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.
Are you new to blogging, and do you want step-by-step guidance on how to publish and grow your blog? Learn more about our new Blogging for Beginners course and get 50% off through December 10th.
WordPress.com is excited to announce our newest offering: a course just for beginning bloggers where you’ll learn everything you need to know about blogging from the most trusted experts in the industry. We have helped millions of blogs get up and running, we know what works, and we want you to to know everything we know. This course provides all the fundamental skills and inspiration you need to get your blog started, an interactive community forum, and content updated annually.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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 🙂
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.
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.
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!
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
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
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!
New serpentwithfeet material is arriving soon. Landing via Secretly Canadian on March 26th, DEACONcomes 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.”
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.
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
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
London club FOLDhas 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.
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.”
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.
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 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.”
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.
British-Iranian producer Hiatushas 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.
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.”
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.
‘Break A Little’ tells the story of two individuals separated by circumstances and self-destructive tendencies. Produced by Heavy Mellow (Halsey, Jhene Aiko, Juice WRLD) and written by Ayelle and Reece, the track is a deeply intimate and honest exploration of emotions underpinned by a trap-tinged beat and playful guitar motifs.
Ayelle and Reece explain the meaning behind it, “It’s about that one that got away because you were too scared and too self-destructive, and the regret that comes with an unfulfilled love. It’s not unrequited but it never got to be fully played out, so you always wonder what if. There’s a different kind of heartbreak that comes with that.”
Have a listen to the single below, and let us know what you think:
Releasing his first single of forthcoming album, Joshua Luke Smith shares his powerful debut track ‘Shine On’. The track is a poignant opener to Joshua Luke Smith’s incoming album set to release in 2021. Taking inspiration from a very personal place, ‘Shine On’ is a hard-hitting, passion-enthused musical statement highlighting this budding artist’s undeniable talent of connecting an audience to his highly influential music and insightful lyricism.
Speaking more in depth about the meaning behind the track, Joshua explains; “Shine On came together suddenly. I don’t even remember starting or finishing the song, it was as if it was already formed and I found it. I needed these words and found that in acknowledging my unique experiences of loss and confusion, I felt united with others and surrounded by hope. I remember speaking out the line from the bridge knowing my family was in turmoil, my dad was battling cancer, we were on the brink financially, the global pandemic was unfolding, our first child was on the way and the future couldn’t be more uncertain. Yet, announcing those words felt like a battle cry, a call to arms and proclamation of hope, for myself and others.”
You can listen to Joshau Luke Smith’s heartfelt word in his single below, and let us know what you think:
Songwriters of global hits getting sued for alleged plagiarism has become a recurrent story on MBW these past few years – and a recurrent source of misery for writers and their representatives in the industry.
But what if a songwriter or composer were able to use AI technology to avoid litigation altogether, by finding out if their song copies elements of other compositions, potentially in real time?
According to a document published last week, Daniel Ek’s company is seeking a patent for its “Plagiarism Risk Detector And Interface” technology, which pertains to “Methods, systems and computer program products..for testing a lead sheet for plagiarism”.
As explained in the filing – and as our songwriter/musician readers will already know – a ‘lead sheet’ is a type of music score or musical notation for songs denoting their melody, chords and sometimes lyrics or additional notes.
Spotify’s invention would allow for a lead sheet to be fed through the platform’s ‘plagiarism detector’, which would then, “having been trained on a plurality of preexisting encoded lead sheets”, immediately compare the composition in question to all other songs stored in its database.
A set of messages would then be displayed – describing a detected level of plagiarism regarding “a plurality of elements” such as a chord sequence, melodic fragments, harmony, etc. of a song (see fig 7 below).
The AI software would also potentially calculate “a similarity value” of the song in question vs. other songs in the Spotify lead sheet library.
These technology could work the other way around, too, says Spotify’s filing, reassuring a songwriter that “the melodic fragment [of your song] appears to be completely new”.
One particularly interesting element of this is that it would take place in near-real time, allowing a songwriter or composer to tweak elements of their work to avoid infringement before they (and/or their record label) spent the big bucks on recording a final version.
Spotify’s filing adds that “in some embodiments a link to the media content item that might be infringed (e.g., a track of an album) is provided so that a [songwriter] can quickly… listen to the potentially plagiarized work”.
