Music

Insiders Guide: Global Pop Star ANNE-MARIE, Moe, Bahari, Melvoni, NOA, Silk Tonic, Chladny, Matte Black, GAYLE, Wyatt C. Louis, Abigail Ory, Kai Whiston, Lewis Knaggs, TAKI, Club Paradise, We the Commas, Tei Shi, The Black Creatures…

Photo Credit – Daniel Malikyar

Global pop superstar Anne-Marie returns with her brand-new single and video “To Be Young” featuring Doja Cat, today via Warner Records.  Listen HERE and watch HERE.

“To Be Young” embodies the boundless ups, downs, learnings, dreams and realities that are experienced throughout life as we each try to figure out our paths. In the new youth anthem, Anne-Marie proclaims “We’re all a mess, but I guess this is what it feels like to be young.” Anne-Marie co-wrote the track with Billy Walsh (Post Malone, The Weeknd), Delacey (Halsey, The Chainsmokers, Demi Lovato) and Louis Bell (Camila Cabello, Selena Gomez, Lorde), with Bell also taking the reins on production. Shot at home during lockdown and featuring a self-penned verse from Doja Cat, the accompanying performance-led video is directed by frequent collaborator Hannah Lux Davis (Ariana Grande, Halsey) with creative direction provided by Kate Moross (Spice Girls, Sam Smith).

“To Be Young” follows the February release of “Birthday” which PAPER lauded, “It’s 2020 and the fire lighting Anne-Marie’s candles is eternally lit.” Anne-Marie is currently working on her highly anticipated sophomore album. 

Anne-Marie’s rise to stardom has been nothing short of meteoric. She has surfaced as a ubiquitous, unshakable, and undeniable voice in pop music worldwide. She remains renowned for witty lyrics, powerhouse vocals, confessional delivery, playful presentation, and irresistible hooks. Since making her debut in 2013, the Essex singer and songwriter has achieved consistent multiplatinum success, tallied over 12 billion-plus streams, and maintained a spot in Top 100 of Spotify’s “Most Listened-To Artists in the World.

In 2017, she lent her voice to Clean Bandit’s “Rockabye,” which went quintuple-platinum and ascended to the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. On its heels, her 2018 full-length debut album, Speak Your Mind, reached platinum status in the United States. Across the pond, the record notably stood out as “the UK’s biggest-selling debut of 2018” and picked up 1x-Diamond, 5x-platinum, and 7x-gold certifications around the globe. It also boasted the platinum “2002” [feat. Ed Sheeran] and the double-platinum “FRIENDS” with Marshmello. The latter clinched #2 on the U.S. Top 40 Radio Charts. Delivering various blockbuster collaborations, she teamed up with Lauv on “fuck, I’m lonely,” joined forces with James Arthur on “Rewrite the Stars” for the chart-dominating The Greatest Showman Soundtrack and linked up with David Guetta on “Don’t Leave Me Alone.” She garnered dozens of award nominations, including 9 BRIT Awards, 3 iHeart Music Awards, 2 Teen Choice Awards, and 1 Billboard Music Award. Additionally, she sold out her global headline tour and supported Ed Sheeran in stadiums everywhere.

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Driven by a competitive hunger, MOE rhymes with verbal athleticism, undeniable charisma, and fierce individuality. Posting up nearly 10 million streams independently, and landing a high-profile placement in NBA2K20, the Orlando rapper brings an unbreakable work ethic and the spirit of competition from the court to the culture on his 2020 debut for Epic Records.

He battle-rapped among friends throughout middle school and high school before four years of college ball as a shooting guard in Virginia. Upon returning home, he turned his attention to music. Inspired by Meek Mill, Drake, J Cole, Andre 3000, JAY-Z, Future, and 21 Savage, he tirelessly practiced his craft on the mic. Simultaneously, he bounced around between jobs as a referee and at The Boys & Girls Club, Sports Authority, and a gym. In 2016, he uploaded his first song “2 Easy” followed by “Money.” During 2018, he hit his stride with the independent No Regrets project. Around the same time, he met GRAMMY® Award-winning producer Ayo [Lil Wayne, Drake, Cardi B] and hit the studio. He unleashed the Rich Dreamin’ EP powered by the single “Outta There.” Over kinetic production from Ayo, he drops highly quotable rhymes before a hard-hitting hook. Tipped to MOE early on, Orlando Magic forward Aaron Gordon became friends with the rising rapper. Through his friendship with Gordon, Moe connected with the team at 2K, and the track featured in NBA2K20. Within a few months, it generated 4.3 million Spotify streams and 1.4 million YouTube views as he landed a deal with Epic Records. As he prepares more releases, MOE has his sights set on the championship.

rising alt-pop duo Bahari release a special remix of their 100 million stream-generating viral hit “Savage” featuring rapper BIA. Get it HERE via Epic Records/Heroine Music Group. The Los Angeles-based duo—comprised of Ruby Carr [vocals, keyboards] and Natalia Panzarella [vocals, bass]—will unveil more new music very soon.

The original “Savage” catalyzed the duo’s rise and has been certified Gold by the RIAA. Now, the remix incorporates nimble rhymes from BIA amidst airy flutes, cinematic strings, and a hard-hitting hook.  Additionally, they turn up in a sexy and slick accompanying music video. Intercutting intimate and dark vignettes, Ruby and Natalia quite literally play with fire, torch a rose, and run amok under hues of pink, purple, and blue. BIA joins them with a wild cameo of her own. Watch it HERE.

