INsiders Guide: bludnymph, YoungBoy Never Broke Again, Florence Arman, RHYS LEWIS, Bad Sounds, Jake Huffman, Star2 & Lil’ Poppa, Ian Arden, 21 LIL HAROLD, Jason Leech…

When someone is annoying you, it helps to blast something angry. I encourage being nice, but it’s important not to bottle your emotions up. “Lights Out” is a way to let it out when you have that “don’t f*ck with me” feeling.

I channel my evil, darker side with my music. It serves as an outlet so I can work on setting boundaries in my personal life. I have always struggled with saying no to things, when I deserve to be allowed to. This song is kind of about “going after” someone, but it’s also teaching me to stand up for myself.

I wrote “Lights Out” with two of my favorite people. Cirkut started coming up with the beat & FAANGS was humming the hook. We were making a lot of fun cutesy music in the studio before this track, so I guess the angel on my shoulder was gone for the day and my little demon came out to play. I like to incorporate a spooky, yet magical feeling into my music. I experiment with different genres, with some old Brothers Grimm energy.

I’ve always been a very creative person, in a variety of forms, so it’s really cool that I could take the many parts of myself and tie it all together with the music video. One of my favorite things we’ve started to incorporate into my content is my Ghouls; they’re my special little ghost creatures. Look out for their appearances.

bludnymph aka BBBLUD ✨

[a mythological goddess or music spirit in the form of a young maiden, bludnymph inhabits rivers, woods, or other locations feeding off the love of her mortal followers.]

TikTok 🕯Instagram 🕯Twitter

Beginning 2023 and another chapter with a bang, history-making GRAMMY® Award-nominated Louisiana-bred rapper and one of the most-listened to artists in the world YoungBoy Never Broke Again uncovers his mega-anticipated new album, I Rest My Case, today! It notably marks his official debut release under his own Never Broke Again, LLC and Motown Records. Stream it HERE.

The 19-track collection finds him firing on all cylinders. To celebrate its arrival, he just unleashed the music video for the new single “BLACK.” Watch HERE. Over guttural bass and pulsating video game-style keys, he masterfully wields his off-kilter signature flow, dipping in and out of incisive verses and an infectious chant. The accompanying visual translates this energy to the screen in kinetic fashion with one captivating vignette after another.

Elsewhere, “GROOVY” lives up to its title with a wavy beat and melodic keys as he promises, “Ain’t never met a slime like this before. Skits like “TOP GIRL” stitch the project together with proclamations such as, “Everyone else love to hate on him, they hoes,” while “I LOVE YB” reflects the passion for this icon throughout the culture. 

Florence Arman starts off 2023 with a note to herself in a rather silly yet incredibly infectious track titled ‘Hello Florence, How Are You?’ that will make its way onto her sophomore EP out soon.  Despite it being written in jest, it showcases Florence’s brilliant songwriting that’s both honest and funny which are things fans are coming accustomed to in her growing discography.

Listen to Hello Florence, How Are You? out via AWAL now;

Speaking about the track, Florence said “This is a bit silly, but I wrote this whole song about not wanting to write about something and avoiding the subject entirely. And although this song is essentially about nothing, it is so excruciatingly personal to the point where it feels quite odd to share.”

In the build-up to Florence’s next EP out this Spring which will include today’s release, fans can also find tracks ‘Friends and ‘Stupid Heart’ already online to explore.  Over the last year, she has established herself as one of the most promising newcomers with her intimate, yet witty and light-hearted music.  She writes all her songs alone and works with a close team of producers to finish them. She comes from a family of English musicians. In addition to her forthcoming EP, you can find her first offering “Out Of The Blue which came out in July 2021.  In the build-up to its release, Arman has garnered tastemaker support from the likes of  BBC Radio 1 as Track of the Week and BBC Introducing, and at press support from the likes of Clash, Best Fit, DIY Mag & Dork among many others.

