Have You Met… Celine & The Blue

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

Where did you grow up? 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How did the band come together?

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

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

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

What inspired you to create Crave Love? 

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

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

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

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

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

Truly unforgettable.

Do you have any creative hobbies outside of music?

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

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

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

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

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

Listen to ‘Crave Love’ below.

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.

New Zealand Producer, Sola Rosa Announces New Album Release Date. Featuring The Likes Of Eva Lazarus and Jerome Thomas

New Zealand producer Andrew Spraggon, crafting under the name, Sola Rosa, returns with a new album ‘Chasing The Sun’, due for release on 25th September via his Way Up Recordings label through Kartel Music Group.

Five years in the making, and honed to perfection, the project was written and recorded between Auckland, London and Sydney and includes a heavy hitting line-up of featuring artists, such as regular collaborator and former The Streets singer

long term collaborator Sharlene Hector and genre-defying, rising UK soul and reggae star Kiko Bun. Sola Rosa is known for championing new artists, for his new album he involved some of the best rising new stars across the globe, from London-based singer/songwriter Josh Barry and eclectic Neo-Soul singer Jerome Thomas, British reggae and dub MC vocalist Eva Lazarus and breaking Australian artist Thandi Phoenix. Closer to home, ex-pat Kiwi vocalist Wallace and Aotearoa’s own musical maverick, Troy Kingi add their talents to the mix.

Talking about the collaborative nature of the project Sola Rosa explains, “the early days Sola Rosa was a selfish studio project, but after the first few releases, I realised my limitations as a player and writer, and started to collaborate with other musicians. Through this process I realised how much collaboration contributes to each release. Each player brings their own life experience, style and skillset which creates music that is far greater than the sum of its parts.”

Have a listen to his single, ‘Shine On’, featuring the Thandi Phoenix. Let us know what you think:

Funk Inspired Montreal Collective – Busty and the Bass Share Trippy New Video

Photographed by Maya Fuhr

8-piece Canadian soul collective, The Busty and The Bass and this is their new single featuring Macy Gray collective Busty and the Bass are back with ’Out of Love’ their new single featuring the legendary Macy Gray. It’s taken from their upcoming album, which also features George Clinton, along production from GRAMMY® Award-winning producer Neal Pogue (Earth, Wind & Fire, Outkast, Tyler the Creator) 

Radiating rich summer groove, ‘Out Of Love’ incorporates a swell of glistening funk and neo-soul guided by Macy Gray’s distinctive and effortlessly smooth vocal.

“‘Out of Love’ started as a remix that Chris, our trombone player, was working on. It was never supposed to be an original tune but the song’s vocal idea quickly took form and became its own thing. It’s sometimes a treat writing vocals after most of the beat is made, you can really feel the energy and play with the instrumental. I was getting a lot of hot and cold communication from someone and this song is me airing out a bit of that frustration.”

Busty’s Nick Ferraro:

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

New Music: Hip Hop Beatmaker Koralle Returns With Stunning New Single, Snakes

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Bologna based producer Koralle returns with new single “Snakes”. Introducing himself to the world in 2019 with his debut project titled ‘Koralle‘. The musician, beatmaker and DJ dives deep into the sea of hip-hop, jazz and funk, equipped with an array of synths, Rhodes and a serious record collection. With two EP‘s (Collecting Vol. 1 & 2) Koralle created his very own blend of jazz-induced downtempo grooves that has accumulated over 6 million streams so far.

Over the last couple of months the Italian beatmaker has been busier than ever, working on new material, exploring different soundscapes and taking his music onto a whole new level. “Snakes” proves exactly this. A mystic string theme paves its way through Amazonian field recordings while a thick bassline and dope snare are doing their thing.

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

 

New Music: Oliver St Louis Goes Deep For His New Single, Runnin’ Wild

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Washington Born Musician, Oliver St Louis returns with new material for 2020 after a long world tour and collborations with artists such as Hudson Mohawke, C2C, Laura Mvula and German rockers, AnnenMayKantereit.

His latest single, ‘Runnin’ Wild’ sees him team up with music producer, Oddisee through London based record label, First Word Records. It begins with the adrenaline-racing rhythm of ‘Runnin Wild’, and with Oddisee behind the boards, this track exemplifies Olivier’s unique take on alternative soul. This is a classically-structured piece of uptempo soul-funk with a rock edge, laced with Olivier’s sweet harmonies and fuzzed-out guitar licks throughout, and mixed down with a little 2020 boom bap thump. A prime example of quality contemporary alt-soul.

