in

INsiders Guide: K Harrison, Kaeley Jade, Charlie Burg, GROUPTHINK, Soft Set, The Happy Fits, Foster, Sir Will, Dilettante, AJA, Mariah Carey…

We all know the UK rap scene is very London-centric. Even with reams of talent, it can be difficult for an artist to crack the mainstream from less central locales. So, when an MC on the scene isn’t from Manchester, London or Birmingham: they’re fighting two battles.    

Hailing from Derby, East Midlands, rising wordsmith K Harrison is next up to bat in the UK rap arena. Despite only having a couple of tracks under his belt — he’s already been co-signed by Compton rap titan The Game and worked side-by-side with the nation’s favourite redhead Ed Sheeran. 

STREAM/DOWNLOAD: K HARRISON – LOVE ME LEAVE ME 

With superstars in his corner and two summer anthems in the air — ‘Fire Fire’ and his seismic debut ‘Boss (Call Away)’ — K Harrison is back with a fresh hit in the making titled ‘Love Me Leave Me’. 

Selecting a sultry sound pool once again, K Harrison deploys his nocturnal, pop-friendly delivery across a bulk of the runtime, before changing gears to his rapid-fire flow.  

Bringing the summer heat to the Derby streets, ‘Love Me Leave Me’ is the perfect conclusion to K Harrison’s party-starting trilogy. The Magic Hour-produced beat is home to soft, melodic guitar licks, layered vocal riffs and Latin and trap-adjacent kicks. Smooth.  

Following the release of her indie pop gem ‘Ego’ (released in April 2022), Edmonton-based Métis musician Kaeley Jade returns with ‘Poltergeist’, the latest single from her new album Turpentine set for release later this year. Listen here

Produced by the JUNO-nominated team at Velveteen Music, the catchy, upbeat track paints the tale of a deteriorating relationship with a vibrant palette. Inspired by artists like Shakey Graves and The Lumineers, ‘Poltergeist’ is a sunny and raucous anthem that will keep listeners dancing well into the witching hour.    

“Feeling the spark go out in a relationship is brutal—it’s somewhat of a catch-22, because the harder you try to hold on to someone, the faster they seem to slip away,” says Kaeley. “A couple years back, I was seeing someone for a while, and just when it seemed like it was starting to go somewhere, I noticed a strange feeling of distance between us that began to grow and grow to a point where one day, we just stopped talking to each other altogether. It was as if I had dated a ghost. So I ended up writing ‘Poltergeist’ as a bit of a tongue-in-cheek response to that experience.”

Brooklyn-based, Metro-Detroit-bred singer-songwriter, Charlie Burg, announces his debut LP, Infinitely Tallavailable for pre-order now. Along with the long-awaited album announcement, Burg brings a new single that evokes the way true friendship feels, “Chicago (Take It Or Leave It),” out everywhere now along with its accompanying pizza parlor-set video, via FADER Label.

Infinitely Tall, the 15 track LP, is told in three chapters, each tied to a specific place–from his childhood house in Detroit, to college in Syracuse, and now, life in New York City. The project explores the various spaces in one’s life that may make, break, shape and uplift, using lush soundscapes that blend genres and transcend location, age, space and time. The album was produced by Mike Malchicoff, who has worked with Bo Burnham, Niall Horan, Kids See Ghosts and King Princess. 

Speaking to the chapter book structure of the album, Burg’s goal was to design a body of work that mirrored the stages of his own life and the places that have shaped him throughout his life thus far, Burg explains, “I formatted this album in a three-chapter layout, with each group of five songs representing a different space in my life. The first is representative of the dreamlike nostalgia of one’s hometown; the second embodies a college house and the free spirit and recklessness of young adulthood; the third is city life, an ejection from youth into adulthood, and the endlessness that stretches out before you in the smoky urban expanses.”

boundary-pushing singer, songwriter, and producer Groupthink shares Guilty Pleasure, an EP full of the colorful, vulnerable sort of songs he’s been releasing over the last few years. Listen HEREvia 10K Projects. The vibrant alt-pop project includes irresistible singles Guilty Pleasure and Me and Your Boyfriend” — featuring Groupthink-directed videos — as well as the yearning, emotional new track “Sex Is A Sport.”

For Groupthink, these new tracks were an exercise in making relatable, intimate, and otherworldly pop songs that could reach listeners where they’re at. “The core idea of Guilty Pleasure is wanting to be liked and being OK with wanting to be liked, and wanting to make music that was for other people,” Groupthink says. “Me not knowing how to do that, and searching, the result is the EP.” There’s certainly a lot to like about “Sex Is A Sport,” which pairs a bouncy, lush soundscape with gravelly vocals and brutal honesty. “Just because you mean it,” he sings. “Oh, that doesn’t mean it’s not a lie.”

