INsiders Guide: Cassie Rytz, Baker, Baëbe Ruth, GSO Phat, Moyka, Afgan, Haley Johnsen, Leeroy Stagger, Tim Atwell, Moxi….

Cassie Rytz has been consistently building up her influence within the music scene for the past few years. Her energetic flows coupled with her radiant personality has solidified her position as one of the leaders of the next generation of grime. At the age of just 18, the young MC already has an impressive catalogue of previous work and accolades, setting the perfect platform for the release of her debut EP ‘R.U.D.E’.

STREAM/DOWNLOAD: CASSIE RYTZ – R.U.D.E

The 6 track EP is a collection of the best work that Cassie Rytz has put together, with a deep understanding of the fundamentals that go into making a top class grime track. She has undoubtedly managed to create hits whilst effortlessly infusing her own unique flavour on every track. The lead track ‘Made It’ is the perfect representation of this combination, starting with an almost musical theatre like piano melody, it opens the gates for Cassie to deliver something interesting and unusual. As she goes into her powerful, intellectual lyrical flow, the energy and presence she brings work in perfect harmony with the smooth keys, addictive drumline and banging bass. This song displays her individuality, making it the perfect track to lead the release of the EP. ‘Count That’ instantly gives off that drill energy, as soon as you hear the opening chords of the track, you know that raw, unfiltered lyrics are going to follow. Cassie answers that call and gives us the heartfelt, powerful content that we’ve come to expect from the young spitter. ‘Fe Freestyle’ has that nostalgic grime feeling with a beat that is reminiscent of the pirate radio era. Cassie also broaches on deep topics such as family relationships as she gives insight into what that means for her and the life she lives. ‘Get Dark’ appeals to the sinister side that is inside all of us, Cassie’s vocals cut through with her dynamic, energetic style. Giving us the perfect flow to compliment the evil sounding grime instrumental. ‘I Did It’ is the perfect hybrid between drill and grime, with forceful 808s, dominant percussion and addictive backing melodies, it’s the distinctive blend that provides an ideal foundation for this banger. With an extremely catchy hook and captivating verses, this song demonstrates how effectively Cassie can make music that could turn any crowd into a moshpit. ‘Lean and Vibe’ is another club banger, bringing in elements of dancehall flavours Cassie displays her patois infused grime flow. As she easily rides over a powerful instrumental, the young artist demonstrates why she is a serious force to be reckoned with.

Virginia to Vegas, aka Derik Baker, is an American-born Canadian singer-songwriter. After being discovered on YouTube, Baker was signed to Wax Records and released his first single “We Are Stars” in 2014. Baker is best known for his indie-pop choruses and sticky electronic melodies, which have awarded him critical acclaim and several platinum certifications.

In 2018, Baker expanded his reach internationally, co-writing the single “IDWK” with blackbear and DVBBS. Baker’s 2019 summer hit, “Just Friends” saw Virginia to Vegas reach new heights, garnering a top 3 chart position at Canadian radio, while his most recent single “betterman” marked the fifth Top 10 single of his career. With the release of his new single “this sucks.,” Virginia to Vegas allows fans to feel the sting of seeing the person who broke your heart, through dreamy guitar licks and catchy lyrics.

Formerly referred to as Babe Ruth, Baëbe Ruth is a 20-year-old Jamaican/Irish/Native artist from Ottawa, ON. Dimensions of her career include song writing, rapping, singing, and writing poetry.

“I believe music to be my third language. It is inherent to my character, and immanent in my day to day life.” She is currently under the management of Mia MNGMT whose goal is to release music that anyone can relate to. With that being said, versatility is a strong suit of Baëbe Ruth’s. She hates to think of herself confined to one genre. She is more than an R&B artist. She can rap, she can sing the blues/jazz, and write for others no matter the genre.

Though music can be very subjective, Baëbe Ruth tries to place herself in other people’s shoes. When you’re able to do so, the possibilities are limitless. That’s what makes you different as an artist – breaking out of the box, and exploring different genres/aspects to music.

Ready to get the game moving, 19-year-old Mississippi-born and Houston-based rapper GSO Phat serves up a new single entitled “Diddy Bop” with Boosie Badazz today via Cash Money Records. Get it HERE.

Over production from Air KeezyGSO Phat leans into the beat with hypnotic and head-nodding verses delivering an undeniable hook. Meanwhile, Baton Rouge, LA legend Boosie Badazz rolls through with an explosive cameo of his own.

Out of the gate, “Diddy Bop” has earned coverage from HipHopSince1987Trap Holizay,ThisIs50, and KAZI magazine who hailed it as “a fun uptempo track that encourages everyone to dance.

 Norwegian singer-songwriter Moyka debuts her brand new single, “Illusion.” Listen to “Illusion” everywhere here

Highlighting Moyka’s trademark synth-focused production and buoyant, electro-pop feel, “Illusion” immerses listeners in the initial fantasy of falling for someone whose intentions are different from their facade. She paints a sharp picture of deception and duplicity in the emotional music video, undercut with light, airy visuals characteristic of the self-proclaimed “pop witch.”

On the track, Moyka says, “When I have a crush I tend to daydream and make up stories in my mind about meeting and being around the person that I like. In this song I wake up from the daydream to only find it was an illusion. Sometimes love happens like that. It’s quite naive, but that’s what makes me love it so much.”

