Hungary has a strong institutional music school system that I participated in from the age of 6 and a beautiful traditional folk music culture that I was naturally exposed to from an early age. Budapest itself has a very rich creative scene with a lot of explorative and quality musical projects, blending genres and pushing boundaries. It was definitely a rich and inspiring environment.
What made you get into music, who were the people around you which influenced you?
I’m coming from a music lover family with lots of musicians. My grandmother was a classical piano teacher, my father and his two brothers used to have a guitar trio playing western beat music that they transcribed from illegal radio stations, one of my older brother was a goa DJ and I have a cousin who is a professional concert pianist. Music was always around the house and I told my parents at the age of five that I’d like to go to music school to learn the drums.
Which producers do you look up to?
My biggest inspirations are Miles Davis, John Coltrane, James Brown, Fela Kuti, Jay Dee and Madlib. I’m also inspired by the works of the Blue Note and Impulse! labels, The Soulquarians collective and Quincy Jones.
Which track in your new album did enjoy producing the most and why?
I’d probably choose “Ela” or “Onire“. Both of these tracks came to life after just one session where everything was flowing so naturally that I completely lost sense of time and was fully immersed in the process. The type of sessions where you are so involved that you ‘wake up’ after the creation is done and you are surprised about the outcome: like it wasn’t even you doing the work but it rather happened to you.
Listen to Agangatolu below.
As your latest album takes influence from West African music, is there an artist in Africa you would love to collaborate with most and why
I would love to play and create more with Etuk Ubong from Nigeria. He has a truly special approach and sound. I performed with him several times while he was in Europe and I was very much inspired by his concept.
You mentioned you recorded the track ‘Agangatolu’ in Brazil, did being there influence your approach to the track?
Like most of the material on “Laroyê”, “Agangatolú” was created in Brazil from start to finish. It wouldn’t exist without me being there and meeting all the amazing people who contributed to the project. This particular number is based on a traditional Jejê song for the orisha Oxossi. They’ve been singing this song through generations, this versions is just a new take on it from a unique perspective.
What would you doing if you weren’t making music?
I would probably do something physical that requires creativity, working with wood and other natural materials.
With clubs beginning to open, do you have any bookings would like to share?
I’m very excited about playing with my live band at Badehaus Berlin on September 2nd, Jazz Montez in Frankfurt on September 3rd and Leipziger Jazztage on October 1st.
South London Jazz Rap group Summers Sons have teamed up with longtime friend Eerf Evil for the second single from their forthcoming project Nostalgia. Eerf is an MC, community activist and founding member of The Silhouettes Project (Enny, Kofi Stone, Lex Amor, Manic MC, Summers Sons…). With Nostalgia, Summers Sons have crafted a beautiful coming-of-age rap album from a 90s baby perspective to be released by the end of summer.
One half of Summers Sons, Turt spoke about the new release, “The sun sets and the rain glistens / Memoirs of them days missing is the opening bars from Eerf Evil. Written without knowing the album title, he perfectly captured our journey from The Rain to Nostalgia. This is also the first ever rap feature on a Summers Sons album, so you know it must have been right! We first met Eerf when he started releasing music with Srigala. And he’s been integral to Summers Sons growth over the last few years as part of the team that built The Silhouettes Project.”
Since 2018, Summers Sons have released three albums on Melting Pot Music that have accumulated over 22 Mio streams to date. Summers Sons and C.Tappin are members of The Silhouettes Project and kicked off their own label Lightworks earlier this year. Turt and Tappin are also two thirds of Syrup alongside Cologne producer Twit One. Their album Rosy Lee came out last year on MPM.
4-piece alternative hip-hop collective STAYOUTLATE are the latest Canadian exports making noise across the pond with their dynamic flows, conscious bars and melodic delivery, courtesy of the group’s mixed bag of musical talents. Founded back in 2014, Tremayne, Scotty IV, Charlie Noiir and YoungWolf combine their shared skills across rap, songwriting and production to create sonically unique and thought-provoking music that incorporates a range of influences whilst keeping real hip-hop at its heart.