Canadian-American 8-piece soul-jazz collective, Busty and the Bass, released their latest video for their sophomore album’s title track “Eddie”. The video, directed by June Barrie with 2nd animation by Vincent Hurtu, is a beautiful, trippy piece that flawlessly matches the band’s romantic R&B and psychedelic funk soundscape.
Eddie was released in summer 2020 via Arts & Crafts. The 12 tracks set nostalgic and vulnerable lyrical ruminations against a soundscape of simmering soul, spirited rock, hypnotic hip-hop, perennial psychedelic funk and artful R&B. Produced by Neal Pogue (Tyler The Creator, Anderson Paak) and executive produced by Earth, Wind & Fire’s Verdine White, it features legendary collaborators George Clinton, Macy Gray, Illa J and Jon Connor.
Watch the video below, and let us know what you think:
Alec Boateng and Alex Boateng named co-presidents of the new frontline label with a series of senior appointments confirmed. Amy Tettey joins as managing director, Jacqueline Eyewe named marketing director and Char Grant becomes A&R director
Universal Music UK have announced the launch of 0207 Def Jam, a new frontline label and the UK home of the iconic Def Jam Recordings label, with a stellar cast of execs including the appointment of highly respected industry executives and Ghanaian London-born twin brothers, Alec and Alex Boateng as co-Presidents.
Alec joins 0207 Def Jam after seven years at Warner Music, most recently as co-head of A&R at Atlantic, where he collected a clutch of industry awards and played a pivotal role in the commercial and cultural success of acts who have defined their era, including the emergence through to her chart-topping dominance of Jess Glynne, the revolutionary rise of Stormzy, Burna Boy’s rapid ascent to global superstar as well as the likes of WSTRN, Rita Ora, Kojo Funds, Stalk Ashley, Preditah and many more.
Alex’s former Island colleague Amy Tettey will be joining the team as managing director after 11 years, the past four as finance director, at the Universal Music label where she worked across the entire roster of Island artists including everyone from Amy Winehouse to Drake and Dizzee Rascal to Giggs. Alongside Amy, Jacqueline Eyewe and Char Grant join as marketing director and A&R director respectively.
Alec Boateng, co-President of 0207 Def Jam says, “Music, art and artists really, really matter. I’m super excited to play a leadership role in this brilliant new space we’re creating for amazing music and talent to live and evolve. A space which will support both our teams and our artists to be the best version of themselves.”
Alex Boateng, co-President of 0207 Def Jam says, “Especially in these times, this is a real privilege. I’m proud our collective journey now includes partnering a legendary label with a style that only London and the UK can provide. Looking forward to watching and guiding where the music and art takes the journey next.”
A leading voice emerging out of the fierce juggernaut that is Ireland’s rap scene, amongst other rising stars such as Kojaque and Rejjie Snow, JyelllowL has released his debut LP titled, 2020 Division.JyellowLhas had a great year, with his track ‘Ozone’ featuring on the FIFA 2020 soundtrack surpassing 2.2 million streams on Spotify alone. In addition to the single ‘Oh Lawd’, featuring on the soundtrack of the ‘Normal People’ TV series, which has has received over 1.4 million plays to date.
A self-driven artist and entrepreneur, his newly established JyellowL Records Ltd quickly landed a distribution deal with the international distribution company IDOL.df. JyellowL maturing as an artist and businessman can be heard throughout his album, with blends of his personal journey and ambitions as an artist.
You can listen to the full album below, and let us know what you think:
Black Coffee has announced a new album and shared a new single.
South African DJ and producer Black Coffee, real name Nkosinathi Innocent Maphumulo, has shared details of his forthcoming LP, alongside a brand new single featuring Pharrell Williams and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, Jozzy.
The new single ’10 Missed Calls’ marks the fourth single released from Maphmulo’s forthcoming album, titled ‘Subconscious’, which is slated for release in 2021. The track follows collaborations with the likes of Celeste and Usher, and will also feature productions alongside Diplo, Cassie, and Elderbrook.
Following his collaboration with Maverick Sabre and incredible COLORS session, North London’s Manik MC teams up with Brixton based Soul vocalist Elisa Imperilee for their collaborative, soul drenched introspective track “July”.
