Music

INsiders Guide: Stunna Girl, Meia, Devan, Sleepwoka, Kenshi Yonezu, Callum Pitt, DJ Spinall, Jobaa, James Alphonse, pink roses, Gold Star Gold Star, YellowStraps, STORRY, MIYA MIYA, Wayley, Lisa Nicole, WAYLEY, KiNG MALA…

Stunna Girl, the 22-year-old upstart known for the #RUNWAYCHALLENGE that swept TikTok off its feet last year, debuts a new single today, “Lil Boy Cash,”. Armed with a hunger that has moved her career along quickly in its early stages, Stunna Girl flies through “Lil Boy Cash” with the presence of someone that’s been here before. The results are exciting, to say the least.

[WATCH “Lil Boy Cash” Music Video HERE]

 [LISTEN TO “Lil Boy Cash” ON ALL DSP’S HERE]

Much like her brash 2019 debut album, YKWTFGO, Stunna Girl’s 2020 energy continues to exude defiant confidence and a tenacity that befits her go-getter attitude. “Lil Boy Cash” is meant to be as dismissive as it sounds.  Stunna Girl is already comfortable setting higher standards than her peers, and she isn’t afraid to boast about it. This combination makes “LBC” a potentially lethal anthem, and one that aligns with what has already been a successful launch for the Sacramento native.

Once TikTok grabbed a hold of “Runway,” a YKWTFGO standout, Stunna Girl’s blow-up began—all the while, she’d barely heard of the platform. Regardless, it helped catapult the record to massive popularity levels, including topping Spotify’s US Viral 50 chart, a keen look at the records making waves on today’s essential social and digital media platforms. After her breakout performance on “Runway,” the industry began to discover that there’s much more to the ambitious Cali-based star than her braggadocious barks. One of her first loves was R&B, and she’s quick to divulge how much of an effect acts like Donnell Jones and Sade had on her career. Following a challenging incarceration period as a teenager, Stunna Girl is ready to take her wisdom and hunger and manifest it into a successful career.

And she’s well on the way.

Friends With Benefits” FWB is a relatable anthem for the many people who either fall in love with their friends or are fallen in love with. It’s human nature at it’s finest. The upbeat, alt-pop feel makes listeners want to dance and scream the main lyric, “I don’t F*** with friends with benefits.” This track is for those who thought their FWB left in the morning but found them making breakfast. Her signature dark pop vibe with an alt-rock influence is real and relatable in the world today. With her recent releases Meia hopes to “inspire young souls to be genuine and worry less about impressing others.”

FWB is the first single off Meia’s DEBUT ALBUM releasing January 2021. Meia is a rising pop star with a vulnerable voice and transparent lyrics, and surely a force to be reckoned with. By writing a collection of relatable songs, Meia transforms darkness to light in the lives of thousands of supporters. Her latest EP “Boys Don’t Want a Sad Girl” accumulated over 115K streams across all major streaming platforms.

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It’s Devan! I am so excited for you to hear “Real Shot” today, and share a preview of my new solo project. Listen now wherever you get your music: https://empire.ffm.to/realshot  

You may be familiar with my other band Wild Rivers, but this is a totally different sound for me and I hope you enjoy it. “Real Shot” is written from the perspective of someone looking back on an old relationship, considering what things would have been like if it had played out differently. Growing out of relationships and gaining more perspective on each situation can leave you wondering — what if we were older and more mature, and didn’t let things fall apart? Where would we be now? There’s nothing worse than regretting what you could have done or said. It’s often easy to take a backseat in your own life and half-ass things in the name of comfort, but that’ll come back to bite you in the long run.

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Whereas for many 2020 has been the year that stood still, for Sleepwoka he has been busy songwriting, recording, filming music videos and broadcasting live stream gigs. Sleepwoka’s music is produced in his bedroom in North London. The strong use of analog synthesizers brings a nostalgic 80s vibe and the dream-like atmospheric visuals add a surreal tone to the whole project. Sleepwoka’s lyrics often reflect on the human condition and he is fascinated by how we change over time as human beings. Particularly poignant to the times we find ourselves currently living in, “How I Was Wrong” explores the notion we often believe in our youth that our best years are yet to come. The song challenges what we think is important and whether that is actually true, especially when we come to reflect on simpler times that may have been harder but were somehow freer.

Sleepwoka explains, “When we were younger, we always felt that the best times were always ahead of us and that we would be the kings of this life! As the years go by, and we begin to achieve our life goals, we realise that those carefree times were actually the years where we felt most free and alive. Although we had nothing, somehow life felt more Authentic.”

It’s an interesting challenge to the common trajectory of life to achieve success by working hard and often sacrificing the things that are truly important in the process. “How I Was Wrong” is a timely reminder to perhaps return to simpler yet fulfilling lives – an awakening many are pondering in 2020.

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his past weekend, Kenshi Yonezu, performed for Fortnite’s virtual Battle Royale Game, as the first Asian artist ever. During the performance, Yonezu’s name was immediately trending #1 on Twitter Worldwide. The singer-songwriter and music producer also released his 5th studio album, STRAY SHEEP, just days prior. The pre-sales for the album hit 1 million copies, and his music video for Campanella is sitting at over 6 million views in less than a week. The album wasted no time taking over the iTunes Charts; skyrocketing to #1 under the J-Pop category in over 30 Countries/Regions, along with garnering various positions within the top 20 All Genres category in 22 Countries/Regions, 6 of which hit #1. In addition, STRAY SHEEP achieved #1 in 54 Countries/Regions under the J-Pop Apple Music Albums Chart.

STREAM STRAY SHEEP ALBUM HERE

WATCH THE VIDEO FOR “CAMPANELLA” HERE

For those who are still to check out his music, Callum’s sound combines finger-picked folk riffs with a stunning falsetto voice and rich harmonies. With support from blogs including DIY, Dork and Crack In The Road, radio play with BBC Radio 1 and BBC 6Music, Callum’s previous releases have frequently landed on Spotify’s coveted New Music Friday playlists across Europe and Asia, amassing over 3 million plays in the process. After his first festival appearances at The Great Escape, This Is Tomorrow and Deer Shed in 2019, Callum embarked on his first full UK tour, including performances at Wild Paths festival alongside Jose Gonzalez and a headline show at London’s Paper Dress Vintage. 2020 is set to see at least three new singles from Callum, providing the process isn’t further disrupted by the pandemic.

