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INsiders Guide: DAY SULAN, Trey Lewis, Leif Vollebekk, Clark Sims, 5Star, Ink Sticks & Stones, Natalie Saint-Martin, Ayaka…..

4Hunnid Records First Lady Day Sulan gets a jumpstart on summer today with the release of her new single, “Gravity.” The vivacious twerk anthem arrives with a music video that takes the party to the strip club, the perfect backdrop.

[Get “Gravity” here]

[Watch “Gravity” here]

Though Sulan and her supporting pole artists provide much to look at, there’s more to “Gravity” than meets the eye. The slick Compton native rarely lacks for lyrical punch, and her new banger is no different. “Big racks, real chill, laid back,” she raps. “Black matte on my nails like a Maybach / Heard they mad, ‘cause I stay up in a big bag / And the money in the wall where I lay at.” The music video, a cinematic strip club extravaganza, is a full-circle moment for the rising star.

Sulan’s ascent has been steady, and her ceiling continues to rise. After a handful of YG collaborations led to Sulan signing to the Compton superstar’s 4Hunnid imprint, Sulan immediately got to work. Music videos with YG and Rubi Rose exceeded over 6 million views and she took center stage on 4Hunnid’s debut compilation project, the Gang Affiliated EP. She also appeared beside Lil Wayne on “Blood Walk” from YG’s most recent solo album, My Life 4Hunnid.

Country singer, Trey Lewis’ new single “Good To Know People” is out now along with the music video that is featured on XX. The track also features fellow country artist Alex Maxwell. The release follows on the tails of “Single Again” that went viral with over 75k videos of fans with their ‘middle fingers up’ as Taste of Country described it as a “true country original” and the nostalgic hometown anthem “Hate This Town.”

Trey says, “When I moved from Birmingham to Nashville I found the best group of friends anyone could ask for.  I wrote Good To Know People with Alex Maxwell and Benjy Davis.  It’s a song about surrounding yourself with good people.  I hope you can relate and enjoy this with your buddies!”

Trey is also currently on the road for the “Bad Reputation” tour with Kid Rock. Tickets are available here. 

 LEIF VOLLEBEKK releases a brand-new LP of live recordings titled ‘New Waves’. The new LP arrives as Leif prepares for a string of UK dates this April and May – full details can be found below.

Available as an EP now on all streaming platforms, it will be available in LP format on April 22nd release date. In this enduring worldwide pandemic, Leif’s new release is a beaming ode to the unique connection live music brings, an amalgam of feelings that can only be shared with an audience. 

Clark Sims is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, and singer/songwriter with an atmospheric sound that will quickly draw you in. He’s from the Bay Area and has made an imprint on the local scene while also touring and playing bass with Tony Tony Tony, Grand Central Station, Melvin Seals, and JGB. A self-taught guitarist who attended Berklee College of Music and The Musicians Institute, Sims’s upcoming EP is entirely self-produced with Prince, D’Angelo, and Sly and The Family Stone as key inspirations. He describes  “Like That” as “existential funk” as he reflects on his past relationships, realizing he is on to bigger and better things.

After lighting up TikTok with over 1 million creations and emerging as a fan favorite across the culture, twin brothers, rappers, dancers, creators, and entrepreneurs 5StarSyheem and Sybree—proudly join the Motown Records family as the label’s latest singing. They continue to ignite buzz as the new teen phenomenon to watch in 2022 and beyond.

To celebrate the big news, the Philadelphia, PA duo just shared the music video for their exploding single “Cmonnn” [feat. Lay Bankz]. Watch the music video—HERE. In the visual, the boys take over their neighborhood with a series of show-stopping and head-spinning dance routines joined by friends, hype party crew The Yellow Mfs, and Lay Bankz. Simultaneously, 5Star and Lay Bankz trade endlessly quotable bars. However, it just sets the stage for a lot more music to come!

Ink Sticks & Stones is the moniker for Toronto based composer-musician Ai Rei Dooh-Tousignant. Being of mixed descent, she is constantly searching for different ways to express her many cultures, and openly advocates for a more inclusive Canadian music scene. On February 25th 2022, her first single off of her upcoming album, Après la tombée du ciel, was released : an audiovisual voyage based in neoclassical music.  The second release, “Catharsis,” will be out at the end of March. The album and the film are slated to be released on May 20th 2022.

Natalie Saint-Martin – the Los Angeles-based, alternative pop star – is excited to share her new single “2nd Place”.

