Known for his role in Top Boy as Aaron, HOPE shares his single ‘Can’t Box Me’ and accompanied video, both released last Friday (19th May).
Hope says of his new single: “Can’t Box me explores the frustration of being ‘boxed’ into one medium and not taken seriously when branching out. Artistry can be expressed in multiple ways. For me I’m an actor who branched into music who can still be successful in both.”
Hope is a Rap/ R&B artist as well as an actor who is well known for his role in Top Boy as Aaron. His musical influences stem from the likes of Dave, Drake as well as 90’s/ 2000’s Hip Hop and R&B. Hope’s first single ‘Stop the Rain’, amassed an amazing 2,404,069 streams.
Can’t Box Me is the first single from his forthcoming, unannounced self-released EP, Mirror Man, out 8th September. Check out the video for the smooth single below…
Gearing up for the summer months ahead, South London’s very own PO PURPLE comes through with his charged-up single, ‘Control Alt & Delete’.
Housing production from Belgium producer Spxghett, ‘Control Alt & Delete’ is an eerie Drill track that boasts Po Purple’s raspy tone and skilful lyricism throughout. Filled from top to bottom with gimmicky punchlines and head-turning bars, Po Purple bares all in this unapologetic drop, “Get it out your system now / That’s control, alt and delete / But don’t ever get loud / Unless you’re smoking with me”, he raps. Proving his worth as an artist to watch, this wheel-up worthy listen will have everyone moving at the motive!
Paired alongside a set of jumpy visuals, we watch as Po Purple and his friends deliver a performance to remember. Staying true to his signature purple theme, his vibrant outfit and hue-lit effects sit centre stage amidst the streets of London. Speaking on the single Po Purple commented, ”I’ve always been a fan of fast flows on a fast bass and beat. When drill came along, I was immediately captured. This song was inspired by the road life that I grew up in, not to glorify it, but to give insight into the mind of young man who lost his way. Currently I’m on a roll creating dope song’s and continue to be inspired by everything around me!”
Check out the video for ‘Control Alt Delete’ below…
Danish, London based musician, producer and vocalist MARIE DAHLSTROM releases her highly anticipated second album ‘A Good Life’ via her own JFH Records label. The release of new album ‘A Good Life’ today arrives exactly three years to the day since the release of her debut album ‘Like Sand’ in 2020, and features collaborations with acts including Jay Prince, Kofi Stone, Cory McKenzie Tribbett and Delleile Ankrah.
Working with some of her closest musical allies across the album on its production, notably Young Poet/Ninja Tune signee Conor Albert and her partner Dan Diggas – who has previously lent his talents to the works of Mahalia and Central Cee; braiding together sun-kissed RnB, Nordic jazz, and resonant neo-soul, Dahlstrom strives to create a tapestry that presents life completely and truthfully, where leaning into moments of the dark and the light which make the days – and the music – all the richer.
Hers is a voice with the kind of divinity that could only be god-given. That sense of soulfulness – so hard to quantify but unmistakable to the ear – meant that Marie Dahlstrom went far beyond crafting sounds but rather singular worlds, where mood, ambience and emotion were instruments to be commanded like any other, pushing the parameters of what RnB is and can be.
Marie Dahlstrom contains multitudes, a thousand selves co-existing and contradicting at once. A singer-songwriter. A mother. A producer. A partner. “These different pockets of life also create friction,” she acknowledges.
The album is about dismantling the idea that your validity as an artist diminishes when it’s not the focal point of your life, that being a parent negates creativity. Marie went on to say:
“I’ve been figuring out where I belong, what I’m supposed to do and how I fit into all this – because I am so much more than an artist. When you have big dreams or goals and you see time being taken away from achieving them, and going towards something else – how do you make that a positive experience? There are always challenges, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good life. A Good Life is based on reflections from a few years of my life with many changes and adjustments. It’s an album about human interaction in all its complexity.”
The scope of Marie’s ambition not only for herself, but those she admires, was something she once could explore with abandon – but the arrival of her son meant that she had to recalibrate the woman she had been with the mother she had become.
‘A Good Life’ is a testament to her determination to embrace every dimension of who she is without limitation, to hold onto her passions even when they are no longer the most salient priority in her life. “I wanted to make sure I kept my essence for him,” she insists – and so A Good Life was nurtured in the spare evenings when she put her son to bed, written during a transitional period lived out of boxes between London and Copenhagen as she and her partner sought to renovate their permanent home.
From the introspective RnB-kissed duet of resilience that was lead single ‘Clouds’ featuring MiC LOWRY’s Delleile Ankrah, and the understated grooves of ‘Make It Up To You’ featuring Birmingham-hailing rapper Kofi Stone, to the nocturnal piano-led ‘Too Much To Ask’ and the shuffling beat of the Jay Prince-featuring ‘Let Me In’, Marie Dahlstrom’s spectacular second album ‘A Good Life’ is an instinctive, spontaneous and arrestingly honest depiction of an era of her life – a snapshot in time.
