French trumpeter BÉESAU and fellow artist Pongo give us the smooth vibes in their latest track Deixa Partir (Let It Go). Whenever I hear the trumpet on a track, it reminds me of one of my friends back at college, Johnny Graham. I would like to think he’s a successful trumpeter and I’ve heard him play on multiple occasions including at the Howard Theatre in Washington DC. Enough of me going down memory lane. One difference between these two is that BÉESAU has a more airy delivery in some parts than what I can remember from Johnny’s sets. I wonder if this is just a matter of technique and adding finishing touches on the production. But the vibe of the track matches with him.
The guest vocalist Pongo gives a great performance as well. And just like BÉESAU, she has an airy, breathy voice in some parts of the track. I think this could have been what they were looking for because it’s consistent throughout. She gets a good amount of time in the beginning half of the song and then BÉESAU just brings us home. It’s a beautiful track to listen to. This is a great track to put on a lounge playlist. The ones where you play for the “sophisticated” adult parties.
Author edit: BÉESAU is indeed a player of the trumpet and not a trombone. The post has been updated to reflect that.
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.
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.
This is now the fifth single that French group L’Imperatrice has released with Hematome. This fifth single is a part of their upcoming album Tako Tsubo that is releasing later this month. This track has a lot of pop-funk elements to their sound as well as disco. It’s very light-hearted in its delivery. There are those who say we could be seeing a passing-of-the-torch with Daft Punk officially retiring, but it’s clearly that their sounds are different. But you can be the judge of that after listening to two other tracks, Peur des filles and Voodoo. Fair warning for the music videos of Hematome and Peur des filles, there is a thing for headless people.
Romance is the debut album that French singer, Jade has made in her career. Nine songs long and it’s a journey of Jade settling for the worst of relationships while longing for the right one to show up in her life. And when there are times that it could happen, bad luck just gets in the way where it can’t happen. Which results in times in Jade’s inside voice wanting to cause harm to the other woman who got in the way or just get depressed over it all.
The first song of the album is Probleme. You get to know the type of men she wants and it’s never the ones that try to get to know her, but the one that never responds back to the DMs. You have her eating dinner with someone, but she has her eye on the other guy sitting in the back of the room. You know, this could also be interpreted that she loves the bad boys. Having the nice and loyal ones aren’t giving her the adventure she wants and needs. Jade is one for taking risks in love and she needs that high. I love the intro track and it sets up the rest of the songs later on.
The third track on the album is called Diddy is based on the relationship between Diddy and J Lo back when she was just having her music career blow up back in the day. Well Jade saw herself and the guy having a similar relationship where everything was perfect. Then she said she left too many clues and realized that he’s not loyal to the team. She’s remembering all the “pretty memories” to include “when (she) sees (herself) leaving”. There is a chorus change in the track too. At first it was like she wants him to come over because she needs some loving, but after the revelation, she can’t even be bothered to answer her phone. She’s like the 90s kind of R&B and loves the hugs and kisses, but now the bridge has been burned.
The next track, Roue Libre (Free Wheel) deviates from the kind of sound we’ve been hearing so far and gets into some afrobeat. It speaks to her jumping to something new and exciting and you feel it in her words. I guess when you’ve been hurt so bad, you get that experience and know how to move forward. Specifically if you aren’t going out with plans to get serious with someone, you have no worries of getting hurt again. Jade talks about this in the second verse where there is a perfect image of the current situation. She doesn’t want to worry about what could impact what they have now, but just keep at this current pace. This is Jade’s happy place and she doesn’t want to leave. I do appreciate the saxophone in the production as well. Whoever is on it is playing their hearts out.
The sixth track is Adulte where I guess you can say where she became an adult in a certain way where reality hits hard. The sound is more laid back in this track. I would love to believe that this has some love instrumentation on this one. You can hear the keys, drums, and that good ol’ bass guitar holding down the beat. Jade has gotten to a point in her life where she’s “accumulating bad guys” and “stories of buttocks” but it was a particular time in her life that she calls her First Disappointment. She wanted to stay focused on her music and stay in the studio, but there was a boy she liked. I can’t really tell if they were initially together, but she was clearly head over heels for him. To make matters worse, she ran into the same guy with someone else and that just put Jade in a downward spiral. What can you do, but get to a point where you can move forward. For her, it took alcohol, weed, and then a more hardened heart just to get some confidence.
