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Raghav Meattle, a singer-songwriter from Mumbai released his debut album ‘Songs From a Matchbox’ through a crowd funded campaign in June 2018. Being influenced by artists such as Jack Johnson, John Mayer and George Ezra, the 26 year old describes his music as “vocal first”. Although his vocals and the acoustic guitar take centre stage, the artist has adapted an all round approach by also giving emphasis to the lyrics and melodies.
Bagging one of the semi-finalist positions at Season 2 of ‘The Stage’ – India’s first reality show dedicated to music, Raghav was also nominated for the Radio City Freedom Awards under Best Pop Artist category. With a folksy and country setting, his graceful vocal delivery and heart warming lyrics touch across different topics – from his frustration of the constant chatter at bars during a live performance to the Tinder culture and his take on relationships. The album has been co-produced by Zain Calcuttawala and mastered by Frank Arkwright from Abbey Road Studios, London.
Few projects stand the test of time, many fade away as easily as they came, but Mizan K’s ‘Dark Blue’ EP which dropped back in 2015, that’s not the case. The New York based singer, songwriter and producer’s poignant and poetic lyricism, soothing vocals and sophisticated production shine from opener ‘Looking For’ to the thought-provoking closer ‘7 Billion’. With ‘Dark Blue’, Mizan K captures the essence of love, life and loss and in turn, has created a body of work that is truly timeless and special.
Consider yourself introduced to London/Leicester based singer, songwriter and producer ARUN, whose latest single ‘Y.D.E.K’ (which stands for You Don’t Even Know) is an absolute blast. From the moment you hit play, ARUN throws you into a whirlwind of sounds from twinkling keys to a dazzling brassy section all driven by a superb bass-heavy beat to create the perfect backdrop for that magnificent voice. An infectious track if ever there was one, ‘Y.D.E.K.’ is one of those tracks that you will instantly put you in the best of moods from the moment you press play.
Pardafash (Sandhya Visvanathan) is a graphic designer and illustrator who moonlights as a vocalist-producer and songwriter. Previously part of a band called Machli, meshing together electronic beats and samples from Indian films, her current solo live project is an interpretation of protest music through a combination of songs that are stories and spoken word monologues.‘Dark Chocolate’ is a love song that tells a story about the nuances of friendship between two people. The narrator of the song is besotted with and trying to be there for a friend through an abortion thereby marking a progression of their relationship and intimacy.
Austin ‘Tay’ Iornongu Iwar aka Tay Iwar describes his music as “Afro-Fusion”, and quite frankly, there’s no better way to describe it. With his debut album ‘GEMINI’ (out via Soulection) just around the corner, the Nigerian based artist has shared ‘HOW’, a breezy and super smooth cut. Produced by DoOzyBeatz#5HVNNID, the track boasts a powerful and slick beat which serves as the perfect backdrop for Iwar’s sensational vocals to work their magic.
Following up last month’s ‘Restart’, London based singer-songwriter Szjerdene has shared ‘Rain’, another sparkling slice of electronic-pop taken from her forthcoming ‘TRACE’ EP. Spearheaded by a powerful electronic beat sprinkled with delicate synths and a serene string section, it’s Szjerdene’s pristine voice that rises above and shines brighter than ever. Piercing through with such clarity, Szjerdene’s voice effortlessly rides the wave of the energetic production as she sings about the overwhelming and numbing emotions that arise from falling in love.
Spanish musician, composer and singer Isabel Fernández Reviriego creates lush soundscapes that fill your soul to the brim with emotion under the moniker of Aries. That’s exactly the case with ‘Un Gran Puente’, a glistening track which is lifted from her forthcoming fourth studio album ‘Juramento Mantarraya’. Laden with warming guitar melodies and swirling electronics, ‘Un Gran Puente’ shines even brighter with Aries’ soft and comforting vocals which take the track new heights.
Bristol based band Cousin Kula’s latest single ‘Brain Abroad’ is a sun-soaked nugget of gold – one that transports you to a dream state of tropical, sandy beaches. Everything from the twinkling production – packed with groovy guitars and sensational synths – to those mesmerising vocals channel the band’s psych-pop sound. Lifted from their forthcoming second EP (which of out later this), ‘Brain Abroad’ is a brilliant taste of what’s to come from the six-piece band.
Prince Waly, who makes up half of the group Big Buddha Cheez, is a true storyteller. As he keeps saying: he was bottle-fed to American cinema, something that is ever present when listening to his music. On ‘BO Y Z’, the Montreuil artist pushes the boundaries of his music. Nineties imagery, a cinematic tone and a fantasy of the ubiquitous gangster are the three constants that define his universe. The 9-track record features contributions from various quality guests such as Tengo John, TripleGo, Loveni, Alpha Wann, Enchantée Julia and Feu! Chatterton.
Acoustic singer-songwriter Ramya Pothuri made a departure from her signature folk and R&B blend to a long awaited foray into neo-soul with her latest single ‘Summer’. A self-taught Mumbai based musician, the finger style guitarist with an expansive repertoire released her first independent EP of original music titled ‘We Never Left’ and promoted it through a series of living room gigs around the city. With a fresh approach to her musical treatment she trades the acoustic guitar for a heavily treated telecaster, and despite the satisfying drum production, retains her hold over the listener by writing lyrics for the contemporary soul. The song deals with the feeling of longing; a bittersweet emotion that leaves us wanting for someone that may not be right, but even in heartache makes it always feel like summer.
