INsiders Guide: Andrew Smith, Eighty8, Dom Kennedy, Winston Surfshirt, Maya Delilah, Anjulie, Faiyaz and the Wasted Chances, Oxymorrons, Jeffrey James…..

NYC-based indie pop artist Andrew Smith creates bright and nostalgic piano-driven songs that are undeniably catchy. His unabashedly honest lyrics are both humorous and melancholy, and aim to better understand complex feelings about life and purpose. The songwriter confides,Many of my songs are born of reflections I have about my life, or discoveries made in therapy, etc.” Born south of Boston in 1993, Andrew Smith grew up performing in theatre and writing short films at a young age. However, it wasn’t until he studied at Berklee College of Music that he began writing and producing original songs alongside longtime collaborator, Jackson Hoffman. From there, Andrew knew that music was his emotional outlet, oftentimes comforting him in times of uncertainty, fear, anxiety and depression. Smith‘s last EP, To My Therapist, addresses his journey to self-acceptance, the ups and downs of coming out, and finding romance in modern-day Manhattan. Inspired by his love of songwriters like James Taylor and Randy Newman, Smith pulls elements from 1970s piano pop, The Great American Songbook, and contemporaries such as John Mayer and Ben Rector. With To My TherapistAndrew thematically hopes to bring a deeper honesty and inspiration to the often challenging and confusing experiences we all navigate on the road to self-acceptance. His new single “Twenties” was written in his parents attic during the pandemic.  The poignant song narrates Smith’s feeling of being overwhelmed by his own path and feeling unaccomplished and unworthy.  He confides, I spent many years of my twenties putting my personal life on the back burner. Am I falling behind!? When I’m being critical of myself, my demons say that I’m late to the party. I’m “falling behind. This has been a huge lesson as I navigate self-acceptance and self-love. Time and showing myself compassion is a theme through many of my songs lately.” Featuring sprinkling synths and warm tender vocals over 80s-dipped landscapes, “Twenties” is stunning, anthemic and intimate at the same time.

“Magic Mess” is about finding your true identity in a time of feeling lost and overworked.  It also pays tribute to the “people who applaud you for being you.” Smith reveals, “I had so many beautiful people cheering for me as I fell on my face. They dusted me off again and again. This song is really about people who applaud you for being you. I’ve always been a very clean-cut person, and the song is also about leaning into your wrinkles, messing up your hair, choosing the t-shirt over the tie.” The song was co-written by Jackson Hoffman and Ryder Stuart who helped craft the indie pop bop. Shimmering vibrant synths float alongside funk-fueled bass and soaring layered vocals creating a release that is contagious as it is thought provoking. 

buzzworthy Cash Money Records signee Eighty8 gives a glorifying glimpse to his budding star status with the release of his Visual Mixtape. The unique offering is made available to watch and experience on his YouTube channel Official Eighty8 HERE The Northside Miami native, who also recently unveiled his widely popular debut single “Hit” a few weeks ago, delivers a tantalizing audio-visual experience that takes viewers to the emotive depths of his spirit, story, and artistic freedom as he rises to national notoriety.  The Visual Mixtape is a conceptual presentation featuring snippets of  Eighty8’s new music and behind-the-scenes footage. While each track has a distinct style, they are all seamlessly interconnected to introduce the soundscape of the Haitian/ Jamaican American artist’s sensational range comprised of tracks “Trilly Wonka,” “Heartless,” “Juvi” “Wild Child,” “Feel It In The Air” and “Hit.” 

After a momentous few years of single releases and features including the late Nipsey Hussle’s “Double Up” Ft. Belly & Dom Kennedy, “Still I Rise” off of Big Sean’s Detroit II album, Kehlani’s “Nuyna” Ft. Dom Kennedy, Blxst’s “Got it All” Ft. Dom Kennedy, and Dom’s “Respect My Mind” off of Judias And The Black Messiah soundtrack and his latest single Rolling Papers off of his forthcoming 15 track album.

Listen To His Latest Single “Rolling Papers” Off Of The Album HERE. 

“From The Westside With Love” originally dropped as a mixtape in March 2010 and later in June 2011 came “From the Westside with Love II” which  is the debut studio album for Dom Kennedy. The album features artists from Asher Roth,  Mikey Rocks, Polyester, Big K.R.I.T., Casey Veggies, and Schoolboy Q. The album charted #19 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and #15 Billboard’s Independent Albums.

Dom Kennedy has taken over the rap game by storm by working with acts such as Kehlani, Big Sean, Hit-Boy, Nipsey Hussle and more. 

Following up on their latest collaborative release “All Of the Little Things” feat. Ramirez, ARIA double-platinum collective Winston Surfshirt returns to share their newest feel-good bop, “Complicated” feat. Young Franco.

