Love Conquers Fear For Toby Tomtom, Who Reminds Us All We’re ‘Born 2 Be Free’

Toby Tomtom is an artist who exists purely to inspire others to reach their potential in life. It’s a little known fact that he was the man who took a young, unsigned Alicia Keys under his wing – teaching her the skills to sing in studio and also wrote and produced her first demo played on New York radio NYC Hot 97. Before even that, Toby had won an accolade now shared by John Legend – an ASCAP Abe Olman Award, which is given top top-tier up and coming songwriters. Since then, he has apprenticed and wrote/produced with Kenni Hairston (notably famed for working with Lauper and Cameo and writing “Running Back to You” for Vanessa Williams).

Presumably channelling some inner Miles Davis, who he lists as one of his major influences, Toby is an avid trumpeter. Having attended a college scholarship learning jazz and classical disciplines he is currently passing on the knowledge to his 8-year old son, which has re-ignited the passion for his first love – music. Having had a longstanding partnership with his brother on R&B/ Hip-hop writing and production, their eventual split encouraged an expansion of his musical creativity and diversity.

Born 2 Be Free‘ was a track inspired by his youngest son, that encapsulates an uplifting message – in his own words:

“It’s my hope for every child in the world. Dance if you want, pray if you want, love who you want! No shackles… gotta fight to be free!”

With a hands on approach in terms of composition and production, Toby showcases an array of talent on vocals, trumpet, piano, bass, guitar and drums, which correlates into something bridging the dance/EDM spectrum during recording, but equally transposes into intimate guitar and vocal sessions when performed live. Toby has stated the importance of his acoustic guitar as part of his songwriting process, so perhaps ‘Toby Unplugged’ is a potential could be a concept soon to be realised. In the mean time, in the tradition of Stevie Wonder and Calvin Harris this one-man wall of sound is ready for his songs to touch the world.

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoEa4tg_ez-BEeTvKKGcz0w

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TobyTomTom21/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tobytomtom21/

Website: www.tobytomtom.com

 

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.

 

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/1miLoQHAfdKHOppL0wvqCv 

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1FBJY4FflECuepycTCPubA

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sazproject

Twitter: http://twitter.com/deathbyleisure

Instagram: http://instagram.com/saztheband

Website: http://saztheagency.com 

 

Journey from the underground – Andi McErnest first star to shine from new label: The Uprise

There’s no escaping the excitement and anticipation for what is to become the first release from The Uprise – a new record label enterprise founded by NFL superstar and BBC Sport pundit Osi Umenyiora. Here we can witness an initial glimpse at the various twists and turns that have given rise to their premier starlet Andi McErnest and his lead track – ‘Baby Ur Cool’.

Andi McEarnest

Andi McEarnest

The story here began with humble roots as Andi (known as A.M) found creative means of expression through poetry after the tragic loss of his father around the turn of the millennium. It wasn’t long before his passion took a musical turn as he worked with producers for a number of months to make a sequence of initial demos as the foundations of his career took form.

After having moved back to his native Nigeria, and then back to the UK, A.M continued his venture into music and, under the name Authentiq, signed with underground record label ‘Titans Entertinment’. Alongside this, Andi also managed a degree of success as a budding entrepreneur, launching his own fitness company ‘Oneinamillionbillion’ in London, and later partnering his brother at ‘The McErnest Company’ based in Lagos, Nigeria where he became their first music artist in 2015.

Listen here: The Uprise – Andi McErnest

The Uprise label has embarked on its own mantra, which looks to combine Brazilian-inspired street sound with UK grime to fulfil their vision of a Motown-style brand that draws upon the talent of their own roster of in-house writers and producers.  This draws very much upon an uplifting idea that tries to connect people of all cultures and backgrounds with music as a means of universal understanding.

On this basis, collaboration between this particular label and artist needs no further explanation.

A.M draws on inspiration from a lengthy roster of 90’s and contemporary RnB and hip hop including Sean Combs, Pharrell Williams and Fela Kuti. Continuing in the vein of catchy electro RnB the track itself features a chilled, seductive half beat – easily accessible and looks set to saturate the sound waves in clubs across the UK very soon.

This is what A Flock of Seagulls song ‘I Ran (So Far Away)’ sounds like as seven different genres

Everyone’s favourite 80’s new wave band, A Flock of Seagulls, are making a comeback!
For the first time since 1984, all four original members of the band appear on-record together for brand new album ‘Ascension’. To celebrate their return, we’re re-living the best covers of the band’s smash hit ‘I Ran (So Far Away)’. What’s clear from the variety of versions is that there’s not a corner of the music industry A Flock of Seagulls haven’t touch with their calling card hit. From stripped-back piano renditions, to pop-punk covers, and a rap homage, there’s a little something for everyone below.

Tori Amos

This renowned songstress covered the hit on her Original Sinsuality/Summer Of Sin tour in Denver, during Piano Bar Time, after confessing she had ‘gotten into this weird 80’s thing’. Despite worrying aloud that her cover might not be up to scratch, she later released the version along with the rest of the show in the 3rd CD of The Original Bootlegs. This video is a live audio recording from her show at Paramount Theatre, Denver, CO on 19 April 2005.

Buy Tori Amos – The Original Bootlegs here.

Bowling For Soup

The pop punk heroes put their stamp on the single for the 2003 reissue of Drunk Enough to Dance and their Punk Rock 101 single. Both the original and the punk cover are the theme song of the American DiC dubbed version of Saint Seiya, also known as Knights of the Zodiac. The cover is also featured in the film National Lampoon’s Van Wilder: Freshman Year.

Buy Bowling For Soup – Drunk Enough to Dance here.

Hidden in Plain View

This New Jersey five-piece gave I Ran (So Far Away) the post-hardcore treatment for covers compilation album Punk Goes 80’s under Fearless Records. It’s not miles away from the Bowling For Soup cover, but if you’re looking for a little more grit and a little less bounce, this is the cover for you.

Buy Punk Goes 80’s here.

Darude & Blake Lewis (Gareth Emery remix)

Well, you never have to wonder what it would sound like to cross a platinum-selling Finnish DJ, an American Idol finalist, and a trance legend with 80’s new wave. Darude and Blake Lewis covered the tune in 2008, before Gareth Emery got his hands on it, turning it into this floor-filling banger.

Nickleback

The titans of rock aired their no-frills, high-octane version during several dates of their Dark Horse tour in 2010, with guitarist Ryan Peake on lead vocal duties.

Lonely Island

The comedy duo contributed this unbeatable cover for an SNL skit entitled ‘Iran So Far’. Andy Samberg serenades Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadeinejad (Fred Armisen) with a song about their undeniable love, while Maroon 5’s Adam Levine lends his vocals for the ‘I Ran’ chorus. If you’re not sold on that information alone, know that there’s also a cameo by Jake Gyllenhaal.

Slim Thug

You’ve heard the pop punk covers, the stripped down piano versions, and the comedy takes, now it’s time to hear the rap version. American spitter Slim Thug adds a taste of the streets with his cover ‘I Run’. The track, which was featured on his 2009 album Boss of All Bosses, interpolates through his bars.

Grab a copy of Wishing: The Very Best and remind yourself of A Flock of Seagulls biggest and best.