Bursting onto the scene with confidence, cool and charisma, the music video for ‘LAVISH’, shot and directed by REVIVE FILMZ, is a thrilling exploration of the ever-evolving definition of the word ‘“Lavish” for these artists. From the simplest of moments to the most grandiose, STAYOUTLATE provokes you to evaluate what ‘lavish’ means to you as they figure out what it means to them.
Hungarian producer and multi-instrumentalist Szabolcs Bognar creates an exquisite blend of West African, Brazilian, hip-hop, new-soul and jazz music, for his newest single ‘Agangatolú’.
Having already gained support from the likes of BBC Radio 6 Music’s Gilles Peterson, Worldwide FM, Stamp The Wax, Earmilk, Complex, Soulection, Nabihah Iqbal and KEXP, Bognar released his long anticipated debut EP ‘Invocation’ in 2019 via HHV Records and Cosmic Compositions and earlier this year, released the critically acclaimed ‘Body Mind Spirit’ EP, a collaborative electronic exploration with drummer/producer Ziggy Zeitgeist.
The word “àbáse” comes from the West African Yoruba language and stands for “collaboration” – a key element of Àbáse’s music, as he brings together versatile artists from around the world to push genre and style boundaries. New single ‘Agangatolú’ is no exception and features musicians Bognar collaborated with on travels around Brazil including singer and percussionist Jadson Xabla, IFA Afrobeat drummer Jorge Dubman aka ‘Dr Drumah’, vibraphonist Antonio Loureiro and Hungarian flutist and saxophonist Fanni Zahár.
The song is based on a traditional Candomblé song for the Orisha (deity) Oshosi; the spirit associated with the hunt, forests, animals and wealth. “Agangatolú is the song that probably represents the album best because it brings the beauty of the afro-brazilian culture to the forefront while mixing it with contemporary elements and a bass heavy sound. It’s also a beautiful example of the intricate collaboration process that is at the core of the project: the base of the composition was a result of me researching traditional songs and rhythms from Bahia.”
Revered label On The Corner records reveal the first instalment of their newly forged ‘Double Drop’ series, pairing together two EP’s from two different members of the OTC family, delivering a cosmically twinned, action packed slab of wax.
The A-Side see’s Copenhagen based producer Uffe turn in his new ‘Not All The Stars’ EP. Having enjoyed a successful career with releases on the likes of Tartelet Records, Uffe found himself taking things back to basics whilst creating this latest EP, and putting a lifetime experience of weird and wonderful sound hunting to good use. He channels classic rocksteady roots samples, oscillating synths, intergalactic textures, sky-staring vocals, bedroom recorded ambiences and marching dance floor ready rhythm sections into one basement-rattling sensory experience.
On the flipside, Petwo Evans present their rugged ‘Bootstrap’ EP, a moody venture through leftfield club sounds. Comprised of drummer / percussionist / producer Rich Thair and experimental DJ Jake Williams (Who have released on their own label Petrax, Huntleys & Palmers and Belters, and tracks for On the Cornerand Touched Music and worked on numerous projects as part of Red Snapper and Toob, releasing on Warp, Process and Lo Recordings. Petwo Evans is the experience of listening to contemporary global club culture whilst looking out over the Welsh landscape. Much of their work to-date has been made during live sessions on a remote farm utilising rhythms using found objects (tumble dryer, a plastic tub, a broken piano and some pieces of metal) which are then looped, processed and mixed with electronic machines to create music that reflects the scenery: age-old continental drifts, abandoned industrial quarries, and the Blade Runner-esque thrill of driving through Port Talbot at night.
The lead single to Juls’ forthcoming album set for release later this summer, ‘Chance’ is a tender, mellow and percussive groove. Tailor made for a romantic and carefree ambience. Ever signature of Juls’ music, the track is a savoury fusion of African and Caribbean culture. Effortlessly blending and merging the sounds of reggae, dancehall, R&B and alte.
The track sees Juls once again joining forces with Projexx and Tay Iwar after coming together last year with Wizkid’s‘True Love’. Produced and helmed by Juls, it has been regularly named as one of the standout and most acclaimed tracks on Wizkid’s ‘Made in Lagos’ album. This new collaboration demonstrates that the musical chemistry and synergy between them continues to be first class.
