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.”

Premiere: Finn Askew – Roses

Today we have the pleasure in premiering the music video to ‘Roses’, the stunning new single from UK based newcomer Finn Askew. Soundtracked by a superb blend of smooth piano jazz with a lo-fi hip-hop beat, ‘Roses’ captures the nineteen year-old singer/songwriter’s soulful yet sharp sound. Accompanied by equally stunning visuals which you can watch exclusively at COLORS first, ‘Roses’ is just the first taste of what’s to come from this rising artist.

seeyousoon – VIDÉ

Having introduced themselves with their fiery debut single ‘Steamy’ at the start of the year, Florida based outfit seeyousoon unveil their magnificent debut album ‘VIDÉ’. Made up of singers, rappers, and producers — Ignacio, Kenny, Denny, Maddie, Josh, Dre, Drex, Luke, and Mitch – seeyousoon’s music is a refreshing and eclectic blend of sounds that showcases the group’s versatility. On ‘VIDÉ’, seeyousoon continue to impress with their ice cold verses and energetic vocals over equally vibrant soundscapes; cementing themselves as one of the most exciting collectives around.

NO TOURISTS – DUMBO

Toronto based collective NO TOURISTS share their explosive new single ‘DUMBO’. Made up of five independent artists and two producers based in Toronto, including French-Congolese rapper Keynes Woods, and Garçons frontman Deelo Avery, NO TOURISTS showcase their blazing sound with a fusion of hip-hop, rap, R&B and soul with inspirations from the UK’s drill and grime scene. Check out the hard-hitting single and it’s equally fiery music video directed by Kevin Kudukis here.

Liv.e – Couldn’t Wait To Tell You…

Having shared several singles over the past few months, Dallas-born, LA-based artist Liv.e releases her debut album ‘Couldn’t Wait to Tell You…’. Featuring tracks like ‘I Been Livin’, ‘SirLadyMakemFall’, ‘LazyEaterBetsOnHerLikeness’, ‘Bout These Pipedreams’ and ‘Lessons From My Mistakes…but I Lost Your Number’, the twenty-track project is an amalgamation of classic R&B expertly infused with elements of soul, jazz and hip hop. Dive into the wonderful project here and let Liv.e’s hypnotising vocals and eclectic songwriting wash over you.

Disclosure – Douha (Mali Mali) [ft. Fatoumata Diawara]

July 30

UK based electronic duo Disclosure teams up with COLORS alumni Fatoumata Diawara on superb new single ‘Douha (Mali Mali)’. Lifted from their forthcoming new album ‘ENERGY’ (the follow up to 2015’s ‘Caracal’), the track encompasses Diawara’s infectious energetic vocals over a spirited club beat that’s sure to get you moving .Check out the tantalising single and its Mahaneela-directed music video here and keep an eye out for ‘ENERGY’ which drops August 28th.

Bandalos Chinos – Sin Señal

July 29

Dive into the groove-inflected soundscapes of ‘Sin Señal’, the latest offering from rising Argentina-based outfit Bandalos Chinos. Accompanied by a retro music video directed by Tomás Terzano, the track encompasses an ever so relaxing and chilled out atmosphere as those funk-filled guitars and sensational synths carry those equally majestic and dreamy vocals with ease. Check out the fabulous single and video, which follows previous cuts ‘Mi Manera De Ser’ and ‘AYNMG’ here.

Yasmin Leigh – Sweet Tooth

London based artist Yasmin Leigh impresses on electrifying new single ‘Sweet Tooth’, taken from her newly released ‘Sub Mixtape’. Driven by grungy guitars and spirited drums that are backed up by Leigh’s energetic vocals, ‘Sweet Tooth’ is one of those infectious numbers that get your heart pumping from the get go. Check out the single here and be sure to give ‘Sub Mixtape’ a spin too.

Emma Rena – Armageddon

Consider yourself introduced to rising singer/songwriter Emma Rena who impresses on her striking new single ‘Armageddon’ which is lifted from her forthcoming debut EP. Soundtracked by a soft drum-beat, it’s Rena’s unique and dreamy vocals and melodic songwriting that steal the show here. Check out the striking single and it’s accompanying music video here.

Sonn – These Days (ft. T. Evann)

Emerging London based producer Sonn teams up with T. Evann on brooding and woozy new single ‘These Days’, lifted from his forthcoming s debut EP ‘something safe’. Serving as the follow up to previous single ‘Rumours’, ‘These Days’ captures Sonn’s signature sound as he fills the soundscape with hazy guitars and lo-fi beat as T. Evann’s fluttery vocals add a certain softness. Check out the track and keep an eye out for ‘something safe’ which is out soon.

Desta French – San Lazarus

London based artist and COLORS alumni Desta French shares an irresistible and explosive new EP in the form of ‘San Lazarus’. An effortless mix of pop and R&B with Latin influences, ‘San Lazarus’ is packed with spicy beats and smooth vocals that shine, strut and sway their way into your heart. Featuring previous favourites like ‘Aguanta’ and ‘Guajira’ which dropped earlier this year, ‘San Lazarus’ is Desta French’s exploration and proclamation of her “cultural identity with no fear”, and that absolutely shines through on each track.

