EP Review: Broken Record – Allana Verde

Since the release of her 2016 EP, ‘Neo Nostalgia’, ALLANA VERDE has been on a steady rise, gaining support from the likes of Trevor Nelson, DJ Target, Complex and i-D. Continuing the climb, the London R&B singer unveiled her brand new EP entitled ‘Broken Records’ earlier this month.

An afterhours R&B (say, from the 90s era) receives a futuristic makeover from the bold and vibrant presence electropop overtones. Together with Verde’s quirky yet somewhat sultry vocals, this mini collection brings on a real enticing and spine-tingling experience.

Over the years, I’ve seen many artists break out in a cold, nervous sweat when it comes to combining unlikely genres – but this newcomer burst onto the scene and pulled it off effortlessly with such Sade-esque style and grace. This one too good to pass up; have a listen.

 

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New Music Video: The Stone – Jerome Thomas

Following the release of his acclaimed debut EP ‘Conversations’, East London vocal powerhouse, JEROME THOMAS presents a mesmerising performance in the new video – directed by Christopher Cargill whose portfolio includes Giggs and Emeli Sandé –  for lead track, ‘The Stone’.

‘The Stone’ is one of the lighter more self-explanatory tracks from the socially conscious EP, tackling topics that still remain taboo within the music industry. It is a personal and sincere body of work, devoid of banality, inspired by Jerome’s observations of society and conversations with close family and friends.

The Dalston native has been championed by the likes of The Fader, i-D, Idol Magazine and MTV, as well as receiving key radio support from BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra and Rinse FM. Having headlined a number of sold out shows at Bush Hall, Notting Hill Arts Club and Queen Of Hoxton, and aligning himself with revered industry peers such as Hannah Faith (Soulection), Black The Ripper, Footsie (Newham Generals) and Davinche, it is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the talents of this genre-defying artist….check him out!

New Track: Loving That – Matti Roots

MATTI ROOTS’ extensive musical background and stylish imprint of soul and pop has been sought out by numerous unsigned and signed artists, such as Dua Lipa, Paigey Cakey, July Jones, Age of Luna, Shae and Jaguar Skills.

Causing a stir in the music world in 2015, he teamed up with Jaguar Skills and Chords to release an energetic reworking of his funk fuelled gem, ‘Lust’. The track came out on RAM Records and was premiered by Zane Lowe on BBC Radio 1 and hit #1 in the Drum & Bass charts. This later followed with the release of his last album, ‘Beatroot’ in 2016. The lead track ‘Let’s get back Together’ found it’s way onto Spotify’s Viral Chart, reaching 500,000 plays.

Now with the release of his new single ‘Loving That’, MATTI ROOTS bonds his love for soul, funk, trap and R&B in a sensual mix. A loose arrangement of slick house bass hooks and light hip-hop beats, the track has an instant feel good catchiness that Matti is becoming quickly known for. Matti has been constantly making new music and after recently teaming up with Kwame Kwaten’s Ferocious label, he’s now set to release an exciting collection of works, he’s been working on the last few years.

 

 

Song of the Day: Simba – Tobi Sunmola

Following the gripping visuals to ‘Never Forget We’re Here/Tales From The East IV’, TOBI SUNMOLA returns with ‘Simba’ – the debut release taken off his forthcoming EP.

‘Simba’ is a gritty and emotional testimony of both heartache and promise providing a compelling insight into the ethnological struggles of being an artist in today’s industry.

Tobi explains: “It talks about who I am as a person, the colour of my skin and how that may either hinder my growth to where I aspire to be.” Throughout the racial upheavals experienced, Nigerian-born Sunmola remains positive and resiliently confides in his unshakeable pursuit of greatness as he sings “through the pain, in the rain, in the night, any day…I’ll preach”. The instrumentation compliments this sentiment where melancholy chords are backboned by a bouncy hip hop beat that underlines his infectious flow and hook patterns. Authentic and unfiltered ‘Simba’ is an intriguing take on modern hip-hop that draws upon the influence of TOBI SUNMOLA’s rich African heritage.

The Manchester-based artist has achieved an admirable amount, since his humble beginnings in the studio of his local youth club. Co-producing ‘Simba’ with local rapper Two4Kay – who has previously featured on Link UP TV and The 405 – this new release is the product of a long-standing relationship that blossomed within the tight-knit Manchester music scene which forged early on in their careers. Named as Mobo’s ‘One to Watch’, this emerging talent has since been championed by Huw Stephens, DJ Booth and Mistajam whilst Complex, Afropunk and Flavour Magazine have been writing about his ‘stunning versatility’ online.

Combined with an array of adept live performances, including BBC Radio 1’s Big Weekend in Exeter last year – the wondrously creative, ‘Simba’ is a perceptive and accomplished piece of work, that will cement Sunmola’s place as one of the UK’s most exciting, rising hip hop artists this year.

Song of the Day: Cold Soul – C.A.M

‘Cold soul’ is the new introspectively charged single from C.A.M, produced by Wickstarr with cuts from the late DJ Daredevil. The track pulls the listener deeper into East Londoner’s mind state, and explores his beliefs on life, death, pain and joy.

C.A.M‘s introspective and esoteric lyricism will be showcased and explored fully, in his debut project ‘The First Move’ which is set for release in next month. The project will feature collaborations with CW Jones and Parallax, with production from Wickstarr and Chro.