Rising star Rhys Lewis faces his biggest fear in a nail-biting video entitled “To Be Alive.” The video follows Rhys’ long-standing phobia of heights and a 15,000-foot drop from an airplane. Documented by filmmaker, friend and assigned encourager Harvey Wilson, the “To Be Alive” video sees Rhys literally jump out of his comfort zone to continue his mission: find out what it means to be alive in 2022. “To Be Alive” is taken from Rhys Lewis’ upcoming album entitled Corner of the Sky – released via Decca Records January 20th. Pre-order Corner of the Sky here

Rhys explains the decision to sky dive for his brand-new video by saying, “Around the time I wrote this song, I realised I’d been letting my anxieties have too much of a say in where I was heading in life. Every time I had an urge to do something new and scary, my fears talked me out of it. I felt like I was just coasting, stuck on autopilot, afraid to commit to a leap of faith. Then at some point, I don’t know when, the fear of change was outweighed by the need for it, and I decided to jump.”

Putting their best foot forward, Bad Sounds kick the year off with their very appropriate, fresh and addictive cut, ‘More Than I Can Afford’

Listen HERE

Watch the visualiser HERE

Despite the darker subject matter of this latest offering, in true Bad Sounds style, they have put their spin on it, and with a little inspiration from a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles record, have provided a very much needed pick me up to waft away the January blues.

The relatable offering comes as a response to the cost of living crisis, currently happening in the UK. Touching on the complex and conflicting feelings, the track shines a light on how things are currently playing out for so many people right now. 

Sharing more, the band explained:  

Being poor and living in an expensive city. Plus trying to eat healthy, not trash the environment, buy organic foods, and support local businesses. These are all things that we try really hard to do in our everyday lives, but it kind of feels unattainable to maintain the moral standards we set ourselves. So we end up feeling really guilty all the time for not being able to live up to that code of ethics every second of every day. This problem has only really been compounded by the ever increasing financial divide in the UK. Hence “I bet a clean conscience costs more than I can afford”. You just end up doing your best and lying to yourself about your shortcomings. 

Self-produced by Bad Sounds, and mixed by Nathan Boddy (Mura Masa, Biig Piig, PinkPantheress), the band have continued to evolve their magic formula, which today, sees them at the top of their game. 

Kicking off their latest chapter with knock-out single Nu Me Nu Yu back in October last year, the dynamic duo scooped support from the likes of Radio 1’s Jack Saunders, Dork Magazine and Metal Magazine.

Connecticut born and bred artist Jake Huffman creates a euphoric realm of indie pop rock, bringing his anthemic energy to a global audience.  As lead vocalist and drummer, the multi-instrumentalist was previously known for his time in the viral alt rock band, McLovins. Having taken the time to rediscover who he is as a solo artist, Huffman returns with a complete arsenal of new music, all of which has been entirely written, performed and produced by Jake himself. 
His latest single “Martyr” was written, recorded and produced at the world renowned PowerStation New England Studio and forms a cohesive ode to his upcoming EP. With compelling discourses, the track explores a commentary about dying on a hill, as he explains, “The lyrics aren’t about what I personally believe. Everywhere I look people are spouting their beliefs while contradicting themselves in the same breath. The world has become so polarizing and I wanted this song to encapsulate that energy.” With the perfect punch of redemption, his musicality comes to life. Huffman’s anthemic vocal energy rises atop crashing choruses, soaring melodies and the alt-rock infused rhythms he’s been known to possess. With broadening soundscapes and truly impeccable capability, it’s Huffman’s hope that listeners will take what they need from the song, as he explores a journey into creativity. Accompanied by a sound that pulls deep from his rock roots and reaches far into what can only be described as the sound of the 20’s, his latest single consolidates his status as an exceptional talent. 

