Featured

Jordan Rakei Returns With His Dreamy New Single ‘Imagination’

The artist-curated mix series, Late Night Tales, is pleased to announce its next compilation, this time curated by multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and producer Jordan Rakei.

For Rakei’s Late Night Tales, the first mix of the acclaimed series’ 20th year, the 28-year-old modern soul icon effortlessly stamps his own jazz and hip-hop driven sound all over this gorgeous array of handpicked tracks.

A beautifully layered blend that is mirrored in the music he’s made, it comes as no surprise that such a supremely gifted songwriter should deliver a mix that is all about the song.  

I wanted to try and showcase as many people as I knew on this mix,” says Rakei. “My idea of Late Night Tales was to distil a series of relaxing moments; the whole conceptual sonic of relaxation. So, I was trying to think of all the collaborators and friends that I knew, who’d recorded stuff with this horizontal vibe.

Plus, I was also trying to help my friends’ stuff get into the world. I know the story of Khruangbin blowing up after appearing on the series (in fact, I think that’s how I discovered them). So, the main idea was to create a certain atmosphere, but also to help some of my favourite collaborators and buddies to give their songs a little push out into the world. Hope you like it.”

Check it out below

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Nasty C Joins Ari Lennox For Their New Single, Black and White

“Black and White” is the latest single from South African rapper Nasty C. With the song finding itself placed on the ‘Coming to America 2’ soundtrack, Nasty C has stumbled into a new sense of popularity. Although, people will most likely discover the collaboration through Tiny Desk Concert team  who recently released a ‘Coming to America 2’ soundtrack special concert.

Nasty C’s real name is Nsikayesizwe David Junior Ngcobo, got his start in 2016 with the release of his debut album “Bad Hair”. After receiving critical acclaim for his album and a few mixtapes, he went on to sign with Def Jam in March of last year. It would be this deal that would bridge the musical gap between Africa and the States, and bring us the future summer time jam that is “Black and White”. 

Nasty C impresses with his wordplay, rapping about being a devoted soulmate while Ari Lennox answers back in her signature Badu-esque tone. Despite being a rapper at heart, Nasty C impressively flits between rapping and carrying a melodic chorus throughout the track making sure to cater for Rap and RnB heads alike. 

In the early stages of his joint venture deal with Def Jam, Nasty C’s future in the music business looks bright. In a time where space between the diasporas are getting smaller and smaller (thanks to the internet and films like Black Panther), and the fusion of various genres is becoming the norm, this is the perfect moment for Nasty C to shine.

Listen to Black and White below.

Featured

Inspired Sound Radio w/ Nubiyan Twist | 13.03.21

Following the release of their album, Freedom Fables, a 9-piece afro-jazz group, Nubiyan Twist joined us on the radio show to discuss the album, and their journey. Now, it wasn’t all nine members of the group (the show would be way over an hour and a half) but we spoke with Pilo and Joe.

Be sure to follow Nubiyan Twist on their socials – @nubiyantwist
And head over to website to learn more – www.inspiredsound.ukJazzHip HopSoulfunk

Have a listen back below.

Featured

Electronic Producer Anz Launches New Label – ‘OTMI’

Anz is launching a label. Short for “otras mitades,” which means “other halves” in Spanish, OTMI will house some of the UK artist’s unpublished works and contributions from friends across the electronic music spectrum.

The first release, OTMI001, lands April 9th and will be available digitally and on vinyl. “I’ve always loved—’mi otra mitad de naranja,’ or ‘the other half of my orange,’ a way of describing a soulmate,” Anz wrote in an email. OTMI001 will be Anz’s first EP since last year’s RA-Recommended Loos And Twos on Hessle Audio.

Read more about that record and more in our recent Breaking Through feature with Anz.

Listen to “Unravel In The Designated Zone” below.

Featured

Rochelle Jordan Turns Soulful For Her New Single

Los Angeles-based artist Rochelle Jordan announces her new album,Play With theChanges, out April 30th on TOKiMONSTA’s Young Art Records, and today presents new single,“NEXT 2 YOU.” For Jordan, a desire for sonic expansion has long beenembedded into her fusion of futuristic and ancestrally soulful R&B.

To hear a Rochelle Jordan song is to absorb a blend of sampledelic 90s pop, vintage UK house and garage, 31st century electronic bangers, airy late night ballads, and progressive hip-hop. On Play With the Changes, Jordan showcases not just her own personal evolution, but a path topushing sound forward.

Produced by KLSH,Machinedrum, and Jimmy Edgar, the album presents her as a modern heir in a lineage of powerhouse vocalists with style and imagination: everyone from Whitney Houston to Celine Dion, Aaliyah to Amerie, Kelis to Mariah Carey.

Listen to Next 2 You below.

Featured

Have You Met.. Francis Mercier

 Where did you grow up, how did you get into creating music?

I was raised in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti where Caribbean, French & African cultures are very present, and I was exposed to artists like Magic System, Salif Keita, Mory Kante, and others in my early teens. I remember loving the energy, rhythm, and overall positivity found in African records. I initially had no idea who the artists were but whenever their music aired on local radios, it captivated me.

Years later, as I moved to the US for my studies, I discovered the melodic sound of Tiesto in 2006 in his ‘In Search Of Sunrise’ compilations, and those drew me into electronic music and from 2007 onwards I picked up DJing. After 7 years of performing in the biggest clubs in the North East of the US, I wanted more out of my career as a DJ and I grew into becoming a music producer from 2014 onwards. 

What’s the creative culture like in the city you raised in?

In Port-Au-Prince, Haiti where I grow up, the creative culture is very vibrant and diverse. We Haitians have our Caribbean roots and the Kompa Music has very unique energy but we are also very much exposed to American & European cultures. When growing up I had friends from all over the world and everyone would share their music. That may have been the reason why I chose to become a DJ.

What made you decide to start a record label?

In the early 2010s, I felt a void for House Music in New York. Back then the EDM Big Room sound was at the forefront together with Hip Hop and Trap Music. It was nearly impossible to land shows in Manhattan for classic House Music. As such, I decided to launch my own imprint Deep Root Records to initially put on cool shows focused on the classic House Music that I’m fond of.

Within a few years, we drew quite some attention and began releasing music. 2019 was a big year for us launching our Deep Root Sessions brand and in 2020 we started our Afro House imprint Deep Root Tribe. We’ve then been empowering lots of African artists to gain visibility on an international level. I’m quite excited to contribute to the Afro House scene with my remake of ‘Premier Gaou’ in partnership with Spinnin’ Records and their House Music imprint Spinnin Deep.

Have you tried to bring part of your Haitian heritage into your music?

I have been working on it and will be releasing an EP with an amazing Haitian vocalist by the name of Lenny Auguste at the end of the year. She’s from Gonaives and has an incredible voice.

Are you working independently to release your music? If so, what are some of the challenges?

I do release some of my compositions independently under my label Deep Root Records and wearing multiple hats all at the same time can be a challenge, but I focus on the positive instead. Having my own platform to release and push out my records gives me the capacity to present my vision to the world in its purest form.

If you weren’t making music, what do you think you would be doing?

I’d probably be in the world of finance as that’s what I studied. Good thing is that my academic background has given me an edge to be organized both within my creative and administrative duties at my label.

Do you play any instruments, if not, which would you love to learn first?

I dabble on the piano but I actually do not play any real-world instruments. That said, I do know how to play/use analog and software instruments quite well. Most of my compositions are coined by their chord progressions, which I use my natural musical experience to create on the keyboard and to port into MIDI and I work from there. I would love to learn how to perfectly play the piano, and one day buy an upright or grand piano for my house to learn some of my favorite classical piano pieces by Italian pianist Ludovico Einaudi, and others who I love listening to.

Do you have advice for anyone releasing music independently?

Sure! Stay true to your vision, and go step by step. The road is long but definitely worth it. Building a fan base independently and purely from your music will be the strongest base.

Which artist would you love to collaborate with most?

Would love to work with Gorgon City for example! They are one of my favorite duos.

Do you have any festival bookings this summer?

I may play at the Summer Music Festival in Mons Belgium. But as of now no major festival. Hopefully, that will change 🙂

How would you describe your production style in three words?

Melodic, Moody, and Groovy!

Be sure to pre save Francis Mercier’s forthcoming single, Premier Gaou here

Featured

Fabric Announces 42-Hour Reopening Weekend

fabric will reopen on June 25.

The famous London nightclub has announced a 42-hour reopening weekend, with its Friday session running from 10pm-10am and its Saturday session running from 10pm right through until 4am the following Monday.

No names have been announced for the line-up yet but format looks set to be similar to fabric’s legendary annual weekend-long birthday celebrations.

The club has also fabric and fabriclive dates on Fridays and Saturdays in July and is one of the first clubs in the capital to announce that it will be opening soon after the June 21 date given by the government’s roadmap out of lockdown.

fabric made the announcement via Twitter and tickets are available for the reopening weekend as well as the July dates now.

There was more optimism for the reopening of clubs this week as a new report predicted that all adults in the UK could be vaccinated by June.

Featured

Leading Festival Organisers Call For Attendees To Require Vaccination

Two UK festival directors have called on the government to tell fans and artists that getting vaccinated is a requirement to attend music festivals this summer.

Josh Robinson, events director of drum ‘n’ bass festival Hospitality Weekend in the Woods, said: “A lot of us want to urge government to follow the example set up already in other areas, like travel, where people will have to show proof of vaccination or of a recent test.”

In a recent Downing Street press conference, Prime Minister Boris Johnson indicated rapid testing could be used to allow events to safely take place.

Read this next: Will rapid testing really save UK nightlife?

Gareth Williams, director of folk festival Cropredy, said: “What we really need is for government to say everybody needs a vaccination to get in. We need that clarity, rather than each having to go to people and explain.”

A recent report indicated that all willing adults in the UK could be vaccinated by June.

Festivals across the country have been rapidly selling out since the government unveiled its plan for clubs to reopen and festivals to be able to take place from June 21. However there has been some concern about a lack of cancellation insurance offered by the government, with organisers wary of moving forward with plans without financial cover.

Hospitality Weekend in the Woods sold 16,000 tickets in five hours for its debut edition. Robinson said: “The demand is pretty unbelievable. It would normally have taken eight or nine months to sell that many. The roadmap has given fans the impetus to start buying, which is great, but we are operating like a bank or something, in a strange scenario where we are just holding people’s money in case we have to return it.”

Read this next: Will music festivals actually happen this year?

As well as the potential of lockdown restrictions being extended and cancellation being enforced, the health and safety procedures are causing a headache for organisers who want clear directions outlined by the government in order to confirm plans.

