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INsiders Guide: 21 Savage, RNSM, Danyka, Blaise, Marco Dalla Villa, Jesse Royal, The Harpoonist & The Axe Murderer, Sheps, Jayli Wolf, Theo Tams, Miles Wesley, Mia Baron, MAGELLA, Wonho, Elliot Lee, Pip Millett, Bishop Ivy, HILOTRONS…

Slaughter Gang and Epic Records announce the release date for the official soundtrack to the new ‘SAW’ movie, Spiral: From The Book of SAW Soundtrack executive produced by 21 Savage. The collection is studded with star performances, from 21 Savage and Young Thug to Gunna and producer Turbo, and aptly reflects the haunting soundscape fans have come to know and love from the ‘SAW’ franchise.

Check out the trailer to the soundtrack HERE.

21 Savage, fresh off his no. 1 Billboard 200 debut with the evocative Savage Mode 2, helped introduce the rollout for the film Spiral when his music appeared in its trailer. The official release of the soundtrack’s title track, “Spiral,” followed soon after, and 21 Savage’s impact on the latest update to ‘SAW’ became unmistakable.

With the Spiral soundtrack, he and his frequent collaborators seek to expand upon it, with posse cuts and dimly-lit-room anthems to support the spirit of ‘SAW.’ Gunna, Young Thug, Young Nudy, 21 Harold, Real Recognize Rio, SG Tip, Millie Go Lightly all make appearances, in addition to productions support from Kid Hazel (“Since When”), Turbo (“Drip Too Hard”), OZ (“Popstar”) and Taurus (“Skybox”) — a hitmaker and hit film’s dream.

Soaring onto the soundscape, R&B/rap collective RNSM unveil their exhilarating debut single ‘Demons’. Emerging with hauntingly addictive piano hooks, the boys in turn showcase their distinct, varying melodic styles, as they outline the notion of rebelling against anyone who’s done them wrong. Cushioned by floor shaking subs and finite etherial textures, the track possesses an intriguing amount of sonic freedom, whilst simultaneously crescendoing into
harmonic oblivion. With an artful visual directed by Lucas Wilson, RNSM position themselves as bona-fide ‘One’s To Watch’, demonstrating a profound level of creative risk – taking, proving that a successful debut is the best form of revenge. Comprised of Radar, Tyreese, Rashad, Elijah & Victory, RNSM (pronounced ransom) is an R&B/rap collective hailing from all across the UK. Drawing upon true life experiences as a source of inspiration, their deftly executed harmonies and innate knack for clear, concise songwriting has captured the attention of listeners across the globe. Amassing over 3M views for their flips of J Hus, Roddy Rich and Post Malone tracks, RNSM have showcased a distinct level of creativity at early doors, laying solid ground for the arrival of their original material.

I’m excited to share “Toi” with you – a happy, lighthearted bop about young love that maintains chill R&B vibes. I just wanted to have fun with the songwriting! Like in those beginning stages of a relationship, where being with this person feels so new and exciting you can’t get enough and want to know if they feel the same.

Toi” is out now on Sadboy Records and available to stream on your favourite platform.

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I first improvised the last line of the hook, Got you on lock, oui je veux de toi, which set the tone for the rest of the song, flowing between English and French.

pink bubble gum song to save for those first few romantic and dreamy date nights, when you’re cruising around town in search of different spots to enjoy together.

Other Woman EP coming soon. Thank you for your support.

Danyka

Gaining massive momentum for his single ‘Moments’ Blaise surprises fans with the acoustic stripped back version of his 2021 release, which premiered exclusively via Wonderland. The tastemaker publication praises the depth of the single: ‘Leaving behind the dance floor-ready Balearic tones on the original, the acoustic version captures the true meaning behind the single, letting us hone in on every powerful lyric and tonal change.’

Marco Dalla Villa is a London based DJ and producer originally from Italy. Having studied music theory and composition from a very young age, Marco uses his theoretical knowledge in an experimental way. Instead of following a structure, his songs are simply a flow of real emotions which follow a strong, hypnotic beat. Marco doesn’t take himself too seriously and hopes his listeners will do the same. With the ultimate goal of making music to share emotions and encouraging others to dance and feel happy, Marco provides a healthy dose of positivity throughout his intoxicating soundscapes. 

His latest release “Maps” is the official remix of the song which is currently representing Ireland in Eurovision 2021. Originally by Lesley Roy, she chose Marco to put his own spin on the song, giving it an anthemic and explosive feel. Several traditional Irish dancers choreographed a dance to the remix, sharing across social media platforms, all showing support for Ireland in the Eurovision contest. The big and bold song comes to life with fast-paced beats, colourful, soaring synths and Roy’s powerful vocals, delivering a feel-good, dance-worthy track just in time for summer.

Jesse Royal releases the music video for “Rich Forever” featuring dancehall’s self-proclaimed “World Boss” Vybz Kartel as premiered via The FADER. The latest single from his anticipated second album Royal, out June 11, 2021 via Easy Star Records, carries the message that riches do not only reside in physical objects, but in hard work and faith.

4 years after the original release of ‘Apocalipstick’, ‘Post-Apocalipstick’ takes disparate elements from the original record, puts them in a blender and spits out completely new interpretations. Not sure where the time has gone but we have never been a band with perfectly polished plans; things get messy or lost sometimes but we were also waiting for the right video director, the right release plans, the right time, who knows. But now we are ready to introduce them to the world accompanied by three psychedelic videos from creator Peter Ricq.

Problems” is definitely my most honest song to date. I wrote this song with my best friend about my struggles with anxiety, as I wanted to create a sonic representation of my experiences in my late teens and early twenties.

I spent a lot of time burying my demons instead of facing them, and writing “Problems” gave me an opportunity to look back on and close that chapter in a healthy way.”

↝ “Problems” is available to listen to everywhere now. ↝

I’m a multi-instrumentalist, so I was really happy to handle all aspects of the production and play every instrument myself on this tune.

Problems” feels like a step in the direction of the artist that I want to become as I hone in on my sound.

I appreciate you taking the time to listen!

Sheps

(photo credit: Hayden Wolf)

Members of the LGBTQIA+ community have been forced to hide for far too long, but Indigenous and Queer artist Jayli Wolf refuses to be silent on “Hush”the sophomore release and precursor to her forthcoming EP Wild Whisper due out June 18th.

