born from a long-standing mutual admiration between West Londoner XADI and Manchester’s Nina Cobham. Their musical chemistry is evident on the track with Nina’s ethereal bilingual vocals sitting atop Xadi’s production perfectly on the hook, and his two reflective, melodic verses proving a perfect complement to that hook.

In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown restrictions, both artists have been extremely productive. Nina’s most recent single ‘Sola’ has amassed almost five million streams on Spotify and picked up support from the likes of Huw Stephens, Jamz Supernova, Children of Zeus and even music icon Christina Aguilera.

Meanwhile Xadi has also had an excellent year. Back in February, Xadi released his second EP project, ‘Day Ends’. The EP and subsequent follow-up singles have received support from Christina Aguilera, Reprezent, NTS, Rinse, No Signal and Foundation FM, and from tastemakers, Twin B, Lily Mercer, Jyoty and Jamz Supernova.

As well as official releases, Xadi also worked hard on putting out a series of Instagram freestyles and covers during the lockdown, which have led to him receiving praise from the likes of Kojey Radical, Frankie Stew & Harvey Gunn and Jords. His work has also gained attention from the likes of The Guardian, Complex, Off The Block Magazine, The Pit LDN, Have You Heard, Mission Statement Magazine, Yahoo News and the Irish Times.

Check out the video for ‘Mañana’, directed by Kumiko….

Polish Rapper Schafter Taps UK’s Newcomer Houston X For New Track ‘Need Help.’

With all the chaos that 2020 has presented, this didn’t stop rappers SCHAFTER and HOUSTON X from dropping one hot collaboration titled, ‘Need Help’.

A refreshing and electric trap-wave combo, ‘Need Help’ kicks off with rhythmic percussion which is layered by synthy impressions where the pair deliver fresh and flex worthy verses that detail their flashy lifestyles and fly-boy ways.

The accompanied video-shot in Warsaw and London – embodies the theme of the track which is inspired by the idea of trying to get away from something but being unable to.

Quickly becoming a phenomena in his country’s ever-evolving hip-hop scene, Schafter is known for his take on melodic trap. Last year, he burst onto the scene with ‘Hot Coffee’ which accumulated over 27,000,000 streams on Spotify alone. UK’s upcomer Houston has built a steady cult following for his distinct, genre-defying sounds, ranging from hip-hop, R&B to rock and pop. Houston X was previously featured on NEW LEASE MUSIC with track, ‘Scarlett Red’

Check out the video for ‘Need Help’ which was shot during lockdown…

Rising R&B Star Shamim Shares Single, ‘Intentional’

Coming on the back of the success of her debut single ‘Option & Priority’, which has seen her garner support from the likes of Kingsize Magazine, Guestlist Magazine, SingersRoom, Fame Magazine and Word Is Bond, South London R&B songstress SHAMIM is back with her fierce new single titled ‘Intentional’, taken from her forthcoming debut EP, which is due at the end of the year. The new offering ‘Intentional’ sees her linking up once again with burgeoning producer Amandeep Dhaliwal aka Clonez, who has previously worked with A2, Jevon and Sam Wise.

Speaking about the inspiration behind ‘Intentional’, Shamim says, “this single was inspired by the current state of affairs across the world and I wanted it to project a sentimental hopeful message as we are all living in quite confusing times. I have been struggling mentally to deal with ensuing challenges, as are many other people, but creating this song has given me a healthy space to be vulnerable with myself and the world, and that’s why ‘Intentional’ comes with such a hopeful sentiment, while my message of self-worth also aims to be uplifting and motivational.”

Highly recommended if you like Beyoncé, Rihanna, Jorja Smith, Summer Walker or SZA, Shamim is already showing all the early signs of an R&B star in the making, and she is excited to stake her claim as one of the UK’s brightest new talents with her anticipated debut project. Born in Uganda and raised in the UK to the musical influences of legends like Etta James, Nina Simone and Otis Redding, Shamim is driven by honesty in music and puts truth at the core of her message, with a determination to create with the same freedom and fearlessness as many of her idols.

Check out the lyric video for ‘Intentional’ below…

Song of the Day: Just My Luck – Her Songs

HER SONGS is a global female collective of producers, musicians, songwriters and artists. United by a mutual mission to shine a light on female producers and artists and to celebrate female collaboration, the group shares single ‘Just My Luck’, the second single to be lifted from upcoming EP ‘Toronto Vol. 2’, out tomorrow (14th August).

Consisting of London based Dane Marie Dahlstrom, Brooklyn based Colombian Dani Murcia, Christchurch New Zealand-based Emily C Browning, French Londoner The Naked Eye and London based Emmavie – Her Songs have a sound that traverses genres including neo-soul, R&B and pop.

‘Just My Luck’ finds the group taking cues from the 90’s and early 2000’s R&B pop hits of their youth. A song which celebrates all members of the group’s widespread backgrounds, cultures and talents, the lyrics are written in 3 different languages; English, Spanish and French and features all 5 girls’ voices, instrumentation – and is produced by Emmavie.

Fusing together intricate guitar passages, stunning vocal harmonies, and slick R&B production – the lyrics were are borrowed from titles of Musiq Soulchild songs, one of the girls’ key points of inspiration for the project.

Written, recorded, and produced together over the course of a week in an open-plan Airbnb in Toronto in 2019 – the new single and upcoming EP follow Her Songs’ previously released ‘Toronto Vol. 1’ EP, and 2018’s ‘Los Angeles’ EP.

Have a listen to ‘Just My Luck’ below…