Last week, former Stone Roses frontman and COVID sceptic Ian Brown pulled out of a festival headline performance after claiming that the event requires vaccination as a condition of entry.

Robinson says: “What we should say to artists now is another morally tricky conundrum. But if we don’t go ahead soon, the whole support structure for this industry could crumble for good.”

Williams says: “Festival organisers are masters of contingency planning, but there are just so many factors to keep track of this year.”

[Via: Guardian]

Featured

The Score Is Out Tomorrow Ahead Of The Film’s Release On International Women’s Day.

Kate Simko has a film score coming out tomorrow. The 20-track score will be released by Lakeshore Records tomorrow, March 5th. Underplayed (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) arrives ahead of the documentary’s online release on Monday, March 8th, AKA International Women’s Day.

Underplayed, which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival last year, is a film about the underrepresentation of women in the electronic music industry.

Directed by Stacey Lee, it features the likes of SHERELLE, TOKiMONSTA, Nightwave, TYGAPAW, Suzanne Ciani and Louisahhh. “As a DJ-turned-film composer, this doc was a full circle moment for me, and the film is very close to my heart,” says Simko. Watch the trailer.

Tracklist

01. Striving / 02. Rising And Falling / 03. The World Buzzing / 04. Lonely At The Top / 05. Rare Birds / 06. Ahead Of Her Time / 07. Level Up / 08. Second Guessed / 09. Wild Thoughts / 10. Calm Before The Storm / 11. Building The Fantasy / 12. Isolation / 13. High Highs Low Lows / 14. Gypsetters / 15. The Other Side / 16. One Day At A Time / 17. Rare Birds (Reprise) / 18. Making Ground / 19. Our Own Voice / 20. Her Likeness (Extended Mix)

Featured

Wayward Set Pace With New Single, ‘All A Bit Mad’

London duo Wayward bring their deftness in producing bold and emotive cuts to a revealing debut album Waiting For The World. A leap in artistry, it showcases what Louis Greenwood and Lawrence Hayes are capable of when calling upon intimate memories and feelings, with a diverse body of work that mixes mellowed electronica with breaks, DnB, jungle and techno.

Listen to ‘All a bit mad’ below.

Featured

Which Festivals Are Happening And When Will They Return

Are music festivals happening in 2021? It’s the question many of us are asking as we approach the summer and wonder if outdoor events can go ahead safely despite the coronavirus pandemic.

Here’s the good news: Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that music festivals will be able to go ahead this summer as long as coronavirus cases, deaths and hospital admissions continue to fall. As part of the government’s four-part roadmap to ‘normality’, music festivals – as well as nightclubs – will be able to reopen from June 21 at the earliest.

More good news for music festivals is that the COVID-19 vaccine is being rolled out across the UK and the rest of Europe, with the UK currently vaccinating people quicker than any other European country and that rapid COVID-19 testing is currently being trialled by the likes of Primavera Sound and will be in use at festivals this summer (the first to officially announce rapid testing is Unum in Albania). The Prime Minister has also said that rapid testing will be the key to unlock mass events.

Festivals are beginning to be announced for August and September, with smaller festivals confident that they are nimble enough to adapt to date changes and the latest safety measures in order for them to go ahead.

But there’s still a long way to go before we can return to any semblance of a festival scene, so here’s the bad news: Given that countries across the world are still in lockdown and battling the coronavirus, each country will have a different roadmap back to ‘normality’ (the Berlin Club Commission just announced that the city’s nightlife won’t be back to normal until the end of 2022, for instance) so it’s hard to predict what the international festival circuit will look like this year; whether festivals can happen is also depending on government support. Germany has pledged to support events that are cancelled in the second half of 2021 due to the coronavirus while the UK government has been ambivalent about working harder to provide insurance indemnity for the festival industry. Size will also be a contributing negative factor, with mega festival Glastonbury cancelling for the second year in a row – however, for now, the UK does have a date to aim for and that is June 21.

Read this next: Glastonbury fears bankruptcy if 2021 edition doesn’t go ahead

Festivals in the UK and elsewhere in Europe are being announced. Organisers hope that the vaccine, rapid testing and the reduced risk of infection outdoors will mean that festivals can go head this summer. You will of course need to pack twice the amount of hand sanitiser, plenty of wet wipes and your best designer face masks.

Read on for our guide to music festivals in 2021 including a list of which ones have been announced.

CAN MUSIC FESTIVALS GO AHEAD?

In current circumstances, with the UK and Europe in lockdown, festivals cannot go ahead.

However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has said that festivals can resume from June 21, provided that the UK keeps its coronavirus infection, death and hospital admission rates down.

As it stands, the majority of music festivals are currently being announced for late August and September, with a few notable exceptions.

This is in line with the roll-out of the vaccine in Europe – the UK government has said it would like to have all adults vaccinated by the end of July and other countries such as Spain have been vocal in saying they want to get their population vaccinated while also working on opening up to tourists and using a COVID passport to help do so.

UK festival dates are also in line with the government’s roadmap to ‘normality’, which says that nightclubs and festivals could open up from June 21.

WHEN WILL MUSIC FESTIVALS RETURN?

Major UK festivals such as Parklife, Boomtown and Eastern Electrics will happen in late August and September.

London festivals that have been announced for September include the Mighty Hoopla, Cross The Tracks and Hospitality In The Woods.

Junction 2 remains scheduled for early June while it’s sister event Ion will take place in Albania in mid September.

The organisers behind Newsam Park and Mint Festival are adamant the events will happen this summer (July and September respectively).

Headroom in Wales will happen at the end of July.

Glasgow festivals TRNSMT and Riverside are set for July and September respectively.

Elsewhere in Albania, Unum will go ahead in June.

WHICH MUSIC FESTIVALS ARE STILL HAPPENING?

June

Junction 2, London

Unum, Albania

July

Newsam Park, Leeds

Headroom, Wales

TRNSMT, Glasgow

MIDI, France

Neversea, Romania

Gala, London

August

Eastern Electrics

Boomtown, Winchester

We Out Here, Cambridgeshire

Maiden Voyage, London

September

Ion, Albania

Riverside Festival, Glasgow

Mint Festival, Leeds

Parklife, Manchester

Cross The Tracks, London

The Mighty Hoopla, London

Hospitality In The Woods, London

[Via Mixmag]

Featured

Ireland Is Planning To Extend Nightclub And Pub Closing Times

Ireland plans to overhaul its licensing laws, with one proposal under consideration being an annual nightclub permit which would allow clubs to extend their opening hours beyond the current 2:30AM cut-off.

The plans have been put forward by Ireland’s Minister for Justice Helen McEntee, who noted that Ireland’s current licensing legislation dates back to 1935 and needs to be brought in line with the modern day.

Speaking to Newstalk, the Minister said: “I fully acknowledge that we are talking about this at a time when much of that industry is closed. What I want to say very clearly to that industry is that when you get back on your feet, we are going to be there to support you.

“We have fantastic musicians, artists, DJs, promoters and people working in this industry who are going to need more supports when Covid-19 finishes and that is what this legislation is about.”

Around 200 measures are under consideration in McEntee’s Justice Plan 2021, with other proposals including extended closing times for pubs and Sunday trading hours being brought in line with the rest of the week for pubs and off licenses. The implementation of new categories of alcohol licenses for cultural venues such as art galleries and theatres are also being considered.

The news has been welcomed by people involved in Ireland’s music scene and night-time economy.

Speaking to RA, Dublin-based DJ and backer of the Give Us The Night campaign Sunil Sharpe said: “Changes to our licensing laws and closing times are many years coming. While a lot of people seem to think that Covid-19 is the reason for these changes, I wouldn’t exactly agree with that. We got a commitment from all of the main political parties during the last general election campaign, and then an inclusion in the programme for government. It was always going in this direction.”

“That said, I think the extent of the changes is now going to be more ambitious given the pressure all entertainment and hospitality businesses are under. The stars have aligned in ways, and no one deserves this more than our sector. What the government did to our club scene in 2008 was outrageous, it crippled the industry, but now in the midst of the worst point ever for the industry and club scene, there is a bit more hope for how we’ll return.”

“From the campaign’s point of view, it’s a huge development that the minister has publicly announced her intentions. The last similar announcement, that didn’t go nearly as far as hers and never led to anything either, was over 15 years ago. The fact that we will most likely see an end to the 1935 Public Dance Halls Act, too, is very important to our campaign. It’s hard to express how much that means to all of us here. It’s an infamous piece of legislation that has hurt music culture in Ireland through many generations.”

Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Donall O’Keeffe, the CEO of the Licensed Vintners Association (LVA), said the new measures will be of “great benefit” to Dublin pub owners when lockdown restrictions ease and allow for reopening.

Minister McEntee said the move indicates the government is “thinking beyond Covid” in its plans to boost Irish nightlife and support professions such as DJs and nightclub owners. She warned the measures will take time to put in place as they are featured in a major piece of legislation accounting for more than 200 actions.

[Via: Irish Times & RA]

Featured

DANS DANS Blend Jazz, Psychedelic Blues, Spacey Rock-‘N-Roll

Dans Dans are pleased to share the video for the moody noir rhythms of new single ‘Cinder Bay’. Bass player Fred ‘Lyenn’ Jacques created a homemade video of ink dancing on a pink surface. The ink symbolises expression; it’s used to write or draw, to transfer thoughts and emotions.

As the ink bubbles and fizzes on the music’s frequency, the droplets lead a life of their own or interact with one another, propelled by the music, creating a palpable harmony between the music and its definition. “Cinder Bay evokes water and fire; a pastel sky above a deep sea; a carefree summer’s night at the beach, tinged with sadness and dread,” says Jacques.

Listen to Cinder Bay below.

Featured

Lucky Daye Speaks About Love For His New EP – Painted

Lucky Daye returns to his funk laced RnB roots a year and some change after his album Painted debuted to the world.  Lucky Daye comes from humble beginnings, having auditioned for American Idol (his audition clip is still up on Youtube to this day) only to be voted off before the big live shows. From there, he would take his talents behind the scenes, penning songs for singers such as Trey Songz, Ella Mai and Mary J. Blige.

Now on his solo journey, he returns with his second release Table for Two. Daye enlists the help of an all-female feature list to bring his vision to light. The EP takes us on a journey, with skits between tracks where Lucky Daye grapples with rejection and heartbreak. Daye carries on the chopped and screwed rap style vocals from his first album into Table for Two, further solidifying his cinematic approach to making music. These skits offer the most vulnerable side of Daye’s artistic expression; this project is bathed in the regret of a man who let a good one get away.