The empowered doomsday cult survivor turned activist, actress, filmmaker, and alt-pop singer-songwriter-producer made an unforgettable entrance with the launch of her award-winning debut “Child of the Government” this year. As we continue to follow Jayli Wolf on her journey towards redemption, “Hush” opens another gateway for post-traumatic growth and enlightenment. With stirring poetic vocals over lush electrified sonics, the three-and-a-half minute song is amplified by an alluring visual in which a liberated Jayli Wolf takes full ownership of her sensuality and unfettered bisexual orientation. 

The new single unpacks the multi-hyphenate act’s earliest memories of passion and self-discovery, ultimately plunged by her mother’s family members (devoted Jehovah’s Witnesses). “I felt immense shame around the truth and who I am. My first true love with another girl (a fellow cult member) was filled with guilt and shame. We would pray together for forgiveness over the desires that we had every day. I believed Jehovah would destroy me in Armageddon,” Jayli Wolf explains, “Being free now, my deprogramming has also allowed me to question the societal conditioning around relationships and sexual orientation. I hope this song brings people feelings of power and freedom in their own personal explorations.”

Like many in the LGBTQIA+ community, coming out and coming to terms with her sexuality was a long, often guilt-ridden process—one that was exponentially difficult in a high-control religious group. While this is her story by her definition, “Hush” serves as an ode for all seeking to advocate their queerness and find power in their truth.

Theo Tams is rediscovering his identity as an artist. With his upcoming EP, the Canadian singer/songwriter demonstrates a remarkable command of R&B-laced pop music, his silky tenor the unwavering guiding light. As evidenced on lead single, “Therapy,” a sticky mid-tempo jam, Tams slides across the melody with an enrapturing charm, and his vulnerability is as much on display.

Two years since his last record, 2018’s Call the Doctor, what is most evident is his fearlessness to cannonball right into fresh sonic waves. “I knew that I really wanted to just dive into this evolution and a different sound. All the new music was an exercise in the spirit of saying yes to new things,” he says. “There’s so many times that I feel the industry or public perception put me in a box. Going into this project, I realized regardless of whether they put me in a box, it was my job to burst out of it.”

Flying off the back of a string of fearless and fiery smashes, rising LA pop artist Miles Wesley unveils his latest heater ‘Golden’.

Surfacing with hypnotic rhythms and enticing melodic cherries, ‘Golden’ catapults into a cosmic, genre-fused oblivion, fuelled by floor shaking bass and blood pounding vocals. Effortlessly blending hip-hop vocabulary with impactful pop melodies, ‘Golden’ boasts infectious swagger, showcasing Miles’ self-assured, non linear approach to his artistry.

Speaking on the track, Miles says “This is my turn-up song off my upcoming debut project. The song has a fun vibe to it. I need everyone jamming to it throughout the summer!”

Focused, fearless, and fierce. Mia Baron is a 13 year old force to be reckoned with. Not only is she an outstanding young songwriter but she has already one several singing competitions in her short life, most notably one of which was recorded by the “Reel T.V.” network and judged by Shawn Desman. Yet another first prize award was presented to her by the Toronto City Mayor John Tory and other noticeable city council members.

In November 2019, Mia was honored to perform at the Israel Cancer Research Foundation at the prestigious Koerner Hall in Toronto alongside other incredibly talented singers such as Tony Vincent, Yvan Pedneault, Stacy Kay, Justin Guarini, with whom she sang a beautiful duet.

Another project Mia was humbled to take part of was producing and recording an original Hebrew song written in honour of a Fallen IDF Soldier. This video, following Mia’s interview, made its debut live on Israeli Prime Time News programming in July 2020.

Mia will be releasing her original song Hide and seek in May 2021, and will be releasing several other originals she has written these past few months, with Matt Kahane and Quin Kiu, in the near future. Mia is excited to keep the momentum flowing into 2022 and beyond.

My new EP, Checkmate, was borne of many pent-up emotions. As I came to terms with those feelings, I treated the EP’s tracklist as a motion from my starting point to an arrival in my creativity.

Checkmate features “Dirty Ice,” which I wrote as a way to soothe myself after a friendship ended with repercussions. It is a reminder to myself to carry on no matter what is being thrown at me. I wrote it in a way to forgive oneself for not listening to their intuition and keeping on their rose-coloured glasses in unstable interactions and relationships.

I explored different time signatures on this song, co-creating a fluid sound with New York based producer, Swaya. My intention was to develop a sound that mirrors life and how unpredictable it can be.

I am influenced by jazz singers such as Nina Simone and Billie Holiday. I wanted to recreate their storytelling singing style and combine it with my interest in experimental sounds.

Thank you for lending Checkmate your ears. This record was written to help you recognize your own strengths and have no fears.

MAGELLA

Singer-Songwriter-Producer, Wonho, has released his highly anticipated collaborative music video, “Ain’t About You,” with multi-platinum artist KIIARA. For the first time during his solo career, Wonho has teamed up with an American artist, which NME referred to as “the standout track.” KIIARA’s smooth vocals blend seamlessly with Wonho’s, creating an addictive bittersweet breakup track; “You’re so hard to resist. A love that hurt like this. I wish it wasn’t hell. To love you more than you love yourself.” 

Brooklyn based artist Elliot Lee fuses dark pop melodies with edgy vocals and innovative Electronicrock soundscapes to create an unpredictable sound, acting as a voice for thevoiceless.Elliot Lee holds an awareness of what music that is unhindered by norms can do for the underrepresented. This bravado oozes through the cracks of her homemade music, with tracks that are laced with late night slumber party confessions and existential cognizance. Inspired by the feeling of loneliness, Elliot’s music acts as a reminder that you are never alone.

One of the UK’s most enigmatic, breakout voices in R&B, Manchester-born Pip Millett follows on from her critically-acclaimed second EP Lost In June with her first new material of the year – the huge, emotive single “Running” featuring her first feature, very fittingly, with UK rap royalty Ghetts.

A marker of her reputation in the scene right now, the rare co-sign from one of the most respected names in UK rap underlines the quiet influence the Manchester star is accumulating in only her third year in the scene.

“’Running’ is about the tiresome reality of being black / a POC in an unequal white western world.“

Bishop Ivy introduced himself as an alternative-pop songwriter known for his innovative music which mixed organic instruments with digital sounds, field recordings, electronica influences, and samples. Continuing to sharpen that sound, he now embellishes it with pop hooks, sonically adventurous production and autobiographical lyrics. Ivy’s focus on imaginative sound and sharp songcraft began in Boston, where he kicked off his career as a 14-year-old street busker on the neighbourhood sidewalks of Back Bay. Now based in Pittsburgh, where he studies music, electrical engineering and computer science, and with a number of releases under his belt, Ivy hopes to further his ability to manipulate music. 