Directed by Andy Madjetey (Kwesi Arthur, Joeboy), the accompanying visual was shot inElmina. Located in the west region ofGhana’s capital Accra. Swathed in an air of enchanting beauty, sensuality and playfulness, the video centres around the love story of a young couple living and loving each other freely without apology.
The video features wondrous choreography from dancer/actress Georgia Curtis who famously made a cameo appearance in WizKid’s video for ‘Joro’. Curtis is also set to appear in the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe’s movie ‘Black Widow’.
Speaking on the track and its visual, Juls said: “I wanted it to be a love song for the grown and sexy. It was important to use my homeland of Ghana as the avenue to tell that love story, capturing the aesthetic of the western region in a very artsy way”.
Independent groove label Sdban Records have released ‘Utopic Cities: Progressive Jazz in Belgium 1968-1979’ featuring an eclectic selection of forward-thinking jazz from the Belgian underground, including the left-field fusion of Marc Moulin’s Placebo, Koen De Bruyne and Solis Lacus; the intense post-bop of Jacques Pelzer and Lou MacConnell; the cutting edge soul jazz of Philip Catherine and Open Sky Unit and the otherworldly avant-garde of Babs Robert and the Brussels Art Quintet.
Recorded in the aftermath of the revolutionary year 1968, this music is the fruit of a highly creative momentum in Belgian jazz history that produced a unique sound which distinguishes itself from its American source of inspiration by an indefinable characteristic that can be hardly better described than ‘Belgian’. The release follows Sdban’s critically acclaimed ‘Let’s Get Swinging: Modern Jazz in Belgium 1950-1970’, released back in 2017.
Germany’s undisputed Queen of Soul, Joy Denalane release has released her stunning new single, ‘The Show’. Taken from her upcoming album ‘Let Yourself Be Loved – Deluxe Edition,’ out September 3 on Lesedi / Motown Records.
Testament to a musical ability that comes from years at the top of her game, Joy Denalane is one of modern soul’s brightest stars and ‘The Show’ does not disappoint. Managing to sound classic and contemporary at the same time, it’s neo-soul at its best – a bittersweet account of Joy’s vulnerabilities as a parent, delivered in beautifully confident fashion.
“The Show is about that moment when kids realize: After all, my parents are just as questionable and flawed as I am”’ says Joy. “When children become teenagers, their parents’ hero status is quite rightly questioned. I tell my children: Please forgive me, that I too am only a part of the show, a part of the system – and as such fallible. The song aims to soften the shock of that realization for the kids and help navigate them through the complexities of life.”
London-based keyboard virtuoso, composer and producerJoe Armon-Jonesreturns with ‘Pray’, a single that launches his new label, Aquarii Records. Aquarii will be a home for all of Joe’s forthcoming solo releases and collaborative work.
Effortlessly fusing soul, hip hop, jazz and funk influences, ‘Pray’ features Morgan Simpson of Black Midi on drums alongside Luke Wynter of Nubiyan Twist on bass. It will also see a physical release on 10” vinyl with an exclusive vinyl only track on the b-side ‘Nothing Move’ and the artwork is by regular collaborator Divya Scialo.
Joe’s vision with Aquarii is “a home for the music that is around me; somewhere it can live and somewhere it can flourish”. In 2021 Joe will be releasing collaborations with extended family Fatima, Mala and Hak Baker.
Between his highly acclaimed solo work and his work with the influential Ezra Collective, Joe Armon-Jones is at the epicentre of the London underground scene and has recently collaborated with the late Tony Allen, Mahalia, Nubya Garcia, Greentea Peng, Poppy Ajudha, Moses Boyd and Ego Ella May.
Founded by Philippa Pacho and Luke Standing, who produces under the alias Blue Hour and runs a label by the same name, the platform will focus on progressive dance music and early club culture.
Its confirmed roster of artists include Rove Ranger, Lady Starlight, Blue Hour himself, LDS and Alpha Tracks, among others. Each release will be accompanied by artwork by contemporary visual artists such as Aaron Elvis Jupin, who designed the forthcoming compilation’s cover.
