Featured

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sponsored Post Learn from the experts: Create a successful blog with our brand new courseThe WordPress.com Blog

Are you new to blogging, and do you want step-by-step guidance on how to publish and grow your blog? Learn more about our new Blogging for Beginners course and get 50% off through December 10th.

WordPress.com is excited to announce our newest offering: a course just for beginning bloggers where you’ll learn everything you need to know about blogging from the most trusted experts in the industry. We have helped millions of blogs get up and running, we know what works, and we want you to to know everything we know. This course provides all the fundamental skills and inspiration you need to get your blog started, an interactive community forum, and content updated annually.

Featured

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

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

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

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

Listen to “Blind Amerikkka”

Featured

British DJ Ross From Friends Launches A New Label

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

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

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

Listen to ‘Burner’.

Featured

Reknowned Ecuadorian Producer Debuts on Rhythm Section

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

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

Listen to “Individuality Riddim.”

Featured

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

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

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

Listen to ‘Oil’ below.

Featured

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

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

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

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

Application information can be found here.

Watch a video about DYCP below.

Featured

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Via The Independent]

Featured

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

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

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

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

[Resident Advisor]

Listen to snippets of each track below.

Featured

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

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

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

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

Listen to ‘Water’ below.

Featured

London Club Fold Is Selling A Limited Edition Bag

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

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

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

The bag was designed by Goda Poskaite.

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

Check out some more images below.

Featured

UK Music Festivals Face Imminent Cancellation Without Government Support

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the full report here

[via Mixmag]

Featured

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DJ SEMTEX

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

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

Featured

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

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

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

Watch it back here.

Featured

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

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

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

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

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

Check ‘Hopprock’ below.

Featured

Hiatus’ New Single ‘Semblance’ Meditates Metropolitan Life

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

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

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

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

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

Watch the video for ‘Semblance’ below.

Featured

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

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

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

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

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

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

Listen to ‘The Other Lover’ below.

Featured

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

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

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

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

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

Featured

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

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

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

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

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

Featured

Emerging Soultress, Ayelle And Talented Singer, Reece Release The Stunning New Single, ‘Break A Little’

‘Break A Little’ tells the story of two individuals separated by circumstances and self-destructive tendencies. Produced by Heavy Mellow (Halsey, Jhene Aiko, Juice WRLD) and written by Ayelle and Reece, the track is a deeply intimate and honest exploration of emotions underpinned by a trap-tinged beat and playful guitar motifs.  

Ayelle and Reece explain the meaning behind it, “It’s about that one that got away because you were too scared and too self-destructive, and the regret that comes with an unfulfilled love. It’s not unrequited but it never got to be fully played out, so you always wonder what if. There’s a different kind of heartbreak that comes with that.”

Have a listen to the single below, and let us know what you think:

Featured

Joshua Luke Smith Relesease The Hard Hitting Debut Single From His Forthcoming Album

A person sitting on a bed talking on the phone

Description automatically generated

Releasing his first single of forthcoming album, Joshua Luke Smith shares his powerful debut track ‘Shine On’. The track is a poignant opener to Joshua Luke Smith’s incoming album set to release in 2021. Taking inspiration from a very personal place, ‘Shine On’ is a hard-hitting, passion-enthused musical statement highlighting this budding artist’s undeniable talent of connecting an audience to his highly influential music and insightful lyricism.

Speaking more in depth about the meaning behind the track, Joshua explains; “Shine On came together suddenly. I don’t even remember starting or finishing the song, it was as if it was already formed and I found it. I needed these words and found that in acknowledging my unique experiences of loss and confusion, I felt united with others and surrounded by hope. I remember speaking out the line from the bridge knowing my family was in turmoil, my dad was battling cancer, we were on the brink financially, the global pandemic was unfolding, our first child was on the way and the future couldn’t be more uncertain. Yet, announcing those words felt like a battle cry, a call to arms and proclamation of hope, for myself and others.”

You can listen to Joshau Luke Smith’s heartfelt word in his single below, and let us know what you think:

Featured

Spotify Find Solution to Songwriting Plagarism In The Music Industry

Songwriters of global hits getting sued for alleged plagiarism has become a recurrent story on MBW these past few years – and a recurrent source of misery for writers and their representatives in the industry.

But what if a songwriter or composer were able to use AI technology to avoid litigation altogether, by finding out if their song copies elements of other compositions, potentially in real time?

According to a document published last week, Daniel Ek’s company is seeking a patent for its “Plagiarism Risk Detector And Interface” technology, which pertains to “Methods, systems and computer program products..for testing a lead sheet for plagiarism”.

As explained in the filing – and as our songwriter/musician readers will already know – a ‘lead sheet’ is a type of music score or musical notation for songs denoting their melody, chords and sometimes lyrics or additional notes.

Spotify’s invention would allow for a lead sheet to be fed through the platform’s ‘plagiarism detector’, which would then, “having been trained on a plurality of preexisting encoded lead sheets”, immediately compare the composition in question to all other songs stored in its database.

A set of messages would then be displayed – describing a detected level of plagiarism regarding “a plurality of elements” such as a chord sequence, melodic fragments, harmony, etc. of a song  (see fig 7 below).

The AI software would also potentially calculate “a similarity value” of the song in question vs. other songs in the Spotify lead sheet library.

These technology could work the other way around, too, says Spotify’s filing, reassuring a songwriter that “the melodic fragment [of your song] appears to be completely new”.

One particularly interesting element of this is that it would take place in near-real time, allowing a songwriter or composer to tweak elements of their work to avoid infringement before they (and/or their record label) spent the big bucks on recording a final version.

Spotify’s filing adds that “in some embodiments a link to the media content item that might be infringed (e.g., a track of an album) is provided so that a [songwriter] can quickly… listen to the potentially plagiarized work”.

[via MBW]

Featured

Stormzy Leaves Atlantic Records After Just One Album To Join Newly Established 0207 Def Jam Label

Twin brothers Alec and Alex Boateng were last week officially unveiled as co-Presidents of 0207 Def Jam, a newly-launched frontline Universal Music UK label.

