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Fena Gitu grew up in a musical family in Kenya, exposed to gospel, soul and jazz from an early age, and while her music has explored the contemporary sounds of hip hop, R&B and dancehall, her original influences can be heard in church-style chorus vocals and consciously positive lyricism. Honing her craft through collaboration with an array of producers across the African continent, Fena’s music combines powerful production with a careful blend of live instrumentation and soulful backing vocals. Her skilled pop songwriting retains a playful edge, often rapping in quick cuts of Swahili before switching back to English choruses intoned with fearless energy.
Chicago artist Saba’s sophomore album CARE FOR ME is dedicated to his cousin John Walt who was fatally stabbed in February 2017. His discography boasts a range of diverse material, exploring a fusion of elements of hip-hop, jazz, and neo-soul; on LIFE, the production morphs from a smooth head-knocking double bass sample to darker, distorted synth sounds as the mood develops, with Saba’s melodic raps brooding over his personal struggles with grief and the hardships of life as a black man in America.
With only a handful of singles released, Still Woozy a.k.a. Sven Gamsky is already garnering acclaim as an all-round artist with a gift for skillfully blending contrasting elements in his music. Gamsky’s production on songs such as 2017’s ‘Vacation’ finds solid balances between space and intimacy, electronic and acoustic, melancholy and optimism.
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Ray Fuego has been making waves in Amsterdam for his devil-may-care attitude and high-energy live shows, while his SMIB crew have been spreading the movement internationally through their music, visuals and fashion releases. Fuego harnesses this momentum in this latest video from his debut full-length album ‘Zwart’, as he vibes out in a mirrored chamber, flowing effortlessly over Garrincha’s irresistible melodic trap production.
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UK-based singer Yiigaa enlists the assistance of E/M rapper Louis Culture for her powerful new single. The two south London artists exchange instropective verses, dealing with memories of past relationships and the struggle of moving forward and growing. Production comes courtesy of Shax Maja, with dynamic drums and distorted horns creating an uplifting, nostalgic tone.
The track is the second single from her forthcoming mixtape ‘Blue Rivers in My Wrist’, due to release in June.
One of the UK’s most elusive and intriguing talents, electro-soul artist Ben Khan returns with his brand new single ‘2000 Angels’. Progressing within the soundscapes that speak toward his previous 1992 and 1000 EPs, the song is a crisp yet dark offering that weaves together his signature distorted vocals and dynamic guitar-driven basslines.
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Electro-pop and R&B duo WESLEE share their daring new single ‘Sweat Dreams’. The effort combines infectious synths and danceable vibes, hinting at what’s to come from their debut EP due out this year.
Kijo is a Kenyan artist known her strong and sensual vocals as a member of Nairobi-based group Yellow Light Machine. While her magnetic presence has brought soulful songwriting and vocal skill to the band’s live performances, her solo releases are establishing her as an artist in her own right. She’s attracted attention for her new music, a blend of tripped-out beats banging fearlessly beneath a bed of sweet live instruments, as her fusion of hip-hop rhythms and jazz melodies creates a dreamy vintage futurism all of her own.
Mysterious alternative hip-hop artist Lausse the Cat is one of the most original artists to come out of the UK in a minute. Weaving tales of youthful, hedonistic debauchery alongside brutally honest introspection, the Leeds-based, London-born artist is capable of switching languages from English to French as easily as he does subject matter. His dense wordplay and matter-of-fact delivery provide an unorthodox contrast to the sweet and soulful instrumentation he spits over, as the infectious knock and smooth melodies of the rich production combine to make for genuinely intriguing music from this unique artist.
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The Internet return with psychedelic visuals for their brand new single. Directed by Joe Weil, the video depicts the band grooving together in a retro aesthetic, featuring star-studded cameos from the likes of Mac DeMarco, Tyler the Creator, Thundercat and Dev Hynes.