Always Never Home by Syd [Stream]

I feel like Syd’s been under-appreciated as an artist, her music is a harmonious blend between smooth old school R&B vocals, harmonies and sensuality, with a new-age energy and zest that adds extra cool to smooth records. The recognition she deserves is evident when you look at her body of work, with an album like ‘Fin’ bringing us tracks like ‘Drown In It’, attitude on ‘All About Me’, and beautiful harmonies and melody on ‘Know’ - which I had an repeat for days when I first heard it. 

Syd is giving us that new new with her recent release of EP ‘Always Never Home’. The production feels a little more futuristic than her prior work, but is filled with bumping basslines and trap hi-hats amongst her silky R&B vocals like were used to. Take a listen to 3 new gems on the EP and vibe out to the smoothness that is Syd. 

syd-always-never-home-ep.jpeg

Tyler, The Creator’s New Shit

Tyler, The creator has dropped off a couple gems recently and here they are for you to enjoy in all it’s glory! You’re welcome.

First up, let’s recognise his latest creative visual, full of colour and adventure, as always, featuring the ever saucy A$AP Rocky. The two lay down lyrically witty verses as you would expect (where is their joint album already?!) and pair up for a lot of trouble. The video for “Who Dat Boy” shows Tyler blowing up some stuff and Pretty Boy Flacko coming thru with an interesting face transplant for Tyler’s disguise. Watch the video below. 

Next up on his new releases is a track featuring the young man who’s stolen all of our hearts, Frank Ocean. You get a glimpse of the song at the end of the “Who Dat Boy” visual as Tyler dances amongst some gorgeous blossom trees.

Here’s the full song, “911/Mr. Lonely”, which also has contribution from Steve Lacey, Kilo Kish and ScHoolboy Q, so you know the ish is gonna be magical. Listen here:

Last up in Tyler’s latest reveals strays away from his musical genius and comes in the form of good ol’ TV entertainment. His new show “Nuts + Bolts” gives us insight into how everything Tyler thinks is awesome, is made. Look at Tyler, educating the kids. The show isn’t yet to air until August 3rd, but for the fans, at least we have something to look forward to with the official trailer being released, giving us a little peak into what he’s been up to. Press that play button below to have a sneaky look.

Stay up to date wth Tyler, The Creator’s new releases through GolfWang media. 

It's Finally Out! Ctrl by SZA.

It’s finally here! SZA’s debut album ‘Ctrl’ is released in full. With an eclectic glittery mesh of Electronic, R&B, Hip-Hip, Disco and Soul, SZA’s debut is a melting pot of feminine thought and honest emotion. The album is raw, funny and pleading, with lyrics swaying from “Do you even know I’m alive” to “Real niggas do not deserve pussy” and my personal favourite “You’re like 9 to 5, I’m the weekend”. This is a project fit for my various mood swings, so I know I’ll be playing it for some time to come. SZA speaks to the multiple personalities, moods and emotions, within every young woman today, and will have guys bopping their heads and evaluating their game.

With SZA teasing Ctrl with the release of singles “Drew Barrymore”, “Love Galore” and “Broken Clocks”, it was getting that much harder to contain my excitement with all this anticipation building. The 14-track album has features from Travis Scott, James Fauntleroy, Kendrick Lamar and Isaiah Rashad, with production supplied by Cam O’Bi, Frank Dukes, Terrace Martin, and ThankGod4Cody amongst many others.

You can stream Ctrl on Apple Music & Spotify

Babeheaven, The Birth of a Band

I recently caught up with West London five-piece, Babeheaven. As I walked up a spiral staircase leading towards the band’s studio or as to them “where the magic happens”, I had a feeling of curiosity mixed with excitement as I met with Babeheaven frontrunners, lead vocalist Nancy Andersen and Guitarist Jamie Travis.  

Nancy of Babeheaven shot by 94Five - More at 94Five.tumblr

Nancy of Babeheaven shot by 94Five - More at 94Five.tumblr

Jamie of Babeheaven shot by 94Five

Jamie of Babeheaven shot by 94Five

After some back-and-forth of small talk getting our introductions out of the way, it was time for the one question I wanted to know most - Where did the name ‘Babeheaven’ come from?, though this question may seem trite, after some time scouring the internet, the answer wasn’t online. Babeheaven’s origins were the basis of “a long term joke, a really bad joke that went too far and became reality”, as Nancy comically explained, Babeheaven was the birth-child of one of those moments where you’re just like fuck it, why not. 

Jamie and Nancy had a song they wanted to release but the duo were lacking a name and after a night out at a party and a couple of fuck it, why not’s later, Babeheaven was chosen and it stuck around. It’s very fitting, yes it is random but I feel it perfectly fits the band’s sound and Nancy’s sublime and alluring vocals that always seamlessly glides over the bands production, Friday Sky being a fitting example. To hear one of their tracks and not become an instant fan, you obviously don’t have fully functional eardrums and that’s ok, your appreciation for great music hasn’t matured, give it some time. 