The label has announced its first major signing: superstar British rapper Stormzy. In an Instagram post published yesterday, Universal Music UK called Stormzy “a once in a generation artist”.

It added: “Welcome to the 0207 & Universal Music family”.

Stormzy’s signing with 0207 Def Jam comes nearly three years after he inked a landmark deal with Atlantic Records (in January 2018), and means he has now exited his deal with the Warner label.

Prior to his deal with Atlantic Records in 2018, Stormzy had become of the country’s most celebrated and successful independent artists.

His debut album, Gang Signs & Prayer, hit No.1 in the British market in February 2017. It was released on his own #Merky label, via Warner Music’s distribution division for indie releases, ADA.

The LP sold 69,000 UK combined copies in its opening week and set a British record for the most first-week streams for a No.1 album in UK chart history, with 13.9m streams – surpassing the previous record set by Drake’s Views.

GSAP was the 10th biggest-selling album in the UK that year.

Stormzy headlined the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury Festival in June last year.

His second studio album Heavy Is the Head was released in December 2019 and hit No.1 on the Official UK Album Chart. It was also nominated for the 2020 Mercury Prize.

Heavy Is the Head featured the UK No.1 single Vossi Bop as well as the UK No.4 single, Crown.

Featured

Canadian 8-Piece soul Jazz Collective Release Video To Summer Hit Track, Eddie


Photo credit: Maya Fuhr 

Canadian-American 8-piece soul-jazz collective, Busty and the Bass, released their latest video for their sophomore album’s title track “Eddie”. The video, directed by June Barrie with 2nd animation by Vincent Hurtu, is a beautiful, trippy piece that flawlessly matches the band’s romantic R&B and psychedelic funk soundscape. 

Eddie was released in summer 2020 via Arts & Crafts. The 12 tracks set nostalgic and vulnerable lyrical ruminations against a soundscape of simmering soul, spirited rock, hypnotic hip-hop, perennial psychedelic funk and artful R&B. Produced by Neal Pogue (Tyler The Creator, Anderson Paak) and executive produced by Earth, Wind & Fire’s Verdine White, it features legendary collaborators George Clinton, Macy Gray, Illa J and Jon Connor.

Watch the video below, and let us know what you think:

Featured

Universal Music UK Launch 0207 Def Jam Label

Alec Boateng and Alex Boateng named co-presidents of the new frontline label with a series of senior appointments confirmed. Amy Tettey joins as managing director, Jacqueline Eyewe named marketing director and Char Grant becomes A&R director

Universal Music UK have announced the launch of 0207 Def Jam, a new frontline label and the UK home of the iconic Def Jam Recordings label, with a stellar cast of execs including the appointment of highly respected industry executives and Ghanaian London-born twin brothers, Alec and Alex Boateng as co-Presidents.

Alec joins 0207 Def Jam after seven years at Warner Music, most recently as co-head of A&R at Atlantic, where he collected a clutch of industry awards and played a pivotal role in the commercial and cultural success of acts who have defined their era, including the emergence through to her chart-topping dominance of Jess Glynne, the revolutionary rise of Stormzy, Burna Boy’s rapid ascent to global superstar as well as the likes of WSTRN, Rita Ora, Kojo Funds, Stalk Ashley, Preditah and many more.

Alex’s former Island colleague Amy Tettey will be joining the team as managing director after 11 years, the past four as finance director, at the Universal Music label where she worked across the entire roster of Island artists including everyone from Amy Winehouse to Drake and Dizzee Rascal to Giggs. Alongside Amy, Jacqueline Eyewe and Char Grant join as marketing director and A&R director respectively.

Alec Boateng, co-President of 0207 Def Jam says, “Music, art and artists really, really matter. I’m super excited to play a leadership role in this brilliant new space we’re creating for amazing music and talent to live and evolve. A space which will support both our teams and our artists to be the best version of themselves.”

Alex Boateng, co-President of 0207 Def Jam says, “Especially in these times, this is a real privilege. I’m proud our collective journey now includes partnering a legendary label with a style that only London and the UK can provide. Looking forward to watching and guiding where the music and art takes the journey next.”

Featured

Tenacious Rising Lyricist JyellowL Releases His Must Listen Debut Album 2020 Division

Photo Credit: Usman Akhtar

A leading voice emerging out of the fierce juggernaut that is Ireland’s rap scene, amongst other rising stars such as Kojaque and Rejjie Snow, JyelllowL has released his debut LP titled, 2020 Division. JyellowL has had a great year, with his track ‘Ozone’ featuring on the FIFA 2020 soundtrack surpassing 2.2 million streams on Spotify alone. In addition to the single ‘Oh Lawd’, featuring on the soundtrack of the ‘Normal People’ TV series, which has has received over 1.4 million plays to date.

A self-driven artist and entrepreneur, his newly established JyellowL Records Ltd quickly landed a distribution deal with the international distribution company IDOL.df. JyellowL maturing as an artist and businessman can be heard throughout his album, with blends of his personal journey and ambitions as an artist.

You can listen to the full album below, and let us know what you think:

Featured

Black Coffee Announces New Album, Shares Track Featuring Pharrell, ‘10 Missed Calls’: Listen

Black Coffee has announced a new album and shared a new single.

South African DJ and producer Black Coffee, real name Nkosinathi Innocent Maphumulo, has shared details of his forthcoming LP, alongside a brand new single featuring Pharrell Williams and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, Jozzy.

The new single ’10 Missed Calls’ marks the fourth single released from Maphmulo’s forthcoming album, titled ‘Subconscious’, which is slated for release in 2021. The track follows collaborations with the likes of Celeste and Usher, and will also feature productions alongside Diplo, Cassie, and Elderbrook. 

Listen to the emotive ’10 Missed Calls’ below:

Featured

Manik MC & Elisa Imperilee Join Forces For New Single, July

Following his collaboration with Maverick Sabre and incredible COLORS session, North London’s Manik MC teams up with Brixton based Soul vocalist Elisa Imperilee for their collaborative, soul drenched introspective track “July”.