About this new take, the duo commented, “We decided to write a song that emboldened and empowered us as two young women who had recently gone through difficult relationships. A lot of what we write is very vulnerable, so we flipped it around and said, ‘We feel good about ourselves.’ We needed a strong female artist for the remix, and BIA was a perfect fit.”

On this Saturday, July 18 at 5pm PT, Bahari join the powerhouse bill of a virtual concert event to celebrate the vinyl release of To All The Boys: P.S. I Still Love You Original Soundtrack. It is set to air on the AwesomenessTV YouTube channel, and they will perform their acclaimed track “Crashing.  Tune in HERE.

As the girls put their finishing touches on more music set to arrive later this summer, get “Savage” with Bahari now.

Bahari is exclusively managed worldwide by William Derella.

“I went from the traphouse, to the Stackhouse, I can stack now…”

17-year-old Melvoni has been on quite a roll lately, and the Brooklyn-native intends to continue it with the release of his new single “Stackhouse.” The music video for the track also debuted today, and you can watch it HERE.

Get “Stackhouse” now, HERE

Listen to Melvoni’s Debut EP “WHO TF IS MELVONI” HERE via Epic Records.

Melvoni shines brightly on “Stackhouse,” matching buoyant piano keys and a robust set of 808s with a high-energy performance, replete with multiple octaves and an irresistible celebration of newfound riches. His delivery alone, so effortless and genuine, is dance-inducing. And the accompanying music video easily matches the track’s energy, as Melvoni prances around a well-lit room and what can only be described as a “money box” with his partners, throwing money and jubilantly enjoying each other’s company.

It isn’t very often that teenaged upstarts have the deft songwriting ability Melvoni displays on “Stackhouse,” but this is just the latest in a line of infectious jams from the young artist. His signature anthem, “NY,” infuses a classic Ja Rule chorus into a somber, half-sung ode to New York Sh*t, while “No Man’s Land,” his rally cry from a young adult seeking a way out, has eclipsed five million views on YouTube. The latter two songs in addition to “Big Rocks” are all found on Melvoni’s introductory EP Who TF Is Melvoni?, have helped to create an unmistakable national buzz for the young artist, whose lyrics suggest wisdom beyond his years.

The hip hop scene in Brooklyn has enjoyed a productive and intriguing last few years, and the 2020s will likely only prove to be more interesting. With records like “Stackhouse,” Melvoni seeks to guarantee that he’s one of the figures driving that conversation.

If you ask me how I feel about love and relationships, “Patience” is probably my most honest answer.

This song is an introduction to me and my relationship to love. I grew up with divorced parents, which didn’t give me the most ideal picture of love. With “Patience,” I dove deep into where my reservations with relationships lie, and the difficulty I had with letting my guard down; which I know is something many of us share.

Listen to “Patience” on your preferred streaming platform now.

The song has a colorful yet edgy vibe which captures the euphoric feelings of a new love, along with all the fears that come hand in hand.

Patience” is an anthem for anyone opening up to love and learning to have the courage to be vulnerable.

With love,

xx NOA

Summer Time” is an acoustic song filled with soothing summer vibes,

now available on all streaming platforms.

It’s the true story of Matthew meeting his soon-to-be girlfriend at the Osheaga festival in Montreal.

As soon as he sees her, she is all he can think about. It’s a lovestruck moment of euphoria, in which he’s struggling to keep his composure and feels emotionally overwhelmed.

What should I do? Should I go talk to her? What would I say?

Allow “Summer Time” to bring you back to that special moment where you first met that special someone, when nothing else matters.

Thank you for your support.

Silk Tonic
(Mark and Matthew)

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Chladny is a folk-rock band fronted by singer-songwriter Evan Chladny. He grew up in Ajax, where his father worked as a producer, operating a music studio out of his basement. Soon after relocating to Toronto, Chladny teamed up with Luge members Cam Fraser and Tobias Hart, as well as Stephen Pitman from Tallies to form his band. Chladny’s song writing comes from a folk-rock tradition, but can sometimes feel rough and seemingly post-punk. They draw inspiration from artists such as Van Morrison, Elliot Smith and The Steve Miller band, and you can really hear the eclectic diversity in the song crafting.

Over the past few years, Chladny has become a staple in Toronto’s independent music scene, bringing an unhinged sense of humour and honesty to their performances. Evan once performed a solo set without even bothering to bring an instrument – the result teetering on an equally heartfelt and unsettling performance art piece. Their music contains the brutal candidness of Sun Kil Moon and Songs: Ohia, while also regularly nose-diving into power pop anthems.

Chladny has independently released two EPs and a single, leading up to their debut full-length album The Finch Flyer, which was released in April, 2019. Recently, Alex Baigent (Westelaken) and Ryan Hage (WLMRT) joined the band in time to embark on a short Canadian tour. The timing of these additions feel suspicious, because they are the only members to have a driver’s license. All those different genres mash together nicely into this slack-rock album. It’s pretty funny and sad sometimes.

Matte Black is an electronic group out of San Diego CA. Producing sounds of sinister pleasures, visual arts and mechanical tinged dance music. The group captures lush dark-synth stylings complimented by gritty industrial anthems, while embodying their affinity for underground techno. Alex Gonzales, Bidi Cobra, and Daniel Corrales serve as the three-piece ensemble. Coming from various influences the trio come together to compliment their vast and scattered ideas to now form their own brand of club aesthetic.