 Inspired by boundary breakers like Bon Iver, Frank Ocean, James Blake, and Imogen Heap, Ivy has built his career upon attention to detail. He’s responsible for virtually every sound he creates, with his willingness to juxtapose synthesized sounds with raw, organic music being the driving force behind what he does. 

 His latest single “tunnel vision” explores the deep fear of letting go of a relationship as the songwriter reveals in the opening line, “Running beside the train you ride, I’ll bear cuts and scars but still clutch my arm.” He explains, “I was scared to let go of this person, even if it meant harm would come my way.” During the writing process, his relationship was the only thing occupying his mind, hence the title tunnel vision.

 With an underlying melancholy tone and almost lullaby atmosphere, “tunnel vision” is a soothing and emotional release. The intro emits a dream-like feeling of being somewhere between wakefulness and sleep. Through haunting backing vocals cut out by an echoing, jingly beat, Ivy’s voice is clear, soothing and completely hypnotizing. There is also a grittier subtlety in the song that encapsulates the sadness in the track, embodying a range of soundscapes and inspiration resulting in a complex, diverse world of emotion and production. Ivy shares, “This song featured some of my new experiments in production, like recording myself banging around with some tools and turning that into the song’s percussion, and taking a train sample to use sort of as an ominous string section. That ‘beep’ throughout the entire song was from a check-out line at Target, as is revealed in the final few seconds in the song. Camera clicks also make an appearance in the chorus.”

HILOTRONS is the music of Mike Dubue, who has been releasing records and singles since 2001 (7 LP’s / 3 EP’s). He currently lives in Quyon, QC where he runs and operates his recording studio, artist residency and 35mm outdoor cinema in a 168yr old church.

BXB LOVE — the nom de plume of Canadian-born, Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter and artist Natasha Pheko — is releasing her second single, “IGNORANCE SONG.”

Through genre-bending musical production, reflective lyricism, and multidisciplinary creative works, BXB LOVE captures the charm, discomfort, and introspection of being 20-something in the year 20-something. She steps outside the proverbial box, allowing her artistic expression to honestly reflect the world around her. By choosing a purposefully ambiguous and androgynous pseudonym, LOVE is able to explore the fluidity that is the human experience and liberate herself from the unspoken expectations placed on women of color in the music industry. Ready to breakdown personal, projected and perceived barriers, LOVE invites listeners to do the same.

Siena Bjorn is a singer/songwriter whose music dances between pop, alt R&B and Jazz. Capturing the attention of listeners across the globe, Siena uses her distinct, powerful vocals and captivating melodies to express her feelings and experiences as a woman, while touching on self-discovery and self-love. 

Born in Seattle, Washington and raised in Denver, Colorado, Siena began her artistic career as a tot dancing for the Maine State, Pacific Northwest and Colorado ballet companies. She is also known for her work as an actress, having trained in theater at New York University, Tisch Drama and the Atlantic Acting Conservatory. The multi-dimensional artist continues to hone her abilities as an actress in Los Angeles as the protégé of world renowned actor Dabney Coleman.

Her latest single “Easy Tiger” marks a new chapter for the singer-songwriter. With a strong vision and identity, the empowering song narrates letting women take control of their decisions, whether that be in a romantic relationship, friendship, or at work. She confides, “Sometimes I feel like people aren’t listening to you when you ask for something or say something. It’s about stepping into the alter ego and telling men around you that you are strong and smart and beyond capable and that it’s their turn to listen.” 

“Easy Tiger” is a collaboration with fellow musicians Nick Booth (production) and Ben Lindenburg (saxophone). Together, the three have concocted a sexy and sultry song, oozing with Jazz-soaked melodies and glowing synths. Siena’s smooth vocal tones and angelic harmonies complement the minimalist instrumentation, while the steady pace gives the track a relaxing vibe, allowing listeners to sit back and revel in her sounds.

Multi-talented and full of enthusiasm for adventure, Siena Bjornerud is certainly one to watch.

South London’s Joey Clipstar aka The Plug is an instantly recognizable name in the UK music scene, having been building and developing ground-breaking freestyle platform ‘Hardest Bars’ over the past 10 years, which is now known as one of the biggest freestyle platforms in the UK and responsible for birthing some of the UK’s biggest talents, including Stormzy and Ms Banks. Now into it’s third season with a brand-new set, hosted by Link Up TV, marking it’s return with an explosive freestyle from one of the best to do it – Giggs.  Known as one of the pioneers of the UK music scene, the rap kingpin delivers his freestyle with his instantly recognisable baritone vocals and staccato flow.

STREAM / PURCHASE: HARDEST BARS S3:01- GIGGS

Joey started his journey at Link UP TV in 2013, with no job title and no skills in editing or filming videos, Joey did have one paramount skill; finding the next best new talent.
Having worked with the likes of Stormzy and Ms Banks before they had success in the mainstream, Joey is synonymous with discovering some of the biggest in the UK music scene. He has continued to play an integral role in the UK music scene  with freestyles and ‘Hardest Bars’ mixtapes, having released the 20th volume in January, with 29 of the best up and coming UK artists. Link UP TV have over 1.7m subscribers on YouTube, with HB freestyles racking up views in the hundreds of thousands along with millions of streams on Spotify.

With support across the board from the likes of Complex, DJ Semtex, GRM Daily and more, Hardest Bars is back bigger than ever for season 3. Speaking on the new season, Hardest Bars CEO, Joey Clipstar says “Giggs actually saw me one day and said he wanted to do the HB freestyle, right there and then, and an hour later we rushed back to the office and did it! The set wasn’t even fully complete, Season 3 of HB will be your greatest season yet”.

Hardest Bars freestyles will be dropping each Thursday at 9pm via YouTube, with audio available on DSP’s the following day.

Co-written and produced by Dan Sadin, “Something More” was written when Kara was feeling stuck, exhausted, and, honestly, depressed– right before the quarantine hit. “We had written the lyric “Maybe time will stop if I can slowly break it” and then, in a twist of fate, time really did stop in a way,” says Kara. 

Speaking on the past year, Connolly says, “As we slowly exit this pandemic and return to whatever new normal exists for us, I hope we don’t forget the lessons we’ve learned in isolation. There has to be something more than the paint-by-numbers, work until you’re burned out, constant comparison, and power struggle that we’ve gotten used to and is reinforced generation to generation. There have been a few moments in my life where everything just seemed to make sense and click, as though there is some intricate web, beyond my current understanding, connecting our experiences and us all; that’s something I find hope and beauty in.”

