Okzharp & Manthe Ribane – Closer Apart

Producer OKZharp and vocalist, artist and dancer Manthe Ribane work closely with photographer and film maker Chris Saunders to create a unique collaborative audio-visual project. Though all three originally hail from South Africa, OKZharp cut his teeth in London as a member of LV, one of the first acts to sign to pioneering label Hyperdub. When OKZharp left LV, he spoke to Saunders about an idea for a film, and was introduced to Manthe, who was then a dancer and choreographer for Die Antwoord. They hit it off, and upon hearing Manthe singing to herself, they started collaborating musically, releasing two well received EP’s on Hyperdub, recorded in Johannesburg and London respectively. The recording of ‘Closer Apart’ reflects the song’s title – started on tour, with most of the music borne out of “headphone moments” in hotel rooms, planes and airports in the brief periods of time that the trio spent together in Paris and later Vienna. Okzharp describes Manthe as a co-producer; “she selected instrumental sketches and we developed them together, sometimes just keeping the bare bones or a melody or rhythm, or trying different elements or sounds.” In tandem Pearson worked with Manthe to develop an umbilical visual identity, feeding back into the music, for the live show but also for the audio-visual elements of their work. Even thought the album was built long distance, the short periods they spent together were the basis for creativity; Okzharp recalls one particular moment in Milan last year; “we had a whole free day before our flight so we visited the Salone di Mobile design show. We were so inspired by an installation there just walking around, listening to the amazing soundtrack. That evening our flight was delayed, so we sat on the floor of the airport terminal putting musical ideas down for ‘Time Machine’ on the laptop speakers and writing the lyrics: ‘Tic Toc time, we’ll be fine / Airport queues, cerulean blues / Viper trails cross the skies / Lights reflect in your eyes…'” The album has a softness and openness that contrasts the tougher sound of the preceding EPs; Manthe explains that “the new music is a 360 turn. It an expression of my ‘Lady’ side – I grew up listening to jazz, classic and gospel, I am a very soft spoken person, and it resonates with being confident with that. It’s been crazy finding balance and finding a smart way to strengthen my weaknesses, I had to trust the process. I hope everyone feels motivated and inspired to be more after listening to the album.”

Lous and The Yakuza – Dilemme

September 23

Titillating between aggressiveness and gentleness; violence and peace; roughness and elegance, Lous reveals herself with an open heart through the delicacy of her raw feelings. Without any filter, she expresses the duality of life and its nuances. How love is so close to hate, how joy can become pain in a second and how the loneliest moments can happen in the most crowded places. ‘Dilemme’ is the first track from Lous and The Yakuza’s forthcoming debut album, produced by El Guincho.

Oscar Louis – Find A Way

September 22

Consider yourself introduced to Oscar Louis, the musical project of Canadian singer/songwriter Oren Lefkowitz who’s shared his delightful new single ‘Find A Way’. An exquisite mix of hip-hop and rap with soulful infections, the single embodies a dreamy atmosphere with its gentle instrumentation as Lefkowitz shifts between various cadences as he explores themes of alienation and paranoia.

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Haich Ber Na – Forgetful

September 21

London based artist Haich Ber Na (formerly known as Haich) follows up previously released single ‘Nowhere Like It’ with the equally enticing and playful ‘Forgetful’. Accompanied by an intriguing and glitchy visual which sees the singer/producer portrayed as a digitised toy, the track opens with futuristic synths which are joined by crisp electronics to serve as the perfect backdrop for Haich Ber Na’s distorted, falsetto laden vocals.

ZSELA – Earlier Days

September 20

Having captivated us with her sensational debut single ‘Noise’ earlier this year, New York based singer/songwriter ZSELA marks her return with the equally arresting ‘Earlier Days’. A gentle and serene ballad that’s taking from her forthcoming debut EP, ‘Earlier Days’ is another exceptional portrayal of ZSELA’s soulful songwriting about “ill-placed love and the uselessness of nostalgia”.