With an impressive and seamless set of features from Ari Lennox, Yebba, Queen Naija, our own Mahalia and Tiana Major9 and Joyce Wrice, at a glance it does look like overkill but each songstress adds something important and beautiful to Daye’s melancholic but hopeful perspective on love.

Listen to Table for Two below.

Featured

Dutch Government Plans To Allow Festivals From July

Festivals in the Netherlands have started revealing plans for 2021 editions following the Dutch government announcing it aims to allow festivals from July 1, and will insure events planned after this date that are cancelled due to COVID-19.

Last month, a cancellation fund of at least €300 million was announced by the Dutch government to allow event organisers to plan for the second half of 2021 with security that they will be covered if the pandemic stops events going ahead for a second year running.

It covers events that attract a minimum of 3,000 visitors from July 1 through to the end of the year, with Dutch culture minister Ingrid van Engelshoven saying it is not “reasonable” to expect “masses can stand close together on a field” before that time.

She added: “[This fund] is a dot on the horizon for festival organizers. They can fall back on the guarantee fund in which at least €300m has been reserved. The event industry has long come to a standstill due to Corona. Guarantee is needed to get it back on track.”

In a statement on its website, Dutch drum ‘n’ bass festival Liquicity wrote: “Great news: the Dutch government has announced that they aim to allow festivals after July 1st! In case festivals still get canceled due to changing Covid circumstances, organizers are likely to be compensated for the costs. Festivals in The Netherlands are currently selling out in record pace due to this new government announcement.”

Liquicity, which was one of the few festivals in the Netherlands to offer timely refunds during last year’s event cancellations and ‘postponements’ in line with the Save Your Ticket scheme, has also revealed its plans for ticket warranties to ensure buyers are 100% risk free when purchasing for the event.

Dutch festivals that usually take place in the spring or early summer such as Awakenings and DGTL have revealed they are rescheduling to autumn in order to be covered by the cancellation fund.

Awakenings Festival will now take place across September 11 and 12, and tickets are already sold out. Its website notes: “The COVID-19 pandemic is still not over, but things are starting to look a bit brighter, so we now aim for the second weekend of September.”

DGTL Amsterdam has also announced plans to run across September 11 and 12 at the NDSM Docklands. Artists such as Eris Drew, DJ Python, Ricardo Villalobos, Afrodeutsche and more have been booked to play, and the majority of tickets sold out.

Last December Germany announced a similar €2.5 billion event cancellation fund, with UK festivals warning they need similar government support to plan for events to take place this year.

This support has not been forthcoming, leading to Glastonbury announcing its 2021 edition is cancelled later that month.

[Via Mixmag]

Featured

Boris Johnson Finally Comments On Plans For Reopening Nightclubs

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has finally referenced nightclubs while discussing the safe reopening of businesses during a press conference at 10 Downing Street.

He said that rapid lateral flow testing could be used for the reopening of businesses that have been the “toughest nuts to crack, as it were, such as nightclubs … those parts of the economy we couldn’t get open last year.”

Johnson said that while mass vaccination is the overall aim for safely reopening the country, with every adult in the UK hoped to be vaccinated by autumn, that rapid testing used in combination with vaccination will be likely for nightlife.

However, he added: “I want to stress to everybody, it is still early days and there are lots of discussions still to be had.”

A government source also said to the BBC: “There is a long way to go before we can get people back at big events safely.”

Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA), told the BBC that employing rapid testing upon entrance would not be straightforward for venues, requiring swab tests outside and a 15 minute wait to get a negative result before being admitted inside. This means venues will have to employ staggered admissions and plan for what to do if they find positive cases in the queue.

rapid testing music event in Barcelona in December was hailed a success, producing no COVID infections afterwards.

In New York, governor Andrew Cuomo announced the state will allow large venues to reopen with reduced capacity and safety measures in place from next week after hailing an NFL stadium testing pilot as an “unparalleled success”.

Critics of lateral flow testing have warned that the test can often produce false negative readings.

Results from Public Health England have indicated that the test has an overall sensitivity of 76.8%, meaning that just under a quarter of results were false negatives, and that the sensitivity dropped even further to 57.5% when the test was administered by self-trained staff at track and trace centres. More positively, the results also found that the lateral flow test detects more than 95% of individuals with high viral loads.

Johnson is due to announce the government’s ‘roadmap’ for easing lockdown restrictions and safely reopening businesses in the UK next Monday, February 22.

Although Johnson said there are no plans to use ‘vaccine passports’ for visiting nightlife venues such as pubs and clubs, he suggested this will be likely for foreign travel, saying: “I think inevitably there will be great interest in ideas like can you show that you had a vaccination against COVID in the way that you sometimes have to show you have had a vaccination against yellow fever or other diseases in order to travel somewhere. … I think that is going to be very much in the mix down the road, I think that is going to happen.”

Nightclubs have been closed in the UK since the first lockdown was announced in March 2020.

Not being able to to open for close to a year has had a disastrous effect on the finances in the industry, with the NTIA recently warning that 81% of UK nightclubs will not survive beyond this month without government support.

Johnson finally referencing nightclubs has been welcomed by some nightlife industry leaders who have been calling for government support and action through the pandemic.

Sacha Lord, Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester, wrote on Twitter: “Can someone pinch me please…. Tonight, after 11 months…The Prime Minister has finally uttered the word we have been waiting for: “Nightclub.”

Watch Boris Johnson’s on rapid testing in the press conference below around the 47:58 mark.

Featured

Radio: Inspired Sound w/ Busty and the Bass

Welcome back to the Inspired Sound show, hosted by, Kofi Yeboah. For this show, we’ll be showing recent releases from some brilliantly talented independent artists from the UK. Listen out for music from, Eerf Evil, Intalekt, TINYMAN, Kofi Stone, Wesley Joseph, and Cody Currie, plus much more!

Listen back the show below.

Tracklist
Jneiro Jarel – Sunwalkers Pt2, 3 (Ft Bill Summers)
Dreams – (Eerf Evil, Srigala, Kofi Stone)
Natural Force – Buscrates 16 Bit Ensemble
Feel It – Ayeisha Raquel, TINYMAN, R-Kay, Intalekt
Greentea peng – Silly
Closer To You – Ruti
2 – Mom Tudie and Byulah
Crave Love – Cecline and the Blue
Jeen Bassa – Discotheque
Be Free – Emmaculate Shannon Chambers Extended Mix)
Pyjean – Gold Plated (ft Odette Peters)
Spiralling Prism – Herbie Hancock
The Witching Hour – Psychic Mirrors
Radiant Children – Rare
Wesley Joseph – Ghostin
Moesh – Lex Amor, DIPS, Lo-Wu
Cody Currie – When The time Is Right
Busty and the Bass – Out So Far

Featured

Former R&S employee Raji Rags Sues Label and CEO Renaat Vandepapeliere For Unlawful Dismissal and Racial Discrimination

Content warning: This story contains imagery and mentions of anti-Semitism, Nazism and Adolf Hitler. Former R&S Records employee Raj Chaudhuri, AKA Raji Rags, has filed a case with the UK employment tribunal against the label and its CEO and cofounder, Renaat Vandepapeliere.

Chaudhuri, who handled A&R for the label on a freelance basis, worked at R&S Records Limited between May 2019 and September 2020. He spent the first 13 months on a rolling monthly retainer, before agreeing to a one-year deal in July 2020. Three months into the new deal, on September 29th, he claims he was unlawfully dismissed by Vandepapeliere.

Two weeks after the alleged dismissal, on October 14th, Chaudhuri issued a statement via social media explaining his departure. “I am not comfortable with working with Renaat Vandepapeliere and putting energy into a company that doesn’t support Black and women artists sufficiently,” he wrote. Chaudhuri has since decided to take the matter further, filing a Particulars Of Claim with the UK employment tribunal on January 21st, 2021.

Resident Advisor and the BBC have seen this 40-page document. In the document, Chaudhuri presents a detailed account of his time at R&S. In addition to the claim of unlawful dismissal, he details multiple instances of alleged “discrimination, harassment, victimisation and post-employment victimisation” involving Vandepapeliere, who has run the label since 1983.

Many of his claims are supported by screenshots of emails or text messages from/to Vandepapeliere. All of the quotes in this article are from the Particulars Of Claim filed with the tribunal unless otherwise stated. Vandepapeliere was offered the opportunity to respond to all of these allegations by RA.

The following statement was made in response to these allegations on behalf of Vandepapeliere and R&S Records Limited:

We have not had an opportunity to prepare our case yet, as the claim has not even been served on us, but given the negative and premature publicity, we feel we have no option but to respond. Mr. Chaudhuri has been reported to the police which we believe will fall under extortion and blackmail under the Theft Act 1968. On the 29th September, he emailed Mr Renaat Vandepapeliere saying that he would “destroy” him publicly unless he was paid £10,000 for potential future work that never happened.

Mr. Chaudhuri was a freelancer who became disgruntled and was fired due to reasons that would fall under gross misconduct if he had been an employee. Mr. Chaudhuri has submitted a tribunal case which in its own right proves nothing. We believe Mr Chaudhuri has done this in order to attack Mr Renaat Vandepapeliere in an attempt to sway him away from other legal proceedings and cause the malicious damage that he threatened unless Mr Renaat Vandepapeliere gave into his monetary demands.

Mr Renaat Vandepapeliere is certainly not racist and everyone at R&S Records embraces equality. We are currently taking our own advice on separately pursuing a defamation claim in respect of these spurious, untruthful and damaging allegations. There is simply no truth in anything he says or the allegations that Mr Chaudhuri has made. We have no intention of litigating this in the press and have every confidence that justice will prevail.

In the claim, Chaudhuri repeatedly accuses Vandepapeliere of racism and sexism. He says he set out to diversify the label’s output by trying to sign more Black and women artists. (A source close to R&S said the label had only signed one major woman artist, Paula Temple, in its 38-year history.) Every new artist had to be signed off by Vandepapeliere. Chaudhuri says he found it difficult to win Vandepapeliere’s approval for Black and women artists.

His first signings, allegedly secured while his boss was taking some time out from the label, featured non-white artists from Ghana, Pakistan, Portugal and Democratic Republic Of Congo. Chaudhuri says Vandepapeliere didn’t like the music, calling it “meaningless.” Chaudhuri says he also felt a growing concern about his boss’s conduct towards women. For example, in November 2019 Vandepapeliere allegedly sent Chaudhuri an Instagram post asking him to rate three topless women.