Delivering the ultimate New York anthem of 2021, Rowdy Rebel and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie unite for a new single entitled “9 Bridge” today. Get it HERE via Epic Records.

They not only bring together Rowdy Rebel’s neighborhood of Flatbush, Brooklyn and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie’s home of Kingsbridge Avenue in The Bronx, but they also fuse their respective movements with Rowdy Rebel repping GS9 and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie as Co-Founder of Highbridge The Label. The crossfire gives way to a chantable hook meant to soundtrack summer in the Big Apple and around the world. Ultimately, these two titans join forces and exceed all expectations. Setting the stage for the song’s release, they teased it out with a short Instagram snippet.

Be on the lookout for the music video very soon.

New York-based artist, producer and model Callie Reiff is revealing her new single, “What Ifs (ft. Louella).” 

Callie kicked off 2021 with “The Kids Are All Rebels 2.0,” a collaborative remix with Irish singer-songwriter Lenii. In March she released “Crash Into Me (ft. Madison Daniel),” setting the benchmark for her new sonic direction which she’s coined “indie club.” On these new releases, the 21-year-old multi-hyphenate is transcending the limits of the dance music scene, pushing herself as a songwriter and musician while still staying true to her DJ/producer roots.

Her newest single,”What Ifs (ft. Louella),” takes listeners on a spontaneous journey by contrasting playful bass-heavy production with Australian singer-songwriter Louella’s emotive vocals. “The song is an emotional journey through the ups and downs with someone or even just with yourself,” Callie writes. “The past year has been tough for everyone and we have all been ‘surviving on the what ifs’ and grappling with not knowing how things will pan out.” 

17-year-old Armani Jackson spent the last decade performing alongside top names in Hollywood and building a solid resume for himself in television and film. Beginning at the age of 6, Armani’s charming appearance and the ability to perform across a range of genres, makes him a fan-favorite.

Armani is no stranger to the screen; he played Braden Morris, the “Bubble Boy” on ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy in Season 10, played the lead role opposite Elijah Wood in the Lionsgate feature film, “Cooties,” and booked his second feature film role opposite Vin Diesel in “The Last Witch Hunter.” Armani then went on to get the lead role of Netflix’s Cary Fukunaga produced “Little Boxes.” In 2016, Armani was named by Indiewire as one of the Breakout Actors of the Tribeca Film Festival. His other acting credits include, “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” “Ready Player One” and will soon play Joey on the TBS/HBO MAX highly anticipated series, “CHAD,” which stars and was created by “Saturday Night Live” alumna Nasim Pedrad. Nasim and Armani previously worked together in the film “Cooties.”

Armani spends his free time developing scripts and concepts for horror genres, and psychological thrillers. He understands that there is a gap in the industry for films and shows to be created by teens, for teens. Armani hopes to create a space that allows Gen Z to pitch their creative concepts in collaboration with his own production company – Blue Velvet Productions. Armani’s aim is to create more visibility for youth creatives who don’t have the access or resources to share their innovative ideas.

While he’s created solid on-screen momentum for himself and his career, Armani has also been creating his own music. After delving into his musical talent last year, Armani has already produced a number of beautiful singles – his most recent being “Out Of My Brain”. The single “Out Of My Brain” is inspired by leaving a toxic relationship and focusing on what is good for one’s own mental health. Armani writes his lyrics from lived experiences. He does this to openly explain his songs’ meaning and aims to make them feel relatable.

As a young adult with a platform, Armani knows that he is in a position to provide a positive influence to his peers/generation. Armani is creative with his ability to connect with his expansive audience. He does this with integrity and authenticity, which will ultimately make him rise in a highly competitive industry.

Ella McCready is a soul/pop artist hailing from London. Born into a family of musicians, she’s been singing and writing music for as long as she can remember. With creativity running through her veins, she began her career gigging professionally at just 14 years old. Now focusing on her solo project, McCready’s colourful and uplifting sound burns brightly, with her powerful and captivating voice taking center stage. 

Her latest single “Fine On My Own,” co-written and produced by Moonwalker Music, merges her soulful vocals over a vibrant instrumental, taking inspiration from the likes of Jess Glynne and Clean Bandit. The track bursts with sunny, rhythmic strings twirling over an array of energetic, punchy piano chords and a funk-fuelled guitar. “Fine On My Own” is brimming with heart-felt, soul-infused vocals from McCready. It’s a breath of fresh air and one that blows you off your feet and into a world of vitality and power.

The single is an honest look into the realities of breaking free from emotionally manipulative behaviour. The song came after a bad breakup and uses metaphors of bruises to explain the emotional scars left after dealing with a toxic relationship. “Fine On My Own” embodies the empowering feeling of breaking free and capturing the beauty in escaping. Described by McCready herself as a tune of “motivation” and both a song to “dance to, and to escape to,” the song is a passion filled message for people “to understand their own strength and to know that they don’t need anybody else in order to know their own worth”. The songstress adds, “It’s always good to be reminded that you are all you need. I think that’s an empowering thought.”

F/L/P is a Norwegian artist known for his unique ability to collide the modern pop world with musical trends from the past four decades. Born into a family of music aficionados, singer/songwriter Philip Dementiev was exposed to a multitude of genres from a young age – everything from rock, classical, electronica and hip-hop, he was cultivating a diversification of musical preferences and broadening his sonic palette for as long as he can remember. Raised by Russian parents, his multi-cultural upbringing has helped him to build bridges between different cultures and ultimately infuses his music with colour and vibrancy. Refusing to accept the mainstream mentality, F/L/P creates music that is dateless. 

The musician shares, “I think my curiosity comes from the crossover of cultural bridges, languages, the deep interest in various music genres, periods, instruments that has brought me into the one I am today. It has built me this landscape of opportunities to build my own self in music, creating my distinctive character in singing, songwriting and production. It has made me able to approach the fusion of different musical elements from different times and styles that somehow fit together into my own product.”

His latest single “Kiss That” depicts a strong love obsession that becomes dangerously addictive. F/L/P confides, “The song reflects deep melancholy, sadness and obsession. Being in love can go both ways because the aspects of love are so strong and powerful, it’s fascinating how much it has caused both happiness and problems for people.”

The single is highly energetic, building into a spiralling world of passionate moments. The catchy tune brings a definitive intensity to the listener, with an R&B taste reminiscent of The Neighbourhood meets The Weeknd. Crafting beautiful melodies and dark lyrics performed over catchy, contemporary R&B beats, the song shimmers with flawless, polished production. “Kiss That” is highly intimate with acute lyrics that relay the moreish, toxic love obsessions.