Taken from London’s The silhouettes Project, Elisa’s music is a homage to the city that raised her. Drawing on her own personal journey and her experience working within the community her songs are an honest exploration of herself as well as the world we live in. Constantly influenced by relationships and his inner-city surroundings, Manik’s principal inspiration has derived from contemporary social issues, from food banks to disability welfare cuts. Both artists seem to collaborate beautifully, with Elisa’s hush, soft vocals fitting nicely with Manik’s sleek flow.

Listen to the full track below, and let us know what you think:

Featured

UK Vinyl Sales Are On Course To Reach Their Highest Levels In Three Decades

UK vinyl sales are on course to reach their highest levels in three decades, according to a new study.

It’s amazing to think that vinyl sales are still going strong after all these years, amongst the countless online streaming platforms trying to take away the personal experience of owning a physical song.

Combined vinyl sales in the UK could break £100 million this year, the highest since 1990 – when big sellers included New Kids On The Block.

Drew Hill, managing director of Proper Music, the UK’s biggest independent distributor of vinyl and CDs, comments:

“We have seen 250% growth from the bottom of lockdown to where we are now. I thought it could be catastrophic for the industry but during lockdown the kind of people buying records also probably went to a lot of gigs. They can’t do that so it seems fans are spending the money they used to on going to gigs each month on records.”

Featured

Bandcamp Expands Into Ticketed Livestreams, With Bandcamp Live

Since the start of the pandemic, direct-to-fan platform Bandcamp has been waiving its revenue share for one day each month, on so called ‘Bandcamp Fridays’.

So far, according to the platform, those days (eight of them) have raised $35 million for artists, which is in addition to the $126m that artists have been paid by fans via the platform since March.

Now, the company is launching a new ticketed live streaming service called Bandcamp Live, and it will be waiving its 10% fee for the service until March 3, 2021.

Bandcamp Live is fully integrated with the Bandcamp platform, so fans will be automatically notified when artists announce shows.

Artists can also showcase their music and merchandise next to their streams in a virtual merch table.

An optional chat box will also be available and purchases from the merch table will appear in chat, which Bandcamp states will help drive more sales.

Bandcamp, which will start charging a 10% fee after March 31, 2021 insists that its “pricing is completely transparent”.

Adds the platform: “We don’t pretend our ticketing service is free and then surprise your fans with a ‘convenience fee’ when they check out. You set your ticket price to whatever you want, and that’s what your fans are charged.”

“BANDCAMP LIVE IS THE NEXT STEP IN OUR EFFORT TO HELP OUR COMMUNITY THRIVE DURING THIS CRAZY TIME.”

BANDCAMP

“Bandcamp Live is the next step in our effort to help our community thrive during this crazy time,” writes the company in a blog post.

“Streaming will never replace the experience of in-person performances, but we believe it’s the next best thing, and will provide artists with a powerful tool to build and connect with their fans both now, and when Covid is behind us and we’re all out enjoying the magic of live music once again.”

[via Music Business Worldwide]

Featured

Music Venue Trust Launches Traffic Light Campaign To Highlight At-Risk Venues

The Music Venue Trust has launched a new ‘Traffic Light’ system to highlight at-risk venues that are in need of urgent support.

A colour-coded system is used to judge the security of a venue’s future: Green (353 venues) applies to those considered safe until March 31; Amber (273 venues) categorises those at risk of closure between and March 31 without additional support; and Red (30) venues designates venues that face imminent risk of permanent closure.

#SaveOurVenues crowdfund has been launched to support the venues classified as in the Red List.

These include The Waiting Room in London (pictured), Plot 22 in Sheffield, Boom in Leeds and Venue 38 in Ayr.

Mark Davyd, CEO of Music Venue Trust, said: “What the #saveourvenues campaign has achieved during the last 8 months is truly remarkable. Thanks to the efforts of music fans, local communities and the wider music sector we have raised over £3m in donations and have unlocked over £80m in government assistance to help stave off the imminent closure of over 400 grassroots music venues. We are now focusing exclusively on those 30 remaining venues which face immediate permanent closure. If people want these local venues to still be there when this is over there is a very clear call to action: choose a venue, get donating, get writing, get calling, get organised. Save them all. Reopen Every Venue Safely.”

[Via Dummy]

Featured

Marshall Jefferson And George Smeddles Confirm ‘It’s Alright’ It’s New Track

Marshall Jefferson has teamed up with British producer George Smeddles for a new track ‘It’s Alright’, featuring vocals from Paris Brightledge. It was released on Friday via Ultra Music.

George Smeddles’ additional production on this version accentuates the track’s origins as a classic vocal house tune: uplifting, feel-good and ultimately incredibly hopeful.

Smeddles is donating a portion of his royalties from the track to St. Catherine’s Hospice, who took care of his best friend who passed away from cancer earlier this year.

He explains, “Last year, I lost one of my best friends. He spent his last few weeks in a hospice and from spending time there with him it completely shocked me to find out how selfless, gracious and humble these people are that work there. The attention and care Matt received at St Catherine’s Hospice was seriously out of this world and it would be heartbreaking for people to be denied end of life care in the future.

Check the single below, and let us know what you think:

Featured

Grime Movie ‘Against All Odds’ Release Soundtrack Following Last Week’s Premiere On Channel U

‘Against All Odds’ is a new grime movie, directed by Femi Oyeniran and Nicky ‘Slimting’ Walker, that premiered on Channel U this Friday 13 November in collaboration with Link Up TV.

The EP soundtrack was also released this week by Motown Records UK, which launched in September.

‘Against All Odds’ pays tribute to the musical heritage of grime, shining a light on a generation-defining genre. It nods to many of the platforms and moments that were instrumental in creating grime as a movement, such as clash series Lord of The Mics and pirate radio stations like Déjà Vu and Heat FM.

The film also features appearances from many of grime’s pioneers, such as D Double EGhetts, Jammer, Diesel, Maxwell D, Ozzie B and Bruza.

The soundtrack also features original tracks from D Double E featuring TRIGGZ, and a 2020 remix of Maxwell D’s ‘Serious’ featuring Capo Lee, Novelist, So Large, Bruza and Tempa T.

Directors Femi Oyeniran and Nicky ‘Slimting’ Walker commented, ‘‘Against All Odds’ is our visual homage to one of the most potent expressions of Black British music, grime. The music and the film are a celebration of Black British heritage.

