Pardafash – Dark Chocolate

March 18

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.

Tay Iwar – HOW

March 16

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.

Dijon – Sci Fi 1

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.

Loveni – Une nuit avec un bon gamin

March 4

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.

Alex Holtti – Bad Guy

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.

emawk – Later

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.

Elias Boussnina – Shameboy

February 20

Of Danish-Tunisian descent, Elias Boussnina has just released his debut EP ’Shameboy’, which features contributions from UnoTheActivist and COLORS alum Lil Halima. The destructive impact of infatuation and addiction, whether to something or someone, is a reoccurring theme throughout ’Shameboy’. Elias’ hip-hop infused, soulful vocals are dropped over dramatic electro-synth beats which result in an irresistible brand of R&B that draws us in from the offset.

Zed Yun Pavarotti – Septembre

February 15

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.

Sid Sriram – Entropy

Chennai-born, Bay Area-based singer, songwriter and producer Sid Sriram’s music oscillates between progressive R&B and soul with classical Indian (Carnatic) influences. His long-awaited debut album ‘Entropy’, which features previously released single ‘It Isn’t True’ and ‘6 weeks’, is packed with gems that exhibit Sriram’s poetic songwriting, heartwarming voice and magnificent production.

Peppered with moments of spoken word magic, ‘Entropy’ depicts stories of love, family, identity, loss and heartbreak in a way that’s both refreshing and powerful. From having his ‘Eyes Open’ in the first track to seeing ‘Limitless’ in the closer, Sriram brings ‘Entropy’ full circle, leaving the listener content and enlightened.

Josué – High

February 7

Josué shows us a glimpse of a whole new facet of his wide artistic palette with ‘High’, which is much lighter and smoother than his previous releases. The production, which is penned by A2H, encapsulates a haunting haze, creating the perfect backdrop for the French rapper to deliver his exquisite lines. The track is part of his first project ‘Amen’, an extremely concise, diverse and effective five-track EP.

Ateyaba – Lgbiri

February 2

Ateyaba, named after his grandfather is a rapper based in Montpelier, France whose hard-hitting and ruthless songwriting is second to none. After nearly a year of silence and the incessant postponements of the release of his highly anticipated sophomore album ‘Ultraviolet’, the avant-garde artist delivers one of his most uncompromising pieces of art in the form of ‘Lgbiri’ (produced by Notinbed). Nonchalantly moon-walking between dizzying production while laying down scathing punchlines and boundless flow variations, Atyeba goes in harder than ever on this brilliant new track.

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Dua Saleh – Nūr

Minneapolis based multidisciplinary performing artist Dua Saleh showcases her unique and eclectic sound on debut EP ‘Nūr’ which is executive produced by Psymun. The five track project boasts the newcomer’s poetic wordplay, intriguing flow and subtly smooth voice over bold and captivating soundscapes. From the haunting, self-produced opener ‘Sugar Mama’ to the equally arresting ‘Warm Pants’ and ‘Kickflip’, Dua Saleh effortlessly tackles everything from politics and gender identity to self expression, proving why she’s one of the most exciting creative voices around.

Sam Rui – Solid Gold (ft. LXX & High4 20)

January 21

Sam Rui has established a name for herself in Singapore over the short span of two years through her incredible covers and spellbinding original material. The singer/songwriter has performed in numerous local music festivals, collaborated with international acts such as Alextbh, and has created a distinctive, sultry sound. In ‘Solid Gold’, Rui teams up with LXX & High4 20 and encapsulates the essence of R&B whilst igniting a perfect, late night mood. The track wonderfully sets the scene perfectly for her forthcoming sophomore album which is set to be released later this year.

Selma Judith – Inner Thigh

January 19

From the thriving area of Copenhagen called Nørrebro, you find a young woman named Selma Judith. Having worked with the likes of MØ, Vera and Aaron and Bryce Dessner of The National, the singer/songwriter has already drawn plenty of attention at home and abroad with her previously released singles “Kind of Lonely” and “I’m A Mess”. Her latest single “Inner Thigh” – which is aptly tattooed on the singer’s inner thigh – follows the same sonic path with its minimal, lo-fi R&B sounds carrying Judith’s enticing vocal lead.