Toronto shoegaze/indie rock duo Soft Set are back with a brand new single and video ‘Diamond’, out now on all digital streaming platforms. Watch video here.

Following the release of ‘More More More’ earlier this year, ‘Diamond’ is the 2nd single from Soft Set’s new album Still Life set for release later this summer. Mastered by Simon Scott (Slowdive) at SPS Mastering studio in the UK, the fast-paced, dark and brooding track was inspired by a true crime podcast.

“We heard of this story of a boy who killed his mother and then himself in Jefferson Township, NJ, in the late 80s and the whole story was just so bizarre,” says Soft Set’s James Gray. “He seemed to be a good kid and all of that changed within a matter of months leading up to the tragic night when everything changed. It’s a fascinating story and there’s a great podcast called ‘The Devil Within’ that explores what happened and what possibly drove this boy to do what he did. Check it out!”

Lively alt/indie-pop trio The Happy Fits are on a roll, taking the world by storm, and showing no signs of slowing down. Finally, today, they announce their highly-anticipated third studio album, Under The Shade of Green, available for pre-order now, along with a heavier track, “Do Your Worst” and its accompanying pineapple-filled video.

After an overwhelming turnout at Napa’s BottleRock Festival, The Happy Fits will head to Milwaukee for Summerfest before trotting across the pond to Europe and the UK this fall. The Happy Fits will hit GlasgowUK on October 17th, Manchester and London the following two days and finish in Berlin on October 22nd. The Happy Fits are quickly gaining traction with over 1.75M monthly listeners on Spotify25.6K YouTube subscribers and 9.7M YouTube views. Their 2021 What Could Be Better Tour saw 20+ sold out dates from LA to NYC.

Shortly after, the trio will kick off a lengthy full-length tour through November and half of December stretching from the East, to West, and Southern U.S. Beginning in BurlingtonVT on November 8th, the band will head through the Midwest, then across the West including three dates in California, and South including three dates in Texas, before concluding in PhiladelphiaPA on December 18. Find a full list of dates below, with tickets on sale now via thehappyfits.com/tour.

The third studio album, Under The Shade of Green, is a moment of processing the last two years for each of the three band members, and invites listeners to join them. In typical Happy Fits fashion, however, the band blends serious subject matter with inescapable hooks and melodies, beaming instrumentation and unparalleled charm.

More than ever, the last two years have exposed colossal systemic failures throughout the world and Calvin Langman (lead vocals/electric cellist) says the album created space to better understand his role within it. “This album is how I’ve been processing the trauma of the past two years, from the pandemic, to climate change, to the rise of fascism, to BLM, to finding my place in this broken world. As there aren’t many who are left unshaken, I hope everyone can find something dark in here to relate to.”

On-the-Rise, Alternative hip-hop artist Foster reaches new heights in his sound and own self-awareness, and on today’s launch of new track “wish you were here.”The addictive new single offers a window into a relationship that went very wrong.  Foster will be releasing more emotive slows later this year across an EP out later this year via Relentless Records.

Listen to the song now; https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekgSeRKFyS4

Playlists – here

Speaking about his wish you were here single, Foster explained “‘wish you were here’ depicts the story of a relationship gone wrong, in which the main character wishes not for forgiveness, but instead simply a chance to own up to his mistakes and destructive behavior. This song is not only one of my favorite songs I’ve ever made but also a major turning point in my creative career. 

“Before ‘wish you were here,’ every song I made was written by me, alone in my room, over a beat I either found online or was sent online. But this song came from one of my first ever sessions with a co-writer and producer actually in the room working with me. It was such a different experience for me working with Maize (Maize Olinger, co-writer) and Sean (Sean Myer, producer) who both blew me away with their experience and talent, and not to mention I was in LA for the first time, so the vibes were great. Everything came together so naturally. I remember listening to it over and over and over after we finished it, which is not something I usually do; I was, and still am, extremely proud of this one.”