Recorded with producer David Holman at his studio in Laurel Canyon, “2nd Place” is part pep-talk, part narration of a decade living in Los Angeles. After making ends meet by working three jobs, Natalie Saint-Martin felt burnt out by life. Envisioning her musical aspirations as more and more of a fleeting dream, Saint-Martin decided to utilize these feelings of hopelessness and self-doubt and put them wholly into her craft. Inspired by the lyrical storytelling she witnessed in Atlanta’s hip-hop and country music scenes whilst growing up in the city, Natalie Saint-Martin aimed to focus primarily on one narrative during the writing process: no matter how many times you’ve felt like you’re meant to stay the runner up in life, you are always allowed to be 1st Place in your heart.

Speaking on the new track, Saint-Martin writes: “2nd Place was written about being doubted by everyone in my life at the time. Feeling runner up at my job, in my music career, more particularly when I was alone in my dormant thoughts. After endless months of self-doubt and fear, it forced me down two terrifying, tornado filled roads. Believe the people that know nothing about you, or believe in the person you have always dreamt of being. Fear will always coexist. The orchestra is our resilient hearts, our creative minds and our hard work. Yes, fear exists but it is not the conductor. 2nd Place is a reminder to myself, and hopefully to you that despite what anyone else says. You’re allowed to be in 1st Place.”

Ayaka on “Not Ready”We all are scared to break new ground so we always persuade ourselves, saying “Just not ready yet…”

Ayaka (Ayaka/Mossan) is a contemporary R&B and POP singer/songwriter from Osaka, Japan. She has had a love for music since she was three. It all started when she saw her teachers playing the piano. A couple of months later, she recalled her first piano lessons, along with her father’s collection of vinyl, as the first things that kicked off her music journey. Since she moved to New York, she has performed at world-famous venues such as SOB’s(Sound Of Brazil), Ashford & Simpson’s Sugar Bar, The Village Underground, The Groove, Cafe Wha? In Greenwich Village and Harlem Nights in Harlem, New York.

Ayaka has also received awards as a Singer while in Japan, which include the 2006 Board of Education award of 2006 at the Music competition “We are sneaker ages” https://www.sneakerages.jp, 2010 First place at a Singing competition on NHK (Japanese TV program) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NHK_Nodo_Jiman, and a 2021 Appearance on Shukan New York Seikatsu. (Japanese newspaper in New York) https://nyseikatsu.com/editions/842/842.pdf

Capitalizing on a groundswell of momentum, rising Philadelphia phenomenon Poundside Pop unveils the cinematic music video for his buzzing single “Money & Problems” today via Epic Records. Watch it HERE. Check out his latest project WOCK AND ROLL (PURPLE EDITION)—HERE.

On the track, a frenetic keyboard loop sets the tone as the glitchy beat claps. His speedy flow keeps up the pace. In the visual, he raps in front of a brand-new foreign sports car parked outside of a modern mansion. It intercuts sweeping nocturnal vignettes of the city with scenes of Poundside Pop directly addressing the camera confidently and charismatic. The clip captures the intensity and energy at the heart of the song as his words, “Money and power, they come with the problems, ring out.

“Money & Problems” has also landed high-profile syncs in BET’s Klutch Academy and Real Husbands of Hollywood.

However, it just sets the stage for more to come from Philly’s hottest new rap contender.

NOA, the Dutch, Toronto born Pop/R&B artist blends vibrant, catchy melodies with resonant emotional themes — from relationships to female empowerment and self-realization. NOA’s artistic voice maintains a fun, lighthearted velvety tone that helps lift her fans above the noise and negativity of everyday life. 

Tessa Kaye is a Philadelphia born, Los Angeles based pop artist. Armed with vibrant individuality and a fresh approach, the effervescent artist delivers infectious pop soundscapes, with raw and relatable themes. Having grown up in Utah with her adoptive family, Kaye struggled with the difficulties that being a black girl in a mostly white community faced. Raised in the Mormon church, she made the decision to leave once she reached early adulthood, moving to the West Coast to pursue her passion. Now, with a plethora of life experiences under her belt, Kaye wants to tell her story. 

