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INsiders Guide: Lakeyah, INDIA SHAWN, Ina Forsman, Kitt, Lush, Joey Clipstar, Tom Jenkins, Birds of Bellwoods, CEO TRAYLE…

Rising Milwaukee-born rapper and Quality Control Music force of nature Lakeyah unleashes a new single and music video entitled “Mind Yo Business” [feat. Latto] via Motown Records today. Listen to it HERE, and watch the music video HERE

On the track, horns pipe up over a propulsive beat as Lakeyah kicks out one bulletproof bar after another with no shortage of flirty fire and finesse. She grins, “I love when they chase me. Good luck if you tryin’ to replace me. Meanwhile, Latto pulls up with an equally hard-hitting cameo laced with lyrical prowess and precision. In the accompanying visual, Lakeyah and Latto take over a hedge maze, practically leaving a trail of flames following an incendiary and show-stopping back-and-forth. 

Lakeyah speaks on collaborating with Latto sharing, “I got the chance to collab with one of my favorite new era rap girls! Both the song and the video are fire. I can’t wait for everyone to hear “Mind Yo Business.”” 

Making one power move after another, Lakeyah recently inked a deal with Motown Records, joining one of the most storied and iconic labels of all-time. The QC artist states, “I’m super excited and blessed to also be in business with Motown Records. They’ve always been supportive of my music, and now it’s just on another level!”  

Motown C.E.O./Chairwoman Ethiopia Habtemariam shares, “Lakeyah is an undeniable talent that has been honing her craft under the tutelage of QC. Her ability to maneuver from rap prowess to melodic songstress is seamless and we’re excited about all of the incredible forthcoming music. Lakeyah has been dedicated to her craft since the age of 15, and now is primed for success at the highest level. 

Critically acclaimed R&B enchantressIndia Shawn  is back with a new single and music video entitled “Exchange” today. Listen to “Exchange” HERE. Watch the music video for “Exchange” HERE.

On the track, a soft beat drips underneath sultry verses as her vocals instantly mesmerize. It builds towards a soulful and seductive refrain as she urges, “Give me pleasure for pleasure.” The breathy vocals and organic instrumentation perfectly complement her dynamic delivery with depth and nuance. Bringing the song to life, the accompanying visual fixates on a closeup of India as she sings to the camera, captivating between each and every cut. “EXCHANGE is by far the sexiest song I’ve ever written” says India. “It’s about love, pleasure, and reciprocity. As I evolve in my career and womanhood, it’s becoming increasingly important to show up as my whole self, sexy and sensual included.”

All There Is is a pop album at its core, blending modern pop sensibilities with strong R&B and soulful jazz influences from the 60s and 70s. Ina Forsman‘s music can be compared to the likes of Amy WinehouseChristina Aguilera during the Back to Basics era, Yola, and the Monophonics.

The latest single from the album, “Love Me” captures the feeling of saying, “I love you” for the first time. The track’s upbeat rhythm and old-fashioned arrangements will move your feet, but the composition’s moody blues will make your heart flutter.

With State of Mind, I wanted to present myself as an artist in the purest form. 

It’s a collection of minimal songs which focus on lyrics and the bare essentials of what I was writing during the pandemic.

I produced this album in my little one-bedroom apartment in Vancouver, BC, making lyrical and production choices centered around self-contemplation, awareness, and vulnerability.

The title track is a song about my journey through depression. Even when I was young, I was very aware of my inner feelings and how different I was to the people around me. 

I stuck to myself and was always striving to figure out why I didn’t ‘work’ the way other people did. Last year I was hearing a lot about working with one’s inner child, and it almost felt like mine wrote this tune. 

There’s a large sense of hope in “State of Mind” and a healing that comes with the recognition of one’s emotions. It felt freeing to be able to write these lyrics and express out loud what’s been stuck inside me for so long. 

We have so much shit distracting us from being even the tiniest bit present for ourselves, let alone the people or jobs needing us…and that leads to so much destruction. 

I hope that as you listen to State of Mind, you feel inspired to take time for yourself. Doing so is a good thing and can only make the world a better place.

Thank you for lending me your time and hearing these songs,

Kitt

Lush Fresh Handmade Sound and Mark Constantine are proud to unveil ‘Life’s What You Make It’, following from the acclaimed compilation albums ‘Self Preservation Society’ and ‘Instant Replay’. This stunning vinyl triple album has once again been personally curated by Mark Constantine, co-founder of Lush and passionate music fan. It features 30 brand new versions of songs originally recorded between 1981 to 1991, including some of the finest pop, folk, rock and ballads of the time.  

