Category Archives: Africa

Vance Roday Gives Us Some Plain Honesty In Aqua

South African artist Vance Roday has released his debut album Aqua over the past weekend and this is a project that has allowed him to be a bit more open than the past.

Vance Roday

The reason why I decided to call this project Aqua is because I feel like I’m experimenting with more sounds and styles and just letting my river of creativity to flow.

I am digging the sounds that are coming from the album. It’s just a smooth easy listen. Sonically, I think there was a theme that Vance was shooting for because even the transitions from track to track were flawless. I got to the last track of the album ‘Dreamsold’ and said to myself, “Is that it?” What I meant was I was left wanting for more, in a good way. 

Hallucinating is one of the songs that really stuck out for me. The sound reminds me of a lo-fi version of a Wu-Tang track. The decision to have a piano lead alongside with all the other choices made for the sound gave off a dream-like state listening to this track. A dream where only the subject is living in a world that can’t be real, but in their head it is. The line where Vance says everyday feels like Halloween really captures that. It’s a one-in-a-year event, but imagine living everyday where you have people in costumes and everywhere you look it’s like a kiddie horror film. It’ll get to you after a while.

Just Me, Trust Me is a track, to me, about wanting to live your life without judgement. Be able to walk in their truth (whatever that may be). The first verse sets the tone where Vance questions why he’s being judged by sinners. It’s likened to the line you may have heard “Only God can judge” or some derivative of that. Then in the second verse he gives a (not mentioned) expectation of things to come. Which is simply “Who knows?”. But he also provides reassurance that it doesn’t matter, but to trust him to be him. That is what we should want in a person right? To be honest with themselves and not forced to be like the expectations of someone else.

This project I really dived into issues and topics dealing with depression, anxiety, fears, relationships, creativity, dreams, desires, coping mechanisms and self love. … With that, showing the different parts of myself and personality. I’m a person who really keeps to themselves, so I show myself more in my music more than anything

Everything that was done for this album like the lyrics, production, and all the extra background stuff was done by Vance. The run time is approximately 25 minutes so you can pop this on during a ride to wherever you are heading. Just let Vance talk to you about some real life honesty. I think it’s sufficient to say that all of his hard work has produced a gem of an album. His star can only rise from here.

Leil Gives Us Some Chill Vibes in 3ini

Moroccan artist Leil gets on some amapiano in her latest track 3ini. I’ve been following her for awhile and there is a lot of diversity in her music. I don’t tend to hear a lot from North Africa so every artist I get a chance to listen to stands out. Amapiano, like any other type of music, is universal but I still got surprised when I saw it coming from Morocco. Not the style one hears for sure.

There is also a music video tied to the song and there isn’t much going on. You see Leil in some camera shots walking around, but nothing more than that. Leil’s voice is noticeably soft and it just melds so well with the production. I can also say that after a few repeats, 3ini just grows on you. If you are a fan of amapiano, than you can toss this track on the list.

New Music Friday: 10/1 – 10/8 featuring Lordkez and Shekhinah

We are at the end of another week and ending it on a bang with lordkez and Shekhinah with Belladonna. This track is a part of lordkez’s upcoming project Midsummer. I thought I had done a post before involving lordkez because I’ve seen her name in my social media news a lot, but as it turns out, I covered Shekhinah November last year with her song Tides

lordkez
lordkez via Twitter

The production is so infectious when you listen really closely. There is that surface level on top, but the magic happens around that bass. It’s not the same and switches up from time to time. There are even parts of it that reminds me of producer Sango when he would dabble in Brazilian trap music for his instrumentals.

The theme of the song sounds like it’s about an alternate ego of a woman named Belladonna and how she lives in a higher plane than us mortals. The way they sing about her (and probably themselves as her) makes you in awe of her. All of these platitudes and adjectives sung are fitting with the production and just how upbeat it is. Men (and women?) would give up so much just to spend some time with her and Belladonna is aware and makes sure she’s just a step ahead of everyone else. 

Shekhinah
Shekhinah via Twitter

The music video is simply a *chef’s kiss*. I am loving that the music videos for the past couple of years are introducing some fauna for the visuals. And aside from the plants and flowers, everyone on set was on point with their outfits. Can’t really put a word to it, but it is like seeing art come to life. The only time the character was broken was when lordkez was doing the second half of her verse. I’m not even saying anything was wrong because I really appreciate the details within the video. The song and video is a breath of fresh air audibly and visually. Gonna be on the lookout for her upcoming project Midsummer.

I’ll Never Get Over You, Mikhale Jones

Mikhale Jones gives us a taste of that fresh, raw emotion one experiences right after a breakup in the song Get Over You. This isn’t just a breakup like what you might see or hear about. This is a breakup of your first love. Mikhale does so well to reach deep within to get the emotional connection to the listener. The lyrics aren’t overly complicated either. They are direct and what you would expect to hear from a person who is trying to make sense of what just happened.

Mikhale Jones
via Shazam

So when you just want the lyrics and the singer, Mikhale, to do most of the work on a track, you want the production to elevate and not overtake. For the first 75% of the song (about to the second iteration of the chorus), you mostly just have the acoustic guitar playing. And it’s perfect. You don’t need much when Mikhale is painting those images across your heart with her emotions. The song is efficiently done and all parties involved with the track did a great job.

via Genius

So this track is a part of an upcoming album It Is What It Is around the beginning of October. It looks like we’ll get 11 tracks and with the release date so soon, this might be the final single until the album release. I can’t wait to hear the entire album.

