Tag Archives: South 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.

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.

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.

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.

No Need To Rush On Tondi and Una Rams

South African artists Tondi and Una Rams released their latest single Rush on a foundation of laid back vibes. The theme of the track is trying to figure out what this next step is. Things have been going well, but keeping the status quo is not sustainable. So you have Tondi and Una start asking questions about where the relationship is going. Granted, they both say there’s no need to rush, but time is running out. What a way to be considered of one’s feelings, but highlight the fact that they have skin in the game too. They don’t want to be wasting time if this is all the relationship is going to be.

Vance Roday Taps Into The Lo-Fi With Long Night

Vance Roday has released his second single for 2021 named Long Night. This is however the second track of his upcoming EP Aqua which is releasing later this year. The first being After You with fellow South African artist Monelle. It’s not yet known how many tracks we’ll get, but I love the two singles thus far and they aren’t samey. So I know I won’t get bored going through the entire project. He makes a note about the track and cover art for Long Night:

The sound is cold, chilled and laid-back, and reminds you of a Winter night, hence the cover is blue. It also has elements of Lo-Fi/Cloud Rap within it. 

Image provided by Vance Roday

And my takeaway is that the lo-fi is a main element for these two tracks. Also to note that, so far personally, I haven’t heard a strong lo-fi presence in South Africa. It could be just not being aware of ALL the musical talent in South Africa, but no one else comes to mind besides Vance, who are in this lane. The vibe is great and nice to chill out to which is a necessity to lo-fi. If there was one thing I noticed is that the outro to the song was a bit long for me. That could just be a lead into the next track, so we’ll just have to see.

The song has two meanings to it and each is deciphered from each verse. The first one is a scenario whereby you’re in a relationship but it’s fading away because you’re always busy with your career as an artist then it would be a long night cause of the fighting, then the second is having a creative block making it a dreadful process to try and create music.

Image provided by Vance Roday

There is a resonating message behind the meaning of the song. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about being a music artist. Anyone who manages their time between work, their significant others, self-care, and etc. It can be hard on anyone who has so many things on their plate. Even me working a regular full-time job, managing R&B Worldwide, and being the best dad and husband I can be. It can be tough sometimes. It’s also self-aware of Vance to say it could also be having a creative block. It took him since May of last year to be comfortable with releasing this track. But he seems to be the person to not want to put out half-done work, which is respectable. Take a listen to to his track Long Night and his first single of the year, After You w/ Monelle.

Vance Roday on Spotify

Monelle and Iordn’s New Song Sounds Good To Me

Good To Me is the fourth track in Monelle’s album, In Loathing Memory, which features rapper Iordn. Just good vibes all around on this track and I’d imagine the production has a lot to do with it. It is smooth like velvet on just how it comes off. All I can do is dance in the seat I’m in as I’m typing this up. It’s just an infectious song with Monelle singing “you’re so good to me”. I think the track with her alone would have been great, but the energy that lordn gives on the second half of the track was perfect. He didn’t do too much on the production and was just riding the beat for his bars. Even did a little bit of singing in a couple of parts. This is a great track to just vibe to.

Ayanda Jiya Is Tell you All To Love Me

Love Me is the first single from South African singer Ayanda Jiya’s second album, Queen, which is expected to drop later this year in April. The track has a simple message, to just show love and appreciation for Ayanda. In the lyrics she talks about being on the road of recovery from her past relationships and she doesn’t want to be a fool for love again. Ayanda wants to love hard and find one who can reciprocate those feelings.

She has a mighty and powerful voice. With this style of soul in her voice, I instantly think of Fantasia as an artist you could relate. Rapper Kwesta comes in as the feature on the second verse and it’s a double entendre on how his love for Ayanda and the process from a thought, to a song, then it’s various ways of it being released. It’s some clever wordplay and thoughtfulness in his lyrics. She’s on my radar now. I can’t wait for the entire album to drop.

The NeoSoul Singer Moonga K Is All That I Deserve

Moonga K. has been an artist that I’ve been covering since the inception of R&B Worldwide and been always taken aback at how beautiful and versatile their voice is. You don’t get bored listening to them. In this new song, all that I deserve, is a love letter to black women. I can only imagine how the conversation went when the topic of a music video was up. It’s simple and I love it. Seeing all shade and styles with Moonga K. serenading just feels warm to your heart. It’s a beautiful song.