New Music Friday – April 17-24

Cover Artist – Lola Young – None For You

So let me start off by saying I bombed the title last week. I have been inside the house for so long that days no longer matter. I just simply forgot. It’s now gone past cabin fever, it’s groundhog’s day syndrome.

This week was hard to choose. Like really hard. My wife said she’s gonna put several of these songs on her Google Play Music playlists. I know sometimes I go out there to find music, but if she’s giving the thumbs up on multiple songs, that’s like the highest praise of a compiler of music like myself. So I ended up giving the cover artist spot to Lola Young. There is something about her song None For You. The ol’ grass is greener type of song and she’s running as far away as she can from the other person in the song. Sometimes, the simple songs, simple melodies, and simple themes gives room for the artist to go wild with their creative juices flowing. And Lola is just lovingly and melodically taking piece-by-piece of all the stress off of her shoulders. Letting us know that her big problem now is having too much time. A sentiment a lot of us is sharing right now.

We also have Gen Neo and Sam Rui, Singaporean singers with their song Mine. You can really feel the passion in their duet. Speaking of another duo, Nigerian artists Nonso Amadi and Paul Play has a nice groove called Kolo. South Floridian Savannah Cristina shows her dominance in her song Comfortable. Her web page is top-notch too and looks like no stage is too big or small to perform and record music.

Big applause to an artist that needs no introduction, Kelly Rowland and her single Coffee. She was speaking to some people on that song. Ethopian-born, Stockholm-raised artist Naliyah telling us she needs something more than words in Show Me Love. On the flipside, Chilean artist Dulce y Agraz and the song Ay Amor (if i’m reading the translation right), you can take it like SZA’s Weekend. Love to her is just in the moment. And there’s an understanding because what’s important is the here and now, no strings attached.

We are rounding out the shoutouts to Elizee from South Africa and his song Don’t Call Me, Jafunk and DiRTY RADIO and their song, The Baddest, and the artist I’m going to always show love for, Becca Hatch from Sydney, Australia with Girl Like Me. Get on the bandwagon. Becca is an amazing singer and diverse in what she puts out. Free advice, just keep following her career.

Spotify Playlist April 17-24

Cover Artist Nominees feat. Lola Young

Like Nicki? No, like Aleesha

Cover Art – Si Tu Quieres – Aleesha

One of the reasons why I LOVE what I’m doing is because I get to discover discovered talent. People from these artists’ hometown have known them from grade school and I get to act like the guy who yells from the rooftops, “HEY EVERYONE, GUESS WHO I JUST FOUND ABOUT TODAY?!?!?!?” When I heard Like Nicki come on the playlist last week, that’s how I genuinely felt. That wasn’t the only feeling I had. I felt like I need to go start my car just to blast this song because just gets you in the mood to not care what anyone has to say. You know sometimes when you are on the highway (or country’s equivalent) and you get the urge to go 30 miles higher than the speed limit because you feel like no one is gonna stop you? It’s that feeling and it feels good.

I was looking at an interview she did with HIGHSNOBIETY last year before her performance at the Sonar Festival and there was one piece that stuck out to me. It was over the question about the Spanish music scene and she responded with her feeling like she’s not understood. That the folks around town doesn’t get her. When I read that, I thought about another music artist that is probably one of the biggest stars in recent memory, Rosalia. Their music not similar, but they are both modern. I think when it comes to Rosalia, you REALLY hear the Spanish culture/influence with her neo-flamenco production. It maybe that it’s something Spanish people could connect to easier because it’s something they can recognize.

That isn’t to say there aren’t the Latin influences in Aleesha’s music as well. You can just tell what she wants in her music. To be honest, as global as hip-hop and R&B is, I can’t imagine people from anywhere can’t get in love with the music. Hearing that she already had people she was working with in Atlanta speaks to how production ended up being. And kudos to them tweaking the music to her style. For those who say it’s similar to Tinashe and Rihanna, I can understand where they are getting at. Can you have the best of both worlds? That’s some pressure to put on someone, but she’s definitely has the talent to live up to expectations, but more so, make a name for herself.

Aleesha – Si ti quieres
Alicia – Like Nicki

Shoutout to Lucy Thorpe from HIGHSNOBIETY with her interview with Aleesha. I used some of her material for this blog post

Barcelona’s Aleesha Reveals Her Favorite Places in the Catalan Capital Ahead of Sónar Festival

Aleesha – Spotify

Aleesha – iTunes

Support your artists!!!!