DJ Spinall is the Afrobeats pioneer that has remained central to the global visibility of the culture rich genre that has taken over the world with its ability to make the heart beat and the feet dance. Visionary and experimental in his application to test the genres boundaries and move it in to new realms, he teams up with dancehall sensation Kranium for his new, self-produced release ‘Everytime’.
Responsible for the creation of music that has been streamed over 100 million times, DJ Spinall has remained on a remarkable run since the genres infancy. His ambitious and expansive discography seamlessly genre-hops across a musical spectrum that includes hip-hop, R&B, dancehall, reggae and more, reflected in his collaborations with the likes of Burna Boy, Mr Eazi, Wizkid, Tiwa Savage, Kizz Daniel and Kojo Funds. His music has positioned him as a central figure to deliver not only the music but the culture too as seen in his inclusion on Beyonce’s ’The Lion King: The Gift’ documentary and via his wardrobe collection that features Ankara prints and an abundant collection of caps that have become synonymous to his branding and a fan favourite amongst his 2.1 million Instagram followers.
The inevitable partnership of afrobeats and dancehall on Spinall’s latest single is born from the soulful and tangible elements that each genre holds within its DNA. Spinall explains “I have made amazing hit records but this is special to me beyond words, a song for all for seasons“. Undiluted and authentic, ‘Everytime’ reflects the breadth, soul, energy and dance-inspiring intensity of black musical expression captured by two artists that sit at the very centre of it. Explaining how the record came to fruition, Spinall continues “I met Kranium for the first time in Uganda at a concert we both headlined, our friendship started from there. Fast forward two years later, we were in studio together in London and we recorded this magic ‘Everytime’”.
Featuring sweet percussive layers, a jazzy rhythm and traditional African drumbeats, Spinall twists the record into his untouchable sound with popping adlibs which are married perfectly to Kranium’s laid-back, seductive delivery, honest lyricism and Jamaican patois. The result is a sensuous, stirring number that sparks the dance within you. The partnering video, premiering on DJ Spinall’s YouTube channel and directed by Dalia Dias, captures both the bold and bright character and cultures of the duo with colour packed scenes playing a primary role in the visuals, alongside statement fashion pieces worn by the cast. Yet the sensual and alluring tone remains equally as prevalent. Glistening, sequin draped dancers and hazed out tones come in to play with Kranium performing to camera and Spinall remaining a central role, capturing the delicate and captivating tone of the record. 
As a DJ, artist and producer, Spinall has a different positioning to his contemporaries and has surpassed the genre confines to crossover into international recognition. Seeing him announced as ‘official DJ’ for the BET Awards in L.A, he then become the first African DJ to perform at SXSW and Glastonbury last year. His continued investment into his own culture and illuminating his rich heritage through his music, fashion and live presence, identified him as a trailblazer and subsequently awarded him as the first African DJ to be endorsed by an international brand via a partnership with Smirnoff, he has since been named as DJ brand ambassador for Pepsi too. 
Continuing to be in the vanguard of musical revolution, Spinall’s collaboration with Kranium for ‘Everytime’ represents more than just exceptional, feel-good music but also a culture rich tapestry and a lesson in the meeting of musical excellence.
DJ SPINALL: INSTAGRAM / TWITTER
KRANIUM: INSTAGRAM / TWITTER

Jobba has made an incredible start to his career he has so far placed at number 20 on the Nigeria iTunes chart and he has received playlist love from Spotify on their ‘Afro Hits’ playlist, ‘New Nigeria’ on Deezer, ‘Afrobeats Now’ on YouTube and GUAP Mag on their ‘Monday Mood’ playlist. 

Recently signed to U.K based record label JustJoJo Entertainment Ltd, ‘Olla’ comes off the back of his feature on Burna Boy Spaceship Collective signee Buju’s single ‘Sweet Love’, which dropped last December. His refreshing, upbeat and innovative style sets him apart from his contemporaries, as he makes his mark with an afro-pop sound. Expect more music to come your way, as he is also working on a debut EP looking to launch early 2021.

In my last year of university, I had been looking for a serious relationship, but I kept meeting girls who just wanted flings. They would kind of treat me as an afterthought and it began getting frustrating. I wasn’t able to be direct and say how I felt, so this song reflects a very passive experience of this circumstance. I found myself meeting other people in the same situation and suggested simply asking the question, what are we doing here? Although this song is a bit more heavily handed, I think communication and openness solves most problems. Watch the lyric video for “What Are We Doing Here” on YouTube now. Listen to “What Are We Doing Here” on your streaming platform of choice. No one wants to be with someone long-term who only views them as a fling, but knowing that doesn’t make it any better. People experience things every day which help to guide their future decisions and grow as an individual. Despite being aware of this, we tend to dwell on the moment.

I hope that this release can alleviate some relationship frustration to help others see clearly.

Ask questions and, if you’re not hearing what you need to hear, you can happily walk away.

Thanks for spending time with this song,

James Alphonse

Pink Roses is an indie pop duo from Los Angeles for fans of LANY and The 1975. They wrote 100+ songs in their bedroom. In their first year, they have already gained over 1.5M Spotify streams, 1M+ YouTube views, and 10K+ Instagram followers. They have been featured on Spotify editorial playlists “Fresh Finds” and “Fresh Finds: Pop.” Scooter Braun shared their music to his Instagram after discovering them on the private app, Clubhouse. They have only played 4 shows in LA and NYC, but have sold out 200 cap rooms with lines down the street. They are completely independent, self-managed, and self-funded. They pride themselves on having a cult fan base, including 30+ Instagram fan accounts, across the globe. Their newest single, “another girl,” is an emotional and nostalgic song about lead singer, Dave Fontenot’s first love. With plans to release a full EP this year and dreams of playing stadium shows, it’s just the beginning for Pink Roses.

There, in the spiraling pattern of petals on your favorite houseplant, in the cell structure of the pineapple on your counter, even in the double helix of your every strand of DNA, is the golden ratio. The mathematical equation is ingrained in organic beauty, a set of specific factors overcome by biological charm. That same paradox powers the debut from Chicago duo Gold Star Gold Star, their take on classic radio pop fascinating in its studied precision, knowing subversive choices, and undeniable warmth. On Introducing… Gold Star Gold Star, the duo of Adam Miller and Adam Obermeier use the language of bands like The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Motown acts–and then twist the dial ever so slightly away from what you’d hear on AM radio. “It comes out with this Lynchian effect of taking something very familiar, and even a slight difference feels a little bit weird,” Obermeier says. “Those exciting moments are in our blood. It’s pop music, so every second needs to be exciting.”

Miller and Obermeier met at a party as students at Columbia College in 2015. “We just started talking about the Beatles, and it moved on from there,” Miller says. Shortly thereafter, they joined with four other Chicagoans to form indie pop outfit Jungle Green. As that band returned from a recording session in Los Angeles in 2017, its members split off into new combinations and projects to kickstart their creative process. For their project, the Adams (as they are often called) decided to set a restrictive genre formula for themselves. But rather than find themselves stuck in a box, Miller and Obermeier explored their adoration of every millimeter of the box’s interior and built dazzling new worlds within it.

The crackling bar band rollick “Brand New Start” provides the ideal opening, vintage organ buried underneath a rich piano and tight harmonies. Later, hushed ballad “How Can I Show You” waltzes through a tear-streaked memory. “Morning comes/ And gives/ You back so tenderly/ From a dream,” Miller sings, wind chimes tinkling as if powered by his sighs. The talk of precious love and angels from above on clap-along “Play It Cool”, meanwhile, echoes Jan & Dean’s California harmonic breeze.

