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Alternative Artist ‘Little Sain✚’ Drops Remix of Track ‘Round and Round’

The best music is that which doesn’t sit neatly into any one genre, and in not doing so it shows an understanding that such constructs are at best self-imposed limitations, at worst sonic demarcations reinforced by those to afraid to explore beyond their own comfort zones. Little Saint is happy to wander across such artificial boundaries, a perfect example of the post-genre world that we find ourselves in.

With each listen you uncover more layers to this subtle and supple musical blend. Hip-hop beats and trip-hop anticipation builds a structure on which Little Saint hangs the more expected grime and rap references but also chilled late night jazz saxophone, plaintive neo-classical piano, ambient dream-pop and an inherent soulfulness.

Sounding like the score to a film that was too emotive to ever be shown to the masses, the music often hangs almost beyond reach, like morning mists being described with classical piano passages and minimal beats, and electronica that comes across like half heard radio white noise, the distant voices of aliens or angels being harnessed into a language that we have yet to learn.

It isn’t often you bump into music like that is it?

When discussing the recording process of the track, Little Sain✚ cites,

“The remix happened fairly quickly. Genesis Elijah heard it and put his part on it the same day. We didn’t really discuss anything conceptually because he just felt it and knew exactly what to do. When I heard his verse I was really excited because he took the feeling and became the song. I think he raps some really clever lyrics on there too”

‘Round and Round’ is accompanied by visuals that were created by artist Dr. F**joy consisting of more than 5000 digital paintings made from just one photo taken of Little Sain✚. The track has been released through Halogram Records and more information about Little Sain✚ can be found on his social media pages and official website.

Little Sain✚ on Twitter :
Genesis Elijah On Twitter:
Dr. F**joy On Instagram:
Little Sain✚ Official Website:

Premier: Independent Hip-Hop Artist and Label Owner ‘Cheekz’ Plans to Release Newest Single ‘BANGA’

A stone throw away from international prominence, Cheekz, an up-coming American hip-hop artists from Springfield, Massachusetts has announced the release of his newest track ‘Banga’, and it is an exciting sound to add to the top of your playlist for 2017.

Like many of his inspirations that include Tupac and Wu Tang Clan, Cheekz patently combines a passion for material truths in conjunction with carefully strung hip-hop music. Cheekz describes what has inspired him to his own personal experiences, “As once a victim of being bullied and seeing others be bullied I tried to reach out listeners in a vocal and visual way to help stop the violence and put more focus on positive ways to occupy the youths time and educate them on retaliation”. After selling over 20,000 copies of his last independent project ‘Mass Destruction’, Cheekz already has a strong presence in the hip-hop community, mostly well known for defining a personal depth behind his lyrics and addressing crucial issues involved across society.

Cheekz efficaciously highlights the problem of how youngsters easily turn to gun crime so easily in a conscious effort to combat bullying. Taking a step away from the traditional lyrical tropes of hip-hop artists focusing on the themes of money, crime and sex, Cheekz merely transforms this type of culture into a learning curve for his young fans. By introducing a social educational comprehension on the matter, Cheekz’ message engages right and wrong with rap as a contrivance.

The track is set to be released through his own label Massworkz Inc on the 9th June 2017 and will be available via all major media providers. More information about Cheekz can be found on his social media pages and official website.

Official Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Words: Aly McHugh

A&R Factory Present: Mac Original

Mac Original’s status does not do him justice, as so patently hinted in his name, he asserts originality and musical capability in his debut 13-track album Breathtaker. The album is a takeover of and R&B where there are inspirations and influences from Frank Ocean, Andre 3000 and Pharrell. The masterpiece becomes an adventurous story which is articulated by Mac Original himself, shedding light on the cold hard truths of reality.

