Hey everyone, thanks for sticking around. I feel comfortable saying this since my wife made the announcement already, but our baby was born last week. That’s why I had to take some time off. So time management is going to be at an all time high. Speaking of management, TOKiMONSTA’s has been living the best life managing artists like Rochelle Jordan and still finding time to put out new music of her own. Enlisting the help of VanJess on her version of Floetry’s classic Say Yes. I got a shoutout from Italian artist Kuban on Instagram sharing some love for her new track Jukai. And we have the last single from Jessie Ware called Hot N Heavy before the release of her deluxe version of last year’s album What’s Your Pleasure. It’s called The Platinum Pleasure Edition. Enjoy this week’s selection.
I have been on a VanJess kick for over six months now. They’ve been releasing songs of just themselves and songs where they’ve been featured like with JANA and Jae Stephens. These two sisters have been busy and when I found out that they have a new EP called Homecoming, I got excited. We get to see the payoff from all of this work.
The first song in the EP is Come Over and this song is about fronting on how you feel, but now giving the green light to get to know that special someone a little bit more. This single was released a while ago, but there is a reason why this song starts of the EP and we’ll get into later.
A couple of songs later we get a groove in Roses. This track has VanJess expressing just a slight reservation on how the relationship is progressing. Not that they aren’t ready, but the scars from previous situations still exist and they don’t want to be hurt again. But hope yet still remains. Treat them like roses. Fragile, but will be willing to open up if you want it.
I saw on twitter that VanJess mentioned that KAYTRANADA was supposed to be a part of the album. His style is so unique that when I heard Dysfunctional, I knew that was the track they were referring to. Not many producers are out there as good as him. I love the house style he brought to the track and it made it feel like I’m listening to a throwback from the early 90s. As upbeat as this track is, the lyrics suggest something on the opposite end. The song is about the relationship on the verge of a breakup. To a point where people have to scream just to be heard and even so, knowing that she won’t be heard at the end of it all.
My favorite song of the project is Boo Thang and it is such a cute song with VanJess and Devin Morrison. You have these two (three) people going back and forth talking about each other’s past relationship and being hurt. So them coming together and saying I can be the one you are looking for. The production for the track is giving off those early 2000s R&B vibes. When I listen to it, it feels so familiar. Looking at the credits, it shows that Devin also produced it so we can put the multi-talented tag on him. I want to hear more from him. One other thing that I love was chorus. The way they go back in forth just puts a smile on my face.
I could be your boyfriend
And you could be my boo thang
I don’t wanna waste your time
Maybe I could change your mind, sing it again
You could be my girlfriend
And you could be my shawty
I don’t wanna waste your time
Maybe I could change your life, sing it, oh yeahVanJess – Boo Thang
The last track from the EP is Come Over Again. I made a comment on twitter saying this is what a remix should be like. It’s not the exact same track. They don’t slap another person and call it a remix and that made me feel good. So when I found out that this track samples Faith Evans’ track (also called Come Over) and her opening lines are sung in Come Over Again and laced throughout the track. In the same tweet, I said that it would make Diddy proud. I didn’t know the connections ran that deep.
The feature list for this project is pretty good to. You have the aforementioned Kaytranada and Devin Morrison. You also have Phony Ppl and the track Caught Up. Then there is Jimi Tents and Garren in Curious.
Homegrown made me smile through the entire project. The reason being is because I was listening to the different styles of R&B. Cute, intimate, proper remixes, house, I felt it all. So I can listen to this on repeat and never be bored. In fact, that was exactly what I did on Friday. Do yourself a favor and give this a listen to.
Cover Art – Yarah – Complicated
There is definitely a particular Toronto sound and you can hear it from Yarah in Complicated. I don’t know how to explain it, but that Toronto water and air must be something good. I love her vibe in her voice. The production is spot on that puts you in a laid back mood. The song has got me bobbing my head. This is a certified bop for me. For the flair, they have some screwed vocals in the background towards the end of the track. I can put this on repeat for hours and not even care. It just puts me in such a good mood.