Order a copy of the EP soundtrack here, watch the trailer below, and let us know what you think:

Featured

KOKOROKO Return With The New Single, ‘Baba Ayoola’

London has been a hotbed of musical diversity, and KOKOROKO embody the musical innovation which London’s diverse culture has helped create. Infusing the energy of West African afrobeats and comptemporary jazz, KOKOROKO, have helped usher a cross-cultural musical sound which has seen the tour across Europe.

Following the release of their single Carry Me Home’ earlier this year, they have just released the new single Baba Ayoola, through Giles Peterson’s Brownswood recordings.

The song is dedicated to the grandfather of the band’s saxophonist, Cassie Kinoshi, and it’s exactly the kind of bright, rolling jam that we need going into the end of 2020.

Check ‘Baba Ayoola’ below, and let us know what you think:

Featured

Have You Met.. Nana Adjoa

Describe the creative culture in the city you grew up in?

When I was young and my parents were still together, their music collection often blasted pretty loud through our home. They listen to Funk, soul, 90’s R&B, reggae, Ghanaian highlife. Also when we went to birthdays or parties on my Ghanaian side of the family, there was always LOUD music. Other than listening and dancing to the music at home, there wasn’t anything especially creative in my upbringing. We moved out of Amsterdam, when I was around the age of 5, to a small town not far from the city, I don’t really remember it as a creative or cultural place.  

What were early experiences in music, did you start with playing instruments or into producing with a DWL?

Once at primary school, when I was really young, we learned over a course of a week, this classical choir piece we would perform together with a proper choir. I don’t know remember why or for what occasion, but I think it was Verdi’s Dies irae, Lacrimosa. I enjoyed practicing the words I didn’t understand, and I enjoyed the sound of people singing together. I also briefly had keyboard lessons, which I disliked very much, so I quit pretty soon. And then at the end of primary school, I started playing bass, which felt awesome right away. 

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

Me and my friends wanted to start a band when we were at the age of 10/11, and I picked up the bass for that purpose. We were initially inspired by the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. And then we also played songs by Rage Against the Machine, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, etc.

I read that your Mother was in a Ghanaian highlife band, how influential was she in deciding to start music as a career?

We’ll not so much starting a career. It wasn’t until after me and my friends came up with the idea of starting a band, which meant me picking up the bass, that I found out my mom had this while history. She did give me my first lessons and has been very supportive from the start. She let us use the basement/cellar as our rehearsal space, and she was very encouraging when I tried to go and eventually went to the conservatory.

How close are you to your Ghanaian heritage, will you look to incorporate Ghanaian highlife in the music?

I’m still learning a lot about my Ghanaian heritage and the Ghanaian music history. I grew up with listening to that music, but after my parents got divorced, I was raised by my Dutch mom. It’s been a while (10 years) since I went to Ghana, so I would love to go there again and learn more about the culture while being there, as a oppose to just reading about it. 

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

The writing and recording went more simultaneously, which resulted in a lot of the demo material to end up on the record. I started out alone, and a producer joined in halfway. Also, the approach in recording my voice was a little less shy and more sure than previous works. 

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

So many possibilities! It’s really hard to imagine myself doing anything else now. I probably would have gone to university to study either History or Psychology, but I don’t know where those paths would have brought me, though. When I was 18 I went to those introduction days (open days?) at the UvA, but I auditioned at the conservatory and got accepted and went along with it. 

Are there any producers/artists/instrumentalist you work with really well, what makes your relationship work?

For this record, I worked together with Wannes Salomé for the first time. But I loved working with him. He’s technically very skilled, we have a similar and broad taste, so when I or he had an idea, we could try it out very fast and didn’t need to talk much about it. I love it when you work with someone and you don’t have to talk a lot about the music, but just play and try stuff out. 

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

There are definitely some very cool artists over here. LUWTEN, Zeeland, Jo Goes Hunting, Sofie Winterson, and Feng Suave.

What’s your relationship like with your label, and why did you decide to release with them?

I’m with Bloomer Records, which me and my managers basically set up to release my music ourselves. So at the base, we have a small and super dedicated team I’m working with, and then we work together with a lot of different people and parties from all over the place. 

Describe your album in three words

Contemplating, contemporary, dreaming. 

Featured

Xavier Omar – If You Feel

Xavier Omar has had an interesting trajectory. Starting his career in 2012 under the moniker SPZRKT, (abbreviation for Spazzy Rocket) he released a steady stream of EP’s produced by his musical match, Sango. His rise in popularity and recognition has been nothing short of gradual. After four EP’s and penning an open letter in which he divorced his old stage name, Omar released his first ever album and music video for Just Get Here ft. VanJess and Wale last autumn. A unique approach to protecting his mystique, which for the most part has worked in his favour.

Xavier Omar returns again not long after the release of his debut with if You Feel. Omar’s secondary effort, released almost a year to the day of Moments Spent Loving You is a perfectly sequenced, 11 track body of work. This go around, we get to hear Omar collaborate with the likes of Mereba (Like I Feel), Masego (SURF) and new comer Jae Stephens for the laid back summertime track All Our Time.

Getting more personal on this album, the singer-songwriter lets listeners in on his new marriage, expressing his devotion to his wife on tracks like Protect and in particular So Much More; a stand out, 90s nostalgia slow jam.

In true Omar style, each song is laced with warm and intricate harmonies. Pushing the limits, we see Omar sample the Dru Hill smash ‘Tell Me’ for the 5th track on the album, ‘want/need’ where he flits between rapping and singing effortlessly.

‘If You Feel’ is a great continuation to Xavier Oamr’s journey; a piece of art where the underground RnB artist meets the mainstream without losing substance. A perfect balance. 

Check out the full album below, and let us know what you think:

Featured

Have You Met.. Cable Street Collective

London-based 7-piece Cable Street Collective took some time to join our Q&A series following the release of their new single, ‘Speaking In Tongue’, featuring Gregg Kofi Brown. Check it out below and let us know what you think below:

How did the band form? 

