Shades Lawrence’s Single ‘Infinite’ Is A Reminder To Follow Your Passion.

SHADES LAWRENCE‘s love for basketball strongly inspired her to pen brand new single ‘Infinite’, an upbeat and feel-good track from her upcoming album.

The hip-hop artist from Toronto was a Division I college basketball player in the United States, training outdoors early in the morning, playing as a forward on the court, posting up, and working hard all throughout the entire season.

‘Infinite’ serves as a reminder to do what you love in life. Check out the video here….

Transport Yourself Into Another World With Sia Shells’ Brand New Single, ‘BRB’

Toronto-based singer and songwriter, SIA SHELLS, rhymes about the everyday magic we find through relationships, self-love, reflection and dreams. Her juxtaposition of emotive, contralto vocals against upbeat dream pop sounds will instantly transport you to another world.

Sia’s introspective new track ‘BRB’ encourages checking out of reality to hone the magic and creativity we all harness inside. She expands, “Think of it as a new age meditation mantra, where we temporarily disconnect from the world to reconnect with our higher selves.”

Check out the transportive video below:

REVIEW: HASTEN MERCY – HEAD FAKE’S MICHAEL BAKER

Fusing indie pop with influences of country and folk music may seem like an odd partnership on paper for many, but this is what fundamentally makes up Toronto artist Michael Baker’s three-piece project, ‘Hasten Mercy.’

The haziness of the 80’s inspired synths softly poke through the hazy backdrop introduces the EP through the single ‘Star You Are.’ The guitar rounds up the three-and-a-half production, giving off a rich Americana sound.

With the driving grit of the electro bassline being the main feature, the second offering, ‘These Things’ (personally) more takes on a trippy downtempo tone, contributed by the woeful presence from the piano and violins.

Offering an appealing imitate setting, the artist invites us into his world through the final single, ‘I Break Everything’. He uses a vocal instrument to give a wholesome folk ballad that works perfectly against the soft electronic backdrop.

Michael Baker, who is the man behind the moniker Hasten Mercy, is known for pushing the boundaries to the extreme when it comes to experimenting with different genres. His solo project is a true testimony of his ability to merge unlikely genres into a very pleasing collection. All three singles have a solid potential for commanding regular attention on contemporary radio stations.

Have a listen to Hasten Mercy’s mini collection below…

Must Listens: I Break Everything, These Things

Song of the Day: Animal Type – MISS LIA

With rich, velvety vox ablaze amidst a sense of passion and playfulness, Toronto singer/songwriter MISS LIA‘s single ‘Animal Type’ captures the carnal charge around setting sights on who you want.

Written in Miss Lia’s unique fashion — a confident, inspired, spontaneous type of lyricism — the song’s origins are rooted in the pop-R&B artist’s penchant for emotionally-driven songwriting that pulls on both past experiences and in-the-moment feelings.

Speaking of the inspiration behind the sultry single, Miss Lia says: “For ‘Animal Type,’ I was getting ready to go out, and started ‘feeling myself’ — confident and sexy — like an empowered woman . The vibe just came to me… I was watching myself in the mirror and started singing the melody of the intro. I came up with the first verse and chorus at that moment, and left them unchanged.”

Looking to capture the classic ‘I need you’ feeling, Miss Lia uses ‘Animal Type’ to relate with those who find themselves suddenly overtaken by lust’s ‘I’ve got to have you’ impulse. While the song feels sensuous and provocative upon first listen, it’s Lia’s confidence and empowered spirit intertwined with each line that seeks to seduce the listener further.

Following previously unveiled singles, ‘Dangerous,’ ‘Lonely,’ and ‘Summersault,’ ‘Animal Type’ is the latest to land from Miss Lia. The multi-talented artist recently immersed herself in music, having spent the duration of Covid-related restrictions contemplating a fork in the road; having initially pushed aside her ambitions to pursue music, focusing on academics and athletics instead, Lia spent the time revisiting and rediscovering her passions for poetry and music, and the deep emotional connection it creates.

‘Animal Type’ is available now. Check it now below…

A Quick Chat With Denim Blù

Ever since Toronto-based singer/songwriter, DENIM BLÙ came on my radar with single, ‘I’ll Die’, I was immediately captivated by his breath-taking storytelling along with the dramatic cinematic production. So when he released his debut album, ‘Blue’, I had to catch up him with about his inspiration behind the new eight-track set.