Talking with Jamie and Nancy, I got a glimpse of how the two fit within the DNA of the band, bringing together an eclectic sound that is Babeheaven, and as Nancy jokingly puts it “together we kind of make this amazing stuff, that seems to work” -  easily an understatement. The two are almost like brother and sister, they know each other well, it’s basically second nature for one to answer a question for the other, for instance, when I asked - Where do you draw inspiration from? Nancy answers “Jamie’s a big Red Hot Chili Peppers fan” and he agrees, like any sibling would. With Nancy’s musical taste heavily embedded in bands with prominent lead vocalists, it’s no surprise that her vocals are the focal point of any Babeheaven track, “I listen to a lot of like… singing [laughs], I really like Sade, Zero 7, Massive Attack, Air, like all that kind of stuff […] more that side of things”. And then there’s Jamie, the mastermind behind the bands atmospheric soundscapes, with musical influences varying from Brain Eno, Portishead, Moby and Radiohead, amongst many others, Jamie states “those guys are like big musical inspirations, that’s where my musical influence comes from”.

As conversation flows, I get into their recent tour with The Japanese House, and both Jamie and Nancy simply tell me “touring is seriously fun”, and I know just like you I was expecting more than a one liner but I guess performing your songs several nights out of the week and free drinks by the bar can be serious fun, it’s well earned with the immense amount of hours spent in rehearsal. Don’t be deluded though, for Babeheaven touring also means growth as an unit and learning to be more cohesive as a band - “playing every night is so fun, you get so good as a band”, and for Babeheaven performing is personal, it’s much more than a performance, as Jamie explained he wants Babeheaven fans to feel “a connection to the music […] as it’s slower music, it’s not really about dancing and going nuts, which is what other gigs is about. You want people to feel it and to be in that moment and hopefully feel a bit of emotion, that’s nice, even if it’s like 12 seconds”, and Nancy being the comedian she is playfully chimed in “12 seconds is quite a lot of time to feel emotion”. Babeheaven, the welcoming band that they are, Nancy hopes that their aura transcends throughout the crowd, reminiscing on her younger years Nancy remembers gigs where watching a band live can come across as intimidating, she aims for the opposite with her audience - “I like it when people come up and chat, and have a nice time, that’s nice, I just like being really friendly”.

What started as a duo between Jamie and Nancy earlier on has now matured into a five-piece band with the addition of members, drummer Pike, bassist Hugo, and keyboardist Nicko.  When speaking of the origins of Babeheaven, the change was made as the two wanted the band to have a fuller sound, “We can’t play all the instruments ourselves, can we” laughs Nancy. For Jamie, playing with a laptop wasn’t musically appealing, “you lose a lot feeling” he states, and Nancy seconds that, “there’s a lot of feeling when the whole band is playing, you can’t mimic the feeling of a drummer playing really hard with a drum machine and a laptop […] you get more emotion from players, actually playing instruments”.

Babeheaven feels as if they were a band in the making several years ago, with Nancy meeting their creative team in her younger years, the foundations of the band were organically formed early on, they just didn’t know it - let’s call it fate. Nancy and Raf Fellner both attended the same nursery, and Nancy met Tegan Williams later on at primary school, these encounters were the initial building blocks piecing Babeheaven together. Being able to work on visuals with close friends Tegan and Raf, everything is able to fit together so perfectly, allowing the two to be in full creative control of the band’s visuals. - “We’ve got a pretty strong creative team who are our friends, Tegan and Raf, and Frank, he did the earlier [videos], […] I think Tegan and Raf have quite a good idea of what we like in our music videos, so we can bring them a song and be like this is the kind of vibe that we’re looking for, and then storyboard, and then go from there” - Nancy.

Track by track Babeheaven take us through various emotions with lyrics written very poetically touching on love lost or similar topics but what makes the band so great is there ability to still include elements that are quite light-hearted, a favourite of mine being Ode To Dom - written by Jamie, a tribute to pizza with lines like “It never tasted so good […] I got a special feeling, two for Tuesdays got me dreaming”, and as Nancy simply puts it in her comedic tone “I don’t think you should write too many songs about love”. Speaking on their creative process, Jamie tells me that most songs “normally starts with me and Nancy here [in the studio] and then we take it to the band and expand it and see where it goes from there. Some songs have been written here and produced here and that’s it, put it out. Some have gone to the band, then a studio and we record it, so it’s like a mix”.

If you haven’t noticed their tags on SoundCloud, Babehevaen have created their own genre to describe their blend of atmospheric synths with ambient backdrops and electronic elements, titled ‘Crushing’. - “Crushheaven [laughs], you know when you have a crush? You’re like ohh… it’s because of that song. So the day before Valentine’s Day is when we released Friday Sky, we wrote that song because I had got a CD from a family friend with a love song on it and it was like the most catchiest song I’ve ever heard, and it was like [sings] ‘I got a crush on you’, and that’s where it came from, Crushing” - Nancy.