Jakarta-based rising star, Afgan, has joined forces with Robin Thicke, for the re-release of his original track “Touch Me,” out today. Afgan’s honeyed vocals pair seamlessly with the addition of Thicke’s recognizable talent, for an undeniably catchy fusion of artistry. Produced by Grammy award winning producer Troy Taylor [Trey Songz, Keyshia Cole], “Touch Me” was originally released on Afgan’s highly-anticipated English-language album Wallflower; released in February 2021.

Afgan explains ““Touch Me” is a song with a dark and sexy beat that tells the story of one’s physical attraction at first glance, and how that touch may trigger a series of feelings. Usually, these kind of messages are hard to communicate in Bahasa Indonesia, so this is my first time translating these feelings into a song as I’m now singing in English. This was a challenge for me but I am relieved and happy with the result.”

Haley Johnsen is a Portland, Oregon-born musician with a knack for genre-bending and a hard-earned career path that is uniquely her own. Raised listening to powerhouse singers such as Brandi Carlile, Grace Potter, Eva Cassidy, and Bonnie Raitt, her greatest inspirations become apparent in her soaring vocals, introspective lyricism, and cross-pollinated style of indie-pop, and bluesy folk rock music. Whether her songs muse on the aches of self-doubt, the joy that can accompany nostalgia, or simply trying to stay afloat in tough times, her bona fide songwriting combined with her performance ability is bound to evoke an emotional response. “I want my music to encourage people to push through their challenges and continue to have hope and belief in themselves and their authenticity,” she says.

Growing up as a competitive gymnast, Haley quickly learned how to be a daredevil and step outside her comfort zone. This influenced her musical journey by prompting the prolific songwriter to take inventive and unexpected risks sonically at an early age.  In the span of about three years, Haley wrote around 200 songs in her parents back shed, with the most memorable songs being added to her debut EP, Through the Blue, which was released in 2015. She followed up with her second EP, When You Lit The Sky, in 2017, along with a handful of singles and national tours. It was through her critically acclaimed 12-track debut album, Golden Days, where she gained much deserved recognition and ignited the interest of Allen Stone who appeared on the album. Later that year, Haley began touring with the power-trio sister-band Joseph and with EDM/Indie pop artist Big Wild, who she currently works with as a bassist and back-up vocalist. During her first Europe tour in January of 2019, Haley was further granted the opportunity to record an acoustic album entitled London Sessions at the Legendary Abbey Road. 

Her highly anticipated 2021 single “Goner” was written in a bathtub in a vintage trailer in the midst of having an existential crisis. The songwriter confides, “it came to be about the romanization of nostalgia; the longing for what once was our youth and also the fear of death. It’s about my own internal struggle trying to stay present and at peace with who I am now, where I am now, and realize that my childlike self is still very much alive in me. It’s a reminder that I don’t need to be afraid or insecure with where I am in my life.” Featuring honey-dipped vocals, breezy guitars, and sweeping 70s inspired folk rock soundscapes, “Goner” is a sun-drenched melancholic daydream. The single marks the first off of her upcoming full length that promises to be “ quirky, dramatic, soft, somber, eclectic, and energetic.” Kinda like Haley Johnsen. 

Photo Credit: Piper Ferguson

Singer-songwriter Leeroy Stagger shares his rosy outlook on life with his hopeful and dreamy new single ‘More Love Than Money’ out today on all digital streaming platforms. Watch video here.

‘More Love Than Money’ is the 3rd single from Leeroy Stagger’s new album Dystopian Weekends, which is set for release on October 15th. A charmer of a track, ‘More Love Than Money’ speaks to finding happiness and looking on the bright side of life amidst a world of darkness.

“‘More Love Than Money’ is about making major life decisions based on happiness and intuition rather than fear,” says Leeroy. “There are plenty of voices that can talk you out of a dream, but if you follow the ones that guide your heart, you realize that anything is possible – even if it means giving something up to start fresh, or at the bottom of something different. It’s about new beginnings and running off of the love of the people that support you.”

Like a lot of people during the pandemic, I found myself increasingly isolated from friends and family. When everything felt bleak, however, I found a small comfort in a new ritual: A cup of tea every Friday morning. It was a chance to slow down and enjoy a peaceful moment outside the stresses of day to day life.

With Friday Chai, I want to share that peaceful, intimate moment with my listeners. I know a lot of people are having a hard time these days, but I hope this song provides a brief escape. Like a cup of tea, this song is relaxing and reflective. It also expresses a longing to find ways to help those you love – even if it’s just sharing a cup of tea. I hope you enjoy it.

Moxi, a husband – wife indie pop duo from Los Angeles, is built on the dreamy, introspective vocals of Anna Toy set in a cinematic musical landscape composed by Andy Toy.

Drawing on elements of modern pop and 80’s cinema, Moxi presents Anna’s distinct vocals against a backdrop of dark electronic textures, moody guitar sonics and memorable dreampop melodies. With over 200,000 views on their ‘Figures Bathed in Light’ video, Moxi’s other successes to date include over a 1.5 million streams for their single ‘Save Me’, which went viral on Spotify, while also sharing the stage with bands such as Sir Sly, Wildcat! Wildcat and Gungor among others. 
 

Moxi has also received numerous TV placements and global favor, being featured on shows such as Almost Family, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, The Young and the Restless, I Am Cait, Total Bellas, and Made in Chelsea. And they continue to garner acclaim from Huffington Post and Live Nation Ones to Watch among many other media outlets.

neillfrazer@hotmail.com

 

Written By: Neill Frazer

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