2021 has seen the return of the soul and funk force of nature that is Raw Soul Express. In watching the new video for their single ‘Fate of the World’, it’s easy to forget that the song itself was written some 25 years prior. Long-time bassist and vocalist, Albie Manno explains that when he was planning on making the video in 2019, he had no idea what the images would be. Manno claims that this new take on a classic reaffirms the band’s long held belief that their music should reflect the times.
‘Fate of the World’ isn’t afraid to deal with the big issues, with lyrics and themes touching on the Black Lives Matter movement as well as the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, global warming and the economy. However, it is not often that artists deal with such raw and current issues without appearing preachy. ‘Fate of the World’ prefers not to offer an opinion; instead it simply poses the question: ‘Is this the fate of the world?’
Rick Washington’s lead vocals shine through on this killer track with its ominous bass line and relentless drums from Harold Seay. The extraordinary musicianship of every member is obvious and the band’s years of experience playing together is evident. In a feat almost unheard of in the music industry, the band have retained the original line-up and remain as tight and talented as ever.
Raw Soul Express’ new single is raw, current and thought-provoking. If, like the band, you’re socially minded and you have a deep concern for the state of the world today, then watch the video above and decide for yourself if this really is the Fate of the World.
For more check out Raw Soul Express via the links below:
Following the success of his previous EP, JJ Draper has taken inspiration from real life events for his newest EP, ‘The Theft & The Flight’.
On one single in particular, JJ describes his inspirations, “returning home in March last year to a police cordon around the car park of my flat, I turned on the news to discover that a young man had been brutally murdered on my doorstep. Not having a real insight into the growing culture of gang violence in London, I wrote ‘…if you’re awake in the night’ to chronicle the surreal experience of those who come inadvertently into contact with a troubling world they don’t understand.
I wanted all my new music to be honest and grounded, both lyrically and in the way it was recorded. I spent months experimenting at Natural Habitat Studios working with many great musicians to make something I hope feels homespun, authentic and vivid.”
JJ’s music has already received high praise from the likes of BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens and The Line of Best Fit but this interest in honestly reflecting his perspective in any scenario, and talk of surreal experiences or confused detachment with the same gravity as moments of sober reality will surely score him top points among the music and songwriting critics.
With four new tracks set to appear on the EP which is due to be released on 3rd July we can’t wait to be taken on a musical journey of pure raw emotion by JJ.
Rising from a life that is nothing short of remarkable, Estelle California is a new soul singer who literally puts a piece of her soul into every song. Hailing from France, following the trauma of her fractured and abusive childhood, Estelle suppressed many memories to try and move on.
Estelle had found that she had lost her identity. The only thing she felt gave her freedom singing and creating music. Estelle felt herself drawn further and further away from Paris, the place that held so many dark memories for her. She travelled Africa and found herself fascinated, she was connected to the people and culture there.
The black community became something extremely important to Estelle, especially considering that she grew up in a family and a community that was profoundly racist – something that Estelle condemns and is now a passionate advocate for black rights, which is something that inspires a lot of her music!
Releasing her new single ‘Black Is The True Light’, the song is a tribute to the African American and African communities around the world who have constantly battled against division and hatred. Estelle;
“This song is the biggest love song I could have ever dreamed to have,” Estelle says. “It is my love, purpose and my duty to shine the black glory and the light of resilience that comes out of the darkness”.
Estelle’s forthcoming EP, My Name is Freedom, sees her backed by legendary producer and drummer Narada Michael Walden (Whitney Houston; Mariah Carey; Lionel Richie); ace guitarist Vernon “Ice” Black (Diana Ross, Anastacia; Babyface); James Henry and veteran vocalists Larry Batiste, Cornell Carter and Tony Lindsay.
Sometimes, it’s circumstances completely beyond our control can affect the way we approach songwriting. Although Aditya Virmani (the creative force behind Indian Industrial rock band Nivid) has rarely lacked for creative vision or direction, it was a sudden circumstance that forcibly dictated a choice that would shape his musical output forever.
Prior to Nivid, Virmani had been playing with Pinnochio’s Moment of Clarity – a progressive rock band from Mumbai. The group eventually ran it’s course as they decided to go their separate ways before he then enrolled in Vancouver Film School to study Sound Design. Naturally, being based in Canada, the majority of people there spoke English and Virmani found himself more and more attracted to the prospect of writing music in his native Hindi tongue. Upon his return to Gurgaon, Virmani founded a boutique new media audio design studio – Barren Sound, where he would often work late into the evening working on his passion for writing music in Hindi. As things progressed, however, he then suffered a tragic bike accident. Breaking his collarbone, his injuries severely limited his abilities in playing the guitar for a time. Determined in his attitude, Virmani learnt to adapt his craft and he began to favour synthesisers and computer technology, writing 2 EPs and take huge strides towards the sound he is becoming well known for.
For his current project Nivid, Virmani is considered as the creative force in an evolving concept where he is the only constant member. Acting as singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist, Nivid are fluid in their adaptability when playing live in shows which are highly regarded as a sight to behold. With a sound that taken influence and inspiration from Nine Inch Nails, the stage is well set for an atmosphere that is heavily enhanced with dynamic light shows and thematic visual elements.
