EP Review: Summer ’98 – Zee

Hailing from Canada now based in L.A. artist/producer ZEE‘s new EP is definitely a throwback to the late 1990’s, paying homage to hip-hop and R&B of that era. Although this is a nostalgic collection – which evidently draws influences from 90’s R&B heavyweights including Usher, Destiny’s Child and Aaliyah – I couldn’t help but hear some influences of fellow Canadian artist/rapper Drake, particularly in introductory track, ‘Amazing’.

Further along the EP, Zee makes use of samples from some of the R&B classics, such as Kelly Rowland’s/Nelly’s hit ‘Dilemma’, putting a lick of a misty urban/hip-hop bass to the original through fourth effort, ‘All I Need’.

There’s also an air of the late 1980s included in the EP, when Zee put his stamp on Brenda Russell’s classic, ‘Piano In The Dark’ through concluding track, ‘Letting Go’, by dropping a modern R&B/pop version, giving off a summer hazy feel.

Documenting the events of his first summer love (presumably back in the late nineties), Zee encourages us to re-immerse into our most treasured memories – or create new ones – with his feel-good mini collection. Check out the song recommendations and EP below:

Must Listens: Amazing, Crazy Enough, Mean It  

Song of the Day: Stay Focused – BLKGLD

Hailing from Croydon and of Jamaican descent, identical twins Shereen and Sophia aka BLKGLD enchant us with their beautiful and buttery vocals through their debut single, ‘Stay Focused’ out now on all major download/streaming platforms.

The single innately evokes a nostalgic feeling that transports back to the 90s with their effortless fusion of R&B and Dancehall. This irresistible number has slow wine written all over it, and the meandering baseline is mixed in with a tropical xylophone vibe.

With a musical encyclopedia that is rich with the heart and soul of R&B, the girls site Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Celine Dion, Destiny’s Child, TLC,  Boyz 2 Men and Usher  amongst some of their biggest inspirations and influences and their sound marries this together with a contemporary twist. Crediting their seasoned soulful voices to their dad who also sang and often was likened to Nat King Cole himself, it’s no coincidence to why BLKGLD are slaying it.

Cementing their rightful place within the UK music scene and beyond, they have already received co-signs from notable names in dancehall, including Beanie Man and The Fanatix. Their soulful renditions of many classic and future hits have already gained some exciting traction, amassing millions of views across all social media platforms, leading to the duo performing alongside Migos and the late Juice Wrld last summer.

Keeping 100% focused, BLKGLD are ones to watch for 2020…check out the video for their debut below…

Song of the Day: Come Over – Zernell Fontaine (ft RV)

At 22 years old ZERNELL FONTAINE has a musical CV to be impressed by, thanks to his consistently dope R&B drops and his early entry into the music game. Eager to experiment with his sound he is on an unabating journey of musical discovery, meaning we’ve only just scratched the surface of this exciting upcoming talent.

Collaborating with North London rap sensation RV for latest release ‘Come Over’, released by 2ToneRecords/Warner, Zernell Fontaine delivers refreshing R&B alongside all of the elements that make the British Black Music scene so impressive right now. Stepping straight on to the beat creating an instant vibe of a hook before making way for a first weighty verse from RV, the record is dominated in all the right ways by Zernell who balances his melodic ad-libs and backing vocals with RV’s verses, making this the perfect cuffing season anthem.

Working with some of the worlds most renowned R&B hitmakers including Rodney Jerkins, Brian Michael Cox, Harmony (H-Money) Samuels, Angel, Sean Garrett, PRGRSHN (WSTRN) and more, Zernell made his first steps to his professional career at 13 years old, forming a strong foundation which now allows him to flourish artistically. His previous work and collaborations with the likes of Sneakbo pays further homage to his talents, not only vocally but visually too, as his inspirations from R&B legends such as Chris Brown, Usher and Michael Jackson spill into his mesmerising dance filled performances.

Check out ‘Come Over’ below…

New Music Video: Blow: Matt Blvck

After releasing his newest single ‘Blow’ back in May, UK’s next male R&B break-out star, MATT BLVCK has recently dropped the visuals to accompany the catchy classic R&B tune and popular number ‘Nia’ taken from his second EP, ‘After Party’.

Hailing from South London,  MATT BLVCK has received continuous support from official Spotify playlists Spotify & Chill and Slow Jamz for his previous single ‘Nia’, and recent support from the newest Spotify UK RNB playlist for his latest single ‘Blow’

Writing for over three years and recording for over two, the slick soulful contender writes about the build up and breakdown of relationships, love and loss, and his change in focus. ‘Blow’ features a catchy acoustic hook atop a sexy RnB beat paired with Matt’s distinctive vocals which switch from sultry singing to a more urban spoken word.

Creating sexy R&B jams and sitting in a gap that has been missed over the past couple of years, Matt is growing in popularity within the R&B scene whilst paving the way with his own distinctive sound which plays on old school R&B inspired by the likes of Usher, whilst still remaining current and fresh.

Check out the visuals for ‘Blow’ via GRM Daily.

Song of the Day: Elizabeth – Jerhiame

JERHIAME‘s latest single ‘Elizabeth’ earned a well deserved place on today’s hotspot for its atmospheric fusion of electro and R&B with the young newcomer delivering a pretty woeful tale of ‘the one’ who broke his heart…and hoping that karma will catch up with her.

Coming from a musical inclined family, listening to the likes of B.B. King, Michael Jackson and Prince from a very young age, the singer/songwriter from Louisiana released his debut single, ‘Sad Song’ in 2016, which quickly cranked up his fanbase and thousands of streams on Spotify. Released back in February, ‘Elizabeth’ carries on the hype, receiving great reception from several college campuses and earning spots of Spotify playlists.

JERHIAME is currently working on his EP…be sure to look out for that…but for now, witness a star-on-a-rise and check out ‘Elizabeth’.