Taken from London’s The silhouettes Project, Elisa’s music is a homage to the city that raised her. Drawing on her own personal journey and her experience working within the community her songs are an honest exploration of herself as well as the world we live in. Constantly influenced by relationships and his inner-city surroundings, Manik’s principal inspiration has derived from contemporary social issues, from food banks to disability welfare cuts. Both artists seem to collaborate beautifully, with Elisa’s hush, soft vocals fitting nicely with Manik’s sleek flow.
Listen to the full track below, and let us know what you think:
It’s amazing to think that vinyl sales are still going strong after all these years, amongst the countless online streaming platforms trying to take away the personal experience of owning a physical song.
Combined vinyl sales in the UK could break £100 million this year, the highest since 1990 – when big sellers included New Kids On The Block.
Drew Hill, managing director of Proper Music, the UK’s biggest independent distributor of vinyl and CDs, comments:
“We have seen 250% growth from the bottom of lockdown to where we are now. I thought it could be catastrophic for the industry but during lockdown the kind of people buying records also probably went to a lot of gigs. They can’t do that so it seems fans are spending the money they used to on going to gigs each month on records.”
Since the start of the pandemic, direct-to-fan platform Bandcamp has been waiving its revenue share for one day each month, on so called ‘Bandcamp Fridays’.
So far, according to the platform, those days (eight of them) have raised $35 million for artists, which is in addition to the $126m that artists have been paid by fans via the platform since March.
Now, the company is launching a new ticketed live streaming service called Bandcamp Live, and it will be waiving its 10% fee for the service until March 3, 2021.
Bandcamp Live is fully integrated with the Bandcamp platform, so fans will be automatically notified when artists announce shows.
Artists can also showcase their music and merchandise next to their streams in a virtual merch table.
An optional chat box will also be available and purchases from the merch table will appear in chat, which Bandcamp states will help drive more sales.
Bandcamp, which will start charging a 10% fee after March 31, 2021 insists that its “pricing is completely transparent”.
Adds the platform: “We don’t pretend our ticketing service is free and then surprise your fans with a ‘convenience fee’ when they check out. You set your ticket price to whatever you want, and that’s what your fans are charged.”
“BANDCAMP LIVE IS THE NEXT STEP IN OUR EFFORT TO HELP OUR COMMUNITY THRIVE DURING THIS CRAZY TIME.”
“Bandcamp Live is the next step in our effort to help our community thrive during this crazy time,” writes the company in a blog post.
“Streaming will never replace the experience of in-person performances, but we believe it’s the next best thing, and will provide artists with a powerful tool to build and connect with their fans both now, and when Covid is behind us and we’re all out enjoying the magic of live music once again.”
The Music Venue Trust has launched a new ‘Traffic Light’ system to highlight at-risk venues that are in need of urgent support.
A colour-coded system is used to judge the security of a venue’s future: Green (353 venues) applies to those considered safe until March 31; Amber (273 venues) categorises those at risk of closure between and March 31 without additional support; and Red (30) venues designates venues that face imminent risk of permanent closure.
These include The Waiting Room in London (pictured), Plot 22 in Sheffield, Boom in Leeds and Venue 38 in Ayr.
Mark Davyd, CEO of Music Venue Trust, said: “What the #saveourvenues campaign has achieved during the last 8 months is truly remarkable. Thanks to the efforts of music fans, local communities and the wider music sector we have raised over £3m in donations and have unlocked over £80m in government assistance to help stave off the imminent closure of over 400 grassroots music venues. We are now focusing exclusively on those 30 remaining venues which face immediate permanent closure. If people want these local venues to still be there when this is over there is a very clear call to action: choose a venue, get donating, get writing, get calling, get organised. Save them all. Reopen Every Venue Safely.”
UK nightclubs could reopen earliest June 21st, according to the government’s new Covid-19 roadmap. Clubs, which fall under the final step of Boris Johnson’s four-step plan to easing restrictions, will be among the last spaces to open to the public.
Monday, June 21st is the earliest possible date, though this is subject to review. Each step on the roadmap must be separated by at least five weeks. Also falling under Step 4 are what the roadmap calls “large events,” which includes music festivals.
