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INsiders Guide: DJ Khaled, Rebel Kicks, TOSH ALEXANDER, Poesy, Leon Thomas, KELOW LATESHA, Ann Gray, Amaris, Sam Casey….

It’s finally here today! Global mega-star DJ Khaled uncovers his mega-anticipated new single and music video “Staying Alive” [feat. Drake & Lil Baby]. Listen to “Staying Alive” HERE and watch the music video HERE.

It paves the way one of the biggest hip-hop releases of 2022 and his anxiously awaited thirteenth full-length studio album, GOD DID, on Friday August 26, 2022 via We The Best Music Group/Epic Records. Pre-add/pre-save—HERE.

These three titans have united for the ultimate banger. Khaled assembles anthem to rival even his most earthshaking output as Drake and Lil Baby lock into an unbreakable back-and-forth. Meanwhile, the accompanying visual continues a tradition of larger-than-life and big screen-worthy videos for Khaled. This trio entertains in a hospital setting and captivates on-screen, scene-after-scene. 

You’ve got to see it in order to believe it.

Even the announcement of the single peaked anticipation. In addition to big plugs from HYPEBEAST and The SourceBillboard observed, God Did will continue DJ Khaled’s highly successful year.” Highlighting a private listening session for JAY-ZTMZ noted, “you don’t have to take Khaled’s word on the quality of the record…based on the pics, it’s written all over Jay’s face. 

Very soon, Khaled will reveal the full blockbuster tracklisting for God Did

Rebel Kicks is a New York City based duo who craft anthemic alternative pop infused with confessional rock for the ultimate sonic catharsis. Led by brothers Anthony and Steven Babino, Rebel Kicks is celebrated for their disarmingly personal and relatable music, anchored by the bold and harmonic blend of the brothers’ voices. Their songs feature mesmerizing synths, atomic guitar riffs and catchy hooks for a dynamic and inventive explosion of sound. 

Formed in 2018, Rebel Kicks soon gained notoriety for their energetically electrifying live performances, as evidenced on their recent live EP, Whiskey & Sinatra Live in NYC. Taking turns with lead vocals, the singers and multi-instrumentalists create a memorable and hard-hitting show for their fervent fanbase. The duo have shared bills with notable acts including Foo Fighters, Blink-182, Mac Miller, Iggy Azalea, Incubus and more. 

Rebel Kicks’ first album, A Portrait of Man: Part I was released in August 2020 and featured collaborations with acclaimed songwriters and producers, including Abe Dertner (Walk The Moon, MAX), Jeff Blue (Macy Gray, Hoobastank, Korn, Linkin Park), Jason Pennock (2pac, Polyenso, The Pussycat Dolls),  Russ DeSalvo (Lou Reed, Celine Dion, Lionel Richie), and Jimmy Greco (Paramore, Santana). Incorporating themes such as love, loss, self-acceptance, and hope for a better future after a political downfall, A Portrait of Man: Part I is a fourteen track that reaches the core of people’s thoughts and emotions while staying relevant to the times.

The duo’s single “Floating”, released in March 2021, was written and recorded in quarantine during 2020. “It’s an up-beat reflection on the power of turning inward, and quieting the noise through meditation. Instead of dwelling on the negative during these dark times, we wanted to focus our energy on conveying a cathartic, positive message, and we hope this song does just that.” 

Their follow-up single, “We Should Go Missing”, was written and recorded with two producers from Shep Goodman’s (American Authors) production team , Jackson Hoffman (Young Rising Sons, Micky James) and Ryder Stuart (CANNON) and is “a metaphor for daydreaming of escape.” The track details the ultimate nirvana in “finding that inner tranquility we all seek, freeing your mind from the daily stresses and anxieties that we all deal with.”  Featuring  exuberant vocals, a powerful driving rhythm, and a sweeping synth pop melody culminating into a climatic sing-along chorus, “We Should Go Missing” is the ultimate alternative rock escape. 

Since its inception, Rebel Kicks has seen growing success, with multiple song features on MTV and Showtime, attracting fans across the globe. Their music video for the song “Let It Out” combines elements of interpretive dance with ASL, and has been recognized as a finalist in numerous film festivals, including the 2019 Big Apple Film Festival. 

2022 has seen Rebel Kicks release four new tracks, “Paint With the Music On”, “No One Like You”, “Here Again” and “Those Days”, with a brand new single, “Hamartia” out now. 

 Following this week’s surprise announcement of her highly-anticipated single “Cum Yah,” Jamaican American artist Tosh Alexander delivers the tantalizing new track, one day before Jamaica’s Independence Day, available today to purchase and stream HERE.
 