“Our visual concept is to bridge a connection between figurative imagery and the iconic ‘smiley,’ which has been widely adopted by rave culture,” the cofounders explained in a statement.
The legendary Dego is back next week with a new album, ‘The Negative Positive’.
It will be released on April 30 on vinyl and digitally via his own 2000black imprint which specialises in music from the African diaspora that crosses genre bounds.
‘The Negative Positive’ fuses techno, funk, boogie and more over its nine tracks, showcasing exactly why Dego is renowned as an innovator and boundary pusher. The album showcases two vocal features, firstly with Nadine Charles on ‘This Is A Message To You’, then with new 2000black signing Samii on ‘Recovered Memories’.
Dego recently released a four-track collaborative EP with Matt Lord, ‘Lord & dego’, which was released earlier this month.
Listen to single ‘The Disclaimer’ below, and preorder the album here.
Sudanese MC/Singer Zen-Zin and German producer Pawcut are not your average rap group. Zen-Zin lives and works in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan, while Pawcut is producing his beats in a small German town called Minden. Nevertheless, the mix of Zen-Zin’s melodious flow and Pawcut’s skillfully layed beats make a perfect fit. “Next Flight Ontario” is the follow-up album to their debut “Butterfly Effect” on Jakarta Records. The pair took time to join our ‘Have you Met‘ Q&A serirs
Where did you grow up? How did you get into creating music?
Zen-Zin: Well, I was born in Sudan but then my whole family moved to Malaysia for a few years and then we came back, but I wasn’t into music back then. To be honest, it had never even crossed my mind, but one day my cousin had burnt two CD’s for my brother, one was filled with audio tracks and the other had music videos on it. The first song on the CD with the videos was Xzibit’s song “Multiply” which was beyond dope, but it didn’t change me or reel me in like that. The second song was Bow Wow’s “Basketball” featuring Fabolous which was also dope but again – it didn’t change me. The third song was the song that ruined my life and changed everything, the song was Bone Thugs & Harmony’s song called “Crossroads”. Now originally the song had come out in the 1990s but I was too young to understand anything and to be honest rap wasn’t in my world like that, so I was really late to the party. When I heard that song around 2005, they had already released three more albums, but that was a game-changer for me. Sometimes I wish I had never heard that song, maybe then I’d be happy and content with how things are, but everything happens for a reason – so it is what it is.
Pawcut: I grew up in a rather small city called Minden in Germany. Music has always been very present and important to me. The first thing that brought me in touch with actually getting creative in doing something myself was trying to do Ska/Punk in a band in the 80s (yes I’m old) and doing the standard rec/pause/rec Grandmaster Flash impersonations on a tape deck. About 20 years ago, after ways of life lead me to different paths, I started cutting records with two turntables and later samples into a Korg ESX 1 sampler and Fruity Loops. For the last ten years, music has been my main focus and passion.
What’s the music culture like in the city you grew up in?
Zen-Zin: To be honest, I don’t really pay attention to the scene in the city anymore. I used to but not anymore. We have a lot of talented artists here, but I can’t focus on what they’re doing and continue to better myself at the same time, so I just mind my own business and worry about what I’m doing. I wish everybody the best you know, I’m sure what they’re doing is dope, but it’s just not for me, you know.
Pawcut: As I said, it’s small, about 80k people, but we have a nice Jazz club and a Hip-Hop scene that has been more active in the past, but it’s still there.
What’s your relationship with Pawcut/Zen-Zin and how did you meet?
Zen-Zin: I had heard about Pawcut from a friend, but I didn’t know who he was and I’m 100% sure he didn’t know about me at all. I don’t even think he knows about me now lol, but we connected through emails, Facebook texts and everything just kinda fell into place and it just felt right. We had done like two tracks and then decided to keep it going and I won’t lie, I loved his production, it felt mature to me and it was definitely the first time for me to work with a bigger artist who knew what he was doing. There have definitely been a lot of teaching moments along the way and I won’t lie I was kinda intimidated… You have to understand that I wasn’t born into this nor do I know anyone who does this on a professional level. My closest friends aren’t artist, so all of this is new to me. I’m learning on the job every day, so obviously I’ve made a lot of mistakes, but with every new project, I hear and feel the progress.