The debut album I’m Waving, Not Drowning is set to release this fall following their forthcoming singles “Pure”, and their ageless rendition of “Stripped” from standout titans Depeche Mode. The record was mostly written during the global-wide shutdown due to Covid-19, and has spawned an introverted yet relatable sound. An album created in isolation touching on topics such as pain, panic and suffering yet conceiving a light at the end of the tunnel. Hence the title of the album, I’m Waving, Not Drowning.

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GAYLE, a 16 year old pop artist/songwriter from Nashville, TN, releases her fourth single “orange peel” through WEA. The song is slated to be on Spotify and Apple Music editorial placements upon release.  Her previous releases have landed on Spotify playlists such as New Music FridayPop RemixHits Don’t LiePop Edge, and Apple Music playlists like Today’s AcousticBreaking Singer/SongwriterNew Music DailyBreaking Pop.

Wyatt C. Louis is a Cree-Métis folk singer-songwriter, based in Moh’kinstsís (Calgary). He has made an impact on the eclectic city with songs built from soaring melodies, railroad-like finger picking and quiet, haunting vocals and lyrical phrasing. Dark, rustic tales meld folk and soulful blues to tell tales of love, loss and the journey home. They’re beautiful, subtle creations that juxtapose emotions, striking imagery and experiences that charm and envelop listeners. The sweet and intimate EP On a Journey for the Long Run (2017), had earned him airplay on CBC, CKUA and campus radio across Canada.

Louis’ upcoming release, “Dancing With Sue,” evokes the feeling of nostalgia, and yearning for the times in our lives where we feel the happiest and most free. Captured effortlessly through warm tones and colourful song writing. The song is dedicated to supportive friends whom he met through various music collectives. “Dancing with Sue” is the first piece of Louis’ new album coming in fall 2020, released via Canadian label, Slow Weather.

up-and-coming singer/songwriter Abigail Ory who self-describes her music as “weird pop.” “Waves” was originally written years ago and re-visited with Ory’s mentor and esteemed songwriter, Donna Lewis. The song speaks of the temporality of interpersonal relationships and the acceptance of change & loss and was largely inspired by the book “Invention of Morel” by Adolfo Bioy Casares.

Having taken the listener on an emotional audible journey with his stream of releases, EDEN concludes the New World Tapes with its final release, teaming up with Electronic producer Kai Whiston and lending his voice again on latest single “Stingray”.

Glitch-filled soundscapes serve as the crux to Whiston’s sound and it doesn’t go amiss here on “Stingray”. While distorted textures and splintered sampling fill the track in its entirety, he creates a sense of uniformity and continuity with its compilation predecessors. EDEN’s ever-present vocals ebb and flow in tandem with the production creating the kind of suspense that only his voice can provide.

The young electronic music maverick continues to shake up his genre as we know it – his disregard for conventionality and rule books unsurprisingly being the key to his blossoming. Heralded by the likes of MIXMAG, PAPER and CLASH, his extensive catalogue reflects an active output and a desire to continue to release spectacular art. Making a fan of EDEN himself, it became a befitting move to have him feature on the project.

The New World Tapes latest project is the brainchild of EDEN. This latest endeavour

from the Irish superstar sees him work with some of the finest boundary-defying artists from around the world on a multi-genre body of work. A new single released every week exclusively on his label, the eventual 12-track project will be available also on vinyl. EDEN’s curation of artists has allowed for a truly innovative collection of music that adds meaning and purpose in the face of the treacherous global landscape at present.

Emerging British singer Lewis Knaggs today shares “Hold On” – the punchy first single from his upcoming debut EP.

The London based cinematographer has forged his own path over the years as an in-demand creative, producing stunning visuals for a variety of household acts from Tom Walker, Gang of Youths, Post Malone and The XX to iconic brands like Ray-Ban and Gibson. With “Hold On”, Lewis uses his celebrated talents and skills as a visual storyteller to bring his own music to life.

The irresistible sing-song chorus of “Hold On” – which hears Lewis belt out his vulnerable feelings with his bold, raspy vocals – connects beautifully with the production’s explosive indie-rock vibes; an amalgamation of those classic, anthemic pop-rock sounds we know and love but with Lewis’ own unique, fresh take on the genre injected in.

Of “Hold On” Lewis explains: “I record all of my tunes in a little studio in North London, it’s a bit of a hidden gem, built in some hollowed out old garages. It has a great rickety old piano, which sounds like it belongs in Jack White’s garage… Those big four chords for “Hold On” have been knocking around the voice note realm for some time, so when I sat at the piano, it felt only right for it to give birth to something, so this was the tune that was officially born. Gang of Youths are a big inspo of mine, I have had the pleasure of working with them a couple times, filming their lovely faces, which is how I discovered them. The way they put piano in their songs makes me wanna cry. I wanted to make a song that had piano at the heart of it. Maybe “Hold On” will help someone shed those tears that linger deep in the soul for years and years haha OR maybe they’ll just turn it off because they don’t like the sound of a rickety old piano! Either way, I will die a happy man knowing this song is out in the world.”

“Hold On” is the first taste of a truly exciting artist utilising his multi-faceted talents to his craft – expect more from this burgeoning British talent.

