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Titillating between aggressiveness and gentleness; violence and peace; roughness and elegance, Lous reveals herself with an open heart through the delicacy of her raw feelings. Without any filter, she expresses the duality of life and its nuances. How love is so close to hate, how joy can become pain in a second and how the loneliest moments can happen in the most crowded places. ‘Dilemme’ is the first track from Lous and The Yakuza’s forthcoming debut album, produced by El Guincho.
After last year’s brilliant ‘Ginger Juice’, Switzerland based rapper Makala has become inseparable from Varnish La Piscine who produced his highly anticipated debut album ‘Radio Suicide’. Encompassing a dirty yet sensual funk aesthetic, the two Swiss acolytes celebrate an hybrid and refreshing sound that resonates wonderfully on each track. The MC, of Congolese origin, whose name means “embers” in lingala, delivers punchy rhymes and bewitching flows on retro yet modern moods. The Superwak Clique member displays and cultivates his unique sound with ease… and it suits him well.
Founder of the Foufoune Palace collective, French based artist Luidji has shared his highly anticipated debut album titled ‘Tristesse Business: Saison 1’. Comprised of seventeen deep and introspective tracks which serve as the follow up to 2015’s ‘Mécanique des fluides’, the record is another insight into the artist’s groovy sounds that touch on love and difficult relationships. To mirror his evolution, the Parisian rapper imagines a character drowning into water and trying get his head out of it. As suggested by the siren lying by the rapper’s side on the album’s cover, an aquatic universe is hypnotising listeners’ ears from start to finish.
Loud, the MC from Montreal reveals a very convincing and faithful piece in the form of ‘Médalilles’ where his melancholic intonations are accompanied by sharp punchlines. Now that the excitement of the beginnings has passed, the young man seems quite overwhelmed, almost already exhausted by the world and events that now surround him. Loud returns this year with a brand new album that allows him to further serve as the ambassador of French-speaking Canadian rap status. The successor to the unmissable ‘Une année record’ is named ‘Tout ça pour ça’ and will be released on May 24th.
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.
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.
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.
French artist Zed Yun Pavorotti’s ‘Septembre’ tells the story of a child-adult or an adult-child. It’s a succession of images related to childhood, a confused speech that, by its confusion, tends to show the violence that falls free on a child when he must kill himself to renounce his innocence. Zed Yun Pavorotti delivers a number tinged with melancholy and depressive emotions with the abstract nature of his music adding to its mysticism. While trying to dive into the mind of the rapper from Saint-Etienne, the audience discovers the world of a big child, somewhere between reality and fiction, between concrete and stars.
Enchantée Julia has a voice that is delicate and graceful with a sensual touch. On ’45 tours’, she offers a melodious and retro yet refreshing soul track that is full of sweetness and memories. Assisted by Prince Waly, she transports the audience to the 90’s. With ’45 tours’, the intriguing singer from the South of France and the Big Budha Cheez member deliver a fervid languorous ballad about an impossible love affair between a drug dealer and his charming client.
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Parisian based artist Ehla brings her soulful, silky voice to a stirring upbeat instrumentation on ‘L’Antidote’, which is co-produced by Enzo Serra. The French pop vocalist channels the 90’s wave back through a groovy track that is full of hope. Combining nostalgic vibes with a modern electronic touch, the singer creates her very own DIY sound which is brimming with an infectious energy. Serving as the first single of her forthcoming new album, ‘L’Antidote’ is a brilliant taste of what’s to come from the singer.
The word “Mou”, means “nonchalant” in French. Nonchalant but not lazy, Mou redefines the codes of rap and French chanson. Putting his oar in, with the existing French wave, he navigates between genres with a touch of humour. With a wheedling and often hypnotic sound, Mou soothes and relaxes but never forgets to entertain using the clichés of rap to distort them and offers a well-needed dose of love, softness and altruism. This is ever present throughout his latest offering ‘Royal Calin’ which dropped last November; a six track project which features stand out singles such as ‘Cha-Cha’ and the groove-inflected ‘Croissants’.
Dani Terreur invites you travel through his very own heart on ‘Etoile du Kashmir’, a dreamlike electro-pop effort that evokes beautiful summer nights pursuing hedonistic quests. Between artificial pleasures and passionate love, the Parisian artist tends towards an absolute fantasy of romance while being caught up by a very modern cynicism.
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France’s Ash is a mysterious figure. Notoriously elusive, his scarce interviews can be counted on the fingers of one hand, as he would rather express himself through his music. The Strasbourg rapper has a confident and intriguing voice and a distinctive brand of melancholy poetry. On ‘Score’, he abandons the “Kidd” he used to be as he nonchalantly delivers a smooth, detached effort.
Brussels trio L’Or du Commun are gathering momentum. “Sur ma vie”, the second effort from their forthcoming album ‘Sapiens’ scheduled to release this fall, sees Loxley, Primero and Swing deliver an inspirational message of manifesting ambitions and achieving success. The Belgian group is steadily developing their sound, with lively flows, sharp bars and an uninhibited sense of humour that will no doubt give them the keys to their own success.
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French duo Terrenoire take their name from the Saint-Etienne district in which they grew up. On their debut EP, the duo bewitchingly tells the story of their odyssey to the capital, “the City” as they call it, alongside the irrepressible attraction that brings them back to their hometown. The two brothers Raphaël and Théo chase their utopian “Black Paradiso”, as they elegantly explore their childhood through surreal poesy and moving productions between electronic hip-hop and French chanson.