In the wake of George Floyd’s death in May 2020, Vandepapeliere allegedly wanted to post a black square on the label’s social media platforms in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter protests—a gesture that Chaudhuri felt was insufficient. When Chaudhuri tried to explain to Vandepapeliere that house and techno, the two genres underpinning R&S’s success, “came from black culture,” Vandepapeliere allegedly replied with, “Wauw – step too far for me. Techno is very white, go to the history of electronic music.”

A few weeks later, anti-Semitic posts from 2015 and 2016 resurfaced online from the Facebook account of Colombian artist Santiago Niño Rodriguez, AKA Hermetics, who released the Technosis EP on R&S in 2018. The posts included a photo of Adolf Hitler, a YouTube video titled “Adolf Hitler vs The Jew World Order” and the words, in Spanish, “No hubo Holocausto” (“There was no Holocaust”) written by Rodriguez.

Vandepapeliere signed Rodriguez to R&S in 2018. When the posts resurfaced, Chaudhuri says he urged Vandepapeliere to “completely cut off ties with him,” including removing all his music from the R&S back catalogue. Vandepapeliere allegedly emailed Rodriguez to say “don’t post anything” but refused to take any further action. “Really remove his track… No way,” he wrote. “Inform the kid of danger – yes.” Chaudhuri responded with, “He’s not a kid. He’s a fully grown man who agrees with Hitler.”

In a subsequent email to Chaudhuri, Vandepapeliere allegedly called Rodriguez’s posts a “mistake” and told Chaudhuri to “never judge people from a distance mate.” Rodriguez’s music on R&S remains on sale. The disagreement continued in a separate email chain, with the subject line “Got a question,” which started with an email sent to Chaudhuri by Vandepapeliere on June 3rd, 2020. “What about India… SLAVERY is there full on,” he wrote. “Africa – black murdering each other.” Chaudhuri replied, “I don’t like slavery. I don’t like black on black violence.

I also don’t like anti-Semitism and Nazis.” Chaudhuri says he felt their working relationship grew “very strained” from there. The series of events that Chaudhuri believes led up to his alleged unlawful dismissal began in early July 2020. Vandepapeliere agreed to let Chaudhuri launch a run of six 12-inches, plus a compilation, featuring the music of his choice. Vandepapeliere allegedly didn’t want the records to come out on the main R&S label, but as a series, similar to RV Trax.

Emails in the Particulars Of Claim seen by RA show that Chaudhuri and Vandepapeliere agreed that Chaudhuri would be paid £1,000 per month for 12 months for this project, plus a share of the profits on all seven records. This new deal would replace his previous freelance agreement. Chaudhuri says he asked for a formal written contract for the new work agreement, but Vandepapeliere allegedly said “you got my mail” and he was “a man of his word.”

No written contract was drawn up. In September 2020, the month in which Chaudhuri alleges he was unlawfully dismissed, the Los Angeles-based artist Eddington Again, who is Black and has released on R&S, shared screenshots of emails with Vandepapeliere in which he had challenged the R&S boss on the lack of Black and women artists on the label.

In reference to a new artist he was hoping to sign, Vandepapeliere replied saying, “I hope I have now found a full pure breed black artist that I can spend my life with in full focus.” Again’s post went viral, which led to many fans, artists and industry players calling on Vandepapeliere to apologise for his language.

In emails sent to Chaudhuri and others on September 27th, Vandepapeliere initially refused to apologise, claiming that “pure breed” was a Flemish metaphor lost in translation. This led to several artists, including Lone and Special Request, releasing public statements condemning Vandepapeliere’s choice of language.

On September 28th, Chaudhuri and Vandepapeliere exchanged text messages. One of these, sent by Chaudhuri, suggested that Vandepapeliere “step down” from his “responsibilities” and work “creatively behind the scenes.” Vandepapeliere replied saying Chaudhuri had “crossed the line” and that “R&S goes my way.”

The following day, September 29th, Vandepapeliere allegedly dismissed Chaudhuri with immediate effect and no prior warning. “I cannot work longer without a strong team standing for the company,” he wrote. “I was devastated to lose my job,” Chaudhuri says. “It was particularly galling to be fired for doing the right thing and trying to get him to do the right thing.

I was also on the brink of bringing newfound success and credibility to the label on the back of the diversified artists I was in the process of signing.” Chaudhuri, feeling he had been unlawfully dismissed, wrote to Vandepapeliere asking to be financially compensated for ten months’ worth of lost wages. He also threatened to publish an open letter disclosing Vandepapeliere’s “discriminatory conduct” if he wasn’t paid the money. Subsequently, only one month’s wages were transferred.

A week later, Chaudhuri, who was now unemployed, was offered work at a well-known music company. (Chaudhuri requested the company remain unnamed.) A job offer was on the table but allegedly later rescinded. Chaudhuri alleges that Vandepapeliere sent the head of the music company a statement, published via Iconic Underground Magazine on November 12th.

In the statement, he said relations with “a former company consultant” had been “terminated” after “his threat to issue an open letter to the media.” Chaudhuri disputes this sequence of events, claiming he was dismissed before making the alleged threat.

Vandepapeliere will shortly be served with the Particulars of Claim by the employment tribunal, as is the ordinary procedure in such a case. However, they have been served on him privately already. A date has yet to be set for the tribunal hearing, which will take place in London.

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Have You Met.. Tee Peters

Young musician from South east london, Tee Peters self- released his debut project, Seasons Volume One last month. The first three singles from the project, Seasons, Numeracy & Breath of the Wild premiered on BBC Introducing, titled as ‘Track of The Week’ & has since been featured on Spotify’s ‘Conscious’ and ‘dazed’. Tee Peters took some time to join our Q&A series:

Where did you grow up, how did you get into creating music?

I grew up in South East London & I started making beats when we got a computer that had a software called Reason installed so I would play around on that. My uncle had a lot of video games and a few were only in Japanese so I spent days learning how to play and do things without understanding what was happening through language.

I would just figure things out through seeing what worked at the time. Same goes for my music process back then & even today – I just played around on my computer and figured out what I liked. As I grew up I started writing lyrics, I loved UK Rap & Grime, RNB & early 2000s – late 90s Hip Hop so I just found myself trying to mimic styles like that until I started to develop my own sound. My first lyrics, I would make songs rapping as Anime Characters… but we can talk about that another time haha

How did you meet your producer, Mensing, so create your first EP

I found Mensing on Soundcloud somehow. He had a different name at the time and there were two beats and probably only 2 followers. I loved what he was producing and so I reached out. We made a song using the beat I liked which I plan to release sometime in the future – it’s been 2 years and it’s still one of our favourite songs. When I found out he was in Germany we kept talking online, I invited him to a collective I make some of my music with called FUNCC & he just started soaring with his beats – getting on all the chill, lofi playlists and things.

He’s the guy you listen to when you need to study. With my background in listening to Soulful Hip Hop, grime and Jazz we started making our own sound that showcased that. In the intro song to Seasons Vol.1, No Rest was written while I was inspired by Grime and Drill music , the original title was Game Of Thrones and you can really hear from the chorus “this ain’t no Game of Thrones, You can’t mess with a Lord at Home” I’m that I was really coming with energy. Mensing’s style really gave it (& the whole project) a different feel through – a medium point of being music you can chill to but if you want to listen to the lyrics you’re getting energy and meaning.

Why do you think you work well together?

Like I said it’s that contrast of styles and our common interest to make a positive vibe. There isn’t a Tee Peters & Mensing song that doesn’t try to awaken your conscious – whether that state is “I need to get focused” or “I need to think about my actions” you can’t deny that the music brings positive vibes. Also we talk all the time, keeping each other inspired with new music and supporting out next endeavours. I’m going to be working on my other projects this year and so is he but even that is fuelling our next link up

Are you working independently to release your music? If so, what are some of the challenges?

Working Szn is my own independent platform for my music, I got a label which I’m building with my bro D’larm and it’s just me and my music friends making music, paying each other for the work and enjoying the fruits. Challenges would be convincing ourselves that we’re really doing it right. I’ve always been a DIY human before I was ever an artist and so I like to find ways of making things happen.

I always have discussions with my friends and collaborators about whether we should send our music to labels and stuff and it’s usually me that needs convincing to do it. I’m aware that having some extra support sometimes is very helpful and it’s nice to exchange value though. That’s why I have a few of my bangers released via indie labels and things but ultimately I’m learning to find a balance between self belief and tactical collaborations.

If you weren’t making music, what do you think you would be doing?

Up until Last Year I was aiming to do videography and Marketing. I love creating content and I do enjoy delivering it to people (most of the time) so it was a good route to go down.

Although, I will say Music is just one of my efforts and I still edit and market all the time so does that even count? I think it’s best to say I’d just be trying to exist for myself. I don’t like being tied down to things that don’t develop or provide adventure so I’d just find another means to avoid that.

Do you play any instruments, if not, which would you love to learn first?

I started with Guitar, Piano and Drums when I was younger. I didn’t get far with the lessons though. Been playing around with my guitar recently and trying to play some chords

Do you have advice for anyone releasing music independently?

I keep a post-it note on my wall saying “Do it Now” because any idea you have, you will face resistance. Something will tell you to wait for something like a label or a manager when you don’t even know if that’s ever going to happen. Forget about the things you don’t have control over.

If you’re an artist and you feel like your job is to release music, then just do it. Do the research, upskill yourself to be the label/manager that you don’t if you’ll ever receive support from and do it.

Which artist would you love to collaborate with most?

I really want a song with Jay Prince. He has one of my favourite albums ever and I feel like if we were to fuse resources we would make a gem! I’m speaking this into existence because as I write this, I’m thinking about what a sick network of producers I have, and all of the songs that are going to be coming out…

I just feel that there will be a time where people will be asking for this collab – which is funny because I will have been the one who wanted it the most haha.

In a hypothetical world, if you were performing at any festival this summer, what would that be and why?

Lovebox, Soulection’s festival or Wireless. Those were my first ever shows full stop. I got to experience live music for the first time at these places so I think any of these places would be a full circle moment

How would you describe your new EP in three words?


Chill, Conscious & Jazzy. This is a project for when you’re ready to transition from one negative season of life to a more positive one.

So if you’re ready to jump on the #WorkingSzn journey that I’m on and cut out all your distractions for the betterment of your relationships, work ethic and health, then this project is for you. It’s a soundtrack and a PSA 🙂

Listen to Season Vol 1. below.

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French Producer Folamour Proclaims To ‘Just Want Happiness’ On Latest Single

The French producer Folamour this week released his latest track ‘Just Want Happiness’ ahead of his upcoming debut album.

‘Just Want Happiness’ is a departure from the floaty yet propulsive house sound that has made Folamour’s name thus far. Rather, it’s a downtempo number that loops around a beat that recalls the best of 90s and noughties indie rock, while horns, guitars and drones float in and out. It’s blissful and uplifting, rooted in a grounded optimism.