New Music Friday – April 10-17

Cover Art – Aleesha – Like Nicki

It’s another week in our personal cabins (fever) staying safe from the bag germs (as my daughter would say). This week is a little light. Not a whole lot music this week, but as I say, quality over quantity. As long as the music is good, we will play it. Speaking of quality music, shout out to Joy Crookes for performing her new song Anyone But Me. I mean it’s a serious song about mental health, but if you caught her for the COLORS show, you were able to see her perform it live-ish. Another song that I was digging this week was from Ambar Lucid and Universe. It caught me off guard when it came on and I had to put it on repeat. If you have a chance to get listen to her new project Garden of Lucid, do it.

A new artist on the scene from Korea, DeVita gave us all the vibes from her song EVITA!. Her music video laid back, yet at the same time sort of trippy. They really put some extra time in the video production department for this.

I gave props to this duo from Darkie Fiction from Johannesburg, South Africa earlier this week for releasing their new EP Endaweni. They stick to their South African roots while incorporating hip hop and fast paced funk. This is an EP meant to be played at loud volumes.

To the cover artist this week, Aleesha. When I heard her song, Like Nicki, it gripped me. This song is as tough as its music video. Just taking a stroll and wishing someone would interject them taking claim to ever growing stage. There was a scene that had a random person open the door in the background as the group kept dancing forward. He said nothing and just watched in awe like everyone else. I’ll be writing more on her so I’ll be looking around for some interviews and listen to her EP 19:19.

Thanks also to J.Motion (and the love on twitter), Maia Wright, Milan Ring, SOFCO from Morocco, Pink Sweat$, Dylan Sinclair, and Leon Bridges & John Mayer for giving us good music this week.

Support your artists. I’ll try and do better next week.

Spotify New Music Playlist – April 10-17

Cover Artist of the Week – Aleesha

A COLORS HOME/BRED SHOW

It was one of those shows where you had to be there to see. And you had to because I don’t see a saved copy of the live show on the COLORS Youtube page. And everyone on there for the most part was just sitting at home doing their show. Even one performer admitted that he was just recording on his phone and barely had enough battery to get through his performance.

So the only person I knew of from the set was Joy Crookes. She was a finalist for the Rising Star Award for the Brits 2020. I loved her performance because we got a new song, Anyone But Me, and just how chill she was. You have to really appreciate just how comfortable performers are even when their audience are just sitting in front of a computer screen.

Everyone else I haven’t heard of so it was a joy just hearing from new people. Among them was Santino Le Saint. He has a very commanding, attention-seeking voice. I don’t know how else to explain it, but it’s not one of those types of voices where you just acknowledge that a singer is in the background. I love the sound of him and quite a talent on the guitar as well. He showed that microphone who was boss as well. Really took control of it and you can just see it in his mannerisms.

The pre-show favorite was Jgrrey. I can tell why. She has that modern sound that would get airplay on any Top 40 station. She enlisted help from a band (keyboardist and guitarist) and you couldn’t tell where they were, except that they were in a small green box off to the side. You have to practice your social distancing everywhere you go.

Finally, my standout performance from Oscar Jerome. Again, I’ve never heard of him (or the previous two performers before, but he was terrific. Outside of Joy Crookes, I would go pay admission to see Oscar live. I mentioned in a tweet that his guitar skills are John Mayer-esque. His last song he performed, Sun For Someone, he killed it. I saw the music video for the song and I loved it. But the studio version, compared to this performance, doesn’t do it justice. He is the real deal and I’m encouraging everyone to take a listen to this guy.

Overall, what I appreciate about what COLORS did was give a platform for these artists to perform. As well as take donations and give said donations, all 100%, evenly to these artists. Good on them for the service they are providing.

So it seems as though every performance will be on at 6pm GMT/1pm EST every Tuesday. You could do a lot worse for 45-60 minutes during your day. Why not listen to some good music.

COLORS Studios: HOME/BRED Session 1 Announcement <— It’ll show the complete list of all the performers this past Tuesday.

So come and watch the next episode and support your artists. It’s hard to work when the venues aren’t even open.

Also, I listed this under United Kingdom as it seems all of these artists (or most of them) are from there. But I think I may have to add a new page for performances. I don’t think this will be the case going forward. I could be wrong though.

The One You’ll Want To Hear No Matter How Far You Are Away

Cover Art – Maria Isabel – The 1 (Single)

I’m watching the music video for The 1 from Maria Isabel and I appreciate how laid back the tone is. How carefree she is in the video. How the production and settings all around matches the mood. You can even see traffic coming and going as she’s singing in the white drop-top. Extra cars wasn’t going to get in the way of the aesthetic of the song.

Maria Isabel – The 1

She says that she’s been recording for three years and this is her debut single and has been doing quite well on Spotify. It makes you wonder just what else does she have in her vault. If her songs are as thoughtful as this one, she’ll be a great listen. She’s only 23 and she’ll have a long career ahead of her because there is a real organic fan base developing here.

