OUT TODAY: Listen To AKS’ single, ‘Up & Up (Heavens Above)’

It’s been a long 4-year stint since South London Hip-Hop artist, AKS, released his sophomore EP, ‘Train of Thought’, seeing the likes of BBC 1Xtra, Earmilk, HipHopDX, DJ Booth and the MOBO Awards among the tastemakers who added their plaudits for the seminal record. The offering went on to earn the rapper two nominations at the inaugural Unsigned Music Awards (Best Record, Best Urban Act) as well as giving him viral moments with his Chas Appeti directed visual efforts for singles ‘Stay with Me’ featuring Sincerely Wilson, and title track ‘Train of Thought’, both being picked up by UNILAD.

Now with the close of 2020 fast approaching and against the backdrop of the current world climate the “three-letter man” returns with his new soul infused single ‘Up & Up (Heavens Above)’, an aspirational offering appealing to each of our underlying ambitions.

Merging unconventional organ phrases with lush and vibrant guitar licks throughout, the track plays as an ode to the jazz greats of yesteryear; fusing traditional musicianship with the off kilter syncopated bounce of contemporary hip-hop and neo-soul. Continuing his previous form as a genuine lyricist, AKS weaves together thought rich rhyme schemes whilst delivering a soulfully melodic vocal in a way that is easily becoming the calling card of the South London native.

Exploring themes of dogged determination and new found responsibility, the passion driven track displays AKS’ lyrical ability as he pens painfully frank verses professing his recent frustrations, the pressures of becoming a new father and questions surrounding legacy.

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Speaking further about the inspiration behind ‘Up And Up (Heavens Above)’, AKS says, “Following the birth of my son, having taken some time away from music in the lead up to his arrival and in the time since, I found myself questioning my existence and contributions both from a parental and an artistic perspective. This song was born out of a desire to do better for my son’s sake and ascend irrespective of the obstacles I may face or how low I’ve felt at times. It’s my reminder to myself of my hopes and dreams, that my contributions are long lasting and impactful, at the very least, on my son”.

‘Up & Up (Heavens Above)’ is the first single taken from his forthcoming project ‘As Plane As Day: Departures & Arrivals’, which concludes the wordsmith’s three-part ‘Modes of Transport’ series, the record sees the rapper award himself production credits under the veiled moniker #3Letters, whilst enlisting the collaborative efforts of prominent musicians Adrian Remedy (Ed Sheeran) on guitars, Benjamin Muralt (Ledisi, Ill Camille, Pixie Lott) on bass, and AdeKeys (AfroB) on keyboards.

Check out the lyric video for the single below…

Interview with: Kyle Lettman

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It’s been almost a year since KYLE LETTMAN graced his presence on NEW LEASE MUSIC with his epic EP, When It Rains. So it’s an absolute privilege for this smooth R&B crooner to take time out of his busy schedule and give us the lowdown of his near future projects – and more. So I hope you guys are ready!

NLM: First of all, thank you for agreeing to do an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC.

KL: Thank you for showing an interest in what I’m doing, it means a lot.

NLM: Tell us what projects you’re working on at the moment?

KL: Right now I’m in the process of recording an album, whilst also working with my team on promotional music and material that introduces a dance & versatility aspect to my artistry. There’s also some special features coming up to look out for…trust me we have a lot going on at the moment!

NLM: What is your favourite project to date and why?

KL: Hmm.. I love all the projects I’ve done so far because I feel like they’ve all taught me something and I’ve grown from each musical experience, so I couldn’t just pick one haha. However, I could pick a favourite song…which would be Matter Of Time from the Under Construction project. I feel like it’s one of the best songs I’ve written in my short career.

NLM: You were in a R&B/pop group called Fundamental. How does being in a band compare to flying solo?

KL: No comparison, it’s like you’re using a completely different muscle set altogether. With the group, I had my brothers on stage with me and that made performing easier. Going solo means that I have to cover all the bases on my own whilst also doing all the entertaining. Although being in a group is easier, flying solo forces maturity and has more personal rewards.

NLM: You’ve written some lyrics for some of the credible artists in the industry – Frank Ocean, Ne-Yo, Nicole Scherzinger, Kele Le Roc, Varren Wade. What’s it like working with these heavyweights?

KL: I wouldn’t say for, working “with” is more accurate, lol! I could definitely tell you some stories but all in all, each credible artist is just a normal person who happens to be well-known. Frank Ocean and Fundamental 03 practically grew up together while we lived and worked in LA. Neyo is actually a pretty respectful person and really easy to work with -his songwriting skills are a lot better than people think. Kele Le Roc is a beautiful woman inside and out, our duet was the 1st time I was granted a chance at songwriting without the guys from Fundamental… and she was lovely enough to allow that to happen. Varren Wade & Jermaine Riley will be my Brothers for EVER haha.

NLM: How would describe your sound to potential fans? Would you compare yourself to any of your music influences of today?

KL: Hmm… I wouldn’t compare myself but I am definitely a reflection of the artists I love, i.e Usher, Ginuwine, Janet & Michael Jackson. My sound is heavily based in R&B & Soul, but not exclusive to those genres.

NLM: What mainstream (or even indie) artists you’re into at the moment?

KL: I’d love to work with Emeli Sandé and I’m pretty sure that’ll happen in the not so far future.

NLM: If you had a choice to collaborate with just ONE mainstream artist, who would it be and why?

I’d work with Chris Brown or Drake as the truth is whoever they co-sign gets noticed lol. But apart from the obvious, I’d love to work with Lela James, Pixie Lott, James Bay or Ed Sheeran.

NLM: If you were granted three wishes to change the music industry today, what would they be?

NLM: Bring back how music felt in the 90s, unfortunately nowadays there’s literally nothing like that feeling. Bring back Hip Hop too, I miss the Busta Rhymes, DMX, Lisa Left Eye Lopez and the Eve’s. Finally to bring back proper artist development, more raw, real and unique talent such as Prince. Rather than those who have been almost formulated by the music industry to look and sound a certain way.

NLM: How can potential fans make contact with you?

NLM: My Instagram & Twitter is @KyleLettman
Website is KyleLettman.com

New Release: Moving Too Fast – Kyle Lettman

Now this is too good to pass up…check out KYLE LETTMAN‘s take on ARTFUL DODGER classic, Moving Too Fast. The track the first release from his upcoming EP Under Construction.

So far, 2015 has proven to be fruitful for the R&B singer. Last week, The Londoner opened for OMARION  at his final UK performance for Musicalize.  Lettman won the gig with support from his fans including No.1 hit-maker and songstress PIXIE LOTT.

Having made a heavy impact with last campaign One More Drink, which saw the track premiered by i.D Magazine and the video being premiered by Soul Culture, Kyle gained the backing of tastemakers DJ CAMEO on BBC Radio 1Xtra and Capital Xtra’s RAS KWAME  as well as MOBO’s Music Week and SBTV. With seriously infectious, bass-driven beats, no doubt he’ll be making waves with this new record.

So I ask you again, go and check Kyle’s version of Moving Too Fast…enjoy!