Saint blesses us with new EP, ‘Lucid’

Consciousness is a useful tool for a rapper. Saint shows us exactly why on ‘Lucid’, his new EP. While the brash and boastful do well on surface level, the self-aware make music to think to. While remaining highly enjoyable, Saint’s songs provide a depth not usually explored.

PsyRo, the beat-maker behind ‘Lucid’, places Saint in a place where he thrives. It’s important for a musician to never feel too comfortable; pushing forward, out of your comfort zone, is where the magic can really happen. Saint feels pushed to prove himself, rather than being laid down on a cushy beat, waiting for the music to come to him. 

And prove himself he does, with the stand-out example being ‘No More’ – I feel like I want to breath for him in this one. So many words are fitted in to this track, and not in a quota-filling way. It sounds like the very life is being squeezed out of the track, nothing being left behind, everything being thrown out of Saint. It feels like confession.

UK hip-hop is a genre that has never been more popular, and justly so. There probably isn’t a more difficult type of music to try and make a name for yourself in. However, choosing the easy path doesn’t quite seem to fit in with Saint’s vibe. If it doesn’t come with hard work, is it worth it? By the sounds of Lucid – an EP where the effort is painstakingly clear, producing a truly heartfelt project  – I would think not.

You can follow Saint in the following places:

Website: www.mkrecords.net

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Saint.mkr/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Saint_MKR

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/saint.mkr/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/saint-340214034?ref=clipboard&p=a&c=1

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0lIW5UPZSt38VvXdsqpAWe?

Apple: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/saint/1517074253

Tidal: https://listen.tidal.com/artist/20765604

Deezer: https://www.deezer.com/en/artist/97164822

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/saintMusic

Words by PJ Kimber

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Soul-Hop artist I.Am.Tru.Starr drops his new album ‘Viva’, including a hymn to Black Lives Matter

I.Am.Tru.Starr’s new album ‘Viva’ is a perfect combination of music derived from hard hitting realities as well as a battle cry for change, noticeably seen in his tracks ‘Kenzo’ and ‘Something’s Gotta Change’.

Most importantly I.Am.Tru.Starr is showing his deep appreciation for life and the things that really matter:

Family, love and legacy. Not this bullshit society tries to get you to put priority on like money or the new hot car or whatever they want you to be enamoured with, then turn around and make you feel like shit for not having it. Growing up in Rochester and getting caught up in those streets up there, I thought that was what life was. Fast forward a few years, I’m living in Vegas, became a father and I now see what life is and all it can be and just how beautiful it is. We are all in a place of appreciation for life and the things that truly matter. VIVA! Long live us!

The artist, originally from Rochester, New York and now living in Las Vegas has been surrounded by the best and worse elements of what it means to be alive as a young black man in 2020. The first single released from his new album, ‘Something’s Gotta Change’ is an upbeat celebration of life, with that the good, the bad, and the ugly. The 70s-style funk beat and passionate lyrics plead for change at the heart of today’s social problems and has subsequently become a hymn for Black Lives Matter.

This society is sedated and I wanna do my part in waking ‘em up. It’s about time real music got the light it deserves. No politics. No label tricks. No big city backing. My family explained to me when I was young that Emmett Till (whose lynching was a major influence on the emergence of Black Rights in 50s and 60s America) was a distant cousin, and what he went through has always helped to fuel the passion in my music”

‘Viva’ is an album which encapsulates so many powerful emotions including love and lust, which are other prominent concepts in his music. The tracks ‘Selena’ and ‘American Idol’ show his influence from D’Angelo and reminds us of similar sounds to those from Anderson .Paak and Chance The Rapper. ‘Selena’ introduces us to I.Am.Tru.Starr’s more playful side with catchy lyrics, light melodies and a funky beat.

The album brings us on a journey that jumps between problems of justice, society and celebrations of life, love and lust. It seems as though the album is homage to how people feel everyday; although we often face problems, we live through them and come out stronger on the otherwise.

Written by Francesca Bass

Twitter: https://twitter.com/IamTruStarr

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/IamTruStarr/

Website: https://iamtrustarr.com/

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/IamTruStarr

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4uY17u6sR13GQqRtYnilHn

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/IamTruStarr

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Little Simz set to receive Pioneer Award at 2020 AIM awards

Original Article

Little Simz has been announced as the recipient of the prestigious Pioneer Award at this year’s Association of Independent Music (AIM) Awards.

The rapper, who is also set to perform at next month’s virtual ceremony, becomes the youngest recipient of the award. It follows on from her triumph at the NME Awards 2020, where she picked up the Best British Album gong for ‘Grey Area’.

Simz said: “Delighted to receive the Pioneer Award this year and excited to perform. Big thank you and love to AIM Awards!”

AJ Tracey has also been confirmed as the winner of the Innovator prize and will also perform at the ceremony.

It’s great to see so many independent artists making waves in the commercial music scene. We’ll be celebrating with them as we tune into the AIM awards 2020.

Reported By: Jessica Rowe

Redemption through song, Israel Nkeki’s story is like no other.

Israel Nkeki has lived a life worthy of a 100 films. A life journey that has taken Israel from Nigeria to Lewisham, from the streets to a stint in prison and eventually to becoming the soulful Croydon residing singer-songwriting he is today. 

After a conflict filled childhood in Benin City (Nigeria), a young Israel relocated to New Cross (London). Young, impressionable and cast a drift Israel Nkeki descended into a life on the streets and eventually found himself serving a sentence in prison. Prison was the wakeup call Israel needed, a turning point in his life that prompted him to put his pain into a creative medium and tell his story through music.

‘Moonlight’, Israel’s debut single coming on 20th June, uses hard hitting lyrics to tell the story of his painful journey and how split second decisions can have lifelong impact. Set on a backdrop of contemporary soul beats the track is emotive, poetic and modern.

 Israel’s music is rich with harsh realities, real life experiences and hard-learned lessons presented with soul, feeling and emotion. A story that needs to be told and a voice that needs to be heard. 

‘Moonlight’ is due to be released on June 20th.  

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Homage To Fallen Heroes – SAZ EP ‘Dread Full’ An Ethereal Blend of Indie Infused Hip-Hop

Following on from a double-header of features on Grime Daily, the duo comprising of Zane Morris and Kelvin Bueno have been branded as ‘One to Watch‘ by Red Bull Music London. Ahead of the full length album release of ‘22 Reasons to Stay‘, SAZ’s forthcoming EP entitled ‘Dread Full‘ is painted as an homage to fallen inspirations of theirs – from Chester Bennington to Mac Miller, celebrating their influence by fusing their sounds in unique ways.

SAZ have become embraced as pioneers in their own right – a constantly evolving project which embraces a soft and seductive blend of indie and acoustic, bound together with elements of hip-hop. A sumptuous blend of sentimental songwriting overlaid with an eclectic mix of ethereal instruments and folk-inspired guitar riffs that detail an ambience which is synonymous with London’s underground music scene that, in turn, detail images of vibrant landscapes and sultry road trips.

Historically since 2012, when Zane first started to release under SAZ, he has sought out artists and other creative types to collaborate with to create music and artwork in order to churn out new releases on a weekly basis – and this was sustained over a two year period. With a sound that may arguably span a variety of genres, all of their tracks have been produced by the two of them which has allowed for a consistency across the creative process.  They play live as a 5-piece band, but are also acclaimed for their acoustic sets which utilise live production through the use of loop pedals.

 

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Video of the week: ‘Drop Top’ by Serena Kern

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Calling all urban music fans, this is the video for you. ‘Video of the week’ goes to former innocent singer-songwriter Serena Kern, who has now ventured into a totally different style with her grime inspired new track ‘Drop Top’ ft. Ms Banks.

Find out more on Serena Kern here:

Links:

www.serenakern.com

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Live Review: NME x Starling Bank’s Under The Radar

On the 12th of July I was very fortunate enough to be invited to NME’s first Under The Radar event as sponsored by Starling Bank, for a night of new music in one of London’s more quirkier venues.

Under The Radar is a showcase of upcoming talent; an opportunity to see some of the U.K’s hottest new acts in an intimate space before they play more crowded venues, an opportunity to see artists like these in a 300 capacity venue do not come around often.

The event was held at London’s Omeara in Southwark, with a cryptic looking interior and sporting a food court round the side of the venue, the venue suited an exclusive event. The sound in the venue brought out the best in the carousing bands.

The artists that were showcased – both London based were Anteros, a contemporary indie band with rock accessibility and Age of L.U.N.A, a rap/hip-hop group with a nostalgic element to their tunes.

The first of the two artists were Anteros, based in London; an indie band with rock accessibility, comparable to the Britpop bands of the 90s, with the grand stage presence akin to Blondie and an upbeat personality, a band with a catchy arsenal of tunes that got people dancing.

Vocalist Laura Hayden boasted a swagger that set the tone of what the band are all about, and the rest of the band are aware of this, presenting their own confidence and holding their own presence. The band capture their audience and know exactly what to do with them.

Anteros carry a set of tunes that are both catchy and well structured, fans or not, listeners will be unable to resist the urge to hum their tunes days after.