Three of us – Ash, Tris and Fi – went to Nottingham University together and used to play the occasional open mic, usually doing covers. But it wasn’t until later, when we were living in London, that we started to make music more seriously, and started playing the summer festival circuit – Secret Garden Party and Boomtown and so on.


Aaron and Sam joined in 2017, and we put out a second EP which got picked up by BBC 6Music, and various other places – and it just kept growing from there. Matt & Dom on the horns were regular “special guests,” and in the end we just thought “let’s get trumpet & sax in all the time” ‘cos they made it sound so good, and really got the crowd going. 

What’s the story behind your name Cable Street Collective?  

It’s taken from the Battle of Cable Street, an anti-fascist protest in 1936. The people of the East End banded together to stop Oswald Mosley’s Blackshirts from staging a march down Cable Street – he’d chosen the site as a deliberate act of provocation, because it was a working class Jewish area at the time. Danny Dyer does a pretty good job of explaining it succinctly.

We used to rehearse on Cable Street. Two of our members actually lived in a warehouse space in Cable Street Studios, and the first show we played together was at an open mic night they ran in their living room. So it all kind of made sense. 

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

There’s so many of us it’s hard to pick just a few, but Sam’s story is great. He grew up on the Shetland Islands and was basically a child fiddle prodigy – by the time he was a teenager he was making pocket money playing on the overnight boats back-and-forth to the mainland. So he has that trad folk influence as a base, and then got really into percussion, and particularly West African percussion, later on.

He used to play (and still does, occasionally) with Musa Mboob and Saidi Kanda. Tristan grew up in Swaziland (now Eswatini) and Malawi, and it was him and his brother (who used to play bass for CSC) persuaded Ash and Fi that this upbeat, Congolese-influenced take on indie was more likely to get the band booked for festivals (and so it proved). Oh, and Gregg Kofi Brown from Osibisa, who features on the new single, is Aaron’s dad.

What’s your relationship like with Gregg Kofi Brown?

A lot of people assume that Gregg’s on the single because Aaron’s in the band, but actually it’s the other way round. Tristan used to play guitar for a Mozambican band in London and Gregg used to dep on bass for them – so it was Gregg who introduced him to Aaron. We were looking for a new bassist at the time, and Aaron obviously had chops for days so it was a perfect match. Gregg’s been a big supporter, as well as an inspiration not just for Aaron, but for the rest of us too.

What was your approach and story behind your latest single, “Speaking in Tongues”

We were messing around with a percussion idea in a rehearsal, and came up with the main guitar riffs and the bass part. Fi had missed that rehearsal for some reason, so it was just an iPhone recording of that idea – a two chord riff. Gregg heard Aaron playing it on his phone, and said: “can you send me that? I’ve got an idea.” He came up with a whole vocal including the chorus line, about speaking in tongues, which was a metaphor for talking at crossed purposes in a relationship. We loved it, but we took it and re-wrote the verse melody and the lyrics to make it a bit more expansive – so it’s not just about personal relationships, it’s about political relationships and the trashing of public trust by politicians too. 

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

Well, most of us have day jobs outside of music – so Tristan’s a journalist, Ash works for a start-up, Fi and Sam are tutors, and so on. We’re appreciating that a lot this year, with the complete shutdown of gigging!
 

Which artist should we be listening out for?

As in other artists? Ah, too many to mention, but we’ve been listening to lots of BCUC, a South African collective, in the past couple of summers, also Rose City Band (by the guy who used to do Wooden Shjips), and loving the stuff that the mysterious group Saults are putting out at the moment. 

What’s your relationship like with your current record label? If you aren’t signed, have you been before? Do prefer being independent or signed?

All our stuff has been self-released so far, and to be honest unless it was a major with massive budget to pump into marketing spend, it’s kind of hard to see what a label would offer you these days? 

Describe your new single in three words

Be sure to check out the music video to theeir single, Speaking In Tongues, and let us know what you think:

Upbeat. Brassy. Pumping. 

Featured

Greentea Peng Shares The Thought-provoking New Single, ‘Revolution’

Photography: Charlotte Hadden

London singer Greentea Peng has released her new single, ‘Revolution’. ‘Revolution’, produced by Tadafi, is in the dub vein and arrives with a video worked on with Melody Maker, someone she frequently works with.

On the meaning behind ‘Revolution’, Greentea Peng said: “A result of recent turmoil: political, societal, and individual. 2020, a painfully transformative year for the collective. Revolution is a product of this pain and also the anger we’ve been struggling to move through, at the same time it represents the hope conjured. A reminder to remember where the first revolution must take place and also a reminder to be aware of where and what we put our energy and belief into.”

Along with the new track comes a headline European tour announcement for 2021. Starting on April 7 in Berlin, she’ll travel across the UK and visit EU cities such as Amsterdam, Brussels and Paris, where the tour comes to a close on May 13.

Earlier this year, the singer released ‘Hu Man’, which she perform tonight (October 30) on Later with Jools Holland on BBC2.

Watch the video to Revolution below, and let us know what you think:

Featured

Flohio Teams Up With Kasien For The Hard Hitting New Single, ‘With Ease’

Photograph: Stefon Grant

Nigerian-born and South London-raised FLOHIO collaborates with Kasien on her latest single ‘With Ease’, which was released this week.

‘With Ease’ is the latest single to be released from FLOHIO’s upcoming mixtape ‘Unveiled’, due to be released November 27.

‘With Ease’ is a hard hitting track, with FLOHIO’s forceful flow taking centre-stage, Punctuated by Kasien’s melodic verse, it’s a lesson in how to deliver from two of London’s up-and-coming rap talents.

FLOHIO has previously collaborated with some of the most exciting names in the game, including Mahalia, The Streets and Modeselektor.

Watch the video for ‘With Ease’ below, and let us know what you think:

Featured

Independent Artist House Of El Releases His Second Single From His EP

Having built firm foundations with 2018 releases ‘Hard Times’ and ‘Elijah’, featuring fellow London artists Jay Prince and Laura Mvula, House of EL’s debut release of this year is a poignant one. House of El releases his second single in the lead up to his forthcoming EP ‘You Don’t Know My Name’. 