Terry “SirWill” Williams creates intoxicating hip hop and R&B releases marked by intense passion and an undeniable musical flair. Defined by years of overcoming poverty, inner-city life, and unforeseen challenges, the artist channels his inner resilience and uses innovation and versatility to confidently inspire others through his powerful music and authentic voice. With a natural talent for crafting hooks and creating relatable lyrics, SirWill has built a dedicated fanbase of avid listeners.
Growing up in Compton, California, Sir Will overcame a difficult childhood with his family members selling and abusing drugs and loved ones involved in gang activity. Inspired by Los Angeles icon and local rap hero, “DJ QUIK”, who performed at his neighborhood’s annual block party, a young Sir Will wanted to achieve that same human “superpower” of becoming an influential rap icon who enthralled and motivated audiences around the globe. At just eight years old, a young Sir Will began songwriting, rapping and entering in local talent shows and performances showcasing his original music.Since 2021, Sir Will has released a series of infectious hip hop and R&B singles under his label, Will Do It Entertainment. Working alongside West Coast legendary producer Rhythm D and other icons such as Battlecat, Drumma Boy, Bobby 

Keyz from the Loopholes, and LA Reid’s son Antonio Reid Jr., is a sought after artist who has established himself as a rapper known for slick metaphors, great hooks and a captivating vocal clarity. He confides, “I want any listener watching me perform or listening to me wherever you are, to hear every single word that comes out of my mouth. I feel we do not have enough of that in today’s music, and I want to bring that feeling back.”

Dilettante — meaning “amateur of the arts” — is the semi-deadly-serious moniker of a quintet that reflects like a seasoned collective, only to laugh like absolute beginners.

Reborn from Toronto mainstay For Jane, Dilettante’s “amateur” self-titled debut effort is a modulated cabaret that tests how wryly powerful pop can be. The groove-proof instruments are tracked from studios big and homespun, the double fantastic harmonies are sung from the hearth of a winter cabin, and the spacious synths close the decades and distance with a performance all the way from Japan. Bittersweet throwback bops create technicolour characters, shaking and glimmering like the last sequin clinging to an attic-bound jumpsuit; then, thumping ballads croon and cry like dancing slowly, alone in the spotlight with all of your closest friends.

Bandleaders Natalie Panacci and Julia Wittmann are kindred vocalists. Born just two days apart, their celestial connection lets them intertwine but never touch — two unmistakable voices that blend impossible shapes and colours, but never lose themselves in each other. This ferocious symmetry animates “Donna” as “one hard apple to core” and “Connie” wanting “a man on a leash,” then serenades with every sweetheart address from “blue baby” to “baby, you’re a monster.”

Toronto’s AJA (Aja Neinstein) returns with her stunning new single ‘Fireflies’

Listen HERE

A dreamy showcase of flawless vocals and cathartic songwriting make for an impressive next move, for the rising 18-year-old.

Written when AJA was working through a difficult time, the track is a reminder to keep your head up and focus on looking ahead. Written in collaboration with Jimmy McGorman and Rob Vallier, the tender ballad adds yet another string to her musical bow. Sharing more, AJA explained: I wrote Fireflies when I was in a pretty dark place and it was really about looking forward to what is next for me and getting away from negativity.  Not letting anything stand in the way of me chasing my dreams.  

Fireflies is the follow up single to Love At First Song’ which came out back in March. Written as a testament to her love of music, the knock-out single was a certified bop, scooping support from the likes of DORK and Ones To Watch, amassing hundreds of thousands of streams.

Despite only just turning 18-year-old, the Toronto born and bred artist has already made an impact with both music fans and critics. In the short time since she launched, her songwriting has evolved into a strong and empowering language that is complimented by a vocal prowess way beyond her years.

Highlights so far include being coined the iHeartRadio Future Star for her smash single “Red Button,” plus bagging support from array of press outlets including The Line of Best Fit, SPIN, Billboard, LADYGUNN, American Songwriter, Complex, Wonderland, Dork and Flaunt.

23-year-old Philippines-born, Las Vegas-based musician Ez Mil shares his third single “27 Bodies,” along with an official music video. The new track is from his second studio album, DU4LI7Y, (Duality), out this summer, under FFP Records and distributed by Virgin Music/UMG. The track, produced and written by Ez Mil himself, puts the rapper’s lyrical and rhythmic skills on display, proving he’s an artist to keep an eye on.

This is Ez Mil’s take on putting his own instrumentals to his “24 Bars Challenge” — which racked up more than 7.9 million views on his original YouTube upload — with a twist of speaking truth about our society. “27” is his favorite number and “bodies” represents victims of societal brutality. On the new single, he says, “I hope my track enlightens people, or at least make them critically think and be aware of our society. Let’s not get blindsided with the good and be ignorant with evil.”

Multi-instrumentalist Alexander Seligman-Swartz is the moniker of the electronic pop artist, Distant Matter. Distant Matter brings a textured, colourful, and sentimental infused sound to the electronic scene pulling from inspirations such as, Louis The Child, Flume, and The Beatles.