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Source: @Anterosofficial (Facebook)

The next artist and final of the night were Age of L.U.N.A, a hip-hop/rap outfit also from London. An example of the finest quality of hip-hop in contemporary music. With a classic, nostalgic vibe to them a la De La Soul & A Tribe Called Quest, the trio got the room moving with ease and a charm to their performance that makes them unique in the genres climate.

The quality of performance spoke volumes, from the choreographed style of their stage presence all the way to their interaction with the audience. The intricate instrumentals the mixture in diversity of vocal styles, from Daniella Thomas’s smooth soulful vocals to the mixture of rap styles; slick to aggressive from Butch and Kyote, it made the trio constantly interesting to watch and listen to.

Halfway through their set they performed a mash-up of classic hip-hop tunes which got the room moving, Daniella Thomas also brought out a Saxophone and played the hooks to these tunes, which added to the performance and made it even more exciting.

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Source: @Theageofluna (Facebook)

Overall, NME x Starling Bank’s first Under The Radar event was a success, an overwhelmingly entertaining show, the question is; how are they going to top the next one?

You can keep up to date with Anteros here;
www.instagram.com/anterosofficial
www.soundcloud.com/anterosofficial
www.twitter.com/anterosofficial
www.anterosofficial.com
www.facebook.com/anterosofficial

And you can keep up to date with Age of L.U.N.A here;





www.facebook.com/Theageofluna

Track Review: ‘Baby It’s You’ by ImSoMaleek ft. Denzil Porter

For Wyclef Jean protégé and R&B artist ImSoMaleek – 2017 could be a pivotal year with the U.K release of InsomniaK, carrying the torch for the new wave of Neo-Soul and a melodic memoir of new tracks.

One of these new tracks on the album is ‘Baby it’s You’ which features Bronx-born hip hop artist Denzil Porter; who contributes with a verse for the melodic croon.

With its noticeable influences, the song is able to stand on its own and shines alongside contemporary artists such as Frank Ocean. Accessibility to ImSoMaleek’s music ranges from the likes of the Drake side of current hip-hop to the Robert Glasper side of R&B, whilst maintaining a pop factor.

Songs on InsomniaK including ‘Baby it’s You’ feature an intricately thought out instrumental and soaring vocal melodies. With his previous experience in big time productions and his reflective and personal approach to InsomniaK, it’s no surprise that ImSoMaleek was able to produce a big sounding ballad such as ‘Baby it’s You’.

‘Baby it’s You’ is introduced with a “smooth-jazz” chord progression, and instantly sets the mood for the sentimental ballad. With an apparent homage towards predecessors of the genre from the early “noughties” such as Usher & Ne-Yo, with the soulful and melodic vocal style to the backing vocals which are very reminiscent of the aforementioned influences.

The lyrical content is endearing and stylistically recognizable to R&B fans both old and new. ImSoMaleek has executed a tasteful love song, that bursts with emotion, and Denzil Porters contribution to the song is also consistent to the lyrical theme and provides to the song.

ImSoMaleek’s new album InsomniaK is set to be released 21/07/17 in the U.K. For now you can check out ‘Baby it’s You’ here;

Check out more of ImSoMaleek’s content here:

Pimlican release ‘Runaw’y’

If you like your R&B, then make sure to check out Pimlican’s new track, ‘Runaw’y’.

The producer and collaborative artist has a knack for creating infectious hooks, vocal ones in the case of ‘Runaw’y’, and blending them with pulsating beats and innovative instrumentation.

Having spent many a night waiting to meet music industry members in the Pimlico area of London, a name was formed for the project and now Pimlican has his own label, Belgrave Road records.

Lovers of rap and hip-hop will also find something that they love within in Pimlican’s music, his genre-crossing style drawing in crowds from almost all corners of the musical world.

Check out more on Pimlican here:

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‘Water Colors’: The New Concept Album From M3staken

M3staken, otherwise known as M3, is a boundary pushing artist and producer to adheres to no genre-defining limits.

The young musician from South Carolina creates a thought-provoking and jarring form of electronic beats with a hip-hop edge, seemingly creating a whole new space where his music doesn’t really belong anywhere. And this is a good thing.

Most artists we listen to can be easily placed in a box of a particular genre, but with M3, it is much more difficult, showing that he is a progressor of music, not just someone looking to fit in with a crowd.

His previous album, Apex, featured this unique amalgamation of sounds, combined with classical piano: something completely unheard of, but M3 was willing to see what it was like and what would happen.

Water Colors continues in much the same vein as his previous record, but it is clear that M3 is perfecting a sound of his own, saying that the new album is a ‘continuation’ of Apex.

You can listen to Water Colors here: 

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