First Thoughts: M.Artz – Life

UK Artists To Watch In 2019


Blue Lab Beats

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With a hefty 18-track first album to their name, which combined two of their previous EPs, decorated with a number of exciting artists from the UK, Blue Lab Beats are an amazingly talented duo. Multi-instrumentalist Mr DM, and Producer NK-OK make-up the pair, drawing influences from old school jazz and hip hop, combined with some heavy synthesised melodies and basslines. The pair topped off their year with a sold show at Oval Space, and I’m intruigued to see which direction they take music to in 2019.

Check the visuals for the stand out track ‘Pineapple’:

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Che Lingo

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Che isn’t an artist you want to sleep on this year. With three solo projects, and a number of solo singles releases in 2018, and with his EP release date set for January 18th, the seeds have been sown for a very exciting year. Why does Che stick for me? I’m a lyrics man, and the attention to detail from nearly every track I’ve heard from him is pensive, thought-provoking and honest. His most recent project Charisma painted a quite vivid, open picture of his reality, which I found to be relatable, and refreshing. Che’s clarity and ability to rapidly change his lyrical flow like he does in Feet Your Feelings’, and ‘Zuko’ really shines through for me.

Check the visuals for his recent track ‘CIRCLES’:

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Handles’ persona and charisma shines above all else, but from speaking to him, and learning he’s personally pushed over 60 thousand copies of his music revealed more about his ambitions and diligence to push his own music. 2018 saw Handles release his debut EP titled; SUI GENERIS, which debuted on the iTunes hip hop album chart at number #7, as well as, headlining his first performance abroad where he was the Headline Act for Midnight Sessions in Dusseldorf, Germany. As an independent artist, Handles has amassed a strong reputation in the fashion industry with top brands, super models and fashion bloggers, 2019 should prove an exciting year of growth not just in his Music, but as a public figure.

Check the visuals for ‘Surreal’:

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Idris Miles


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Based in Essex UK, Idris Miller a.k.a Idris (pronounced Eye-Dris) Miles is an artist and songwriter who fuses the sound of R&B, Rap and Hip Hop. He takes inspiration from a wide variety of artists such as Chance The Rapper, Kojey Radical, Octavian, singer Sevdaliza and Little Simz, with the meaningful and powerful message she always brings to her verses. Idris has a huge amount of stage presence, and an energy which is infectious. He caught my attention during an open Mic session at the Ritzy, and he recently headlined an amazing show at Ace Hotel, Shoreditch, so I’m excited to see where his journey moves to next

Check his latest single ‘Samurai’:

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Another exciting talent to come out the UK and to look out for in 2019 is Jevon. First grabbing my attention of his lyrical prowess, and production skills with several tracks from, the New Gen compilation. Jevon has a great ability to adapt his flow and tone cohesively to differently paced beats, and for it not to seem out of place. His daring nature to drift on high tempo momentous beats, like the track; ‘Redemption’, but then turn away to more jump on more dancehall beats like the recent single release ‘Judas’. 2019 is expected to be an exciting year for him, with an EP expected early in the year, and hopefully some more live performances.

Check the visuals for ‘Wagwarn’:

*This video is promotional use only*


Jvck James


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It’s been a little while since the UK has had an exciting male R&B artist. In spite being only 19 years, Jvck James seems have a level of maturity beyond his age, as well as, respect for music before his time. Having released a number of singles this year, and performed around the country, this year looks to be the foundations for an exciting future for Jvck James. 2019 sees him supporting the USA’s latest R&B star in Ella Mai, who’ll be touring the UK and EU in January and February.

Check his COLORS performance:

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Kojey Radical


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The growth and work rate of Kojey over the past couple years has been admirable. This year saw him make an impressive number of features, with Jay Prince, Mahalia, MJ Cole, Ghetts, and 808 Ink to name a few. As well as, a terrific UK/EU tour to close the year, which was topped off with an incredible sold out performance at KOKO. An inspiring feat for someone still young and independent in the music scene, and with an album already teased for 2019, I’m exciting to see which direction Kojey takes his artistry with the new album, having taken on so many different features in 2018.

Check the visuals for IF ONLY/WATER:

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Someone to mostly definitely look out for is Layfullstop! Hailing, from the creatively charged city of Manchester, Layfullstop is one of the latest artists to bubble out of the city. 2018 saw her feature on tracks with The Mouse Outfit, Children of Zeus, as well as, releasing a solo debut album. Her debut album titled; Colour Reaction, carried some heavy, captivating lyrics, as well as, a certain weight of consciousness which is thought-provoking and powerful. Her stand out track ‘Boeheim Queen’ addresses the misconceptions of women, spirituality and what it means to be unconventional in today’s world.

Check her track Bohemiem Queen below:

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Nigerian Born, Obongyjayar has managed to mesmerize me with every song he’s created so far. Take his more recent track; Adjacent Heart, where he describes a time of when he fell in love.  The transitions from raspy, deep spoken word, to more eerie high-pitched tones in the hook within the track is quite special and captivating. Naturally one of his influences is the Afrobeat legend; Fela Kuti, but as he describes in an interview with Daze, “It’s about using those sounds to create something new”, and, with his roots firmly tied to Nigeria, his lyrics thoughtfully seem reflect his experiences in London. I feel an album is on the cards from Obongyjayar in 2019, so he’ll be worth keeping a tab on.

Listen to Adjacent Heart Below:

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Top UK Independent Album Releases of 2018

2018 has been a brilliant year of music for independent artists in the UK, and as always, the aim of Inspired Sound is to shed light on artists who may go a little under the radar, or a little over some people’s head. So, to celebrate some great releases, and to celebrate a little over a year of Inspired Sound we wanted to highlight some of our favourite album releases from the UK this year.


Now, to narrow the choices we wanted to focus our attention on UK album releases only, and not singles or EPs. Generally, albums really highlight a more significant marker in an artists’ career and, whether it’s through beats or words, it can tell a more intimate picture of the artists’ current mood, thoughts, and influences. As ever, the platform has always tried to focus on independent artists, and the aim has always been to share good music which comes my way, no matter the genre. So, in no particular order:

Children of Zeus –  Travel Light



The Magrehban – 01DEAS


Kaidi Tatham – It’s All About You



Louis VI – Sugar Like Salt

Louis Vi

The Expansions – Murmuration

the expansions

Manga St Hilaire – Outsiders Live Forever


Kamaal Williams – The Return

the return

Moses Boyd – Displaced Diaspora


Maisha – There Is A Place


Blue Lab Beats – Xover

blue lab

Barney Artist – Home Is Where The Art Is


Summers Sons – Uruhu