INsiders Guide: Pave The Jungle, Vona Vella, Haviah Mighty, BOYOCA, A!MS, BEANS ON TOAST, Alex Mali, RAMENGVRL, SWN, Rence, Joy Crookes, Cassadee Pope, Derrick Milano…

“Lucky Ones” is the visceral new single from PAVE THE JUNGLE. LISTEN ON SOUNDCLOUD HERE
The latest cut to arrive from their fast-approaching EP ‘Waiting For Nothing’ (out 26 November, via Cow House) finds the band in reflective, incisive form.
 
A blitz critique of small-town life in the UK and how growing up in one of England’s most remote areas has ultimately shaped her approach to writing music, “Lucky Ones” finds a singer torn between its virtues and vices in equal measure. As Rachael Whittle explains:
 

“Alongside the expected truisms of small towns: boredom, insularity, alcohol abuse, petty feuds and violence; the song hits upon some of the virtues, as well. A strong sense of identity, belonging, and close-knit community. Things that are so innately human, but so easily lost in the haze of modern life. 

The song took shape very late one night in my old flat, hence the calmer vocal style. When we got to the studio we thought this suited the track, and so it stayed.” 

Emerging Leicestershire duo Vona Vella make their mark with their vibrant new single “Driving to L.A.” – taken from their forthcoming debut EP under Peter Doherty’s label Strap Originals. As the first brand-new artist to be releasing via the highly coveted Strap Originals roster, “Driving to L.A.” serves as an exceptional and important introduction for the duo. A warm-sounding number with a poignant twist, “Driving to L.A.” introduces the duo’s nostalgic, indulgent indie sound to audiences with unforgettable hooks and escapist lyrics – materialising as a shining example of Vona Vella’s distinctive fusion of retro-future vibes.

As Haviah Mighty nears the launch of her Stock Exchange mixtape next month, time continues to be of the essence. This rings true on the project’s latest single, “Coulda Been U”, where Haviah determines what’s worth pursuing.

Featuring fellow Toronto rapper, Astrokidjay, “Coulda Been U” is the result of an Instagram correspondence that led to collaboration. While Haviah and Astrokidjay found common ground in melodic vocals with contrasting bars for good measure, the flowing, bass-heavy track layered with bold, reflective verse was produced by Haviah, Denise De’ion, and Mighty Prynce.

“It’s inspired by the new and different types of encounters that I find myself having with people – whether fans, strangers, existing friends – and realizing that some of those peoples’ investments in me weren’t coming from the right place,” Haviah says. “Maybe they were excited about perceived income, profile, lifestyle, etc…but not so much about who I am, or what I have to offer. These days, I don’t have time to waste, so I’m getting better at determining early on who/what is worth investing my time into. This song focuses on the fact that I know I’m a prize, so act right, or you’ll miss out.”

emerging production duo BOYOCA shares their dynamic debut EP ‘He’s A Fool’, released via EMK – the new electronic music platform launched by Kartel Music Group – Stream ‘He’s A Fool’ here.

‘He’s A Fool’ follows on a string of singles including the percussive ‘In The District’, the atmospheric garage-influenced ‘Elasticity’ and soulful cut ‘Bamboo Mask’, which have served as slick introductions to BOYOCA distinctive organic-drenched brand of electronic, soul-inspired music. With the Apple Music supported ‘Bamboo Mask’, BOYOCA skilfully layered a sublime shimmering cut, perfectly balancing the organic and synthetic, with the Faze Magazine supported ‘Elasticity’, the duo traded songlike arrangements and guest vocals for melodic garage and breakbeat grooves, while ‘In The District’ percussive elements aim at keeping the dancefloor going. Closing the EP is the title track ‘He’s A Fool’, which demonstrates BOYOCA’s mastery in working with vocal samples and world instruments and their capability to create colourful and dynamic club cuts.

When it comes to consistency within rap, A!MS has to be a name that is mentioned. His recent run of form has seen the rapper release hits such as ‘Diablo’, ‘Honor’ and ‘iLike’ and collaborate with major international acts including Julian Marley, Projexx, Akelle (WSTRN) and super-producers Cool & Dre, all in the lead up to his heavily awaited album ‘OFFSHORE’ that is due to land on the 26th November. The next track that A!MS is blessing his fanbase with is ‘Big Boy Problems’.