I really love what this guy stands for… and I hope you do too…

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

DB: Hey, New Lease Music, thanks for having me! 2021 has been treating me well – I know a lot of people hate 2021 because the pandemic has stopped them from living their life in the way they used to, but hey – because of the pandemic, I got to slow down and experience my life in different perspectives. It made me cherish my life more and I got to taste different flavours of my life. I have no complaints!

NLM: You released your album, ‘Blue’ last Wednesday (10th November), where you unveiled singles ‘Extraordinary Feel’, ‘I’ll Die’ (both featuring Lizzy Clarke) and ‘Burn (ft. Randy) ahead of its release. What is the public perception on the singles so far?

DB: I guess the public perception is good, hehe. My songs were played on the radio, featured on different media platforms, and I made lots of friends in the music industry. I just started my journey, and I was overwhelmed by the support I got from my supporters.

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

DB: My music is both compelling and complex, but infectious and accessible. Today’s youth want to get lost in music, but they demand narratives that reflect their experiences in a real way. Sonically I would describe my album’s sound as pure pop fantasy with emotional intrigue – sounds draw from blues, dance, electronica, and R&B elements, all while being unapologetically queer. However, it is the lyrical content making the connection with my audience: it speaks about love, loss, heartbreak, and lament. It gives you a sound that you can get lost in, but if you dive deeper, there’s a powerful story being told.

NLM:  What inspired you to produce the album?

DB: Love – youthful love, volatile love, queer love, and my love for music. The concept for the album is centred around a relationship. It takes the listener on a journey from the exuberance and magic of falling in love (“Extraordinary Feel”), to deep and dark places of lament (“Blue”, “I’ll Die”, “I Miss You”), to coming to terms with love lost (“Young and Foolish”, “Burn”, “Again”). The album is the physical manifestation of my love for music. The whole process of making the album, from song-writing to producing, recording, mixing, and mastering, is me expressing my love for music. The sound of every sound, every foreshadowing, every push, every climax, and every reveal, is about my love of music.

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

DB: My favorite song from the album is the last track – Again. I would describe this song as “an epic love ballad in the galaxy”. The songwriting is classic me – smooth melody, pop but dramatic. I produced the song in a way that reflects the songwriting, a way that corresponds to the development of the song. When listening to the song in the right sonic environment, you would see the galaxy evolving from nothing, to everything, and to nothing again – there is emergence, collapse, collision. It is an experience.

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

DB: Never be afraid to love, because love is beautiful, love is an experience, love is the meaning of life. No matter where life goes, it always comes down to love.

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

DB: Paloma Faith. She is from the UK, and I have been a fan for almost 1o years! She is not well-known in North America, but she is pretty big in Europe. She is so artistic, I love her visuals, her outfits, her artworks, not to mention her music is extremely amazing. So if I could have her on my album, that would be a dream come true! – Actually, going to her show is one of my dreams too 🙂

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

DB: Well, there is only one month left for 2021, and I am not planning to release a Christmas song…but I do have some projects coming next year! I worked with some amazing Toronto artists on the remixes for Blue that I am going to release in 2022. Also the pandemic gave me time to slow down and see my life from different perspectives. I drew inspiration from those perspectives, sat down with my song-writing partner, exchanged our feelings, and we got to finish another album together. I am planning to work on these songs next year and release the album in summer 2023.

NLM: How can potential fans find you?

DB: That is also a question I want to ask – how can potential fans find me?! It is really hard to promote myself as an independent artist, so my next stop is to find an artist manager, A&R, or a record label. Hope that can happen soon!

NLM: Finally, any special thanks to those involved in the production of ‘Blue’?

DB: I have a lot of special thanks – I want to thank my lyricist Nick Ram for sharing his stories with me, and allowing me to tell his stories in my way. I want to thank my friend Lizzy Clarke, Randy Chang, Kristen Antunes, and Marshall Jacklin for being there and being my friend. It was really fun writing music together. I want to thank Jack Hughes, Julian Fatsound, Tyler Novak, and Eugene Hwang for their amazing musical performances on the album. I want to thank Elizabeth Petzold, Keshav Sharma, Eliot Britton, Issac Nemec for their remixes and friendships. I want to thank Francis TQ Hudson for bringing my mixes to life. I want to thank Fernando Nickolas and Jason Tenn for their photography and creation. I want to thank Zetong Liu for his amazing creative design with my album cover. Last but not least, I want to thank my family for believing in me and supporting me along the way. THANK YOU!

Listen to Denim Blù’s album here