The last track of the album is Adele and it’s just another sad song of bad circumstances. Yet another person Jade wants to get back with. She knew this had to work because the times Jade had with this guy was so good. Got dressed to just meet up with him “by chance” at this party despite her not liking to drink or dance, but she sees him talking with someone else. She even goes as far to say, she wanted to push her out the window. It’s really messing her up because they are supposed to be on good terms, but then the other shoe drops. They lock eyes and meet up at this party, but he ends up calling her Adele (not her name by the way). As the chorus goes, she doesn’t have any time and has to accept that it’s dead.
There are three features on Romance: Squidji on Noir ou blanc (Black or White), Bakari on Groupie Love and JMK$ on Bisous (Kisses). They added something different to the album and it allowed Jade to show different shades of herself. Ranging from the more sexually aggressive to the laid back. Her producers also did a great job of getting a wide range of beats to get Jade to not sound similar throughout the album. And they all fit her light, high pitch on the tracks. The one that really surprised me is the afrobeat sounds on Roue libre, but in a good way. In fact, Roue libre and Adulte were my favorite tracks. Thematically, it was consistent from beginning to end in reference to her relationships. Some being light hearted while others ending up getting her in a bad way. Don’t be afraid of French lyrics. Give this album a listen.
I knew from the moment I heard Letter To Heaven that it was going to be something special. South Korean artists BUMKEY and NONE came together to sing one of the most heartfelt songs I’ve heard in awhile. And why is that the case? It’s a lot of things from what I can take. It’s the pianist behind the song that really sets the mood. The chords that they are hitting really gets you in a certain mind space. The way these two sing the song and how they really dig deep inside perform in the ambiance of it all. I don’t know if they had someone in mind when they were singing, but I was emotionally connected. The lyrics, oh my goodness, the lyrics.
How hard it must have been I couldn’t reach out to you I hate me. I hate me so much
BUMKEY ft NONE – Letter To Heaven
I take it that the meaning behind these lines and the song overall is some regret that they didn’t get a chance to be there more often, in their moment in need, or even the moments this person passed away. So the way they can express themselves is through a song, a Letter To Heaven. Even I teared up reading through the lyrics.
You know what this song reminds me of? Brian McKnight – One Last Cry, but just the piano version. Emotionally, it hits me there. The structure of the song of the sounds are similar in my opinion. I’m probably there are other examples, but it got me thinking of him. I would love to hear and see this song performed live. Not a dry eye would present after this song was complete.
Kuban and Simon Bayle – Luna In Acquario (Moon in the Aquarium)
The Italian-Cuban artist Kuban is really an international star singing in different languages and working with various record labels in the USA. Her latest song is in all Italian, Luna In Acquario, offers a proposition. On where if one wants to get to know her and get involved, she’s going to need help escaping this prison, or aquarium, that she’s in right now. I think the time she spent in Atlanta really helped influence this track that she’s on now. The production and how upbeat it is correlates to her not running out of hope to get out of the rut of bad relationships. She’s ready to live her best life with someone, the right one.
Tash Sultana – Sweet & Dandy
You will have to get over the fact that you’ll see Tash on here over and over and over again. This Australian singer here in a generational talent and proves it again in Sweet & Dandy. I may have stumbled upon some video of festivals she’s done in years prior and the amount of instruments she plays and live production she can do among thousands, tens of thousands of fans takes so much hard work and talent.
I think every single she has put out for the upcoming album Terra Firma has made its way on the final list either as the Cover Art or as a shout out. The guitars and strings, the way this track feels like a lullaby in how dreamy Tash’s voice is, the softness and grit Tash can make the voice on sudden changes. Just an amazing talent. Again, musical arrangement, production, singing is all done alone. Just another masterclass of a song and production. It’s unique to Tash and that is what make this and all of the previous songs so special. Also if you didn’t know, Tash identifies as nonbinary and you get a glimpse of that in the lyrics.