If you were lucky enough to have grabbed tickets for tomorrows free sold out show - June 8th, you’ll have the pleasure of watching Babeheaven performing live alongside River Tiber at the House of Vans in London. For those not lucky enough, you can stay in the know by following Babeheaven on Insta’ @babeheavenband or on their site babeheavenband.com. You can also check out their visuals on YouTube and listen to other Babeheaven gems on SoundCloud

Princess Nokia Worldwide

For those who don’t know Princess Nokia too well here’s a lil run down of the Rap tomboy and how she’s now about to go on her summer tour across North America and Europe.

Princess Nokia grew up in the Lower East Side of New York and learnt early on how to be a tough independent young woman due to the unfortunate passing of her Mother. Now at 24-years-old she is making music that unapologetically and explicitly stands for the power of young girls, and she is our latest Tastemaker for going against the grain and pushing forward her artistry in a way that doesn’t capitalise off her sexuality as a female, but instead uses lyrics like “that girl is a tomboy, with my little titties and my fat belly” that every girl can laugh at, while still feeling included. Princess Nokia’s Alternative Hip-Hop music is a platform for lyrics that banish insecurities, highlights confidence, projects power amongst women, and tells the struggles of her life in Spanish Harlem and New York City. 

Back in 2012 Princess Nokia released her second track “Bitch I’m Posh”, under the name “Wavy Spice” which gained world wide popularity, she discusses briefly in her Fader documentary that the pressure from the music industry after that song made her “insecure”, and years on she’s pushing her music career forward independently with much success. Her move to becoming Princess Nokia is a step towards her goal to make an impact with her music - the eclectic mix of sounds comes together to create something that hasn’t been heard in Hip-Hop before, and in this day and age, creating something new doesn’t come easy. “I’m making worldly music—music that will talk to all kinds of people. Banjee girls in Harlem, teen brides in the Middle East, gay boys in East Asia. Labels no longer matter. My new music is cosmic and three-dimensional, and it will really speak of who Princess Nokia is. Princess Nokia is sound. It is progression. It is all that I am.”

Watch The Fader’s enthralling, honest documentary on Princess Nokia titled DESTINY to gain more insight into the life and dreams of the young rapper born as Destiny Nicole Frasqueri. 

Princess Nokia’s 1992 DELUXE SUMMER TOUR across Europe and North America kicked off yesterday June 3rd in Switzerland. Her London stop for M.I.A.’s Meltdown festival still has some tickets available, so grab your tickets HERE quick to see her and Yung Lean perform at the Royal Festival Hall. Check out all her tour stops below and keep an eye on PrincessNokia.org for her new re-vamped version of ‘1992’ that she’s announced should be released real soon! The project will contain 6 new songs added for our pleasure and she’s promised “a new gag worthy batch of surprises”. Yaas boo, keep it coming.  

The Time I Went To... Anderson .Paak

Malibu being one of my favourite albums of 2016 there isn’t much that I would’ve missed an Anderson .Paak show for. Performing with his live band The Free Nationals, each song allowed you to appreciate the instrumentation and how well they accompanied each other. I found myself lost in the music multiple times throughout the show.

Even though a majority of Anderson’s performance was him mic-in-hand as he took up the drum sticks and showed another element of his ability to perform, while still interacting with the crowd through his lyrics so his presence on the stage wasn’t missed.

Anderson Spoke with the crowd saying how he’s been supporting Bruno Mars and how appreciative he is to be performing in front of a crowd that knows the songs. You could tell the crowd, me included, were just as, if not more appreciative of the show. He even brought out Syd from The Internet to perform Girl!

The energy and excitement hadn’t left the room even after Anderson had said his initial goodbyes and was brought back to the stage on 3 separate occasions due to the crowd cheering his name each time they’d thought the show had ended. I could tell the show had lasted longer than was originally planned but at the time I don’t think one person in building cared, including Anderson and the band. An evening that will live long in the memory!

Press Play: Maria Emilia - Doll Eyes

Press Play and watch Maria Emilia’s satirical love letter, directed by 94Five interviewee Sabb Adams. The visual captures Maria in gentle hues with a feel of nostalgia as we move between scenes of Maria dreaming of a love that never was, soundtracked to her soft vocals and mercerising guitar riffs. Just press play, I’m sure you’ll want to see what’s next to come from Maria.

“‘Doll Eyes’ is a ‘mock’ love song. Usually I write about existentialism and teen angst but I decided to try and write about something I haven’t experienced (Love), so the lyrics ended up being slightly satirical!!!” - Maria Emilia.

To keep up with Maria you can follow her on Insta @maz_star.

Into The Wilderness by JAS [Stream]

JAS shot by 94Five - More at 94Five.tumblr

JAS shot by 94Five - More at 94Five.tumblr

There’s a little gem down South London that you need to be listening to, meet JAS. I was introduced to JAS’ soulful vocals last year with the release of her ‘Summer Jam’. It took a while but she’s now dropped her first EP ‘Into The Wilderness’ and it’s not something you want to be sleeping on. With a soundscape composed of Soul, Gospel, and live instrumentation, ‘Into The Wilderness’ is a tape that builds upon the blueprint left behind by the genres greatest and at the young age of 19 JAS has such a mature sound and captivating voice reminiscent of yesteryears best Soul artists such as India.Arie and Jill Scott, but that shouldn’t be any surprise as she grew up “surrounded by Gospel, 80s Funk, and R&B”. Without anymore build up you can stream “Into The Wilderness” below and get to know JAS that much better!

