Browsing Tag

Afro Fusion

OTH€LLO Delivered Sonics for the Soul with His Smooth and Sensual LP, Miss Mayotte

In the ever-evolving realm of modern hip-hop and afro-fusion, OTH€LLO emerges as an icon of raw individualism, candour, and undeniable sex appeal. His latest offering, “Miss Mayotte,” is a journey through the heart of a true artist. Born in Montreal’s vibrant culture and honed in the Bay Area’s heat, OTH€LLO’s transformation from a street busker to a hip-hop sensation is nothing short of remarkable.

“Miss Mayotte” kicks off with “Her Soul Speaks,” a track that effortlessly blends jazzy neo-pop with R&B, setting the stage for an album that’s as much a conversation with the soul as it is a musical experience. Each of the eight singles is a chapter in OTH€LLO’s story wrestles with societal norms and emerges as a bold statement of personal evolution.

OTH€LLO’s lyrical introspection is a masterclass in storytelling, with his voice dripping like honey over mellow instrumental arrangements. The production is deep and sonorous, creating a tapestry of scintillating textures that are both soothing and exhilarating.

Afterglow,” the second single, is a fiery blend of salacious imagery and mellifluous melodies, wrapped in afro-fusion rhythms that redefine the auditory landscape. The album crescendos with the title track, “Miss Mayotte,” a powerful anthem that confronts misogynoir and celebrates the strength and beauty of the unseen queen. OTH€LLO’s journey from cynicism to belief in love’s true form is palpable in every note, making “Miss Mayotte” a symbol of hope and resilience.

OTH€LLO’s music is deeply rooted in his Congolese heritage, with influences from gospel and secular soukous tunes. His journey from performing in musicals in a conservative Edmonton high school to honing his craft in Toronto’s streets and church choirs has audibly imbued his music with intoxicatingly unique authenticity.

With over 84,000 streams on Spotify for his debut single “SZA 4 NGAZ“, which also features on the album, and critical acclaim from The Source and This is 50, OTH€LLO is not just an artist to watch; he’s an artist to experience. “Miss Mayotte,” available for streaming from November 24th, is a testament to the power of music to transform, inspire, and transcend.

Miss Mayotte will be available to stream on all major platforms, including SoundCloud and Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Arrive at the brink of bliss with ACTHEKIDFROMSPACE’s euphoria-fuelled summer cocktail, POR Ti, ft Martina

Proving that summer is as much of a vibe as it is a season is the latest in a long string of seminal singles from Montreal’s brightest RnB luminary, ACTHEKIDFROMSPACE.

POR Ti, which features sun-kissed harmonies from the Argentina-born singer and composer Martina, who has been elevating the RnB, trap, and soul genres with her mesmerising vocal register, is an intoxicating tropic melting pot of genre-fluid culture.

With a few salacious lines worked into the production that boasts the same sweet, sugared, and polished sound of Owl City, POR Ti ticks all the Afro-pop RnB boxes while transcending the contemporary curve and driving you to the brink of bliss and allowing you to drift through it on cruise control.

With over 17k monthly listeners locking into his expertly rendered rhythms, the self-made Canadian artist and sound engineer has easily reached his goal of visualising his memories and feelings and allowing his staunch fanbase to vicariously live in the rapture of them.

Stream POR Ti on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Dara Blaxx poured straight from the soul in her stripped-back Afro RnB single, In My Cup

If you take your Afro-fusion tracks stripped and laid back, you will get right into the mellifluous groove of the latest single, In My Cup, from the breakthrough soulstress, Dara Blaxx.

Setting the mood for seduction, the British Nigerian singer-songwriter pulled out a front-row seat to a hot date you will want to be a voyeur for. With the smooth cadence in her crooned vocal lines, you couldn’t ask for more sensual proof that pace is the trick.

The independent artist may be reigning supreme in the underground right now, but it is only a matter of time before she ascends the charts with her velvety rich vocal register and her playfully compelling melodies that bring a touch of exoticism to our blighted and often bleak British waters.

Listen to In My Cup on all major streaming platforms from September 15 via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Kevin Paradise drove his melodies into the fast lane with his genre-fluid Afro-centric hit, Racecar.