The track is carried by an undeniably infectious groove, with echoes of Thundercat and Kamasi Washington in the production and oozing in equal parts charisma and nonchalance, it wouldn’t be surprising to hear this track on a Tarantino film. The video is really a celebration of family and blackness, at a time when many African diaspora in the West may be questioning their validity in society this video serves to reinforce an image of family, truth and hope

Speaking on the track, House of EL explains: You don’t know my name I did when I was really digging into that 70’s funk sound at the time. You know…. Sly & Bootsie… I wanted to talk about relationships (as a change), it’s that feeling when someone claims to love you but doesn’t really understand you.

Check out single below, and let us know what you think:

Featured

170,000 Jobs In UK’s Live Music Sector ‘Will Be Lost By Christmas’

The UK’s live music sector is facing the loss of 170,000 jobs – almost two-thirds of its workforce – as the beleaguered industry approaches a “cliff edge” after the winding up of the government’s furlough scheme at the end of the month.

The sector, which has, in effect, been shut down since March, is estimated to be hit by an 80% decline in revenues this year, according to a report.

The research, conducted on behalf of Live, the umbrella group representing the live music industry, estimates that 64% of the sector’s 262,000 workers will be out of a job by Christmas.

The hardest hit will be the 210,000 self-employed and freelance workers who have full-time equivalent roles, with 144,000 expected to lose their jobs. Of the 52,200 permanently employed staff, half are predicted to lose their jobs when the furlough scheme ends.

[via Guardian]

Featured

Have You Met… Ford.

Grammy-nominated electronic music prodigy ford. took some time to join our Q&A series so we could get to know him a little better. Ford. has just released his new album ‘The Colors of Nothing’, and so we wanted to learn a bit about his journey and what has been his secret to success. Follow the Q&A below:

You have a hugely diverse background, having spent time in different countries – what’s special about where you are currently based? And how has it inspired you creatively?

Since moving to Utah I’ve definitely spent more time outdoors than I have in the past. Nothing interesting really goes on in the more central Utah Valley areas so I feel like being able to head up a canyon and be in the mountains within a 5-10 minute drive is something I try not to take for granted. That side of Utah is something special and it has been inspiring my music heavily in the years I’ve been here so far.

What were you doing when you found out you were nominated for a Grammy?

I was actually panicking in a car on the way to the airport because I was supposed to be flying to Minneapolis for the first show of the Madeon Good Faith Tour, but there was an accident blocking the strip to the departures. I was convinced I was going to miss the flight and throw everything off. As I’m panicking, trying to find any other flights to MN I started getting Twitter notifications from friends about the nomination. Never had so many confusing emotions going on at once. Needless to say, made the flight and everything worked out.

What made you get into music and who were the people around you that influenced you?

Electronic music really sparked my interest in being able to make music when I was like 11 or 12. This idea of having a program on your computer that gave you the resources to make fully developed songs from your room just blew my mind. Going into high school I was exposed to a whole new side of music and that shift in my taste really influenced a similar change in the music I started trying to make. Artists like Tom Misch, Nick Leng, Jon Hopkins, and (funnily enough) ODESZA really helped shape my sound and motivated me to work at my craft.

Having been a couple of years since your previous album, (The) Evening, how did you change your approach for The Color of Nothing?

I wrote most of the first album while I was in high school. I was just learning how to produce, work with other artists, create full songs etc… The fact that all those tracks came together in one uniform package felt pretty serendipitous. The process of writing this album was completely different. All my decisions, influences, and styles were much more thought out and pre-determined. With album one I was just happy to have a group of songs finished whereas with this album process I tried to be purposeful each step of the way. 

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

“Haha honestly no clue. Always loved film and photography but music is what I know and love”

Do you feel any added pressure being only 20 years old, and seeing so much success already in the music career with the popularity of your songs? 

Not necessarily pressure because of my age but definitely can see how expectations of what you’re supposed to sound like can takes its toll. Music is such a therapeutic process for me that I hope I can always feel free to create for myself. 

Who are the people around you who keep you focused and motivated?

I’m lucky to have some great friends and family who are always in my corner ready to help. Definitely owe my ability to keep moving and keep staying motivated to my manager Kyle. We’ll usually hop on a call once a day if not every other day to check in and make sure I’m feeling good about the music or the art or any other aspect of what I’m working on. It’s really reassuring to have people like that ready to back you up.

Are there any producers/artists you work really well with? If so, what makes your relationship work?

I feel like this project really gave me a chance to focus more on my abilities as a solo producer but overall, I definitely have some close friends that I’ve worked well with. Most obvious ones might be Hanz and Sonn. We’ve always just resonated with each other’s melody ideas and percussive rhythms so getting on a song together feels very natural and effortless when we bounce ideas off each other. I think it’s always a great experience to make something with people that you click with both musically and just as people.

What were early experiences in music; did you start with playing instruments or go straight into producing with a DAW?

My mother’s side of the family were all raised classically trained so naturally most of my siblings and I tried to follow suit and take piano lessons when we were younger. I was on and off for a few years but moving around made it difficult to stay consistent with it and I eventually stopped taking lessons and just trying to teach myself and play by ear. Besides that, I took drums for a few years growing up and have always loved percussion, so I think those two instruments were what I gravitated towards when I started working in different DAWs.

What’s your relationship like with your label, Foreign Family Collective, and why did you decide to release with them?

For one, I’ve always been a big fan of ODESZA’s work so naturally I gravitated towards a label that’s founded by them, but the people over at FFC are honestly just the homies. It’s a very transparent relationship and I love how everyone is so unbelievably good at what they do there. Their drive and work ethic is something I really respect and admire. All of that aside though, they’re all just really good people that want you to see you develop and get better as an artist. As surprising as it may be, that’s not often the case with a lot of labels these days so I feel fortunate to be in the situation I am in.

Describe your new album The Color of Nothing in three words

Coming of Age

You can listen to Ford. new album, Colors of Nothing below. Let me know your thoughts:

Featured

Google Announces “hum to search” Machine Learning Music Search Feature

On Thursday, Google announced a new “hum to search” feature enabling people to pinpoint songs by simply humming part of a track. Google notes that people need not worry about their musical capabilities, “you don’t need perfect pitch to use this feature,” in a press release.