What inspired the creation of ‘Into The Wilderness’? 

“Into The Wilderness is really my personal view on entering the music world, the ‘wilderness’ being the unknown. I really wanted to put together an honest collection of music that expressed where I was at and how I was feeling at the time.”

A lot of the instrumentation on your tape is live, what inspired that approach to your music?

“Live music is the best music! All the classics that have inspired me; Amy [Winehouse], Erykah [Badu], D’angelo, Tank, Frank Ocean etc. use live instrumentation and that music is timeless. I think that these days it’s really rare to find musicians, especially upcoming ones, that still create great live music. I feel like even though this route is a lot longer to achieve a sound I love, my vocals are just able to connect better with live instruments than heavy production.”

‘Into The Wilderness’ feels very soulful and has elements of Gospel, what drew you towards those sounds? 

“I grew up around Gospel music & I’m actually still to this day in a Gospel choir… in my opinion there is no better genre of music - the emotions produced when listening is just unlike anything else. I think a lot of artists like Chance [the Rapper], Kanye, Stormzy for example are crossing the Gospel elements with other genres like Hip-Hop and Grime and it’s undeniably great. I always wanted to keep a Gospel/Soul sound whilst creating and it’s great that others with a lot of power in the game are paving way for young artists such as myself. It’s the most honest, emotional music there is and you can never get tired of it.”

In terms of your songwriting ‘Into The Wilderness’ sounds mature, is there any songwriters you admire? 

“Definitely! Off the top of my head, Frank Ocean, Noname and Erykah are definitely a few of my favourite songwriters. I think Frank Ocean is one of the weirdest, most beautifully crafted creatives out there at the minute - his words seem so personal but so available to the listener at the same time. Noname for me is huge; I go to the river by my house when I can and she is all I listen to there - it’s perfect. Her storytelling is my favourite part.

Then with Erykah, her music literally sounds like she says what comes to her head, like it’s so casual but poetic - I just love it. 

One UK songwriter I forgot to previously mention is Carla Marie Williams. Her journey is so inspiring - being a young Black female artist myself, her latest track ‘Freedom’ which she wrote for Beyoncé, speaks for itself as to why it’s so powerful to me. 

However, although I love so many songwriters and their different styles, I would actually say I’m more inspired by authors when it comes to my songwriting process. For example my track ‘Sugar Don’t Be Sweet’ was inspired by the book ‘The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho’. I also write a lot of stories in my downtime, something about having the power to create any story you want with any ending excites me.”

You recently performed ‘Into The Wilderness’, what did you hope the audience would take from the live show as opposed to the record? 

“I love performing live, I actually prefer it to recording my music. I really hope that the audience got a more honest version of the tracks and felt where I was coming from. I also got to talk a lot about where my influences came from so they could get a better understanding of the project.”

What do you have coming this year? 

“A lot more performances, a lot more music and a lot more life. Sounds cliché but I have no idea what’s coming next other than me creating what I love & that really excites me.”

As we’re early on in JAS’ career as a musician there’s a lot to unravel throughout the year, you can follow JAS on Twitter and Insta @_Jasmusic to keep up with everything, and you can listen to her tape “Into The Wilderness” on SoundCloud, iTunes and Spotify.

Hail King Kendrick, He’s Back!

After waiting 2 years for a new album, he’s back, young Kung Fu Kenny. The wait is over, we now have DAMN. *hallelujah emoji*. With a methodic build up to it’s release with ‘The Heart Part 4’ and a maad visual for HUMBLE. the next couple days was lowkey a little intense once DAMN’s release date was announced. With previous albums like 2015’s ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ and 2012’s ‘good kid, m.A.A.d. city’, Kendrick’s line on ‘The Heart Part 4’ stands true - “Dropped one classic, came right back / ‘Nother classic right back”.

The team here at 94Five are gonna give you our initial thoughts on DAMN., keep in mind these are a ‘first glance’ type of opinion because we think it’s only fair to truly judge a whole project after giving it time to resonate and understand it. 

“Listening to Kendrick Lamar’s latest body of work gave me flashbacks of the old Kendrick - memories of his ‘good kid, m.A.A.d city’ vibes. Giving us lyrical realness and eloquently written bars discussing hard hitting topics while still giving us hits. Having an album where a song like ‘Fear’ can still sit well against a radio perfect track like ‘Loyalty’ shows smart musicianship and a chameleon like quality that only raps Top 5 can claim. Making hits and still spitting conscious rap is not an easy combo but King Kendrick did it once again. I think we still get the artistry that ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ had with similar story like qualities on tracks like ‘Blood’ continuing his prominent voice on Black Lives and Compton, but this album feels like an easier listen. ‘DAMN.’ is something I’ll listen to for months to come getting ready, or driving in the summer, without always having to listen with the same intense attention that it felt ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ demanded. Still early days but for now I’ve definitely got ‘DAMN.’ on repeat.”