No stranger to releasing music excellence that fuses her cultural roots as a Brooklyn-born native raised in Jamaica and Florida, Tosh Alexander’s latest release dominates with appeal to all. The Pop artist, who over the years has grown a strong following within several genres from Dancehall to R&B, channels her Caribbean essence just in time for the peak of Summer.
 
The Jamaican sensation captivates listeners with a chant-like hook on the JonFX (Vybz Kartel, Shabba Ranks, XXXTentacion) produced track and reels-in attention upon first listen. “My time tuh drive di boat, mi ah di captain” — a lyric taken from the release stands as a pledge that she delivers on.
 
“Cum Yah” follows the release of a string of singles and guest features by Tosh that continues to dominate globally. From her feature hook to the Billboard-charting hit “Twerk It,” by Busta Rhymes featuring Nicki Minaj to her rendition to Serani’s No Games” with her Rolling Stone-praised single “Games” Tosh has displayed her artistry in many forms with the achievements to match. Today’s release proves her reign is far from letting up.

POESY is the solo project of classically trained singer, songwriter and pianist, Sarah Botelho. She was discovered after she appeared on the first season of hit Canadian music competition show, THE LAUNCH. Her incredible breakout performance propelled POESY to new heights yet unseen, landing her a major label deal with Big Machine Records and an opportunity to collaborate with esteemed composer and producer Stephan Moccio (Celine Dione, Avril Lavigne) on her debut single ‘Soldier of Love’ . This release charted in the Billboard Top 40 and was followed by a four-track long EP entitled Glass Box Confessional. Her singles “Body Language” and “Strange Little Girl” debuted in the Top 20 at Rock Radio. Classically trained in both singing and piano from the tender age of 4, the musical world has become POESY’s playground, having had vast experience in musical theatre, numerous rock bands and even operatic singing. By pairing inspiration from her favourite novels with an air of vulnerability from her own experiences, POESY unleashes her signature siren sound, filled with big drums & bittersweet melodies. POESY has had the recent honour to write and record an original anthem for Canada Games 2022, which she will perform at the opening and closing ceremonies this summer. Her most recent project – her debut LP I Exist – was made in collaboration with UK producer Stephen Lipson (Annie Lennox, Billie Eilish) and explores themes of betrayal and the journey back to one’s truest self. Her live show is a choir girl gone rogue – with her whimsical outfits and charming storytelling, she commands your attention and pulls you headfirst into every song.

From writing and producing on #1 albums with chart-breaking artists to starring on hit television series, GRAMMY® Award-winning singer, songwriter, producer, and actor Leon Thomas has become one of the most watched multi-hyphenate talents in the entertainment industry today. He has written and produced with the likes of Post Malone, Ariana Grande, Kehlani, J. Cole, Rick Ross, and more, and won a Grammy for writing credits on Babyface and Toni Braxton’s 2014 joint album Love, Marriage & Divorce. In 2021, Leon found himself contributing his writing and production skills to Drake’s global chart-topping album Certified Lover Boy on “Pipe Down,” “Love All” [feat. JAY-Z], and “In the Bible” [feat. Lil Durk and Giveon]. Born in Brooklyn and raised by his vocalist mother, opera-singing grandfather, and stepfather who played guitar for B.B. King, Thomas’ musical career began early. He appeared as Young Simba on Broadway’s The Lion King at 10 years old and began working with Nickelodeon at 13, voicing The Backyardigans character Tyrone and starring in Victorious for the show’s entire run. In 2018, Leon released his debut EP Genesis to critical acclaim and is now returning with new music under Ty Dolla $ign’s EZMNY Records, a joint venture with Motown Records. Leon’s latest singles–“Love Jones” feat. Ty Dolla $ign and “X-Rated” feat. Benny The Butcher–pave the way for his highly anticipated Electric Dusk album, due out later this year.

Kelow LaTesha has announced the forthcoming release of her eagerly-awaited new EP, TURBO due out in partnership with SoundCloud. Arriving on August 19, TURBO, in short for turbulence, takes listeners on a ride that provides a front-and-center look at Kelow’s trials, triumphs and transformative experiences that have led her to stand tall as the woman she is today.
 

In addition to being named part of First on SoundCloud’s 2022 artist class, earlier this year Kelow LaTesha launched a partnership with SoundCloud to bring her career to the next level. She shared the news with fans today on her social channels [link to video].

Ann Gray shares, “I remember being fascinated and engrossed by this idea of a toxic, urban “love” story, and when later presented with some extra time in the studio, I decided I might as well take a shot at bringing this vision to life. Luckily, Johny, the amazing mixer and a producer I was working with, was just as big a Bleachers fan as I was, and when I told him that I wanted them to be the reference production-wise, he got to work. I absolutely bopped out in the studio as he added these brilliant guitar riffs and licks, and after getting a live drummer in the studio, the song truly exceeded my expectations.”

