On the back of signing a new music partnership with Crep Select, London-based Belgian Congolese songstress LYNE NSONGO follows up with her latest single titled ‘Royal’, produced by Ocean and engineered by Hot Money (Stefflon Don, Krept & Konan, Stormzy). Serving as the first taste of her upcoming sophomore EP, the song sees Lyne speaking to women, wanting to make them realise their worth and their royalty, with the London-based singer, songwriter and producer affirming that “you were made of gold, handmade by the only One”.
Speaking about the inspiration behind ‘Royal’ and her desire to create empowering and inspirational music, Lyne Nsongo says, “The song comes from discussions I had with some of my female friends who were at very low points in their lives, I just want to lift them up and make them see their worth. I’ve realised that it’s my calling to deliver this empowering message through my music. If I can become an inspiration for girls out there to follow a good path in life, I believe I will have achieved my purpose in life. I have a gift and I want to use it to impact my world”.
Born in Belgium, Lyne Nsongo grew up in a very musical household, and honed her skills in music academies and dance classes as a child, before developing her sound further with collaborations with her brother and producer D.E.W.I. Now living in London, she comes with support from the likes of Trench Magazine, Red Bull, Capital Xtra, Missguided, Reprezent Radio and GirlsIRate, and is fast-becoming one to watch in the UK’s resurgent R&B music scene and beyond, as she brings her genre-bending slant on the genre and her hopeful inspirational message to the forefront.
New York-based singer-songwriter MAE KRELL‘s single, ‘Colorblind’ was written and recorded in quarantine, created remotely from start to finish with the help of producer and multi-instrumentalist Jakob Leventhal. Over swirling, sliding guitars and sparse drums, Mae grieves the end of a relationship in painful and relatable detail: “I squeezed your hand, you flinched / The skies turned black, I blinked / I never practiced my goodbyes / I didn’t think that I had to.” Mae’s sharp lyrics and aching vocals brim with palpable emotion as they call back memories of a love that once was.
“I wrote ‘colorblind’ in the midst of what I thought was going to be the end of a relationship with the first girl I ever truly fell in love with,” Mae says of the inspiration behind the single. “I’ll be the first to admit that I feel everything too much, but during the couple of days that this was going on, I really felt like the world was ending. I was wildly sad while also being very restless in a way that I had never experienced before.”
Following a two-year hiatus, Mae Krell returned in early 2020 ready to embark on a new musical era. With a newfound maturity and understanding, she has perfected her folk-pop sound and introspective lyrical chops. At just 22 years old, Mae exudes a musicality wise beyond her years. Influenced by revered singer-songwriters like Bob Dylan, Phoebe Bridgers and Gregory Alan Isakov, her songs are intimate reflections that confront trauma, self-love, and personal truths. Her singles have amassed millions of streams to date, with last year’s singles “wash,” “home,” and “garden,” all individually breaking over 500K streams.
In addition to her artist career, Mae has worn many different hats in the music industry. She was photographed live music from the likes of Rolling Stone and Sony RCA, founded the online music publication Tongue Tied Magazine and, most recently, started Bitch Mgmt, a multimedia marketing and PR company. With a multitude of career milestones already under their belt, Mae is taking it one day at a time and focusing on writing and recording songs that reach new emotional heights.
Alternative-pop singer-songwriter DOUGLAS MCGUIRE shares his brand new new summer anthem ‘Island’. Having collaborated with Grammy award-winning engineer James Auwarter of Coda Room Audio (Kanye West, Rhianna, Jay-Z, amongst others), McGuire creates fun and uplifting material that connects to his listeners, largely due to the dedication and commitment that can be heard in every word he sings.
Speaking more on the release, Douglas explains: “This song is the final in a trilogy of songs about a girl I only dated for a couple of weeks, but who had a very profound impact on me and my life. The lyrics carry strong nautical themes, which collectively come to represent the ups and downs of the relationship I once had, and where I am right now in life as well as with respect to the relationship I had with this girl.”
Born in Croydon, and raised in the heart of the Suffolk countryside, the France-based producer/singer-songwriter has been described by fans and professionals alike as Taylor Swift/The 1975 hybrid – with a distinctive, sombre, and smooth vocal tonality and an endearing honesty behind his lyrics, juxtaposed with major, uplifting chord progressions that have an undeniable mainstream appeal.
CYPRSS‘ new single addresses her struggles with self-confidence and body positivity. 2020 sparked a conversation about mental health, and within that, the way we see our bodies. ‘A House I Hate’ tackles this issue head on, using the image of a house to represent her body. Sonically, the song is inspired by Billie Eilish’s eerie dark pop sound and contains a hip-hop inspired groove.