Distant Matter announces his highly anticipated debut EP, Iridescent, with new single “Do You Miss Me?” featuring Toronto artist GUS. The 6 track EP will be his first EP since the creation of the Distant Matter project, and is scheduled for release in September of 2022. “Do You Miss Me?” is distinctive with a memorable vocal hook, bouncy baseline, and clever sound design. 

Distant Matter brings a textured, colorful, and unique sound to the electronic scene pulling from inspirations such as, Louis The Child, Flume, and The Chainsmokers. Having received support from Flume, Louis the Child, Evan Giia, and more, as well as selling out his first hometown headline show, Distant Matter is proving to be one of the most promising up and coming electronic acts of this era.

“Dylan writes with no filter, just these great big searingly honest songs, shot through with such poetic beauty, delivered by such gorgeous melodies, you can’t resist being taken along with him” – Matt Owens, Noah and the Whale

London singer-songwriter Dylan James shows his talent for invoking powerful emotions on his debut single, ‘Let’s Talk,’ produced by Matt Owens (Noah and the Whale).

If you haven’t heard of Dylan James before, don’t worry – you’re not alone. While rarely doing interviews or performing live, the singer-songwriter has developed a hushed cult following through his rare home demos. Fans know him for his gift to tell stories that bring out strong, genuine emotion. After half a decade, James is finally ready to share this gift with larger audiences, starting with ‘Let’s Talk’, a single that is sure to leave you deep in thought. 

“In two simple words “Let’s Talk” summed up my frozen tongue,” says Dylan on the new single. “I couldn’t talk about my feelings, I didn’t know where to start. I would just dig myself another hole hoping it would all go away.” 

To combat this Dylan uses his songwriting to open up about the challenges of intimacy, expressing how difficult it is to find happiness while hiding your true feelings. ‘Let’s Talk’ takes listeners on a journey of Dylan’s self-discovery as he grapples with bringing suppressed emotions to the surface. His lyrics, delivered with a signature cracked baritone are matched beautifully by the folksy, melancholic acoustic guitar rhythm and soft but bright drums throughout.  

And don’t miss the powerful accompanying video, directed by Qapla4 films. “Such a special lyric and beautiful song needed a human story, with a poignant message” says the director. “It’s about the interplay between four people, who have so much to say to each other but all stop just short of doing so, much to the detriment of each individual relationship.” 

Rachel Grae has unapologetically exploded to the forefront of global attention in recent weeks on TikTok. The New York based artist recently dropped a snippet of a song idea on Tiktok which rapidly caught fire after fans sent the singer’s post viral, racking up 7.3M views and 1.5M likes to date. 

Today, she drops the full version of ‘Friend Like Me’, a wholly relatable sky reaching pop cut showcasing her indelible vocals over a zestful, yet beautifully simplistic production. ‘Friend Like Me’ see’s Rachel Grae team up with experienced LA based producer Adam Yaron (Maddie Zahm, Alexander Stewart, Sophia Scott) to offer a pop heater with endless energy. Rachel Grae, who’s almost inevitably set for pop dominance, says:

“Friend Like Me is about one sided friendships. Often the person that checks up on others, is the one who rarely gets checked up on. I posted a video of me singing this chorus idea while making eggs on tiktok, and it blew up! Producers started hopping on the track and everyone started asking me for a full version. Two days later I wrote and recorded the full track. This song and the response from everyone means the world to me and I can’t wait for everyone to hear it!”

Tanner Frame was born and raised in a small mining town named Flin Flon, Manitoba. Spending most of his life there, at an early age he found passion for music and starting writing songs at a super early age. He went to school and graduated High School from Hapnot Collegiate before heading off to work in the mining industry as that’s what he was surrounded by. Spending a few years in the mining environment, he realized the lifestyle was not for him and headed off to Edmonton, Alberta to attend College at NAIT and surround himself in an environment where he figured there would be more of an opportunity to pursue music.

Picking up guitar at a later stage in life, he found himself really interested in the modern country genre after listening to Florida Georgia Lines – Cruise single when it first released. After that he spent a few years writing originals before heading to the professional studio environment to record.

Now onto releasing his third modern country single, he plans to pursue and keep creating country music and hopefully end up doing it one day full time.

Matthew Bailey is a Toronto-based singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer and recording engineer. When not producing records or on the road supporting some of Canada’s finest songwriters, he can be found in his home studio composing songs and exploring the spaces between notes. Since moving to Toronto in 2006, Matthew has released original music under the band names The Long Haul, Staycation, Playdate, The Psychological Rangers, ES+MB, as well as albums under his own name.