From the earliest inklings of Introducing…, the duo split every element of the album’s recording, aided by fellow Jungle Green member Vivian McCall as producer. Each Adam would come up with song ideas, picking up guitar, bass, piano, percussion, and even lyric-writing as the ideas struck. On day one, they set out to write a track that could fit on Rubber Soul, complete with sublime mono recordings and detailed arrangements. However, their twist came in removing any hint of ownership or control in its lovelorn lyrics. That first song, the swooning “If You Only Knew”, sways in a sepia breeze, every signifier of love hanging in the balance; the plinking glockenspiel and falsetto vocal falls balance against rubbery bass and waves of guitar.

The duo wrote and recorded the track in a single day, and then aimed to write an entire brace of songs in that same process–one a day, until they had an album’s worth. But as they dug deeper, the resulting songs demanded more detailed attention. “From the early ‘60s to Phil Spector to the Beatles, they put way more time and attention into mono mixing than they did their stereo mixing,” Miller explains. And more than an aesthetic, the duo’s recording process was aimed at directing their woozy hyper-emotionality right to the heart. “Working with mono, you’re literally down a dimension, so you have to be a little bit smarter in how you arrange, mix, and EQ,” Obermeier says. “Neil Young has said that mono comes at you, while stereo places you inside the mix. Mono allows you a perception of time and movement that you don’t have in stereo.”

The duo’s name pays homage to their mono aesthetic as well as their own repeated name, doubling up on the name of a Los Angeles studio space that acted as the home for the “wall of sound” and sessions for Pet Sounds, The Association, and Ritchie Valens, all the way through to Sonny and Cher. The Gold Star Gold Star sound falls into that scope as well; Miller and Obermeier follow their inspiration to whatever pure pop brilliance catches their eye. “There was a week where all we were listening to was a lot of Serge Gainsbourg, and you can absolutely hear it on the album,” Obermeier says.

Each song is full of unexpected moments that jolt listeners out of the classic reverie: the wood block on piano stomper “1-800”, the fluorescent fuzz guitar solo on “Talkin’ Need My Friends Blues”, the trickling water on elegiac “Sun Staying Down”. Those twists and turns amass into a language all Gold Star Gold Star’s own. “We don’t want to do the same thing over and over again,” Miller says. “We put unique limitations on each song, and then wound up with something unique every time.”

Riding high of the back of their most recent EP Goldress released back in February, Belgian alternative R&B duo YellowStraps continue to inspire despite the lockdown with their latest single “Frissons” featuring French rapper Nelick. A masterful effort from the Belgian brothers, downtempo synths and relaxed baseline serve as the bedrock for their latest R&B-tinged effort. Performed entirely in French, “Frissons” comes to life as a sweet summer-love song. It’s a tale of the complexities of new love and commitment between two young adults which Nelick narrates with the poise befitting of a Yellowstraps cut. “Frissons” is the first official single of the Yellockdown Project – the brainchild of the Murenzi brothers. Well-documented via their YouTube channel, Yvan and Alban embarked on the challenge of releasing one track per week, every week, featuring a different artist and written in 24 hours. Their efforts have culminated in a 13-track project, with features from artists spanning the UK, US, France, Iceland, Holland, and Germany, all created over the internet. Careful curation, personal connections with each artist and the current global landscape has birthed an innovative collection of music that is a gift in these uncertain times and remains true to the YellowStraps DNA.

Tastemaker acclaim from the likes of COMPLEX, I-D & MAJESTIC CASUAL, radio support from BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra & Radio 6, plus a loyal fanbase the world over that has seen them rack up an impressive 5.8 million streams across platforms all speak to the gravitas they command while yet to reach the peak of their powers. With the Yellockdown Project, they look set to continue their European takeover.

Growing up, I was all about being natural. I’d try to convince my mother she was more beautiful without make-up and that she didn’t need those expensive so-called anti-aging creams or beautifying procedures. As I got older, my breasts stopped growing with me when I was 12. Later, I began working in a strip club for many years, seeing each girl with breasts like mine slowly but inevitably get breast implants. And still, I decided I was happy with what the universe gifted me with. Throughout, I chose to pursue a music career, and it was the one place where I was constantly questioned about my age. Not having ‘made it’ yet, I felt like I was racing to make my art so incredible that no one could deny me entry due to ageist beliefs.

My new song, “WORTH,” featuring Thurz, taken from my EP, INTERLUDE-19, speaks to these fears of insignificance and loss of power which come with ageing, especially as a woman. 

Stream “WORTH” on your preferred platform:
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“Cold Blood” is about the uncertainty that comes with not knowing whether a tricky relationship is meant to be or if it is simply being forced to work. The band worked with the award-winning director Bailey Tom Bailey to bring their vision to life of being stuck in this difficult situation, but also matching it to the strange times surrounding the pandemic. “Cold Blood” is another marker of the British band’s ambitious creative intentions which they have been gaining traction for, merging exciting storylines with hugely gripping cinematic visuals. The single is lifted from MIYA MIYA’s recently released debut EP Cold Blood; a collection of five immersive, layered tracks embodying the four-piece’s anthemic stadium sounds which has resulted in almost half a million streams so far.

Certifying the band’s reputation as a rising talent to keep tabs on, MIYA MIYA have been hotly tipped by top-tier tastemakers as a result of their emotive debut “Underwater” and the explosive movie-like “Hometown”.

Wayley, is the Folk/Pop alter-ego of Americana artist, Andrew Sherriff, that was brought to life in 2018 through a quest for creative freedom. Sherriff is most well known for his work in the Indie/Folk Duo, Andrew & Veda, which gained worldwide success after the release of their debut single ‘Alive’ and debut LP ‘Conversations’. Shortly after the release of ‘Conversations’ in 2017, the duo took a hiatus and Sherriff began performing as a solo act under his own name. In 2019 Sherriff released his debut single, “It’s Gonna Take a While”, which was followed by a Canadian Tour in early 2020.

Andrew has always had a passion for staying true to a genre while pushing musical boundaries in both a creative and commercial standpoint. He has always had a firm belief that you should listen to all of your creative voices, and says Wayley has been an idea in the making for a long time.“You carry a certain amount of integrity when you stay true to your genre, which I take seriously, but you also tend to push away a lot of amazing ideas that way,” said Sherriff.

Andrew has always admired the catchy lyrics and unforgettable melodic hooks similar to the likes of The Lumineers and Vance Joy, which he says have greatly influenced the sound of the forthcoming Wayley EP.

Wayley released the first single off his EP in May of 2020 called, ‘What’s It Gonna Take’. The song was well received by fans and gained the attention of press worldwide. It was featured on Alexrainbirdmusic’s July 2020 Compilation and has been featured on many other high profile playlists. Following that, Wayley released his second single called ‘Waiting For You’ in August 2020, which is first release after signing with Paris Based Publishing Company, ORA.