DAMN. Front

DAMN. Front

DAMN. Back

DAMN. Back

“The sudden announcement of DAMN. left me excited but unsure of what to expect. With T.P.A.B being so left-field Kendrick could’ve taken this album numerous directions. The diversity of flows and instrumentals was something that initially stood out to me. At parts, the album feels a little less cohesive than what I’m used to from Kendrick, but that doesn’t take away from the quality of the individual songs. I found myself drawn towards the more soulful songs on the album. YAH., FEAR. and DUCKWORTH., had to get multiple rewinds. The more ‘Trappy’ sounding songs such as DNA. and ELEMENT. aren’t lacking neither. I know they’ll have me gassed for weeks and months to come!

With most of Kendrick’s album’s they usually take multiple solid listens before you’ve fully digested but you can still casually enjoy the soundscapes. Point being, similar to previous Kendrick projects DAMN’s intricate lyrics, multiple meanings and interpretations is something that you have to give more attention to. Kendrick’s projects never lack replay value and DAMN. is no exception. That being said, I’m looking forward to all the “That’s what he meant” moments.”

“After having ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’ on repeat for the longest, I finally have a new Kendrick tape to dive into. Once HUMBLE. dropped I was in awe awaiting the release of DAMN. and off my first couple straight thru listens I can say as a biased fan that I’m impressed with Kendrick’s latest release. With soulful soundscapes and elements of Trap, I like this direction that kendrick has chosen for DAMN., it feels very reminiscent of Kendrick in his early days on ‘Section.80’ and a little of ‘good kid, m.A.A.d city’. After T.P.A.B I wasn’t sure what direction sonically would be next for Kendrick, with Butterfly heavily focussing on Jazz Fusion, I didn’t think Kendrick would jump back on a Trap vibe for his next body of work. I definitely need to sit with this one for a minute, I’m eager to see everything that unfolds throughout my next listens. With ‘Section.80’ - a book, Good Kid - a movie and Butterfly - a poem, I’m excited to see the concept behind DAMN. but for now I’m loving the vibes that Kenny has bought, again.”

Nothing's The Same by Faye Meana [Stream]

Faye Meana shot by 94Five - More at 94Five.tumblr

Faye Meana shot by 94Five - More at 94Five.tumblr

Meet Faye Meana, a young talented musician from Essex that you need to know about! And she’s recently released her debut EP “Nothing’s The Same” – trust me, her tape is amazing! Filled with elements of Soul, R&B, Hip-Hop, and Faye’s alluring vocals, ‘Nothing’s The Same’ draws from sounds of yesteryear’s, leaving you with a feeling of nostalgia that still sounds current.  Like many musicians Faye found music at a young age, When I was 5 my Dad bought a piano […] He taught me to play a Blues song and I just fell in love with it.” With all tracks written and produced by Faye, her ear for sound is mature beyond her 18 years, ‘Nothing’s The Same’ was a project waiting to be made – “I started writing I think when I was about 10 and I produced my first song when I was 14, it was funny because I was so young and I really had no worries but I wrote like I was a middle-aged woman going through a break up.” You can stream “Nothing’s The Same” below and get to know Faye a little better!

Screen Shot 2017-03-29 at 11.39.40.png

How did ‘Nothing’s The Same’ come about? 

“I’ve wanted to do an EP since August 2016. ‘4am’ was meant to be on the EP but it just didn’t feel right, so I released it as a single. ‘Move On’ was the first song I wrote off the EP and from then on I just took my time trying to write as often as possible.”

Your writing is honest and alluring, where do you draw inspiration from? 

“I’m a very straight up person so when it comes to writing my lyrics I have the same approach; I don’t like to beat around the bush. But my lyrics aren’t conclusive to me, they’re a mix of my own past experiences and experiences I’ve heard from others.”

‘Nothing’s The Same’ almost feels and sounds nostalgic, are there past era’s that inspires your music?

“Well, I’m a massive fan of the 90’s era, D’angelo, Outkast, Erykah Badu – Baduzium is one of my favourites. However, being raised around my Dad’s eclectic music taste, I think I draw inspiration from a lot of genres. Amy Winehouse has a had a massive influence on my music.”

Who or what inspires you as a producer? 

“Producing has been a journey of learning for me. I don’t have much technical knowledge of it, I’ve learnt from spending hours in front of my Mac experimenting, either learning from mistakes or finding something that I really like. I think my main inspiration when it comes to producing would be music itself. Listening to good music makes me want to also make good music. In terms of other producers, I’ve got a lot of inspiration from Salaam Remi. I love his style of producing, all my favourite Amy tracks have been produced by him. I’d love to spend even just an hour in the studio with him.”

What would you like listeners to take away from your EP? 

“I just want to make music that people can chill too. I’d like for people to be able to relate to my songs, but also to interpret them in their own way.”