Folamour has found fame in recent years after the Boiler Room stream of his Fly Open Air set in 2019 went viral, having now been viewed over 3m times on Youtube. He has released on a range of labels, including All City and Glitterbox, as well as setting up his own FHUO Records imprint.

Listen to ‘Just Want Happiness’ below.

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Have You Met… Celine & The Blue

Following the release of their first single of 2021, Celine & The Blue took some time to join our Q&A series so we could learn a little bit more about them. Their upbeat, lively music has aired on BBC Introducing, BBC Radio Berkshire, Eagle Radio and Vibe Radio.

Where did you grow up? 

Oh, we come from all the places! From Italy we have Céline (Milan) and Enea (Martina Franca). Jay grew up in Uden, a village in the Netherlands, Elliot is from Chelmsford, Essex and Myles grew up in seaside town Bognor Regis. All the different cultures we grew up in truly make up for such a fun blend of personalities!

Who were the people/things around which made you want to pursue music?

Some of Enea’s friends and his teachers loved music in a way that was inspiring. He got competitive because he wanted to know as much as they did, or play as well as they did so he got hooked with music and fell in love with it. Being exposed to a lot of different genres throughout his childhood, 

Elliot joined his first band at 14. They played gigs all over Essex and it snowballed from there! The experience of our first headline gig in this band was just so wholesome, emotional and iconic, Céline officially knew music was what she had to do in life. 

For Myles, bands like Nirvana, The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Queens of the Stone Age originally inspired him to pursue music. He also started playing with a best friend which helped him progress to begin with without really trying. 

Jay’s dad is a singer and played in a couple function bands some years ago. After taking piano lessons for 2 years when he was 9, Jay switched to guitar and that’s when he realised music was IT for him!

What fond memories in the early stages of your music career do you have?

Depends how early we’re talking! Jay formed his first band in the final year of primary school, they were called Sandstorm, wrote 3 songs and performed in front of over 200 people. They were 5 13-year-olds with their hair gelled into mohawks. It was special. 

Enea’s best memory is from high school during the first time performing in front of a crowd. It was a feeling of terror and excitement performing an ‘underbaked’ song with a leg that wouldn’t stop shaking. We still love getting that same feeling. 

For a school project Céline decided she was going to write and record an EP. Holding the final CD in her hands and distributing copies to people was the most enriching and thrilling experience, it was like giving out little bits of love to everyone! 

Myles performed at a yearly show on a stage 500 feet from the sea called “The ROX”, he performed 5 songs with his band and while they all had a blast doing it, he can’t remember if the crowd liked them… 

Elliot’s band won a battle of the bands competition. It was run across 5 or 6 rounds that were all hosted at different venues throughout Essex. They thought they had made it haha!

Do you play an instrument, if not, what would you love to learn most?

Keysplayer Enea would love to learn how to play drums without his neighbours complaining. Céline plays piano, a bit of guitar and ukulele, but she’d absolutely love to play the harp, so majestic and enchanted! 

To add his guitar and singing skills, Jay would like to add saxophone. Elliot is thinking about following Enea’s tracks and learning to play piano. Myles has a thing for the mandolin and the accordion, we highly rate that!

How did the band come together?

We met at music uni, Enea and Céline needed a band for an assessment and we were all in the same friend group so the guys volunteered to help. When we first performed together, we just fell in love with us as a team. 

What are some of the challenges of working in a band?

What’s hardest about being in a band is understanding how to take full advantage of our potential. With 5 people there are so many things you could be doing; everyday we are developing our method to becoming more efficient. Also, we value and love to focus on communication as we are so different from one another, each of us expresses themselves in such unique ways, we always turn seemingly complex communication challenges into our greatest strength!

What inspired you to create Crave Love? 

Initially Crave Love started off as some chords that Enea really digged. The theme of wanting love for the sake of love was something he’d been philosophizing about at that time.

Writing the lyrics, Céline wanted the surface of this song to illustrate a breakup, and the deeper layers to show a much more complex dynamic of love as a primordial human need, highlighting emotions of grief, deprivation and melancholy. When we first wrote it, little did we know that Jay was about to write a heart shattering solo, the brightest, most vividly red and shiny cherry on top of the cake. 

Describe some of your emotions when you made your debut at Ronnie Scott?

Ronnie’s has always been somewhere that we’ve aspired to play. Elliot even heard incredible stories about it from his Nan who would frequently visit the venue as a teen. We were so so super hyped! It wasn’t even a gig with the full rig. It was an acoustic set.

We were super nervous, Myles swears his stomach was in knots, but as soon as we started playing the nerves vanished and it was quite surreal. The atmosphere in Ronnie’s and the people we met there were just magical. We never felt more inspired. The aura, the aesthetic and the history of that place simply drowned us in excitement and a desire to never leave that place. It really was quite a mind blowing moment.

Truly unforgettable.

Do you have any creative hobbies outside of music?

Céline is the hobby queen, currently she is knitting and crocheting a whole wardrobe’s worth of clothes. Myles and Enea doodle all the time! Jay plays football and often teams up with Elliot in a gaming marathon.

Are there any UK based artists which have influenced your style of music?

Here’s a list of our favourites that we recommend everyone to check out!

Will there be any further release this year as ‘Céline & The Blue’?

Yes! We are releasing our EP next! It’s going to happen within the middle of the year and we. cannot. wait. 

Listen to ‘Crave Love’ below.

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Meron T and Sey G Link Up With Two Soulful Singles, ‘Dailyy’ and ‘Sey G’

Singer, songwriter and aspiring producer Meron T is back to bless our ears with her brand new single “Dailyy” ft. Sey G.

Love and heartbreak is a subject many of us can relate to. Meron T’s “Dailyy” was made at a time of transitioning out of a romantic relationship into a platonic friendship, and speaks on the emotional battles of adjusting, and the friendship not working out.

Produced by Sey G, this soulful release is Meron T’s prominent thoughts, a freestyle of feelings and emotions present at the time

Listen to ‘Dailyy’ below.

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Olivier St Louis Releases His Stunning New EP ‘M.O.T.H’

Following on from a series of singles, ‘Runnin’ Wild’, ‘Confliction’ and ‘Jump The Line’, First Word Records are pleased to present a full-length EP from soul artist Olivier St.Louis, produced by Oddisee – ‘M.O.T.H. (Matters Of The Heartless)’ Olivier was born in Washington DC of Haitian and Cameroon heritage, but spent his teens studying in the UK.

When asked his thoughts on his artistry, Olivier St. Louis simply states “no punches pulled, no compromises, just me”.

Listen to ‘M.O.T.H. (Matters Of The Heartless) below.

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PRS For Music U-Turns Over License Fee For Small-Scale Live Stream Concerts

It’s taken British Collection Society PRS for Music three whole working days to do a one-eighty over its new license fee for small-scale live stream concerts in the UK.

On Wednesday (January 27), the org launched its new Online Live Concert licence, requiring artists to pay a fixed rate fee for live-streamed gigs that generate less than £500, even if they’re only performing their own songs.

The move was slammed by artists, managers and UK industry bodies like The Music Manager’s Forum and the Featured Artists Coalition, who issued a joint statement last week claiming that the new tariff was launched with “no prior warning and without consultation with artists or their representatives”.

Today (February 1), PRS issued a statement claiming that it has now listened “to feedback from songwriter and composer members”, and has decided to add a provision to the licence that will allow artists who want to perform an online ticketed live concert exclusively of their own works to obtain a free licence to do so.

“The free licence will be available to any individual concert qualifies for the small-scale licence, with revenues below £500, throughout the period the live sector is forced to close due to the COVID-19 crisis where the qualifying member is the performer,” explains PRS in its statement.

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Spotify’s Latest Invention Monitors Your Speech, Determines Your Emotional State… And Suggests Music Based On It

Remember when Spotify was granted a patent for personality tracking technology?

Published in October 2020, the filing explained that behavioural variables, such as a user’s mood, their favourite genre of music, or their demographic could all prospectively “correspond to different personality traits of a user”.

Spotify suggested that it could promote personalized content – presumably audio advertising content, but also perhaps music and podcast content – to users based on the personality traits it detected in them.

Now, according to details published in a new US Spotify patent, the company wants to use technology to get even deeper into its users’ heads, by using speech recognition to determine their “emotional state, gender, age, or accent” – attributes that can then be used to recommend content.

The new patent, entitled “Identification of taste attributes from an audio signal”, which you can read in full here, was filed in February 2018 and granted on January 12 this year.

According to the filing, SPOT’s new patent covers a “method for processing a provided audio signal that includes speech content and background noise” and then “identifying playable content, based on the processed audio signal content.”

Spotify explains that “it is common for a media streaming application to include features that provide personalized media recommendations to a user”.

[Music Business Worldwide]

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Spotify Playlist Update: New Music From Rising Stars In The UK & Beyond

Continuing this year’s start of strong releases, our Spotify ‘Soul Food’ includes music from Hip Hop, RnB, Neo-Soul, Broken Beat and Jazz from artist we think who deserve your attention. All our tracks stay on the palylisr for 4 weeks, as we rotate with new tracks bi-weekly.

This week we’ve added music from artists such Otis Junior, Wesley Joseph, Pyjaen, Jeshi, Greentea Peng, The Radiant Children, Akemi Fox, and Tom Misch.

Listen the Soul Food playlist below.

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Rak-Su Deliever The Summer Ready Single – ‘Left Right’

Whilst the world grinds to another halt, Rak-Su have promised to keep things moving in 2021. The group have released their first single of 2021, titled, ‘Left Right’, featuring 19-year-old Zimbabwean singer, Donel.

Speaking about the release, Rak-Su says “Donel is a good friend of ours, we’ve even been on tour together. If anyone’s ever been around us there’s always good energy and a lot of fun. So we wanted to make a song that felt like that & share it with the world”

‘Left Right’ feat. Donel joins previous singles ‘No Contest’ & ‘Girls Like You’ to form a forthcoming EP, due for release in March. Stay tuned for the official video for ‘Left Right’ prior to this in the coming weeks. Rak-Su are also set to perform to crowds in Dublin, Newcastle, Manchester, Birmingham, London & Bristol from 8th-15th September 2021. 

Listen to ‘Left-Right’ below.

You can find tickets HERE.

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Have You Met.. Allysha Joy

Allysha Joy’s potent lyricism, unique musicianship and killer vocals have garnered legions of attentive fans the world over. She’s an integral member of the Melbourne soul jazz scene, known as part of the acclaimed 30/70 Collective and for her own equally revered solo work. Back in November Allysha Joy released her stunning solo EP, ‘Light It Again’, and she has now taken the time to join our Q&A series so we can learn a bit more about her musical journey:

Who are the musicians which inspire you to create music?