STREAM/DOWNLOAD: A!MS – BIG BOY PROBLEMS

‘Big Boy Problems’ instantly grabs your attention, with vibrant synths and powerful percussive drums, it provides the perfect set up for A!MS’s effortless delivery. In contrast to his previous records that have seen him flex his lyrical muscle alongside an international array of artists, Big Boy Problems is a solo smash that puts A!MS directly in the spotlight. The rapper talks about the grand, affluent lifestyle that he lives whilst acknowledging that it comes with problems of its own. Armed with a suberbly catchy hook, that sums up everything that A!MS is trying to convey, as well as witty, punchy lyrical content that showcase his ability to cover the fundamentals of rap culture. The multi-talented artist continues to demonstrate his proficiency in creating a certified rap anthem that can still sit alongside any club banger.

Taken from his eagerly anticipated new record ‘Survival of the Friendliest’, it’s a chipper new track from an artist completely high on life.  As Beans states:

“I love life. I’m constantly inspired by the crazy world in which we find ourselves.  The road ahead may not be an easy one, but I refuse to believe it’s all for nothing and that we should roll over and quietly wait for extinction. If that’s the future we imagine, then that’s the future we will get. We need to visualise a better future. We need to adapt, and we need to celebrate the things worth celebrating. That’s what this song is, a celebration of life and our future. Bring it on. Chaos and all.”

Rolling with the positive themes of “Not Everybody Thinks We’re Doomed”, its cheerful video stars Mollie Cook, a dental nurse from Lancashire, who used her time away from the surgery during lockdown learning to skate like a pro.

Adding a notable spring in Beans’ step, the song’s backing arrangements are by Blaine Harrison and Jack Flanagan of the Mystery Jets, both of whom play throughout his upcoming album: ‘Survival of the Friendliest’.
 
With Blaine Harrison also tasked with producing the record, he recalls of the experience: 

“I was honoured when Beans asked if I would help bring his new songs to fruition, and from the opening notes of his demos for ‘Survival of the Friendliest’ I knew it was going to be a very special album. Recorded in sequence over two weeks on the North Kent coast, under the watchful eye of the ‘Queen of the Waves’—who became something of a guiding spirit for the songs: A love letter to the natural world, a celebration of our human resilience, an archaeological dig into the ancient laws of trespass and our statutory right to roam, a renewal of wedding vows, a rally call against pessimism, and a toast to self-acceptance and kindheartedness. Magic bullets for difficult times, and timely reminders that sometimes the only way through is by giving each other a leg-up over the fence.”

Brooklyn-born, Trinidadian/Jamaican rising artist Alex Mali returns with her sleek and powerful new R&B offering ‘Mind You’.

The icy, syncopated beats allow Mali’s vocals to hit right out of the blocks, her delicate command of high falsetto paired with a nonchalant rap prowess immediately showcases her range of talents. ‘Mind You’ meanwhile explores defiantly moving on from a toxic relationship, her line “Sorry I’m not that bitch you wished I was” feels especially poignant.

Speaking on the track Alex states: ‘Mind You’ is definitely the anthem for that toxic someone whose feelings got hurt in the crossfires of their own decisions. People get so caught up in the “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” they forget to acknowledge the “I’m better off without you” on the other side.

Feisty Asian rap queen RAMENGVRL links up with pH-1, one of Korea’s hottest rap stars, for the gritty banger “Ain’t No MF” – out on Asiatic Records via Warner Music. “Ain’t No MF” is a classic RAMENGVRL track, embodying confidence and self-love and delivered with the trailblazer’s self-assured swagger which audiences have grown to love about the Indonesian-born artist. Over a dark and menacing beat fusing East Asian sounds, the acclaimed Forbes 30 Under 30 MC proves her greatness in an authentically humble manner, solidifying just why she is considered one of the most exciting new artists in rap. Speaking about “Ain’t No MF”, RAMENGVRL shared: “It’s a feel-good track full of bravado and straight up attitude that is about celebrating yourself. I know music can make you feel like a bad bitch even when you’re feeling down or had a bad day at work, and this song is it. Whoever you are and whatever you do, there ain’t no MF like you.”

The multi-talented producer, songwriter, and artist, SWN, aka SS, is determined to end summer on a feel-good note with the release of his infectious bubbler, ‘Tropicana’.

