Germany’s undisputed Queen of Soul, Joy Denalane release has released her stunning new single, ‘The Show’. Taken from her upcoming album ‘Let Yourself Be Loved – Deluxe Edition,’ out September 3 on Lesedi / Motown Records.
Testament to a musical ability that comes from years at the top of her game, Joy Denalane is one of modern soul’s brightest stars and ‘The Show’ does not disappoint. Managing to sound classic and contemporary at the same time, it’s neo-soul at its best – a bittersweet account of Joy’s vulnerabilities as a parent, delivered in beautifully confident fashion.
“The Show is about that moment when kids realize: After all, my parents are just as questionable and flawed as I am”’ says Joy. “When children become teenagers, their parents’ hero status is quite rightly questioned. I tell my children: Please forgive me, that I too am only a part of the show, a part of the system – and as such fallible. The song aims to soften the shock of that realization for the kids and help navigate them through the complexities of life.”
Rising Dutch songstress Latanya Alberto reveals her new single ‘Get It Right’, taken from her EP titled ‘The Royal Escape’. A sublime dose of sultry neo-soul with a 2021 edge, the track was produced by LA based producers Shanks (BOSCO, SiR, Ledisi) and Sammy Perez. The second track to be taken from the EP, ‘Get It Right’ comes after the stunning ‘Royal (Recall)’ and it’s powerful visuals.
Speaking about ‘Get It Right’, Latanya shares the tracks meaning; “How many people are truly unapologetically themselves? This means being honest with yourself, being confident in your decisions, being prepared to walk away to remain in a position of dignity. The song emphasizes the journey back to that stage”.
Born and raised in Amsterdam to Surimenese and Curaçaoan parents, Latanya Alberto started writing poetry as a teenager, which became the basis for her lyrics today. Delving deeper into cultural awareness, female empowerment, social justice and romance, Latanya takes inspiration from the wordplay of legends India Arie and Erykah Badu. Latanya explains her M.O; “To deliver the story that needs to be heard, the consciousness that needs to be awakened, and the emotion that needs to be freed”.
The legendary Dego is back next week with a new album, ‘The Negative Positive’.
It will be released on April 30 on vinyl and digitally via his own 2000black imprint which specialises in music from the African diaspora that crosses genre bounds.
‘The Negative Positive’ fuses techno, funk, boogie and more over its nine tracks, showcasing exactly why Dego is renowned as an innovator and boundary pusher. The album showcases two vocal features, firstly with Nadine Charles on ‘This Is A Message To You’, then with new 2000black signing Samii on ‘Recovered Memories’.
Dego recently released a four-track collaborative EP with Matt Lord, ‘Lord & dego’, which was released earlier this month.
Listen to single ‘The Disclaimer’ below, and preorder the album here.
The artist-curated mix series, Late Night Tales, is pleased to announce its next compilation, this time curated by multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and producer Jordan Rakei.
For Rakei’s Late Night Tales, the first mix of the acclaimed series’ 20th year, the 28-year-old modern soul icon effortlessly stamps his own jazz and hip-hop driven sound all over this gorgeous array of handpicked tracks.
A beautifully layered blend that is mirrored in the music he’s made, it comes as no surprise that such a supremely gifted songwriter should deliver a mix that is all about the song.
“I wanted to try and showcase as many people as I knew on this mix,” says Rakei. “My idea of Late Night Tales was to distil a series of relaxing moments; the whole conceptual sonic of relaxation. So, I was trying to think of all the collaborators and friends that I knew, who’d recorded stuff with this horizontal vibe.
Plus, I was also trying to help my friends’ stuff get into the world. I know the story of Khruangbin blowing up after appearing on the series (in fact, I think that’s how I discovered them). So, the main idea was to create a certain atmosphere, but also to help some of my favourite collaborators and buddies to give their songs a little push out into the world. Hope you like it.”
Following the release of their album, Freedom Fables, a 9-piece afro-jazz group, Nubiyan Twist joined us on the radio show to discuss the album, and their journey. Now, it wasn’t all nine members of the group (the show would be way over an hour and a half) but we spoke with Pilo and Joe.
Lucky Daye returns to his funk laced RnB roots a year and some change after his album Painted debuted to the world. Lucky Daye comes from humble beginnings, having auditioned for American Idol (his audition clip is still up on Youtube to this day) only to be voted off before the big live shows. From there, he would take his talents behind the scenes, penning songs for singers such as Trey Songz, Ella Mai and Mary J. Blige.
Now on his solo journey, he returns with his second release Table for Two. Daye enlists the help of an all-female feature list to bring his vision to light. The EP takes us on a journey, with skits between tracks where Lucky Daye grapples with rejection and heartbreak. Daye carries on the chopped and screwed rap style vocals from his first album into Table for Two, further solidifying his cinematic approach to making music. These skits offer the most vulnerable side of Daye’s artistic expression; this project is bathed in the regret of a man who let a good one get away.
With an impressive and seamless set of features from Ari Lennox, Yebba, Queen Naija, our own Mahalia and Tiana Major9 and Joyce Wrice, at a glance it does look like overkill but each songstress adds something important and beautiful to Daye’s melancholic but hopeful perspective on love.
Following the release of their first single of 2021, Celine & The Blue took some time to join our Q&A series so we could learn a little bit more about them. Their upbeat, lively music has aired on BBC Introducing, BBC Radio Berkshire, Eagle Radio and Vibe Radio.
Where did you grow up?
Oh, we come from all the places! From Italy we have Céline (Milan) and Enea (Martina Franca). Jay grew up in Uden, a village in the Netherlands, Elliot is from Chelmsford, Essex and Myles grew up in seaside town Bognor Regis. All the different cultures we grew up in truly make up for such a fun blend of personalities!