Liberian-born visual artist, fashion designer, and musician TAKI releases his third single from his eponymous debut album, Girl God out July 24, 2020. Featuring poetic lyrics, rhythmic guitar, and passionate piano playing, “Golden Tickets” was released on July 10, 2020.
In “Golden Tickets”, the LA native sings to his sister who he regards as his “Golden Ticket”. After escaping the Liberian Civil War, TAKI (Artist name Girl God) describes a moment while sitting in the airport where he realized his sister was his favorite song. TAKI delivers an upbeat tune with an uplifting message of loving yourself through fingerpicking guitar rhythm, keys, and drums.

When talking about his art, TAKI says, “My inspiration is the celebration of what we could become if we never forget how magical we are.” Through his music, he emphasizes ways of making your war beautiful.
Be sure to check out the new single, “Golden Tickets”, available on all streaming platforms NOW!

Exciting Newcastle four-piece Club Paradise kicked off the year on a high with the release of “Teenagers” and now look to keep momentum going despite lockdown as they unveil their latest anthem “Growing Up”.

Having to work in isolation for the first time with each bandmember recording remotely has not stopped them from creating an expansive and truly uplifting indie-rock anthem. Dynamic production with thunderous drums and Ryan Young’s vocals emphatically lighting up the track, the true spirit of Club Paradise lives with vivid storytelling once again creating a hugely relatable work of art.

In their own words, ‘Growing Up’ “isn’t just about physically getting older, but about how times have changed. It’s about how disposable everything has become, whether that’s music or memories – it’s rare we hold and cherish these things physically anymore. We don’t hold memories on tapes, people stand and wait for limited retail releases worth thousands of pounds just to forget about the items within a month or two, it’s crazy – yet to some people it’s completely normal and to a degree, expected.”

Club Paradise have made major strides in the last year, having sold out a hometown show at Cobalt Studios as well as impressive performances at London’s Club Fermez La Bouche at Notting Hill Arts Club and supporting Kashmere at a sold-out Deaf Institute show in Manchester. Not to mention coveted support slots for Vistas, Apre, Larkins, Vant and Saint Raymond.

Made up of school friends Ryan Young (vocals/guitar), Jackson Vert (lead guitar), Harry Webb (bass) and Nathan Hogg (drums), the band cite the likes of Foals, The Midnight, Jungle and The Horrors as influences.

Heavy support from BBC Introducing and Radio X has already put them in great standing and if you add almost 150k streams across their releases to the mix, you get a band that are on the cusp of something great. A powerful new name in their sphere, they are certainly one to keep tabs on in 2020.

(Single Art: Omar Guerra)

San Diego-based band We the Commas return with the video for new single “Custom Made,” following the exclusive premiere with PopMatters. The beachy track – produced by Chris Rosa – features the soothing harmonies from brothers Cam (17), Jordy (19) and Lenny Comma (23) and combines contemporary pop elements with nostalgic R&B melodies and jazz instrumentals. Though “Custom Made” is only their sophomore release, We the Commas deliver a timeless sound that has the ability to touch generations.

We The Commas explain, “The idea for ‘Custom Made’ came completely spontaneously and it was one of those songs that practically birthed itself. This track is a deeper dive into our sound and really gives a feel for who ‘We the Commas’ are.” Lenny adds, “It’s different because we are bringing in elements from 50’s pop, R&B, and classic jazz, which is a combination we don’t see much in today’s mainstream music. We’re inspired by so many different genres and our songs bring together those elements to create something that best represents us and our experiences.”

Lyrically, “Custom Made” is a love song inspired by classics like Santo & Johnny, Stevie Wonder, The Ink Spots and Nat King Cole. The official music video, however, draws on a whole new sphere of influence. The track evolves into a visual piece about finding the ensemble that makes you feel the most confident. Motivated by the iconic stylings of George Michael, Grease and Run DMC, the video features the band shifting between ‘custom made’ outfits that provoke exaggerated personas. Eventually, the brothers come to realize that they are most comfortable in the San Diego threads that have become an integral part of their identity. The music video,  directed by Chris Rosa and Josh Sikkema, perfectly compliments the lyrical sincerity of the song by drawing a parallel between finding the perfect outfit and finding the perfect romantic partner. In so many ways, both have the uncanny ability to make you feel like the best version of yourself.

Lenny, Jordy and Cam have been deliberate with each lyric they’ve penned. As brothers, they recognize that the music they deliver is a representation of the values they embody, and that with each release they are being given an opportunity to present an honest illustration of the men they were raised to be. We the Commas add “Our mom and dad have a great moral compass. We hope to spread our message simply by how we treat people and how we live our lives.” A song about finding a love that is perfectly tailored to you, “Custom Made” builds on the integrity that was established with their debut release, “Sherry,” which grabbed the attention of American Songwriter and Spindle Magazine. Lenny adds “Both of these songs set the scene for a healthy relationship. We want to show people that no matter what relationship you’re in, you always need to treat people with respect.” He continues, “It’s only when you do that you have the fairytale experience depicted in both of these songs.”

Quickly establishing themselves in their local Southern California music scene, We the Commas previously performed on San Diego’s KUSI Morning Show as well as for their March of Dimes charity event in Balboa Park, and hosted a weekly three-hour gig at The Bunker House in Oceanside. It’s no surprise their drive captured the attention of one of their very own inspirations The Head and The Heart and acclaimed hip-hop/R&B producers like Rex Kudo (Post Malone, Young Thug, Nav, Lil Uzi Vert) and Charlie Handsome (Travis Scott, Khalid, The Weeknd, Drake) before even launching their project.