The album shifts from high points to low points throughout, with elements of sorrow in ‘Breathtaker’ and ‘Meaning Of It (So Close)’, a damning journey of transformation in ‘Huger St’, whilst ‘Let it Breathe’ is glowing with blithe. However, what makes Mac Original’s prolific creation so audacious is how he presents the underlying issue of race. Rather than constructing the matter into a song of blues, he turns it around into a track of optimism, creating a contingent confidence to an ongoing problem. Mac Original delicately glosses over the plight of apprehension with a soothing melody lead by a piano, which sets the song aside from other tracks in the album as the moment becomes quite sincere. Remarkably, the song is anything but suffering, and becomes the meaning of hope and promise. “I’m just reflecting on some pain for my last name/You know my ancestors, yeah I had several/Every problem settled wasn’t no pulling the metal/More like whips to the back, shit I still feel that”. There is no hostility embodied in between the lyrics, neither is there enclosed in the melody. Mac Original’s primary goal is to focus on the truth, reminding us “don’t be afraid of the dark/because the new sun is a brighter year”.

What makes each track pop is the variety of Mac Original’s own personality. He reveals moments of misery, but shares the original characteristic of the album and that is feel good groove. ‘Let It Breathe’ flies high with aspects of soulful funk and jazz, with the use of brass instruments lifting the auspicious ambience. A string of buoyant beats infuses a cheery quality, completely transforming the summery vibe. What’s most promising about Mac Original’s outlook is how the depth of his material is set on the struggle he bears; however, he refuses to let his own personal troubles obstruct him from his growing success. Mac Original fruitfully articulates this understanding, whilst the song itself is stimulating to our own difficulties and is comforting to us.

Elsewhere, the cracks are earnestly displayed in ‘Huger St’, a soothing melody which heinously turns abruptly half way through the track. The rapid transformation in the song and the faint sound of police sirens in the background is almost damning to the listener and becomes a track thirsty for hope. The beat overlaps the rhythm creating a state of confusion, and where the ripple in the sound becomes ambiguous, the mood fluctuates to solemn disposition.

A recurring theme that flows through Breathtaker is the coming of age notion. Mac Original has experienced things he can’t express, he has seen things he can’t explain, and the method he copes with tragedy is through musical expression. ‘Breathtaker’ is a chilling track which pulls on the heart strings. Mac Original delves deep into his emotions, discussing how he’s been told what he should be and who he should be, but none of that truly matters when his close friend passed away, the only person mattered to him. As the album continues, Mac Original’s authentic narrative is so cohesive in its fundamental meaning. A connection is built between the listener and emotions run high, which is why the album is so easy to comprehend. ‘So Close’ is another example of Mac Original’s heartfelt work. He champions the R&B element of this track, and manages to portray his message across in a slow jam style. There is a trait of loneliness is Mac Original’s detached voice, and perhaps he hits a spot of reservation that his listeners can relate to. Lyrics that many can relate to, “So close so close so close/Yet so far from you”, and despite revealing such delicate emotions, this is when Mac Original is at his strongest.

In an attempt to parade all aspects of human emotion in Breathtaker, Mac Original constructs just that, and more than what he was bargaining for. Efficaciously, he tells a story of affliction, but in some cases, he extracts the goodness from the bad. The combination of alternate genres demonstrates artistic style and enterprise, and what therefore brands Mac Original as an innovative artist unique to American hip-hop.

Words Aly Mchugh

A&R Factory Present: O.G. Blake Owens

O.G Blake Owens introduces a new age contemporary sound to hip hop music, whilst preserving traditional elements of old-school rap, Owens merges a unique quality into hip hop culture. A gifted musician from New Orleans, Owens reinforces an American style of music into his brand new 10 track mix tape ‘The Balcony Music Project’.  Owens embraces both old to new school hip hop, rap and electro-pop/rnb, which have similar style from the likes of Erykah Badu, Kenrick Lamar, FKA Twigs and Jhene Aiko, as well as a dash of Owens’ own personal originality.