VanJess ft. Jimi Tents & Garren – Curious
So VanJess has been riding on a high probably since the end of the summer/beginning of the fall with hit after hit after hit. Curious is the latest track to come from the sisters with features from Jimi Tents and Garren. This track is a part of their yet-to-be released new EP Homegrown. It’s due to drop on January 29. The songs that has been released thus far has a similar sound to them and that could be to a main producer for most of the song. I’m not even made because I love the production for all of their songs. For Curious, I can’t tell you just how much this track oozes lust from the pores. I mean it’s all in the lyrics about how they approach one another throughout the track. And how fitting to have two features as VanJess are two sisters. Makes you wonder if there was a music video, how it would go.
Monet192 and Lune – Spotlight
The German duo, Monet192 and Lune, gives off some heat in their song Spotlight. The track is half rap, half R&B, with Monet192 singing the chorus so we are gonna claim this one. The strings that are ever-present in the track give it a nice texture and you have to have it if you are looping the track over. I don’t know if Monet192 has done a lot of signing before, but he holds his own during the chorus. Lune really gives off some power when she is hitting her highs. I love this collab from the two. It’s a track that gets your head bumping and definitely something you should be playing at high volumes. And in an unrelated note, don’t sleep on the German rappers.
88-Keys – NEON SIGN
South Korean singer 88-Keys give us some real chill vibes in NEON SIGN. His singing has a laid back feeling to me and is just right for the production given. His cadence during the verses is diverse. The bridge with the fingersnaps made him look so cool as he was just finishing the song off. I really like his style and hope to hear more from him.
Cover Art Artist – Jae Stephens ft. VanJess – Already On It
It seems as though VanJess is making 2020 their year and I feel as though I’ve said this before, but they are everywhere. But let’s not forget Canadian singer and top billing for this track, Jae Stephens, who recently released a single with Xavier Omar in All Our Time. Already On It needs a video to go with this song because this is something special. Let’s call this a bedroom track classic. This song is so good.
Kristina Si – Просто возьми (Just Get That)
Russian singer Kristina Si gives a touching song (kinda old school The Weeknd-ish) in Просто возьми (Just Get That translated). From what I get reading the lyrics is that these two people are drifting apart on not talking, staying silent. But it takes falling asleep to get a glimpse of what you want in this relationship, the feeling of love. And what Kristina doesn’t appreciate not able to say the things on your mind, but wanting to still take from the relationship. Again, if you like the EP releasing vibes from The Weeknd from years ago, this track might be up your alley.
Sezairi – Raindrops
Singaporean singer and participant of Singapore Idol Sezairi puts on his best crooning voice and just pour out those sad feels for the people. With the sound of the bass guitar in the background, slow paced production and his heavenly voice creating that contrast that elevates all aspects. To imagine having this song play while it’s raining outside and hearing the raindrops hit the window really creates a vivid picture. You just can’t help but to let these feelings wash all over you. I am going to go listen to the rest of his catalog because this is some top tier stuff here.
Daisy Godfrey – Fade Away
UK Soul Singer Daisy Godfrey released her third single Fade Away and I gotta say, music arrangement is amazing. It feels like I’m watching a live performance. All of these instruments just pop off the track. You have to love Daisy’s voice and the background singers and appreciate something you don’t get often anymore. Background singers gives power to certain verses and lines and adds that depth to a song. I would love to spend money to see her perform live. There are some singers who can put on a great show, but people like Daisy, I believe would give you an experience live just on her voice alone. The band is just 10/10 being ever-changing throughout the song allowing us, the listener, to keep their ears excited as their play. If you love that Soul music with great musical arrangement, put this song in your playlist.
Almost at the end of another week. We have a little future funk from Engelwood and Tasty Jam. We have a touch of House on the side from Canadian singer KALLITECHNIS with Isolation. VanJess hits the nominee list twice, one with High & Dry, and another as a feature to Lana in Green. We also have German singer/actor (by way of Moroccan heritage) YONII giving us a little afrobeat in Milano. We have a little bit of everything this week. Take a listen.