Their journey began early in their family living room void of cable, singing motown classics like Stevie Wonder and The Jackson 5 on an old school boombox, and later playing games like Rock Band. Music lessons soon followed and toys turned into real instruments, eventually leading to the formation of We the Commas. “This first project is really vulnerable,” says Cam, “and we’re really excited to share our story with everyone and have them connect to our experiences.” That openness stems from the band’s brotherly bond, which in turn strengthens the music. It’s natural for siblings to bicker and not get along often, but the trio quickly realized they needed to rely on each other as peers in order to be successful. “We’ll sit in studio sessions and we’re in awe of each other’s work,” Jordy explains. “It’s insane to see how connected we are. We can be separated for a week, but when we get back into the studio we take notes of what’s been going on in our lives and what we experienced. This cohesive story just comes together.”

As impressive as their story and sound is the integrity behind it. Lenny, Jordy and Cam Comma realize that from the outside looking in they don’t embody what the world might envision as “beach boy surfers.” Given their personal mission to break down racial and social constructs, We the Commas are committed to keeping their values at the forefront of everything they do. Lenny adds, “[Being Black] influences our music, because it tells our experiences. Especially where we live, there are not a ton of people who look like us, so we’ve learned to be the most authentic version of ourselves. We’re trying to do something different that people haven’t seen before… the overarching goal is to let people know that no matter what, don’t let fear or social norms restrict you from doing the things you love.”

We the Commas are currently in the studio and plan to release content independently through 2020.

Colombian-Canadian artist Tei Shi adapted to the world’s socially distanced new normal while also going through her own creative evolution. She embraced virtual reality and the rapidly evolving digital landscape as she embarked on the rollout of her new independently released EP, ‘Die 4 Ur Love’, which dropped today, July 17th. Over the last few months she not only created the project in isolation from her home studio, but also dreamed up and contributed to new ways in connecting with others. From setting up a dedicated phone line for fans to share heartbreak stories, to entertaining audiences in lockdown with a special DJ set for a Paper Magazine x Club Quarantine dance party, to performing a livestream concert with SPIN Magazine, she made sure to stay in touch with the community.

Tei Shi somewhat prophesied this experience when she began writing the EP in January at Sonic Ranch in El Paso, Texas. She shares, “At the time 2020 was already off to a weird and depressing start for me. I was in this kind of sad, apocalyptic state of mind while at the studio and the songs kind of came out of that. I felt this overwhelming sense of impending doom and now I kind of understand why. I just really felt like the world was gonna end for a bit. The EP talks about some losses and ends to relationships I had throughout the last year or two, and the full spectrum of those feelings. For me it’s been about experiencing loss in different ways – disappearance, obsession, catharsis…”

Though she began penning the project prior to the pandemic really hitting the US, Tei Shi ended up having to do most of the creation after the new safety orders went into place. She explains, “The process of making the EP has been interesting because though it was written really quickly and the songwriting is kind of a snapshot of a very specific point in time, all of the production and a lot of the recording has taken place during quarantine. After the tour I was on in March with Blood Orange was canceled and we all went into lockdown I focused on finishing this EP; working with producers, collaborators and my team over facetime, zoom, emails and phone calls. It’s been a really strange process and mentally testing, but I think it’s also helped to conserve that essence of the EP being very intimate and direct and chaotic in some ways.”

The EP serves as a rebirth for Tei Shi in many ways. The release is her first since going independent and allowed her the freedom to express herself and create music her way. The singles from the project, the hypnotic title track “Die 4 Ur Love” and the 80’s synth-pop followup “Goodbye”, showcased her growth and saw praise from Billboard, Stereogum, NYLON, i-D, Dazed, Teen Vogue, Consequence of Sound, Refinery 29, and more.

Photo Credit: Beth Taye

Bred in and bleeding Kansas City, The Black Creatures release their new single “Wretched (It Goes)” via Center Cut Records, today.

The single is the first release from their upcoming album Wild Echoes produced by Xavier, and written by Jade Green and Xavier. Mastered by Collin Jordan (Xiu Xiu, Kanye West, Lupe Fiasco), the single was originally intended for a compilation album the duo was invited to be a part of that was never consummated.

“Wretched (It Goes)” critiques the prison industrial complex and other prevailing systems of socioeconomic and cultural hierarchy, how they work, and the beginning steps of

how they might be abolished. A theme of not just repairing, but completely undoing this system is emphasized by lines like “the healing only comes when you break it again” and “we need to change the record ‘cause the needle keep on playin’ it.” Heavily inspired by 90s style hip-hop and artists such as LL Cool J, Ice Cube and Queen Latifah, the track showcases their unique combination of multiple musical genres.

The Black Creatures make a point to blur the lines of genre while maintaining a recognizable cohesion; oftentimes blending contemporary styles of pop, hip-hop, dance, R&B, EDM and soul with cinematic and storytelling sci-fi/fantasy elements and themes. With the complex and creative approach The Black Creatures take to their art, a diverse audience regularly flocks to their gripping and intensely enchanting performances. The Black Creatures are also gaining a presence on YouTube with their weekly “Thirsty Thursday” series and ongoing “1 Hour Song Challenge” where they scheme up new sounds in sixty minutes.

Representing the strange land of Kansas City, Missouri, Jade Green and Xavier began working together around the end of 2013 after meeting on-line talking about cosmetics. After Jade stumbled upon Xavier’s SoundCloud, they asked if they could put their vocals on it, and this led to future collaborations with no more than the intention to dabble. They couldn’t stop and eventually dubbed the project The Black Creatures.

