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Morgan sets the bar with R&B track ‘Upgrade’

Singer and performer Morgan was aiming to set the bar higher with his most recent single, Upgrade – and we can certainly say he managed to accomplish that!

The track falls somewhere in between the beautiful melodies of R&B track and the energy of hip-hop, going for a unique approach that has the best elements from both words. The edgy 808-style beats and beautiful melodic synths are perfect to drive the sound of the music, making for a truly suitable backing track for Morgan’s unmistakable vocals.

His tone is clean, bright and lush, echoing the work of extraordinarily gifted performers, including Frank Ocean, Drake or even Prince, just to mention but a few. Morgan’s singing is a perfect showcase of his lyrical abilities, as well as his talent for crafting memorable melodies and hooks that will undoubtedly remain stuck in your head for quite some time to come.

Every element in this track is top-notch, ranging  from the audio production down to the lyrics, performance and the stunning cover photoshoot, executed to absolute perfection.


Spice Lo releases R&B track ‘For The Moment’

Sometimes a single effect can change a whole movement in music. Where would rock be without distortion? Where would ambient be without delay? Well, Spice Lo is making the case for filtering to make its presence known and creating a soundscape built on carefully chosen frequencies and some layered, auto-tuned vocals that sway in delivery but stutter in post. Everything from pads to basses to leads to drums has filters of varying resonance and frequencies.

For the Moment is an expressive track that makes the most out of each available element. Spice Lo hit a rare peak of feeling both confident and vulnerable. If that’s not a winning combination for fans, I can’t imagine anything that is. The lyrics aren’t 1-dimensional and seem to really resonate with the complex nature of how people feel in relationships. This is Spice Lo’s forte as a presence in the music. Beyond that, the music feels very alive and each layer has its own flavor to add, complimenting that emotional spectrum laid out by the vocals.

There aren’t many frills here. There is a performance that is passionate, but not bombastic. There are instrumentals that are similarly designed, but carefully distinct from each other. A track like this takes effort and the payoff is sweet. For the Moment is not a track to sleep on and Spice Lo definitely deserves to be labeled as someone to watch.

-Paul Weyer


Aric Thejoneskid releases ‘Not Worried’

Aric may have been started his musical journey in the tough South Side streets of Chicago, but Not Worried speaks more to the vibe of his adopted California home.  A fluid and meandering, ambient West Coast groove flows meditatively under his soothing and soulful chant leaving the grit of those formative northern streets behind and tapping into a more restorative mood.

If Rap, Hip-Hop and R&B often seem to have a self-aggrandising and passive-aggressive tone, sometimes without the passive, here we find Aric building a platform which any of those genres could use to promote a more positive, less self-centred and more connected movement. There is power in subtlety and it is the ability Aric has to strip his music back to a seeming less manufactured and more organic essence is something than makes this very powerful indeed.


Jessie Wagner brings something new to the table with ‘I Want To Dream’

Whilst some people feel the need to pursue new styles, create new fusions and try to move things forward through strange chimeric musical experiments, others are just content to walk classic and familiar pathways. And whilst the dynamic vocal led soul and the emotive deliveries join the dots from Etta James to Nina Simon to Aretha Franklin and on to her own modern R&B peers, Jessie Wagner does that rare thing of bringing something new to the table.

Not so much as in a new aspect but new in that everything seems designed along classic lines but just, well…more. It is more deeply soulful and indeed soul searching, more emotively heart-tugging, more gracefully elegant…just more of everything. It is a difficult thing to do, to visit such defined territory and come away both with something that adds to the musical canon but honours its heritage. Difficult for many, not, it would seem for Jessie Wagner.


Urban Label HQ Familia Announce Release of Debut Compilation ‘HQ Familia Presents… HQF001

For the very first time, record label HQ Familia are releasing a five track compilation ‘HQ Familia presents… HQF001’. A playlist of unique tracks across the East Midlands which represent the culture behind British urban music. Based in Leicester, the diverse individuals pay their dues to the music industry, with a promising attempt to portray the reality of modern day society. Embracing civic heritage, each of the artists showcase flourishing genres including UK Hip Hop, Grime, Garage, Future Bass and R&B. From start to finish, an unfeigned story is told which precipitates a variety of emotions throughout. There is not one sole narrative but a range of multiple perspectives shedding light on the struggles of social validity.

Charlie Georgio kick starts the compilation with a feathery proficiency, featuring Josh Notta in ‘You’. The free flowing melody dabbles between contemporary R&B, electro-pop and hip-hop, whilst enforcing a fairly mellow persona upon the track. Whilst this is one of the tracks that doesn’t necessarily focus on physical meaning, ‘You’ has more emotional depth than anything else. Georgio samples soulful characteristics underneath the spell that captivates him.

With a similar style to Lady Leshurr and Nadia Rose, Asher X takes a parallel stance of female grime by diving straight into a self-confidence heads on narrative, addressing the problems she’s faced with the men in her life. This track is the opposite of sympathising, and praises the strength and courage Asher X reflects as a woman where she exposes the wrong doings of men. Rather than permitting herself into grief, she jumps onto the offensive, making ‘Do One’ a track of total exclusivity.