Liss – Third

July 24

Danish quartet Liss continue to show why they’re one of the most exciting and progressive bands around with their eclectic and soulful new EP ‘Third’. Leading with Bullion-featuring ‘Another Window’, the five-track project also features previous cuts like ‘Waste My Time’ and ‘Off Today’ along with newbies ‘Fool For You’ and ‘Safe With Me’. As always, lead singer Søren Holm’s distinct vocals shine throughout, most prominently on the EP’s closing numbers. Dive into the EP here, it’s a stunner.

Biig Piig – Don’t Turn Around

London based artist and COLORS alumni Biig Piig aka Jessica Smyth returns with soulful and glittering new single ‘Don’t Turn Around’. Serving as the follow up to previous single ‘Switch’ which dropped in April, ‘Don’t Turn Around’ is a “post breakup, pre glow up tune” that features Biig Piig’s lush vocals over a soothing, funk-filled soundscape. Check out the track and it’s video (directed by BEDROOM) here.

Sampa The Great – Time’s Up (ft. Krown)

Botswana-raised, Melbourne-based rapper Sampa The Great reveals a striking music video for ‘Time’s Up’, taken from last year’s ‘The Return’ album. Just as fiery and explosive as the track itself, the vibrant visual which is directed by Sanjay De Silva serves as a sharp and direct critique of the music industry’s exploitation of her work and artistry. Check out the hard-hitting single and it’s equally arresting music video here.

Sen Senra – Perfecto

July 21

Spanish artist Sen Senra (aka Christian Senra) shares magical new single ‘Perfecto’, a wonderful follow up to previously released single ‘Nada Y Nadie’. Opening with gorgeous guitar tones and twinkling piano chords which are topped off by Senra’s delicate falsetto-laden vocals, the track is bolstered by a crisp, trap-inspired beat. As sharp as it is smooth, ‘Perfecto’ is another delightful offering from one of the most exciting Spanish artists around.

Kalisway – Durag

July 20

Introducing Toronto based newcomer Kalisway who is a force to be reckoned with on her infectious and funk-filled new single ‘Durag’. Having already impressed earlier this year with her marvelous debut EP ‘CREAM’ which features standout cuts like ‘Cherry’, ‘Hot Pockets’ and ‘Groove’, the rising artist continues to deliver her delectable slice of soulful vibes with ‘Durag’. Dive into the vibrant single here, it’s an absolute bop from start to finish.

Duckwrth – Coming Closer (ft. G.L.A.M. & Julia Romana)

Los Angeles-based rapper Duckwrth teams up with G.L.A.M. and Julia Romana on bouncy and infectious new single ‘Coming Closer’. A blissfully vibrant and buoyant cut that encompasses a sense of nostalgia whilst sounding just as fresh, ‘Coming Closer’ is a dance floor-ready anthem that boasts slick vocals and icy verses to top off the scintillating instrumentation. Dive into the sparkling cut here and if you haven’t already, be sure to check out Duckwrth’s magnificent COLORS performance too.

Malik – Green / Blue

Austin, Texas based artist Malik shares vibrant new singles ‘Green’ and ‘Blue’ which are lifted from his forthcoming project titled ‘Spectrum’. Serving as the follow ups to previous singles ‘Yellow’ and ‘Red’, the rising producer/rapper continues to impress with his epic, electronic-led soundscapes that exude a futuristic, cosmic atmosphere that is only heightened by Malik’s vivid songwriting. Check out ‘Green’ and ‘Blue’ here and be sure to keep an eye out for ‘Spectrum’ which drops later this year.

Florence Arman – Naked

July 17

Consider yourself introduced to Austria based singer/songwriter Florence Arman who shines on her shimmering debut single ‘Naked’. Taken from her forthcoming debut EP, ‘Naked’ is riddled with sprinklings of guitar notes and subtle electronics that serve as the perfect soundbed for Arman’s gentle and sweet tones. A song about making yourself vulnerable and opening your life up to someone, ‘Naked’ is a wonderful introduction from this rising artist.

Jeida Woods – Ultraviolet

Zambia-born, Australia-based artist Jeida Woods returns with a dark and haunting new cut in the form of ‘Ultraviolet’, taken from his upcoming debut EP. With production courtesy of Taka Perry who lays down a dynamic soundbed for Woods to work his magic with those inviting and intimate vocals as he narrates a piercing tale of a dark romance. Check out the single here which is accompanied by an intense and breathtaking visual.

Kay Young – Going Through

London based newcomer Kay Young shines on brilliant new visual for her latest single ‘Going Through’, taken from her forthcoming debut EP titled ‘Middle Matters’. Straddling between genres, the fabulous track which boasts Young’s exceptional delivery and versatile songwriting is accompanied by an equally arresting music video which is directed by Dylan Hayes. Check out the single and video here and be sure to keep an eye out for ‘Middle Matters’ which drops August 14th.