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

Have a listen to the single below and let us know your thoughts:

 

 

New Music: Pioneering Broken Beat Legend, Dego Announces New Album for September

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Dego’s contribution to the UK underground music scene has spanned over 20 years, with his earlier productions in to jungle and drum and bass, eventually leading him to experimenting with house and developing that broken beat sound. But Dego has never been bound of any genre, taking on a range of influences throughout his career, from Jazz, Hip Hop, to Techno and house but always with an element of soul.

Dego’s third studio album titled, Too Much will be released through is very own 2000 Black Label on the 6th September. With a number of British singers featuring on the album from Nadine Charles, Sarina Leah, and Sharlene Hector to name a few, we can probably expect a combination of funk, soul and broken beats.

Check out the first track from the album, A Strong Move for Truth. Let us know what you think, and pre-order the album:

Tracklist:

1. A Strong Move for Truth (feat. Nadine Charles)
2. Good Morning (feat. Samii)
3. Remini Dream (feat. Ivana Santilli)
4. I Don’t Wanna Know (feat. Obenewa)
5. Unknown Faults
6. Life Can Be Unreal (feat. Sarina Leah)
7. Too Much (feat. Sharlene Hector)
8. You Are Virgo
9. Come of Age
10. Just Leave It (feat. Lady Alma)
11. Ogawa Okasan Said Just Play
12. A Where Pringle Deh
13. My Standards Are (Not) Too High

First Thoughts: Moodyman – Sinner

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It’s always a joy to hear new music from Moodyman, a genuine Detroit legend who has always given his time to developing his craft with only classic albums. Having been nearly 5 years since his last studio album self-titled, Moodyman, there was much anticipation but also, some confusion around his latest project. With a number of online sites hinting it was ‘coming soon ’ long before the release date, and then later being taken off the website.

Tilted ‘Sinner’, Moodyman in 7 tracks encapsulates an incredibly authentic blend of Detroit deep house, soul, and funk, making use of cleverly arranged samples to reveal more about him within each track. I’ll Provide’ opens with a confusingly menacing patient build around Moodyman’s distorted voice, which eventually evolves with the beats developing in tempo around his voice.

Following, ‘I’ll Think of Saturday’ is the only single Moodyman released prior to this album towards the end of last year titled – ‘Got Me Coming back’. Starting off steady, the eerie unexpected break down within minutes into the track brilliantly ignites your attention and allows for the accompanying elements to stand out more.

If I Gave You My love’ and stand out track ‘Downtown’ turn to more soulful old school jazz and funk feel. ‘If I Gave You My Love’ has a hazy wistful slow build, which alongside the gentle ringing piano and indistinct looped vocals, create a lullaby feel to the track. ‘Downtown’ almost feels like two tracks in one, with the first half feeling like the start of an exciting jazz tune, but the addition of the funky bassline in sync with the piano chords lifting the track to another level.

Have a listen to the album for yourself via bandcamp, let us know your thoughts:

*SPOTIFY PLAYLIST UPDATE* STAND OUT SINGLES OF 2018

2018 has been a great year of music in the UK, particularly with independent artisits from the electronic and urban music scene. To celebrate, we’ve included some of our favourite songs of 2018 from the UK’s underground music scene.

First Thoughts: String Theory – Modularity

String Theory

Rhythm Section INTL ongoing quest to seek the newest talented producers continues with the release from Glaswegian duo, String theory. One half of the pair is Glasgow-based DJ and producer Peter Letton. The EP sees him collaborate with John Broomhall, an English composer with years of experience providing audio content for games and films, who also sits on the BAFTA Video Games Committee.

Opening strongly with the uplifting track titled; ‘Dirty high’, which sets the pace of their EP perfectly. To the backdrop of hats and kick, the sharp guitar bassline and playful piano melody come together to form the main bulk of the track, whilst tension is built with harsh synthesised strings phasing in and out throughout the track.

Following that, ‘Mr Tiger’ grabs your attention early with it’s heavy, quite alarming kick, and synthesised percussion elements creating a drumcode feel. However, once the guitar bassline begins to take over in sync with the echoing keyboard improvisation to form the melody, the technical skills again shine through in the track. Creating a brilliant paradoxical feel with the contrasting mood of the kick and bassline.

However, the stand out track titled; ‘Con Moto’ quickly creates a strong impression as it progresses, with its jazz style kick and drums setting an abrasive energetic pace, along with the introduction of the modular synthesised bassline and guitar melody giving the house track an incredible musical – feel, which has been a theme throughout this EP. The closing track titled; ‘Lucidity’ takes you through a wistful journey of ambient warm synthesized melodies and complementing each other well and rounding off the EP nicely.An impressive debut EP from String theory, and I’m exciting for more to come!

Check out the EP below: