Song of the Day: Hidden – Bianca Rose

British/Jamaican/Nigerian singer-songwriter BIANCA ROSE has been writing and composing for the best part of a decade. In 2007 she self released her debut EP ‘Truth and Tiny Tragedies’, and has continued to collaborate and write songs for other artists ever since. Accompanying herself on guitar and ukulele, Bianca’s live shows have included sets for Sofar Sounds, Tigmus, London Jazz and One Taste Festivals, City Showcase, The Vortex and the CrimeJazz Festival in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, along with additional performances for Playstation, OH TV, & radio play on Radio 1 and 1Xtra. As a lyricist in the Ready Riters song writing collective, Bianca recently co-wrote X-Factor contestant Annastasia Baker’s debut album, resulting in Annastasia’s 2014 MOBO nomination.

Bianca has decided that 2017 is the right time to focus on her own music again, and release some of the songs she’s written over the last few years. Her debut album ‘No Fear Here’ (released in January 2017) is an expansive interpretation of the singer songwriter genre, fusing Bianca’s folk/gospel sensibilities with both Bianca and Femi’s African diasporic perspectives. It was part-funded by the PRS for Music Foundation and produced by critically acclaimed jazz musician and producer Femi Temowo, (George Benson, Andrea Bocelli, Amy Winehouse, The Roots, ESKA & Soweto Kinch).

‘Hidden’ is the third single from Bianca’s debut album ‘No Fear Here’. Directed by Dominic Döring, the visuals are set around the issue of men and mental health and how difficult it is to share these particular struggles with those closest to us. Bianca adds: “Even as a woman, it is never easy to reveal you have battled with any kind of mental oppression. But sharing is often the first step to breaking its power.”

Interview with: Sophie Longshaw

SOPHIE LONGSHAW is well on her way to becoming one of NEW LEASE MUSIC’s new favourites. Not only the flame-haired songstress bagged of herself the Music Video of the Week title for latest single ‘Hold You’ – for two consecutive weeks – her previous effort, ‘In the Morning’ was also featured on NEW LEASE MUSIC’S Top Ten Songs of 2016. I think it’s about time we find out more about this star-on-a-very-steady-rise.

NLM: Hey how you doing? Thanks for taking part in an interview with NEW LEASE MUSIC

SL: Hey! Not too bad thank you, I can’t believe Summer is here. Thanks for having me!

NLM: First of all, I wanted ask you about your latest single ‘Hold You’ – which was the most popular track on NEW LEASE MUSIC back in March – what was the public perception of the single beyond the blog?

SL: Yeah it did incredibly well. I think people were surprised to hear something that wasn’t indie-folk and a little bit different to my other tracks. It’s got a real punch to it and it’s the track I get the most messages and comments about!

NLM: Your single ‘In the Morning’ was ranked #8 on NEW LEASE MUSIC’s Top Ten Songs of 2016. Have a generated other accolades elsewhere? Please share!

SL: That’s nuts! The video for it premiered on Gigwise and we were No.1 trending for over a week. I’ve had the most amazing messages where fans have told me they really connected with the song and it helped them through difficult times in their life. For me, knowing my music can help someone is an accolade for me.

NLM: You’ve cranked up quite an impressive discography! What’s your favourite track to date and why?

SL: Definitely ‘Let’s Go To The Beach’! When I first started writing it, it was a private letter to myself to get through a tough time and now it’s my most listened to track on Spotify! I love playing it live, I’ve seen people slow-dancing to it and the love you feel in the room at that moment is unreal.

NLM: How would you describe your sound to potential fans?

SL: I guess you’d say soulful indie-folk with a modern twist.

NLM: If you were to collaborate with just ONE chart-topping artist of today, who would it be and why?

SL: She’s not exactly chart-topping but I absolutely ADORE her… and that person is Lianne La Havas. She is so so so talented. I don’t know anyone else who can hold an audience like she can. What a woman.

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

SL: *Creating quality music takes time and it’s a shame that unless you’re selling millions of albums you just can’t make a living so I’d say higher rates for streaming and YouTube views. No-one wants to pay for music anymore but unfortunately we can’t make music all our lives for nothing.

* EQUALITY FOR MEN AND WOMEN!!! More women in higher jobs with better pay – Vanessa Knight is a prime example. She mentored me at the start of all of this and I think she is just fantastic…. she runs her own label, has managed and helped many artists and I think we need more women like her. It hasn’t been an easy road for her but slowly but surely we are paving the way to equality.

* Unfortunately to get anywhere these days you need the image. I’d want press to change completely. Image isn’t everything and I am so sick and tired of seeing polished photoshopped artists all over magazines and the internet. Critiques of female artists often refer to their appearance as well as their musical ability which is ludicrous!

NLM: So what plans you have for 2017? Any upcoming gigs or album?