M.I.L.K – Prisoner (feat. Benny Sings)

September 4

Danish artist Emil Wilk, better known as M.I.L.K. returns this summer with the lead single from his debut album. M.I.L.K.’s sound is compared to electronic funk and soul-inspired artists such as Jungle and Rhye, and has gained a broad fan base across Europe. After collaborating with French artists such as The Avener, Biolay, Nemir, Møme and many others, this time he teams up with COLORS alum Benny Sings. This is an effective alliance where we find a perfect mix of the sounds of these two artists. The distinctive sound of Benny Sings’ piano starts from the first seconds in a timeless stroll, before the soft voice of M.I.L.K. comes in and answers the groovy bass to give a unique touch to this song.

Premiere: Zola Courtney – Nothing To Lose

September 3

Consider yourself introduced to twenty year-old singer/songwriter Zola Courtney, and her delectable debut single ‘Nothing To Lose’ which is premiering here at COLORS. Serving as the first taste of her forthcoming EP, the track is a sparkling pop track that sees the singer’s crystalline vocals shine across the gentle and breezy soundscape. A song about self-acceptance and “being honest about who you are”, ‘Nothing To Lose’ is a breath of fresh air; a song that will transport you to a place of pure serenity.

Sudan Archives – Confessions

L.A. based violinist, singer, songwriter and producer Sudan Archives unveils ‘Confessions’, the lead single from her forthcoming debut album. Produced by Sudan Archives and Will Archer, the track follows up last year’s sensational ‘Sink’ EP which featured stand out singles like ‘Nont For Sale’ and ‘Escape’. On ‘Confessions’, Sudan Archives enlists a sporadic and bold beat which creeps its way across whilst her soulful tones add a comforting warmth.

Sassy 009 – Thrasher

September 1

Originally a trio comprising of Sunniva Lindgaard, Teodora Georgijevic and Johanna Scheie Orellana, who released their hypnotic debut EP ‘Do You Mind’ back in 2017, Sassy 009 is now the solo project of Lindgaard. Earlier this week, Sassy 009 shared her debut single ‘Thrasher’. An apt title as the song encompasses a frenetic and utterly intoxicating electronic beat which is accompanied by a striking Andreas Bjørseth-directed music video.

GL – Night Habit

August 31

Melbourne based electronic duo GL (comprised of Graeme Pogson and Ella Thompson) mark their return with the groove-inflected new single ‘Night Habit’. Since releasing their superb debut album ‘Touch’ back in 2016, the pair have been relatively quiet, but it looks like things are about to change with ‘Night Habit’, a sensuous and playful number. Led by a funk filled guitar line and electronic beat, the track is a retro-futuristic pop gem that’s heightened by Thompson’s evocative vocals.

Tamera – Romeo

London based newcomer Tamera reveals her stunning debut single ‘Romeo’, a sparkling cut that opens with soothing jazzy intro and blossoms into a neo-soul experience that oozes class. Accompanied by an equally beautiful music video directed by India Rose, the track is elevated by Tamera’s impeccable voice glistening atop the laid back instrumentation.

Klangstof – Cold Little Heart

It’s not often than a cover captivates or moves you like the original, there’s almost always something missing. That’s definitely not the case with the gorgeous rendition of Michael Kiwanuka’s ‘Cold Little Heart’ by Netherlands based trio Klangstof. Slowing down the tempo, the Klangstof’s version trades the warming acoustic guitars for moody, electronic beats that’re topped off by the band’s equally haunting yet spellbinding vocals. This may just serve as the perfect teaser and nod to a change in direction for the follow up to 2017’s ‘Everest’ EP.

Daniela Andrade – Wet Dreams

August 28

Canadian-Honduran singer/songwriter Daniela Andrade shares ‘Wet Dreams’ the glorious new single lifted from her latest EP ‘TAMALE’. Serving as the follow up to previously released ‘Polly Pocket’, ‘Wet Dreams’ is another sparkling cut that boasts Andrade’s enchanting, harmonised vocals over a delicately mellow, yet beautiful beat.