With a tape like “Nothing’s The Same” I’m excited to see what’s to unfold for Faye this year, you can keep up with her on Twitter and Insta @fayemeana, and you can listen to a couple of her other gems on SoundCloud.

Press Play: Mike Musst - Movements

I came across ‘Movements’ scrolling through my timeline and was quick to move through to SoundCloud when I saw Flirta D’s name in the mix, but the surprising factor was Mike Musst’s simplistic and melodic production stealing the show. With Patrick Frame on the chorus and Mike spitting his verse to round up the track, it’s an easy banger that feels so UK and so now. 

A quick chat with Mike Musst about how the song came together revealed how he managed to link up with Flirta D so naturally to create a wavy song.

“My boy rico showed my music to Scionhikastle and he fucked with my sound and hit me up. Very soon after we met up and just chatted about music, ideas, and we fully fucked with each others visions and music, so he brought me through to his dad’s studio “Mkcrewstudio”. The vibe was dope and we started working from there […] I came through to the studio with my laptop and an idea for a beat in my head. Flirta D came through, him and Scion been boys and I met Patrick who also runs the studio and Produces. I started to work on the beat and when the melody was down the energy was mad in the studio, Patrick wrote the chorus, Flirta being the fucking legend put his verse down quick, same as Scion and I put mine down when I wrapped up the beat. It all happened so naturally with the track it’s surreal, the theme ‘movements’ stuck with us - in the making we aim to do big things fully and I wanna pave waves making music I love.”

Keep a look out for more work from Mike Musst who also created the artwork and all promo for this track and his other records, which you can listen to on his SoundCloud, so you know the boy's a creative through and through! Find him on social @MIKEMUSST. 

On The Next: Ravyn Lenae

Meet Ravyn Lenae, Chicago’s new soulstress. With words beautifully strung together, Ravyn’s ability to captivate you with her writing will keep you hooked from start to finish with her latest EP “Midnight Moonlight”. “Raised on really good music” as a child and influenced by OutKast, Erykah Badu & India.Arie, it’s clear why Ravyn pieces music together the way she does, her ability to tell stories and translate emotion is mesmerising, leaving you replaying each track over and over again. Rayvn’s worked with fellow Chicagoans Mick Jenkins and Noname, and is apart of collective “Zero Fatigue” with rapper Smino and producer Monte Booker - “Music is an emotional thing and when you share it with people you care about and when the chemistry is there the music tends to be beautiful […] it’s us implementing the idea of family and unity in music, which is very cool.” Recently performing at SXSW with Zero Fatigue and on tour with Noname, Ravyn spoke on her live performance - “My goal is to send a message and communicate with people […] I really would like people to leave feeling something and getting a piece of me that they didn’t have before they came”. We recently spoke with the redheaded beauty to see what makes Ravyn, Ravyn, read the interview below.

What would you like people to know about yourself? 

“I really like to colour, it’s a past time of mine, when I do have time to pass and I really like peanut M&Ms, I’m kind of obsessed with them”

If you could choose a film and track that describes you, what would they be?

“My favourite film is ‘Mr. Nobody’, it has stuck with me ever since I’ve seen it, mainly because it focuses on the idea of having choices in life and no choice being the right choice, whatever choice you make it’ll kind of point you towards your destiny, […] there’s no such thing as a bad choice or a good choice, just a decision, […] at the end of the movie the guy doesnt make a choice he decides to run off into the sunset instead of choosing option 1 or option 2, I live by that movie, I love it.”

“I think my soundtrack to life is ‘Stereo Lab - Flower Called Nowhere’, I connect with it so much and I can’t even explain why […] the words are very meaningful but super simple, It’s a very care free song but still has a sense of knowing something or being mysterious, when ever I think of the song I think of traveling everywhere” 

Why do you create?

“One, I create for myself, it will always be for me first, […] music is an emotional outlet for me and I wouldn’t be able to release those emotions otherwise, it’s very therapeutic, it’s beautiful to release those emotions than have them sitting. The second part is being able to share those emotions with other people, for them to connect and to listen to it over and over […] or to look-back a year from now and being able to pinpoint a certain moment in my personal life or in my career when I’m listening to a song, that’s why I create.”

Midnight Moonlight

You can find Ravyn’s “Midnight Moonlight” on streaming platforms Spotify, Apple Music, and SoundCloud. You can also show your supporting by purchasing the EP on iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon MP3.

Name the one place where you feel most creative? 

“My room, I feel the most creative in my room, mainly because I feel the most comfortable, a part of being creative is feeling safe, as an artist you’re very timid […] releasing your personal stories or experiences, so when I’m in the room by myself I feel the most safe and comfortable enough to do that”

What accumulation of influences made you the artist that you are now?

“One, my family, the very powerful women in my life, my Grandma and my Mom, they’ve inspired me so much in ways I can’t even vocalise. […] I’m very into colors, the meaning of colors, and how they resinate in my life, a lot of my songs I relate to colors, a lot of people I relate to colors, it’s because they hold so much value. […] and my personal experiences, as an artist you naturally pull from experiences, people, or not even my own experiences, maybe someone who’s close to you, so I think it’s very important to be able to dissect those and put them into song form”.