SL: No plans for an album as of yet, but we’ve definitely got a few singles in the pipeline… watch this space…

NLM: How can potential fans reach you?

SL: If you want to have a little listen to my tracks you can search “Sophie Longshaw” into Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, Soundcloud and YouTube.

If you wanna keep up with what I’m up to, you can find me on the usual social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).

NLM:  Finally, If music didn’t exist, what would you do?

We’d probably have turned into some mutant zombies by now if music didn’t exist. What a dull world that would be! If I wasn’t writing songs I’d be writing anything and everything!

 

Song of the Day: Midnight Moon – John Tracy

Today’s song comes from one of JOHN TRACY‘s recent releases, entitled ‘ Midnight Moon’.

The ‘performing songwriter’ from Virginia has built a solid reputation for combining lyrics reflecting real life with heart-wrenching soundscapes of folk, blues, acoustic rock and soul.

He’s a national charting artist with two singles from his 2016 album ‘Happy Ever After’ breaking the top 10 on the US FMQB AC Chart, as well as playing on radio and syndicated shows across the UK and Europe. John’s music videos have attracted attention from all over the music video programming spectrum in the US and Canada.

So far, JOHN TRACY has released three singles this year entitled ‘I’ve Got To Find Myself’,’ The Shallow Game’ and ‘Midnight Moon’. However it was ‘Midnight Moon’ that make it to today’s hotspot as Tracy’s folk/soulful vocals inject full-on passion to the soothing trademark, which somehow leaves you inspired and full of hope.

It goes without saying that this folkser produces real music for real life – so I highly recommend you have a listen to ‘Midnight Moon’ – simply beautiful.

New Music Video: Without You – Cherri V

Radiating an abundance of soul and endearing, yet playful reality, singer and songwriter CHERRI V released the visual for her single ‘Without You’.

Produced by the Grammy award-winning UK producer, Harmony Samuels, who is responsible for a catalogue of hits from Fifth Harmony, Ariana Grande, Kelly Rowland and Chip, CHERRI V’s velvety tones echo over a piano-led instrumental that is laced with percussion allowing her powerful voice and emotion to burst through the seams.

Painting a vivid picture on the construct of a relationship, the visuals are presented in a sprightly and flirtatious form which capture the mischievous and lighthearted aspect of CHERRI V‘s charming character.

The accomplished songstress, recognised for her striking, fiery red hairstyles, has always kept it real with her straight talking lyrics. Unafraid and eloquent in her ability to discuss the truths of her life and her battles, she has previously been ‘Cherri-picked’ to work and perform alongside Wiley, Dawn Richard and Lethal Bizzle, with whom she celebrated the top 20 hit ‘The Drop’.

Opening the page on a new chapter, ‘Without You’ opens the gateway on CHERRI V‘s journey to releasing her captivating album ‘Brown Eyed Soul’, which is set to be the most personal and autobiographical project to date. Having nurtured, matured and cultivated her music for the album, it is set to tell a story its entirety via her compellingly rich and dynamic voice.

New Track: Comfortably Me – Chloé Leon

Fresh on the scene – Midlands born, CHLOÉ LEONE brings a unique blend of velvet melodies, pungent vocals and tongue-in-cheek wordplay through her debut release of 2017, the feel-good and emancipating ‘Comfortably Me’.

Produced by Fred Cox (Janelle Monae, Lion Babe), ‘Comfortably Me’ is Chloé’s personal ode to the world. Her take on the highs and lows of life as a young woman making her way in the world; dealing with relationships, purpose and hangovers; showing that it’s ok to be real.

Standing as the first from a string of releases due out throughout 2017, Dalston resident CHLOÉ LEONE is making a statement with her latest offering and is showcasing exactly why she is one of Britain’s most promising new artists…have a listen.

New Music Video: Mention Nothing – Thidius

South London alt-pop five piece THIDIUS have brought their latest single ‘Mention Nothing’ to life with a psychedelic and eye-catching video. ‘Mention Nothing’ is the lead single from their upcoming release ‘Inversion.’

The video features singer Izzy Risk performing stunning vocals, and contrasts kaleidoscopic, distorted imagery with black and white footage. Thidius’ five-piece line-up allows them to create a sound that is multi-layered, but beautiful and cohesive. The song itself features catchy guitars and soulful singing which, when combined with a funky rhythm section and more moody synths, allowing ‘Mention Nothing’ to be at once upbeat and atmospheric.

THIDIUS’ line up also include Ben Hayes on synths, Tom Driessler on bass and Harry Pope on drums. Hailing from New Cross in South East London, THIDIUS are in good company and have made a name for themselves through collaborating with a plethora of creative’s from this growing artist hub. They achieved recognition by supporting their South London contemporary King Krule on his 2014 European tour. THIDIUS’ live performances have received praise from the likes of London on the Inside, who described them as “a young band that are completely in their element on stage.”

