Songstress Kemi Sulola Releases Infectious R&B Track, ‘If’

Up and coming British R&B-soul artist, singer, and songwriter KEMI SULOLA is back with a glorious new single titled ‘IF’ as she continues to tease towards her anticipated new projects such as Room 3 coming next year. ‘IF’, which is produced by Brighton musician, DJ and producer El Train, who has worked with Pip Millet, Barney The Artist, IYAMAH and Jerome Thomas, among others, sees Kemi Sulola delivering an infectious UK R&B masterclass with catchy pop sensibilities and honest relatable songwriting, which also pays homage to the golden era of 90’s R&B with its lush melodies and vocal harmonies.

Speaking about the inspiration behind her new single ‘IF’, Kemi Sulola says, “The song is about a lady who is usually very sure of herself except for when it comes to love. To me, ‘IF’ is a song that speaks for people who may feel insecure about their lover or ultimately themselves. It questions if the one we need to be there for us in our hardest times would really be there. I suppose it was written in reflection of a time when I was in need and wondered the same. Essentially without saying the word, ‘IF’ inspires me to think about love and what the true meaning of it is”.

In the middle of a lengthy battle with Neurosarcoidosis that has seen her in and out of hospital for years, Kemi Sulola released ‘Raindrops’ at the start of 2020 to rave reviews from the likes of GUAP Magazine, SoulTracks and Verve Radio, after which, she also opened for R&B legend Teedra Moses at the renowned jazz club Hideaway. Bolstered by pop icon Janet Jackson sharing her music on Instagram and imploring her to keep singing, Kemi then followed up with the protest song ‘Justice’ in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and to raise money for the Black Learning Achievement and Mental Health Charity (BLAM UK), before closing out the year with the undeniable ‘New Form’ that was championed by DJ Target at BBC 1Xtra.

Check out the lyric video for Kemi’s single below…

A Quick Chat With…K-Riz

I am so chuffed to have caught up with K-RIZ, one of the hottest Canadian artists around, to discuss latest critically acclaimed album, ‘Peace & Love’ as well as his plans for the rest of 2021.

I don’t think there’s no need for a big introduction for this guy – by the time you finish reading this Q&A, trust me, you’ll love his music as much as I do…so let’s get down to it.

NLM: Hey, thank you for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC. How is 2021 treating you so far?

K: Thank you for having me! Y’all have been showing so much love over the past year, I’m truly thankful. 2021 has been good to me. Released a lot of music this year, and I’m finally feeling as close to 100% as I can from a car accident in 2020. Feeling good and looking forward.

NLM: You released your album, ‘Peace & Love’ last month (24th September). What is the public perception on the project so far?

K: The perception has been really cool, and surprising. I’m pretty surprised by the songs people are loving. “A City Too Small,” for example, is really hitting people. I don’t really expect much when I release music, so any love shown is always a plus.

NLM: How would you describe the album’s sound to potential fans?

K: The sound ranges from classic hip-hop to full out R&B songs with live instrumentation.
I’m definitely a student of the game and I embrace all styles of music, from the old to the new. So I wanted that aspect represented throughout the album.

NLM: What inspired you to produce the album?

K: I wanted to make a happier and more conscious album, but there were so many negative things in my life that I never dealt with or maybe I avoided them. In order for the music to be authentic and genuine, I had to embrace what I was feeling. An album I was listening to was The Velvet Rope by Janet Jackson. She was very raw and emotional on that record. I heard the vulnerability and I felt that was the way to go.

NLM: What is/are your favourite single(s) from the album and why?

K: “A City Too Small” – love the darkness of the track and the bassline in the hook. “The View” – I loved how this song came together. It’s a song you can close your eyes to and drift away from start to finish. I always feel better after listening to it. “I Don’t Trust You” – it’s a song that gets me moving every time.

NLM: What message would you like the listeners to take away from your album?

K: I hope people hear a person who is human and healing. I’m sure we are all healing from something, so I hope the music heals and shows that it’s okay to go through these things, to feel and find a way to release these feelings and thoughts.

NLM: If you had to feature one mainstream artist on the album, who would it be and why?

K: It would have to be Nas. That’s my favorite rapper of all time. That will always be my answer until it happens.