Ann Gray is a captivating singer-writer from Norfolk, Virginia. Winner of the 2021 TasteBreakers Music Contest, her songs pair the whimsy of youth with the complicated nature of growing up in the modern age. Ann Gray’s eclectic debut EP “Foolish”, has received glowing reviews and regional acclaim, picking up a Veer Music Award nomination for “Best Acoustic/Folk”. Additionally, Ann Gray’s original song “The Space Between” was featured on Hunter Hughes compilation album, “Sunrise Sessions Vol. 2: The Pandemic Recordings”. Featured on WHRO’s Curate series and heralded in Veer Magazine as a “a gifted artist, songwriter to watch”- you don’t want to miss Ann Gray. 

Ámaris shares this about “Been Doing This”:

“‘Been Doing This’ is about new beginnings, but in a good way. The song is about letting things go that no longer work and moving on to something new that is already waiting for you.”

Ámaris Wen Emersleben is a London-based recording artist, music producer, actor, and songwriter. As one of few female music producers, Ámaris’ skills in combining genres such as electronica, R&B, and pop have defined her music as being genre-defying. “Creativity is my fuel,” says Ámaris, “I can rely on it. I’d say that it is probably my actual skill.”

Aside from her music, she’s currently working on a music documentary, “On Tape,” in which female and non-binary music producers will answer questions about their work. 10 questions, 10 music producers, no wrong answers! The short form documentary is a collaboration with L.A.-based Maria Corso of female- owned production company Two Foot Five Productions. They interview art. The project will feature interviews with artists such as Erin Adkisson, Ámaris Wen, Nefertiti Gold, Raluca, NAGYEDi, Gothic Dancing Queen, JanetB alias Janet Brooks, and Clara Maria Rose among others.

Ámaris is very vocal on the protection of the oceans and is an ambassador for the non-profit organization Big Blue Ocean Clean-up, which works on reducing plastic waste in the oceans. Her fantasy story “Lagoona: A Journey through the Reef,” published in 2022, raises awareness for the disappearing coral reefs and ocean pollution.

When Toronto based artist Sam Casey was fifteen or sixteen years old, there were a bunch of guys that she didn’t know hesitating at the top of a super high rock face overlooking the lake near her cottage. Already a force of nature, she climbed up there, walked right past them and just jumped. It was probably a fifty feet drop. Nicknamed “The General” by her family, Sam established her girl boss credentials from that point forward. “As a young female artist, I believe that many people expect certain social norms or points of view from me that I consistently disagree with or can’t provide.”

She was into music at a young age and took piano lessons like her older sisters, but never really liked it. So, she made a deal with her parents. They would let her switch to guitar if she would stay with the piano until grade six. This lead her to a music school called Beyond The Beat which had great teachers, encouraged its students to produce original music and, unusually, emphasized artist development. Quintessentially Canadian, Sam played hockey for most of her life until music eventually took over. Her team used to play her songs in the dressing room to get pumped up for the game! She loves dancing because it instantly changes peoples’ moods.

Singer-songwriter Hamid J has released his newest single, “ain’t thinkin bout you.” Combining breathy harmonies and an ‘80s-inspired synth bassline, the track is a breakup anthem focused on prioritizing self-love. “ain’t thinkin bout you” is available to download and stream on digital platforms worldwide.

“ain’t thinkin bout you” follows themes of love and budding relationships found in Hamid J’s previously-released singles. The track, which is the second single off his upcoming full-length debut album cycle of a relationship, focuses more on the process of moving on post-breakup. “ain’t thinkin bout you” narrates the post-breakup realization that the sadness and anger are over, and the healing has begun. “After a breakup, there comes a moment when you realize you’re no longer interested in your ex,” Hamid J explains. “You’re not angry. Not mad. Not bitter. You’ve just moved on.” Seamlessly blending a funky bassline that gets audiences dancing with powerful lyrics like, “The fool you’ve been with was too blind to see the magical way you shine light in the dark,” the song inspires a message of valuing self-worth while still recognizing the difficult realities of any romantic breakup. “ain’t thinkin bout you” was produced by Matt Cady (Madonna, Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran) and Hamid J, and mixed and mastered by Donny Ingram (Dreamcatcher Studio).

Photo by Rebecca Reid

As I was writing “Anemone Sound,” this gritty, groovy, rock & roll thing

started to emerge, a kind of psychedelic boogie with sly nods to Bowie & Barret, that quickly morphed into the quintessential summer jam.