Lyrically, Virmani writes about a character who is clearly an aggressor in the beginning but, while riding the tide of nationalism, he comes to the realisation that his extreme behaviour that is causing polarisation in society – in turn causing his belief system to crumble. Through this kind of narrative, he is able to portray a variety of ‘voices’ in this society – the voice of the aggressor, the voice of the repressed, the voice of the enlightened etc… The release of Nivid’s ‘The World Around Me (Infinite Support)‘ speaks of a musical embodiment of anger felt by those who are bearing the brunt of this turmoil.
Already having received the accolade of BBC Introducing’s Track of the Month, Brooke Law’s latest single “See ya Later” is a brilliant fusion of pop, R&B and Asian rhythms. Born into roots stemming from a mixed heritage background, the environment in which Brooke has grown up in is one that has openly encouraged expression.
As a London-born British singer/songwriter, a major influence stems from the diversity of her multi-ethnic family – Eurasian on her maternal side, and mixed Jewish on her paternal side. It is from this bedrock of ‘unity-through-diversity’, strength and positive action that inspires Brooke to express her own values and beliefs through music.
Brooke has dedicated her Archetypes EP to all women and girls to support them in all they choose to do and be. In doing so, she gives thanks to all the women who continue to fight equality and freedom while striving to put an end to violence against women and children:
“[It’s] is about nurture and giving everything you have to love your child. I’m not a mother, but I know being a mother is the hardest ‘job’ in the world. No one is taught how to raise someone and everyday mothers are making choices for their kids. Mothers make these choices with all their heart and power. If women were recognised more, maybe there would be more equality within the sexes.”
In taking inspiration from an array of great musicians from Annie Lennox to Jeff Buckley, Brooke’s music, like her beliefs, in uncompromisingly emotional and direct – in her own words ’gutsy pop’, with her most notable performance to date headlining at the Jazz Cafe in Camden.
Brooke is performing at Paradise London Live at the Century Club – Friday 9th November, with doors opening at 7pm.
Soulful starlet set to release sassy new single March 23rd
The latest single from up-and-coming starlet, Scarlet Baxter is sure to get you fired up and help you beat the dreaded winter blues. ‘Down With It’ is ridiculously catchy, with nostalgic R&B vibes and a current twist.
With an ever growing fan-base, Scarlet is hotly tipped to vividly break on to the national music scene this year, and deemed as “one to watch for 2015” by Kat Orman (BBC Oxford), Scarlet showcases all the potential signs of becoming Britain’s next pop princess.
With the help of her incredibly talented guitarist Dominic Ireland, and co-writers, John McLaughlin, Judd Mahoney & Natalie DeLucia, Scarlet has derived an entire catalogue of original material in only a year. Hot on the heels from her previous releases ‘Backsliding’ and ‘Stuck’- from which she received critical acclaim as being “the next woman of pop” – Cigarette Sounds.
Scarlet’s latest single ‘Down With It’ is a sassy, chimerical track – guaranteed to be a hit on everyone’s summer playlist, and destined for the dance floor – you can check it out here!
She’s a fierce, determined individual with killer vocals and plenty of charisma, and you can expect big things and huge tracks from her in 2015!
‘Down With It’ is due for release on 23rd March, you check out the remix for the track here: Links:
Scarlet Baxter Online:
TWITTER – @scarletbaxter
FACEBOOK – www.facebook.com/scarletbaxtermusic
INSTAGRAM – scarletbaxter
Formerly dubbed ‘Britain’s Mozart’, Shane Thomas is quite possibly the most talented teenager across the British music industry.
New single, ‘Mrs Matisee’ is to be released 10th December, prior to the release of his debut album, ‘From Me To You’, due for release soon after.
‘Mrs Matisee’ showcases Shane’s incredible talent and beautifully demonstrates the amazing capabilities of this young composer. The tack in undeniably stunning and transpires audiences into the fascinating world of Shane Thomas.
Shane was inspired to write the track earlier this year when he saw a painting by Henri Matisse. He was so taken with the beauty of the painting that he decided to compose a piece of music about it. Shortly after writing the track Shane discovered that Debussy had been inspired by the very same painting and produced a well known piece of music called, Arabesque.
Shane began playing the piano at the tender age of seven and has since taken on the challenge of mastering the art of the cello and percussion. Shane dreams up all of his music. He has never sat at a piano to compose anything. He does it all in his head, then later sits to play the piece. He can immediately play any melody or song he hears.
Aged ten, Shane was the youngest person in history to be signed to a music publisher, E.M.I. music.
Catch Shane in action here:
Peter Andre, Jamie Cullum, Bradley Walsh and Jason Mansford are all fans of the child star.
Some of Shane’s highlights to date include; appearing on, Odd one In (as Britain’s Mozart), The One Show, London Tonight and at The Young composers award in 2011. Shane has performed at Castle Howard to over 10,000 people as well as to the Duchess of Kent, at the Royal Academy of Music. Both the Daily Mail and Sunday Express Magazine have run full page articles on Shane and his unique talent.