Photo Credit Suzanne Sagmeister

Canadian country artist Lisa Nicole is excited to share the official music video for her newest single “Do Your Thang”. The video – released last week – was produced by Stacked Films. A breezy summertime recipe of country, pop, and dance elements, “Do Your Thang” is the artist’s ode to individual expression, inclusivity, and the beauty of being yourself. Written by Lisa Nicole, Jeff Johnson, and Jason Thomas, “Do Your Thang” is the second single from her planned 2021 album, Where the Wild Hearts Beat, her first album collaboration with
CCMA award-winning producer Johnson. Speaking about the single, Lisa Nicole says, “I wanted to add an uplifting, high-energy flavour to my album and encourage self-love, embracing everything that’s unique about ourselves, and being brave enough to share that openly with each other.” “Do Your Thang” takes fresh country pop to the edge with one step into the EDM realm, adding a distinct presence on Lisa Nicole’s upcoming album. The song is in line with her new shift towards bolder artistic choices and stronger pop influences accompanying her consistent country flavour. For the Castlegar, British Columbia-raised artist, the genre shift came after she moved to Nashville in the spring and summer of 2018 to further her music career – all inspired by a oncein-a-lifetime on-stage duet with Keith Urban at a 2017 Music City pop-up concert. Even with the dynamic mix of artistic elements at play throughout “Do Your Thang”, it’s the positive message of the song that Lisa Nicole wants audiences to resonate with and reflect on. She says, “It’s kindness and love in 2 minutes and 30 seconds – and a summertime reminder to Do Your Thang!” “Do Your Thang” is now available on all digital platforms

KiNG MALA is the moniker of El Paso born, Los Angeles based alternative soul artist Areli Castro. Touching on themes such as lust, recklessness and badass femininity, KiNG MALA isn’t afraid to spill her guts. Setting out with the intention to create brave and unapologetic music, the bold and brazen artist is delivering her own distinct sound, just the way she wants it. Castro shares, “Thats really the inspiration for the name KiNG MALA, king cuz fuck being someone’s queen, and mala literally means “bad bitch” in spanish.” 

KiNG MALA doesn’t hesitate in spilling her feelings. Her music narrates letting go of fear, being honest with yourself and those around you and ultimately living your truest self. Life is messy and we shouldn’t feel ashamed to show our emotions and speak our mind.

Her latest release “sugarblind” stays true to her fun and carefree ethos. Blending alternative rock and pop, the gritty track is reminiscent of Ashe meets Bishop Briggs. Through metaphorical lyrics, Castro compares the ravenous hunger for something sweet, with the feeling of lust for someone. Showcasing soulful, raspy vocals, brooding melodies and muted tones, “sugarblind” is a relatable anthem for twenty-somethings. 

Produced by Rob Auerbach and mastered by John Greenham (Billie Eilish, Sam Smith, Katy Perry, Banks), the entrancing song evokes a youthful energy while maintaining a musical sophistication.

KiNG MALA hopes her music may allow others to feel confident and cool, confiding, “I hope it helps people feel okay with what they feel, I’m a person with very intense feelings and it took me a long time to realize that that’s a gift not a weakness.” Raised in a hispanic home, the artist is passionate about supporting the LGBTQ+, POC and Indigenous communities and being open about mental health. 

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LA based indie/avant garde singer and songwriter Torii Wolf releases their new single  “Wash Away.” A NYC native, Wolf has previously been featured on outlets like Billboard, Complex, okayplayer, and Stereogum. Previously, Wolf has recorded and released music with notable music. Featuring Rumori Style and Design by Israel Valencia, Wolf states “‘Wash Away’  is a song that I wrote while sheltering in place. Like ‘Summon,’ I sent this record over to Rumori(brilliant composer/cellist). Rumori’s breathtaking parts gave this record everything it needed. ‘Wash Away’ explores the experience of becoming pure, being forgiven, washed away of all sins: the understanding that we are all one. The track is paired with a music video that emulates yin and yang energy,  the polarity, duality,  the symbiotic relationship between the dark and the light,  ebb and flow of life , and dropping into all elements.” The video was directed by Kayko Tamaki DP Kylie Hazzard Memento Mori Productions. icons like DJ Premier, Mike Zombie (the producer of Drake’s “Started From The Bottom”), and Macklemore.  Wolf fuses indie, dance and avant garde to create a moving and unique work of art.

Photo Credit: Lyle Bell

Substance and accessibility. They’re often considered opposing forces when it comes to pop music, making it all the more impressive when a band like Scenic Route to Alaska so effortlessly delivers ample doses of both.

The heralded Edmonton-based indie pop trio – Trevor Mann on lead vocals and guitar, drummer Shea Connor, and bassist Murray Wood – have worked tirelessly scaling the summit of the Canadian and international music scenes. They dropped two acclaimed LPs – 2018’s Tough Luck and 2016’s Long Walk Home – that weave memorable melodies and catchy vocals through compelling, musically-rich arrangements and earned a slew of awards and accolades on their backs. They’ve toured relentlessly across North America, Europe, and Australia and have seen their global fanbase grow exponentially with each amplified chord.

Since taking time to write and workshop new material earlier in 2019, Scenic Route to Alaska have released a pair of singles “Give a Little” in October 2019 and “Daydreaming” in Feb 2020 and played a nearly sold out tour throughout Canada. These singles will soon be featured on a limited edition 7″ vinyl.

With its release on April 29th, “Call Your Friends” is the first single of their upcoming album “Time For Yourself” (release date: Aug 19th). This song is the first in the direction of revisiting their roots with a more organic, unfiltered take on their now-signature sound – or, as Mann puts it, “a truer representation of what we do when we get together and make music.”

Despite the nearly non-stop touring and unwavering determination throughout their time together, the three musicians have enjoyed every step of the journey. That was especially the case with their packed 2019 hometown performance on the main stage of the world-renowned Edmonton Folk Music Festival – a definite career highlight thus far. They’ve also racked up handfuls of awards, including a SOCAN #1 distinction for the single “Love Keeps” and a Western Canadian Music Award for Best Rock Act.

The recordings effortlessly capture the excitement of the band’s live performance, where the energy is palpable and the fun contagious. Always locked in with a syncopation that can only stem from a long collective history, the boys bounce from ballads to bangers with ease, leaving a lasting impression on any kind of audience in front of them. The band is perhaps best defined through dichotomy: young but mature, curious but collected, accessible but substantial. Such balance is all too rare in this scene, but thankfully, Scenic Route to Alaska strikes it with a style all their own.

Jimkata are a three-piece anthemic, synth-washed, electro-rock band based out of Ithaca and Los Angeles. With a triumph of swirling analog synths, infectious pop hooks and candid lyrics, Jimkata have built a distinct sound which has been resonating with listeners across the country.

Friends since middle school, Evan Friedell, Aaron Gorsch and Packy Lunn infuse Jimkata, (named after the so-bad-it’s-good 1985 gym-fu caper Gymkata) with both an adventurous musical streak and relatable lyrical themes. Mixed in with the modern synth sensibilities and hard driven indie rock are influences drawn from the likes of Motown, singer-songwriters like James Taylor and even old country songs, where storytelling and a quick turn of phrase share priorities with melody and the beat. Jimkata have concocted an unusually rich and rewarding mix and one that’s evolved naturally.