Huffman’s latest project is an amalgamation of his musical influences and vast heritage of experience. At the age of 14, Huffman and his band McLovins posted on YouTube a cover of Phish’s “You Enjoy Myself” from his parents basement in Connecticut. Overnight the video went viral and sparked a rabid following of fans around the world. Since then, he has shared the stage with Blink-182, Foster The People, BB King and The Flaming Lips. Huffman has garnered humbling praise from the likes of the Rolling Stone, US WeeklyNPR and legendary XPN Radio Programming Director and DJ Bruce Warren, as well as also having caught the attention of Emmy, Grammy and Tony award-winning producer and composer Bill Sherman (Hamilton, In The Heights, Sesame Street) and Glee producer Michael Novick. Meanwhile on television, the musician has left an imprint as a composer and lyricist for Sesame Street, writing dozens of songs for artists like Ed Sheeran and Leon Bridges. With plenty more on the horizon, it looks like 2023 will be an explosive year for Jake Huffman.

Star2 began his life in a Thai refugee camp where he was forced to flee genocide from the Burmese army in Myanmar who burned his village to the ground. A lottery in the camp brought him to San Diego with his grandmother and her four children. Working alongside producer Chico Bennett, his collaborations with acclaimed rappers include Soulja Boy, $tupid Young, Mozzy, MBNel, Luh Kel, Lil Poppa, HoodTrophy Bino, YSN Flow, and MarMar Oso to name a few. Star2 has also received acclaim from the likes of Harper’s Bazaar Vietnam, BET, Lyrical Lemonade, HipHopDX, The Source, Ones to Watch and more.

Lil Poppa has been rapping since the young age of six, writing music with his brother before taking his childhood passion to the next level and signing with Interscope Records in 2019. Lil Poppa has collaborated with Yo Gotti, Toosi, Mozzy, and Polo G to name a few and always lends his brooding sound to whatever track he’s rapping on. His 2021 album Blessed I Guess peaked at #1 on the Billboard Heatseekers Albums Chart.

Born in Montreal and raised in Toronto to French-Canadian and Moroccan parents Ian Arden will release his debut EP “Songs for Rebecca” in 2023 which features the single ‘Nadia’, which was directed by David J Redman who has recently worked with Sony Records artist TEDY. The video for ‘Nadia’ was produced by Treplam, a company whose staff worked on ALESSIA CARA’s 2022 music video for ‘Jingle Bell Rock’.

Ian collaborated with Grammy Award winner John Greenham of BILLIE EILISH and BO BURNHAM fame. Greenham calls Ian “an incredibly gifted artist.”

Featuring several musical guests, Ian Arden’s Songs for Rebecca is a remarkable new album which echoes the sounds of the 20th century, yet remains fresh, current and impactful.

The twenty-something Toronto troubadour was raised in a French Canadian and Moroccan household. When Ian began speaking as a toddler, he struggled with a stammer. Speech therapy showed meager results at best. Furthermore, while French was spoken at home, the child’s English language skills were feeble to say the least.

Gearing up for a massive 2023, Atlanta’s hottest rising artist, buzzing rapper, and Slaughter Gang member 21 Lil Harold unleashes a new single and music video entitled “OUT OF TIME” via Slaughter Gang/Epic Records today.Listen to “OUT OF TIME” HERE and watch the music video HERE. It sets the stage for the arrival of his anxiously awaited debut album, AFTER THE CURSE, on Friday January 13, 2023. Pre-order/Pre-save HERE.

On the track, an ominous choir sample echoes over buzzing 808s and tense hi-hats. Meanwhile, 21 Lil Harold leans into a catchy cadence as he warns, “I’m on the block right now with my stick. In the accompanying visual, a pair of models flank him as he raps to the camera by a brand-new Rolls Royce. His two designer watches shine just as much as his uncompromising and undeniable delivery does!

It lands in the wake of “Damn” [feat. G Herbo]. In addition to nearing 1 million total streams, the song incited critical applause. Lyrical Lemonade hailed it as “an undeniable banger” and promised, 21 Lil Harold is up next.” HotNewHipHop enthusiastically described them as “the perfect match.

Jason Leech is bringing the good vibes to Gravitas Recordings on January 13th with a new single featuring Raddix.  Breaking the internet with his live performances and fresh takes on popular tracks, Jason has gained support from some of the biggest electronic artists in the industry.  His live edits have been supported by the original artists such as Rezz, Excision, Illenium, Griz, CloZee, Zeds Dead and more.  After being featured on the latest Josh Teed Gravitas album, we are excited to share more music from Jason Leech.