Matthew has been a major contributor to a number of creative collaborations, including his production work on releases by Sameer Cash and Hiroki Tanaka, his role as guitarist/synthesist with Andy Shauf’s touring band and his film score for Billsville. Referring to his Camargo and Vol I releases, Music Works wrote, “Bailey’s curious mind conjures enthralling animated soundscapes for wired daydreamers,” aptly describing his aesthetic aspirations and devotions of recent years. The Wire described Manitoulin Tapes, a recent release with his duo Playdate, as a
“blissed out lo-fi gem.”

https://matthewbailey.bandcamp.com/album/peachfruit

 during the BET Awards, Mariah Carey stunned as she joined artist Latto to perform the pair’s smash record Big Energy (Remix). Mariah donned a custom black stretch velvet Dolce & Gabbana dress with gold trimming and a train; custom Dolce and Gabbana shoes; canary yellow diamond earrings and necklace by Pristine Jewelers; and David Yurman bracelets.

A fresh mix of electronic rock with a few drops of synth pop are the secret ingredients of the Vancouver-based band, OurGlassZoo.

Their debut EP in 2017 made it to the semi-finals of the biggest online songwriting competition (ISC) which featured high end judges such as Lorde, Kaskade, Tom Waits, Bastille, and the late Chris Cornell. The songs “Somehow Somewhere” and “Listen” got radio play in both Italy and the UK in 2018.

The follow up EP, Hindsight, was recorded at Monarch Studios with JUNO Award-winning producer Tom Dorbzanski (The Zolas) and Alex Penney. It was released through Sony Orchard and Volunteer Media on March 20th, 2020.

Since its release, Hindsight has received over 250K streams on Spotify, while the songs “Astronaut,” “Sins,” and “In Your Head” have enjoyed radio play in Italy, the USA, and Canada.

The single “Astronaut” features the band’s first official music video, which stars Georgie Daburas, who plays Edward Spellman on the Netflix hit series, Sabrina, and Karissa Ketter (Kim Possible), who was nominated for a Joey Award for her performance in the video.

The video was released in 2020 and has over 45K views already. It was nominated for Best Video at the London Music Video Festival and won Best Rock Video at the LA Music Awards.

Music has always been written in the stars for Frankie. Once a former member of the boy band, WOW, under the moniker, Frankie Presley, Zulferino eventually made the decision to pursue a solo career and around the age of 21, wrote his first song, “I Found You.” In 2012, Frankie’s solo career started to make some noise after joining the show The Next as a contestant and was mentored by Joe Jonas.

He has toured across the United States, China, Canada, Europe with multi-platinum artists and performed in Times Square and New York Fashion Week and has garnered the support from top publications. Frankie was also one of the top four contestants in the New York episode of CW’s “The Next” where he was mentored by pop sensation Joe Jonas of The Jonas Brothers. His work has been recognized and shared by icons like Janet Jackson, Ne-Yo and Paula Abdul. View their message from the artists themselves here.

Rapid-rising Australian rapper Tasman Keith unleashes his brand-new record “HEAVEN WITH U” featuring home-grown pop star Jessica Mauboy – taken from his highly-anticipated debut album A Colour Undone.

Arriving as the penultimate release from Tasman’s forthcoming debut album, “HEAVEN WITH U” balances the grit of The Carters with the emotive, passionate features of Biggie and Faith alongside friend and mentor Jessica Mauboy. As with each release lifted from A Colour Undone so far, Tasman continues to exemplify his ability to seamlessly merge soundscapes with an infectious flair that lures you in with every spoken word. Showered with the delicate touch of fellow Australian gem Jessica Mauboy, “HEAVEN WITH U” takes the lore of hip hop’s most legendary collaborations in stride, proving their position as a captivating answer to the genre’s next biggest exports.

In Tasman’s words, “HEAVEN WITH U was a song that I wrote to myself, a song about finding the blissfulness and enlightenment internally which in turn will have you see it in others. It’s a love song to oneself, whilst at the same time being a song you can dedicate to anybody you truly find heaven in.”

Email: neill@outloudculture.com

Socials: @neillfrazer

What do you think?

Written by Neill Frazer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

INsiders Guide: EWAN MACFARLANE, SILVY, CAT SFX, Congregation of Drones, SPRTYK, PIZZA CRUNCH, Power Pose, Baker Grace, Vale…

Teaser: From Euphoria Creator Sam Levison Comes The HBO Limited Series ‘The Idol’