STREAM/DOWNLOAD: SWN – TROPICANA

SWN, who’s better known for his distinguished skills in production, having previously worked alongside the likes of Unknown T, Loski, Dappy, Krept & Konan, and more, decided to step out the shadows earlier this year with the release of his recent single, ‘PS5’. The rising force has recently followed through with a summer-drenched single, ‘Tropicana’, that’s grounded with an acoustic led backdrop courtesy of Goon Cartel and Wildboy Ace. Expressing his infatuation with a love interest, the catchy hook and playful verses encapsulate the feeling of young love as summer draws to a close. Brushing those fall blues to the side, SWN further displays his ability to create quote-worthy bars through silk-like melodies and in turn form a wheel-up worthy banger, “Tropicana / Sweet ting, yeah she get it from her mama / So hood, she don’t even know her father / So what, she throw it back like it’s karma”.

Acclaimed singer, songwriter and producer Rence returns today with the euphoric new single “Track Shoes.” A message of support to an ex going through it, the undeniable anthem is a pop pick-me-up with heart and hooks. In tandem with the release, the song will also be featured on Fortnite Radio’s Pop station. “Track Shoes” HERE via Epic Records.

Over meditative guitars and the shimmering neons of ’80s pop synths, the 23-year-old singer, songwriter, and producer belts out lyrics about the salvation that love can offer, and how hard it can be to move on from someone who shakes you to your core. “I spent days and nights thinking ‘bout you/You ran ‘round my mind,” he sings. “In your Nike track shoes.”

BRIT Award nominated singer/songwriter Joy Crookes releases her highly anticipated debut album, Skin.  The 13 track body of work includes previously releases singles  “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now,” “When You Were Mine,” “Skin,” and the newest, “Trouble.” Get it HERE via Epic Records/Insanity.

 

With Joy credited as an executive producer on the album, alongside the formidable Blue May (Blood Orange), Skin is a hugely personal, game-changing body of work from one of the UK’s boldest and brightest young talents. A collection of songs built and honed throughout her adolescence and into her early twenties, and finessed last year within the most turbulent of circumstances, Skin touches on topics such as mental health, relationships, and politics all with grace and sensitivity. Joy has created a truly special body of work that is both perfectly of the moment, and entirely timeless. Skin’s album artwork is shot by Carlota Guerrero, who has previously worked with Arca, Chloe x Halle, and Solange for all of her imagery for A Seat At The Table.

“I had the concept of “Thrive” written down for my session with Andy and Kevin, both who I’ve known since my Hey Monday days. I was very grateful they were up for going a more angsty route with this song. It felt like a therapy session in a way. The idea isn’t about forgiving someone, it’s about acknowledging how that awful experience helped you to thrive eventually, but never forgetting how that person wronged you.” – Cassadee Pope• Cassadee Pope, has released her latest album, Thrive, with a music video in support of the album’s title track. The inspiring single, written by Pope, Kevin Bard and Andy Albert, provides a hopeful message of not only surviving the traumas of life, but thriving from them.• Thrive is the perfect mixture of pop-punk melodies with country music storytelling – both genres integral to Pope’s sound and musical evolution. Produced by powerhouses, Nick Wheeler (The All-American Rejects) and Karen Fairchild (Little Big Town), this labor of love is a true reflection of Pope’s growth as an artist and willingness to expose herself emotionally to the world.

GRAMMY® Award-winning rapper, singer, executive producer, and songwriter Derrick Milano reveals a new single entitled “Control” featuring multi-Platinum artist Ty Dolla $ign.  Get “Control” at all DSPs HERE.

On the track, a pulsating beat simmers next to 808 claps as Milano’s smooth flows grip the verses before he serves up a hypnotic hook meant for the bedroom. Meanwhile, hitmaking R&B superstar Ty Dolla $ign pulls up with a slick and sizzling cameo of his own.

It arrives on the heels of his latest single “die4iT.” Touting the song among “All The Best New R&B From This Week That You Need To Hear,” UPROXX hailed it as “melodic and airy. At the same time, HotNewHipHop raved, “His lyrics are straightforward and to the point, which makes for a song that is ideal for any sort of playlist that involves sex and R&B. It’s a track that fits the mood of the season.” REVOLT dubbed it a “celebratory moment, and HipHopDX wrote Milano “goes all out for the most precious commodity in his new single.”  Thus far, it has already racked up over 250,000 streams.

Philly born and Delaware raised Derrick Milano continues to assert himself as a prolific presence in the music industry, having won a 2021 GRAMMY® Award for his impeccable pen game . Along the way, he put up numbers on early independent solo releases of his own, such as Play Wit ItCellular, and the 2020 collaborative project 1/2 Man 1/2 Wolf with producer Danny Wolf.

Now signed to Epic Records, Derrick Milano is about to take “control” of the game. Watch this space for more new music, coming soon.

 

Written By: Neill Frazer

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