Blending a range of influences including jazz, funk and synthpop,THIDIUS have an exciting sound that is both soulful and ethereal. The video brings this out by taking simplistic footage of Izzy Risk’s charismatic performance and giving it colourful, dizzying distortion. With an EP to follow this summer 2017 looks set to be a defining year for these south Londoners.

New Track: U R My High – Astro Raw

 ASTRO RAW – aka Lucas Goodman and one half of New York-based duo Lion Babe – has unleashed his mixtape ‘rawmix vol 1’ earlier this month, with the release of ‘U R My High’.

The track is the first to be taken from the 14-track mixtape, which showcases ASTRO RAW’s one of a kind production credentials and his infectious, genre defying sounds which seamlessly mix R&B, hip-hop, soul, funk and dance to sultry effect. Featuring exclusive mixes – including reworked versions of tracks from the likes of Wiz Khalifa, Busta Rhymes and Alicia Keys – and rounded off with brand new remixes of the popular Lion Babe’s tracks ‘Treat Me Like Fire’ and ‘Jungle Lady’.

Performing across the world as a part of Lion Babe, ASTRO RAW has also delivered show-stopping DJ sets at prestigious events such as ELLE Style Awards, Whitney Museum’s Art Party, Bestival’s Party on the Moon and PAPER magazine x Ketel One Vodka, whilst as an in-demand DJ across the New York night scene he regularly performs popular sets at the cool, hot-spot Miss Lily’s.

Earlier this year, Lion Babe released their latest single ‘Rockets’ ft Moe Moks, set to appear on their forthcoming new EP which will be their first commercial release since their critically celebrated debut studio album ‘Begin’. ‘Begin’ was released last year and featured collaborations with the likes of Pharrell Williams and Childish Gambino and career-defining tracks such as ‘Treat Me Like Fire’ and ‘Jump Hi’. Last year they released the electrifying mixtape ‘Sun Joint’ which coincided with their first headline US tour and a string of international festival performances, including Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds.

Album Review: Wond3rland – Dizzy Rambunctious

Unlike his previous project, ‘Arcadia’, which loosely takes inspiration from the theme tunes from classic arcade games, DIZZY RAMBUNCTIOUS switches it up and takes a complete detour with his latest mixtape, ‘Wond3rland’.

This time round, the New Jersey producer has adopted a real sublime soulful/rare groove-ish vibe to his usual trademark – that hip-hop/boom bap woofer of a bassline.

Now if you’re a follower of this guy, then you know he only deals with instrumentals – and you’ll also know he always hits you right between the eyes with a surprise – he recruited a few guest vocalists/spitters for this mammoth collection, which was most welcomed ( just have a listen the 6th track, ‘Zion’ featuring Phi & Shrls.)

I gotta give it to him; DIZZY RAMBUNCTIOUS has really stepped up his game – go and have a trial.

Must Listens: Wond3rland, Cosmic Gramma, Zion, Get on Down.

New Music Video: Love Letter – Half Brother

Murkage Dave and Patrick Scally, otherwise known as HALFBROTHER, have unveiled the dreamy and mesmeric visual for their new track ‘Love Letter’.

Directed by the award-winning designer and art director Kate Moross (Dazed & Confused, Vogue, NYLON) the video was shot in Dungeness, on the English Coast and follows last month’s release of the single. Written and produced by the duo and previously premiered on The Independent with further support from the likes of The Line of Best Fit, Notion and 1Xtra. The track is the follow-up to their debut single ‘Go Tell The Mandem’, which i-D described as ‘quietly profound’ and ‘remarkably lucid’, and its Jeremy Cole and Marco Grey directed visuals and February’s ‘Sweet Talk’.

Earlier this month, the duo brought their first performance as a duo to The Old Blue Last as the main opening act for Star Slinger whilst this year they are set to release their debut album ‘Men Can’t Protect You Anymore’ which will feature their unique take on alternative R&B influenced sounds and exciting collaborations with UK Hip-Hop artist Oscar #worldpeace.

EP Review: Slow Burn – Wolf Kash

It’s pretty hard to conceive that last Christmas, 24-year-old producer Jordan Saward and his 14-year-old brother Harry – otherwise known as WOLF KASH –  came up with compositions that are so complex, forming their debut EP, ‘Slow Burn’, released late last month.

The four-track set is on par with Model’s ’86 EP, ‘When You Realise…’, as it possesses (at times) insanely juxtaposed electronic rhythmic overtones, carried by a mammoth downtempo drive, giving each production that alternative dance/soulful-ish vibe. Quite ingenious really; it’ll be great to see the duo’s next move.

Take a step into the unexpected and sample ‘Slow Burn’ EP.

Must Listens: Slow Burn, Why Bother.