INsiders Guide: JELEEL!, Alexa Cappelli, Dust Cwaine, JOHN K, Theo Tams, THE VELVET HANDS, FERBY, HOTEL MIRA, Zoe Guigueno…

The summer of JELEEL! continues… After being named a Best New Artist by Pigeons & Planesand receiving praise from the likes of Complex, XXL, The FADER and HotNewHipHop, the rising sensation proves yet again his staying power with an energy-packed WWE-inspired single “STONE COLD!” Get it HERE via 10K Projects.

Alongside the song, JELEEL! also presents the official video at 11am PST/2pm EST. Watch it HERE. Directed by Tommy Bauer, the visual presents JELEEL! fending off a crew of gunslinging enemies using his pure brute strength, backlit by rotating red hues.

“For me, this is literally if ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin was a song and what I’d imagine the JELEEL! version of his walkout song would be,” says JELEEL! about the track.“I always loved WWE as a kid and it has been a huge influence both on my music, how I perform and who I am. This song incapsulates the energy that JELEEL! has and the nostalgia of ‘Stone Cold’ Steve Austin. Special shout Jeff Hardy too.”

rising pop singer-songwriter Alexa Cappelli,  who MTV hailed as a “voice of a generation,”is releasing her new single, “Temporary,” out now on Arista Records.

Empowering, defiant and immediately catchy, “Temporary” explores the mixed emotions of breaking off a ‘situationship.’ Alexa adds, “‘Temporary’ is a nostalgic song that makes the future of my love life seem less daunting, being proud of myself for knowing what I want and not settling for anything less. When I wrote ‘Temporary,’ I had finally processed my previous summer situationship and how I ended things. It was the song I needed to remind myself that I did the right thing by not trying to change them. I want the kind of love that doesn’t need convincing, the love that is sure on both sides of the street.”

Vancouver musician/drag artist Dust Cwaine (aka David Cutting) follows up their critically acclaimed single 90’s Darling’ with the retro-influenced ‘Aliens in LA’ out now on all digital streaming platforms. Listen here

‘Aliens in LA’ is the 2nd single from Dust’s debut album Arcana, which is set for release on September 23rd. Inspired by Pop Rock bands of the 80s like Mr. Mister and Go West, ‘Aliens in LA’ brings a fresh synth sound that immediately transports you to a late night drive through downtown LA. Producer Josh Eastman’s guitar screeches with catchy licks, while Dust’s vocals speak to an out of touch world resisting the beauty that is being different.

“This is my Fat Anthem,” says Dust. “I spend a lot of time thinking about fatness and how it is so out of rhythm with the rest of the world and how amazing that is; how much power that yields. This song carries that reflection. Lyrically this song came very easy, and Josh’s instrumentation is OUT OF THIS WORLD! The guitar is exuberant, rowdy, and in my opinion more catchy that the vocal melody. The alien metaphor is playful, and the synth is delicious! When we worked on this song, I said I wanted it to feel like you just hopped off a plane at LAX, the sun is setting and you are in a taxi flying down the freeway into downtown LA. Evoking feelings of Pretty Woman, Die Hard, and Clueless, but FATTER.”

Continuing a prolific streak this year, RIAA-certified platinum singer/songwriter John K unveils an emotionally charged new single entitled “something worth working on” today. Listen HERE via Epic Records and watch the official music video HERE.

“something worth working on” examines a romance at a crucial crossroads. The track’s piano-laden production echoes beneath vulnerable verses from John K. As sparse orchestration echoes, he serves up a catchy and confessional chorus inspired by text messages with his wife, “But all the nights we spent losing our minds together don’t mean that it’s wrong, it means we’ve got something worth working on.  

Of the song, he commented, “I was heading to a writing camp, and I was leaving my wife and newborn son for the first time. We got into an argument before I left which continued via text, but before I landed, she threw me a lifeline and waved the white flag—even though I probably should’ve been the one to. Noticing her grace in that moment, I told her I loved her and said, ‘We have something worth working on’. I told the story to my co-writers. In no time, we fully explored what ‘something worth working on’ meant. So often we are told that fighting is a sign of an unhealthy relationship—and though sometimes that’s true—I really believe that sometimes the fight is what makes the relationship real.”