And I don’t have to define by the sexes, oh
And I don’t have to get down with none of that bullshit
XY’s, and exes, no
But you’re crossing your T’s and you’re dottin’ your I’s
I’m staring right in those deep blue eyes
You always had a moment for me when I needed to run and hide
Tash Sultana – Sweet & Dandy
Did I mention that Tash can write songs too. Generational talent.
Danitsa – Let Go
The beginning and ending of the music video for Let Go are like night and day. French singer Danitsa came in and out that 3 minute situation having her whole life changed. Well that is going to happen when you end up walking behind two people and the next second, you wind up on a stage with people dancing all around you and you have a “What in the hell is going on?” expression on your face.
I am really feeling the theme behind the track, to be confidence in yourself and just let go. “I’m going to fight for confidence never give up until I win.” That’s the right mentality and might I add, having some Brazilian trap as the cornerstone for the production is perfect. If you need to get amped, this is the stuff you need to be playing at loud volumes. I also noticed in the video that there was a scene where Danitsa ends up walking through a group of mannequins with the secondary theme playing throughout “I don’t want to be like them.” I think the connection might be Danitsa not wanting to be fake.
Tayc delivers another powerful single with No. When you start the song saying:
J’aurais sûrement dû dire, “Non”, avant qu’on soit bénis Mais j’ai dit, “Oui” (ha), “Oui, je le veux” (ha) Moi j’ai dit, “Oui”, pensant qu’ce serait mieux (boom) Ooh, et maintenant j’suis marié, le mari d’la pire femme (pire femme)
Tayc – No
I sure should have said, “No”, before we were blessed But I said , “Yes” (ha), “Yes I want it” (ha) Me I said, “Yes”, thinking that would be better (boom) Ooh, and now I’m married, husband of the worst woman (worst woman)
Tayc – No (Translated)
People, people, people… having a baby is never the default answer to making a bad relationship into a good one. Tayc was talking to someone with this song because the way it sounded like he was in tears for the chorus. You can’t make someone love you if it’s not in their heart. Tayc really has a knack for that modern R&B that is meant for relationships and deep in its lyrics. I don’t think I am aware of many male R&B artists currently with this level of depth on so many fronts.
French rapper Nadjee does a little both with the singing and flow for his song Violet. From the lyrics, it looks like he is letting go all the feelings he has currently and who he got here when he was younger for all of us to here. For him, it was just a matter of getting through day-by-day to get to where he is now. He’s relating his dreams of life in purple (or could be a mistranslation and maybe Violet). I do find it interesting that his setup line for the chorus is that he says “The counselor wants to know what I do in life.” It must have gotten to such a bad point that a licensed professional has to work with you on your life. I wish I was able to get more from the lyrics or maybe there is something in his personal life that involves these lyrics because it feels like there is something deeper here. When I hear him sing, Masengo comes to mind and his style is so similar. The beat really fits his range when he is singing.
This has to be one of the mature songs I’ve heard about relationships in a while. French singers Jade and Bakari gives it a little frank about asking of other potential lovers. What’s even more interesting in Groupie Love, the guy, Bakari, admits to having groupie lovers and still carries on as a flirt for Jade. She doesn’t even mind it, but you start to hear it in the lyrics that the love is cool and sex is cool, but both is better. It might be a bit hard to win his heart among a chorus of others, but looks like Jade is going to give it a try. The production is very light and matches the mood of the lyrics. A touchy subject like this, there doesn’t seem to be any animosity, but it sounds like they want to know where they are in this complicated relationship.
French producer Kartell is giving us some smooth vibes reminiscent of Amel Larrieux back in her day. That of course is with the help of singer Qendresa that really puts her all in the track. Rapper Coops comes in and cleans up the back half of the track. Kartell even tailor-made that portion that fits with the energy of Coops which makes this track amazing from beginning to end. Take a listen to the track.