Both Jade and Xavier write and perform vocals, with Xavier at the helm of production and composition. Jade Green has a vocal background in opera and a penchant for theatrics, and both are the foundation of their ever-evolving approach to writing and performing in The Black Creatures. While the instrumentals may set the tone for the show, Jade’s voice captivates the audience from beginning to end. Originally a violinist, Xavier unfurled into a producer and vocalist, maintaining the same air of intrigue and mystery throughout his compositions and performances in The Black Creatures.

The Black Creatures will be releasing their full-length project later this summer, as well as a video for “Wretched (It Goes)” in the coming weeks, so keep your antennae up!

LA-based and raised artist Leah Kate made a remarkable debut with her 2019 Impulse EP. This year, she’s upped the ante with “bad idea” (which appeared on the MTV Push: RADAR playlist and caught a hint of virality thanks to @girls who shared the song with their 5M+ followers on TikTok) and another undeniably groovy electronic-pop meets disco gem called “fuck up the friendship” (which appeared on Apple’s Beats of the Week by Beats by Dr. Dre). Expanding on her accomplished track record as an independent artist, Leah Kate’s new releases credit Hayley Gene Penner, Louis Schoorl, and Sophie Simmons who have collaborated with artists such as Charlotte Lawrence, Lennon Stella, San Holo, and Sam Feldt. Today, she reveals her Used To This EP (with 2 singles previously featured on Spotify’s New Music Friday) alongside the official video for the title track (co-written with Schoorl and Penner) via Ones To Watch – STREAM THE EP / WATCH THE VIDEO.

According to Leah Kate, “‘Used to This’ is about a love interest that set a solid precedent for me, compared to the others that I’ve dated in the past. In a lot of my songs, and something that I think is common in songwriting about an ex or a relationship that is ending, the negatives and all the things that went (or could go) wrong get the spotlight. Even in the lead up to my Used To This EP, my first single was all about how I was nervous jumping into something that was clearly a ‘Bad Idea’ and by the second single I’m saying let’s take the risk, see where it goes and ‘Fuck Up The Friendship.’ With ‘Used To This’ I’m trying to convey just what the title says, that I could get used to this feeling and getting treated right finally! I’ve had my fair share of toxic relationships – haven’t we all? – and when someone is finally good to you, it’s so refreshing and inspires you to be the best version of you too. I also wanted to keep up with the fun disco vibes – something that’s really taking center stage in pop right now – to get everything in a positive, groovy mood.” She continues, “The video captures me in a moment of joy, as I finally find a man who treats me right. It’s set in a vintage 1960s world, where I receive a love letter from my man inviting me to join him on the pacific coast. This was so fun filming, and we did it all safely during the pandemic. I produced this with one of my friends and the director Ari Nissenbaum. We all wore masks and put it together in about two days, it came out really awesome and is probably one of the best videos I have to date.”

Leah Kate’s collection is a true embodiment of her lifelong journey in search of confidence and self-identity paralleled by her IDGAF attitude. The artist to watch captures the young female experience, by looking inward at her own, to deliver bops that will uplift you no matter the situation. In an interview with Wonderland Magazine, she says “My tracks range in topics: ‘Girl on Girl’ is about an experience I had getting cyber bullied over Instagram, and my want for girls to lift each other up, not be mean to one another… ‘BFF’ touches on my experience of how a best friend can be your worst enemy when you don’t even know it.”

Fusing honest and vulnerable lyrics with feel-good dance-worthy production, it’s no surprise Leah Kate has racked up millions of streams since her launch in 2019 and has landed on Spotify’s US and global New Music Friday playlists as well as Creamy, Dance Rising, Friday Cratediggers, Pop Right Now, Pop Rising. Sad Beats, etc. The rising singer-songwriter’s music has additionally been featured on Freeform’s The Bold Type, MTV’s The Hills: New Beginnings, and garnered global support from the likes of 1883, Clash, Dancing Astronaut, Earmilk, HollywoodLife, LA Weekly, Ladygunn, NYLON, Ones To Watch, Pop Justice, Spindle Magazine, The AV Club, and more.

Stay tuned for more music and content from Leah Kate through 2020 and beyond.

It’s strange watching my circle of friends start to do more grown up things like buying houses, getting married, and having kids. We used to dream together with those friends about being rockstars and driving cool cars. Now, they’re settling down and creating lives that mirror my own parents’ late twenties.

Eventually everyone has to find their own way. Our new single, “Linework,” draws from imagery of constants and change inspired by American traditional tattoos – our band members share a few matching ones.

“Linework” is now streaming across platforms.

https://honestheartco.fanlink.to/Linework

“Linework” is about acceptance and coming to terms with how your relationships change. Try to stay in touch and make time for your friends as best as you can.

Everyone’s busy these days – different schedules, different cities, different everything.

Something as simple as sending a text or setting up a lunch date goes a long way. It might not be just like the old days, but it’s still important.