Who were the people/things around which made you want to pursue music?
Some of Enea’s friends and his teachers loved music in a way that was inspiring. He got competitive because he wanted to know as much as they did, or play as well as they did so he got hooked with music and fell in love with it. Being exposed to a lot of different genres throughout his childhood,
Elliot joined his first band at 14. They played gigs all over Essex and it snowballed from there! The experience of our first headline gig in this band was just so wholesome, emotional and iconic, Céline officially knew music was what she had to do in life.
For Myles, bands like Nirvana, The Jimi Hendrix Experience and Queens of the Stone Age originally inspired him to pursue music. He also started playing with a best friend which helped him progress to begin with without really trying.
Jay’s dad is a singer and played in a couple function bands some years ago. After taking piano lessons for 2 years when he was 9, Jay switched to guitar and that’s when he realised music was IT for him!
What fond memories in the early stages of your music career do you have?
Depends how early we’re talking! Jay formed his first band in the final year of primary school, they were called Sandstorm, wrote 3 songs and performed in front of over 200 people. They were 5 13-year-olds with their hair gelled into mohawks. It was special.
Enea’s best memory is from high school during the first time performing in front of a crowd. It was a feeling of terror and excitement performing an ‘underbaked’ song with a leg that wouldn’t stop shaking. We still love getting that same feeling.
For a school project Céline decided she was going to write and record an EP. Holding the final CD in her hands and distributing copies to people was the most enriching and thrilling experience, it was like giving out little bits of love to everyone!
Myles performed at a yearly show on a stage 500 feet from the sea called “The ROX”, he performed 5 songs with his band and while they all had a blast doing it, he can’t remember if the crowd liked them…
Elliot’s band won a battle of the bands competition. It was run across 5 or 6 rounds that were all hosted at different venues throughout Essex. They thought they had made it haha!
Do you play an instrument, if not, what would you love to learn most?
Keysplayer Enea would love to learn how to play drums without his neighbours complaining. Céline plays piano, a bit of guitar and ukulele, but she’d absolutely love to play the harp, so majestic and enchanted!
To add his guitar and singing skills, Jay would like to add saxophone. Elliot is thinking about following Enea’s tracks and learning to play piano. Myles has a thing for the mandolin and the accordion, we highly rate that!
How did the band come together?
We met at music uni, Enea and Céline needed a band for an assessment and we were all in the same friend group so the guys volunteered to help. When we first performed together, we just fell in love with us as a team.
What are some of the challenges of working in a band?
What’s hardest about being in a band is understanding how to take full advantage of our potential. With 5 people there are so many things you could be doing; everyday we are developing our method to becoming more efficient. Also, we value and love to focus on communication as we are so different from one another, each of us expresses themselves in such unique ways, we always turn seemingly complex communication challenges into our greatest strength!
What inspired you to create Crave Love?
Initially Crave Love started off as some chords that Enea really digged. The theme of wanting love for the sake of love was something he’d been philosophizing about at that time.
Writing the lyrics, Céline wanted the surface of this song to illustrate a breakup, and the deeper layers to show a much more complex dynamic of love as a primordial human need, highlighting emotions of grief, deprivation and melancholy. When we first wrote it, little did we know that Jay was about to write a heart shattering solo, the brightest, most vividly red and shiny cherry on top of the cake.
Describe some of your emotions when you made your debut at Ronnie Scott?
Ronnie’s has always been somewhere that we’ve aspired to play. Elliot even heard incredible stories about it from his Nan who would frequently visit the venue as a teen. We were so so super hyped! It wasn’t even a gig with the full rig. It was an acoustic set.
We were super nervous, Myles swears his stomach was in knots, but as soon as we started playing the nerves vanished and it was quite surreal. The atmosphere in Ronnie’s and the people we met there were just magical. We never felt more inspired. The aura, the aesthetic and the history of that place simply drowned us in excitement and a desire to never leave that place. It really was quite a mind blowing moment.
Do you have any creative hobbies outside of music?
Céline is the hobby queen, currently she is knitting and crocheting a whole wardrobe’s worth of clothes. Myles and Enea doodle all the time! Jay plays football and often teams up with Elliot in a gaming marathon.
Are there any UK based artists which have influenced your style of music?
Here’s a list of our favourites that we recommend everyone to check out!
Singer, songwriter and aspiring producer Meron T is back to bless our ears with her brand new single “Dailyy” ft. Sey G.
Love and heartbreak is a subject many of us can relate to. Meron T’s “Dailyy” was made at a time of transitioning out of a romantic relationship into a platonic friendship, and speaks on the emotional battles of adjusting, and the friendship not working out.
Produced by Sey G, this soulful release is Meron T’s prominent thoughts, a freestyle of feelings and emotions present at the time
Following on from a series of singles, ‘Runnin’ Wild’, ‘Confliction’ and ‘Jump The Line’, First Word Records are pleased to present a full-length EP from soul artist Olivier St.Louis, produced by Oddisee – ‘M.O.T.H. (Matters Of The Heartless)’ Olivier was born in Washington DC of Haitian and Cameroon heritage, but spent his teens studying in the UK.
When asked his thoughts on his artistry, Olivier St. Louis simply states “no punches pulled, no compromises, just me”.
Listen to ‘M.O.T.H. (Matters Of The Heartless) below.
Continuing this year’s start of strong releases, our Spotify ‘Soul Food’ includes music from Hip Hop, RnB, Neo-Soul, Broken Beat and Jazz from artist we think who deserve your attention. All our tracks stay on the palylisr for 4 weeks, as we rotate with new tracks bi-weekly.