I tend to be an overthinker and I can be super analytical in my relationships. Writing my new song, “Kick Back,” was an attempt to just chill the fuck out and make sure I was relaxed and easy about it all.

It’s about the start of a relationship, where you’re both still trying to figure things out and where each other stands.

💎 Listen to my effortlessly cool new track, “Kick Back,” on your preferred platform 💎

Don’t wanna give too much away, don’t wanna show my card just yet.

Sometimes we sell ourselves short. I think in all relationships, especially in the beginning, there is an element of always trying to be at our best, to hide the dark parts of ourselves, to make sure we don’t scare the other person away.

I needed to write a song in that moment where I was second guessing everything, questioning what I could really offer, and so “Kick Back” became about how simply showing up as your genuine self should be enough.

We all have an innate magic to offer someone else, so we need to stop trying to convince others that we are worthy of their time.

Kick back and show up and if it’s not received, they’re not worth your time.

You’ll find someone who is so stoked by what makes you unique.

Thanks for listening!

Theo Tams 

THE VELVET HANDS have unveiled their new soaring summer anthem “I Wanna Be There”. 


Blending their signature rip-roaring choruses with soaring guitar hooks that wouldn’t feel out of place on a major festival stage, “I Wanna Be There” is an uplifting anthem for anyone that feels a little bit restless in life.

Punctured at its core by a catchy, circling riff and with melodic build-ups that gleam like the first glimpse of sun on a dull late summer day, the track was produced and mixed by John Logan and JamX Jules at Cube Studios and The Cave in Cornwall. 

Focused on finding optimism amongst all the agitation, vocalist and guitarist Toby explains:

“”I Wanna Be There” is about everybody around you seemingly knowing exactly what they’re doing with their lives, whilst you’re still trying to shake off last night’s hangover and wondering when your life is going to properly start. It’s about looking around and realising that you’ve come much further than you think and that maybe everyone else feels the same.”

“It was the first track that we wrote for the album and was the one that guided where we were going. We want to make music that inspires kids to form bands: simple, passionate and energetic.”

New Zealand based newcomer FERBY today follows up on the buzz gained from her first two cuts fresh ‘Bad Vibes Stuck In My Teeth’ and ‘ Every Night’  with razor sharp cut ‘ Boo Hoo’. A glitchy cut bordering hip-hop and left pop, the track showcases FERBY’s infectious flow over patchwork beats. Fresh from opening for JPEGMafia, FERBY is set for a big few months. Speaking on the track, she states: 

“This song is about soft boys and how I will never pity them.”

More on FERBY….

A 22 year old Gemini with a self-admitted split personality, FERBY hails from Lyttelton, a liberal arts hub in New Zealand. A is a sonic cocktail of exciting proportions, FERBY is tough to slap a genre on.  Think Princess Nokia, Ashnikko, and JunglePussy mixed with a bit of Miley Cyrus’ illicit pop-edged and you’re pretty much there. ‘Bad Vibes In My Teeth’ is only step one – look out for more very soon. 

Indie rock band, Hotel Mira are thrilled to release their music video for the single “Fever Pitch” that is out now via Light Organ Records. The music video is featured Under the Radar.
Two years on from the breakthrough success of debut album PerfectionismHotel Mira have reached “Fever Pitch” with a new, pop-twisting single of the same name.
 “Fever Pitch” became a fan favorite in 2020 through singer Charlie Kerr’s series of early lockdown livestreams, but has blossomed from its intimate, acoustic roots towards a full-band affair incorporating gel-slicked guitar and thick-as-thunder drum work. Kerr’s lyrics embody the unencumbered thrill of throwing yourself headfirst into a relationship, as well as the mix of joy and terror that comes with the discovery that “true love’s a lobotomy.”

BC musician Zoe Guigueno explores independence and self-reliance on her new single ‘Queen Of My Domain’ out now on all digital streaming platforms. Listen here

Queen Of My Domain’ is the lead single from Zoe’s forthcoming album We Were Radar Stations, set for release on October 13th. Zoe wrote the track about her aunt, drawing details of the story from their correspondence and visits over the years.