Whether these return depends on the outcomes of the government’s scientific Events Research Programme, a series of pilot events with large crowds and reduced social distancing scheduled to begin in April. Step 3, which will begin no earlier than May 17th, will allow for “some large events,” with indoor events capped at 1,000 people (or 50 percent of capacity), outdoor events at 4,000 (or 50 percent of capacity) and outdoor seated events at 10,000 (or 25 percent of capacity). “Festival organisers only want to return when it is safe to do so,” said Paul Reed, CEO of the Association Of Independent Festivals, in a statement. “But if the easing of restrictions does lose momentum and events are suddenly cancelled as a result, it is vital that our sector receives swift and targeted government support to compensate.
In addition, government intervention on insurance and VAT remain critical.” The first two steps in the roadmap make no mention of events. Step 1, which begins March 8th, is focussed on schools reopening, while Step 2, scheduled for April 12th, allows for gyms, shops and overnight stays within the UK, among other things.
As for international travel, the roadmap doesn’t commit to any concrete timelines, though May 17th is the earliest it could resume. The roadmap emerges as the number of cases and deaths in the UK has dipped considerably since the third lockdown began. Between February 6th and 12th in England, 1 in 115 people tested positive for Covid-19 compared to the peak of 1 in 50 between January 3rd and 9th. Last week, a new government report found that the UK nightlife industry could face “extinction” without urgent action. Here are the visuals for Step 3 and Step 4.
South African Ampiano producer, DJ Black Low has releaased a new video for the the track ‘Jaiva Low’, which will be on this forthcoming debut album on the 7th of May through Aweseom Tapes of Africa.
The 11-track album comes at a time when South African electronic music is being fundamentally disrupted. Amapiano, the electronic music movement which first gained popularity with a small, core group of followers, now dominates the mainstream. Well-known and pervasive, amapiano borrows from a diverse palette of musical styles which are popular in South Africa’s largely Black townships- jazz, kwaito, dibacardi, deep and afro house among them.
Bristol radio station Noods has started a membership scheme.
Taking its name from a legendary Bristol colloquialism, options for Luvers of the station start at £3 per month and will go toward helping grow in the station in the future.
“So far we’ve relied on events, merchandise and crowdfunding from residents to keep things ticking but now we’re asking our listeners for support to help make Noods self-sufficient and grow,” the station said in a statement announcing the scheme.
“From as little as £3 a month, listeners will help bolster the station’s sustainability and as a thank you they’ll receive a 20 per cent discount on the Noods store, early access to events and merchandise plus insider news via a monthly newsletter.”
The station was founded in 2016 and broadcasts online and on DAB 24/7. It boasts 300 residents from Bristol and around the world and is proudly ad-free and independent.
“We’re introducing the scheme to futureproof ourselves and create a more sustainable station,” the Noods crew said.
“We’ve been able to get this far with the support of the community and sales from events and merchandise but to continue growing and meeting demand, we need more team members, better equipment and to be able to create more paid opportunities for creatives. Over the last few years we’ve worked with thousands of artists celebrating alternative music and in doing so we’ve built a community of misfits, dancers, collectors, and selectors dedicated to discovering and sharing music.”
Hit the Noods website here to become an official Noods Luver.
Apple Musichas launched a new platform called Isgubhu, which it’s calling “the ultimate destination for African Dance and Electronic music.”
Stephen Campbell, Apple Music’s Global Head of Dance and Electronic music, said: “Apple Music has been a long term supporter of the incredible DJs, artists and producers within the Dance and Electronic music community in Africa and we’re very excited about the launch of Isgubhu. Our regional teams are true advocates for the culture and we’re committed to continuing to connect artists to a global audience.”
Isgubhu, a Zulu word that translates as ‘beat’, will host a selection of playlists covering multiple genres and scene spotlights, as well as having a section dedicated to seminal albums from the history of dance and electronic music from the continent.
Subgenres which will there include gqom, amapiano, kwaito, mzansi house, deep house and Shangaan electro, while ‘Spotlight On:’ playlists will focus on African labels such as Soul Candi, House Afrika, Stay True Sounds and Uganda’s Hakuna Kulala & Nyege Nyege Tapes.
The first cover star of the platform is Black Coffee, who has started curating the Isgubhu Voices playfist, which features a span of electronic music with vocals.
Black Coffee said: “It’s a true honour to be titled as the very first Isgubhu hero artist by my friends at Apple Music. To me, home is everything… the absolute core of my being. Bringing the sounds of South Africa to the world is a life-long mission I’ll never stop chasing after.”