One other thing is the lyrics involving technology and relationship caught my attention. I’m sure it’s there for us to hear, but when mentions “make time for the Facetime”, it reminds me of Khalid’s Location that talks about modern-day technology and its uses in a relationship. It’s a small nugget, but I don’t find it weird hearing people talk about phones and people. It’s the world we live in. Just like it meant the world when you received that 4-page letter that was sealed with a kiss.

If you are too young to get that reference, you should ask someone about it.

Credit to Rebecca Wilson from Sounds and Colours and her article “Long-Distance Love On Maria Isabel’s Debut Track ‘The 1′”

Maria Isabel – Spotify

Maria Isabel – Youtube

Maria Isabel – iTunes

Please support your artists

New Music Friday – April 3-10

Cover Art – No Se Perdona – Rels B & Nathy Peluso

It was a hard choice. It came down to Chocolate and No Se Perdona. And I seen Ari Lennox live. She’ll be amazing to me forever. But I ended up choosing No Se Perdona for this week. Shoutout to the others who is in this week’s playlist like Dutch-Sudanese artist Gaidaa. If you haven’t seen her lyric video for Falling Higher, you need to stop what you are doing and go watch.

I have two songs from Japan that I was really feeling this week. Selection from Laya which is the leading track from her EP of the same name. We also have Blackout from Ryu Matsuyama ft mabanua which is groove personified and voices reaching the highest of highs. It’s a really good track.

Kevin Ross and Sonna Rele re-releases (I think?) their cover to Stevie Wonder’s song, Love’s In Need of Love Today. A song that means so much in these times currently.

Denmark group Blæst and musical artist Dusin brings out a single Gemmeleg and last by not least, Indonesian artist Sivia and her song Love Jokes.

The situation we are all in might suck, doesn’t mean your music has to either. Take a listen to this week’s playlist. I’ll try and do better next week.

Spotify New Music Playlist – April 3-10

Cover Artist of the Week – Rels B ft Nathy Peluso

Kaputu Sisters And Recognizing Where You Came From

Cover art for newest EP, ROOTS

I think these sisters or whoever is managing their Youtube page is thinking on the same wavelengths as me. I say that because when I was looking for this particular performance that EVERYONE on the internet history was talking about on X-Factor, it happened to pop up 10 hours before on the same day I wrote this. This post was meant to be.

When I heard their song last week (and on March 27 playlist), Roots, I wanted to get to know more about this duo. Which is what I assumed based on the cover art of two women. I was right, but at the time didn’t know how right I was. They are in fact sisters and refugees from Angola to Denmark.

What drew me to them through this song was just how you should be proud of where you came from regardless of who says otherwise. It’s so uplifting and I guess you can say an extension of their appreciation of surviving the potential conditions of where they came from.

Also, it must be said going back to the beginning of this post, they were the winners of X-Factor Denmark back in 2016. So when I say they can sing, I got an entire country who can vouch for that.

Kaputu (Embrace) – Frit Land

They really work well with one another. You can tell they have worked on their craft singing as a duo instead of two people singing in the same song. The song My Way to You on the Roots EP really shows it off. I personally like that song among the four. But don’t let me choose for you, I think you should listen to the entire project.

Roots EP – Spotify

Roots EP – Apple Music

Support Kaputu on your preferred platform. They are great. Get to know more about them. They are putting all the videos on their Youtube page.

New Music Friday – March 27-April 3

Cover Art – Ylva & Jesper Jenset – Flame

This week has some singles new album releases from Childish Gambino and a song from PARTYNEXTDOOR and Rihanna (who hasn’t done a song in about 2 years, welcome back). There was even a true remix (not just add rapper on the exact same beat and VOILA!!) from The Weeknd’s Blinding Lights with Chromatics and Johnny Jewel is, to me, is better than original.

To the cover artists Ylva and Jesper Jenset, such a standout song. If you saw some of my posts on social media, you know how much I love this song. If there is one song you need to hear, it’s this one coming from Norway. One of my favorite artists keeps putting out good music. Pabllo Vittar, from Brazil, has a new single Salvaje. Staying in Latin America, Chilean artist Cancamusa sings softly on Vengo y Me Soy.

Over in Indonesia, DJ and composer Kenny Gabriel and fellow countrywomen Rizikia Larasati and Kara Chenoa has a new single that doesn’t take kind to people wasting time in Ex-Cuses.

Coming back to North America, Candian artist, LOONY, released a single NO! and from Brooklyn, NY, we have Alex Mali releasing a single, Problem.

There is so much more great songs this week. I just can’t shout them all out, but take a listen to this week’s playlist. I think I got music from over 30 countries. It’s hard, but a great problem to have. I’ll try and do better next week.