After taking a two and a half year hiatus following the release of six studio albums and the successful building of a vibrant, grassroots fanbase, Jimkata are preparing for their next chapter.

Their latest single entitled “Wait For You” narrates the feeling of being in limbo – sitting around waiting and feeling restless while navigating uncertainty. Singer Evan Friedell shares, “I didn’t realize at the time I wrote it how prescient and universal that feeling would become as we experience a global pandemic and a world in chaos.” The video was created by animator Ben Clarkson, who brings further depth and dimension to the notion of waiting. While “Wait For You” is on one level a heartbreak inspired pop song, it is also a commentary on helplessly waiting and hoping for the world to get its shit together.

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Sydney-born, now UK-based songstress Mali-Koa returns with a stunning music videofor her poignant cover of Robin S’ “Show Me Love”, after she gained major acclaim forher previous single “Me Before You”.The visuals explore the relationships of severalindividuals hit by loneliness, cravingattention and affection from their significant other. It authentically shows the joy andpain of being and not being loved–but after all, love wins and love is truly all we need.Mali’s fervently melancholic and moving vocals, underpinned by a soothing acousticpiano production, portray the mood of the video in the most genuine way.Sharing her thoughts on the song, Mali-Koa reveals:“I’ve been listening to the RobinS version since before I can remember. I startedcollecting Ministry of Soundcompilation CDs every Christmas back in Sydney and I used to tell people I wanted tobe a house music singer back then. Who knew that 12 years on it’d still ring true to meand that the lyricswould pair so perfectly with thetimes we’re in. This song is a gentlereminder that in times of sorrow and doubt-love is the key.”With the Honest Records-signee’s effortlessly raw approach to song-writing alongsidemellow productions, the gifted songstress swiftly secured her spot inthe music scene–yet she is only just getting started. As well as already sitting on over 4.5 millionstreams on Spotify, she has previously supported the likes of Nina Nesbitt and MAXon tour, has co-written with rapper G-Eazy on his platinum-selling albumThe Beautifuland Damnedand collaborated with British singer-songwriter JP Cooper–Mali-Koa isundoubtedly an exciting force to be reckoned with.

After spending the past year writing and recording with renowned producers in thestudio, Mali-Koa isnow gearing up for the release of her debut album, out later thisyear. With her sonically refreshing talent, this project will exceed her fans’expectations.

East London based songwriter, guitarist and producer Harry Jay-Steele teases more new music with soul-influenced new single ‘Precious’ – LISTEN TO PRECIOUS HERE – the second offering taken from his upcoming debut album ‘Boundaries’, due for release on 30TH October, via eclectic audiophile label Naim Records – PRE-ORDER HERE.

Recorded with Jordan Rakei’s co-producer and drummer Jim Macrae, the song is influenced by artists around the L.A beat scene including, Flying LotusTaylor Mc Ferrin and Gonjasufi, as well as Blue Note African jazz guitarist Lionel Loueke, “he plays some beautiful percussive guitar lines that he mirrors with his voice and I think this kind of influenced how I wrote the main melody line; you can hear the original riff of the melody I wrote in the second verse, it’s in unison with the voice that’s how the song came about”.

‘Precious’ Steel reveals, “is a love song but not necessarily in the romantic sense. It is about the frustration and madness of realising that someone you love, even yourself, is selling themselves short or heading in the wrong direction and knowing that there’s seemingly nothing you can do about it. It is a meditation on the pain of that knowing; perhaps it’s trying to get that person to recall all the good that they are surrounded by before it’s too late”.

Forging a sound of his own, the Goldsmith Uni alumni is a master of blending his eclectic range of influences; elements of Soul, Indie, African and Electronic Music are weaved into a rich tapestry of percussive rhythms, tasteful guitar work and deft poeticism. His music is a sonically adventurous experience, a complex and layered sound palette skilfully tied around his distinctive vocals.

“It’s the rhythm you notice first. The way each part interlocks, erecting a sustained groove while continually shifting, continually evolving”, wrote Clash magazine in their ‘Track of The Day’ feature for ‘Reach You’ – Steele’s debut single – which saw the talented musician featured as ‘Artist of The Day’ on the pages of Metro, who claimed “it’s unusual to hear such diverse sounds on a debut record”, and interviewed by Wonderland magazine for their ‘New Noise’ feature. Harry Jay-Steele has also been equally well received live being touted as one of the top 7 performances of Bestival by the Huffington Post, as well as free styling with Moses Boyd on his BBC 1Xtra residency and playing a coveted support slot for Grammy nominee and soul legend, Meshell Ndegeocello.

“GoGo Wyne”, which Latashá describes as “an anthem for Black women,” blends deep carnival club sounds with Latashá’s signature smooth rap flow. It’s the second taste of Latashá’s career-defining new music following March’s “Who I Am” – which formed part of the soundtrack for Netflix’s hit series Self Made starring Octavia Spencer and Tiffany Haddish – with more to come helmed by the incomparable DJ/fashion icon Honey Dijon and pioneering Australian act PNAU.

Speaking about “GoGo Wyne”, Latashá explained: “Being in these times, it’s been so challenging to create as a Black artist in America. So much has been taken away from Black artists, and I’m tired of it. ‘GoGo Wyne’ is not just my affirmation song but it’s the manifestation of my people’s success, despite what others might think of our worth. It’s a reminder of our magic even when they try to kill us.”

A music video for “GoGo Wyne” is also on the way, produced by LyteHaus Media – the creative house cofounded by Latashá with her partner and two best friends.

Slowly yet ferociously grinding over the years, Latashá’s genre-bending, conscious music has won the support of major tastemakers including XXL, THE FADER, FACT, EARMILK, OKAYPLAYER, THE SOURCE, REMEZCLA, DJ BOOTH, AFROPUNKBROOKLYN VEGAN and Ebro Darden; her creative stage presence leading to opening slots for some of the greats like Big Sean, Princess Nokia, Ghostface Killah and Q-Tip.

Fast-rising Lebanese artist and songwriter Maro has released his debut single titled “carsick.” The song is out now via Snafu Records and is available everywhere here. Watch the “carsick” video here.

A pulsing pop earworm dripping with melodic hooks and the intricate songwriting prowess of a seasoned artist, “carsick” is a bold first moment for Maro as he begins to release his debut original material. On the track, Maro describes, “Carsick is about my on-and-off relationship with a girl. Despite knowing there’s no point in trying again, I still do, which leads me to bad habits and a repetitive cycle.”

Catalyzed by the storm of buzz sparked after uploading a cover of Lil Peep & XXXTentacion’s “Falling Down” on his YouTube channel in 2018, Maro’s following has grown immensely, with 28 million views on Youtube in the last year alone.

At only 19 years old, Maro is the walking definition of a precocious self-starter. By his early teens, Maro was fluent in 4 languages (French, Arabic, Russian, English) and he currently sings in 7 languages (+ Turkish, Italian, Spanish). He began playing piano in 2nd grade and, by age 15, started writing his own songs.  He taught himself guitar from online tutorials and ravenously consumed a wide array of sounds: heavy metal to old-school hip-hop; 90s grunge to Top 40 pop.