The new search capability is available on the Google app and mobile devices as well as the Google Search widget. When using the widget, people will first need to tap the small microphone icon and prompt the feature by either clicking the button labeled “search a song” or saying “what’s this song?” Next, the person will need to proceed to hum part of the song.

The hum to search function is also available on Google Assistant using a similar framework. To identify a song in this format, first ask “Hey Google, what’s this song?” before humming a song. It’s important to remember that an audio enquirer will need to know a bit of the song to help target a particular track. Per the Google release, people will need to hum a portion of the song for 10-15 seconds.

The feature uses machine learning to identify potential tracks based on a person’s hummed sequence. After humming a tune, Google will provide a series of “most likely options based on the tune.” Then, people can play these closest matches and peruse information related to the performing artists, tracks, albums, and more.

[via Tech Republic]

Featured

MPs To Examine Impact Of Streaming On Future Of Music Industry – Music Streaming In The UK Brings over £1bn and Artists Get 13% Of That Income

MPs are to investigate the impact that music streaming is having on artists, record labels and the sustainability of the music industry. The Commons digital, culture, media and sport select committee will examine the business models of major streaming companies such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and Google Play to determine their fairness towards the writers and performers whose material populates the platforms.

Committee chair, MP Julian Knight, said it would look at whether “the economics of streaming could in future limit the range of artists and music that we’re all able to enjoy today”, describing the algorithms that promote music discovery on these platforms as a “blunt tool to operate in a creative industry with emerging talent risking failing the first hurdle”.

Music streaming in the UK brings in more than £1bn a year in revenue. “However, artists can be paid as little as 13% of the income generated,” a statement said. Spotify is thought to pay between £0.002 and £0.0038 per stream. Apple Music pays about £0.0059.

[Via Guardian]

Featured

Talented Songwriter Harry Jay-Steele Shares New Single ‘Not Quite Like This’

East London based songwriter, guitarist and producer Harry Jay-Steele shares ‘Not Quite Like This’ – another cut from his upcoming debut album, ‘Boundaries’ due for release on 4th December via eclectic audiophile label Naim Records.

Recorded with Jordan Rakei’s co-producer and drummer Jim Macrae, the song is heavily influenced Afrobeats and tackles personal experiences close to the artist. “It’s a song in defiance against being labelled and judges but also about the fluidity of self. A message amplified by the shifting effect of the artist’s auto-tuned vocals.”

Explaining the production work behind the track, “I used auto-tune on this track partly because it’s Afrobeats influence but also due to the chameleon-like tonal affect it has one my voice. I felt its shifting nature sat well with lyrical message.”

Check out the single below, and let us know what you think:

Featured

Ghetts Teams Up With Skepta For New Single – IC3

In anticipation of Ghetts forthcoming album which I expect to be released towards the end of 2020, Ghetts released eye-catching new visuals to the bumping single ‘Mozambique’ in July, alongside fellow grime lyricist Jaykae, and singer Moonchild Sanelly.

Ghetts speaks his truth alongside UK heavyweight, Skepta for his new single ‘IC3’. Going smoothly back and forth between each other, over a stripped back hip hop beat Ghetts and Skepta explore what it means to be a Black man in Britain today. From their early experiences and perceptions whilst they were emerging in the music scene, to their feelings now that they are more successful and famous.

Listen to the single below, and let us know what you think:

Featured

Young British Singer, Matt Ryder Fuses Soul and House For His latest Single, “Feel”

Photographed By Milly Cope

Emerging singer, Matt Ryder has released his latest single, “Feel,” a track dedicated to growing-up and looking forward to the future armed with hope and excitement for better times amongst a weird world. 

Matt explained what the track meant to him – “This track was mainly a reference to growing towards the next few years, the end of teenage life. Everything was beginning to change and things were becoming more exciting and parties more natural, that bitching and the ‘he said she said’ began to stop and people actually just enjoyed themselves, it was exciting.

Making his beats and writing his lyrics in his bedroom, Ryder’s lo-fi atmospheric approach to dance-inflected indie sees his latest sounds stand-up next to the work of Mura Masa and Låpsley. Both invoke an alternative spirit while drawing on rich pop melodies and underground references. 

Today’s release of “Feel” and recent releases “Not The Same” & “Soundless Motion”  follows the young producer’s debut body of work, the 50 FT EP, which was released late last year. Helmed by the introspective ballad “Further”, the collection sees Ryder at home in the role of indie troubadour as well as a brooding DIY experimentalist with tracks like “Soft Cell” and “50FT” showcasing his more leftfield work.

Check out his new single below, and let us know what you think:

Featured

Rishi Sunak – “I can’t pretend that everyone can do exactly the same job that they were doing at the beginning of this crisis”

Rishi Sunak has suggested that struggling musicians and others in the arts industry may need to retrain and find new jobs as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The chancellor’s stark comments come after recent research revealed that a third of musicians could leave the industry due to financial losses.

When asked if out-of-work musicians and creatives should seek alternative employment, he told ITV News: “I can’t pretend that everyone can do exactly the same job that they were doing at the beginning of this crisis.

“That’s why we’ve put a lot of resource into trying to create new opportunities.”

He went on to concede that unemployment is “likely to increase” but stressed the government is “trying to do everything we can to protect as many jobs as possible.”

Sunak said that employment was still available in the creative industries, but added that “everyone is having to find ways to adapt and adjust to the new reality.”

When asked about support for creatives, Sunak pointed towards the government’s £1.57 billion Cultural Recovery Fund, days after it was confirmed that music venues will have to wait a week longer than anticipated to find out whether they will receive a grant.

With early April 2021 earmarked as the earliest date that full capacity gigs might be able to return, a number of musicians, crew, venues and industry bosses have also warned of bankruptcies and catastrophic damage to the live music sector unless support is provided to mothball the gig sector until it is safe to put shows on.

Visit here to donate to the Save Our Venues campaign or buy special new gifts and merchandise.