“‘Queen Of My Domain’ was written as a Secret Santa gift for and about my aunt,” says Zoe. “I had always found bits of poetry in her emails to me, and so along with the framework of her life story, this song came easily. My aunt is a truck driver in the lower mainland of BC, and one of the only women in her workplace. The song speaks of her quest for autonomy, and in a larger sense celebrates women’s independence and empowerment.” 

Lucy Morgan is a singer/songwriter from Port Stanley, Ontario. She grew up with music in her life from the very beginning. With a musician for a dad, performing has always been in her blood. As kids, Lucy and her sister Emily used to put on skits and shows for the neighbourhood. Lucy was the shy one and Emily inspired her to move past her nerves.

When her sister died of cystic fibrosis, Lucy’s young world was flipped upside down. Musical theatre became her escape. She could immerse herself in a role and forget her harsh reality for a while. After completing a BFA in theatre and drama studies, Lucy tried her hand at songwriting. She found it to be the greatest form of therapy. Turning her deepest emotions into lyrics and a melody was a beautiful metamorphosis. As if a weight was being lifted off of her heart.

Letting the world hear her songs feels like closing the chapter that inspired them. We are all so deserving of healing and music can be such an important piece of that puzzle. She believes it is our universal language and feels so blessed to provide a space for others to connect emotionally through her music.

the powerhouse German nu-disco producer Satin Jackets has released his newest album Reunion, an epic double LP that refines the the signature Satin Jackets Ibiza ready balearic nu-disco sound and fuses it with tasteful modern synth pop. The album’s three singles – “First Thing” featuring the vocals of the UK vocalist Tailor, “Move On” with regular Satin Jackets collaborator Panama, and “Different Directions” with Belgian singer Ivy Falls – all reached #1 on the Hypem charts upon their release. In a recent feature on Satin Jackets, Magnetic Magazine said that “First Thing” is “the North Star of what Nu-Disco producers should aim for in their productions. It’s funky, clean, warm, and arresting”. You can listen to Reunion in full below: 

Milwaukee born rapper, singer, and budding-star Lakeyah is back with a new visually assisted single “Real B*tch” feat. Gloss Up, out now via Quality Control Music/Motown Records. Hot off the release of her recent No Pressure Pt. 1 EP, this new track is further evidence of Lakeyah’s relentless work ethic as she continues to cement herself as one of the most exciting new names in hip-hop. 

On “Real B*tch,” Lakeyah showcases her clever flows, cutting-edge delivery, and undeniably catchy hooks supported by a guest verse from recent QC signee Gloss Up. The new labelmates joined forces for the accompanying music video, which captures them hosting a “real b*tch” pool party. Listen to the single here​ and watch the music video here

Americana rock and dark country singer Gunner & Smith is thrilled to release his new single “Gold” that is out now and featured exclusively on Americana UK.

“Gold” is the third single he has released from his new album Hear You In My Head that will be released in September 16th.

Gunner says, This is about the relationship of musicians to alcohol and how it’s so closely tied to what we do. Music and alcohol are linked and separating them is a challenge. It’s about struggling to find balance with it and seeing friends either find a way through it or struggle with it.

Hope and redemption. Philosophy and folklore. The music of Gunner & Smith has always been a collection of fiery elements, blending searing guitars, brawny rhythms and distinct folk-family vocals to produce tightly-knit rock anthems. Anchored by the solid songwriting of frontman Geoff Smith, Gunner & Smith has an ever-expanding sound that combines indie rock, alt-country and sizzling psych-Americana.

Malaysian Swiss artist Timur Flores’ deep love for the arts was present from an early age. Born and raised in Malaysia and the UK, it was there she studied ballet and also an array of musical instruments. Learning to play piano, ukulele and saxophone, Timur often performed on stage at various showcases. Taught by vocal trainer Datukm Syafinaz, she went from singing in the shower to becoming a full-blown powerhouse.

Now contracted by prominent Malaysian record label KRU Music, their plan is to catapult the singer into international stardom. She reveals, “Having signed with KRU Music is very exciting for me because it means a big step. Here’s to hoping that everything will be going well!”

