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Botswana born singer-songwriter Mpho Sebina incorporates hip-hop, soul, jazz, traditional Setswana music and folklore into her sound. Authentic and experimental, the self-taught musician has built a loyal audience through her signature a cappella mash-ups including Brenda Fassie with the The Fugees and Boom Shaka with Erykah Badu. She’s performed in venues across Botswana and South Africa, as well as hosting a monthly live music co-operative ‘NakedSoul Sessions’, curating a performance line-up of yet to be discovered local music and merchandisers.
Sebina released her debut EP titled Neo in October 2017 with the first single ‘Black Butterfly’ a soulful hip-hop track with sonic facets of the new generation of melancholic trap-soul. “My music is autobiographical; the stuff I’ve written is self-reflection time for me,” she says. “As a 28-year-old African woman my music is about the journey to discovering one’s self through this world. I would like to stir up that quest for self, to bring about a healing type of vibe. It’s a lot about overcoming and focusing on the personal stuff. Sometimes we get wrapped in anxiety, myself included. My music is about providing an outlet for listeners to forget.”
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San Diego native Jackie Mendoza’s experimental pop tracks can be just as explosive as they can be delicate. One of her most recent offerings, the soothing ‘De Lojas’, leans towards the latter end of the spectrum with its subtle and stripped down instrumentation comprised of gentle ukulele and clicks, accompanying Mendoza’s charming and endearing intonations. Sung in Spanish, the song is a delightful slice of future pop that explores the challenges that arise when dealing with a long distance relationship.
Some songs are vessels that crack open your imagination and let your mind run wild; that’s exactly the case with ‘Sentimental Sunset, the striking debut single from South London based outfit Xi. An other-worldly experience that’s accompanied by an equally intriguing and captivating visual that’s brought to life by Beatrix Blaise, ‘Sentimental Sunset’ channels an abstract electronic sonic pallet that transports you to a hypnotic and surreal landscape.
Three Oscillators consists of Brij Dalvi and Avit Rane who strive to give their songs an identity and character of their own while narrating stories through this wonderful, limitless medium we call electronic music. Their sound leans toward, but doesn’t limit itself to genres like post-dubstep and glitch hop, sometimes with a slight deviation towards bass music. Having released two EPs, the duo aim to make a lasting impact and have more ears listening to their music in the coming years. ‘Drowning’ is a collaboration with singer song writer Karshni who often makes all her music via an app called Bandlab where the early version of this track was found was built upon adding the finishing touches to the production.
It’s been a while since we last heard from London based singer, songwriter and producer Akiine, but with the release of ‘About It’, it’s safe to say that the wait was well worth it. Serving as the lead single from her forthcoming new EP titled ‘Red’, the track is a swirling amalgamation of electronics and moody guitar lines that are greeted by Akiine’s sweet and graceful musings. Those delicate vocals are a comforting hug and wonderful juxtaposition to the slightly off-kilter production.
Arguably one of the most refreshing bands around, Danish quartet Liss return in magnificent form with brand new single ‘Talk to Me’, which is lifted from their forthcoming ‘Second’ EP. Another delectable slice of the group’s slick sound, the self-produced track eloquently conveys the “ups and downs of being a young adult in this world”. A start of a new chapter, ‘Talk to Me’ finds Liss at their very best, with vocalist Søren Holm’s distinct and yearning tones stealing the show once again.
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.
Meet SÔNGE, your new favourite artist creating sparkling R&B gems that entice and intrigue. Having just released her debut album ‘Flavourite Câlâ’ last month, it’s on stand out single ‘Roses’ that the rising French singer/songwriter shines brightest. Backed up by a dazzling array of electronics and killer bass, the song encompasses a shimmering aesthetic whilst SÔNGE’s sanguine vocals are smothered on top.
Having premiered the track on SNL last month, Tame Impala, the psychedelic musical project fronted by Kevin Parker, have shared ‘Borderline’. Along with previously released single ‘Patience’, the two tracks serve as the first taste of new music since the band released ‘Currents’ back in 2015. With ‘Borderline’, the Australian outfit deliver yet another delicious slice of sun-soaked psychedelia as Ken Parker’s breezy vocals sweep across the bouncy production comprised of a crisp beat and groovy guitars.
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.