You’ll find the familiar and the unfamiliar, unexpected collisions of styles, radical re-workings and faithful renditions, all in celebration of a musical golden era. Many of these tracks will have specific associations for each of us, but collectively they formed the soundtrack to Mark’s decade during Cosmetics to Go and the pre-Lush Cosmetics years: “What I remember from that time is working every hour God sent,” he says. “We’d be waking up at 4am, switching on the boilers and mixing up product as fast as we could. And there’d always be music playing.” 

South London’s Joey Clipstar — aka The Connect — is an instantaneously recognisable name in the UK music sphere. Having developed the innovative freestyle platform Hardest Bars over the past decade, Joey lives and breathes the culture. Currently situated as one of the biggest freestyle platforms in the UK — Joey shows no signs of stagnation. 
 
Hardest Bars are responsible for harbouring some of the UK’s biggest talents in their infancy — including Stormzy and Ms Banks. Now Hardest Bars’ fourth season is upon us with fresh new flows from some of the UK’s best new talent such as, Jordz, Madam Molly, and many more!

TOM JENKINS is back with the new single: ‘Under The Sun’ – released 27 May, via Xtra Mile Recordings. 

STREAM HERE || WATCH VIDEO HERE

Offering up another canny curveball and adding another string to his increasingly diverse and genre-hopping bow, Tom Jenkins has served up a slice of feel-good pop-tinted indie-rock on latest single ‘Under The Sun’. 

Arriving just in time for long summer drives with the windows down or lazy weekends lounging with friends in the sun, the infectious new track merges steady drum beats with exhilarating guitar riffs and a catchy chorus. Evoking the intoxication of a light summer breeze whipping through your hair, or the prickling feeling of blazing rays on sun-tanned skin, the optimistic new anthem marks an assured step forward for Tom Jenkins, whilst nodding subtly to his folk-tinted roots. 

Of the cheery new track, Tom explains:

“‘Under The Sun’ is probably the most upbeat song off my new album. I really wanted to write more uplifting music this time round. The sound is inspired mainly by American alt/indie bands like Band of Horses and The Shins. Lyrically the song focuses on unity in a world that always seems to be trying to divide us by the ways of the media or manipulating higher powers.”

Hope this message finds you and the team well. Getting in touch today to tell you about our new single.

One By One is a rallying cry and call to action: this system isn’t working for us anymore. The machine is breaking down. On the upside, through the rubble, something will always bloom. Sure, there’s a certain cynicism to the verses, a recognition of imperial absurdity, but at the bottom of everything, it’s hopeful, even triumphant. A phoenix rising from the ashes.

Produced by 2-time Grammy Award-winner Dave Schiffman (Vampire Weekend, Haim, PUP), it’s about living in the modern fall of Rome, the last gasp of a dying establishment and the birth of a new era.

The only indisputable commonality between all empires in history is that they have fallen. It’s inevitable. “One By One,” or all at once.

In the music video, with stunning VFX work by Miguel Fernandes and Dan Slater of West Film, we find ourselves lost in a post-apocalyptic wasteland, a broken kingdom. Over the course of the song, new life blooms around us, and nature takes back what once was sealed away. 
Thank you,
Stevie of Birds of Bellwoods

10K Projects announces the signing of CEO Trayle through 1080 Trademark Records / Do What You Love Records. The Bronx-bred, Atlanta-based rap star has carved out a sizable fan base with steely street raps that can only come from experience. To mark the occasion, Trayle releases The Collection, a new mixtape laced with all the machismo and block tales that propelled him into the spotlight. Listen HERE.

Checking in at eight tracks, Trayle’s latest release boasts slick production from MoneyMusik and Ambezza. It was preceded by “Head Doctor,” a single that manages to be as gruesome as it is romantic. Equal parts style and menace, The Collection only reaffirms Trayle’s penchant for wordplay and unflinching street narratives, a powerful combination that’s made him one of rap’s most exciting rising voices.

In 2020, Trayle consummated his rise with “Ok Cool,” a trap tune that has earned 60 million streams worldwide. With Gunna’s remix, the track only garnered more attention. He elevated even further after a stellar Rolling Loud performance last summer, and then again with the release of Happy Halloween C4. Coated in his signature monotonous flow and spurts of casual, but emphatic bravado, the project doubles as an exercise in controlled cool, which is a good way to describe Trayle’s entire sound.

