- United Kingdom
- South Africa
- South Korea
- Puerto Rico
- North America
- United States
- Central America
- Costa Rica
- New Zealand
- Latin America
A2H is no newcomer. Over the course of a career spanning more than a decade he has already proven his skill and versatility many times over. On ‘Nudes’, the first single off his upcoming album ‘L’Amour’, the rapper shares a melodic, passionate ode to receiving intimate pictures, as stirring strings drive Ohleogan’s moving production.
Yangze is a fairly new name on the electronic scene, however the man behind the project, Copenhagen-based producer Jakob Littauer, has been an influential figure within the Danish scene in various different roles prior. A part of Copenhagen’s Escho collective which has released music from artists like Smerz and Iceage, he has also performed live with the likes of Liss & Soleima. As Yangze, Littauer draws on his electronic roots, incorporating pitched up vocals and melodic synths, giving his music an avant-garde feel that keeps the optimal balance between challenging the listener whilst still maintaining a very listenable strand of electro-pop.
In 2016 Mercedes Nasta, former vocalist of Mexican electronic rock band Disco Ruido, undertook her solo adventure. Creating her own downtempo, hypnotic brand of cumbia (the carribean-infused folk music of northern Latin America), Nasta took the reins of the project as she developed her production skills; this, combined with her deep poetry, soft voice and the collaboration of gifted musicians under her direction produced a masterful project inspired by basalt, the form of cold lava from which the album takes its name. ‘Basalto’ is a experiment, record with a soulful, psychedelic touch that whispers a nostalgic and mystical lullaby, exploring a range of themes including architecture, internal transformations and pre-hispanic art.
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Born and raised in the Philippines, Valiant Vermin is a rising star with her own signature, experimental sound. Her recent album, ‘Singles’, radiates its own feminine energy through a distinctive bedroom pop sound infused with electronic synths. Real name Bettina Campomanes, she describes her persona as a “bedroom project by some college chick”; she is now based in New York and currently attends university at Bard College while simultaneously making her mark in the music industry.
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OLNL has been making waves in the Korean hip-hop and RnB sphere, establishing his own fairytale-like world through imaginative lyricism and escapist imagery. Now he’s teamed up with the childlike rapper and producer Cosmic Boy to create a new collaborative project under the name of ‘Areyouchildish’. On their single ‘Merry-go-round’, OLNL’s characteristic slurred pronunciation floats over Cosmic Boys’ uplifting melodic soundscapes, as they lament the immature behaviour of adults.
Sammy & Johnny Bennett hit the Swedish rap scene in spring 2016 when they released the video for the song ”5DF”, and the talk about the two brothers from Gothenburg quickly spread throughout the Scandinavian borders thanks to the duo’s outstanding rhythm and vibe.
Together with local RnB singer Parham Pazooki, they’ve cooked up ’Chans’ – a song about taking a chance on someone you really care for. The twins mix their slick rap flow together with Pazooki’s smooth, intriguing singing voice to create a late-night summer banger.
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21-year-old Azamaan Hoyvoy is carving a niche by applying modern electronic production techniques to influences from RnB, funk, folk & jazz, creating a unique balance of these diverse musical attributes while still maintaining core soulful elements within his material. Currently working on his first EP with the use of vocal harmonies and funk-infused bass lines over minimalistic percussion, Hoyvoy is a member of a burgeoning new generation of Indian artists to watch out for. His single ‘Taking Off’ taps into the wanderlust desires of an individual who travels all over the world in pursuit of spiritual experiences, capturing the emotion with searing vocal intensity supported by a rhythm section focused on boiling funk.
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Josman is on the rise. His latest offering ‘L’Occasion’ continues his upward momentum, following his favorite recipe: Eazy Dew on the beat and Marius Gonzales behind the camera. Once again, the alchemy is at its peak, as the Parisian rapper demonstrates a new panel of flows, flexing his technical ability over old-school style production. The track is the third single from his forthcoming debut album ‘J.O.$’, due September 14th.
Innanet James has been keeping things lowkey for a minute now. Following the breakout success of his 2016 debut project ‘Quebec Place’ and its hit single ‘Summer’, the Maryland rapper has taken his time to perfect his follow-up record, and the 22-year-old does not disappoint with his long-awaited return. ‘Bag’ is an undeniable banger from the first kick drum, as James flows effortlessly over soulful keys and a playful trap percussion infused with a bossa nova rhythm, serving to build the excitement for his forthcoming EP slated to feature the likes of Pusha T, Rexx Life Raj and Mac Ayres.
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Vallerie Muthoni raps with the conviction of legends like Foxy Brown and “Left Eye” Lisa Lopes. Delivering subversive content and controversial quips with a smile, laughs and cracks jokes in a collection of dialects, setting up stories in English before the punchlines come in Swahili, drawing listeners into her youthful world and then hitting them with a wisdom that belies her years. Collaborating on the playful energetic, track “Brown Suga”, producer Kahealbeats brings out the best in Muthoni, demonstrating his ability to enhance and evolve his artists’ vocal delivery as Muthoni finds melodic pockets in his hard-hitting beat. “Brown Suga” is the first release off of Muthoni’s upcoming EP “the Wavey Soul.”
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Tomás Justo delighted listeners this year with his debut solo album ‘Ronco y Bruxo’. A former member of successful acts Onda Vada and Michael Mike, the composer and vocalist moved away from constant touring life to create his most sincere and romantic work to date. In addition to taking care of the bulk of the composition and production of the album’s 11 songs, Justo also handles most of the instrumentation, playing guitar, bass, synthesisers and a range of analog and digital percussion, resulting in a unique blend of electronic folk and progressive pop.