As the compilation progresses, more genres are experimented. SunSun teams up with Harri Georgio producing a hip-hop and dub-garage style of track. ‘Waste My Time’ evolves into an energised anthem, where the synthesizing drums blur the lines of traditional hip-hop. The fast tempo component that flows freely with the dub resonance is what lifts the track up into a dance classic. And the endowed duo doesn’t just stop there, with lyrics that enforce relatable clarity, they are able to tune in with their audience.

The chemistry between the production of the tracks and the personal depth concealed is eminent, and as we reach a close to the compilation we have experienced new heights of emotions. The final two tracks share a correlation of a softer electro-rnb beat. Maniscooler and Dubdeep test the waters, integrating an electronic pulse with a debonair style of rap and untroubled vocals in the hook.  It’s only natural the tone of the track is delicate, when rendering the crucial aspect of relationships in ‘Boyfriend’. In comparison to BLG’s ‘Which Way To Go’, the tone of the track becomes bleak and cynical. BLG toys with down-tempo electronic blips to enforce a heightened effect, whilst the backdrop surveys a haunting presence throughout the track. The struggle of friendship and brotherhood goes hand in hand with the surreal tone, drawing a different perspective in contrast to its neighbouring tracks of the compilation.

HQ Familia Presents… HQF001 is the first release of many to come from HQ Familia and will be available via all major media providers. More information about each of the artists and any upcoming live dates can be found on their social media pages and information about the label itself can be found on their official website here.

Track Listing & Socials
1. You – Charlie Georgio ft Josh Notta
2. Do One – Asher X
3. Waste My Time – SunSun x Harri Georgio
4. Boyfriend – Maniscooler x Dubdeep
5. Which Way To Go – BLG ft Jafro (KamakazeTwisted PennysCorneliusSane Skitza)
Words: Aly Mchugh




AMBY and her haunting vibe track ‘Oxidate’

AMBY is a singer and songwriter with a truly unique approach to her blend of music. Her sound falls somewhere in between experimental electronic, Soul and R&B.

On her brand new single, Oxidate, she set out to create some haunting vibes through some amazing melodic landscapes. Her beats are groovy and hypnotic, relying on tasteful drum machine sounds. The high-hat samples drive the song’s groove, while the kick hits with depth and low-end, adding a full range of tones to the song and complementing the sparse synth backdrop.

AMBY’s vocal tone is tasteful an dynamic. As a singer, she is able to reach a broad range of tones and octaves, giving the music an open and diverse feel. This songs blurs the lines between the soulfulness of artists such as D’Angelo or The Weeknd, with the experimental twist of singers such as Bjork.

The production aesthetics are tasteful and understated. This arrangement is relatively simple, yet extremely rich in its production quirks and aesthetics.

Oxidate is a chill, intimate song with a pleasant atmosphere and some unique vibes, which are very textural and classy.

Find out more and listen to “Oxidate’ directly through AMBY’s official page on Soundcloud.


Eddie Brock releases futuristic pop track ‘Nowhere to Go’

More than just present a video to go with his latest release, Eddie Brock has paid homage to 80’s film classic The Lost Boys as he is lured into the vampire layer and enticed into their ranks. But a video is nothing without the music that drives it and here this multi-media creative has built a song that ticks many boxes.

It is futuristic pop, forward thinking EDM, jaunty, groove laden dance with a neo-reggae feel, it is all this and more and despite throwing around such generic possibilities, none of them really completely encapsulate what Eddie Brock has created here. And that is the art of good song writing, we can all see what musical threads he has pulled together but he has still managed to weave them in new and most unexpected ways. Very clever indeed.


Tia Gold – Lonely Hearts

Music is most effect when it by bypasses the brain and heads straight for the heart. Tia’ Gold goes one stage further and aims her songs directly at the soul. Lonely Hearts is a wonderful musical package of sultry R&B, mixing minimal beats with a slow groove but still creating big dynamics with just these few building blocks.  And if musically it sounds like an anthemic urban-pop future-classic, that is just the tip of the iceberg.

It is an anthem indeed, an anthem to the lonely and the overlooked, the forgotten masses and children growing up emotionally bereft. The combination of the heart tugging message and the effortless grooves make a powerful force, one that which goes way beyond the dance floor and becomes a soulful and soul-searching message to the modern world. Music as an act of love is a powerful force for sure.

Words: Dave Franklin


Karol Conka Announces New Single Release ‘Lala’

We tend to regard pop music as being on one side of the music spectrum – shiny and reletivley new, whilst world music, traditional cultural sounds are at the opposite end. Karol Conka is on a mission to unite the two factions. This Brazilian firebomb effortlessly blends rap, R&B, pop and the traditional sounds of her homeland and the result is spectacular. She became “Karol with a K” at her first high school show and since dropping her debut album Batuk Freak in 2013 has gone on to take the rap world by storm.

And whilst visually she has a striking and memorable outward image with shocking pink hair and an iconic bling style, it is her lyrics that are causing the most attention. Driven to write about self-esteem and female empowerment, Karol shows that there is more to her than the glitz and glamour of her outer projection. But it all starts with the music and LaLa in particular captures her perfectly as she weaves her Brazilian musical heritage through pop beats and sultry dance grooves. Karol Conka, an artist proving that it is possible to be both big and clever.

Facebook / Twitter / Website

Words: Dave Franklin


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

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