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INsiders Guide: Myke Towers x Camila Cabello x Tainy, Ghostface600, KO, MONOWHALES, Defset, Stay Flee Get Lizzy, Essii, Jack Wakeman….

 Off the heels of her latest release, “Don’t Go Yet,” three-time GRAMMY® Award-nominated, multi-platinum, and chart-topping singer/songwriter Camila Cabello partners up with platinum selling superstar Myke Towers and critically acclaimed top Producer/Artist, Tainy on her new song, “Oh Na Na,” a high energy bilingual song that mixes English and SpanishListen to the collaboration HERE! The song was written by Tainy, Camila Cabello, Ilya Salmanzadeh, Savan Kotecha, Alejandro Borrero, Ivanni Rodríguez, Myke Towers and Rickard Goranssonand was produced by Tainy/ NEON16. 

Block 6’s Ghostface600 is back with the release of his mixtape ‘600SZN 2’ – proving once again he is a force to be reckoned with in the UK rap wave industry. 

Ghostface600 also presents brand new visuals for ‘Pray 2 The East’ as featured on the mixtape. Following the latest video “Clyde” we see Ghostface600 in a new territory, patrolling round the streets of Marrakech. The visuals feature the classic cold white visor, which has now been remodelled – as seen in the unveiling of his late-April track ‘Paper Planes’. 

‘Pray 2 The East’ intros with a guitar solo which is apparent throughout the entire track. The beat sustains the signature darkness of drill, whilst maintaining the appeal that the melodic trap scene desires. The creative visuals fall into place with his lyrics, which detail his gruesome life experiences, letting us know why him and his crew are not the same as his peers. 

The mixtape includes 14 tracks, including popular releases ‘Paper Planes’ and ‘Real Demons’, as well as revealing some unheard beats of the rising drill star. The Lewisham artist recently hit over 1 million views on both singles ‘Fast Life’ and ‘Shmokey’ on YouTube alone, as well as a feature on ‘GRM Top Tier’ a playlist selected by GRM Daily, certifying only the biggest of bangers in the UK scene. 

The project will be released by the rapper from Catford, South East London’s own label, which started in 2020 by Nlock 6. The 600 empire music label is an independent label dedicated to creating a base for all Drill artists. Ghostface600’s persistent work ethic and genuine vibe is what sets him apart from his rap peers – his blend of entrepreneurship and creativity will drive his global climb. 

The project is part of a sequel to the London rapper’s 2019 mixtape and is set to be a hit. With previous success from “600szn”, where we saw Ghostface600 reflect on his life challenges. These tracks have seen Ghostface600 increase in magnitude, setting a new tone and position for the London native rapper. Ghostface600 keeps it real with his bare, unfiltered street talk – the UK scene is not ready for what is to come. 

The project keeps to a written formula – with the majority of the 14 tracks listed with a melancholy beat, glazed with icy electronics. The unknown tracks on the mixtape include ‘Baphomet’ which took great inspiration from the US rap scene, putting his own British spin on the song. 

The 14-track project finds itself showcasing one feature – fellow Block member Jooka appears on bonus track ‘Litty’. Ghostface600 is known for his use of only Block 6 members. 

Surrounded by music, it was destined that Ghostface600 would choose this lifestyle. From his early teens the rapper has been writing for his friends but has only started to find his feet in the industry over the last year. This mixtape is dropping at a new peak in his career, with his last 4 singles totalling over 3.5 million views. His work has labelled him as a respected newcomer in the UK rap wave scene, with his unconventional ways it is evident he will go far in his blossoming music career. 

A heavy character in the Drill collective ‘98s’, KO is back in the solo spotlight with the meaningful single ‘Fine Line’. This track and slick video come to the surface with his 3rd independent project on the horizon.

Aiming for chart success, KO wants to take his East London sound and the genre to the top. Achieving top accolades throughout the Drill scene already both solo and with the highly rated supergroup ‘98s’. With previous solo tracks such as ‘9er Ting’ which achieved over 11 million streams on Spotify alone. He has also had collective traction with members of his group Unknown T and V9 on tracks like ‘AVEN9ERS’ with over 7 million streams.

Rapping calm on the beat he still possesses an energy. Interestingly the lyrics play a vital role in illustrating the visuals of ‘Fine Line’. KO talks about having a dream of shutting down shows and that is exactly what he does. Straight bars throughout the whole track, filled with punchy one liners. The instrumental possesses a hypnotic quality, with soft and floaty piano melodies amongst enticing vocal samples.

A voyeuristic creative approach to the visual production, witnesses a look into KO’s tour life. Performing at shows with innovative camera shots playing the third person perspective of KO and at times with a front facing camera attached to him. Filmed across the country there is also guest appearances from the likes of Potter Payper.

If anyone has the capability to move the sound forward it is KO as he is known for his lyrical masterclasses, not just providing the flows but all types of flair and wordplay trickery alongside. Widely respected by both artists and fans of the scene, this single comes at the pinnacle point of growth in the young rapper’s career.

PHOTO CREDIT_ KATHERINE KWAN

Emerging Toronto alt-rock three-piece MONOWHALES announce their return to the ether with the release of their anticipated cover of Nine Inch Nails’ ‘Hand That Feeds’.

Lead singer, Syrian-heritage Sally Shaar’s raw, powerful vocals fit perfectly over a bed of thunderous drums and electric guitars flecks, the confrontational and urgent instrumentation creating a new, dynamic backdrop to fire their own take on the iconic, visceral original.