‘Ghost’ opens up with beautiful synths and piano, creating a soothing atmosphere and vibe; then bringing in Raddix vocals and a four on the floor beat to switch the energy and build up into something big.  After a huge build it blends into an uplifting drop of synths and vocals that make you want to sing along.  This track can put anyone in a good mood and is one of those songs that will get stuck in your head for days!

“The strongest opinions are always in the news and social media. They shout the loudest. But we believe that being uncertain of things has something to stand for too.”

During Dutch most famous underground electro parties called Rauw and Dum Dum early 2000, Roger and Mike met when they both performed there as a DJ. It was a raw and energetic scene where Mike and Roger both played a mixture of Electro, French House, Fidget and Techno. After those years passed they both started to develop their own sound resulting in playing in different scenes (Mike in the house scene and Roger in the Techno scene). They kept in contact and updated each other from time to time with their productions. After a while they noticed they both had a similar dream; to start a live act inspired by the acts they grew up with going to festivals like Lowlands (like Mike Snow, Foals, Editors, Van She, Goose etc)

As Mike and Roger were both producers, it took some releases to find out they needed a singer to develop a signature sound. They found one in Micha, frontman of the band Kita Menari, who coincidentally was looking for something new as well. With releases on Kitsune and experience in the live scene. Micha was on par to become a big voice in the indie world. When the 3 started making music however, their creativity reached a higher level.

Their debut album combines analog with digital. Retro with the modern. As they explore the roots of their inspiration as music fans and combine that with their music writing and production skills they have developed over the years. During the writing process, most of the band members shoot over short ideas to each other which another band member then picks up and develops. The ideas get passed along or blown off till there is an album. During this process they agreed that it felt like a second nature to be bold and make big musical gestures without the sensationalism.

This approach is not only found in the music but also in the message of the record. Why do people always have to choose between black and white?  You don’t have to choose between extremes. You can be modest in your opinions but still Live Out Loud!

This is what Mike Rogers is sharing with you. Go out there and live in the moment. You don’t always have to choose sides. The music represents this throughout. All styles from opposite sides are mixed to create a perfect balance in the middle or leave the listener with an ambiguous feeling. 

Roger: ‘We encourage to ask questions out loud. To share your uncertainties out loud. To say, I don’t know, yet I care. To forgive out loud. To live out loud.’ 

Mike Rogers releases their debut album in the autumn of 2023.

Rising UK singer-songwriter The Gleeman follows previous festive single ‘I Love Christmastime’ with an ode to the January blues in new track ‘Summer Town’.

Following the release of his debut EP ‘The Gunslinger’ in 2022 and rounding off the year with a cheerful Christmas single, The Gleeman begins 2023 with a relatable lament to what many see as a difficult month. ‘Summer Town’ out January 13th taps into that mindset of the January blues, wishing the dark days away and yearning for sunshine and ‘soul rejuvenation’ up ahead. The new single serves as another glimpse into The Gleeman’s psyche, as he gears up to release his debut album Something to Say later in 2023.

‘Summer Town’ is a song that craves happier and warmer times,”says The Gleeman.It was written for those that suffer from seasonal array disorder and are craving to escape the January blues. It’s wet, it’s dark and there is a whole new year of uncertainty to face. It can be tough to drag yourself out of bed.” 

Both the track and the upcoming album were produced by Will Hicks (who has worked with the likes of Ed SheeranOne DirectionJames Blunt and Elton John) and feature guitarist/pianist Fred Abbott (Noah and the Whale), drummer Ash Soan (Will Young, Del Amitri, Tori Amos, Adele) and backing vocalist David Grant (Fame Academy judge, broadcaster and hit singer), with mixing performed by Ash HowesSomething to Saywill be available in Dolby Atmos, which The Gleeman provided creative input for.

