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Having already impressed with the explosive ‘TNT’ earlier this year, London based rapper NAYANA IZ (pronounced “eye-zee”) unveils her incredible EP ‘Smoke & Fly’. A part of Lava La Rue’s Nine8 collective, NAYANA IZ’s sound is refreshing and exciting and that’s exactly the case with the eight-track project. Opening with the soothing inflections of ‘DEAR MAMA’, ‘Smoke & Fly’ wonderfully showcases her immense versatility as a vocalist, rapper and songwriter; effortlessly alternating from gentle, delicate tones to the fiercest flow you’ll hear all year.
North London based MC and COLORS alumni Little Simz unveils new EP ‘Drop 6’ which was written and recorded whilst in lockdown. The project follows up last year’s Mercury Prize-nominated album ‘GREY Area’ and features production from the likes of Kal Banx, OTG, Kadz, St Francis Hotel and more as well as an appearance from singer Alewya on closing cut ‘where’s my lighter’. As is expected with everything Simz puts out, ‘Drop 6’ is another fiery collection of songs that showcase the rapper’s exceptional songwriting and ruthless flow.
West London based rapper Life teams up with Lord Apex on his explosive and emotive new single about friendship called ‘Cheque On It’. Dedicated to that one friend we all have “that’s always smiling, the one that’s always happy”, ‘Cheque On It’ sees the two MCs work their magic over a super slick beat. The track closes off with a softer and deeper touch which was inspired by the passing of Life’s close friends due to COVID-19. Check out the empowering and raw single here, and keep an eye out for Life’s forthcoming (as yet untitled) project which is out later this year.
London based rapper Ultra)_eko shares ‘Kitchen Sink Dramas’, a powerful six-track project that packs a punch from start to finish. Throughout the course of the EP, Ultra_eko showcases his versatility as both a performer and songwriter, navigating hard-hitting and powerful beats tinged with gentle piano chords and sophisticated orchestration with ease. There’s a certain rawness to ‘Kitchen Sink Dramas’, one that resonates with you from opening track ‘The Seventh Day” to closer ‘Twisted’.
British-Pakistani rapper/actor Riz Ahmed unleashes ‘The Long Goodbye’, his break-up letter to a post-Brexit Britain. Riddled with break-up advice from the likes of Mindy Kaling, Yara Shahidi, Mahershala Ali and more, ‘The Long Goodbye’ sees the West Londoner set the scene wonderfully with the poetic opener ‘The Breakup (Shikwa)’. Throughout the record, Riz works his lyrical magic over fiery beats penned by fellow Swet Shop Boys band mate and producer Redinho; coupling sharp verses and raw narratives on standout cuts like ‘Toba Tek Singh’, ‘Where You From’ and ‘Mogambo’.
Consider yourself introduced to London based artist On Man, whose warped and twisted new single ‘Squares And Triangles’ is an absolute stunner. Encompassing a moody, atmospheric beat that mutates and shifts over its duration, the striking single is taken to another level as On Man’s clever wordplay permeates through. With an EP on the way, ‘Squares And Triangles’ is the perfect taste of what’s to come from this intriguing artist.
London based producer p-rallel teams up with Same Wise on ‘Charmer’, the latest single from his forthcoming EP titled ‘In Due Time’ which is out next month. A tribute to the jungle music that his dad played around the house whilst he was growing up, the song boasts an intense and rapid beat as House of Pharaohs member Same Wise delivers some slick verses. If ‘Charmer’ is anything to go by, ‘In Due Time’ is set up to be a must listen.
London based rapper, producer and BBC Sound of 2019 winner proves why he’s one of the most exciting voices around with the release of ‘Endorphins’. The twelve-track project, which follows up last year’s ‘Spaceman’ tape, is another brilliant showcase of Octavian’s unique flow and intriguing sound. With contributions from the likes of Jessie Ware, Skepta, Theophilus London, ABRA and more, ‘Endorphins’ is a trippy, melodious affair boasting the Londoner’s superb songwriting and raspy, calculated delivery.
London outfit 404 are made up of Bathwater, Silvertongue, Eliot, Devenny and Sonny, and their debut single ‘Fearful’ is a blistering affair. A sharp commentary on modern society, the track boasts a fierce and energetic vibe whilst encompassing a raw edge through its songwriting and production. Serving as a perfect introduction to the quintet’s unique sound, ‘Fearful’ marks the first single from their forthcoming debut EP which is out next month.
South London trio 2U4U comprise of rappers Cal and My Rugema along with producer Ranbir, who together, create jazz-inflected Hip-Hop tracks that boast clever storytelling with sophisticated instrumentation. Last summer saw the release of their incredible debut full length project ‘Butter’, an eight track exploration of past romances, experiences, family, religion, identity and everything else in between. From the bombastic production on debut single ‘Kings of Africa (Tell Me)’ to the sparkling atmospherics of openers ‘Gurl’ and ‘Home’, ‘Butter’ marries an amalgam of influences that intertwine classic Hip Hop beats with jazz and neo-soul inflections to soundtrack their insightful narratives.