Unapologetically queer DIY pop artist Foxgluvv is back with the new double single release Lesbians on the Beach – featuring the singles “You Love Her” and “2 Cherry Margaritas”.

Combining 80’s inspired production with the dreamy vocals she’s become known for, “You Love Her” is a laidback pop masterpiece. Heartfelt lyrics float effortlessly above synth-laded beats as Foxgluvv’s lullaby tones sing “If you’re thinking bout her right now, if you wonder then you probably are”. The songs is about celebrating the stereotype narrative that Lesbians fall in love and move in together within a week rather than laughing at it. Foxgluvv says; “I think it’s a beautiful thing for us sapphics to feel so connected with each other, and I wanted to write a love song dedicated to this.” The music video sees Foxgluvv performing the track between beautifully graded digital shots and VHS as she oozes sass through her flamboyant lyrics.

“2 Cherry Margaritas” otherworldly production showcases Foxgluvv’s left field pop perfectly, a style that the songstress has previously described as “hangover pop”. In sultry tones Foxgluvv sings “hair in the breeze wanna feel her fingers run between it, two cherry margaritas, on the beach with her” as she sets the scene of an idyllic summer date. The track’s accompanying video oozes romance with the up and comer surrounded by fruit and flowers.

Talking on the project Foxgluvv says: “I decided on the title “Lesbians on the Beach” because I really wanted to create a sapphic summer landscape in the mind of the listener. I also wanted to defeat any stereotypes and expectations of what would be expected from a title like this – you see “Lesbians on the Beach” and probably assume it’s going to be raunchy because that’s what has been painted of sapphic relationships… but when you listen to the songs, it’s all about love and care, and being intimate with another person who you adore. The process behind this project has been completely different and out of my comfort zone – I usually work with a producer, but this time around I let my creativity soar and decided to produce the project myself. I really enjoyed letting go of my usual process and having fun with it.”

(Newcomer Valencia Grace’s sophomore song “Goodbye” is charged with unadulterated, honest emotions that hits like a direct punch to the heart divinely delivered by vocals that feel incredibly homely.  Goodbye is out now via Ministry of Sound (UK) and Columbia (US & France).   

Watch the video now – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ca9GmeOKVN0

Playlisting – here

The opening bars of her new single ‘Goodbye’ recalls the fragile beauty of her debut song “It Was You”, but then she calls out, “I’m scared I’ll miss my chance to hold you/ And feel you wrapped around me one last time.” It was the first song Valencia wrote addressing the breakdown of a family relationship: “It was so difficult, because it was about saying goodbye to someone who’s still right in front of you.” There are many lessons that Valencia has learned even at 18 years old, and she is unafraid to channel her story into art. For Valencia, the process of songwriting is therapeutic, an escape, but its also clear she’s on a mission to be a voice for other girls. You can see it in her posture, the way she carries herself, she’s here to make an impact  

One of the most impressive qualities of Valencia’s music is the clear influence she takes from other artists with strong, powerful voices, such as Etta James, Aretha Franklin, and Amy Winehouse. “I’m inspired by these women who were unapologetically themselves,” she says. “What I love about an artist like Amy is, watching clips of her performing live, it’s like she’s in a trance – she’s so caught up in how she’s feeling. I feel this particularly throughout the Motown era too. It’s all I listen to!” Inspired by these incredible women, Valencia discovered the powers of her own voice and how it can connect her with people around the world. “You don’t have to be perfect,” she says. “You just have to feel the music.”

Alternative grunge trio FALSE HEADS have unveiled their scathing new single: “Mime The End”. 

Produced by Frank Turner, the clangorous new cut comes as a second glimpse into the band’s long-awaited new album ‘Sick Moon’, set for release on 30 September 2022 via Scruff of the Neck Records.

WATCH VIDEO HERE || STREAM ON ALL SERVICES HERE

With gritty garage-punk riffs, snarling vocals and a barbs of reverb puncturing through its core, “Mime The End” is a vehement slice of metallic might that rails against the cruellest twists life’s rich tapestry can throw at you. 

As frontman Luke Griffiths says of the new track:

“”Mime The End” is about embracing the bleakest moments in your life and trying to turn them into positives. Accepting the worst and fighting for the best, accepting death and doing something with your blank canvas before the bell tolls.”