Oh too many to list! But the people that are inspiring me now are Georgia Anne Muldrow (always), Kaidi Tatham, Steve Spacek, Fatima, Sault, all the crew in 30/70 collective, Julien Dyne and Wu-lu and I love Ego Ella May’s music! 

Where did you grow up, how did you get into creating music?

I grew up in Narrm, Wurundjeri Country in so called “Australia”. I started signing at a really young age and then got into writing poetry. I didn’t really start writing music until I was about 18 or 19 when I started teaching myself piano and now just over the past 5 years or so I’ve been doing a lot of production work and really trying to direct the whole sonic experience. Really listening to jazz is what brought me into creating music! 

If you weren’t creating music, what else would be doing?

I’m actually deeply interested in Psychotherapy! Healing through art but also through conversation, expression, symbology and the subconscious. I think this will become a larger part of my work to come. But essentially if I wasn’t creating music I’d be creating poetry, creating change in other ways, creating conversation. But really, I hope to do all those things while I create music anyway. 

So I first listened to your music as part of the ‘30/70 Collective’, and so I wanted to ask how the group got together, and the story behind your name?

30/70 was an instrumental band before I joined them and they had released one record before we made Cold Radish Coma. I’m super grateful as it was all just chance encounters through the jazz scene and we really came to build such strong relationships together in our love for hip hop and soul and jazz!

The name is significant for a few reasons but my favourite is the swing ratio theory, you’ll have to ask Horatio Luna about that one though! 

I really liked your first EP with Rhythm Section – Elevate, how did you meet Bradley Zero, and whatis your rleationship like with him relationship like with him?

BZ is a legend and all the crew at Rhythm Section! We met him when he came out to Melbourne one time! RS had recently put out Silent Jay and Jace XL not long before our record and as we were all hanging out at the time BZ heard about 30/70 and wanted to put out the next record!

What was your favourite track that you created for the EP ‘Elevate?’

I love Misrepresented cause it really summed up a feeling for me and has continued to grow and take on new meaning in my life emotionally, politically and socially. I also LOVE the Get to Me remix by Setwun from this record. 

Listen to ‘Watercolours’ Below.

Do you plan to release anything this year as the  ‘30/70 Collective’?

Yeah!! We’ve got a single coming out really soon actually on Rhythm Section, with some incredible remixes on that too! Then hopefully we can look to releasing the next album soon! 

What was your mindset going into your recent EP, ‘Light Again’, how did you want it to differ from your music as the ‘30/70 Collective’?

I think to a large degree as artists we don’t really have a choice in the music that we make, when we collaborate open heartedly it just is what it is! These songs are all my own writing and arranging as opposed to a completely collaborative process in 30/70.

But really these four songs on Light it Again are the deepest, realest shit I’ve ever written and they are completely unique and representative of past inquiry .. as is most of what we do, it’s always going to change and evolve as we as artists continue to change. Beyond that, I don’t think this group of musicians and producers will ever collaborate as a whole team ever again and that makes this record special beyond belief.

It’s the culmination of some of Melbourne’s finest artists in a really important moment of this city’s soul scene and I’m incredibly grateful for that opportunity and experience! 

What made you decide to release with First Word Records?

I’ve been a big fan of First Word for a while now! I’m super inspired by Kaidi Tatham and Yazmin Lacey and Children of Zeus so it’s an honour to join the label and everyone on the team is super lovely! I feel like my music has found a little home between the jazz and the soul records! 

Do you play any instruments?

Yes! I play piano and percussion on all my solo music! And I produce! I’ve also been getting lessons in drumming and percussion for the past little while with the legend, Ray Pereira! 

Describe your EP, ‘Light Again’ in three words.

Art as healing 

Featured

The Next Album From Serpentwithfeet, DEACON, Centers Black Queer Love

New serpentwithfeet material is arriving soon. Landing via Secretly Canadian on March 26th, DEACON comes three years after the release of his debut album, soil. Written following serpentwithfeet’s move to Los Angeles, the focus of the album is Black queer love, as well as the tenderness which pervades those platonic and romantic relationships.

The record fans out over eleven tracks, featuring contributions from Sampha, Lil Silva and NAO. The LP’s debut single, “Fellowship,” is out now, accompanied by a music video featuring picturesque shots of serpentwithfeet and his partner on the beach. “I originally approached this project wanting to make something that felt very sensuous. Something a lot softer, a lot more gentle than my previous work,” serpentwithfeet says about the album.

Alluding to his religious upbringing, the album’s title is named after the member of the Christian office that aids in the church’s charitable functions. “I wanted to create something that felt calm and restrained. This was my way of tapping into the energy many deacons possess,” he continues.

serpentwithfeet is a Baltimore-raised, Los Angeles-based experimental musician. He first gained recognition with the release of his debut EP, blisters, in 2016. Watch the music video for the album’s debut single, “Fellowship.”

Listen to ‘Fellowship’ below.

Featured

Have You Met.. Dampé

Joe Munday, a musician, producer and DJ from South London. Dampe brings a wealth of infleunce from across the world. Living in a richly diverse culture such as London, Dampe has never been short of ideas with his eclectic track selection on Rinse FM. He took some time to join our Q&A series:

Where did you grow up? What’s the creative culture like in your city?

I moved around the midlands as a kid, spent the teenage ‘growing up’ years in the South West/Devon but have lived in London longer than anywhere else now. Devon is a sick place to be a teenager, close to Bristol and Plymouth for music and going out but also lots of country and beaches to fuck about on. 

Usually i’d say that London’s creative culture is immense, forever shifting and makes the fight that it is to live here 100% worthwhile. Its just like they say, there’s a million overlapping communities, scenes and lots to get excited about and overwhelmed by. 

Covid is stifling all that at the moment and it’s bleak to see venues and communities on their knees. I think you learn a bit of resilience living here so hopefully it will bounce back although sadly there are people and places going under without support. Those first responsible dances back will be so, so good and hopefully make everyone appreciate and explore London’s culture, as well as support independent creative endeavour more.

What made you get into music, who were the people around you which influenced you?

My mum made me pick up an instrument because she was gutted she couldn’t play anything. Then getting to school you meet people who lend you music or turn you on to different sounds. It was pre-streaming, burning CDs and playing them in the car era. My friend Sami El-Enany burnt me a copy of Hail To The Thief and some Venetian  Snares I think – we actually released an album together this year. So those formative friendships are still really influential for me, who you party with, who you create with. 

What were early experiences in music, did you start with playing instruments?

Yeah, started with guitar – Spanish fingerstyle, traditional folk tunes. Then played in questionable bands for years before taking music tech at college and spending all my time in the studio they had there. My parents were never musicians but they always had music on in their houses. 

What made you decide to release music with Darker Than Wax?

I was programming a venue and we started doing a couple parties with the 4 To The Floor crew (s/o Kengo) who booked the DTW guys when they were over here one summer. We got to talking and bouncing some music back and forth. I hooked up with Marco when I was in NY last year and the rest just worked out slowly really. The label, crew and everyone involved is just great. I’m hugely grateful for the support and to be part of the family. 

Describe your show on Rinse FM

I’ve been hosting a monthly show on Rinse for two years now. It’s mostly new, upfront dance music, house, techno, garage and everything in between. Ive done a couple downtempo and ambient shows during peak lockdown when my head just isn’t up for two hours of dance music. This year i want to switch it up a bit and start getting guests in for mixes as well as play older finds too. I think now I’ve made myself part of the furniture i can branch out a bit. Stoked to be on the station though – banging place and people.

Have a listen to his previous show from Decemeber:

If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing? 

I literally have no idea. Music and sound design is the day job at the moment so i guess life would look very different. I like taking pictures on 35mm – is that a viable career?

Are there any artists in the UK we should be paying attention to?

Of course! Far too many to mention. Off the top of my head though:

2020 was Pa Salieu’s year for me, Coventry’s finest rapper – every project is so cold expecting massive things from him this year.

Ghetts continues to be the UK’s best MC imo

Been listening to an album from a London based cellist called Oliver Coates who released an album last year called skins n slime which is insanely beautiful and the production is close and intense  

I always look out for Sheffield based Yak’s productions, deep, percussive club tracks on a couple great labels

Bristol’s Livity Sound just put out a great EP from a producer called surgeons girl i really like – Lush new UK Techno.

Couple UK stalwart labels and crews i follow who always are pushing great dance music but I’m sure won’t be news to you guys: Apron, Hessle, Livity, Wisdom Teeth, Time Capsule, WOLF, AOTN, Faith and Industry, Rhythm Section, Co Op, Touching Bass etc 

How have you tried to change your approach going into your most recent record, in comparison to your previous EPs?

From the outside looking in I think the process and approach would appear very similar (me sitting at my synths for months on end, sometimes frustrated and sometimes serne) but to me they do all feel different and mark distinct people, moments in time, spaces and/or gear used. 

More interestingly and importantly, this EP specifically had me questioning/thinking about sample culture a lot, the massive imbalance in the dance music industry/the world and appropriation in general – lessons i’ll be taking forward.

Describe your EP in three words

Colourful, hopefully engaging 

Make sure you check out his latest EP through singnapore based record label, Darker Than Wax. Titled, ‘Oil’, Dampé doesnt hold back in showing you his extensive sound design skills, you can purchase here.

Featured

Henry Greenleaf – Taking First EP

Henry Greenleaf is a rising UK producer currently based in Bristol, in the south-east of England. Inspired by the creative culture in Bristol for electronic dance music, Henry draws inspiration from Jungle, Post-Dubstep, and an array varied techno from Drumcode, to the ambience of minimal. Henry’s new EP titled, Taking First, becomes the fourth release under Par Avion. The opening single, ‘Taking First’, is a heavy scorching opener which immediately grabs your attention. Henry seems to take inspiration from Drumcode and dubstep to create a quickly evolving track. The following track, ‘Rumble’, carries the dark engrossing feeling of nervousness, as the steady opening build creates an atmosphere of suspense.

The B-side carries the energy of the previous tracks but with more sounds befitting on the dancefloor. It could be the rhythmic swelling from the percussion elements in the closing track, ‘Rumble Cando Remix’. Or it could be more the ethereal, alien-like sounds resonating from the synthesiser during the opening build in the track, NOFM.

The full EP releases on the 22nd of January. You can pre-order here

Listen to ‘NOFM’ below. 