With the hopes to move listeners both physically and emotionally, F/L/P delivers his energetic sound, distinctive and emotional vocals and captivating soundscapes with a bang. Capturing a range of emotions and moods, his music offers something for everyone. Having garnered close to half a million streams on Spotify thus far, F/L/P is quickly becoming an artist to watch.

Photo credit: Lee Malone

Niall McNamee is an Irish singer-songwriter and actor, known for his own passionate, thoughtful and full-blooded songs. He has starred opposite Pierce Brosnan, fought with Jackie Chan, played comic foil to Bono, and romantically duetted with Imelda May. Next up is a starring role in feature film Love Without Walls, performing his own compositions, as Niall’s art and life come together. 

A self-taught musician, Niall has been immersed in music his whole life. Throughout years as a struggling young actor, Niall supported himself performing Irish folk songs, resulting in his knowledge of traditional music growing rich and deep. But all the while, he was writing his own material, drawing on that heritage but pushing into contemporary rock and pop territory. He finds inspiration from artists like Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, The Pogues, Christy Moore and more recently The Undertones. 

His latest EP Step By Step, showcases the musicians deep love for storytelling lyrics. Touching on life experiences and human emotions, the five-track release narrates heartbreak, nights out, ecstatic joy and reflection. 

“China In A Box” is about a loving, honest, yet fragile relationship and how these connections with a loved one should be cherished. Tugging at your heartstrings, the song is emotional and sincere, with raw pianos emitting a warmth and comfort.

Title-track “Step By Step” speaks of a magical night with a love interest. Niall replays this dreamy encounter through enchanting melodies, a soaring string section and gentle guitar arrangements which tell a thousand tales. The simple instrumentation allows for his soulful yet gravelly vocals to burn brightly, pulling you in with each and every note and holding you captive. Then there’s “Fishpond” which takes a more pop route, bringing to mind the likes of Coldplay. The nostalgic tune looks back at fond memories with friends and the end of a cherished chapter of his life. 

Having written and performed with leading Irish singer-songwriter Imelda May, their latest duet “Don’t Let Me Stand On My Own” off of 11 Past The Hour is currently the #1 album in the Irish charts. Niall has built a devoted fanbase and performed sold-out concerts at notable London venues including The Dublin Castle, The Bedford and The Antelope. With a major film and the release of Step By Step, 2021 is shaping up to be a very big year.

Rolling off the back of his glittering debut ‘breaking my heart’, bedroom-pop newcomer Max Leo ups the ante with his wistful new single ‘could be something’.

Surfacing with ambient lo-fi textures cushioned by his signature laid back guitar licks, the track poses as a stellar reminiscence to 00s indie-pop nostalgia. With infectious melodic hooks and playful bass lines dancing around the genre ambiguous soundscape, ‘could be something’ paints an intoxicating picture of a Gen-Z romance amidst a sonically aesthetic, Y2K-esque backdrop.

Speaking on the track, Max says “I think this is the closest I’ll ever get to writing what could be described as a “normal love song” but as with all the songs I write I can’t help but be really honest and truthful, so the song tells the story of the not so perfect start of a relationship. I tend to write a lot about having my heart broken and tough times in my life so it was really full-filling to write about an exciting positive moment. We met on holiday and we were jumping off waterfalls and all that kind of stuff so I wanted to use some of that imagery as metaphors within the song hence the line “so jump in, the waters deep I promise”.

Following the recent release of his heartfelt single “All My Famous Friends”, rising singer-songwriter Benedict Cork shares his latest gem: the fierce and empowering “Have a Good Life (See You Never)” – taken from his forthcoming sophomore EP. Emerging with flirtatious guitar licks and dynamic gospel hooks, the track crescendos into an anthemic oblivion, as Benedict’s powerhouse vocals soar over a soundscape of rumbling percussion and signature stirring piano chords. Outlining the notion of walking away once and for all from a relationship, “Have a Good Life” is complete with all the warmth, passion and melodic cherries needed to inspire listeners to hold their heads high, and sing along at the top of their lungs. 

Speaking on the track, Benedict said: “For a few years now, I’ve loved exploring the melancholic side of love – singing about longing and heartbreak in my music. But sometimes you just really need to let loose on a song and say all the things you wish you could have said in the moment. ‘Have a Good Life (See You Never)’ is that song for me. It came about after a conversation with one of my best friends, Hannah Yadi (also co-writer on this song) where we just wanted to let it all out, and not hold back a single thing after we both had gone through intense break-ups. The lyrics are pretty cutting, but also quite tongue-in-cheek. I’m excited for people to see the film clip we’ve made for the song as I think it captures that combination of dark humour and melancholic drama. I’m making a DIY music video on an old camcorder in the clip; where I’m arrogant and self-assured, giving off that I’m doing so well after the break-up. But then it cuts to me breaking down and losing my shit, burning old clothes and photos, trashing a car, and burning a piano while singing through the tears. It’s my very first music video and it’s a pretty wild one, but it felt like the right song to present a visual for – as I’d love this song to be a bit of a break-up anthem for people.”  

With the collective successes of “Glitter Ain’t Gold”, “Topdown” and “Boyfriend Part 2”, rising R&B artist Jay Lewn unveils his latest dream-like offering “Bloom”.

As the track emerges with ambient textures and colourful, understated frequencies, Jay’s mellifluous vocals dance between pockets of reversed strings and crescendoing production. With heartfelt, poetic lyricism intertwining his beautifully crafted R&B melodies, “Bloom” drips with euphoric nostalgia, as Jay outlines the notion of reminiscing over young love.

Speaking on the track, Jay said “Bloom was the first written for LOVERBOY and sums up the entire record for me. The record is pieced together by a patchwork on memories, meandering through images of adolescence and coming of age. Love can be found in all places and Bloom looks back fondly at the teenage naivety of living fast and dying young.”

Vicu is a Maryland based electro/pop artist who has made a name for himself with a loud sonic boom. As a self-taught producer, audio engineer and songwriter, Vicu’s music features rhythmic pop sounds and fresh, modern-edge songwriting. Originally from Romania, Vicu was adopted at a young age and brought up in a family of both musicians and lovers of music. Constantly surrounded by a diversity of sounds, he knew at just 14 years old that he wanted to pursue a career in music. Known for his smooth, flawless vocals, stunning, sleek production and honest songwriting about mess-ups, makeups and everything in between, Vicu draws in the hopeless romantic inside of us all. His passion and fervour captivates his listeners, keeping you in his grasp. 