Owens starts off the mix tape with ‘Where I’m Coming From’, a funk and jazz backdrop whilst his effortless rapping glides into the track, and this completely dominates the mix tape. You’ll find the smooth vocals of Owens reiterate a silk like sound throughout the mix tape. When combined with the recurring R&B adaption, it is proven that Owens’ sound produces a different stance in hip hop. There is a bustling atmosphere amongst the variety of divergent attributes going on in the track. This however, works surprisingly well where they complement each other nicely.

Throughout the mix tape Owens lifts the mood to new heights, where his rapping is a natural process; the striking edition of dreamy female vocalists enforces an amiable balance. ‘Unfold’ follows the sunny set up of the mix tape, where Owens’ pensive rapping glides naturally with the chilled melody.  Whilst ‘Nobody Different’ shares a parallel composition of a radiant tempo, there is also a faint resonance behind the rhythm. The whole track is meticulously gripping, and whilst Owens’ MCing intensifies the moment, he delves deep into the social issues of youth culture.

Considerably, Owens touches base with the truth of relationships, which ultimately sways the mix tape towards a struggle of romance. Although ‘Playing Games’ leads the mix tape with a seductive stance, Owens sheds light on the lies, emotions and manipulation of a relationship. Proving his lyrical talent through rhythm and wordplay, he portrays this ideal coherently. Owens’ soft and swift rapping flows with the suave background tune, and whilst the female vocals provide the track with a feminine attraction, which inevitably lures the listener into the music.

As the mix tape progresses, Owens remains carefree and cool. ‘Gotta Keep Going’ and ‘Down For You’ retain a positive energy, and whilst the R&B and electronic instrumental produce an elusive character to the mix tape, the depth behind the lyrics is what makes the mix tape truly magical. ‘Gotta Keep Going’ is a clear expression of the hopes and dreams we feel when we’re young. Owens’ rapid rapping combined with GG Pender’s harmonious touch conveys a track of optimism. “This song is pure motivation/Use it accordingly when life takes you bad places.”

Yet, Owens continues to surprise his listeners with ‘Down For You’, which conjures a vivacious ambience with the lustrous tone between both Owens and GG Pender. GG Pender’s spectral voice is what makes the track so enchanting, and the untroubling lyrics smoothly reiterated from Owens on the compelling connection between the two is what makes the track so powerful.

O.G. Blake Owens predominantly is ahead of the game with his new age take on hip hop music. Whilst he dabbles in old school hip hop, he combines electronic-r&b and funk to produce the ultimate summer sound for 2017. ‘The Balcony Music Project’ is a complete session of feel good vibes, youthful ideals and captivation.


A&R Factory Present: Rockie Fresh

If you haven’t heard the buzz yet, let it be known that Chicago native Rockie Fresh is quickly becoming your next favorite rapper. Only starting his music career a few years ago, this young up-and-comer is already one of the hottest independent artists in hip-hop.
After releasing 4 “The Night I Went To…” projects this year, Rockie Fresh is back as he delivers us his first official single on MMG.  Produced by Mike Daley and featuring Chris Brown, Call Me When It’s Over is a big summer anthem that we’ve all been waiting to hear from the Chicago native.
Call Me When It’s Over available on iTunes, Apple Music, and Spotify now!

A&R Factory Present: Paul Rey

Paul Rey is a 23 year-old Swedish singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who knew he wanted to be a performer at the age of 11, when his father took him to Sweden’s largest music festival in Malmö. Ever since, Paul was inspired to write in English from listening to 2Pac, Dr. Dre and Eminem and began collecting his stories and telling them through rap, establishing himself as a seasoned rap battler in the process. He has opened for Big Sean and Raekwon (Wu-Tang Clan) and released his debut album in 2012, which led to nominations for Best Solo Artist of the Year and Best Newcomer of the Year at Sweden’s Kingsize Gala, which celebrates hip-hop, soul and R&B music.

A year later, Paul began to move away from his rap roots and explore singing for the first time as he evolved his sound as an artist. Now fully committed to singing, Paul is excited for people to hear his latest creation California Dreamin.

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