Featured

Funk and Soul Group, Céline & The Blue Release Their New Single, ‘Crave Love’

Female-fronted soul, jazz and funk band, Céline & The Blue & made its live London debut at Ronnie Scott’s and has been hailed as “Ones to Watch” (Music Republic Magazine) and “Unique due to their family-oriented approach” (Louder Than War). Their groovy sounds have aired on BBC Introducing, BBC Radio Berkshire, Eagle Radio and Vibe Radio. 

Speaking on the track, Céline & The Blue explain: “we wanted ‘Crave Love’ to emit emotions we have not shared with our existing music so far. Our aim was to express sadness through warm sounds. The sound palette was inspired by Charles Baudelaire’s poem ‘L’âme du vin’ (The Soul of Wine) where wine is personified and describes its descent into the human throat down to the warm chest which resembles a mother’s embrace. We tried our best to recreate this scene through the sound choices and we hope to transmit intimacy and warmth to listeners.” 

Listen to ‘Crave Love’ below.

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Gloabl Jazz DJ Gilles Peterson Teams Up With Jean- Paul Bluey Maunick Team For Project ‘STRA4TA’

Gilles Peterson and Jean-Paul ‘Bluey’ Maunick have teamed up to create a new project STR4TA.

This week, they released their latest single ‘Rhythm In Your Mind’, building up to the release of their album ‘Aspects’ on Brownswood Recordings on March 26.

‘Rhythm In Your Mind’ recalls the early-80s British funk scene, laidback and groove-driven. It is a sound that Maunick helped to drive with his involvement in groups Incognito, Light Of The World and Freeez.

As STR4TA, Peterson and Maunick released their single ‘Aspects’ in October of last year, although they didn’t announce that they were behind the project. This forthcoming album marks the first original material that the pair have produced together in over a decade.

Listen to ‘Rhythm In Your Mind’ below, and preorder the album here.

Featured

DJ Minx References Police Brutality For New Single, ‘Blind Amerikkka’

DJ Minx has produced a new single featuring New York artist E-Man.

“Blind Amerikkka” came out today via Women On Wax, an imprint that the Detroit mainstay launched in 2001. The track references police brutality in the US, among other pressing issues.

It’s the first Women On Wax release of the year, following Minx’s Violet Groove EP from 2020.

Listen to “Blind Amerikkka”

Featured

British DJ Ross From Friends Launches A New Label

Ross From Friends, AKA Felix Clary Weatherall, has launched a new label, Scarlet Tiger.

Kicking off the outlet is a new single, “Burner,” from Weatherall himself. It’s out now. “I’ve always sent music back and forth with friends and folk I’ve met online over the years, amassing all of this music, so it made perfect sense for me to start a label to release all of it,” Weatherall says. “There seems to be a general path that flows through all of the things that grab me, which is some kind of UK electronic music.”

Weatherall is a British DJ, producer and frontman of Ross From Friends. He released his debut album, Family Portrait, in 2018 via Brainfeeder.

Listen to ‘Burner’.

Featured

Reknowned Ecuadorian Producer Debuts on Rhythm Section

Nicola Cruz is releasing an EP on Rhythm Section. Spanning five percussive tracks, Subtropique will mark the Ecuadorian artist’s debut on the London label.

It’s out February 19th. Last year, Cruz released EPs on Highlife, Optimo Music and more. He also recorded his first BBC Radio 1 Essential Mix.

Listen to “Individuality Riddim.”

Featured

Rinse FM Presenter Dampé Announces His Latest EP – ‘Oil’

Darker Than Wax’s final release of the year brings us back to the world of UK dance music with Dampé – the solo project of Joe Munday, a musician, producer and DJ from South London. Dampe brings a wealth of influence from across the world. Living in a richly diverse culture such as London, Dampe has never been short of ideas with his eclectic track selection on Rinse FM.

After numerous setbacks from the chaos of 2020, Darker Than Wax are proud to announce Dampé’s label debut with the world – ‘Oil’. Set for release this Friday, the 15th of January will be the full 8-track EP with a wonderful blend of evolving dancefloor track, to more rhythmic and eurphoric singles.

Listen to ‘Oil’ below.

Featured

DJS AND ARTISTS CAN APPLY FOR THE NEXT ROUND OF AN ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND GRANT

DJs and artists can now apply for the ninth round of the Developing Your Creative Practice (DYCP) grant from Arts Council England.

Applications opened today (January 11) and will stay open until February 18. Grants range from £2000 to £10,000.

The DYCP grant opened last year in response to the coronavirus pandemic, with those eligible including individual DJs, artists, technicians and more. DJs were able to apply for the first time in October 2020, and this will be only the second round DJs are eligible for.

Application information can be found here.

Watch a video about DYCP below.

Featured

UK GOVERNMENT REJECTED EU’S OFFER OF VISA-FREE TOURS FOR MUSICIANS

It was revealed on Saturday 9 January that the UK has turned down an offer from the EU of visa-free tours for musicians.

An EU source involved in the Brexit negotiations has said that it is standard to offer musicians a 90-day period for travel without having to have various different work visas. Countries like the United States and Saudi Arabia currently hold this agreement with the EU.

It has been revealed that the UK rejected the EU’s offer of a 90-day period, instead asking for a 30-day one to fit with the government’s own proposals to limit travel for EU musicians.

These measures form part of Secretary of State Priti Patel’s plans to limit immigration. From this month, musicians from EU countries hoping to tour the UK will have to apply for visas that will allow them to stay for longer than 30 days, as well as providing proof of savings and a sponsorship certificate from an events organiser. These are the measures that non-EU citizens currently have to go through to work in the UK.

The government has previously put this failure to safeguard the needs of musicians down to Brussels, saying that it ‘pushed for a more ambitious agreement which would have covered musicians and others, but our proposals were rejected by the EU’.

Earlier this week, a petition calling for visa-free EU travel for touring artists surpassed 220,000 signatures. It had been shared by people and institutions like object blue, Josey Rebelle, NTS, Hyperdub and Rye Wax.

There are worries among the music community about how this will affect touring artists who have already been greatly impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.

As a progression to this, it is now for each EU member state to decide whether or not it will require touring musicians from the UK to obtain a work visa.

[Via The Independent]

Featured

ELLLL Is Back On First Second Label With A New 12-Inch, Housebreaker

Irish producer ELLLL has a new three-track EP coming out. Housebreaker, due out on February 5th via Dublin-based First Second Label, features three versions of the title track, including a remix courtesy of Parris. This is ELLLL’s first EP since 2019.

The Berlin-based artist and Gash Collective cofounder released three 12-inches that year, including Febreeze on First Second Label and Glisten via Paralaxe Editions.

Her most recent release was a remix for Copenhagen-based producer Erosion Flow, along with a track on Gash Collective’s first compilation. Listen to clips of Housebreaker.

[Resident Advisor]

Listen to snippets of each track below.

Featured

Elisa Delves Into Her Inner World For New Single, ‘Water’

Elisa Imperilee releases ‘Water’ produced by long-time collaborator SRIGALA and
accompanied by the singer’s first visual directed by ALMASS BADAT.

‘Water’ is a haunting tale of empowerment following Elisa’s journey through isolation
and fear as she faces her feelings. This is Elisa’s first self released track which follows her first release with MC Manik.

Speaking about the track, Elisa mentions: “People always told me that time was a healer. But sometimes time isn’t enough and the difficult truth is that you have to put in work to heal yourself.When I wrote this song I was in a dark place yet somehow this felt more comfortable than the prospect of facing the feelings I had been avoiding for a long time. I was becoming
aware of the trap I was in and this song chronicles my coming to terms with the fact I had
to dive into those difficult emotions to get out of it.”

Listen to ‘Water’ below.

Featured

London Club Fold Is Selling A Limited Edition Bag

London club FOLD has unveiled a new limited edition piece of merchandise.

The bag is branded with FOLD’s typography logo, and contains multiple compartments and an adjustable strap that makes it suitable for cross-body or belt-bag wear.

Its made out of heavy duty material, with a faux leather outer shell, printed red logo lining, secure zip and popper button closures, a dark silver-tone industrial finish, and an extra D-ring dog clip for the strap.

The bag was designed by Goda Poskaite.

It’s available on a limited run and costs £52. Get yours here.

Check out some more images below.

Featured

UK Music Festivals Face Imminent Cancellation Without Government Support

UK Music has warned British music festivals will be cancelled again this year unless the government steps in to provide support.

The campaigning and lobby group, that represents the commercial music industry, has shared a detailed report titled ‘Let the Music Play: Save Our Summer 2021’ outlining its strategy to protect and support the UK’s multi-billion pound live music industry.

In the report, it warns that a lack of COVID cancellation insurance available means that a government insurance scheme is necessary for music festivals to move forward with event planning this year.

UK Music Chief Executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said: “While this pandemic is still raging and continues to cause devastation to lives and livelihoods today, there is an endpoint in sight. Government is rolling out the vaccine and is openly speculating about returning to normal by the spring – but there is a serious risk that even if this proves to be a reality, lack of notice and available insurance options will mean much of the 2021 summer music season can’t go ahead.

“With the right support the live music industry can be at the forefront of the post-pandemic recovery and play a key role in our country’s economic and cultural revival – but there will need to be a concerted effort from industry and the Government together if we are to let the music play and save our summer.”

Last month, Germany announced a €2.5 billion cancellation fund to cover the cost of events planned for the second half of 2021 that may be cancelled due to COVID-19.

The call for action in the UK follows on from Glastonbury organiser Emily Eavis taking to Twitter yesterday to deny a claim from Mel B that this year’s festival has been cancelled.

Speaking to Nihal Arthanayake on BBC Radio 5 Live, the Spice Girls member said she had been told the event has been called off, possibly indicating that the pop group were set to play the festival’s Sunday evening ‘legends’ slot as part of the 25th anniversary edition.

She said: “I know that Glastonbury’s been cancelled, so a lot of big stage performances are on hold again this year, which is sad but we’ve got to get this virus under control.”

UK Music’s report is also calling for an “indicative” date for when venues and events can return with full capacity, and the VAT rate reduction relief on tickets and business rates to be extended.

Read the full report here

[via Mixmag]

Featured

DJ Semtex Launches New Weekly Podcast Series, Hip Hop Raised Me

British broadcaster, DJ, producer and author, DJ Semtex, has launched the trailer for a new podcast entitled Hip Hop Raised Me, featuring “exclusive, no-holds-barred conversations with the artists that define the culture”.

Hip Hop Raised Me is produced by Nikita Chauhan and is available on all major podcast platforms, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher.

Chauhan produced BBC 1xtra radio shows including The Friday night Hip Hop show with DJ Semtex and Destination Africa, hosted by DJ Edu.