Thanks so much for listening,
The Honest Heart Collective ♡

FACEBOOK + INSTAGRAM + TWITTER

Sarah Grace Photography

There are little ways we can make someone’s day, even if it’s just a smile. The world opens up once we step outside of our bubble and get to know a neighbour.
My new song, “Neighbour,” asks a lot of questions, reflecting on how we as a society don’t always take the time to truly know someone who may live right next door, let alone trust them.
Stream “Neighbour” produced by Andre Kaden Black and Tal Vaisman + watch the official music video via your preferred platform now.
I co-wrote this song with Darrelle London one day while sitting on her back porch in downtown Toronto. We were looking into the surrounding backyards and wondering about her neighbours’ lives and talking about how easy it is to judge people without knowing their story – building fences literally and metaphorically.
It doesn’t matter where you live or where you’re from, we’re all someone’s neighbour and contribute to this society. There is power in trust and love – we are better together.

Thank you for listening,
Abby J Hall

Atlantic recording artist Kiiara has released her highly-anticipated new single “I Still Do” today. The track, available now at all DSPs and streaming services HERE, is set to be included on the multi-platinum songstress’ forthcoming debut album to be released this fall. Speaking about the song, Kiiara says, “’I Still Do’ is about questioning why I have love for someone, despite the situation. The truth is that I just cared and I still do.”

The new single arrives alongside an official video, directed by David Camarena (Ty Dolla $ign, Kehlani, Rich The Kid, KYLE) and streaming now at Kiiara’s official YouTube channel HERE. The moody companion visual introduces Lil Kiiwi, representing Kiiara in the earlier chapter of her career. Flashbacks of Lil Kiiwi are intertwined with Kiiara’s present life, embodying  the idea that while Kiiara is more composed and authentic today, she will always have a Lil Kiiwi side to her.

Produced by Jason Evigan (Dua Lipa, Maroon 5, Demi Lovato) and co-written by Justin Tranter (Selena Gomez, Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga) and Ali Tamposi (Jonas Brothers, Shawn Mendes), “I Still Do” follows the Princess of Chop Pop’s 3x Platinum breakout single Gold and last year’s acclaimed singles, Open My Mouth and Bipolar.”

Hailed by Variety as “another win for the still emerging pop artist,” “Open My Mouth” has earned over 15 million streams worldwide since its release last year. The track garnered praise from numerous media outlets, with Idolator proclaiming it “one of the best pop songs of the summer,” noting the “impossibly catchy chorus, relatable lyrics and endless hooks.” PAPER declared “Open My Mouth” to be “an infectious, breezy tune with a stuttered, insanely catchy chorus.” The track’s official companion video – which features designer Christian Cowan and fashion from his FW19 line along with a special cameo appearance from Austin Mahone – is streaming via YouTube HERE.

Now boasting more than 1.4 billion worldwide streams and counting, Kiiara began writing and performing in her teens, inspired by a diverse range of contemporary pop and electronic forms. The Chicago, IL-based singer-songwriter first dropped “Gold” upon an unsuspecting world in the summer of 2015, earning instant attention for her trademark vocal sampling and gift for indelible hooks. The track proved a global sensation, earning 3x RIAA platinum certification – and over 700 million worldwide streams – en route to the top 5 on Billboard’s “Pop Songs” and the top 15 on the overall “Hot 100.” The single’s companion video was an equivalent success, now with over 106 million individual views at YouTube alone.

Acclaimed by Rolling Stone for “her “minimalist, glitchy anti-pop,” Kiiara celebrated 2016’s breakthrough debut EP, low kii savage, with a wide array of high profile live appearances, including a sold out North American headline tour, a show-stopping performance at Lollapalooza, and network TV debut appearance on an historic episode of NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Kiiara continued to expand her creative palette with such inventive singles as 2017’s “Whippin (Feat. Felix Snow)” and 2018’s “Messy.” What’s more, the chameleon-like artist forwarded her one-of-a-kind sound on a series of high-profile collaborations alongside some of pop, EDM, rock, and hip-hop’s biggest players, including Ty Dolla $ign & Future’s “Darkside (Feat. Kiiara),” Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike and David Guetta’s “Complicated (Feat. Kiiara),” Steve Aoki & Nicky Romero’s “Be Somebody (Feat. Kiiara),” and of course, Linkin Park’s 2017 RIAA gold certified smash, “Heavy (Feat. Kiiara).” The latter track saw Kiiara further teaming with her self-proclaimed favorite band for a number of live performances, including an appearance on CBS’s The Late Late Show with James Corden and 2017’s Linkin Park and Friends: Celebrate Life in Honor of Chester Bennington concert event.

Motorbike James is the musical brainchild and artist alias of Michael Werbicki, a multi-instrumentalist, singer-songwriter and producer from Edmonton, Canada. Motorbike James’ natural prerogative is to live a life in the moment, for the moment. That emotion comes out in all sides of his life – chasing adrenaline highs, riding motorbikes, exploring the world, and most of all through music. Motorbike James is a stream of consciousness writer, he writes through pure emotion and what he feels in the moment. What comes out the other side is a unique offering of music that is hard to pin under any one genre. Elements of electronic, indie rock, psychedelic, and R&B poke through each song. Motorbike James’ debut single “me Roll,” brings deep synths, hip hop inspired beats, and a laid-back vocal we will all come to know and love.

(Credit: Samuel Yong)

Malaysian artist and producer alextbh has released his highly-anticipated debut EP, The Chase, out now via EMPIRE. Stream the EP on all platforms now here. Watch the official video for new single and EP title track, “The Chase,” here.

In an exclusive breakdown of the EP in its entirety, watch the Track-By-Track video showcasing Alex delving into the inspiration and depth behind each of the EP’s songs here.