His latest single “Focused On You” beams with romantic guitar loops rippling over a rhythmic bass tracing the beat of R&B high hats. The song has a dreamy, floating soundscape that is polished by a tight beat and a slightly muffled, rocking grit, along with a background of dancing electric solos. The track is both freeing and intimate, radiating summer energy, sunset vibes and amorous feelings. The single bodes a message from Vicu to ensure his lover knows they’re his top priority.

Vicu explains that the single is his interpretation of what summer love feels like, sharing, “I want the listener to be able to roll the top down and take their girlfriend or boyfriend on the adventure of a lifetime.” Taking influence from the likes of Justin Bieber, Bazzi, Bruno Mars and Drake, Vicu hopes to follow a similar path of merging both the R&B and pop worlds.

Explaining how music for him is a form of therapy, Vicu wants to inspire others to pursue what they love and discover what truly brings them happiness. Having garnered over half a million streams for his music thus far, Vicu is quickly becoming an artist on the rise. “Focused On You” is currently available worldwide.

R&B singer-songwriter Miiesha is known for music that “captures the complexity of the individual Indigenous experience through universally appealing songs” (ABC Australia) and today, she returns with “Damaged”, an unabashedly vulnerable take on intergenerational trauma and grief. 

Produced by LUCIANBLOMKAMP (6lack) with vocal production from Simon Cohen (Justin Beiber), “Damaged” showcases the depth of Miiesha’s soulful vocals and ability to convey the intricacies of the human experience, taking listeners on a deep dive into the pain and disconnect that accompanies familial loss. 

’ Damaged’ is my most personal song yet and the most painful for me. It is a song about the broken relationship I have with my mother, and how much I have wanted it to heal, and how much I have tried to fix it, only to find myself hurting more.” – Miiesha

Cassadee Pope premieres the music video for “What The Stars See” exclusively with PEOPLE.com today. The video, directed by Ed Pryor, is a colorful take on the voyeuristic sensibilities of famed sci-fi action film, Blade Runner, and includes special appearances by both Karen Fairchild and Lindsay Ell.

“The director, Ed Pryor, had me at the Blade Runner reference from his pitch! The video represents the frustrating inner dialog of wanting to know what your ex is doing now that you don’t have the luxury of knowing anymore. The song itself is bold and intense, so I’m incredibly excited that we were able to emulate that in the video with its dramatic lighting effects and energetic live performance.” – Cassadee Pope

Rising through the ranks as an artist to watch in 2021, Annika Wells unveils a new song entitled “The Bitter End today. Get it HERE via Vol. 1 and Epic Records.

The track serves as an anthemic breakup song bristled with energy as she confidently proclaims, “I’m not your girl, and I’m not your friend…I’ll be that bitch till the bitter end. The only thing sharper than the edgy production is her incisive lyricism as she drops one head-turning line after another like, “Tell your friends you broke up with me when I’m the best that you ever had, sorry!”

Annika recently showed another side of her artistry on “Love Sucks. It’s already nearing half-a-million total streams. Meanwhile, her debut single Fuck Being Sober” continues to gain traction. Thus far, it has amassed 2 million-plus streams and continues to scale up the Top 40 chart at Radio, after emerging as one of the most-added tracks at the format upon release. Receiving critical acclaim, FLAUNT Magazine praised “her distinct tone, quirky personality, relatable lyrics, and contagious energy, while she sat down with American Songwriter for an interview.

Tyler Shaw continues his ascent to the upper echelons of pop on new single “Be Like You” out now via Sony Music Entertainment Canada.

“Be Like You” pulsates with a rhythmic beat as Shaw’s roaring vocals tell the tale of an ex-lover meeting someone new. Co-written and produced by Tyler Shaw himself, as well as Sam Merrifield (Lewis Capaldi, JC Stewart), the song will be featured on Shaw’s forthcoming third studio album due out this summer.

Tyler has perfected the art of capturing universal emotions within his music and “Be Like You” carries a sentiment that almost everyone can relate to. Yet again he’s tapped into our limbic systems and offers a sense of comfort to anyone that has struggled to get over a past relationship when the other person has already moved on, and your time together is nothing but a distant memory. As melancholic as the song seems, it also carries a message of hope and empowerment—subjects that have become a recurring theme in Tyler’s music.

“Songwriting is storytelling and ‘Be Like You’ is one so many people can relate to. I wanted to write a love song from a past tense experience, one that tapped into that deep ache you get thinking back on better times together.” explains Tyler Shaw. On the live video, he also notes, “Being back on stage was beyond exciting. It’s home to me. It felt incredible and energizing to play with my band, see the lights, and sing new music. To say I can’t wait to do it for an audience is a huge understatement.”

New York-based, Japanese singer and songwriter Shihori has released a new single Fire today, the second single from her upcoming album that will be released Summer 2021. “Fire” is an empowering EDM track full of booming beats, epic horns, and an irresistible melody mixed in with J-Pop and K-Pop elements, as an ode to Asian pop culture. Shihori fittingly showcases her tenaciously energetic vocals on a track that is inspired by resilience, and her Asian roots. 

Shihori shouts out passionately in her new song “FIRE” as she rejects the decrees of corporate culture, “Don’t be a walking dead!”, Shihori exclaims.  Like a flame being ignited, she rises up and refuses to be extinguished by the norms of society. Shihori on “Fire”: “You may get beaten down, your heart may be broken, but you can rise back up and start again and again, as long as you are alive!”

Shihori’s music champions a message of love and life empowerment. Her inspiring story begins in childhood. She felt as though she was a loner and she was trapped in a world shaped by total deafness in one ear along with having Asperger’s Syndrome. Conditions that combined to make social connection extremely difficult. She was alone and she didn’t know how not to be. She found a sense of community and the ability to “belong” through music. She hopes that she can become a role model for young Asian women in America by sharing her story and music.

Jesse Walton is a composer, singer-songwriter and musician based in London. Having spent his teenage years travelling the globe, Walton made a name for himself busking in the streets across Europe and America. His music is raw and authentic, featuring quivering vocals and catchy hooks that you can sink your teeth into. Masqueraded as folk songs, Walton gives us access to his own personal journal. His new album Pages is inspired by Walton’s deep love for storytelling folk music and documents his grief after losing a couple of very close friends in his teens. Singing from the depths of his soul, the beautifully tragic, heart-wrenching lyrics cut deep. Written over the last decade, Pages is the result of turning pain into passion, like a rose between two thorns the beauty shines through the harsh realities of Walton’s lyrics. The songwriter shares, “The album as a whole portrays a journey of growing up, working out your place in society, overcoming loss and discovering love.”

