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G.O.O.D. Music signed artist and COLORS alum 070 Shake kicks off her musical output of the year with two brilliant new singles in the form of ‘Nice to Have’ and ‘Morrow’. On the latter, the North Bergen native channels a raw energy that strikes through with her gritty vocal performance accompanying the murky, bass-heavy soundscape.Enjoy the single up top and if you haven’t already, check out 070 Shake’s COLORS performance of ‘I Laugh When I’m With Friends But Sad When I’m Alone’ here.
Boston based rapper Latrell James is a playful poet, and his latest single ‘Tracphone’ (a pay-as-you-go mobile) is the perfect example of this. Likewise, previously heard single ‘Okay’, ‘Today’ and ‘Mona Lisa Bonet’ encompass a similar aesthetic whilst maintaining an element of freshness throughout. On ‘Tracphone’, James’ lackadaisical flow and delivery circumvent the deeper messages that line his wordplay as he raps about the shape shifting landscape in his life.
Ever since she introduced herself with the mesmerising ‘S P A C E’ a few years ago, New York based singer, songwriter and producer Amber Mark has continually blurred genres from around the globe to create a sound that’s entirely her own. Her two stunning EPs ‘3:33AM’ and ‘Conexão’ wonderfully embody Mark’s refreshing sounds and latest cut ‘Mixer’ continues that very trend. Glorious guitars and a sharp drumbeat are accompanied by twinkling piano chords to give Mark the platform to lay down her silky smooth vocals.
With his roots in Assam, North-east India and his hustle now based in Brooklyn; Jitwam. draws his influence from a vast array of artists including but not limited to RD Burman, Moondog, The Velvet Underground, Jay Dilla, Moodymann, Asha Bhosle and Madlib to name a few. Soulful sounds within the realm of indie psychedelic rock and hip-hop, his fluidity as an artist fuses disparate styles and ideas into a world that is truly unique and his own. ‘Temptations’ with the heart felt vocals is his latest single from upcoming album ‘Honeycomb’ to be released on Tartelet Records which encapsulates his diverse upbringing in India and Australia, before living in monasteries in Thailand, orphanages in South Africa, and finally the US, where he currently resides.
Dripping with groovy guitars and sizzling electronics, the latest offering from L.A. based singer/songwriter Tepu is an absolute blast. The blistering production in ‘flip a coin’, brings to mind the lush soundscapes of late 90’s and early 2000’s R&B jams a la Justin Timberlake with a refreshing twist. Of course, Tepu’s gloriously smooth vocals add an extra layer of luxe as they weave their way through the ever-growing soundscape. Serving as the follow up to last year’s mesmerising ‘Teri Awaz’, Tepu strikes a chord once again with ‘flip a coin’.
Since introducing himself with his stunning debut EP ‘Heaven’s Only Wishful’ last year, Toronto based singer/songwriter MorMor has shared ‘Outside’, his first release of 2019. Taking a leaf from the EP’s soft and delicate atmospherics, the new single sees his soothing tones sweep across the slightly more upbeat soundscape. The follow up to last December’s ‘Pass The Hours’, ‘Outside’ is another poetic affair that touches on MorMor’s feelings of isolation and alienation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sometimes the simplest of songs are the ones that resonate with you the most, and that’s exactly the case with ‘Breathe’, the stunning new single from New York based duo CUTTS (Lillian Cutts and Peter Bonaventure). The emotive ballad presents a more subdued sound compared to the duo’s previous releases, yet once again, it’s vocalist Lillian Cutts’ soaring tones that steal the show here. Wonderfully intimate and enchanting, ‘Breathe’ blossoms into a swirling vortex of a distant love affair as the ardent lyrics and gentle composition come together to create something truly special.
Seventeen year-old rapper and producer Aaron May proved that he’s one of the most exciting rapper to come out of Houston with ‘Ride’, his powerful debut single from last year. On his latest offering ‘Let Go’, May lays down his clever wordplay over a jazz-inflected, self-produced beat that boasts a killer bass. With just these two singles, Aaron May has proved himself as a refreshing voice in an otherwise saturated landscape.
Every now and then a voice comes along that simply takes your breath away – that’s exactly the case with Brooklyn based singer-songwriter ZSELA and her sensational debut single ‘Noise’. Carried by its simple yet heavenly instrumentation courtesy of Daniel Aged from inc. no world, unsurprisingly, it’s ZSELA’s gorgeously smooth and haunting vocals that steal the show here. Utterly enchanting and comforting, ‘Noise’ is a stunner that soothes your soul from start to finish.
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.
Rising from the underbelly of Virginia’s dystopian suburbia, Ms Proper experiments with a unique synthesis of sweet talking R&B and filthy mouthed Trap, all at once spouting melodic insults and adlibs of forgiveness in her signature, tender vengeance. Reflected in the blend of fierce low end production and smooth chords from collaborator LA Chase, her song ‘Wicked’ is a slow wind of whispered secrets. This month she drops her latest project ‘The Aquarius Tape’ that addresses everything from old lovers across the spectrum of the zodiac to her moving to Los Angeles with nothing but $5 in her pocket and a ruthless dedication to her pursue her dreams.
Altoparlante is a music project formed by Adrián Rentería and Ernesto Natarén that originates from Mexico City. Founded in 2017, the duo’s sound is mainly composed of Latin rhythms and harmonies fused with electronic intonations. Ernesto, who studied percussion in Cuba, is in charge of the melodic and rhythmic aspect of the music, contributing the “organic” element, while Adrián, an audio engineering enthusiast, takes charge of the electronic and technical side of the project.
Influences range from the funk of James Brown, through traditional Cuban music, to electronic music in general. The musical constant in the songs is the use of Latin percussive instruments (conga, yembé, batá, timbaes), metal section (saxophone and trumpet) and analogue synthesizers to create the harmonies. All of which can be heard in their latest single, the smooth and groove-inflected ‘Ando Chilango’.
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.
Montreal based artist Shay Lia is one of the most exciting R&B voices to come out of Canada. Her slew of enticing singles wonderfully accentuate the rising singer’s mesmerising and velveteen voice whilst production from the likes of Kaytranada and Sango offer a slick finesse. From the funk-filled bounce of “Funky Thang” to the spirited atmospherics of “The Cycle”, the singer showcases her incredible versatility as a singer/songwriter. Shay Lia’s latest offering ‘Feels’, produced by Stwo, is another gorgeous soul searching number which serves as her most intimate and personal release to date.
Based in Minneapolis, Lizzo is a playfully fierce wordsmith and dynamically diverse artist. Practising powerful versatility, she bangs out unconventional bars and in the next breath, breaks to belt out a classic bridge. Lizzo is responsible for lyrical revolutions in the modern rap world that most might first recognise from groups like Grrrl Party, but she’s since set a steadily burning fire under her own “Big Grrrl Small World” solo career. She spans genres, styles and aesthetic personas from funk infused battle raps to pop inspired ballads and soulful glam slams like her latest single, ‘Juice’.
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.