‘A House I Hate’ identifies the things CYPRSS wishes she could change about her physical being while also expressing a desperation to accept herself. After the second chorus, there is a an “ear-wrenching explosion of synthesizer sounds” that CYPRSS says “resembles the intense energy of animosity I felt towards my body when writing this song”.
Cyprss says: “My favorite thing about this song is that, though it is honest about the pain of self-hatred, it doesn’t end there. As I’ve been working the steps of recovery in my own life, it has changed my perspective of myself. Am I always super confident and never struggle now? No. But I’m learning to silence the negative voices in my head and give power to the healthy ones.”
‘A House I Hate’ ends with the thought that perhaps healing doesn’t come from covering up or changing our bodies, but rather from changing the way we see ourselves.
CYPRSS has always been an advocate for mental health through her music. Her signature song ‘Underworld’ dives into a place of “ice-cold terror”, describing the experience of someone in the midst of deep depression and anxiety.
The name CYPRSS is inspired by the strength and resilience of cypress trees which can grow and thrive in very harsh environments.
He was featured numerous times on the blog with singles including, ‘I’ll Be Sorry’, ‘Skip’ and ‘Another Story’ plus albums ‘Age of Conviction’ and ‘Meesh’, but I’ve never formally introduce Adam Hachey, otherwise known as TUNNEL TRAFFIC to you guys. Well I’ve caught up with him, to talk about his brand new album, ‘Take My Power’– out from the 15th July on all music platforms – and what inspired him to produce the 11-track collection.
NLM: Hey, thank you for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC. How is 2021 treating you so far?
TT: Pretty great. Pandemic-wise, I feel fortunate things seem to be looking up within my circles. That and finally releasing this album have been a couple chapters I’ve been eager to close.
NLM: You recently shared your album ‘Take My Power’, where you unveiled singles ‘Gets Me Out’, ‘Through The Day’ and ‘Next To Me’ ahead of its release. What is the public perception on the singles so far?
TT: I’ve been hearing good feedback on several different aspects of the songs – the production, guitar tones, string arrangements, lyrics that stood out. I’m happy that I was able to create music that could be enjoyed in a variety of ways. I spent a lot of times with these songs and it’s reassuring listeners find a way to appreciate something from each stage of the songwriting process.
NLM: What inspired you to produce the album?
TT: I’ve been working on a project that is really complex in scope and thematically heavy, but I also had a few ideas for simpler songs bouncing around in the back of my mind. I figured I’d have some fun with those first, even if they didn’t amount to anything. When I realized the new ideas were converging on a common theme, I knew they had to become this album.
NLM: What is/are your favourite single(s) from the album and why?
TT: I’d have to go with ‘Through the Day’. I like the way it captures the push and pull of keeping it together while facing some mental baggage, and it does it in a quirky, off-kilter way. I also want to give a shout-out to ‘Truth’, which stands out to me as having a simple song structure that progresses in an extremely satisfying way.
NLM: So how would you describe the album’s sound to potential fans?
TT: It boils down to a mix of acoustic and fuzzy indie rock, all with a DIY aesthetic. I actually went with my acoustic guitar throughout the whole album and clipped the signal through my interface to get the overdrive effect. I think fans of The Microphones or Neutral Milk Hotel would appreciate the sound.
NLM: What message would you like the listeners to take away from your album?
TT: The album explores my thoughts/emotions whenever my mental health reaches a low point. It enters some dark places, but I also made sure to include theme of love and support. I think the pandemic made these ideas universal. I hope listeners see it as an expression of solidarity in struggling with mental health and feel appreciation for their loved ones who lift them up.
NLM: If you had to feature one mainstream artist on the album, who would it be and why?
TT: Not sure if this is mainstream enough, but I’d have to go with Will Toledo of Car Seat Headrest. He’s a versatile indie rocker with underlying quirkiness, characteristics that I strived for on this album.
NLM: Do you have other project(s) for 2021?
TT: I have lyrics and rhythm guitar written for my next album already. I know the full arrangements will keep me busy for a while, and I’m hoping to work with other people again. I don’t want to say too much yet but it will be a bit of a pivot from my other releases.
NLM: How can potential fans find you?
TT: All tunnel traffic music is available on every music streaming platform. I have accounts on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Write to me and I’ll respond.
NLM: Finally, any special shout outs to those involved in the production of ‘Take My Power’?
TT: I sing to Jacky Muñoz on several songs on the album. She definitely deserves the shoutout here. On top of her constant support in life, she is able to listen to my work as both a fan and a critic, and I am a better songwriter for it.