Song of the Day: Timeless – Oscar Jerome (ft. Lianne La Havas)

Lifted from his long-awaited debut album, ‘Breathe Deep’, released late last month, South London-based artist OSCAR JEROME‘s single ‘Timeless’ is a duet with Lianne La Havas which also includes instrumentation by friends in Ezra Collective, Sons of Kemet and Oscar’s other band, Kokoroko.

The pared-back single strip things down to the bare fundamentals, with Oscar soft-plucked guitar and vocals going back and forth with the sublime harmonies of Lianne La Havas. As the song builds, layers of lush jazz-inflected instrumentation are introduced piece by piece.

Oscar says of the track: “I wrote this song for my Dad. It’s about viewing someone you love as a constant through your whole life, not just who they are now. I was privileged enough to have the legendary Lianne La Havas jump on this tune. She made it everything I hoped for and more. She has been really good to me over the last couple of years and I appreciate her greatly.”

The single arrives off the back of 6Music-playlisted ‘Sun for Someone’ (ft Joe Armon-Jones), ‘Your Saint’ (ft Brother Portrait), ‘Give Back What U Stole From Me’ and, most recently, ‘Joy Is You’. Have a listen to ‘Timeless below…

EP Review: Chances Ocean – Isaac B

Released earlier in the year, the piano-led single ‘Love Yourz’ leads the way with in ISAAC B‘s latest EP, ‘Chances Ocean’. The melodic piece which encourages us to be grateful for what we got, rather pining after other’s success stories, sets the tone for this conscious mini set.

‘Chances Ocean’ then takes on a meditative and somewhat a seductive stance on hip-hop and R&B, which arguably has a Tom Misch twang to it. The promising rapper covers a ray of topics – from paying homage to prominent figures who paved the way in hip-hop (in ‘I’m Here’), to contemplating the reason why the good die young and his desire to get a Grammy in honor of his late grandmother (in ‘Did You Further) and having that ego boost, while staying humble, as his career progresses (in ‘Lean’.)

When I first discovered Isaac B through his bass-heavy joint, ‘See No Evil, Hear No Evil (SNE HNE)’ last year, from that moment I knew he was a serious hip-hop contender who isn’t worry about following the crowd. Tracks ‘Oceans and Chances’ and ‘Yourz Truly’ (to me) reveals that side of him as a musician. Although he has sheer determination to make an impressive dent in the game, his priority is to stay true to himself rather than chasing ‘the fame’.

Sonically, I expected to hear some roaring thuds as in ‘SNE HNE’ – but it doesn’t mean that I was left disappointed. ‘Chances Ocean’ reveals to me that this conscious spitter can turn his hand to anything and I cannot to see how far his musical journey will take him.

Have a listen to ‘Chances Ocean’ below…

Must Listens: Love Yourz, Oceans and Chances, Higher Power

Song of the Day: Trapstar II – Kwazi Cort

KWAZI CORT, a rising star in the UK Grime scene, serves a notice to all the non-believers who’ve been too quick to dub the genre as a thing of the past.

Using his single, ‘Trapstar II’ as a means of showcasing his multi-faceted artistry, he quite literally navigates the space between Rap and Grime to craft his own original sound, knotting together the kerrangs of Rock with the soulful harmonies of RnB.

Written as a diary of experiences, ‘Trapstar II’ serves as an ode and love letter to the South London streets which made him. Diving deeper into the complex feelings of negatively affecting your neighbourhood to make a living and fund studio-time, his aspirations are set way beyond any street cred. Kwazi Cort refreshingly vocalizes the challenges he faced as a recovered conscious gangster – sentiments which are not expressed enough in today’s music! Supplying listeners with the highs and lows of being a Trapstar, along with the burdens placed on his relationships, as a consequence of prioritizing the roads; finally giving real meaning to the phrase “married to the streets”.

“It’s kinda mad, I thought everybody went through similar things like me… I was wrong. My South London story morphed friends to foes, cats to catwalks, macs to models” Kwazi continues,“Trapstar II is an autobiography, recording my journey from hustling in the streets to barring in the booth. Grinding in order to better my position due to the lack of opportunities, meanwhile at war with my conscience, aware of the damage it’s causing my loved ones as a result.”

Check out the video for ‘Trapstar II’ below…

Song of the Day: Spazzin – Anderson 100 & Capstone Heights

Taken from their collaborative EP ‘New Moon’ (released via Dudley Road Records, created by Brum football legend Daniel Sturridge), Birmingham finests, CAPSTONE HEIGHTS and ANDERSON 100‘s lead single ‘Spazzin’, sports a soft introduction that leads into a heavy, clattering drill beat produced by Malice Beats. The pair ride the riddim with a gritty, scattergun flow, paying homage to their hometown and the great game of football too.

Together Capstone Heights and Anderson 100 encapsulate the influences and culture of their hometown Birmingham. ‘New Moon’ has a unique sound combining heavy beats, with Anderson’s recognizable skippy rap flow, and soulful, creative lyricism from Capstone.

Over recent months Anderson 100 has released an onslaught of music and made serious gains in the rap scene. Tipped as “…an artist with so much promise” by the likes of Kenny Allstar (BBC Radio 1Xtra), he’s also reeling in support from some of the U.K’s top DJ’s across Capital, Beats1 and 1Xtra, with joints such as ‘Bae Goals’ and ‘House Rules’. As a musician Anderson 100 has built a loyal and increasing fanbase from being able to produce unorthodox sounds whilst portraying integrity through the vibes his music gives, he expresses himself freely and is recognisable by the music he creates.

Singer/songwriter Capstone Heights is known for seamlessly merging multiple genres using 808 beats with hints of Soul, Hip Hop and R&B, to create a cutting edge experience for his listeners, exemplified in soulful tracks such as ‘Destress’ and ‘Champagne’.

Offering something new and unique, Anderson 100 and Capstone Heights prove why UK regional rap is flying high and put themselves on course for being frontrunners of not just Birmingham based artists, but the UK rap scene.

Check out ‘Spazzin’ below…

Songs of the Day: Level Up – Dualeh Oke

DUALEH OKE‘s first release of 2020,‘Level Up’, extracts inspiration from hip-hop’s most dynamic and creative artists such as Lupe Fiasco and Kanye West to Kid Cudi and Chance the Rapper, where the East London lyricist pays homage to his idols

The track stamps down Dualeh’s message and energy going into 2020. Rapping with his heart on his sleeve, he speaks from a place of empowerment and optimism. Dualeh’s verses switch from describing the experiences of his past and how they have helped define the person he is today, such as growing up in Newham and his childhood obsessions, namely Final Fantasy and Naruto. He effortlessly returns to a catchy chorus, befitting of a track that actively inspires his listeners to take pride in their own journeys.

Having closed 2019 with a sold-out headline show at The Glove That Fits, Somali rapper Dualeh Oke continues to ride the highs. Grabbing the attention of publications such as Clash Magazine, Complex, and GUAP Mag, then later featuring on The Pit LDN’s ‘Ones To Watch 2020’ cypher on Reprezent Radio, 2020 promises to be a fruitful year for the young lyricist.

‘Level Up’ is the lead single from Dualeh’s  EP ‘Breath, It’s Oke.’ Check him out below…