LIA – To The Woods

August 27

D.C. born, Montreal based singer, songwriter and producer LIA shares the hauntingly beautiful new single ‘To The Woods’ taken from her forthcoming debut EP titled ‘Vasilia’. Co-produced by Lust, the stunning track captures a moody yet evocative atmosphere that mirrors the eerie yet heartwarming atmosphere of the woods. Pair that with LIA’s elegant musings and poetic songwriting, and you’re totally transported to a world laden with towering trees and delicate foliage.

Gervais Sun – Overzealous

August 26

Consider yourself introduced to Melbourne-based musician Rudy Sandapa aka Gervais Sun who serves up some funk-filled vibes in the form of debut single ‘Overzealous’. The magnificent instrumentation brings together elements of pop, jazz, electronic and more as Sandapa’s sweet sounding voice shines across the groove-inflected beat to create the perfect summery atmosphere.

Joesef – Don’t Give In

Glasgow based singer, songwriter and producer Joesef follows up previously released singles ‘Limbo’ and ‘Loverboy’ with another soulful cut in the form of ‘Don’t Give In’. Over a simple yet easygoing beat, Joesef lays down his soothing tones as he sings about loving someone who loves another, but isn’t honest about it. Check out the brilliant new single here.

REECE – Too Much

August 23

Opening with gentle guitar licks, ‘Too Much’, the gorgeous new single from rising Virginia/L.A. based artist REECE is a moment of self reflection, highlighting the importance of “learning to love yourself enough to let somebody go and to understand that it’s okay to choose your happiness”. Accompanied by an intimate music video, the minimal production creates an alluring atmosphere as REECE’s impeccably silky vocals add warmth and solace.

Oracle Sisters – Spotlight

August 22

Parisian trio Oracle Sisters follow up their delectable debut single ‘Always’ with another slice of lush indie pop in the form of ‘Spotlight’. Comprised of Lewis Lazar, Christopher Willatt and Julia Johanssen, the band impress once more as the smoky guitar licks and earnest drum beat are accompanied by those warming tones. Check out the track and it’s spectacular music video which is set in a world of Parisian drag queens.

Premiere: Havelock – Pheromones

Kent born, London based artist Havelock serves up another slice of refreshing indie pop packed with groove in the form of ‘Pheromones’, which is produced by Luke Fitton. The follow up to previously released single ‘Real’, ‘Pheromones’ is a melting pot of influences, seamlessly combining elements of hip-hop, indie pop and electronics and wrapping them up into a unique sound. Premiering here at COLORS, ‘Pheromones’ sees Havelock shift from intimate and subdued in the verses before bursting into the vibrant and groovy atmospherics of that infectious hook.

Tkay Maidza – Awake (ft. JPEGMAFIA)

Australian based rapper Tkay Maidza teams up with COLORS alum JPEGMAFIA on her hard-hitting comeback single ‘Awake’. Together with Baltimore rapper JPEGMAFIA, Maidza flexes her powerful vocals over an eerie and frenetic beat penned by Dan Farber as she raps about insomnia. The first single since her ‘Last Year Was Weird Vol. 1’ from last year, ‘Awake’ is the perfect taste of what’s to come from Tkay Maidza.

Claire Laffut – Nudes (ft. Yseult)

August 19

If you’re looking for a smooth pop track that’s packed with groove, look no further than ‘Nudes’, the dazzling new single from French based, Belgian born artist, singer and model Claire Laffut. Produced by Gaspard Murphy, the track features the magnificent Yseult, whose silky smooth vocals beautifully complement the golden tones of Laffut. The accompanying visual, directed by Jean-Charles Charavin wonderfully captures the track’s austere and sensual aesthetic.