‘Apple Of My Eye’ are one of the most exciting acts around at the moment and they have just announced the release of new album ‘Seven Tides’, due out 1st December.
The London lads are originally from the historic maritime city of Bristol and their songs draw inspiration from both cities and from the sea, a theme that runs throughout their second album. Their engaging storytelling style and four part harmonies explore tales of love, loss, adventure and ruin.
You may spotted the guys at a festival this summer as they played the, Tall Ships Festival Greenwich, Secret Garden Party, Wilderness and headlining Exile festival in Sheffield.
The band describe their music as “brand new old songs” and collectively generate all their own material drawing on personal experiences and carefully arranging the music on the guitar, bouzouki, violin, double bass, mandolin and harmonica.
Catch the guys live in action here:
The bands musical talent is most certainly something to boast about, check their credentials…
Kit Massey (Violin) and Phil Cornwell (Bass) are both full time professional musicians. Cornwell is the musical director of West End musical “The Scotsboro Boys’’ and Massey was formally a violinist with the Santiago Philamonia in Chile and has worked as a session musician with artists such as Emile Sande, Dizzie Rascal, Muse and Jamie Cullum. Arran Glass (Vocals and Guitar) and Alex Scott (Mandolin) are both professional Actor-Musicians and Puppeteers who perform and compose the music for a variety of theatre and television. Chris (Bouzouki), Dan (Harmonica) and Ellie Rusbridge (Vocals) are all siblings and come from a rich folk music heritage as their parents met in a folk club and still perform in their own folk band Thornbridge.
Hailing from St Albans after a period of studying in Sheffield, Adam Protz has had several years to perfect his craft of composing. Using delicate piano melodies and intricate instrumentals, Adam Protz has created his beautiful EP ‘Movements’, consisting of four alluring and exquisite tracks. In the past, Adam has written music for films, animated shorts, a dance show, an educational DVD and even a brewery documentary!
Watch his latest video for ‘Movements’ here:
Protz has been writing music since the tender age of fifteen and began his journey into music writing heavy rock songs with soft orchestral bridge sections as a contrast, this developed into a desire to write for Hollywood movies. However, after listening to minimalistic meditative piano music, written by the likes of Ludovico Einaudi, Adam soon discovered that he was much more suited to creating emotive music in which he could incorporate his own personality and spirituality.
The lack of lyrics in the music leaves it up to the listener to interpret the piece as they wish. It provokes an emotional reaction and is also incredibly relaxing. The ‘Movements’ EP is proof that lyrics aren’t a necessity to provoke powerful sentimental thoughts
Protz aims to inspire relaxation and offers the perfect setting for escaping to through his music. A firm believer that the world is over-obsessed with Smart-phones and social networks, Protz encourages listeners, from all walks of life, to return to the roots and escape with him into his musical world of beautiful, elegant minimalism.
‘Movements’ is due for release on the 30th November.
Keep up with Protz here: www.youtube.com/adamprotzmusic www.facebook.com/adamprotzmusic www.soundcloud.com/adam-protz
Twitter – @AdmProtz
Nestled in the heart of Soho, I found myself at a small club that seemed very reminiscent of a dive bar. Posters littered the wall and the floor was a bit…sticky. It was great. I had come to The Borderline for a chance to experience Cody Pennington in person. Once the lights dimmed, he stepped onto the stage wearing his normal snazzy getup composed of a waistcoat and tie, purple shoes, and slim fit jeans. He plugged in his acoustic and introduced himself, “Good evening everyone, I’m Cody Pennington, and I’ll be starting this show out tonight.” He started the gig with two songs from his newest EP, “To Be Me”, I’m Afraid and About Love. Gently playing the opening riff to I’m Afraid, he slowly quieted the crowd to the point of hearing a pin drop. He created an intimate atmosphere that only an acoustic and vocalist could achieve. To which he followed-up with About Love. This track was a change of pace and got the crowd tapping their feet. Very somber lyrics hid behind this happy melody and it was true story-telling at its best. Carrying on with the upbeat-ness, Cody introduced the next song as “one we would recognize.” The kick drum pounded, while he accented the down beat with a harmonic. I had no idea what this song was until he began singing. He started the first lines of the popular song Royals, and it instantly got my attention. He morphed this song into a spawn of Rock and Pop, building up the song and bringing down the house in the chorus. Mr. Pennington continued with a few more covers of very noticeable songs, to include Your Love by The Outfield and I Can’t Make you Love Me by American singer, Bonnie Raitt. Both incredibly emotional performances that completely pushed Cody’s vocal range to the tip-top, and that is pretty far. My jaw nearly dropped at the note Cody went for (and GOT) in the second half of Your Love. To close the show, Cody blew the crowd away with his version of Dirty Diana by the late/great Michael Jackson. This song kept me interested from beginning to end. The crowd shared the same sentiment as they erupted in applause after his final note. This song is actual planned to be released as a single along with a music video, so be sure to look for that. Cody Pennington only took 30 minutes (albeit not the ENTIRE 30 minutes) to swing my judgment on whether or not I would like him. From a first-person perspective, I must say, I’m a fan.