Speaking on their decision to cover the track, Sally states: “This is the perfect song to relate tot his new chapter of our dystopian era. It speaks to all of those who circle and prey above us and dares to ask the collective community around us to question what exactly we plan to do about it. Will we acknowledge the cost of what it will take to bring about real change? I have a deep connection to this track and immense respect for what Nine Inch Nails have contributed to the history of music.”

Rising electronic producer DEFSET is set to release upcoming debut album ‘Proximity’ via EMK – the new electronic music platform launched by Kartel Music Group on October 29 – Stream ‘Proximity’  here.

The album follows the release of a string of singles, ‘Deadlines’‘Shira 2’ and ‘Bathtime’ which have demonstrated DEFSET’s mastery in using modular synthesisers and outboard gear to create a pallet of evolving melodies over syncopated, glitched out rhythms, delivering a deeply accomplished sonic blend of immersive techno and atmospheric electronic music.

Inspired by DEFSET’s memories of the UK rave scene from the early 90s, ‘Proximity’, explains the producer; “it’s an homage to the incredible times I’ve had throughout the decades in the UK party scene. While making this album I rediscovered electronic music and rediscovered so many happy memories.”

With the Stay Flee Get Lizzy project always on the lookout for what is hot, Sincere Lizzy has dived into the Drill genre to link up with Kwengface for ‘Scary’ set to be the sound of Halloween.

Coming a long way from the mid 2000 hit “That’s Not Gangsta”, this new product of Sincere Lizzy is expressing his artistry as a producer following his fruitful career as an entrepreneur, artist manager and in the limelight himself. Releasing music under his own label, he has reached platinum status with the likes of ‘Ay Caramba’. In more recent times, SFGL orchestrated the UK 2021 Summer hit ‘Meant To Be’ which saw UK Rap heavyweights Fredo and Central Cee combine.

A certified member of Peckham Drill collective ‘Zone 2’, Kwengface has now flagged himself as a real veteran of the genre following a string of street releases from the past few years. Still considered a young player in the scene despite being active since 2015. This SFGL link up comes at a pinnacle point of his career and demonstrates where the scene is heading. With one of the highest viewed ‘Plugged In’ freestyles this year, it is evident Kwengface is on trend and is a highly desired collaboration.

An inventive drill beat coming from Sincere’s end has an unreal energy. A jumpy melody that fills the gaps of the busy drums. The production is of the highest quality and supported by the bars from Kwengface. A slapping chorus met with lively verses where the rapper has relatable bars, even referring to Playboi Carti the American rap sensation.

Having this musical project at the ready has meant that SFGL can level with artists as a creative rather than just an executive. This single keeps the expert on course to maintain the buzz since this journey began. The pattern has been that each track rattles the scene as well as the country, and ‘Scary’ is set to follow.

Emerging 19-year-old artist Essii drops her radiant, precocious gem “Brown Eyes” featuring celebrated rapper Coi Leray. Following on from previous singles “Positions” and “Pourin”, this newest offering engages light island pop influences over colourful textures and floor-shaking 808s, a sleek jam balanced by Essii’s luring topline – as she outlines the notion of finding confidence in her femininity. The sophisticated blend of intricate production with her self-assured vocal capabilities looks set to continue the attention around Essii as a compelling new name in the UK R&B landscape.

Accompanied by a playfully artistic visual, “Brown Eyes” marks a significant development in style for the homegrown talent; calling on LA based rapper Coi Leray’s dynamic flow, the pair’s chemistry breathes new life into the track – toying with societal boundaries on what it means to be feminine. An enigmatic newcomer, the British-Zambian artist only embarked on her musical journey this time last year. Since debuting snippets online, her innate vocal talent has seen her collaborate with world class producers – those responsible for the sounds of Brent Faiyaz and Ariana Grande. Already garnering organic spins across BBC Radio1, Essii feels like a bonafide rising star, a nostalgic pop artist who’s keen to utilise her art as the sole driving force for her success. With the arrival of this bold link up, Essii’s effortless ability to blend R&B Pop hooks and tasteful lyricism with a real persona should indelibly mark her as a notable one to watch as she continues her ascent.

“I’ve done it again, I’ve made too much rice again” confesses Jack Wakeman, an opening line that likely stands as one of 2021’s more esoteric lyrical quips. 

Leading the way into a song that weaves mercurially between wry observations troubled with the banality of a life trapped indoors and the surrealist visions of daydream escape, “Cosmic Fear” is a track quite unlike anything you’ll hear this year.

 
Described by Wakeman as “a song of apocalyptic optimism”, his latest single was written about an intense fear of space he developed in the grip of a mental breakdown; a strange two weeks in which he couldn’t physically open the curtains for fear of being overwhelmed by the sky. 

As the motion passed in-time, Wakeman began to reflect on the existential meaning of what had happened and left him with the epiphany that: “it’s okay to not understand the meaning of everything…leaving some things a mystery is often where we can find magic in our lives” he says.

A song of contradictions and clarity, crippling paranoia and cathartic release, “Cosmic Fear” finds an artist facing his demons through the power of music and succeeding. A journey that winds through wobbling retrofied basslines that crawl up the walls, through enchanting duets with the Dreamstriders’ Charlotte Newman, to a euphoric and expansive climax of space-age synthesisers; “Cosmic Fear” captures all of the undulating drama of the narrative with a score just as unexpected. There’s even time for an pastoral-pop outro; a lush, string-laden coda that sets a drifting course towards infinite possibilities…

Recorded at Whitewood Studios, Liverpool by Danny Woodward (BC Camplight), “Cosmic Fear” was mastered by the legendary Pete Maher (U2).

neillfrazer@hotmail.com

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Written by Neill Frazer

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