Born in poverty-stricken Beirut, Maro moved several times throughout his upbringing amidst war-torn Lebanon. Emerging from his chaotic surroundings was music – a much-needed constant and creative outlet. He describes, “Moving and traveling around during my early teenage years made me feel lonely, and once I started to write songs and be creative, it became the perfect outlet for my emotions.” Born to a Lebanese father and Ukrainian mother, Maro’s multi-cultural background is a centerpiece of his artistry. Maro notes, “My parents’ taste in music has really contributed to my sound as an artist in terms of deriving inspiration from Lebanese and Ukrainian culture.”

With “carsick” as his first original output, Maro’s creative path is only just beginning, though his vision is already well-defined: to create songs that are sonically distinct and authentic to Maro at his core. As he states, ”I want to have something that fans hear and immediately know, this is Maro…The music is raw and emotional, and I just want people to find it real.”

Singer-Songwriter-Producer, Wonho, releases his first official English solo track and music video, today. Upon release, #WONHO_LosingYou_MV shot up to the #1 Twitter Trend Worldwide. The single is also taking up the #1 spot on the iTunes K-Pop Singles Chart, and is steadily making it’s way up the iTunes All Genres Single Chart. “Losing You” has been the most anticipated release coming from Korea, and is a message to his fans who have stuck by his side day in and day out. Co-written by Wonho, “Losing You” is a love song but most importantly, a song dedicated to the fans who thought they might have lost him. He sings back to them: “Baby I will go to war for you, build an army if you need me to, cause losing me is better than losing you.”

“For me, “Losing You”  is about the connection between people, and the selflessness of loving someone so much that you’ll become one with them and they become even more important to you than yourself.” – Wonho
Late last year, Wonho’s fans tirelessly put forth efforts to show him he wasn’t alone in this world. Their message was heard globally, loud and clear; with multiple hashtags trending worldwide on twitter for weeks on end, online petitions garnering half a million signatures, fans taking it to the streets of Seoul writing supportive notes, and putting up billboards in Times Square, China and all over the world to support him. As told by Forbes“…fans had shown their support for the artist by sending the 2017 song “From Zero,” a special track co-written and producer by Wonho, to No. 1 on Billboard’s World Digital Song Sales chart to help prove his continuing viability and commercial appeal as an artist, songwriter and producer.” After months of fan-driven fundraisers, online petitions, Twitter trends and love; Wonho is thrilled to be giving back to his fans. His fanbase’s new name is Wenne; and the fandom name represents the special bond between Wonho and his fans, who have been there to support him through the ups and downs. Wonho sings passionately on the track “Coz anytime or place I’d be your shield, when you feel, like you ain’t got the fight in you to heal.”
The release of “Losing You” is Wonho’s first step forward in his solo career after signing with Highline Entertainment, which is a subsidiary label of Starship Entertainment—the home to K-pop groups including Monsta X, WJSN and Cravity—and houses viral EDM star DJ Soda [Read HERE on Forbes]. Back in early April, Wonho also joined Maverick Management’s roster, alongside Britney Spears, Madonna, The Weeknd, and many more big-name artists.

Swedish dancefloor-filling indie-rockers Tribe Friday, have released the visual accompaniment to “If I Were You”; The sublime synth-forward closing track from their EP Chasing Pictures (March 27, 2020). The video could arguably be considered the young band’s most fully-realized artistic statement to date. The emotive lyrics were written in Noah’s mid-teens, wrapped in the recent sonic explorations of young adulthood, and now visualized amongst the streets of Stockholm in 2020. It’s the maturation of a busy 12-months that has seen the band fight out of the backwoods of central Sweden to gain international acclaim from the likes of Alternative Press, the airwaves of KROQ, and the stages of NYC & LA.

The song itself is a timeless reflection on being young, bored, and seeking direction. Songwriter and singer Noah Deutschmann says, “It’s classic stuff… about teenage stupidity in a small town, and the longing to get away – to go somewhere bigger, brighter and more interesting.”

Swedish actor/director Charlie Petersson (‘Tjockare Än Vatten’ (Thicker Than Water’]) took this starting point and built a narrative that explores creative muse, complicated relationships, and hidden secrets.
Petersson explains, “When Noah played me the song I was instantly hooked by that feeling of inescapable, beautiful, bittersweetness that it gives you. I was inspired by Almost Famous for the plot; invoking a somewhat Kate Hudson “band-aid” type as being the creative release for the songwriter and then building a movie-like narrative into the limited timeframe, while setting up for a twist in the end. Tribe Friday is, in my opinion, the most interesting indie band in Sweden right now and it was a privilege setting a story to their story.” The video features more rising young Swedish talent in the emotive acting of Wilma Lidén and Erik Pamp (and maybe a few Tribe Friday cameos).

Chasing Pictures was released on March 27th, 2020, and tears through more genres and emotions than, perhaps, the band’s entire previous back catalog combined. “If I Were You” sits alongside the fuzz-laden garage-rock of “Freaky”, which unravels an awkward late-night tryst with an insistent older woman, “Talk So Loud”, which is a sneering frenetic cut that plays off post-relationship apathy and “Choreograph” which tackles social detachment against a bouncing indie-pop backing.

German fans will have the chance to hear songs from Chasing Pictures and beyond during the band’s upcoming (and socially-distanced) September tour, announced today.

Sept 17, 2020        Berlin              Huyleys Neue Welt*
Sept 19, 2020        Wuppertal       Utopia
Sept 22, 2020        Hannover        Béi Chéz Heinz
Sept 23, 2020        Dortmund        Subrosa
Sept 24, 2020        Göttingen        Musa
Sept 26, 2020       Oldenburg        Cadillac

After going out to a bunch of bars last summer and noticing how some men think that they have women under their spell, I decided to write “Thirsty,” my new track. This song is all about making a man work hard to get you, instead of just treating you as a fun time. “Thirsty” is about showing a man who is boss and who makes the rules. I believe that a man should treat you like a queen and want to get to know you. He needs to show you respect before you decide to take another step further into that relationship.

Women are so much more than objects! This song is for all my girls.

You are a boss woman and he needs to treat you right!

Stream “Thirsty” on your preferred platform now.

We recorded at Toronto’s Iguana Studios during Stage 2 of COVID, so we had to be very cautious, but there were such great vibes in the room. “Thirsty” is a night club obstacle course in a song. Ladies, imagine yourself dressed up looking like a snack and making a guy work to get your attention. I want this song to empower women: to set higher expectations so you’re treated the way you deserve to be treated.

Thank you for listening,

BROOKLXN

Like the rainforests from which their name derives, the steady beat of the west coast can be found within the sound of Carmanah. From muddy blues-funk to light soaring melodies, Carmanah creates music that curves and tumbles through valleys and over peaks guiding the listener on a celebratory sonic journey.