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BLESSED – BEAMIN’

January 13

Sydney based artist BLESSED first burst onto the scene with the spirited ‘One And Only’ back in 2016 which served as the perfect introduction to his eclectic alternative sound. Since then, the artist has released a slew of equally impressive tracks along with a stellar EP in the form ‘Love Letters’ which features stand out cuts like “Insanity” and “Sorrows”. Fast forward to 2019 and BLESSED has set the goal of releasing a brand new song every Sunday (#BLESSEDSUNDAYS), the first of which is the energetic ‘BEAMIN’’, a gritty guitar heavy cut which perfectly blends the worlds of Hip Hop with an alternative rock edge.

Mou – Royal Câlin

January 12

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’.

Shan Vincent de Paul – Heaven (Ft. Navz-47)

January 7

Sri Lankan-born, Toronto-based rapper Shan Vincent de Paul teams up with fellow native Navz-47 on his smooth and mellow new single ‘Heaven’. Having released two spectacular albums in the form of ‘Saviors’ and ‘Trigger Happy Heartbreak’ in 2016 and 2017 respectively, the sideways member’s music touches on a range of topics from politics and family to identity and love through his powerful lyricism and thought provoking music videos. With the LA+CH produced ‘Heaven’, Navz-47 takes centre stage as she sings/raps in Tamil over the lush soundscape whilst Shan Vincent de Paul offers up his own smooth vocals for the chorus.

Zoya – Closer to Closure

January 6

India-born, California-raised singer-songwriter, Zoya is carving a home for herself in the Indie pop world. Graduating from the world renowned Berklee College of Music with a music business degree, one can notice the sincerity and truthfulness in her work as she unmasks her conscience in her confessional songwriting and orchestral arrangements. Her music encompasses a diverse variation inspired by her country of birth, connecting North Indian traditional music through her captivating vocal style merged with deep stirring harmonies, emphasising her wanderlust nature. With three albums to her name, she’s gained recognition from heavyweights such as A.R. Rahman, as well as touring worldwide alongside various international acts. ‘Closer to Closure’ hails from her Afterglow Single Series where she released a new track every ten days – the song encapsulates the idea of finding a sense of closure in life with the unspoken issues and unfinished relationships she formed whilst living a dual life between India and America.

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LOSTINSAVANNA – Red Coupe

January 4

LOSTINSAVANNA (aka Bow James) is a rapper, producer, graphic designer and self proclaimed “art enthusiast and creative extraordinaire” from Nairobi, Kenya. A member of the O.D.D. Society, the rapper is highly involved in the East African creative sector through his audio/visual collaborations with the new wave of indie artists on a mission to shape the future of contemporary African culture. Experimenting with a fusion of psychedelic trap, LOSTINSAVANNA just dropped his debut project ‘Frequency ’95’ which he describes as “an exploration into the sonic world of chaos and euphoria” and features the fiery ‘Red Coupe’. The track’s pounding instrumentation, courtesy of Bow James and Adam Dire, serves as the perfect backdrop for the rapper’s spirited delivery and fiery flow.

Ros – Peaches n Cream

December 30

Ros (‘rose’ in Swedish) is a rising singer from the south of Sweden who’s voice and new wave music has brought her on tour across the country the past months. She started 2018 with the release of her debut EP ‘Woke Up’ which was followed up by her exceptional 10 track album ‘Peaches n Cream’. The album is a collection of super smooth and laid back tracks, brimming with deep and downbeat trap instrumentation with Ros’ smooth voice at the core. Ros has worked with three of Sweden’s hottest producers around: Von Haartman, (who’s produced the most talked about tracks this year with rapper Fricky) By Any Means, and Academics. Ros’ career has rapidly gone from online buzz to a critical acclaim in no time at all – it’s safe to say that you definitely need to remember the name.