The musique concrete traffic sounds and long strains of heavily effected backwards cymbal and flute are intended to lend a transportive quality, a sense of sonic immersion in something out of place and time.

You can hear “Anemone Sound” on your favourite platform, and watch the video on YouTube.

Just be devoured by an opulent lust and be acquired by the spell of her cosmic trust

I wanted to play with this metaphor of a lover being a siren or a sea god —

a mythical psychedelic creature whose love takes you through a kind of ego death or spiritual transformation; a portal through which the old armored self gives way to a newly opened illuminated self.

Thanks for checking it out,

Ryan Bourne

LA indie-pop quartet Atta Boy return with new single “Boys,” out everywhere now, alongside a DIY lyric video. The guitar-driven, sweet ode to friendship is just the first taste of what’s to come from the four-piece.

Atta Boy began as a high school band, and after their first year in college, the group made a whimsical project in the summer of 2012 that became their debut album, Out of SortsEden Brolin (vocals) Dashel Thompson (piano) Freddy Reish (guitar) and Lewis Pullman (drums) didn’t expect anyone outside of their friends and family to hear it, but to their surprise, it captured listeners in over 70 countries. Eight years later, after pursuing individual endeavors, the band reunited to release their follow-up LP, Big Heart Mannerswhich caught the attention of several leading tastemakers like American SongwriterAtwood Magazine and The FADER. Now, in 2022, with millions of streams on Spotify and a captivated audience of over 226,750 monthly listeners, Atta Boy are back to capture the intricacies of not only life’s highs and lows, but the smaller, in between, seemingly trivial moments that make one feel most alive.

“Boys,” the band’s first release of 2022, was born from a vulnerable conversation between the bandmates that proved to lay the foundation for their writing and recording process. Taking turns sharing their goals, passions, hopes and fears, the track ultimately embodies the group’s deep-rooted, longtime friendship and serves as a reminder that amidst chaos and uncertainty, they have each other. Speaking to the track’s instrumentals, Reish explains, “The guitar part for “Boys” was written in fall of 2021 and was one of many voice memos I’ve sent to the band. I had been messing around with a lot of open tunings and this riff really resonated with the band.” As for the track’s subject matter, Reish continues, “It’s truly a snapshot of our friendships with each other and our commitment to growing up together as a band and friends. All of us traversing new milestones and hurdles knowing that in the end we always have each other to lean on.”

Salty seafarers – MAN THE LIFEBOATS – are delighted to launch their brand new album: ‘Soul of Albion’ – confirmed for release on 14th October 2022 via Wood Head Records.

Charting a new course with a breeze as stiff as they like their drinks, the quintet lead the way with the rip-roaring new single: “Born Drunk”, which you can listen to now:

STREAM ON SOUNDCLOUD HERE || ALL SERVICES HERE || WATCH OFFICIAL VIDEO HERE

A folk/punk firecracker broiling with fiddles, accordions and acoustic guitars played with gusto, it’s a rambunctious drinking song guaranteed to loosen your lips and get your pistons pumping.

Inspired by an unusual tattoo and a Martin Carthy song (amongst a menagerie of other things), “Born Drunk” takes the listener on a voyage through all that makes life’s rich tapestry so rich… and random. Led by frontman Rich Quarterman, it’s a breathless monologue that touches on politics and people, history and healthcare, religion and, well, getting royally rat-arsed. And in what’s got to be a lyrical first, there’s even time to rhyme “Palestine” with acting legend “Paddy Considine” too.

But what does it all mean? Rich Quarterman explains:


“Man The Lifeboats played a festival with the great Mr Carthy and he introduced one of his songs by saying: ‘this is a load of nonsense, it doesn’t mean anything’, which I’ve always thought was a fine approach to songwriting. The title came from a tattoo on an undisclosed person, and the rest of the lyrics are absolute nonsense. Or are they? Maybe there are some kernels of meaning in there somewhere. Paddy Considine features as his name rhymes with Palestine and Northern Line, but also because he’s an absolute hero and a brilliant actor. We tried to get him in the video but he was too busy with some TV show called Game of Thrones…”

Recorded more-or-less live at the iconic Rockfield Studios in Wales, the band cite a cocktail of influences including a hint of Hubert Parry’s Jerusalem, a dash of Pachelbel’s Canon, and slug of that Pogues Whiskey, that when thrown together ultimately get you “Born Drunk”. 

Montreal stalwarts The Dears are returning to the UK this September for a long-awaited run of live dates.

Marking a  triumphant return for the band, The Dears are guaranteed to deliver a cathartic set packed with classics alongside material from their latest release ‘Lovers Rock’, performed live for UK audiences for the first time.