Launching into gear with a staggered bass line, dancing just beneath Winston’s signature falsettos, “Complicated” is peppered with feelings of not letting the small things get in the way. With the addition of an instantly catchy hook and Young Franco lending his dexterous synth prowess to the track, this tune forms the first ever collaboration between the two Sydney – based outfits, coming at just the right time for summer days to take over.

Creating It’s Not Me, It’s You with Stephen Barnes (Tom Grennan), Grammy nominated and two-time Ivor Novello winning Sacha Skarbek (Lana Del Rey, Miley Cyrus, James Blunt) and the acclaimed Samm Henshaw, Maya’s inimitably soulful jazz-pop sparkles across five tracks. The EP charts the emotional journey following a breakup; each track reflecting a different stage of the healing process, resulting in a cohesive but diverse record where Maya’s expressive guitar lines weave compellingly throughout.

Only 21-years-old, Maya’s daydream inspired soul-pop sounds, relatable lyrical messages and awe-inspiring guitar skills continue to generate a major buzz; building an audience of over 500K+ across social media via viral content, Maya has won key tastemaker acclaim over the last year while also racking up 5M+ Spotify streams alone with her debut EP Oh Boy.

No Wifey” explores being in a relationship with somebody who thinks that marriage is an outdated construct and believes in the empowerment of women, but then immediately tries to domesticate you. Watch and share the official lyric video on YouTube.
It’s a celebratory song that captures the feeling of freedom. Stream on your preferred platform now.
💎 Instagram
💎 TikTok
💎 Facebook
No Wifey” was played live with an Ethiopian band and was written by myself, Brian West, Jon Levine, and Rayzak Hassan.
I’m not really recommending a way of life or making any serious statements about my own, but I found it liberating to take a fun approach to this topic.
Thank you for checking out my new single,
Anjulie

Faiyaz and the Wasted Chances are a POC fronted Toronto punk band that have been described as a raw garage pop band with virtuosic protopunk influences, cheekily modded for today’s listeners. Their sound falls somewhere between Warhol pre-punk and the Toronto DIY indie that they flowered in.

Continuing the momentum of their Mohawks & Durags EP, today New York City-based alternative hip-hop band Oxymorrons have released an eye-catching official music video for the project’s lead single “Definition”.

Produced by John Feldmann and Zach Jones, the standout track featuring Fever 333 frontman Jason Aalon has quickly become a fan favorite and garnered massive playlist support. The song was added to official Spotify playlists including Rock This, Rock Hard, New Noise, FORYOU, Rock Rising, and FREQUENCY; as well as Apple Music playlists Breaking Rock, New In Rock, Breaking Hard Rock.

Filmed and edited by Atlanta-based videographer Michael Danners, the “Definition” video is a bold visual blend of NYC punk rock and hip-hop, perfectly capturing the band’s energy and influences, and the song’s rebellious essence.

“Definition” has a profoundly personal message for Oxymorrons, who explained, “This song is an anthem for the people who refuse to be boxed in by society’s status quo. For the individual who fights to stand up and stand out. The definition of the undefined. Repping New York till we die while giving you the biggest soaring hook we could imagine. The Alt-scene is changing and evolving. It’s a microcosm of the global revolution we are currently experiencing. Every revolution needs a soundtrack. We are proud to provide one of the frequencies to said soundtrack; that not only defines us, but also many others! This is bigger than Oxymorrons. This is about the long overdue but necessary evolution that guitar driven music needs! What doesn’t evolve becomes extinct and we refuse to let a musical art form our ancestors architected, be stifled into extinction.”

333 Wreckords Crew label owner and collaborator Jason Aalon added, “I feel this track is an unabashed statement about who this band are as POC people in a musical and cultural space that at one point required you to squeeze yourself within its constructs to be recognized thus abandoning other outside cultural nuances that would inherently make your involvement more unique. To me that would be genuinely alternative. Oxymorrons are the New Testament to the destruction of such constructs and THAT is TRULY alternative.”

Nashville-based singer and songwriter Jeffrey James shares his new EP, ‘Songs I Found In The Year I Lost.’ Pulling from a mix of new collaborations, forgotten demos, and previously unreleased songs, the EP is a melodically sophisticated collection of 5 tracks that showcase Jeffrey’s rich vocals, narrative-driven lyricism, and cinematic instrumentation.Explaining how this record came to fruition, Jeffrey says, “2020 by all accounts should have been a big year for me. I released my ‘East London’ EP and was featured on NBC’s Songland. However, instead of touring and promoting my new music, I (like everyone else) was forced to stay home with nothing to do but sit in my studio, work and think.” Gripped by restlessness while suddenly housebound at the start of the pandemic, Jeffrey escaped into writing, creating and working remotely with collaborators spanning LA, London and Nashville. Out of those sessions came “Sober,” “Making It Up” and “Small Talk.”

 

Written By: Neill Frazer

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