French composer, songwriter and producer Ulrich Forman shares new album, ‘Chapter IV: Vulnerable’ –  Stream Ulrich Forman’s new album ‘Chapter IV: Vulnerable’ Here.
 
‘Chapter IV: Vulnerable’, follows on the release of recents singles including, intimate  ‘Shadows Of Memories’,  ‘Wish I’d Loved You More’ – a collaboration with rising Alt-pop French singer Bergmann and French rapper Days –  the powerful, ‘At Last’, and the intimate ‘Breathin’. The single served as an introduction to Ulrich Forman’s emotive journey through the pain and joy that comes with love, vulnerability and songwriting he explores in his new albumWhile ‘At Last’ reflected on the aftermath of love and ‘Breathin’ explored the emotions of “falling in love without warning”,  in ‘Wish I’d Loved You More’ Ulrich continued exploring the theme touched upon with ‘At Last’, the relationship is consumed, love is dead.
 
Intimate, crafted with precision and delicacy, Ulrich’s music is wrapped around lyrics tinged with poetry. His arrangements, both sober and rich,  sewn thread by thread with remarkable craftsmanship, combine emotive melodies, intricate guitars and warm acoustics with touches of electronic influences to create delicate yet expansive indie folk songs.
 
“I started writing ‘Chapter IV’ about two years ago. I already had a few tracks and ideas laid down when I got into a really bad motorcycle accident,” explains Ulrich talking about the upcoming album. Finding himself unable to play guitar or piano, the artist had to come up with a new writing process; “for the first time, I started by writing lyrics without any melodies in mind, that led me to write introspective lyrics about very intimate subjects, which would later become the foundation of the album”.

Alan McGee’s hotly-tipped new signing – THE GULPS – go hard and fast on “King of the Disco”, out now via It’s Creation Baby.

STREAM ON ALL SERVICES HERE

Arriving as the London five-piece’s second single with the tastemaker label, “King of the Disco” is a bubbling petri-dish of rock, pop and disco influences that pulsates with a raucous, live-ready energy and an all-out party atmosphere. 

With its beats and grooves overseen by the legendary Danny Saber (Black Grape) on mastering, the resultant track is a swirling indie-disco earworm landing just in time for manic summer nights under flashing lights and Dyonisian blow-outs on sticky dancefloors. 

Inspired by post-Covid craziness and the exhilaration of being set free from lockdown, frontman Javier Sola says of the single:

“King of the Disco” is about instigating partying, hedonism and chaos and losing control. Everyone was sporadically locked up over the last two years, so this track is about celebrating the moment you were allowed onto the dancefloor again; dictating craziness, and spitting euphoria and absolute mania.”

Juls is a pop singer/songwriter from Connecticut, who is creating a world radiating with starry eyes, ocean blues and true love. Her love for music began at just eight years old, when her dad built a stage in the basement for Juls and her sister. Instantly recognizing that performing and singing was her calling, Juls shares, “My sister Jacqs was my presenter, and I was the star of the show, prancing onto the stage in my sparkly bodysuits and 6-inch heels (Jacqs was my stylist and makeup artist too, of course). Quite a bit has changed since then, but one thing has remained the same: our shared love for music. Well, two things actually…Jacqs still does my performance makeup lol.” 

With a burning desire to pursue her musical career, and with her sister at her side as her manager, best friend and “sisager”, Juls has quickly become a force to be reckoned with. She reveals, “We once believed that the dream worlds we were creating for fun would only ever exist within the confines of our basement. However, we are now turning these dreams into our reality, and we could not be more excited to share them with you all on a bigger platform.”

Her latest single “Summer Thing” touches on themes of young love, summer blues and faded youth, with the songwriter speaking of her own experiences of love and navigating the changes associated with young adulthood. 

Taking inspiration from the likes of Taylor Swift and Lana del Rey, “Summer Thing” sparkles with Juls’ soulful, buttery vocals which glide atop warm, shimmering instrumentation. Creating an ethereal and magical soundscape, the music washes your worries away, mirroring the natural ebb and flow of the ocean. The artist explains, “I think that my music is most inspired by the ocean. I feel like life is a lot like swimming in the ocean: scary, exhilarating, dangerous, beautiful, and breathtaking at the same time. I often found myself driving to the water in Connecticut in high school and writing for hours in front of the ocean; the highs and lows of the ocean reflect the highs and lows of young adulthood, and nothing inspires me more creatively. For this reason, I do believe that my sound reflects the feeling of the ocean, and a shared thread of ambiguity and ethereality runs through both.”