Pawcut: We met about eight years ago and we’ve worked on music with little interruptions since. Zen-Zin is and has always been a very fast, clean and visionary vocalist to me. Meanwhile, we’ve been through some highs and lows as artists, but also on the ways of life side of things and becoming friends even though we never met in person. And that’s a lot in my world.
How have you tried to bring your Sudanese culture into your music?
Zen-Zin: I reference some people sometimes in my music and maybe an incident that happened or a quick mention here or there, but I try to not mesh the two together because honestly, I don’t think that that’s what it’s about. I know some artist thrived off that like J.Cole and Kendrick Lamar, but that’s why I gravitated towards Drake more cause I just like good music.
It doesn’t always have to have a hidden message or be about something, you know. Sometimes just being creative is enough. I don’t like to overthink it, I feel that’s where the art dies, but then again that’s how I feel. Maybe other artists like to whiteboard it and calculate every bar or hook or concept, but I just like it to be organic, it gives the music a longer shelf life in my opinion.
What is your relationship like with Melting Pot, and how has it impacted your music career?
Zen-Zin: MPM has definitely been a big help, I mean without them we wouldn’t be doing this interview here lol, I gotta show ’em respect and tip my hat to them for taking a leap of faith with us, cause this is a business at the end of the day so it’s a numbers game… But the fact that they took this risk with us, lets me know that they also care about the creative aspect of it and that’s rare in today’s world. I hope we don’t disappoint them, but you never know with music, cause you might release a project today and not get the results you want, but then again that same project might blow and start to do numbers four years from now out of nowhere so it’s a tough thing to gauge you know. I just want to personally thank Oliver and the whole team for the support and for believing in me and Pawcut and in “Next Flight Ontario”.
Pawcut: What Zen-Zin said… Also, you got to really give MPM props for rolling with us through the options to promote us beyond “sound” were rather slim. The album just released so time will tell about the impact.
If you weren’t making music, what do you think you would be doing?
Zen-Zin: If I wasn’t making music, I’d probably be a farmer or a getaway driver, you know… lol. I don’t really know, maybe a screenwriter cause I write a lot but that industry’s ten times harder so I don’t really focus on it too much, but if I wasn’t rapping I’d like to think I was being useful, whether to society or the world or even to the neighbourhood.
Pawcut: I don’t know, I assume I’d spend even more time with the stuff I do besides music which is long walking with the dogs, spending time with my wife I love to death and smoke lots of weed whilst watching brainless stuff on my tv.
Do you play any instruments, if not, which would you love to learn first?
Zen-Zin: I don’t play any instruments nor do I make any beats. I leave that to the professionals. I’m more of a “let me stay in my own zone and don’t touch anything kind of guy”, if I could learn to play an instrument I’d have to go with the piano, I like the sounds it makes especially when you know what you’re doing with it.
Pawcut: Nor do I. My parents tried to get me into piano lessons when I was five or six but I was way too unfocused – and they were not strict enough.
Which other artists would you love to collaborate with most?
Zen-Zin: I used to want to collaborate with a lot of people but I don’t anymore. Maybe in the future, but right now I like how I and Paw do what we do. I like the fact that it’s just us, you know. There aren’t any ghostwriters or ghost-producers. It’s just the two of us doing what we want, how we want when we want. It’s actually similar to a “blade & whistler” situation for the marvel fans out there.
Pawcut: I think that’s a more complex thing to me than drop big names here now. For me even if I don’t meet someone in person, I need to have a feeling of chemistry that’s beyond a big name or band or even high-quality work. That’s a thing that comes with time and work you put in, not through “hiring” a vocalist or having a “plan”. I want to have an influence on my work that sees the light as well. That’s why I don’t sell my beats or put single beats of mine on multiple random projects or compilations.
I have people like Zen-Zin, Pseudo Slang, Ella Mae Sueref, N-O, Dre Skuffs and others like my German regulars Katharsis and Headrick, where everything grew organically over the years. So I don’t really long for the big names or coups except it became an opportunity that felt right without forcing it.
How would you describe your rapping/singing style in three words?