Monsta X are kicking off the new year with their 12th Mini-Album, REASON, out now. Consisting of six tracks, this album is the process of reflecting on the present Monsta X, who are keeping their grounds for 8 years. Throughout their success and trials, efforts to face fear and compassion during fierce times, they were able to discover the reasons behind all their emotions and find value in their relationship with fans. This conveys the message that one does not need to find reason in relationships with underlying trust.

The release of REASON comes 10 months after their previous album, SHAPE of LOVE, which NME referred to as an “exemplary of the group’s voracious appetite for pushing their sound forward and manages to stitch each sound together seamlessly and smoothly.” SHAPE of LOVE talked about various emotions associated with love, and now, they are ready to define their reason for existence amongst different relationships and discover what it means to have each other.

Focus track “Beautiful Liar” expresses the reason for love being found in the most extreme and dangerous relationships. A track that HyungwonJoohoney and I.M all contributed to writing; “Beautiful Liar” contains  short, repetitive electronic guitar sounds and powerful funk rock elements. The theme of ‘an undeniable precarious feeling and love that cannot be let go even in a toxic relationship’ and members’ passion comes together for the highlight of the track.    

Acclaimed indie-pop duo Tennis is back with a new single and music video out today. “Let’s Make A Mistake Tonight” is the second release from Tennis’ highly anticipated sixth studio album, Pollen, arriving next month via their own Mutually Detrimental label on Friday, February 10, 2023. Pre-orders are available now. The “Let’s Make A Mistake Tonight” self-directed official music video is streaming now.

“‘Let’s Make a Mistake Tonight’ is all hubris, attitude, and wish fulfillment. I’m turning water into wine,” says Tennis. “I’m reshaping my reality through projection or denial. While tracking with Patrick I kept envisioning the same scene: I’m in the passenger’s seat. Patrick drives with one hand on the wheel and one on my thigh. This song plays us out.”

Mike Sabath’s first love was the drums, before discovering his obsession with recording and production through countless GarageBand experiments on his brother’s laptop. In his teens…after relocating to Los Angeles, he went from crashing studio sessions to become one of the youngest, in-demand hitmakers in the business, writing and recording with superstar artists including Shawn Mendes, Pharrell Williams, J Balvin, and Meghan Trainor, to name a few.

Mike has been using his talents for good since he was a child. In 7th grade, he produced and wrote “Hand In Hand” and orchestrated the song alongside 140 kids from his school to raise money for the  nonprofits Ability Beyond Disability and the Special Olympics.

Los Angeles-based recording artist J AKTIVE releases highly anticipated visual for “Pist Off,” an uptempo feel-good track featuring Korean TikTok dance sensation YoolWxnder. With 2.6 million streams to date, the highly anticipated single Pist Off has been reposted by the likes of Janet Jackson, Mario Lopez, Deion Sanders and Cameron Hanes.

Co-directed by J AKTIVE and Justin Riley, “Pist Off” is a song about the emotions a man endures after making his girlfriend upset. J AKTIVE portrays a man who has taken the time to ensure that his actions no longer directly hurt his girlfriend. He encourages everyone to be conscious of how quick the tables can turn in a relationship.  

Shot in CinePacks Studios in North Hollywood, J AKTIVE entertains several women before he witnesses his girlfriend getting attention from celebrity dancer YoolWxnder. The two end up having a friendly, yet competitive dance battle. He melodically admits his unhappiness with his girlfriend getting attention from another man and he won’t piss her off anymore. 


Socials: @neillfrazer

What do you think?

Written by Neill Frazer

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

GIPHY App Key not set. Please check settings

INsiders Guide: Raegan Sealy, Kinneret, STREETWISE, PHONY PPL, HEADIE ONE, ML & Giggs, Lauren Monroe, Sindy Hoxha, Stalking Gia….

INsiders Guide: Rob Kovacs, MICKELSON, Sylo, Puma June, SUN ROOM, ALEX MELTON, JELEEL!, Matilda Mann, HANNAH ROSE PLATT, THE BAR STOOL PREACHERS, Warner Music Group…