Choose any era you like - what would you bring back from that time? 

“Maybe the 60’s, I think that was a very cool time […] for music it was a very cool time, people enjoyed dancing to music, you weren’t too cool to do that, people wrote love songs, guys weren’t too cool to do that, so I think it was a really cool time for music, people were just super smooth back then in a way that we just won’t have now”

What would you like to see next for your career? 

“I would like to challenge myself, the way I measure my growth is by looking back and being able to specifically pinpoint certain things in my music or me as a person that has developed or changed in a way, so wether it’s my visuals, my lyrics, my songwriting or just my voice, I really like to see development and change and I look for it all the time, it keeps me on my toes in that way and I’m really excited to work on new visuals”

You can listen to the rest of Ravyn’s catalog on SoundCloud and explore her ‘Gram and Twitter to keep up with the singer. The future seems to be exciting for Ravyn and we’re eager to see what’s next for talented singer.

More Life - Playlist or Album? Does it matter?

Drake’s much anticipated ‘More Life’ was finally released March 18th and in an interesting twist it premiered as a playlist on OVO radio, an impressive way to further heighten the buzz surrounding OVO - opening doors to a whole lot of industry claims of the playlist being the new and innovative way of putting out music. I've even seen posts claiming that Drake is paving the way for the future of music. 

Sourced from @Champagnepapi

Sourced from @Champagnepapi

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Since its release, the playlist was streamed 89.9 million times in just the first 24-hours of it dropping on Apple Music and garnered another 61.3 million streams on Spotify. The project switches up a lot track to track giving us Afrobeats in Madiba Riddim, Grime in KMT and Dancehall in Blem. I think releasing More Life as a playlist gave Drake the room to not have to be so cohesive in the overall feel of the tracks and allowed freedom to just put out what he actually wanted, I think criticism over the lack of connection between songs is because it’s being viewed as an album still, rather than a playlist, so does it even matter? In my opinion unless you're really into music or the industry itself, this will still be seen as Drake’s latest ‘album’.

Going into work the day after More Life's release, a colleague who is definitely a Drake fan commented that it’s mad he gave Skepta a whole track on his album, but I clarified “well it’s a playlist, so I guess the songs don’t have to be his”, Drake’s essentially just putting them together, which got me thinking that most people will probably ignore the fact that this is a playlist. Of course, in this circumstance the exciting part of this playlist is that it’s all new songs that we’ve never heard before with a majority from the man Drizzy himself, but my point is the average person won’t pay much attention to the fact that his new releases are being packaged as a playlist. It may as well be an album. 

However, I do like the fact that the playlist nature of the project opens up the doors for collaboration in a new way because the guest appearances feel like more than just a feature. I do think that more artists, especially those in collectives, will start to use playlists as a way of group collaboration because it makes sense, a whole bunch of you can release tracks together without the pressure of having to be cohesive like an album would demand, but I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s the future of music and a revolutionary medium for new music. Either way, Drake came through with some great new music and didn’t disappoint fans by sticking to his usual mix of savage and sweetheart between tracks that were lyrical and still club worthy - plus creating a playlist with a whole lot of UK features was a nice touch.

Press Play: Last Night In Paris

‘Last Night In Paris’ have been putting in work lately, with the release of their recent EP ‘Pure’, accompany visuals, and new release ‘Wavey’, it’s been a bit maad. LNIP caught our attention a little while back with the release of their short film ‘PURE’ and now the team is back!

LNIP recently dropped off the video for ‘Forest’ of their EP ‘Pure’, a R&B and Hip-Hop infused track performed by members KC and Taurean Roye - and that interpolation of Ginuwine’s ‘Pony’, straight fuego! Comprised of LNIP’s art direction, a Forest backdrop and a little essence of 90’s R&B with that steam screen, LNIP leaves us with a concoction for a captivating visual. Check it out.

As the year unfolds make sure you keep an eye out for Last Night In Paris as it’s starting to look like a great year for the collective. You can follow LNIP on Twitter and Insta @LNIPB, SoundCloud and their site lastnightinparis.com

On The Next: Young Clancy

Meet Young Clancy, the Yung Prince Of The Basement and Toronto native. Young Clancy’s recent 3 track EP “Yung Prince of the Basement” caught me off-guard at first, packaged with a photograph of Clancy awkwardly starring up a flight of stairs, I wasn’t sure what to expect but felt intrigued and compelled to dive into the project. Filled with elements of R&B, an abundance of electronic tones and Young Clancy’s vocals, you find a formula for a gravitating unique sound - it’s been on repeat for a hot minute. With all tracks written, produced and performed by Young Clancy, it’s a project that’s innovative and still current.

What would you like people to know about yourself? 

 “I mean well.”

If you could choose a film and track that describes you, what would they be? 