Speaking on new single “The Chase” and its accompanying video, Alex details:

  • “I usually write songs that come from a place of hardship and pain. But for ‘The Chase,’ I felt empty. There was this void in me I was trying to understand after spending a good amount of time in casual relationships and finding myself shutting out guys who were well-intentioned though I couldn’t bring myself to explore something deeper with them. Those relationships, in their totality, were ‘the chase’ – it starts and ends there. The music video is meant to portray the moments after a casual hookup – melancholy scenes of the outside world juxtaposed with flashbacks of the experience veiled in feelings of disgust, like ‘why did I do that?’ A lot of queer people go through this persistent detachment in relationships. It could be the result of the lack of emotional affection we’ve received that leads to this mess. I don’t want to think about a 5-year relationship, but deep down that is probably what I want. And if I keep leaving this ugly trail, I don’t think that idea will ever be attainable. Only time will tell.”

The Chase represents Alex’s first official body of work and is a landmark moment for the rising artist whose prior releases have amassed 50 million+ global streams. Towing a line between forward-thinking R&B and slick dark pop, much of The Chase is self-written and produced and marks the culmination of a breakout year for the rising artist.

Alex began teasing the EP December 2019 with early single “superstore,” a sultry track that sparked love from outlets like FLAUNT and Billboard, and he performed the track in a live session for MTV Asia as their April 2020 Spotlight Artist. Single “Moments” followed in spring 2020, which EARMILK coined “electric R&B wrapped in liquid pop gold,” while Billboard described it as “a smooth and hypnotic electro-R&B escape.” This May, Alex released sexually-charged single “Between,” which UPROXX to praised for its “piercing melodies and down-tempo grooves.”

The EP has sparked widespread acclaim with strong support at streaming platforms, landing on the cover of Malaysia’s ‘Top Hits’ Spotify playlist and the ‘Rising Pop’ Tidal playlist. Alex was also tipped by i-D in their feature spotlighting Asian musicians defining a new era, describing his songs as “witty and weird, compelling and accessible pieces of worn-in pop.”

This spring, Alex was a featured performer on 88rising’s online music festival ASIA RISING FOREVER celebrating Asian talent from across the globe, which drew love from outlets like NMEHYPEBEAST, and Billboard. He will be included on 88Rising’s upcoming compilation album with a Cigarettes After Sex cover, out July 27. Alex was also invited by PAPER to guest DJ on their curated night of Club Quarantine, a Zoom party inspiring strength in the queer and queer-allied community amidst the pandemic. Alex also participated in IDENTITY: Project Blue Marble, a livestream event benefiting United Way Worldwide’s COVID-19 fund, which was covered by Bandwagon.

On the live side, Alex has already shared stages with the likes of KhalidSevdaliza, and Jess Connelly, and most recently joined Yuna as direct support on her European tour. He has also played festivals such as Good Vibes Festival in Malaysia, Laneway Festival in Singapore, and Lalala Festival in Indonesia.

Maxim Faster, known musically as The Venus in Scorpio, is an electronic producer and songwriter based in Los Angeles, California. Roaming ambiguously across the spheres of 70s Glam Rock, 80s Goth and New Wave, and everything 2000 and beyond, The Venus in Scorpio’s unique sound captures a sprawling sonic essence that is strikingly familiar, while curiously bypassing the conventions of genre.

The genderless, and self-described “mysterious and moody They next door” first gained exposure after BuzzFeed highlighted their experience selling underwear online to secret admirers around the world. Their unapologetic message of self-empowerment, liberation, and sex-positivity attracted a following of fascinated bystanders, who were surprised and eager to listen when a music project was debuted.

The Venus in Scorpio’s second EP, I’ll Never See Him Again, is a dark synth pop trip through more intimate areas of Faster’s life, casting a glimmering pop sheen on their bleak personal experiences in emotional recovery and lost love. Their second single “Daddi Decides” was mentioned in Paper Magazine’s Bop’s Only top 10 for its “shiny ’80s synthpop (complete with a magnificently sticky chorus) [that] casts a heavenly light through its narrator’s shadows”, with Flaunt Magazine hosting the video premiere. The Venus in Scorpio have taken their eccentric and enigmatic live shows to iconic Los Angeles venues such as the Troubadour, Gold-Diggers, The Satellite and the Hi Hat. Faster is currently producing their third EP, This Place Is Killing Me, with plans to relocate to Berlin in 2020.

https://www.facebook.com/thevenusinscorpio/

Born in London but raised in Los Angeles, Kaya Stewart grew up surrounded by music and began writing songs at the age of 6. By her early teens, Stewart had found her place in Los Angeles’ live music scene, sneaking into shows and establishing herself as a performer in her own right. Stewart emerged on the scene with her song, “In Love With A Boy,” in 2014. The candid yet relatable track solidified Stewart as one of pop music’s most promising up-and-coming young artists. After releasing her self-titled debut album in 2016, Stewart toured non-stop across the U.S., including performing dates on the Warped Tour where she was the youngest female artist to participate in the iconic touring festival. Stewart is constantly exploring and redefining what it means to be a pop artist in today’s world – especially one which is currently filled with so much uncertainty. “There was never a moment of ‘oh this is what I want to do’. It’s always just been a part of who I am,” Stewart says. The new single “California” is an authentic coming-of-age anthem speaking to the universal trials and tribulations synonymous with growing up and dealing with relationships – and adulthood in general – in an often fake and fractured world.

neillfrazer@hotmail.com

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