Featured

The Glasgow African Balafon Orchestra (GABO) Announce Their Debut Album

Photographed by Harrison Reid

The Glasgow African Balafon Orchestra (GABO) is a unique blend and fusion of musicians, folklorists and storytellers representing the best musical flavours and stories of our shared humanity—musical stories that are lived by everyday people around the world—rhythms and tales that we can well appreciate and relate to from the past to the present, and the future.

They have announced the debut release of their new album titled, Jungle Fever which is set for release on the 19th of October. In the lead up to the forthcoming project, they have released two singles, Ambatayala and Co.

You can pre-order forthcoming here

Also, you can listen to their recently released single Ambatayala, let us know what you think:

Featured

South African Soul – Fused Band, Seba Kaapstad, Announce Their Forthcoming Album With The Lead Single, “Our People”

Seba Kaapstad have announced their upcoming album Konke with the lead single “Our People” featuring Quelle Chris. The album also features Grammy Nominated singer Georgia Anne Muldrow as well as critically acclaimed rapper Oddisee. The multi-national neo-soul/jazz group combines South African, Swazi, U.S. and German elements into their newest global record.

Singers Zoe Modiga and Ndumiso Manana grace the lead vocals over production from Philip Scheibel and band founder Sebastian Schuster.  The record builds upon the foundation they laid with 2019’s Thina while adding a relaxed musicality that lets the listener ease into the album. The addition of Hip hop vocalists Quelle Chris and Oddisee, as well as soulful vocalist, Georgia Anne Muldrow add another dimension of texture to the already diverse album that sits well among the new breed of Soul, Jazz and Hip Hop inspired artists like Robert Glasper, Kamall Williams and Terrace Martin. The new Seba Kaapstad album will be out on Mello Music Group November 13th.

You can pre-order their forthcoming album here

Featured

UK House DJ Fat Tony says “DJs Are Not Dispensable”

Fat Tony has used an appearance on Sky News to blast the UK government’s approach to nightlife during the coronavirus pandemic.

Appearing on Kay Burley’s show yesterday, the long-serving UK house DJ spoke at length on how the government is currently failing the UK’s night time industry, which brings in £66 billion a year for the country’s economy.

Fat Tony’s seven-minute interview followed an appearance from government minister Gillian Keegan, who was promoting the government’s new drive to retrain workers in industries that have been devastated by the pandemic. Keegan also said nightclubs would not be reopening “until we have some kind of long-term way to deal with coronavirus.”

“My career is not dispensable – it’s not something you can throw away,” Fat Tony said.

“I’ve worked a lifetime to get to the point in my career where I am. [DJs] train to do what we do, it’s not something we do overnight, it’s an art,” he added.

Nightclubs and music venues are currently relying on the government’s furlough scheme and arts bailout in order to survive, however a roadmap for their reopening has not been introduced by the government despite some venues proving that they can open safely during the pandemic.

Venues have been further hampered by the 10pm curfew that was recently introduced and a new ban on dancing and singing, even while attending a socially distanced event in a group of six.

Self-employed DJs have been able to apply for the Coronavirus Self Employed Income Support Scheme which has so far paid out two grants, covering 80 per cent and 70 per cent of monthly profits of up to £2500 and £2190 respectively, over the last six months. However this will drop to 20 per cent of monthly profits of up to £1875 per month from November through to February 2021.

“Just to say ‘that’s disposable and we’ll leave that on ice’ and let a million people lose their jobs is despicable,” Fat Tony said, referring to those working within the night time industry.

Watch the whole interview with Fat Tony below.

[Via Sky News]

TALENTED DJS SHERELLE AND AFRODEUTSCHE LINED UP FOR 7 DAYS OF SOUND DIGITAL EVENT

Saffron has finalised the line-up for its 7 Days of Sound digital event, which takes place across January 23 to January 29.

The week-long series of workshops will cover a broad range of topics with a number of artists and experts lined up as hosts.

Among the schedule is: Afrodeutsche (pictured) on frameworks for producing, scoring and performing; Sherelle in conversation with Lizzy Ellis discussing building resilience, capturing energy, supporting your crew and elevation through radio; Team Love’s Pauline Bourdon presenting a practical guide for event sustainability; and certified Ableton Live trainer Anna Lakatos taking a deep look at producing and build tracks in the software.

There will also be Mercury Prize-nominated Anna Meredith dissecting one of her scores; Katie Tavini de-mystifying the mastering process; Mix Nights co-creators Daisy Moon and Em Williams hosting a beginners guide to digital DJing; and much more.

View the full schedule here.

Day tickets are priced from £11 and can be purchased from Eventbrite.

MPS FINALLY LAUNCH AN URGENT INQUIRY INTO THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON UK NIGHTLIFE

An urgent inquiry into the devastating impact of COVID-19 on the UK’s night-time economy has been launched in the UK.

The inquiry is being led by the newly formed All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG), which is chaired by Labour MP Jeff Smith, who spent several years working in the sector earlier in his career.

The nightlife industry has suffered significantly in the pandemic due to the restrictions required to protect public health. Last month the Night Industries Association (NTIA) warned 75.6% of the UK’s night-time economy businesses face permanent closure.

The APPG is calling for night time economy businesses, workers and consumers to share evidence about their experiences and views on the challenges facing the sector, its importance to the country’s society and economy, and recommendations for how it can reopen.

Evidence for the inquiry can be submitted via an online survey accessed through the NTIA’s website here. Consultations will take place through this month with a report planned for release in February.

A number of Night Time Economy organisations and representatives will also be contacted to share testimonies.

Jeff Smith MP said: “As we move now into a third national lockdown, there has never been a more important time for Government to address the urgent needs of Night Time Economy businesses, their supply chains and those that rely on them for employment. Despite playing such a vital role in our local communities and UK economy, nightlife businesses have been repeatedly overlooked by the Government, and we are determined to ensure that the specific challenges facing the sector are addressed. This inquiry will be a vital first step in our work.”

Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association, said: “Since March, we have seen the night-time sector berated, scapegoated and even blamed for rising infections. Our sector has slipped through the cracks of insufficient support packages and borne the brunt of ever-changing and inconsistent restrictions. We urge all those who work in the night-time economy, or simply enjoy a night out, to take part in the APPG survey to help policymakers understand the importance of our vital sector.”

[Via Mixmag]