“Midnight Cowboy is a favourite - specifically when Ratso has his crazy fantasy about his life with Jon Voight in Florida -  he's running on the beach, and all these old ladies are calling his name from their condo balconies, this amaz funny music is playing  - that’s how I feel most of the time - daydreaming like that. As far as the track, I would say “Dirty Work” by Steely Dan because I’m a fool to do it and I don’t wanna do it no more. I just rediscovered this track and I listen to it every day. Steely Dan is my big discovery this year - I should be a goddamn A&R.”

Why do you create?

“To me, there’s only a few things that combat the notion that life really means nothing and we’re all gonna die alone etc etc.. and one of them is making music.”

“Yung Prince of the Basement is the culmination of an extended period of aimlessness in my life. I’m proud of it. I think the tracks are great (though I feel I have better ones). But I’m mostly proud to have created this musical identity - with parts of myself and what I wanted to be - where before there was none. Though it’s only three songs it’s been a long quest. I worked hard on the demos - got them as poppin’ as I could with very limited mixing ability. Later I would take the demos to Dave Plowman’s studio - I worked with him and Gray Rowan to make the tracks strong and healthy - able to survive in this world on their own. Then we just sat on them for a while until the right time.”

Name the one place where you feel most creative? 

“I feel very creative on the move - like on the subway or walking around - just being in the world. In the studio, that’s mostly drudgery. But outside ideas just come to you and they’re all like beautiful new born babies full of potential.”

What accumulation of influences made you the artist that you are now?

“As far as production - Kanye, J Dilla, Jai Paul and James Blake. And as far as songwriting Leonard Cohen, Frank Ocean. Also s/o to my Mom and Dad who are great artists and also my piano teacher Brian Sexton - we did it!”

Choose any era you like - what would you bring back from that time? 

“I would go back to 8 or so years ago and bring back Amy. (When you save someone from their impending doom using time-travel you’re automatically first name basis).”

What would you like to see next for your career? 

“Just trying to put out more music, get better.”

As Young Clancy's career unfolds, you can stay in the loop by following him on Twitter @youngclance, Insta @young.clancy and SoundCloud.

Tastemakers: Russell Simmons

Let’s be honest, Russell Simmons is the G.O.A.T when the phrase Rap Mogul is in use - let’s not debate this. Russell began his career in Hip-Hop as a promoter and later managed rapper Kurtis Blow circa. 1979. Fast-forward a couple years, Russell co-founded Def Jam Recordings in 1983 with Rick Ruben, the label found mainstream success with Hip-Hop groups Run-D.M.C., the Beastie Boys and rapper LL Cool J - so in some way Russell and Ruben commercialised Hip-Hop.  

If you know Run-D.M.C, then you know they always wore Adidas Superstars, and being the visionary he is, Russell noticed that Run-D.M.C. were selling a lot of trainers for Adidas, so he suggested they make the track “My Adidas”. One night Russell got an Adidas rep to attend a show, and long story short, Run-D.M.C. were the first non-athletic entity to have an endorsement deal with an athletic apparel company - he was and is a visionary.

Rush

Throughout Russell’s career he has had many successful business endeavours and has inspired many with his keen mind for business and philanthropy. There’s so much more to say but then this would most likely become an essay. 

Russell Simmons was recently featured in Mass Appeal’s mini-doc series “Too Old To Die Young”, we get a glimpse into the day-to-day life of Russell which will leave you with some new found inspiration. Watch below.

Press Play: Liza - February 29

Press Play and enjoy Liza’s (pronounced Lee-za) debut EP “February 29”, the 22-year-old Toronto native has us in awe with her beautifully simplistic tape, guaranteed to leave you repeating every track lyric for lyric. “You” has to be my go-to tune, that baseline and her captivating vocals got me like Yasss! I have to give an applause to Juda for the production. Just press play, I’m sure Liza will leave you a fan!

“This project reflects my journey and life experiences in a way that I hope will resonate with others. Every song on the project is very intimate. It touches on who I am, the parts of me I am still discovering and qualities I have grown to love. This project helped me sort through and express many feelings, and ultimately helped me confidently set boundaries when it comes to relationships, love and life.” - Liza

To keep up with Liza you can follow her on Insta @azilohh, Twitter @liza_waz and SoundCloud.

'Caroline' Live

So, if you ain’t already heard rapper Aminé you’ve been lost and I’m about to bring you in on his banger called ‘Caroline’ which has been making waves online for months now. Make sure you watch the video first before moving forward cus it’ll leave your head nodding to the max and wishing your name was Caroline, I mean, she sounds bad af, plus the video is pretty cute and funny. 

The track got to number 11 on the Hot 100 list and has over 15 million streams online! At only 22 the Eritrean and Ethiopian artist residing from Portland is showing dope potential for the future. What has us paying even more attention to Aminé is his recent performance on Jimmy Fallon, where he used the platform to not only own the stage with a great orchestral backing showcasing his hit song, but ended it with a few bars that showed his stand against the orange disaster that is Trump. Bringing us hits and consciousness - we like. Check out his live performance below which adds to the many celebs assisting the country with resistance against the U.S.'s latest Presidential elect Trump, through their artistry. Over in the UK, we feel your pain.