Following the successful release of her debut single “Fools Gold,” which was added to numerous Spotify editorial playlists, including New Music Friday U.S., Kaye unveils the intoxicating “You Know Who You Are and I Hate You.” An honest song narrating her lifelong struggles with severe anxiety, the songwriter gets vulnerable. She explains, “although it could be about a romantic relationship as well, I’m personally talking to my anxiety about the ways it has debilitated my life at times.” The song is a reminder that it’s perfectly ok to have days when you’re down, we’re all human and we’re allowed to be soft, feel delicate or just not ok! Kaye confides, “I’ve had a lot of people try to tell me that my anxiety and how much I feel is a weakness. It’s taken a lot of self work for me to realize that there’s a strength in allowing yourself to simply be as weak as you feel in a moment. Black women in particular are always looked at as ‘strong black women’ and while yes, that is true, there are many sides to us.”

Her release “Smile More” “speaks to the double standard of how men and women have been allowed to express themselves in society. It’s a weird, ridiculous expectation people place on women, to look pleasant 100% of the time.” confides Kaye. Featuring colorful warm beats and Kaye’s signature soulful vocals, “Smile” radiates with confidence. 

Her latest single “Sunshine & Rainbows” is about the frustrations that can come with toxic positivity. Tessa confides, “so many times I’ve found myself in situations where I was trying to mask my authenticity to not come off as “negative.” I’ve swallowed my own hurt in order to keep a happy, positive disposition for others, but that shit’s dead now! Life isn’t always sunshine & rainbows…and I’d say that’s kinda the whole point. Balance baby. Contrast. Bad times just make the good ones feel that much better.”  “Sunshine & Rainbows” featuring sparkling vibrant synths, tropical dipped beats and an attention grabbing chorus. 

Having garnered close to 200,000 streams on Spotify alone, Tessa Kaye is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with. 

Continuing an arc of lyrically evocative and sonically adventurous single releases so far in 2022, FE SALOMON, returns with a brand new track: “All Or Nothing”.

STREAM ON ALL SERVICES HERE || WATCH ON YOUTUBE HERE

Released on 20th April, the new single finds the rising solo artist conjuring a cinematic alternative/pop masterclass from painterly reminiscence.

Taking the listener back to a period strewn with precarious paths, toxic friendships and difficult choices, it’s a song that ultimately finds Salomon summoning strength from sour times. 

“‘All Or Nothing’ is a song about a shared journey coming to an end” affirms Fe. “It’s inspired by a group of friends. Friendships that were often toxic, yet comforting and familiar.  Set in the imagery of walking from the Holloway Road in London, to the east coast of England with the hope of turning over a new chapter.”

With her back against the wall and faced with the decision to go “All Or Nothing”; Fe’s gamble has evidently paid-off in dividends, with this resultant single making for a richly rewarding listen, laced with a resonant emotional gravity.

Initially written in a hotel room, the track was fully finished in 2021 with the assistance of esteemed classical arranger: Johnny Parry, of whom Fe was once a member of the Johnny Parry Trio with. Featuring soaring classical strings and makeshift drum kits, the track’s stuttering percussives owe their origins to household kitchen curiosities including woks and pans; offering a delectably avant-garde counterpoint to the track’s lush orchestral stylings.

Californian garage punk band GRUMPSTER have announced their brand new album Fever Dream, their first album on new label Pure Noise Records. The record is out the 17th June 2022 and features previously released singles Crash’ and Looking Good.’ 

The band have also released a new video for the title track of the record, Fever Dream. Speaking about the new single the band said ‘Fever Dream is about being delusional. Going through every day pretending you’re somewhere you’re not, doing anything other than what you’re presently doing. Being in a haze most of the time and not being able to snap out of it.’

Over the past decade, Throttle has established himself as one of Australia’s leading electronic tastemakers. After breaking out in 2012, he caught the attention of Avicii, who invited him to remix his hit single “You Make Me” and join him on tour. Soon after, Throttle became a sought-after collaborator with legends like Earth, Wind, & Fire, commissioning him for a rework of their classic disco hit, “September.” Since then, he’s performed all over the world, appearing at TomorrowlandMysteryland, and EDC Las Vegas, to name a few.

In 2019, Throttle released his dreamy EP ‘Where U Are,’ which earned him over 50 million streams on Spotify and syncs in Rocket League and Fortnite. Over the last two years, during lockdown, he found comfort in reminiscing on the memories and feelings associated with the EP. As he began to see the songs in a new light, he was inspired to reimagine the project from a place of introspection. The Deluxe and “For Me” anime music video follow his journey towards self-discovery. 

neillfrazer@hotmail.com

Socials: @neillfrazer

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Written by Neill Frazer

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