Recognizing Carmanah’s passion for their home and the ways it influences their music, renown producer Gus Van Go (The Arkells, Sam Roberts, Wintersleep) coined the term “West Coast Soul” to describe their unique sound. The band’s first album, Speak in Rhythms produced two #1 CBC Music tracks, the effervescent ‘Roots’ and shimmering, brooding ‘Nightmare’, setting the tone for this new west coast sound.

With one album behind them and one ahead, Carmanah is crafting a musical niche of their very own, a vintage blend of the intuitive and the technical; a blend that lies somewhere among roots, rock and blues — all seamlessly woven together by Laura Mina Mitic’s soulfully luminous vocals.

Iris, their forthcoming album is a natural evolution and a moody counterpoint to their debut. Recorded between the wild forests of B.C. and the concrete high rises of Brooklyn, Iris is a heartfelt offering, a tapestry of thoughtful stories for our time. Undulating rhythms and bountiful instrumentation create a rich sonic backdrop for driving melodies and potent lyricism. The first track ‘Mountain Woman’ shows rousing vocals layered atop of propulsive rhythms, a joyful assertion of feminine energy and natural power. Lead single ‘As I See You’ is one of the gentler songs on the album, a sultry composition that speaks of friendship and holding up the people you love while valuing what they love in you. It’s a track that carries a compassionate message; “By embracing those who love us, within ourselves we can find a sense of home and belonging in our own skin”, says Mitic, “By caring for the environment around us, we also care for ourselves.”

As a collective, Carmanah — who’s lineup also includes guitarist and vocalist Pat Ferguson, keyboardist Mike Baker, bassist Jamil Demers, drummer Graham Keehn and backup vocalist Lo Waight — share a reverence and respect for humanity and the earth. This shared ethos guides the decisions they make as a band; from being ambassadors for The Jellyfish Project, an educational and movement-building environmental organization represented by a global coalition of musicians; to touring in a retrofitted vegetable-oil driven tour bus, an ambitious project that Ferguson himself has taken on in his own backyard. Woven into their music is contemporary comment on the current political climate, environmental issues and the human condition; “I get really excited when I think about music as a way to spark action,” Mitic explains.

The passion and authenticity Carmanah brings to all that they do has certainly caught the attention of audiences and media alike. Jon Williams of The Zone 91.3 Victoria calls Mitic “the Stevie Nicks of our generation,” and Mike Devlin of The Times Colonist states that “Very few bands in Canada fuse harmony with adventure in the way Carmanah does in concert.” Vancouver’s Daily Hive recently ranked the band among B.C.’s top acts to look out for, and with the band playing to rapidly growing audiences there are plenty who agree. Appearances at notable festivals such as Edmonton Folk Festival, Hillside Festival and Winnipeg Folk Festival, as well as tours and shows throughout Canada and the US supporting Current Swell, KD Lang, Ziggy Marley and others, have allowed the band to hone their craft, while their natural chemistry as musicians electrifies the crowd. “The thrill of making a connection with an audience — any audience — is what keeps me going,” says Ferguson.

While Carmanah shines in front of live audiences, their emotive music has also found new audiences after being featured on the soundtrack for the independent film Run With The Ghosts of Giants (2019), as well as on such TV shows as CBC’s Heartland, Showcases’ Lost Girl and CityTV’s Hudson & Rex.

Carmanah shows that commercial success does not mean compromised personal values; that cross continent touring can also be low-impact; that a moral compass serves to make the path more clear, and that the music always sounds better when you play it with friends.

Emerging pop singer-songwriter Gillian Heidi is releasing her new single, “Desperate.” Following on the heels of her recent singles, “High” and “Static,” “Desperate” is another preview of Gillian’s forthcoming debut album, 3AM, slated for release later this year.

Underscored by layered harmonies and full-bodied instrumentation, Gillian’s R&B-infused pop vocals take centerstage on “Desperate” as she sings of the guilt and thrill that comes with having a crush while in a relationship. “I think that ‘Desperate’ really sets the tone of the album,” she writes, “it was one of the first songs I wrote for the album and it’s one of my favorites.”

Gillian Heidi treats her music as a conduit for truth. Whether behind the piano or with a guitar in hand, the Boston-based artist chronicles life’s ups and downs, ebbs and flows, and trials and tribulations with thoughtful clarity, poetic eloquence, and a stirring soulful voice. Documenting the dissolution of a relationship, confronting the pains of addiction, or facing loneliness, she confidently conveys unbridled emotion with wisdom that belies her 16 years of age.

Gillian made her introduction last year with the independent release of her debut EP, Unfiltered. The lead single, “What It Felt Like,” impressively tallied 200K Spotify streams — no small feat for an unsigned act. 2020 is shaping up to be another banner year for the young songstress as she heads towards the release of her album, 3AM, due out later this year.

Listen to “Desperate” on all streaming platforms today:
https://song.link/us/i/1523366911

World music artist Ajeet’s new EP LUNAR is out now and featured on Parade.

Ajeet says, “Each stage of the moon’s cycle has an essence and a feeling. These four songs explore the energy of each phase; waxing, full, waning, and darkness or shadow. While these are tangible expressions in the sky above, they also reflect the moods and states within our own being as we move in cycles through the rhythms and seasons of life. At times we are drawn outward into the world, in our fullness, and at times we feelcalled inward to restore, nurture and contemplate. This musical journey is not separate from nature, not separate from the ebbs and flows of the human heart. It is a companion and a sanctuary to relax into as you move through these ever-changing cycles of life in all its facets and all its shades.”

Ajeet is a world music artist weaving inspiration from traditional Irish folk to mystical and meditative soundscapes. She and her band come together from Spain, Ireland and the United States to offer a musical experience which transcends boundaries and takes listeners on a journey through song. Soaring harmonies and poetic lyrics meet harp, African and Latin percussion, acoustic guitar and Irish instrumentation for a musical exchange with deep roots in melody and sonic texture. Ajeet’s creative process extends beyond live performance to her recording studio, where she produces and engineers her own records. She is a multi-instrumentalist weaving bodhrán, piano, whistles, flutes and more into her live performances and recordings. Celebrated as #1 on the iTunes World Chart and Billboard Top 10 New Age Chart, Ajeet’s music continues to be embraced by communities around the world.

LUNAR is out everywhere at smarturl.it/Lunarep

I’ve been missing that summer
Hangin’ in your neighbourhood
Nicky nicky nine door, truth or dare and backyard pools
Produced by Platinum-selling Joel Stouffer, I wrote this song with Andrew Austin and Willa (Ali Milner). Close your eyes and be taken back in time to a worry-free childhood. You know, that feeling when there isn’t a care in the world, and anything is possible!
I think there are a lot of things that we may have taken for granted before this pandemic hit. Although we are living through a rough time right now, our joyful memories can never be taken away from us. Let’s work towards a place of peace, happiness, and health. 🖤
Thank you,
Max Parker

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Fun and flirty, Tengo is about having confidence in who you are.  Sabates infuses her sleek pop production with dashes of latin flair that speak her cuban roots.  To capture the essence of Tengo, Sabates enlisted the help of director Cameron Nguyen and editor Kate McFerren.  The creation of video – as well as the production of the music – has been a long and passionate journey for Sabates.  “I am so grateful for the team,” Sabates explains.  “We wanted Tengo to be a song that everyone can get up and dance to.  I am so proud of the process it took to get here!”  The music video for Tengo is out now.  Keep an eye on www.OliviaSabates.com for updates and news.