Perrie Gets Tired Of The Games In Fann El Lom

There is something about Sout El-Hob Records. I haven’t written a lot about music coming from Egypt, but the best music I hear comes from this music company (i.e. Zenia El Shazly). We are gonna add Perrie to that list with her recent single Fann El Lom (The Art of Blame). The vibes are so chill and laid back that all you can do is bob your head to the beat. I love the depth of her voice and it blends well on the track. It comes out better during the verses part of the song. 

Perrie
via Facebook

The translation of the available lyrics is meh. It is Google after all so I don’t have much faith in them, but from what I can gather, Perrie just got tired of being a part of the blame game and decided to leave. At the very end of the song she gives a warning to the other person that they won’t be able to sleep after this. When you provide so much for the relationship, you are gonna miss it when they aren’t there anymore. 

This track is a part of her EP, 12:01AM. It has four tracks. Two rapping and two singing. So I liken Perrie’s style to Lune from Germany. The flow and singing sound similar so the type of production can be the same but they both can approach the sound in multiple ways.

Faith K Is Struttin’ On The Floor In Moyeni

South African artist Faith K releases her latest single Moyeni (translated as Breath). The sounds from South Africa are among one of the unique sounds all across the world when it comes to R&B, in my opinion. So credit to the producer pH Raw X for the beat. This track is low on the lyrical content, but high on the energy and that’s what I felt when I was listening to the song. In fact, I was thinking that this would be perfect for a club set if someone wanted to go that far. Faith K is surely making it on my playlists for years to come.

Chilla Swings High In Toi Mon Amour

Rapper and singer of multiple nationalities (Malagasy, French, and Swiss) Chilla gives us some afrobeat in her latest song Toi mon amour. I didn’t hear any flows on this track so it’s all singing this time. The track is a love song for the man in her life and a lot of talk about him calming her down among other things that he does for her. She even goes into the pre-chorus about how she even gets a little jealous and a little scared, in verse 2, about how she worries about the guy answering to a DM. 

from Deezer

You’d think she was the one stressing about life, but the guy in the music video was the one stressed out. To be fair, they robbed a gas station and carjacked another person. And in another scene, you have a high-on-life Chilla swinging an aluminum bat trying to knock a can of the guy’s head. I’d be a little nervous too. 

Be Like Nina And Express Yourself So Says Wayne Snow

How cool that when you think you’ve heard it all, artists like Wayne Snow deliver a jam that feels so original to the ears and a jam at the same time. The Nigerian artist has found the natural progression of what vogue music would be in the 20s. Now I would never consider myself an expert on any scale in terms of voguing, but when I see the music video, those are the feelings it triggers for me. 

Nina is a celebration of the body, the self, the mind and nothing else. Do not look for the all-complicated. Dance to free yourself from the shackles of the society that prefers you rigid and obedient. Dance and stir as you see fit. Like Nina do it wherever you like;

Dance, lose yourself in the dance as if to find yourself;

To dance is to let the soul speak, to let it guide you;

Have no fear;

Dance

Wayne Snow – Nina

Wayne is right and is expressed so with all the dancers. Looks so effortless and fun just like the production on the track. When you hear that bass and the melodies being played, you get the best of vibes coming through you. Infectious even I’d wager and you just can’t help to move to the beat. I love everything about this song and its presentation for the audience. Wayne Snow has a new fan over here.

Elaine Is In Need Of Some Self Care Right Now

South African singer Elaine has released her first single, Right Now, since her debut album Elements from back in 2019. This track is hitting those lay back and chill vibes. And that is the mood that she gives off with her voice as the goal is to move on. Moving on from a guy who likes to play around, but always beg to keep her around. 

To double down on the tone, when you look at her music video, all Elaine is doing is living her best life at various places. Even when she’s in the booth recording, she goes in club-ready attire. She knew what kind of night she wanted to have. Even went as far as to go on a boat and sail far away to enjoy the scenery. This mystery guy must have been all kinds of bad where Elaine went through all the hoops to get her mind right.

New Music Friday April 16 – 23 Featuring KWAYE

The Zimbabwe-born singer KWAYE released his latest (and heartfelt) single Runaway. This is a song that has been in the making since 2016.

This is a song that needed the power and grace of a talented singer and KWAYE delivered. He sings about this situation where his mother taking him away from his father. Then continues about trying to keep it together while holding on to his feelings throughout it all. But he sings from the perspective of a boy so you can imagine how one can process the myriad of feelings for someone so young. Well, KWAYE tells you, he just had to run away.

This power and emotion behind this song reminds me of one in particular and that would be Yebba’s My Mind. Now full stop, this is not a comparison because that song and performance from Yebba deserves its own space and to be revered for what it is. But I gotta say, you hear it coming from KWAYE’s voice. I’m probably jealous in asking if there would ever be a live performance of this song. However, one can understand if it would be too raw to do it live or choose not to overdo a song that I can tell is precious.

The production was perfect for this song because it took a step back and was refreshing. Normally I’d preferred a mix of 50/50, but Runaway in particular needed more of KWAYE’s presence on this track. Yes, the music fits well with the tone, but no music arrangement or production could compare with one’s voice filled with soul and emotion.