Sonically Pages glows warmth and an angelic sense of peace, with soft acoustic strums, finger picking, bubbling banjos and fluid piano melodies that swim amongst the album. The nine-track release is a goldmine of slow acoustics, containing a mix of uptempo, feel-good songs and some more bittersweet in their beauty and tragedy. “I’m Gonna Start A Fire” is built upon a strident piano motif, dreamy guitars, woozy harmonica melodies and a narrative that imprints into your core – a fitting beginning to the album. The lyrics stride unstoppably into the second chorus with the line, “A promise can be broken and a love can be lost before its time,” a sentiment that may not unlock the entire album but at least nudges the listener in the right direction.

Possibly the most haunting folk song on the album is “White Rain.” Touching on the devastating loss of a friend to a drug overdose, the song speaks about death, addiction and introspection. The simplistic instrumentation fits the track, left in its skeletal state the agony and honesty overflows. Walton shares, “The chorus is an internal battlecry, questioning self worth and self purpose.” “Into Light” calls for relatability, a love song that builds into a memorable chorus, with a steady acoustic and a twinkling piano melody that flickers in the pockets of quieter dynamics. Bearing a glimpse of hope and encouragement he sings, “Wear that smile across your face, no one else is gonna do it for you.” The drums pulsate and deliver a heartbeat in the track that brings to life the energy in the chorus and ending of the song.

South Korean Rapper, Singer-Songwriter, and Record Producer, B.I, teams up with Destiny Rogers and Tyla Yaweh on new track “Got It Like That,” out today via IOK / Transparent Arts. Produced by 2-time Grammy Award WinnersThe Stereotypes [Bruno Mars, Cardi B, Justin Bieber], this track brings together 3 diverse artists while seamlessly fusing Pop, R&B, and K-Pop. “This song is about feeling comfortable and cool with yourself before worrying about what anyone else will think. We want you to feel good about feeling yourself no matter what you have or don’t have. This is a carefree sound for everyone to move to.”

NATL PARK SRVC release their debut full-length album, The Dance. A gothic teen movie plot played out in 10 songs that reflect the themes that have shaped their young world. From school dances to school shooters, to hanging out in cars and bars, and through bad dates and heartbreak this seven-strong group of young artists and writers are building grand indie-pop soundscapes amongst the glacial plains, sudden cities and wild climate of Minnesota.

This collection serves as an expressive outburst of what NATL PARK SRVC describe as “every teenage emotion that felt too big to be real”. With the group’s members currently finding their ways into their early-twenties, those teenage emotions are harnessed, explored and spun back out in sprawling arrangements that explore the conflicting experiences of love, loss, hope, depression, and beyond.

The Dance is also the group’s first release that is able to most fully embrace the scope of their creative vision. NATL PARK SRVC’s earliest output came via a series of 2019 EPs delivered as a quartet featuring current members Dylan Woytcke (vox/guitar), Jared Leger (guitar/vox), and Nathan Zillmer (bass). In 2020 they sought to expand their sound with the addition of Sam Tudor (violin), Wes Muilenburg (sax), Joe Keyport (trombone), and Sage Livergood (drums) for the EP An Ending Of Sorts, For. Dylan explains, “we wanted to be able to do something huge, and to be able to do it live”. On The Dance they deliver they capture this sound with more punch, grit and drive than ever before.

2021 artist-on-the-rise, multi-platinum producer, and entrepreneur Dominique drops his new single “Soulja Life Mentality” via Win 1st Records. Dominque returns with cinematic bars blanketed by boasting beats as he gives fans a powerful preview of this forthcoming debut project True Story. “Soulja Life Mentality” is available to purchase and stream on all music platforms. 

LISTEN TO SOULJA LIFE MENTALITY HERE

“Soulja Life Mentality” pulls the curtain back on Dom’s experiences navigating as a first-generation Black Man in America and the armor that he, along with many Black men alike, must be equipped with for survival, both in metaphorical and grave literal senses. 

“Soulja Life Mentality is a story of frustration that most are familiar with. You got the world on your shoulders, but you have to deal with it alone because you can’t trust too many people. You get views from a Black Man in America here that’s questioning the lack of collective identity. It’s a true story to many men out here; we not only have to be cautious of the people who are hired to keep us safe, but we also have to be wary of our own people.”

My name is Titus Bank; I’m a new artist from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. 

A couple years ago I wrote, recorded, and released 185 songs* on YouTube. 

Now I’m finally releasing my first official single, I Do Yeah,” a song about the tug-of-war between self-betterment and letting go of social pressures.

Stream I Do Yeah via your preferred platform – https://link.titusbank.com/idoyeah

Watch the official music video for I Do Yeah on YouTube

On the one hand, we need to recognize our faults and failures and aim to correct, learn, and grow from them. Yet we also can’t let the pressure of how the world wants us to be affect the beautiful messiness and creativity of life. 

I want to be better, but sometimes I need to let go and be free from myself and what others expect of me.  

This song is a big departure from my past work. I wrote this song with my friends in the band VALLEY while on a writing trip to Toronto. Branching out into the alt pop world has led me into a new direction which I am incredibly proud of.

I gently suggest you listen to I Do Yeah on a mountain with the wind blowing in your hair, yelling into the great expanse of the world! (If this is not possible, then a living room with headphones will suffice.)

Enjoy, 

TITUS BANK

To say it’s been a year of change could be considered quite the understatement. But for Vancouver-based musician Jessicka, it’s been the perfect time to truly realize who she wanted to be as an artist.

While her past work has been said to be anchored by heady and dark lyrical content, her new project has taken the artist in a somewhat different direction, evoking a kind of electric energy and exuberance much needed in the current social climate. “I want to get the crowd as pumped to be up and moving as I am when I’m on stage,” she explained. “I just want them to have a more elevated experience. To feel that power and that intensity.”

Born and raised on the eastern tip of Long Island, New York, Dan Bailey grew up embracing his musical talents and South African roots. As a youth, Bailey taught himself the guitar and songwriting. By the age of 13, he was already hosting his own drum workshops. Music became such a positive influence in Bailey’s life that it saved him from a potentially dark path of drugs and delinquency that trapped many of his childhood friends. Developing music programs for at-risk youth remains at the core of Bailey’s mission today.

After being discovered by Tricky Stewart , amassing nearly 10 million total streams, and garnering praise from BustleWonderland MagazineFLAUNT, and more, Florida-born triple-threat, R&B singer, songwriter and dancer MK xyz uncovers her highly-anticipated debut EP entitled Sweet Spot today. It showcases all her talents and makes an unapologetic statement from MK xyz as an artist who is here to stay.

Listen HERE via Epic Records.

