Browsing Tag

bruno mars

Spotlight Feature: Sam Handy is ‘Done’ in his soul-fix of a pop hit

Reading UK-based solo artist, Sam Handy, has been lauded by Jeff Beck, the BBC and everyone lucky enough to catch his soul-spilling sound live. After his latest single, Done, he’s set to take his career to even greater heights – the world can’t sleep on this.

Like all of Sam Handy’s recent releases, Done was produced by Ed Stokes. Discernibly, Stokes shares Handy’s passion in keeping the focus on stellar songwriting and instrumental ability; instead of over-producing the raw elements out of the track.

With the funk of Nile Rogers in the light instrumental hooks, the raspy, harmonic neo-soul vocals that carry reminiscences to D’Angelo and the sniping lyricism, Done becomes so much more than a sum of its parts. The single that explores toxic relationships is an intoxicatingly all-consuming track that allows the instrumentals to bring the warm catharsis while the lyrics prove that soul and resilience go hand in hand. In an emboldening way, Done reminds you that everyone deserves a backbone. We can’t wait to hear what follows.

Done is now available to stream on Spotify. To keep up to date with new releases, follow Sam Handy on Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

 

Ristlynn takes us with him in his funk pop hit ‘I’m Going Down’.

Anchorage, Alaska-hailing artist, Ristlynn, dropped their debut single, ‘I’m Going Down’, on November 20th. The party pop-rock anthem has already received an exponential amount of attention; it is almost like we are all simultaneously experiencing the most confusing period of our lifetimes and need an aural pick-me-up.

Timeliness aside, I’m Going Down is a riotously enamouring single, while the instrumentals adrenalize, the lyrics raise an eyebrow and ask “really?” at self-destructive behaviour patterns which have previously been mindlessly glamorised by alt-rock artists. The single was penned during a transitional phase where the artist was starting to acknowledge the pitfalls of hedonism-aided avoidance, I’m Going Down is a subversively-titled reflection of that turning point which led to the commitment of making positive change.

Through pulsating bass, funk-riddled riffs, snappy rhythmic temper and Ristlynn’s sardonically charismatic vocals, you will be pulled into the infectious piece of hyperpop rock from a plethora of angles. Ristlynn’s talent is exhibited throughout the release, but it is in the chorus where he proves that he deserves a spot on your radar with their soul-filling sound. Especially, as there will be plenty more to come in 2021 and beyond.

Any fans of Panic! at the Disco, Prince, Maroon 5, Fallout Boy and Maroon 5 will undoubtedly find the same appeal in the artist’s funk-pop earworms.

You can check out the official video to Ristlynn’s single, I’m Going Down, via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Eamonn Conor – Dig Deeper: Feverously High-Octane RnB Pop

https://soundcloud.com/user-669439116/dig-deeper-master-pop

If you can’t take a trip to the ocean, up and coming Pop artist Eamonn Conor’s latest single “Dig Deeper” is the next best thing. The resolvingly oceanic Pop hit kicks off with a tenderly reassuring intro before the aural waves break and suddenly, you’re immersed in the high-octane feverously passionate production.

The Australian artist could easily fill a stadium with their all-consuming sound which is bound to be a hit with any fans of artists such as Bruno Mars and Justin Bieber. But unlike many Pop artists, Eamonn found enough space in the soundscape to stamp down his signature sound. If artists climbed the Pop charts on the merit of their vocals alone, you’d find Eamonn’s name right at the top. The unfaltering nature of their flawlessly extended harmonic howls is enough to make your soul quiver.

You can check out Eamonn Conor’s single Dig Deeper for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Kid Riz drops his new single ‘Lola’

Canadian artist Kid Riz drops his new single ‘Lola’, a fresh boogie hit that will surprise you with its authenticity.

‘Lola’ stands from the very first playthrough as a dance-y tune filled with Latin sounds very unlike the typical summer Raggaeton one-hit wonders. It showcases an original feel in its sparkling and captivating loops, indulging you to “shake it” to the upbeat tempo.

Inspired by the likes of Drake, Bruno Mars and, in some bits, Kanye West, Kid Riz manages to “latinize” Hip Hop fundamentals with a tenacious RnB spirit – all building up to a Pop outcome that lives up to the Top50’s mainstream charts.

Being only 19 years old, Kid Riz has youth on his side and a long way ahead to explore and experiment.

Check out ‘Lola’ on Spotify.

Review by Jim Esposito.

Nia J – Bad Faith: Sweetly Soul-Appeasing Choral Alt Soul Pop

The soul-appeasing melodies in Nia J’s third Alt Pop single “Bad Faith” will have you captivated with just the first few notes.

While many Pop artists fail to find new avenues to take their sound, Nia J experimented with rich choral tones and succinctly layered harmonies to create a track which is so accordant it is practically celestial.

Any fans of John Mayer, Bruno Mars, Daniel Caesar and H.E.R. are sure to appreciate this unique combination of Neo-Soul, Acoustic Folk Pop, and RnB. The sweet colourfully popping notes are the perfect platform for Nia J’s resounding flawlessly pitched vocals. With Bad Faith coming together under a polished production, it’s a radio-ready hit which won’t be out of place on your Alt Pop playlists.