Let yourself sink into the honeyed tones of ‘History Made’, the mesmerising new single from London based trio Paradisia. Comprised of Sophie-Rose (vocals), Anna (harp) and Kristy (vocals, keyboard), Paradisia’s swirling production and serene harmonies on ‘History Made’ will quite frankly take your breath away. Serving as their first taste of new music in two years, the single marks a new chapter as they’ve taken full artistic control having parted ways with their management in 2018 – a message that is mirrored by the song’s very first lines “I won’t be quiet for anyone / There’s no history made in saying nothing“.
Consider yourself introduced to Kian Brownfield aka KIAN, an Australian singer/songwriter whose debut single ‘Waiting’ has already surpassed 30 million streams and has supported COLORS alum Jorja Smith on her AU leg of her tour. KIAN’s latest offering, the endearing and guitar-laden ‘Childism’ brings to mind the likes of Frank Ocean circa Blonde interspersed with the warming tones akin to that of Khalid. There’s something personable to ‘Childism’, everything from the poignant, nostalgic lyricism and sun-soaked production to KIAN’s soft intonations gel together effortlessly to create something truly special.
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.
London based producer Palmistry rises above the surface with ‘Water’, his first taste of new music since his spellbinding debut album ‘PAGAN’ which dropped back in 2017. Serving as the lead single from his forthcoming sophomore album ‘Afterlife’, the SOPHIE-produced track is another delight which drips and trickles with its subtle electronic touches as Palmistry’s comforting tones are like soft ripples that pervade the soundscape. Check out ‘Water’ here and be sure to look out for ‘Afterlife’ which is out in May.
Iranian-Swedish artist Nadia Tehran teases the release of her forthcoming new debut ‘Dozakh: All Lovers Hell’ (out May 16th) with brand new single ‘Jet’. Reminiscent on M.I.A.’s superhit ‘Paper Planes’, ‘Jet’ takes flight with a pounding drum beat and fantastic bass which is backed up by Tehran’s empowering and ruthless, almost careless flow. It’s this relentless delivery that gives the track a sense of freedom – it’s say to say that ‘Jet’ will instantly get you hyped, no matter what.
‘Mere Gully Mein’ represents the emergence of real Indian hip-hop. DIVINE and Naezy are the new age desi rappers who talk about all socio-political-economic issues governing the country which is quite a change from the superficial and aspirational hip hop that surrounds us today. With an intent to change the masses’s misconception and rewrite the history of Indian hip hop the duo’s authentic and original story is being identified by people all over the world. Hailing from the city’s chawls and gullies to now making waves not just in the country, but also internationally these two rappers and their rap-to-riches project has also been an inspiration for 2019 released Bollywood movie, Gully Boy.
The city of Medellin, Colombia does not cease to amaze us for being an incessant talent incubator and linker for all genres. Two of these prodigies, Pablo and Alejandro met in 2007 at university studying music and started making electronic music using a computer, a controller and a guitar. Shortly after, Sara joins in the voices to consolidate a character who likes raw sounds but at the same time is an ally of machines and who’s sound reflects moments of contemplation, noise or can even induce movement of the body; all this accompanied by a female voice that guides the melodic lattices that shape its speech. This character is called Mr. Bleat.
In an exclusive interview, Alejandro comments: “almost always Pablo and I propose a small instrumental passage, a beat, something that has that key moment of the song, and from there Sara begins to provide vocal melodies. Finally we structured the theme and wrote the letter to six hands. We think about a theme and then we build the narration among it”. Their influences beyond being specific musical referents, come from the experiences of each one that, at the moment of expressing them in the form of a song, tends to result in a theme to a certain extent danceable but with a bit of nostalgia or darkness. Mr. Bleat’s latest release, ‘Del Tiempo Perdido’, along with ‘El Buho’, are just the first steps that mark a new path towards what will be a new album. These two singles make part of the sonority that the group reached when creating the album ‘Los Lobos’, a palette of more electronic sounds, synthesizers, rhythm machines and a sensation of dance-able darkness in which we still feel comfortable.
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.
Born and raised in Shillong, Meba Ofilia finds her roots as an artist in Hip-Hop and RnB. Her second feature ‘Done Talking’ with rapper BigRi bagged her the Best Indian Act Award at the 2018 MTV Europe Music Awards. Her love for Hip-Hop and RnB grew through the discovery of American-African gospel music eventually leading her to discover artists such as Lauryn Hill, Aretha Franklin, Alicia Keys and Tori Kelly who continue to be her main influences. ‘Lady Bizz’ talks about self-love laying importance on women issues that not many men understand and how one woman empowering another is a powerful feeling. The track is featured as a part of the first music release for She Said So (India) in collaboration with Azadi Records released as a Women’s Day Special on March 8th 2019.