NLM: Do you have other project(s) for 2021?

K: We got some visual projects in the works, as well as features. I’m currently headed back to the studio to begin work on the follow-up. Staying busy, always.

NLM: How can potential fans find you?

K: The best place to find me is on my website at krizmusic.com and you can also find me on the socials.

NLM: Finally, any special shout outs to those involved in the production of ‘Peace & Love?

K: I want to shout out and thank the entire HonorRoll Music Collective. This album is a stamp on a great era for us musically. Also, everyone involved in making this album and encouraging me to release it. Y’all know who y’all are! Thank you to the people out there listening.

Listen to K-Riz’s album ‘Peace & Love’ right HERE

Quick Chat With…Cilla Raie

I have to confess…CILLA RAIE has got to be one of my top three favourite singers right now. Her latest EP ‘Reconnected’ has definitely got me jumping out my seat, so it’s an absolute pleasure to catch up with the North Londoner to talk about her six-track set.

NLM: Hey, thank you for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC. How is 2021 treating you so far?

CR: Thank you for having me. 2021 has been the best year for me so far career wise. I have been extremely busier than ever and so much has happened in a short space of time from having backing from Arts England/National Lottery which enabled me to release two singles ‘Motives’ and ‘Open for Love’ Ft Tiffany Evans. Including my debut EP ‘Reconnected’. I’ve now just gotten support from Help Musicians/MOBO to put together another project, so its been up and onwards from the start of the year.

NLM: You released your EP, ‘Reconnected back in August. What is the public perception on the project so far?

CR: Honestly the reception has been AMAZING! the EP reached number 2 on the UK R&B/Soul Albums chart on Itunes just behind Amy Winehouse’s album and before The Weekend’s album. Never ever in a million years did I think I could achieve that. We did something special for it and sent out gift packs to everyone who has supported. All the tastemakers at BBC 1xtra, BBC Radio London, MTV, Wonderland, Earmilk, Trace Urban etc all showed love. Most importantly I have an amazing fan base who are constantly streaming, sharing, posting, showing love. I feel blessed.

NLM: How would you describe the EP’s sound to potential fans?

CR: The sound of the EP is nostalgic late 90’s/early 2000’s era, I wanted to bring back that old school feel as far as the production went. That era of music was and still is one of my favourite eras so I wanted to bring that element back within UK R&B and just vibe out.

NLM: What inspired you to produce the EP?

CR: The EP was actually a long time in the making, I had taken a break for 2 years when I had my child in 2017, before this I was actually in the studio 24/7 making the new EP. I created a journey of events that happened before, during and after that period of time. I wanted to convey those series of events on ‘Reconnected’ hence why I named the EP this, as it represents being reconnected back to my passion of music, after being away for so long and loosing all hope. Once Arts England/National Lottery stepped in I knew it was the perfect time to put everything together as I has the freedom to do so.

NLM: What is/are your favourite single(s) from the EP and why?

CR: U & I ft Subten is my favourite song, at the moment on the EP. I am literally always changing my mind depending on the mood and season. But I love everything melodic about the song, the harmonies, the rhythmic changes, the switch up on Subtens verse. Again it’s another throwback feel track that makes you feel good.

NLM: What message would you like the listeners to take away from your EP?

CR: The message I want listeners to take away is that, no matter how disconnected you may feel at points in your life. Always remember everything is temporary and you can always ignite the flame back to your true self and your desires.

NLM: If you had to feature one mainstream artist on the EP, who would it be and why?

CR: One mainstream artist I really want to work with and who I have grown to love over this past year is Shenseea. I truly admire here and she is so versatile so I would have her on the EP to bring in her flavours. I love seeing female artists working together too and just breaking barriers. I worked with Tiffany so working with another female artist would be great and to crossover into another market too.

NLM: Do you have other project(s) for 2021?

CR: Now that I have just released my project in August, I am currently actively preparing for my 2022 EP. I have an amazing single that I’m planning the creative process for and it will most likely be out in Jan/Feb. So my main focus for the rest of the year is just completing this project and recording the rest of the songs.

NLM: How can potential fans find you?

CR: You can find me all over social media:
https://www.cillaraie.com
https://www.twitter.com/cillaraie
https://www.instagram.com/cillaraie
https://www.facebook.com/itscillaraie
https://www.youtube.com/cillaraietv

Finally, any special shout outs to those involved in the production of ‘Reconnected’?