Fluent in English, Mandarin and Malay, Timur’s first single entitled “Not A Criminal”, which was launched last April, managed to garner more than 500,000 views on YouTube. Interestingly, the music video received an extraordinary response abroad, especially in the United States, Taiwan and the Philippines. Considering “Not A Criminal” is Timur’s debut single coupled with the fact that she is based in Malaysia, it is also an encouraging achievement to get extensive media coverage abroad, especially in the United States and the United Kingdom. Timur is now back with her second single “Sabotage”.

Luxembourg’s Quantum Dot announce details of their electrifying new single “Breaking Bones”, the first offering from their upcoming EP ‘Random Casualties’, out October 14th.

Featuring singer-songwriter Thorunn Egilsdottir from the acclaimed band WHEN ‘AIRY MET FAIRY ‘Breaking Bones’ seduces with its sweet, carefree allure, as Thorunn’s  dreamy vocals wrap around the track’s tectonic beats to create an atmospheric Nordic soundscape.  At first it feels like a gentle heartbreak ditty, until you dig into the track’s gritty lyrics to uncover a rather disturbing narrative which describes the terrible consequences that a man has to endure after breaking a woman’s heart. It’s an enticing taste of the upcoming EP.

“We like the contrast between sound and meaning and we wanted to reflect that feeling in our music video” says the band. Frenchman Raphael Kindig was on board to create the accompanying music video. Dissecting the storyline in his own words: “Two actors depict how power has shifted over to the woman. She’s broken-hearted but has no empathy for her former lover whose head is kept in a cheese bell. Whatever he did, it must have been bad… ‘Where is the love now?’”. 

Quantum Dot was formed in Brussels in 2014 by Lionel Jeusette and Patrick Ribeiro. Experimenting with real instruments (bass, guitar, piano, and violin) which they then digitally rework and mix with electronic instruments, their style is characterized by the melding of pop, 1980 style synths and a more contemporary industrial sound influenced by the likes of Paul Kalkbrenner and Sohn. They released their first EP in 2015 and debut album “Deschooling Society” in 2016. Quantum Dot have built their following by performing across Europe including sell out shows in Luxembourg, Belgium, France and Germany.

“Breaking Bones” is available now.

With messages of healing and exploring the multiple facets of love – both dark and light – Messages from Aphrodite by Lauren Monroe will be released on September 9, 2022. In anticipation of the album, American Songwriter has premiered the new video, “Void of Course.” WATCH HERE.

The term “void of course” is an astrological term defining a state of the moon where it appears isolated as it transitions away from one planet and moves toward another. Monroe used this as a metaphor to explore the struggle of an unhealthy relationship.

“I thought it was important to explore the shadow side of love, which is painful but has gifts for us to receive…

The lyrics tell the tale of feeling void of connection and wanting to leave a toxic partner but not having the inner power to go through with it,” she explains. “In these darker textures of emotion and pain can live tremendous potential to see oneself and become stronger.”

Riding an incredible wave at the forefront of the game, multiplatinum GRAMMY® Award-nominated superstars Quavo and Takeoff reveal a new record and music video entitled “Big Stunna” featuring Birdman—available today via Quality Control Music Group/Motown Records. Listen to “Big Stunna” HERE.

The infectious production harks back to the Cash Money Records era as Quavo and Takeoff nod to The Hot Boys with a hilarious and head-spinning call-and-response punctuated by proclamations such as “I was sick before Corona. Soon, the #1 Stunna himself, rap icon, and Cash Money Records Co-Founder and Co-C.E.O. Birdman pulls up with a classically braggadocious, boastful, and bold voice emblematic of “The Stunna way.” You might just feel like a “Big Stunna” yourself. In the accompanying visual, Quavo and Takeoff rap in a circle of luxury sports cars and models. Soon, Birdman shows up as if personally coronating them “Big Stunna” as these three titans shine together.

Quavo and Takeoff just sat down for their very first interview together as a duo on Rap Radar. They open up about his next chapter and hint at big things to come.

Buzzing Atlanta rapper Lil 1 DTE recently dropped a new single entitled “50 M’s” via Epic Records. Listen to “50 M’s” HERE and watch the music video which premiered exclusively with World Star Hip-hopHERE.