Delivering your summer anthem for 2022, Juls is rapidly becoming an artist to watch for this year and beyond.

Singer/songwriter EMINZADA is a multi-dimensional artist with an exclusive style and powerful mindset. Originally from Baku City, Azerbaijan, EMINZADA has grown up with diversity in abundance, living between Azerbaijan, Turkey and the US, before making his move to London. Paying homage to his classical background in music composition, his music explores notions of camp, lust and escapism, representing freedom of art expression and his homeland’s musical culture and futurism, with his Azerbaijani heritage beaming proudly throughout.

The new single “Bloodline” is some of Eminzada’s most personal work to date. Touching on the desire to live authentically yourself, despite the concerns of your parents, the artist confesses that his life choices cannot be controlled by his family, regardless of their close bond. Singing, “Don’t try to stop me, I’m trying out my new wings, I’m flying above your head, You look so small from up here”, the artist speaks about walking away from the expectations that his culture and society have placed upon him, rising above everything that has been holding him back. Eminzada confides, “This song is definitely about my confession that I was raised in a certain way and how my parents always tried their best for me and now because of their hard work they put into raising me I need to live my life in a certain way as they wish.” 

New York City-based Japanese producer and musician rei brown releases second single, “Thinking Bout You,” out everywhere now, featuring fellow rising Japan-born musician, Joji, where they yearn to be closer to their loved ones. A visualizer to accompany the single plays with the sci-fi theme of the track, taking listeners on a ride to space. Along with the single, rei brown announces the release of forthcoming full-length album, Xeno, due out July 8, 2022, available for pre-order now. Plus, the musician has already begun a sold-out North American tour with keshi. Check out the tour teaser here.

Continuing on the science-fiction themes of the last release and a soundtrack for long distance love, “Thinking Bout You,” dives deeper into the cinematic, dreamscape world he has begun to build. rei brown explains, “I wrote my part mostly in the context of a long distance relationship. There are hints in it that suggest it takes place in a different more sci-fi reality.” The spacious, otherworldly track hopes to keep the two together as they confront their issues and the distance between them asking, We’re ascending barely hanging on / What’s this planet that we’ve landed on?”

new alternative-rock duo – GRAMMS – erupt onto the scene with their debut single: “Shut Up A Second”.
STREAM ON ALL SERVICES HERE

Biting through a massive mix of aggressive guitars, thunderous reverb and vociferous vocals, GRAMMS aren’t ones for a polite introduction. 

Flecked with classic alt-rock stylings but taking an innovative approach to production, their debut single “Shut Up A Second” calls to mind a blustering row between Royal Blood and The Black Keys. Touching on decaying empathy and the power divide between ruler and ruled, the track is an immense anthem with a sting.

Of the story behind the song, GRAMMS explain:

“The song explores what partisanship is doing to our ability to empathise. We used the trope of ‘Rich man / Poor man’ to explore the issue in the verses: the first verse depicts a disgruntled underclass, while the second focuses on a nervous ruling elite. The chorus is about how incessant partisan noise from the media ultimately erodes our natural empathy.” 

ABISHA shares a new blood-rushing anthem and video titled “Everything Falls Into Place” featuring fellow London artist Double S, out today. It is the title track of her upcoming EP, which will be arriving this July. Optimized for the dancefloor, the new anthem is anchored with uptempo production filled with effervescent synths that underpin the invigorating optimism found in the lyrics. ABISHA’s delicate vocals and Double S’ breakneck rap verses work symbiotically in yielding a celebratory dynamic that is thrillingly buoyant. Toying with elements of hip-hop and pop, the exhilarating soundscape expands beyond the trope of UK garage that makes it an indulgent trip.

What is it like to straddle the line between deep commitment and shallow desires? 

Our moody, new song, “Enough,”  was inspired by attachment issues.  It approaches the question of commitment in a relationship with a wishful, dreamy apprehension — wondering what something could be. 

This tune marks a bit of a stylistic departure from our other material. It’s written in 6/4 which is not something you often hear in dance music, and bringing in horn players was definitely an experiment for us.

Hold me down

Hold me down

Been running from love

Don’t think your grip’s enough

Thank you for taking the time to listen,

Jay Cherr of Chrome Daphne

neillfrazer@hotmail.com

Socials: @neillfrazer

What do you think?

Written by Neill Frazer

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