Marie Dahlstrom is supported and praised widely at press by the likes of Billboard, NPR, Complex, The Line Of Best Fit, Mixtape Madness, NYLON, New Wave Magazine, Wonderland Magazine and more, as well as being listed as a ‘Sleeper Pick’ by Joe Budden (twice) on The Joe Budden Podcast (the most influential podcast in R&B and hip-hop globally). Marie Dahlstrom has also received substantial radio airplay from BBC 1Xtra DJ’s Jamz Supernova, DJ Target, Toddla T and Rinse FM’s Jyoty.
‘A Good Life’ was released on Monday (22nd May) via Marie’s own JFH Records label…have a listen below…
Must Listens: A Good Life,The World Feels A Little Better,If I Belong (Freestyle), On My Own
Rising alt indie-folk vocalist, composer and multi-instrumentalist YVONNE HERCULES makes a much anticipated return with the release of bittersweet new single ‘Narla’s Song’ today, a bluesy, melancholy sonic treasure of spinetingling vocals and poignant songwriting as it explores the notions of loss and grief.
‘Narla’s Song’ follows the release of Yvonne’s single ‘Phoenix’ which came out in April this year. The new track comes just ahead of the 9th June release of Yvonne’s 2nd EP ‘Olive’, which is centred on the narratives and experiences of Black women and Black femininity, with the title track inspired by Black British civil rights activist Olive Morris. Fuelled by her own experiences as a Black woman and creative, and inspired by Alternative Folk/Soul, Jazz and Rock, Yvonne has sought to showcase a body of work that she feels truly represents the nuances of her experiences and those of the Black women in her life and around her.
Produced by multi-instrumentalist/producer Malcolm McCarthy (Rita Ora, Jennifer Hudson, X Factor), the forthcoming five track EP ‘Olive’, follows up Yvonne’s critically acclaimed singles ‘Roving’ (2017), ‘Nene’ (2022) and five-track EP ‘Gladiolus’ (2018).
To coincide with the release of Olive, Yvonne is also about to embark on a five-date tour through June taking in Brighton (June 9th), London (June 10th), Bedford (June 15th), Peterborough (June 16th) and Cambridge (June 17th). Tickets for the tour are now on sale here. There will also be some workshops hosted by Yvonne on signwriting and lyrics on 11th June at The Place Bedford – https://www.theplacebedford.org.uk/shows/yvonne-hercules-lyrics-poetry-workshop/ and 4th June 2023 at The Metal, Peterborough on 12th June, more info at http://www.yvonnehercules.com .
Yvonne Hercules says of her latest offering “ ‘Narla’s Song’ is about loss, grief and all the complex emotions around losing a loved one. During my grieving process, I wrote the song as a way to eulogise but also to heal. I remember coming across Olive Morris by chance as I stumbled upon a piece about her work as an activist and her life. I felt disappointed and a sense of loss that as a young Black girl, who needed to hear stories about impactful Black British women like Morris, nobody had ever mentioned her name. That particular connection to Olive Morris was even stronger, because I remembered when I was young I used to be called ‘Olive’, so in that moment, I felt that the significance of her life and activism needed to be remembered.”
NATANYA shares heartfelt new single ‘Angel’ via AURA – a new London-based imprint under the seminal label for global sounds, MOVES Recordings. The follow up to 2022 single, ‘Foolish’ (reaching over 1.3 mil streams), ‘Angel’ is a seemingly euphoric slice of R&B.
Natanya’s stunning silken vocals are layered upon nostalgic, glossy chords, reminiscent of Stevie Wonder, sparkling synths and futuristic percussion that mirrors the likes of ‘Provider’ by Frank Ocean, as she reflects candidly on the duality of deep infatuation versus fear of abandonment. Presenting itself as a saturated, bright ode to a lover, beneath the surface, the lyrics detail an anxious attachment, with a dark obsession over love and its departure.
Speaking on ‘Angel’, Natanya says: “I wrote “Angel” in two parts. The first began on a flight back from DC, after I felt I’d fallen for someone who showed me something new, but was not completely present when I needed them most. I kept singing the tune of the chorus as I fell asleep on the plane, [and] rushed to my piano to write the rest of the song as I landed. It’s got a sadder meaning than its sonic presentation, though. I wrote it as an introspective ballad first, in production, we decided to up the tempo. I’m exploring the juxtaposition between infatuation and that obsessive fear of abandonment; I want to show how the two can coexist in front of the shape of an insecure young woman who hasn’t yet developed a sense of self or boundaries – so she clings to the first sign of understanding she sees, even if it’s no good for her.”
Natanya recently supported R&B superstar girlgroup FLO in Manchester and London after hitting 1+million streams with self-released single ‘Foolish’ (2022). Standing out from the crowd with her refreshing take on alternative R&B and her striking visual aesthetic, she has gained tastemaker support and has a grown a dedicated fan base and online community via Instagram, her recent ascent on TikTok and her newsletter. Natanya’s forthcoming gigs at The Great Escape, Lower Third, and We Out Here are also a testament to her beautifully crafted sound and live show, proving she has laid the foundations for a bright future the rising star is truly set to transcend. Listen to ‘Angel’ below…