Natalia Yanchak says:

“After all this time, the re-re-scheduling of tour dates and the re-re-re-anticipation of playing shows — it’s a little hard to believe these shows are finally going to happen.”

After releasing ‘Lovers Rock’ over two years ago, repeated lockdowns and cancellations of live touring meant the band had been unable to play the record live until this Spring. Natalia adds:

“We originally released ‘Lovers Rock’ in 2020. It was an album we were, and are still, very proud of. So it was hard to put out a record and then not play a single one of those songs live. We did a streaming show, but it’s just not the same as being in the same sweaty club, all together.”

THE DEARS UK TOUR 2022

SEPTEMBER
30 – Cambridge @ Portland Arms
 

OCTOBER
01
 – Liverpool @ Zanzibar

02 – Glasgow @ Hug & Pint

04 – Manchester @ Deaf Institute

05 – London @ The Garage

06 – Bristol @ Exchange 

Tickets available here.

Up next in his string of deviant from the mainstream releases, French producer turned rock emblem Tobias Dray today releases FUK IT with an equally as angsty official video. After watching fans voraciously open the pit to this song night after night on his sold-out headline tour of Europe and Canada this summer, Dray was straining at the leash to get this song out into the ether. “FUK IT” is now available on all DSPs – stream the official video HERE.

Today’s single is nothing short of a middle finger to societal constraints. With lyrics like, “If I wanna dance, I do it / If I wanna scream, I do it/ If I make a scene, I do” listeners are brought into how little Dray cares if anyone has something to say about how he chooses to express himself.

In the official video directed by Martin Klapperbein, we see Dray take on the role of a disgruntled businessman who has been pushed past his brink by his boss. Trashing his office and then evolving into an anime style Joker-esque villain, he takes to the streets of New York for an overly animated, disorienting whirlwind of a breakdown. This descent into madness matches the manic energy of the track. From how the video was publicly filmed, you can tell that Dray truly doesn’t care at all what people think of him. 

On the single, Dray said, “I wanted to create myself as a character who goes nuts, and is too tired from overthinking and taking care of stuff that doesn’t matter.”

Today, I’m sharing with you this song that I wrote with my producer and dear friend, John Fellner, at his cottage up north. A few days before we headed out on our trip, my ex unexpectedly reached out. That relationship was extremely unhealthy and stripped me of all that I was.

Leaving her was one of the hardest things I had to do, but I knew it was the only way I could find a way back to myself. Hearing from her rocked me, to say the least.

Surrounded by the beauty of Northern Ontario, I was deeply reflecting and processing whether I should respond or remain silent. I felt I had finally gotten to a place of peace and closure in my life, and while it was tempting to take that step back, I knew in my gut that it would never be what I wished it could be.

This is what inspired “Where It All Began.” Hear it on your streaming platform of choice.

On our last night there, I remember saying to John, “If she and I were still together, this trip either wouldn’t have happened or it would have caused a terrible fight.” I knew at that moment, this was my answer.

No one should ever make you feel like you can’t be yourself or that you’re not allowed to do something you want to do. That’s not love and it was not worth going back to.

I wanted this song to have a light and carefree vibe – the opposite of how that relationship made me feel. A song that you can play to remind yourself that you are better off now than you were then.
Head to YouTube to watch the official video for “Where It All Began,” a colourful journey through different eras which reflect the idea of going ‘back to’ something or someone.

Without knowing in your heart of hearts that you are enough, how is anyone else supposed to believe it?

Once I was able to get to a place of true acceptance and healing, I shifted as an artist. When I get up in front of an audience, I know that I am good at what I do.

Releasing my self doubt changed the game. And of course we all have our bad days, but instead of believing that voice in my head saying I’m not good enough, I simply acknowledge it for what it is, a lie.

Thank you for spending time with my music,

Lucy Morgan

Brighton (UK) punks The Bar Stool Preachers have today announced their signing to respected alternative label, Pure Noise Records. To celebrate, the band shares their latest rabble-rousing anthem in the form of “Call Me On The Way Home”

Speaking on the themes of their latest offering, vocalist Tom McFaull Comments: 

“Call me on the way home is an anthemic punk rock sing-along about checking in on your friends. It’s about shelving your bullshit to make sure the people you love know they’re loved, and that they’re safe. Sometimes we all get so caught up in ourselves that we forget to take the time to have each other’s back.” McFaull reflects adding: “Loneliness is a killer, but you’re never on your own.”

Email: neill@outloudculture.com

Socials: @neillfrazer

What do you think?

Written by Neill Frazer

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