She celebrates the arrival of the six-track project with the music video for the new single “One Time” directed by Madeline Kate Kann. The Hitmaka produced track has an accompanying visual full of throwback vibes between its scenes of skateboarding in the rain, showstopping dance routines, and fly nineties fashion. Meanwhile, she flexes her impressive range over skittering 808s just as the hypnotic hook takes hold and the energy heats up.

About her Sweet Spot EP, MK xyz said, “The XYZ is the Sweet Spot. No labels, no expectations, where we say FUCK the rules. A sexy, yet sweet balance of any and everything.”

As individuals, we make choices every day, every minute and every second. Los Angeles-based rapper MoThoro punctuates this notion in his latest single “PICK A SIDE.” Produced by fellow Angeleno, Walt Mansa, the chill hip hop track and accompanying music video illustrate how impactful our choices can be. Directed by Ava Mone’t, the cinematic music video graphically depicts how split second decisions can lead to irreversible damages. “PICK A SIDE” is set to be released on digital platforms on Friday, April 30, 2021.

Now or Never, commonly used to convey urgency, is the fitting title for hip hop artist MoThoro’s upcoming album set to be released on Friday, July 16th. The 13-track album explores an array of universal themes, including balance and choices. Throughout the track, the California native touches on personal growth and evolution; highlighting how the choices we make can impact our lives.

Kristian North (Montreal, CA) is a songwriter whose poetic wordplay and deep crooner voice lay the foundation for candid songs that have approached the hi-fi soft rock of Warren Zevon, the arty disco of Roxy Music, and the smart new wave of Sparks or Elvis Costello. As the music struts down analogue lane, quaint confessions, cloaked desires and mythical references, make up complex, yet heartfelt lyrics, just cryptic enough to engage insert and booklet enthusiasts.

No one gets the true essence of R&B quite like Otis Kane. On his tender new single “Perfect,” off of his upcoming debut album, the talented producer-turned-artist reminds us to slow down and appreciate the beauty of the present moment. Inspired by his real-life lady, the song is nurturing and sweet with its earnest nature truly shining through.

 “I wrote “Perfect” because my girlfriend was super, super busy and the

 pandemic was wearing down on her. She wasn’t in a great place and I wondered what I could do for her… so I wrote her this song. She was in tears.

 I recorded it in our bedroom while she was there with me. It was a small 

gesture but it was the right thing to get her through that moment and 

I think it helped. That’s the power of music.” – Otis Kane

 The cover art for the track also holds a special meaning to the soulful singer, as he further explains, “The “Perfect” artwork is a photo of my parent’s wedding reception… It’s been one of my favorite photos. I write a lot of long songs about my relationship now and they set the tone for me to look at love and how it can be so infectious they passed it along to their kids. The song is about my love but I wanted to give a nod to the example they set.” 

 Recently honored as one of ten artists on SoundCloud’s “First On SoundCloud” 2021 Campaign, Otis has been widely embraced since his initial debut last year with critically acclaimed EPs Therapy and Growing Pains earning the LA born-and-bred artist nearly 10 million streams to date. Both projects and each single in between have landed on major R&B/Soul playlists across DSPs like Spotify’s “The Newness,” “Soul Lounge,” and “Alternative R&B,” among others, building momentum for the producer-turned-artist. 

 Otis Kane has spent most of his career working as a producer and songwriter for some of music’s very best, including Pink Sweat$, Zara LarrsonJulia MichaelsWiz KhalifaThe Jonas Brothers and more while racking up dozens of sync placements including Queen SugarAll RiseAll AmericanGood Troubleand Hair Love.

 But it took Otis the right moment to step out of his comfort zone and into his own voice. Growing towards a pinnacle in his production and songwriting career, Otis recognized that he had to make a decision. He had spent so many years fighting the urge to step into his own artistry. In October 2020, Otis finally listened and released his debut single “Therapy.”

 Otis Kane now breathes new life into today’s music scene with his passionate and honest releases that have come to encapsulate modern romance with smooth vocals and sultry lyricism. 

The tinier the pieces, the bigger the puzzle. As if sonically gluing together a mosaic, Nashville-based Glass Dove assembles sweeping alternative pop anthems D.I.Y. from shards of live guitar, MIDI, and synths. Those pieces also mirror two distinct halves of founder Josh Benus’s personality. Combining artistic seriousness with clever intuition, the lifelong musician will dissect a turning point in his life by sharing a granular detail—whether he likens old friends to “a pack of cigarettes we smoked just yesterday” or compares arguments to “long-winded games of chess that you never win.” In 2021, the vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, and producer explores the push-and-pull of personal and universal dichotomies on his independent full-length debut, Half Life Wilderness, produced by Owen Biddle [The Roots, John Legend]. He spent the past three years molding, tinkering, and shaping the music to comprise a whole greater than the sum of its parts, yet reverent of every nuance.

For as otherworldly as the final product feels, it all began in the most organic way possible in the Smoky Mountains during a week of writing and recording…

“It started with me and Owen in a room with a laptop, a microphone, a MIDI controller, and a pocket synth,” recalls Josh. “It completely blossomed from there into something meaningful for me. The sound is meant to be much bigger than that. I try to approach it from a holistic standpoint and ask questions like, ‘Is this cathartic for me? Is it universal? Will it be cathartic for somebody else? How does it relate to what’s going on in the world?’ There’s a very serious side of the refinement process. I’m always dedicating myself to the craft of songwriting, getting better, and learning from the past in order to do something new.”

For as much as his past impacted the process, it really marked the start of a new chapter for Josh as Glass Dove. With Owen, he built a sound that’s as intimate as it is infectious, integrating this mélange of detuned acoustic guitars, vintage synths, and off-kilter beats. In essence, it sounds like starting over—but for the first time…

Half-Life Wilderness is expansive,” he goes on. “I’ve always loved periods of time where art highlighted what was going on in that era—whether it’s in society or in the artist’s life. With music, you juxtapose colors. I love sad songs that sound happy. I detuned an acoustic guitar to C-standard and wrote on that for some songs. The rest was written on old synths. There was something different about it.”

Tim Rose and producer D Did That (Darien Newton) and have been on a Lofi Hip Hop road trip— making beats in Tim’s van recording studio “Vanna White.” The final destination is unknown — pit stops along the way include Paisley Park, Dilla’s Basement, the Hard Hitting Drum Factory, John Mayer’s ranch in Wyoming, and possibly some pit stops for pizza from Delicious Vinyl. Good beats for the road — wherever it may lead. 

neillfrazer@hotmail.com

 

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Written by Neill Frazer

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