You can check out Nia J’s single Bad Faith for yourselves via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Alain Bonus – Hit My Phone: Good Vibes Only.

Alain Bonus is a Trap, Melodic Hip Hop mastermind currently residing in Newport Beach, California, US. This ground breaking underground artist definitely won’t be a fixture in LA’s underground rhythm & blues scene. He gets to boast undeniable charisma along with his enviable skills as a singer, song writer and record producer.

All of his deft talents combined produced one hell of a hit with Hit My Phone. It’s packed with the traditional keyboard analogue synth effects that make this Trap track come to life amidst the sonorous guitar strumming. The inspirational new artist infuses his music with upbeat messages to inspire the next generation of Trap lovers. It’s a far cry from all of the bitter contempt that’s normally flowing around the Trap scene. Instead of falling into the slightly cheesy end of the genre, he uses his charisma to dominate the tracks with admirable lyrical ability.

Bonus released his new track Hit My Phone was released earlier Nov’ 17 and it’s no wonder that it’s going down as an international storm.

Check out Alain’s new track Hit My Phone on the Soundcloud link below!

https://soundcloud.com/alainbonus/hit-my-phone-prod-ab

Nikhil Swaroop – The Light: The Acoustic Zeitgeist

I’ve only just had the pleasure of being acquainted with Nikhil Swaroop. It took me approximately 10 seconds to fall completely in love with him from when I hit play on his new track The Light (The Original). The video of the light takes place within Nikhil’s inner sanctum, allowing you a personal view into his life, past and pain, with no holds barred.

He’s a stunning singer song writer currently living in India, I have to say it was my first experience listening to Indian acoustic, but one things for sure, it won’t be the last. He has the same pensive delectableness of the quaint sonorous likes of Ray LaMontagne, Keith Urban and Glen Hansard. The light is charged with upliftingly harrow emotion that flows with inexplicable ease.

Aside from his original work, Nikhil has become the master at breathing a little soul into British and American songs, from Lady Gaga to Ed Sheeran, each sound is as staggering as the last. The whole production for the video to The Light only took 50 minutes. He’s kindly left the track as raw as it gets for his fans. If only more artists were that honest with their work.

Damask – Inner City: Pop with a Punch

Damask are an innovatively underground act from Essex, UK who have recently celebrated the release of their first single Inner City. Their sound is a concoction of Pop Rock & Funk styling, which is wonderfully produced into an enigmatic universal sound. The idea behind the sound came from band members; Duncan Haslam and Takahide George combined desire to create sweet, soulful vibes with a touch of class.

Inner City boasts the unmistakable soul jingle which introduces the track before it starts to flow with infinite possibility. I adore the darker undertones to this music, it transcends the usual cheap styling of the genre to create a dulcet sound which are resonant of bands such as The Killers, Editors and Chris Cornell.

The lyrics are as catchy as the hooks in the music, put them both together and you get an infectious melody, not too dissimilar for Daft Punk’s cult hit with Get Lucky. However the lyrics have a far Deeper Indie Rock resonance behind them thanks to the monumental vocal arrangements of the lead vocalist.

Check out their debut hit on the Soundcloud link below!

https://soundcloud.com/damaskmusic/tracks

Why not stay connected with Damask via Facebook on the link below?

https://www.facebook.com/akindofmodernlove

Danelle’s “Broken” Is A Risky Production, But The Payoff Is Worth It

Have you ever found it odd that so many songs about feeling damaged or distraught are put together in a way that seems to convey the opposite. Major keys and crystal-clear production doesn’t exactly scream trouble. Artists, particularly singers, tend to find juxtaposing contrasting emotions to be a way of creating something unique, but when a singer has a tone in mind and can also find the perfect backdrop to amplify that feeling, we get something more powerful. Broken by Danelle is a song that builds incredibly well using slightly off-kilter elements to its advantage.

From the opening, the slightly transduced vocals have a quality about them that’s hard to pin down. They seem somewhat lo-fi in how they’re recorded, but they’re much more ambitious in their performance than what a lo-fi artist would be comfortable with. Between humanly off-beat claps and progressively more layered vocals, we get to enjoy a frightening and dynamic mix that evolves over time into something much grander than the original parts led on. In this way, the key to the song is sticking to the theme without sacrificing quality. Broken is a risky production altogether, but the payoff is well worth it.

-Paul Weyer

A&R Factory Present: Cortez

Independent Pop/R&B artist Cortez Shaw today announced his debut single “Burn,” set to be released worldwide on June 6th, 2017.

Written by Shaw, the track features collaborations with producers Jalex and Taji Ausar (Kehlani,Usher, Ne-Yo), Grammy-nominated mix engineer Beau Vallis (Pharrell, Kelly Rowland) and Grammy-winning mastering engineer Randy Merrill (Chris Brown, Mark Ronson, Justin Bieber). “Burn” was inspired by real-life experiences, and tells the relatable story of love, betrayal, and heartbreak – with a twist. It features classic R&B-inspired verses and a soaring, powerful hook, showing off the dynamic vocal
range Shaw is known for.

A two-time finalist on the hit Fox television show “American Idol,” Shaw has earned high praise from around the world, and was recently cast in an upcoming major-network drama. His debut EP RAW is
slated for release later this year.

To learn more about Cortez, visit http://cortezshaw.com