Spotify New Music Playlist – March 27 – April 3

Cover Artist of the Week – Ylva and Jesper Jenset

A Ray Of Sunlight For The Rose In The Dark

Cover art for album Rose In The Dark

I was going through some music earlier this week there was this song that I had to “literally stop the presses” on. It was from a singer named Cleo Sol and the track was called When I’m In Your Arms. I had to put the song on repeat for little bit to really get everything about this song. Not that I didn’t understand. I was just working and I just needed the song on repeat to just wash all over me. Oh was it a good feeling.

So I had to dig deeper on who she was, if this was just a single, or apart of an album. Lucky enough it was the latter and I just put the album on while I was working. While I was not working. While I was on my PS4. Most of that day consisted of Rose In The Dark. The album is AMAZING. However, as much as I thought I was aware of artists from the UK, she slipped through the cracks.

I went to look for any articles from her in the beginning of her career and saw one from Soul Culture and her debut single from 2011, High. It was an interview about her and her debut album.

Cleo Sol ft. Gappy Ranks – High (remix)

She speaks about how she wanted to make music that represented her, her parent’s backgrounds, the music she grew up listening to, and the culture of her neighborhood. I guess she knew she wanted to have this music video done during Carnival, as she and the interviewer mentions in the article.

If you told me that 8-9 years later, the 21 year-old in this music video would later become the mature woman who created Rose In The Dark, I don’t think I could believe you. But here we are. In the music video Butterfly, it’s so minimalist where all you see is a single shot slowly going back to see all of a singing Cleo. The spotlight is on her as the camera goes back, forth, and around while a black butterfly flies around. Sort of D’Angelo-esque, but the focus isn’t on her, but on you the viewer, the audience.

Cleo Sol – Butterfly

The message, along with the rest of her songs on this latest project has her in a really grounded place. I guess that is what life experience will get you. You can tell she’s the same from way back when, but in a way she needs to testify and reach out to someone that you gotta love yourself and believe that there will be a better tomorrow. Appreciate the positives in your life and leave the negatives to the side. We are living through some scary times mostly because we are experiencing the unknown in terms of this COVID-19. Try giving this album a listening to. Some self-care and mental relaxation is what the doctor ordered. This album couldn’t have dropped at a better time.

Shoutout to SoulCulture for their interview from over 8 years ago. Time flies.

Rose In The Dark – iTunes

Rose In The Dark – Spotify

Rose In The Dark – Bandcamp

Rose In The Dark – Amazon

Please support your artists especially since concerts in the foreseeable future have been cancelled left and right. If you can’t pay for an album, stream, stream, and stream some more.

The Congolese Yakuza Leader Taking Names In The Music Industry

The whole album is autobiographic and is a reflection of my life.

Marie-Pierra Kakoma better known as Lous and the Yakuza

These headlines are getting harder and harder I swear…

Earlier this week as I was listening to the new music playlists on Spotify, there was a singer who kept coming up. I usually listen to about 7-8 playlists to get a good idea of what’s new in the world of R&B and she appeared in more than half of them. And she wasn’t singing in English which is always a standout for me. It tells me that an artist is getting worldwide attention. Sort of like J Balvin and his new album Colores. By now, if you haven’t heard of him, you are probably living under a rock. But it is not about rap today, it is about Lous and the Yakuza.

The rest of the post is commenting mostly from her interview from the Enfnts Terribles website from February 21.

The first thing that stood out in this interview was that she acknowledges that comparing her music from what’s currently on the Top 10, she doesn’t really fit. I agree. That is what makes her unique, obviously. You can tell from her music, her last three singles, that she isn’t fitting that mold. I would gather that when you hear from the experiences of others who have lived different life experiences, your musical palette grows. If they are as talented as Lous, it’ll sound just as amazing as any Top 10 song out now.

Another big take away from the interview was just how her thought process is for her singles. She goes in about one song that involves prostitution. She didn’t give away the song title (guess it’s not among the first three release thus far), but how she considered it once upon a time. She even went as far as interviewing people she knew about it where she found out it was even too hard for her to consider even within the circumstances she was in. She was especially right one thing. Having conversations (read hard, heavy conversations) invokes change. You can’t treat the reality of others like a boogieman or a lifestyle/situation/circumstances you want to pretend doesn’t exist. If you want to change things for the positive, you got to tackle things head on with an open mind.

One other small, but big, thing was that she made it known she watched anime when she was young. That warmed my heart.

Her debut album will be, we believe, on June 5th. I can’t wait to learn more about her.

Lous and The Yakuza – Dilemme (Clip officiel)
Lous and The Yakuza – Solo (Clip officiel)

Source Article: Lous and the Yakuza: I Thought Of Becoming A Prostitute At Some Point

Credit goes to Maxim Meyer-Horn for their work with the original interview.

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