For now, check out the video…

New Music Video: For The Crime – Fusion

Catapulting into the scene with his incredible debut on the Lord Of The Mics 10th Anniversary compilation and following up with a succession of heavy hitting grime including ‘No’, ‘Rudeboy’, the ode to his neighbourhood, ‘Newham’ and self-produced ’24 Hours Riddim’, which garnered acclaim from iD, Complex & Mixmag, FUSION kicked off 2017 deservedly being named as one of Complex Magazine’s ‘Ones To Watch’ via their ‘13 British Emcees Destined For A Big 2017’

About to prove exactly why he was chosen for the list and pitched for success alongside the likes of Stefflon Don and Mist, FUSION releases ‘For The Crime’, which paves the way for the grit-laden E.P ‘Ready’, made up of 5 tracks packed with lyric laced dirt. Surpassing an impressive level of energy, FUSION opens up his arsenal, spitting over the instrumental, which is a stark reminder of what makes up grime’s sonic backbone. Entwining his slick yet punchy flow that hammers through the screeching, bouncy instrumental, this grime star marks himself out as one of the new generation worth a reload.

Check out the video…

New Track: 3 Times – Marged (ft. AOBeats & Jailo)

Following the success of her Billboard-approved single ‘Call From U’, Welsh electronic artist, MARGED, is back with the second release of the year – ‘3 Times’ – ahead of a show at Hackney’s Sebright Arms (London) on 30th September.

Sonically ambient and lyrically poignant, the latest release is “a reaction piece to the sexual expectations that women face.” Having illustrated how vulnerability can be sexy and acceptable for a feminist with her previous single, this particular track exposes the objectifying, negative sense of the word.

She explains: “Our bodies are so often seen as objects filled with stamina with no off button. My interest in the representation of women in porn really made me begin to question how we as females are perceived through the male gaze”. It is the artistic depiction of this subject that has helped MARGED amass support from Billboard, Clash, Indie Shuffle and Idolator, underlining the Cardiff-born artist’s reputation as one of the most exciting young London creatives this year.

Having previously worked with Sakima, MARGED now collaborates on the new release with two forward thinking and like-minded beatsmiths, Jailo and AObeats. Both are acclaimed by the likes of BBC Radio 1, Earmilk and Thump for their ability to seamlessly incorporate the mix of styles that MARGED suits so well – notably hip hop, wavy future R&B and electronic pop – and their collective portfolio includes collaborations with Son Lux, Louis The Child and Annabel Jones.

‘3 Times’ accentuates the feminist narrative of MARGED’s music, and with a vision and purpose for her art clearly demonstrated, the South-London based artist looks to stimulate and inspire at her upcoming live performance this month…have a listen.

Album Review: The Introduction – Zoe and Zara

Since appearing on NEW LEASE MUSIC with their single ‘Get Up Now’ last January, my mind would sometimes wonder on the whereabouts of twin sisters ZOE & ZARA. A few week ago, my curiosity was quashed when received an email from the duo.

After five years on London’s music scene, the pair decided to start a new chapter on their journey. So after much deliberation, long hours in the studio (which came with tears and near-breakdowns – their words, not mine!) ZOE & ZARA now present their debut album, ‘The Introduction.’

Recorded at The Blue Studio in Dalston (my hometown!), ‘The Introduction’  displays a delightful journey of Jazz (modern and from the golden era), old school soul and neo soul alternating between the down right funky and the ambient/easy listening.

The flood of tears and near breakdowns definitely paid off –  their neo-soul signature is more rich and refined (compared to their previous releases). The sisters’ venture into other genres by far didn’t disappoint. Their soothing vocals in fourth effort ‘Hey Sir’ were well suited to the golden jazz/big band/rat pack combo.

After reading the review, I think you guys know how I feel about this album. All there’s left say is – ZOE & ZARA, I salute you!

Check out the album and song recommendations below:

Must Listens: Weather Is Golden, Autumn Afternoon, Butterfly, Talk About It

New Music Video: Blessings – Thugz SNE

Hailing from Wednesbury, West Midlands is THUGZ SNE and his brand new visuals for his 2015 track, simply entitled ‘Blessings’.

Sampling from Jaded Edge’s hit ‘Walked Outta Heaven’, this young emcee gives thanks to the big man above (GOD, just in case you’re wondering) for all the blessing he receives – even though he didn’t recognise them at first hand!

‘Blessing’ is taken from THUGZ SNE‘s 14-track album, ‘Streets 2 Tha Studio’, available on iTunes…but before you head off, check out the visual to this smooth slammer.

Song of the Day: Let Me Be – Reppy Hustle

REPPY HUSTLE has been part of the huge influx of talented rappers the UK has seen within the last 18 months, each fighting for their own slice of the pie and notable success. With a clear determination, visible through his consistent video output across key influencer platforms including GRM Daily and Link Up TV, Reppy has proven himself to be one of the key newcomers and is now making his transition from the underground to the notable ‘one to watch’ stomping ground.

Latest release ‘Let Me Be’ is a well-rounded tune with all of the trimmings, giving a taster of what REPPY HUSTLE is really capable of in his music. A harmonious instrumental is satisfying on the ears, whilst the deep bass adds just the right kick of spice and movement to the mix. Reppy rides out with fluency as his bars and flow meander across the verses before hitting out a big song-a-long hook that is set to become a summer favourite.

Previous records include ‘You Were Acting’ and ‘Council Block Boy’, which shows a harder edge to the flourishing rapper yet, both hold his ability to create proper ‘records’, rather than throw away tunes, at their core. Check him out online and get tuned in and turned to REPPY HUSTLE