The American artist, Kevin Paradise (AKA Pop Paradise), always keeps a firm rhythmic grip on his Togolese roots in his radio-ready productions. His latest single, Racecar, which follows his riotously sun-kissed seminal EP, Anarchy in Paradise, provides the perfect introduction to his authentic Afro-blend sound.

Racecar amalgamates elements of Afrobeat with hip-hop and pop to deliver a distinctive cocktail of culture that will intoxicate your rhythmic pulses from the first verse. Between the intricate beats, soaring sax lines and sensually high-fire vocal lines, don’t be surprised if your speakers start to blow smoke while they’re pulsating to the grooves.

When Kevin Paradise isn’t creating floor fillers and party starters, in the vein of Racecar, he’s delivering relatable lyricism to his audience that has come to revere his lyricism as resonant sonic gold. His dynamic discography is a sure sign he will hold dominion over the Afrobeat terrain for years to come.

Stream Racecar, which cruised onto the airwaves this summer, on Spotify.

Keep up to date with the latest hits from Kevin Paradise on Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Spotlight Feature: OTH€LLO introduced the future of Afro Fusion with his debut single, SZA 4 NGAZ

The Montreal-born, Harlem-based Afrobeat innovator OTH€LLO took gospel out of church and implanted it firmly in his ethereal dream of an Afrobeat RnB debut single, SZA 4 NGAZ.

Fittingly, after his music journey began by being introduced to Congolese gospel and secular soukous tunes by his Congolese immigrant parents, the sensuous single, which celebrates staying true to your roots while practising radical acceptance, finds plenty of room for religious imagery and tonality.

After a sensuously ambient RnB intro complete with saturated in warm delay indie guitars, SZA 4 NGAZ starts to tease hip-hop elements with the fiery canter of his verses before winding it all back down in the dynamically versatile hit that reached the pinnacle of Afro-Fusionist authenticity.

SZA 4 NGAZ is a sublimely promising start to OTH€LLO’s career. His carresively pure vocal lines paired with his down-to-earth lyrical style are enough to kickstart a new revolution in soul.

In the words of OTH€LLO:

“This song is an exploration of how growing my dreads again after cutting my first set was like falling again. It sonically narrates the process of self-love and self-acceptance through a fiercely Afrocentric and sexual perspective.”

After releasing SZA 4 NGAZ, OTH€LLO is back in the studio orchestrating his debut EP. If the forthcoming material is as arcane as his debut, you’ll want to save plenty of room on your radar.

SZA 4 NGAZ was officially released on the 1st of July; hear it on Spotify and SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Groove away heartbreak with the hot-to-handle afrobeat hit, Shakara Love, from Mr Yomi.

Waves of euphoria crashed in with the latest single from the heir to the UK afrobeat scene, Mr Yomi; Shakara Love is the perfect introduction to one of London’s hottest rising artists.

At tonal value, Shakara Love is your archetypal vibe-steady summer earworm, but lock into the captivating soundtrack and explore the depths of unrequited love, narrated by Yomi’s luxe with animated soul vocal lines which effervesce around the steamily ascending Afrobeat melodies that will leave you yearning to hit the dancehall floor.

It is one thing to create a high-vibe anthem from a track that gravitates around a bright lyrical theme. It is another entirely to hit the rhythmic ground running with a sunny-side-up sensibility while versing on raw emotion.

Shakara Love hit all major streaming platforms on May 26; hear it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Princess Wonda is the future of afro-fusion in her sensually emboldening single, My Body

Princess Wonda is the future of afro-fusion in her sensually body-positive single, My Body, taken from her eponymous EP. The UK-born Nigerian vocalist and entertainer unforgettably entered the world music scene in 2021 alongside the Congolese legends 1da Banton and Awilo Longomba. Her debut album charted at #27 on iTunes; given the sensuously rhythmic glamour in My Body, we’re putting our money on this soulfully indulgent hit getting even higher.

One of the hardest relationships women can form is with the skin they’re in; Princess Wonda is the ultimate aural relationship coach in My Body by radiating the confidence that every woman should want to exude. Exotic yet wholesome in equal measure, My Body spills sun-drenched good vibes by the smorgasbord. If this isn’t the afro-pop hit of the summer, there is something seriously wrong with the music industry.