Rainer + Grimm have been described as Toronto’s contemporary dance music response to the alternative R&B sound the city is infamous for. With industry credits for the likes of Drake, The Weeknd, DVSN, French Montana, Swae Lee, Allan Rayman etc. they are poised to push their unique sound to the masses like never before.

R+G’s official remixes for Sam Smith, Jessie Ware, Years & Years, Johnny Orlando, R3Hab, and many others have found homes on commercial airwaves and basement dance floors alike and had lead to an official label string of releases on Universal Canada / Warner / Casablanca / Physical Presents.

Rainer + Grimm records have been streamed over 35 million times across all streaming platforms, boding millions of those streams independently with their “Bridge EP”, the UK influenced “Talk of The Town”, and 2019 releases of “Different Love”, “Be Your Girl” and of course “All For You”. Now in 2020 after their self-released single of “My Lover” featuring uk songstress has garnered hundreds of thousands of streams, they are ready to show another side of themselves. With their latest release “Home”, alongside Canadian singer and songwriter Brianna Corona, they delve into the world of UK Garage, giving you a taste of the album that they plan to release later this year.

Indie pop artist, Kaya Stewart is thrilled to share her new version of her single “California” featuring Childish Major that is out now along with the music video featured on V Magazine

The original version of the song was featured on BlackBook but now the track’s profile is boosted with a new version with Childish Major, the rapper who released his debut album ‘Dirt Road Diamond’ last year and who has previously collaborated with J. Cole.

Kaya says, “I felt like California was going to be the answer to all my problems at that time in my life, it was going to be the move that changed everything for me. But the song turned into a metaphor for that moment in your life where you think, ‘If I could just fix this, I’d get my life in order.’ It’s about having to face what’s going on and being able to accept what your real problems are.”

The single 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.

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.

Melvoni, the young Brooklyn upstart setting the city’s rap scene ablaze with his high-octane anthems, continues #MAF (Melvoni Approved Fridays) with the release of “City Rolling,” a new song and video featuring YSN Flow. The record continues his sturdy Melvoni Approved Friday’s campaign, which has continued to grow the 16-year-old’s buzz following the release of his debut EP, WHO TF IS MELVONI.

[LISTEN TO “CITY ROLLING” HERE]

[WATCH “CITY ROLLING” HERE]

[FOLLOW MELVONI ON INSTAGRAM HERE]

With every release, Melvoni’s songwriting and rapping abilities expand. His consistent #MAF campaign has resulted in standout records like Stackhouse” that have undoubtedly boosted his profile and garnered attention from outlets like Pitchfork who named his latest #MAF release “Oh My, the New Rap Song of The Day on August 3rd and featured the track among The Pitches: Best Rap of The Week.

On “City Rolling,” Melvoni reprises his role as well intentioned soul of mischief, waxing poetic with YSN Flow about the fast life they’ve adopted as they chase their dreams. Following YSN Flow’s verse, Melvoni jumps headfirst singing and disallowing even the most casual listener from turning away from his melodic brilliance. The music video, also available now, is an engaging snapshot of a day in the life, as Melvoni and his crew traverse empty alleyways, basketball courts and gas stations, merely looking for a spot to post up and be themselves.

At this point in his young career, it already appears that there’s nothing Melvoni can’t do. He’s captured the hearts of city faithful with his EP and #MAF run, and his versatility is an early indicator that rowdy anthems come just as easily to the young artist as the emotion-laden ballads that have grown him a trusted audience.

Nigerian music export, GRAMMY/BRITs-nominee, two-time recipient of BET’s Best International Act award and MTV Europe Music Award’s Best African act – has officially introduced his fifth studio album, TWICE AS TALL. He also made his grand return to late night television as a musical guest on last night’s airing of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. The 15-track album is now available on all DSPs and streaming services here.

Alongside the album, Burna Boy has also introduced his official comic book “The Secret Flame.” Narrated by his grandfather Benson Idonije (veteran broadcaster/journalist/music critic and former band manager of the legendary Fela Kuti), the animated comic (available here) follows Burna Boy through a spiritual journey of discovering oneself while highlighting the very moments that brought him to where he’s standing tall today. Physical copies of “The Secret Flame” are now available for purchase via www.onaspaceship.com/.

“TWICE AS TALL is the album about a period of time in my life. It’s the album about the struggle for freedom. It’s the album about life in general, real life, good times, bad times, happy times, sad times, great times,” says Burna Boy.

Executive produced by Sean “Diddy” CombsBosede Ogulu and Damini “Burna Boy” Ogulu, TWICE AS TALL, sees notable features from Senegal’s Youssou N’dourNaughty By Nature, Kenyan band Sauti SolChris Martin of Coldplay and Stormzy with additional appearances from LeriQTelzP2JRexxieTimbalandMike DeanAnderson .Paak and Mario Winans.

The album, mostly recorded in Lagos during the COVID-19 pandemic, is a beautiful mélange of sounds. 11 of the 15 tracks were produced by Nigerian producers, 8 of which are from the Spaceship Collective.

The album’s first single “Wonderful” (produced by Telz) earned widespread praise from several outlets including Rolling StonePitchforkTIME,  Entertainment Weekly and many more. Burna described the song as being “about the ‘wonders’ of seeing the impact of my music on people’s lives while touring, and it also serves as a note that no matter how far you go, or how hard you work; you must be ready to come home. Above all, Africa is home, it is the motherland to all people.”

Notable tracks include “Alarm Clock” (produced by P2J, co-produced by Diddy) which serves as a beautiful display of the Afro-fusion genre that Burna coined himself, “Monsters You Made” ft Chris Martin (produced by LeriQ) which tackles miseducation, global systemic racism, police brutality, corruption and social injustice from the Niger Delta in Nigeria to the pillage of African land and “Wetin Dey Sup” (produced by Telz, co-produced by Timbaland) which speaks to the pulse of the Nigerian Youth with the unapologetic message of “they only respect the money and the violence.”

After a recent conversation with Burna Boy, The New York Times went on to declare him as “a leader amid a bounty of new African pop,” before going on to make it clear that “Burna Boy hasn’t diluted his African heritage to reach his global audience. Instead, he has placed an unmistakably African stamp on music drawn from all around Africa and from across the African diaspora.”

Throughout TWICE AS TALL, Burna Boy takes stock of his accomplishments, his vulnerabilities and at the same time encourages ambition and perseverance in the face of uncertainty and against all odds. While this album is a pure, unapologetic African body of work, it boasts of a global contemporary sound that is for everyone. For the “African Giant” this project is a product of a potpourri of emotions and he is now standing “twice as tall.”

neillfrazer@hotmail.com

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