The track rides along on a thumping bassline punctuated by melodic keyboard loops. Meanwhile, Lil 1 DTE locks into an energetic flow, cutting through the production with incisive intention. It builds towards an instantly unshakable refrain, showcasing his knack for a hard-hitting hook.

It arrives on the heels of the fan favorite “Demons.” Beyond reacting with listeners, it garnered looks from tastemakers such as Dirty Glove Bastard and HipHopSince1987, among others.

Right now, he’s cooking up more music due for release very soon.

Last year, LIL 1 DTE arrived with a bang, serving up his fan favorite self-titled project LIL 1 DTE. Among many highlights, the breakout single “Homixide” [feat. Playboi Carti] amassed 2.7 million Spotify streams and counting. Right out of the gate, Our Generation Music praised how, “the Atlanta-based rapper spits vicious flows laced with autotune over bumping instrumentals. Complex highlighted “No Friends” and proclaimed, “The hard-hitting tracks is one of the rapper’s most direct releases to date.

Now, he’s about to rise up out of Zone 6 as a bold voice in 2022.

Alterrnative/rock band Pleaser are thrilled to release their new single “Cold Feet” that is out now.
Pleaser says, “The inspiration for “Cold Feet” came after I attended a party at my friend’s place. I started freaking out, maybe just over-stimulated, who knows. My friends were trying to calm me down but by making a big deal out of it, I only felt worse. The song is about needing space from everyone and everything. It’s definitely one of our most aggressive songs, both sonically and lyrically, which I hope encapsulates the feelings of a panic attack. We hope everyone who’s ever felt the need to run from everything will resonate with this new song.”
Founded in 2019, Pleaser is a four-piece band formed by Collin Bennett -Vocals, Aidan Post -Bass, Kyle Eger -Lead Guitar, and Jordan Johnson -Drums, make up Pleaser: A team with pure energy, passion, and determination to create.
 With influences ranging from The Strokes to Gorillas to Thin Lizzy, they can be counted on for solid melody, great harmonies, and riffs that stick in your head for days.
The band debuted with their EP, produced by Cole Clark, in March of 2021, displaying a range of material from pop to dead-on rock – a clear indication of what Pleaser, hailing from Louisville KY, is and continues to be. 

Lola Brooke has set the standard to solidify her status as artist to watch for 2022 with every music release thus far. Today, the Brooklyn-born rap artist, budding rap phenomenon, unveils her latest music offering, “Gator Season” [via Team Eighty]. Lola doubles down on her infectious prowess that spans an array of sub-genres within the world of Hip Hop on the Reefa Music [Lil Wayne, Rock Ross], Gyard-produced track. “Gator Season” is available on all music streaming platforms HERE

The sizzling street record “Gator Season” finds the BK princess doing the things she likes to do—delivering hard-hitting hits packed with ferocity, fearlessness, and lyrical flare. The track was previewed last night via SoundCloud’s ‘The LookOut’ station via SiriusXM’s Hip Hop Nation as Lola appeared as a guest host for the night. The segment is set to re-air three more times throughout the weekend and on SoundCloud Radio, which can be found on the SiriusXM app. 

As gator season commences, Lola shares, “every day I’m Lola Brooke other times I’m Big Gator! This track was created to stamp my bossy energy & bold territorial problems. I have every reason to show you why not to play with me, so I did. Every season is Gator Season, especially when it’s HOT. Let it be known that the fire will continue after Summer too.” 

The opening salvo in Yutao’s release series is the single, “Sensation,” which is rich with airy vocals, fragile sheets of textured ambience, a chill groove, and infectious melodies and sub-melodies swimming all about. The song oozes that butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling of first-encounter romance.

“I live and create in a limbo state. Both Eastern and Western perspectives have shaped me, and, while I see the value in both outlooks, I feel a dissonance inside. If I draw a circle between East and West, I live in the center, but, through creating music, I have found a home,” Yutao shares. 

Yutao left China over a decade ago to come West as an international student. Since then, he has spent his adult life in the United States, soaking up American culture. “I still feel a disconnect, and, when I go back to China, I also feel out of sorts. There is this ambiguity I live in, but I feel at home creating my music,” he says. 


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Written by Neill Frazer

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