My Body was officially released on April 21; check it out on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

ISSAMWERA show us what real rhythm sounds like with ‘Issamwera’ (feat. Adrianna Ferro and Sunna Fridjons)

Bringing our healing planet a warm welcome as they look to reboot their travels after this horrific pandemic wreaked their tour plans, ISSAMWERA soothes our souls with something rather spellbindingly incredible on ‘Issamwera(feat. Adrianna Ferro and Sunna Fridjons).

ISSAMWERA is an indie Iceland-based 6-piece band that performs African, Latin and Jazz rhythms to captivate audiences wherever they play live.

Formed by Yara aka monace, the inspiring Mozambican-born Icelandic multi-instrumentalist, when she started missing the vibe of her beautiful home country. She then brought in bassist Andres, the Argentinian-Icelander, Cheik, the Guinean-Icelander and Kwami, the Brazilian-Icelander on percussion, with Ellert on keys and Ingo on guitar, as the band was now complete with the two locals making this a truly international outfit.

The band’s name comes from blending the meaning of two words: “Issam-wera”, which is a word from Sena a language from Beira, Mozambique, that means “to come”, Mwera referencing the Mwera tribe in North Mozambique, and”Samvera” from the Icelandic language, meaning “togetherness.” Uniting all these meanings to place Issamwera as being “welcomed.” ~ ISSAMWERA

Shaking our earlobes alive with a magnificently unique energy that is perfect for music festivals, ISSAMWERA displays a tight performance that is absolutely magnetic and might take your breath away. This is a cinematic single that shall get you in the mood to groove and dance all your worries away.

Issamwera(feat. Adrianna Ferro and Sunna Fridjons) from Iceland-based 6-piece Afro-Fusion band ISSAMWERA, is a superbly authentic single that takes you into a world that is packed with a genuine vibe that grabs your attention with wonderful aplomb. They connect so naturally and this is something rather special, that needs to be heard all over the world. It’s that good.

Listen to this new single on Spotify and check out their IG page for more news.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Make Me A Friend: YXL Ayo stomps on the snakes with ‘Fimile’ (Prod. Hippy Jack)

Inspired by his late Grandma who kindly asked him to add in Yoruba into his music arsenal, YXL Ayo is back with a fantastic new single off his six-track ‘IBUKUN‘ EP called ‘Fimile(Prod. Hippy Jack).

YXL Ayo is a Skegness, England-based indie Afro-Fusion artist with Nigerian heritage. He fuses a wonderful mix of self-aware lyrics that is on the right path to that ultimate enlightenment, which has you excited for his future.

YXL Ayo has gone back to his Nigerian roots and is back with a new Afro-Fusion inspired EP titled “Ibukun”, which translates to blessed/blessing from Yoruba which is a native language in Nigeria.” – YXL Ayo

You feel his fueled up motivation here as he sounds in peak form, with a clearly crisp like-a-summers-morning vibe that sparks your attention into his exciting mindset.

On ‘Fimile’ a moody tune about brotherhood that doubles as the perfect soundtrack to a late-night drive, Ayo delves into mental health, nightlife and the downside of social encounters.” – YXL Ayo

This is an emerging artist who has brought on a smokey-cool beat that blazes rightfully into the mixture here to emanate something quite special. There is no fake energies here, only an inner feeling which tells you that he is tired of the games and being disappointed. His only goals are to be happy inside, whilst leaving everyone else to get caught up in all the small-mindedness.

Fimile(Prod. Hippy Jack) from the Nigerian/UK-based artist YXL Ayo, is one of the more assured tracks so far in 2021 in this highly competitive genre, as its stacked full of world class quality and that rare memorable nature that has you nodding your head in approval. His beloved late Grandma would be mightily proud.

Stream this new track on Spotify and see more views on his IG.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Andrea Charls ‘Arrow’ – a beautiful, soulful, indescribable whirlwind of exquisite vocal delivery

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.

Listen to ‘Arrow’ on Spotify; follow Andrea Charls on Facebook.

Review by Alex Holmes