CR: There’s so many people involved in this project that I would like to shoutout. All the producers Peddy Pro, XVR Blck who spent hours mixing and recording with me, Serk Lelabo, Walter Ego, Joey Dyer. The artists Subten and Tiffany Evans. Those involved with the singles from the EP and the EP itself, Liberty Music, Wardah, Now Listen, Exkluse Media, Supreme Runners, Kofi at Yellow Fish. The list goes on thank you all SO much for making this a dream come true.

Check Out Cilla Raie’s EP, ‘Reconnected’ right HERE

Ray Alex Shares A Heavenly Blend Of Jazz And Soulful R&B With New Single, ‘Synchronise To Your Rhythm’

North London’s multi-instrumentalist RAY ALEX, explores themes of telepathy, lust and psychedelics in sensual single ‘Synchronise To Your Rhythm’.

Having been named in Audiomack’s ‘Best of Britain’ list two months running, and after collaborating with Julia Romana (Duckwrth/GLAM) and LA’s Sydney Jane, who has turned the heads of Disclosure and MJ Cole, Ray continues to push boundaries in UK R&B.

‘Synchronise To Your Rhythm’ details a sultry evening on a psychedelic journey with a lover in Rotterdam, drawing influences from the early 80s and early 90s funk with a modern, jazzy R&B feel. Ray Alex presents a hazy vignette packed with chopped up guitar samples, a neck-jarring beat and a chilling, wispy falsetto that unravels memories of a long distance spiritual connection magnetised by telepathic dreams, LSD and lust.

Ray’s smooth offering follows his previous single ‘Erased’ which received frequent airplay on Soho Radio and Amazing Radio and was featured on Clash Magazine, First World Records and Souletiquette playlists.

‘Synchronise To Your Rhythm’ is the second release from Ray’s self-produced EP, ‘Good To Me’, slated for release in November…but for now wrap your ears around this beauty…

Genre-Defying Artist Rufus has Dropped His New Track, ‘Taking Flight’

Coming on the back of his glorious debut single ‘One Eye Open’, which introduced listeners to his outlier fusion sound of R&B, alt pop and trap music, and caught the attention of tastemakers such as Capital Xtra, Earmilk, GUAP Magazine, 9Bills, Wordplay Magazine and Noctis Magazine, new genre-defying UK artist and producer RUFUS circles back to unveil his brand new single, ‘Taking Flight’ as he continues to build momentum towards his upcoming debut EP,

Written and produced by Rufus, ‘Taking Flight’ sees the young Wiltshire native pouring his heart out about the realities of following your dreams, persevering through and keeping to your chosen path, no matter how hard the terrain gets. According to Rufus, we should “always have the ultimate belief that you will reach your favoured destination in the end – maybe not today but one day for sure”. Sonically, the track is an exquisite R&B-trap offering with nuanced indie alt-pop sensibilities, and honest relatable songwriting.

Speaking about the inspiration behind ‘Taking Flight’, Rufus says, “the track came about when time was dragging on negotiating my deal (as always is the case when lawyers get involved). I woke up after another night shift of flipping burgers and washing dishes and felt real frustration. I decided to put it all into a song – I wrote, recorded and produced it in my bedroom on my small rig. The lyrics in ‘Taking Flight’ about not wanting to work in restaurants, cleaning dishes is not a diss on people that do, but rather a cry for something different for me as I’ve done it my whole life so far”.

Hailing from Wiltshire in the southwest of England, the gifted singer, songwriter, musician and producer fell in love with music from an early age and showed instant promise. From writing and performing at local venues as a teenager to producing for his peers while at college, Rufus has been honing his craft as an artist and is ready for the world to take him in. The exciting British talent has been hard at work with fellow producers such as TheElements (Stormzy, Headlie One, Zara Larsson), Remedee (AJ Tracey, Unknown T, Not3s), Kxlla K (Lethal Bizzle, Sneakbo) and Chris Rich (DigDat, Abra Cadabra) to bring the vision for his outlier fusion sound to life.

Here’s your chance to witness a newcomer on a rise; listen to Rufus’ new single below…