Los Angeles-based, Baltimore-raised artist Dijon has shared ‘Sci Fi 1’, his charming debut EP which features the previously released singles ‘Cannonball’ and ‘Drunk’. Over the course of the EP’s seven songs, Dijon explores a variety of sounds, but one constant remains – his soaring, fragile, powerful, heartwarming voice. Whether it’s those serene tones that are accompanied by gentle guitar chords on ‘Dog Eyes’ or the distorted delivery on ‘Bracelet’, Dijon’s ability to capture emotion and convey a narrative is second to none – ‘Sci Fi 1’ is a gift that keeps on giving from start to finish.
Varnish La Piscine, rapper, producer and member of SuperWak Clique (Di-Meh, Slimka, Makala…) delivers an astounding audio-visual experience in the form of ‘Le Regard qui Tue’. Serving as the follow up to ‘Escape (F + R Prelude)’, which already demonstrated his virtuosity, the Swiss artist returns with a very conceptual project; on funky dark productions he unveils an audio book telling a B-movie-like gangster story taking place in 60’s Monaco starring Varnish’s alias Inspector Sidney Franco. He is joined by rapper Rico Tha Kid playing the journalist Angel de Jesùs and the sensual Bonnie Banane aka Gabrielle Solstice, a criminal who literally kills with her eyes. With this new record, Varnish La Piscine has released one of the most original projects of the year so far.
Toronto based five-piece Jaunt share their shimmering new single ‘On Your Mind’, their first taste of new music since last year’s ‘Cue’ EP. An absolutely blissful and dreamy affair, the track’s sparkling instrumentation serves as the perfect complement for those soft vocals to traipse across with ease – offering a comforting hug. With ‘On Your Mind’, Jaunt have created one of those songs where you can’t help but lose yourself to the sound – forgetting everything and just letting yourself be taken away by the music.
Loveni has dropped gem after gem in the past few months. After Ichon and Myth Syzer, it is the turn of the third “Bon Gamin” member to go solo with debut project ‘Une nuit avec un bon gamin’. The eight-track project encompasses a laissez-faire aesthetic with its vibrant and anthemic tunes. Once again Loveni hit the mark by keeping things simple and effective with an atmosphere that transports you into a cold and beautiful, sometimes romantic nocturnal mood.
Danish newcomer Alex Holtti’s voice contains both power and vulnerability. On his brilliant debut single ‘Bad Guy’, Holtti touches upon complicated relationships where non-exclusivity becomes mixed emotions and one part ends up as the bad guy. The lyrics and delivery of the message conveys honesty accompanied by a grandiose beat and production.
Danny lived his childhood in the USA, where he formed a band, which did not fare badly for his young age. After moving to the small city of Cuenca, Ecuador, at the age of fourteen, a tragedy occurred. Danny’s best friend committed suicide leaving a broken heart and all their undocumented musical projects blank. After a long recovery, Danny learns to record with an old laptop. It is then, at the age of sixteen, when Nockah is born. After recording some homemade demos, Danny meets musicians of similar influences who were attached to the project. Alongside Agustin, Daniel, David and Luis, Danny records his first homemade single, which attracts the attention of their first followers, and classified their sound as spatial indie core. A few days ago, after several months of production and editing, the music video of ‘Seres’ was released, exceeding the expectations of the growing Nockah fan group.
‘O.G’ is the new title track from Cherries’ upcoming and highly anticipated mixtape with the same name (will be released in the near future on her own label ‘Araweelo’). O.G. is a Swedish acronym for ‘Orten Gäri’ (in English ‘Suburb girl’) and the song is an anthem for girls who’ve made something out from nothing.
The playful track, which is produced by talented Swedish producer Filip Hunter, shimmers with a touch of old school, down tempo R&B that’ll make everyone move.
Cherrie is proof that music is an international language – she’s brought attention to music lovers all around the world with only singing in Swedish. One of her biggest ambitions is to unite the Somali diaspora around the globe and acknowledging that you can become what you want if you have the strive and ambition to succeed. Cherrie is here to inspire and radiate positive vibes, inspiring us to rule our own destiny and to be proud of ourselves.
Boston born, Nairobi raised, New York based artist emawk’s newest single ‘Later’ is a breathtaking affair. The minimalist production creates a spacious and swelling atmosphere, one that envelopes and draws you in as emawk’s mesmerising voice carries you deeper. Each layer of instrumentation sees the track blossom with each note a moment of magic. With ‘Later’, emawk has concocted something truly special.
Bergen based singer/songwriter Shikoswe first entered the foray with ‘The Hour of the Body’, the stunning debut EP which showcased her magical voice and ardent songwriting. With a firm fragility, Shikoswe’s voice is soft and comforting – and those golden tones are exactly what shine on latest single ‘Two Heads in a Room’, a post-Valentine’s Day cut soundtracked by heartwarming guitars and a spirited beat.With more new music on the way, there’s a lot to get excited about when it comes to Shikoswe.
Melbourne based multi-instrumentalist Yeo delights with his first single of the year in the form of the bouncy ‘Restless’. Packed with groove, the vibrant atmospherics of the song are backed up brilliantly by Yeo’s soothing tones which ride the way of those funk-filled guitar lines. Effortlessly blurring the lines of electronic, pop, R&B and soul, ‘Restless’ is another testament to Yeo’s talents as a singer, songwriter and producer.