Glaswegian musician, producer, DJ and curator Rebecca Vasmant announces her debut LP ‘With Love, From Glasgow’, showcasing the breadth of the incredible Jazz talent the city has to offer.
Having made a name for herself with a residency at Sub Club, Rebecca took the lead in curating the first live Jazz showcases at the venue, also running a popular record fair with the venerable venue and a spot on BBC Radio Scotland and Worldwide FM.
While promoting and touring in over 22 countries constantly over the last five years, Rebecca has honed her craft on production projects which feature world class musicians from The Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and more, her talents are not only in spinning records, but in composing, producing and performing. Though known for its rich musical heritage, Glasgow is not a city perhaps synonymous with Jazz.
Rebecca and her cohort of hand picked musicians set out to change people’s opinions. Rebecca explains: “There is such crazy wealth of talent in this city of Glasgow and I wanted to make an album that helped to demonstrate this and which captures my own love and passion for deep and spiritual music. This album highlights just some of the exciting things that are happening here in Scotland and it’s been a real honour and pleasure working with the hugely talented musicians who came together to collaborate in such a free and beautiful way. During the time spent working on this music an amazing family formed, something for which I am so grateful.”
We’ve updated our ‘Soul Food’ Spotify playlist with new music from a range of independent artists across the world. As ever we look to incoporate Hip Hop, Jazz, and Soul into this playlist, keeping our followers up to date with what we’re listening to. We have music from artists such as, Sabrina Starke, Samoht, Tom Bailey, Tora, Alan Taylor, Pher, Lindon Jay, Phony ppl, and music more.
Mndsgn shares a new song and video from his forthcoming album Rare Pleasure, out June 4th on Stones Throw Records. Celestial and hypnotic, “Slowdance” arrives with the perfect visual counterpart conceptualized by Mndsgn himself and directed by Eric Coleman. The video meets the artist on a glimmering beach as he sets up a transformative flower circle for two souls to find coalescence in the rhythm of the song. The new track follows last month’s single “Hope You’re Doin’ Better,” which came alongside a self-directed video.
Speaking on the track, Mndsgn says: “To me, the ability to deal with time and changes are tied to my ability to dance. The tempos speed up and slow down. Chords progress, weaving through tensions and resolves. The rhythms alternate from something familiar to something strange. Sometimes we adjust accordingly, sometimes we struggle to find the groove, finding ourselves a few beats ahead or behind. However we choose to dance is entirely up to our own expression. The point is to keep dancing whether fast or slow.”
Rare Pleasure is Mndsgn’s third album to be released on Stones Throw Records. Following 2016’s Body Wash, this album truly shows the artist’s evolution from his roots as a heralded beatmaker to vocalist, songwriter and arranger.
Large-scale live events will begin cancelling within days if the UK government does not agree to underwrite a protective insurance scheme, reports The Times.
The government has been warned by organisers that they will be forced to pull the plug on planned events if no security for covering costs in case of COVID-forced cancellation is offered.
According to insurance brokers, it would cost the state as little as £250 million to guarantee events such as festivals can plan to go ahead, and these could be worth billions to the UK economy if they do take place.
Julian Knight MP, chairman of the Commons digital, culture, media and sport committee, called the UK Treasury’s refusal to back such a scheme “inane”, adding that organisers “need the confidence to put plans in place and go ahead and lead to a summer of fun rather than a summer of none”.
Knight claimed there is “quite a lot of support” for an insurance scheme in government, but “it is the chancellor that has stopped it”.
He also revealed that the government had agreed to insure pilot test events planned to go ahead to test COVID-19 protocols, such as the two club nights planned to take place in Liverpool, which he said evidences a “market failure”, with insurers unwilling to provide COVID-induced cancellation insurance.
Paul Reed, CEO of the Association of Independent Festivals, said more than 90 per cent of its membership feels it cannot hold events this year without cover, and warned The Times events would begin being cancelled within days due to financial commitments needing to be confirmed far in advance.
Within hours of Reed’s comments, Northamptonshire’s Shambala Festival (pictured), which attracts around 15,000 attendees each year, cancelled for the second year running, with organisers stating that a “lack of government-backed insurance leaves us no choice”.
Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, chief executive of UK Music, said in a seminar hosted by the Let Live Thrive campaign that the “market failure is going to lead to a wave of cancellations”, adding: “It is also bad for the taxpayer. Lots of money has been spent supporting the sector. This is a way of getting away from government support. But the billions of pounds that could be generated for the economy will not happen.”
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden MP said last month that when there is more certainty about reopening of large-scale events, “the more we can have discussions about the insurance point”.
Analysis showed dance festival Creamfields featured a 91 per cent male line-up while Manchester-based Parklife was over 70 per cent.
Elsewhere, the Isle Of Wight Festival, which is set to be headlined by David Guetta, and three other male performers only offered a 27 per cent female line-up.
Maxie Gedge, UK project manager of music industry initiative Keychange, said: “It’s totally unacceptable that after a year of turmoil, women and minorities are being excluded from this return to live.
“We usually stay on the positive side instead of calling people out, but we’re getting tired. It’s not an accident any more, it’s a statement of exclusion.
“The fact that this keeps happening shows that there are certain festivals that just aren’t taking responsibility, or they’re not viewing it as their responsibility when, in actuality, it’s everyone’s.”
Keychange is the PRS Foundation’s initiative encouraging festivals to commit to lineups that are 50 per cent women and gender minorities by 2022.
Other festival line-ups such as We Out Here are over 60 per cent male, while Reading & Leeds, Camp Bestival and Cross the Tracks ranges between 50-60 per cent.
Keychange highlights that diverse line-ups would refresh the talent pipeline and prevent events from becoming stale while enhancing their sustainability.
Gedge continued to tell The Guardian that exclusionary programming presents a negative message to attendees as well as society as a whole, especially as women, gender minorities and women of colour had been affected more by the pandemic.
“It’s really important that we take that very seriously and think about what we want the future of music to look like, and not what it did look like,” Gedge said.
NTS, the London station that has redefined internet radio over the last decade, is turning 10 years old.
To celebrate it will host a week of celebrations with 10 special guests curating both of its channels all day long.
Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons and the inspiration for NTS’ name, will be on curation duties alongside longtime friend of NTS Theo Parrish, Detroit titans Dopplereffekt, shoegaze icons my bloody valentine, Arca, Mica Levi, Laurie Anderson and more.
The special week of broadcasts will also raise money for The Global Foodbanking Network.
Proceedings take place from Monday April 19 to Friday April 23.
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.”
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Gaouhere
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
‘Uh Huh Okay’ is the new single by triple threat producer, singer-songwriter and DJ Emmavie. Always expressing the most complex parts of herself through making music, the ROMderful produced ‘Uh Huh Okay’ is a flirtatious R&B track, layered with soulful guitars and rhythmic percussion and led by the North-West Londoner’s soulful vocals, which she explains “Teases my love interest by painting romantic images with playful and tongue-in-cheek lyrics.” ‘Uh Huh Okay’ is the first track to be taken from Emmavie’s forthcoming EP, released independently later this summer.
Rising Dutch songstress Latanya Alberto reveals her new single ‘Get It Right’, taken from her EP titled ‘The Royal Escape’. A sublime dose of sultry neo-soul with a 2021 edge, the track was produced by LA based producers Shanks (BOSCO, SiR, Ledisi) and Sammy Perez. The second track to be taken from the EP, ‘Get It Right’ comes after the stunning ‘Royal (Recall)’ and it’s powerful visuals.
Speaking about ‘Get It Right’, Latanya shares the tracks meaning; “How many people are truly unapologetically themselves? This means being honest with yourself, being confident in your decisions, being prepared to walk away to remain in a position of dignity. The song emphasizes the journey back to that stage”.
Born and raised in Amsterdam to Surimenese and Curaçaoan parents, Latanya Alberto started writing poetry as a teenager, which became the basis for her lyrics today. Delving deeper into cultural awareness, female empowerment, social justice and romance, Latanya takes inspiration from the wordplay of legends India Arie and Erykah Badu. Latanya explains her M.O; “To deliver the story that needs to be heard, the consciousness that needs to be awakened, and the emotion that needs to be freed”.