The weekly series starts on January 11 with the legendary Chuck D of Public Enemy, who joins DJ Semtex for a conversation about Public Enemy and the group’s contributions to hip hop music and to the larger community.

They also discuss the making of the 2020 remix to their hit Fight The Power. Upcoming episodes feature Busta Rhymes, French Montana, Jeezy, Sheff G, and more.

Semtex has played a key role in breaking some of the biggest hip-hop acts on both sides of the Atlantic.

He joined the Global-owned UK radio station Capital XTRA in October 2018 after leaving BBC Radio 1 after 15 years, where he hosted the 1Xtra hip-hop show. He’s also the host of the popular UK-focused Spotify podcast, Who We Be Talks.

The broadcaster’s relationship with, and history in, the hip-hop community is detailed in his 2016 bestselling book, Hip Hop Raised Me.

“THESE ARE IN DEPTH CONVERSATIONS WITH ARTISTS ACROSS THE GLOBE, NO AGENDA.”

DJ SEMTEX

DJ Semtex said: “These are in depth conversations with artists across the globe, no agenda. New cutting-edge artists. A-list artists. Architects of sound. Moguls. Icons.”

“Hip Hop is now the biggest art form of this generation. It is the Rock and Roll of the youth, a genre that transcends race and culture, this it isn’t going to stop anytime soon.”

Featured

Catch Up With Parklife and Boomtown Fair reps discussing The future of festivals with UK MPs

Watch a video meeting between MPs and representatives from UK festivals Parklife and Boomtown Fair. The title of the two-part Digital, Culture, Media And Sport Committee, which began at 10 AM GMT on January 5th, is “The Future Of UK Music Festivals.” First up were Anna Wade, communications & strategy director at Boomtown Fair, and Sacha Lord, cofounder of Parklife and The Warehouse Project.

They discussed issues such as the vaccine rollout and government insurance and financial support. At 11 AM, three new industry reps entered the session: Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, CEO of UK Music; Paul Reed, CEO of Association Of Independent Festivals (AIF); and Steve Heap, general secretary at the Association Of Festival Organisers (AFO). The session ended at 12:06 PM.

Watch it back here.

Featured

Madlib and Four Tet reveals His Second New Single “Hopprock”

Madlib has unveiled his new single “Hopprock”, which will feature on his forthcoming album Sound Ancestors that he worked on with Four Tet.

“Hopprock” is the second taster of Sound Ancestors following last month’s lead single “Road Of The Lonely Ones“, and was edited, arranged and mastered by Four Tet.

Sound Ancestors will be released under Madlib‘s name, but Four Tet, real name Kieran Hebden, arranged, edited, and manipulated the tracks.

The new track arrives just days after Madlib’s Madvillain collaborator MF DOOM was confirmed to have died. They released their debut collaborative album Madvillainy in 2004.

Check ‘Hopprock’ below.

Featured

Hiatus’ New Single ‘Semblance’ Meditates Metropolitan Life

British-Iranian producer Hiatus has released a new single ‘Semblance’.

Calm and meditative, it swells between horn melodies and quiet piano chords, flowing in whatever direction it feels. The video is a quiet reflection on what it means to live in the metropolis.

‘Semblance’ is taken from Hiatus’ upcoming album ‘Distancer’, which has been announced for release on April 9 2021.

Throughout his musical career, Hiatus has been inspired by his Iranian heritage. His first album ‘Ghost Notes’ samples heavily from many of his father’s Iranian records, and his track ‘Delam’ features his father reciting and translating old Iranian poems.

Distancer’ came about after Hiatus met Faraz Eshgi Sahraei and his wife Malahat. Faraz plays the kamancheh, a traditional Iranian stringed instrument, and Malahat sings. ‘Distancer’ was born after several recording sessions with the pair in Brixton.

Watch the video for ‘Semblance’ below.

Featured

Little Dragon And Moses Sumney Colloborate On New Single ‘The Other Lover’

Little Dragon and Moses Sumney have collaborated together on a new single ‘The Other Lover’, released this week on Ninja Tune.

Soulful and hooky, ‘The Other Lover’ draws inspiration from Little Dragon’s track ‘Another Lover’ from their latest album ‘New Me, Same Us’, released earlier in 2020.

The two vocalists, Sumney and Yukimi Nagano, intertwine, and one becomes indistinguishable from the other as they both run up and down octaves, coating the instrumental layers in soul.

Speaking on the song, Little Dragon have commented, “When we reached out to Moses we didn’t know what to expect. What we received was very stripped down, with his beautiful voice. We jammed along and sent it back. It bounced back from his end with added horns and sounded beautiful to our ears. We are very proud of this.”

For his part, Moses Sumney has said, “I’ve been listening to Little Dragon for a very long time; as a teen, their first album impressed upon me just how infinite modern soul music can be. When they asked me to collaborate I was so honoured and surprised (“shook”, as the kids say), that it took me a while to come around. They worked with me, egoless, to craft a new vision for their song. I’m proud of what we came up with.”

Listen to ‘The Other Lover’ below.

Featured

Denis Sulta, Chaos in the CBD, Mall Grab and Moxie Named And More Are Confirmed For Strawberries & Creem 2021

Strawberries & Creem this week announced the first wave of artists joining them in Cambridgeshire for their 2021 edition.

Pa Salieu, Tiffany Calver, Sean Paul, Koffee, Bugzy Malone and more have been announced for the main stage. The Hidden Palms stage, dedicated more to house DJs, will be graced by Honey DijonDenis SultaChaos in the CBDMall Grab and Moxie.

The festival markets itself on the basis of offering the best in youth culture, meaning there will also be appearances from the latest figures in gaming, podcasting, comedy, and football.

Weekend tickets went on presale this week, costing £79.50 for two nights. Single day tickets for Saturday and Sunday are priced at £44.50.

Featured

EASTEAST.Radio Launches To Showcase DJs And Producers From MENA Countries

Creative project EastEast.World has launched EastEast.Radio, an online radio station to showcase the work of DJs and producers from Middle East and North African (MENA) countries.

It will be streaming 24/7, and will host podcasts alongside radio shows.

Currently on the site are mixes and podcasts featuring Rabih Beaini of Morphine Records and DIY ethnographer Bulat Khalilov from Ored Recordings. Planned forthcoming content includes an interview and curated playlist from Nabihah Iqbal, selections from Porest and the inaugural mix from the label Sublime Frequencies.

There is currently an open call out for contributors. Find out more here.

Ministry Of Sound To Focus On Homegrown Talent

Ministry of Sound has announced six weeks of reopening parties.The series will kick off on June 25, running from 10pm to 6am every Friday and Saturday through to July 31.

On Instagram, Ministry of Sound wrote: “our opening six weeks of parties will celebrate the sounds of the UK with an extra emphasis on homegrown superstars.”

Its website adds: “We’ve come a long, long way together, and we can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Dust off your raving shoes, call your friends, cancel your Zoom subscription and let’s never speak of quizzes, banana bread or Joe Wicks ever again. It’s Summer 2021 and it’s time for a FUCKING PARTY.

“Line ups are being finalised as we speak and we’ll update you as soon as we can. For the moment all you need to know is: Friday 25th and Saturday 26th June, 10PM – 6AM, bring your crew, we’ll do the rest. Let’s have it!”

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased from Ministry of Sound’s website. Early bird tickets are priced at £14.

Any ticket purchases will be eligible for a full refund or transferable to a later date if there is any delay on the government’s roadmap to easing lockdown restrictions which means the event cannot go ahead as unplanned.

Earlier this month Printworks announced plans to go “back to basics” for three reopening parties on September 17, 18 and 19, which will be “a pure celebration of club culture” with no line-ups announced in advance and a rule of no social media, no cameras and no distractions.

Read our guide to what nightclubs are opening here.

New York House DJ Carlos Sanchez has Died

A longtime staple of the New York house scene, DJ Carlos Sanchez, has passed away. The news comes three years after the likes of Francois K, DJ Spinna and Soul Clap played a fundraiser event to cover the medical expenses of Sanchez, who had been diagnosed with kidney failure in 2018.

Sanchez produced under his given name and the Carlos Sanchez Movement, and released the bulk of his music via New York-based house label Maxi Records. He also worked as a professor at Pace University, where he taught a World Music & The Underground course. Sanchez additionally played a pivotal role in the underground dance music community as a promoter, and heavily influenced the programming at New York clubs Leviticus and Save The Robots.

Gyakie Taps On Naija’s Omah Lay For A Banging Remix

Gyakie has just released a bubbly remix to her chart-topping single ‘Forever‘ in collaboration with Naija’s next rated superstar, Omah Lay.

With this remix featuring Omah Lay, Gyakie will continue her valiant strides while using this motherland association to further solidify her status as the next takeover star from Africa whose eyes are set beyond the Atlantic embankment.

Listen to ‘Forever’ below.

RnB Singer KeepVibesNear Channels Within For His New Single ‘Gently’

Romford based alternative RnB artist KeepVibesNear. Having turned heads with his haunting single ‘What U Need’ (which was included on the incredible The Silhouettes Project record), KVN now readies his touching new single ‘Gently’.

‘Gently’ sees melancholic wurlitzer notes reverberate across a cold sonic landscape, beautifully accompanied by KVN’s tender tones, channeling a wintery tale about reconciliation.

KVN explains : ‘Gently as a song represents the build up in an argument with your other half. That moment at the end of an argument when you give in to your care for the other person. You take a breath, put aside your ego. The turmoil in the verses compared to the make up in the chorus represent the balance in compromise.’

Listen to Gently below.

Manchester’s Parklife Festival Releases 2021 Lineup

Parklife has announced its 2021 festival. The Manchester weekender will return to Heaton Park on the 11th and 12th of September.

Confirmed live acts include UK rapper Dave, Skepta, AJ Tracey, Burna Boy, slowthai, Bicep, Princess Nokia and Pa Salieu. There are DJ slots for Jon Hopkins, Jayda G, Carl Cox, Honey Dijon, Artwork and more.

Visit the Parklife website for more information.

Virginia Hip Hop Artist Al-Dom Releases His The Pensive New Single

Having recently revealed his stellar new project NEW DREAM to acclaim from Rap Caviar, CLASH, Wonderland, DJ-Booth,  DUMMY, Fashionably Early and gained plaudits from fellow Norfolk, Virginia raised artist Pusha T, Al-Doms continues to keep the heat up with a visually stunning video for EP lead track Rat Race.

Directed by Aaron Dee, the video serves as a stellar visual accompaniment to a body of work which looks set to put Al-Doms on the radar for 2021 and beyond.

Listen to Rat Race below.