Fusing the colourfully galvanizing zeal of Afro Beats with the grit and soul of old-school hip-hop, the French-Canadian artist, PongoFromTheS pumped plenty of energy into the standout single, Boeing, from his 2022 album, AIP (Alone in Public).
The versatile 12-track release is a testament to how far he’s come since launching his debut single in 2015. Along the way, he’s collaborated with internationally renowned artists and producers; on the basis of the party-rocking but lyrically-rounded single, Boeing, it is only a matter of time before he’s as accoladed as the likes of Zaytoven and Denzl. You’d be seriously hard-pressed to find another urban underground artist who pours as much innovation into their layered instrumentals that become an euphorically complex platform for his charisma-driven bars.
Since making his debut in 2018, Blvff has continued to swathe the airwaves with hip hop tracks that refuse to fall in line with the rest; his playful candour proves that the only thing he takes seriously is the quality of his charismatic tracks.
His latest single, Sun Showers, is a vibrantly experimental mash of EDM, hip hop and Afro-Beat; high vibe hip hop doesn’t get much higher than the short and sweet tropic track. Hit play, and you will find that there is still plenty of room on New York’s hip hop map for the artist, engineer and producer.
Sun Showers is now available to stream on all major platforms via this link.
Before curating Summer chill playlists, you’ll want to give UK RnB artist Connor Jon’s new EP, ‘The Love Connect, Vol 1’, some serious attention.
From his eclectic music taste transpired a smooth dynamic sound, encompassing everything from electronic soul to house to UK hip hop. The singer-songwriter and producer kicked off their latest release with the single, ‘Big Love’, that packs in sensual grooves and an even more potent dose of amorous affection through the vocals which is where you’ll find Connor Jon’s Afrobeat influences. It’s pure mellow soul and a sound that plenty of RnB innovation-seekers will appreciate.
The Love Connect, Vol 1 is now available to stream via Spotify.
Andrea Charls is already an internationally recognised singer-songwriter, working with artists as diverse as Bobby McFerrin, Annie Lennox, Javier Limon, Pepe de Lucia, and Mario Frangoulis, with work recognised by the Latin Grammy Awards, The International Songwriting Competition, and the Hollywood Music and Media Awards.
Her new single ‘Arrow’ is a whirlwind of deep, rumbling bass, sequenced synthesisers, and Charls’ stunning, delicate multiply-layered vocal parts. There are elements of Suzanne Vega’s work here, mixed in with a vaguely Latin feel and obvious hints of Charls’ Cypriot heritage (Andrea was born and raised in Cyprus before moving to Boston, Mass., to pursue her career). It’s a dazzling track, melancholic, uplifting, charming, and elegant all at once, choir-like in parts and upbeat in others, all held together by Charls’ exquisite vocal delivery. Lyrically thought-provoking and contemplative, beautifully performed, and intricately put together; ‘Arrow’ really does deserve to be heard. Often.
Afro-Beat and Dancehall are what colour up London artist Br3nz’s latest single: ‘1n1’.
Catchy lines are contoured by commercial music work that revisits Afro-Beat in a contemporary twist, engaging in rhythmic themes proper of Afro-Caribbean music. Less than a minute in and I was already humming the melody, which makes me think that Br3nz has a good pulse on where today’s music will lead.
He sings “Let me go 1 on 1 with you” with a uniquely sensual approach, standing as an invitation to a physical and spiritual union that moves beyond “materialism” through empathy and mutual desire.
It’s very easy to get drawn by ‘1n1’, one too many times.
Original Swimming Party joined forces with Moonchild Sanelly in order to create a lush, unique and fascinating single titled “Biggest Curse”.
The song is immediately striking for its stunning production value and accomplished arrangements. The rhythm section, in particular, is pretty edgy. The kick and snare lock in perfectly, creating a really crisp, yet hypnotic groove. The beautiful thing about the drum arrangement is that it is very dynamic: not just a loop over the song, but a really fluid structure that seems to follow the melodies like a roller coaster – it grows in intensity when needed, but it also knows when to take a step back and allowing other elements in the mix to truly stand out.
The bass locks in with the beats perfectly, creating a really outstanding backdrop for the many layers of synths to truly stand out. The melodic textures are lush and direct, serving the vocal melodies perfectly. Moonchild Sanelly really offers a powerful vocal performance that adds a lot of groove and spontaneity to this track. The vocals are far-reaching, direct and spontaneous, drenched in stunning effects and warm reverb tones that add space and depth to the lead vocal tracks and harmonies alike.
The vocal bridge before the song’s outro is also really remarkable, with great pitch-shifting effects and multi-layered vocals that add a dream-like vibe to this song. The ending is really unexpected, as the song keeps picking up pace and speed, just like a wild rollercoaster ride.
Clocking in at slightly over the 4-minute mark, Biggest Curse feels like a rich, in-depth and extremely textural song with lots of details. A couple of listening sessions in, and you start to notice details you might have missing previously, such as additional layers of drones and melodic synths, bass riffs or harmonized vocal hooks.
Original Swimming Party truly managed to impress me with their incredible blend of dream pop vibes, ambient and afro-beat grooves.