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Korean singer Crush has been establishing a reputation in the contemporary R&B world through his sensual vocal presence. Just in time for the sunshine months, the Seoul based artist served up summer-ready EP ‘Wonderlost’, launching the project as a sequel to last year’s ‘Wonderlust’. While the previous release was a collection of downbeat and calm introspective stories, the latest offering is a stark contrast, filled with lighter melodies and uplifting beats driven by Crush’s mellow vocals. Lead single ‘Cereal’ is an infectiously smooth anthem, with guest support from rapper Zico, one of the most striking characters in Korea’s hip-hop scene through his work with the K-Pop group Block B. The chemistry of these two 27-year-old peers pumps the energy of the track up and exemplifies the country’s exciting and diverse pool of talent.
Sudan-born, Ontario-based A7MD is an artist who deserves to be watched closely. Aside from his archives of releases under the pseudonym Skripter, his new moniker and new sound brings a refreshing, original approach to the contemporary trap sounds that dominate North America’s rap scene. His successful single Zombies, produced by DBLCRSS, boasts a distinctive melodic lilt to his bars, and he is equally comfortable flexing his lyrical skill in the verses as he is delivering a catchy mantra in the chorus; “I only did this for squad, and my only witness is God”.
CRWN is an electronic/hip-hop project by Filipino producer King Puentespina. Since first starting out his music career back in 2013, Puentespina has worked with various talented artists from his country’s local scene, including BP Valenzuela and Curtismith and even released a joint EP with burgeoning international star Jess Connelly; outside of his producing career as CRWN, he also serves as the drummer for successful Filipino rock band She’s Only Sixteen. On CRWN’s latest album ‘Orchid’, he deftly fuses classic soul sounds with contemporary electronic influences to create beats reminiscent of mellow days at the beach.
London-based Aaron Taylor returns with a pair of irresistibly smooth new tracks. After winning fans across the world with the slick, timeless neo-soul sound of his breakout EPs ‘Still Life’ and ‘Better Days’, Taylor’s star has grown steadily over the last couple of years as he has developed as both a songwriter and producer. D’Angelo-esque soulful RnB jam ‘I Think I Love You Again’ follows the vein of his past releases, but he showcases his versatility on ‘Spaceship’ as his impassioned falsetto drives a psychedelic funk-infused jam that would be guaranteed to light up just about any midsummer dancefloor.
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Jada arrived on to the Danish music scene in January with her debut-single ‘Keep Cool’, giving a taste of her her personal brand of of honest, emotional wisdom. Her strong, confident vocals drive the carefully layered, minimalistic production that mixes elements of 00’s r&b with electronic nuances. Her style is sincere, presenting a refreshing break from classic templates, and has caught the eye of fans both within her home country and abroad.
Gifted with a unique voice that contains traces of traditional Punjabi folk singers, Prabh Deep is widely acknowledged as one of the best underground MCs in the country. With a flair for lyrical dexterity and a ear for big anthem hooks, his music paints a vivid picture of growing up in a locality that’s reeling from high unemployment rates and the recent influx of drugs into the community. His debut album ‘Class-Sikh’, produced in collaboration with Sez, was released in 2017 to widespread critical acclaim, with the album declared by Rolling Stone India to be one of the best releases of the year and Deep chosen as the Spotlight Artist for the month by Apple Music India. Pithy, crowd-pleasing single ‘Suno’ led fans to classify him through various lenses; the outspoken “underground” rapper poised to take over the burgeoning Indian hip-hop scene, the classically humble artist with no airs, and the good Sikh boy spinning rap flows out of traditional Punjabi folk rhythms.
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During the last few years a new wave of female rappers has emerged in Central America, using hip-hop as a force for social change. One of them is Nakury; born Natasha Campos, she first came into contact with hip-hop culture at the age of 13 through graffiti, alongside names like Mush, Sneak and PSK. As an activist, MC and social commentator, Nakury writes rhymes on social, philosophical themes to spread her message of inclusivity. Drawing from her experiences growing up in an environment of domestic violence, her desire to write about resilience and change distinguishes her from many of her peers. Her 2017 album ‘VIA’ is a 16-track project which she described “as the road, as the present, the now”, and features collaborations with artists such as Rebecca Lane, Barzo, Kumary Sawyers, YOGI beatbox, Nacho Páez, and Guadalupe Urbina. Nakury explains that she sees ‘VIA’ as an “introspective adventure that shows life as a way that gives you knowledge and spiritual power to face individual or collective situations”. Over a refreshing mixture of boombap, breakbeat and trap, she delivers lyrics that encourage a return to the roots and love of nature; Nakury speaks of protest and female empowerment, and sees hip-hop as a tool to approach women’s communities rather than an ends in itself, so that the voices of resistance can find an amplifier in her music.
Seinabo Sey is the soulful voice of empowerment and womanhood. The Swedish artist creates music that reflects her own life experiences and explores themes of feminism, identity, body positivity and self love. Sey has taken control of the creative direction for her new record into her own hands in order to elevate her art, spending several months in Gambia where she filmed the music videos for ”I Owe You Nothing” and ”Remember” featuring Birmingham’s Jacob Banks. This is the first chapter of a more mature and confident Seinabo Sey, showing that her gift for songwriting can perfectly capture wordless emotions and translate into music.
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Two members of the Tribal East collective, Somali-born HasH and Hand Bandz combine their creative talents to create ‘Darkside of the Moon’. Bandz’s haunting melody is difficult to shake once heard, and is offset by his emotionally charged bars, delivered over the chilling production of Evrgreen (now known as AKA Blobby).