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Bluku: A Fusion Firestorm of Culture and Beats by Hype and Fever

Hype and Fever lived up to their moniker with their universally magnetic standout single, Bluku. The monocultural mould was rhythmically obliterated by the pulse-pounding kinetic melodies in the synthesis of Jamaican, Indian, and UK sonic culture.

If you like your beats hot, your bass heavy, and your rhythms tight, let your speakers ignite to the sound of the UK-residing duo which melds bansuri flutes with dancehall kicks to create a kaleidoscope of hybridic culture in their self-produced beats which pay an ode to their Jamaican and Indian heritage.

The explosively vibrant smorgasbord of culture delivers a burst of colour as Hype and Fever create friction on the instrumentals with their distinctively dominant bars that bring energy, fire, and enigmatic flair to ensure Bluku unravels as a dynamically intense release that is far too addictive to quit.

The momentum around Hype and Fever is only growing; be a part of their ascent.

Hype and Fever is now available to stream on YouTube, or you can add the release to your playlists.

To follow the next moves of the brother duo, link up on Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Grizzly Bird – Backpacker: A Soulful Sojourn Through the Indie-Folk Landscape

Grizzly Bird (AKA Hans Gnendinger) presents ‘Backpacker‘, an attentive commentary enveloped in a melodious indie folk journey. This single, nestled within the anticipated album ‘Creatures‘, stands out as a synthy, lyrically driven exploration of the backpacking subculture, infused with a wit and insight that is both refreshing and thought-provoking.

Gnendinger, a stalwart of the Berlin folk scene, brought his Bavarian roots and urban experiences to bear in this track. His storytelling, honed through years of songwriting and life’s vicissitudes shines through in the light-hearted track which delves into the essence of human nature and our quest for meaning, all while maintaining a lightness of touch that is characteristic of Grizzly Bird’s style.

The lyrical wit reminiscent of John Grant, combined with the tongue-in-cheek reverie akin to Alex Cameron, positions ‘Backpacker’ in a unique space within the indie genre. Gnendinger’s voice carries the narrative with an effortless grace through the Radiohead-esque soundscape which exhibits Gnendinger’s skill with the acoustic guitar and his ability to weave complex emotions into his compositions while the synthy backdrop adds a contemporary edge to the folk foundation

In essence, ‘Backpacker’ is a mirror held up to a generation that seeks meaning in the nomadic, Beatnik lifestyle. Grizzly Bird, through this track, offers a perspective that is both critical and empathetic, urging us to question the romanticism of backpacking while also acknowledging its allure.

The official music video for Backpacker will premiere on February 16th; stream it on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

IzzyG spits fire with irresistible swagger in her RnB Hip-Hop hit, All My Heart

IzzyG, the 24-year-old firebrand from Gateshead, now dominating West London’s music scene, has dropped her latest single ‘All My Heart‘ – a track that doesn’t just push boundaries; it obliterates them. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill RnB track; it’s a gritty, raw, and unapologetic anthem that resonates with the pulse of the streets and anyone who has suffered through the fuckboy era of dating.

From busking the cold corners of Newcastle with sultry covers to crafting this audacious blend of RnB, hip-hop, and soul, IzzyG’s journey is etched into every beat of ‘All My Heart’. Her vocals which spit fire with irresistible swagger, are a fierce mix of rap verses and pop harmonies, are a testament to her versatility.

The track itself is a sonic powerhouse, a slick fusion of snappy trap beats and RnB melodies that hit hard enough to leave a mark. IzzyG’s lyrics are a no-holds-barred exploration of love’s battleground, where vulnerability and strength collide. She’s not playing the game; she’s rewriting the rules, with a voice that carries the echoes of jazz legends and the bite of Nicki Minaj and Cardi B.

Drawing inspiration from the likes of Amy Winehouse and Ella Fitzgerald, IzzyG adds a touch of vintage seduction to her sound. But make no mistake, ‘All My Heart’ is fiercely contemporary. It’s a track that doesn’t just get under your skin; it courses through your veins.

Stream the official music video for All My Heart via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Sonic Alchemy: An Interview with KASIA on Weaving Spirituality into Music

In this enlightening interview with A&R Factory, artist KASIA opened up about her latest single, “Heartstrings,” and its deep-rooted connection to her spiritual journey in music. She reveals how her songs, emerging from personal struggles, have become a sanctuary for healing, with a special focus on the transformative power of specific musical frequencies.

The interview promises an intimate glimpse into her artistic evolution and the profound impact of her music on both personal growth and the collective human experience.

KASIA, welcome to A&R Factory! Can you share the story behind your latest single and music video, “Heartstrings”; where did the inspiration come from? 

“The inspiration behind my latest single and music video, “Heartstrings,” comes from personal experiences, as most of my songs do. The lyrics were born out of a pretty bad relationship, where I found myself struggling with difficult emotions. Throughout my life, music has served as my safe place, providing a certain protection from harsh realities. In many ways, music has been my reality, offering a means of expression and understanding in the face of adversity.”

How has music helped to shape your healing journey? And how important is it for you to light the path towards empowerment for your listeners? 

“Music has played a huge role in my healing journey, serving as a powerful form of catharsis and expression. It’s difficult to fully articulate the transformative effect that music has had on me. There’s a certain magic that occurs when you listen to music in specific frequencies. While most modern music is tuned to 440 Hz, which can sometimes evoke a sense of melancholy, I’ve found that music tuned to 432 Hz resonates more harmoniously with the energy of the Earth. Many older pieces of music were tuned to this frequency, and I tend to use it for my own work, including tuning my healing instruments to 432 Hz.

The impact of music extends beyond mere sound waves; it can deeply affect us on physical, emotional, and spiritual levels. For me, creating and listening to music in these frequencies has been a source of profound healing and growth. As an artist, I feel a responsibility to not only share my personal journey through lyrics and music but also to be vulnerable and real with people – hopefully to the effect of empowering my listeners.”

Your goal is to create a spiritual and energising journey through your music. How do you incorporate this intention into your creative process?

“Creating a spiritual and energizing journey through my music is paramount to me. I focus on making empowering lyrics that resonate with listeners on a deeper level. I integrate the ethereal tones of sound bowls into my electronic productions using Ableton. My creative process is deeply intertwined with meditation and spending time in nature, where I find wisdom and inspiration. Through the practice of gnosis, a process of inner exploration and connection with our higher selves and nature, I tap into somewhat hidden creative expression. I want to authentically express myself while offering something meaningful to others on their individual paths. I believe that music serves as a conduit to higher states of consciousness and my goal is to channel that energy and share it with my audience.”

How did you come about developing your unique blend of house, bass house and pop? Were there any particular influences which shaped it? 

“My musical journey has been a fusion of diverse influences. Growing up, I was drawn to pop icons like The Spice Girls and Britney Spears, followed by a deep dive into hip-hop with artists such as Biggie, Tupac, WestSide Connection, Naz, and J Cole during my high school years. As I matured, I became more drawn towards house music. It was during this phase that I connected with the producer of Fan Death, SZAM, who invited me to step in as the lead singer, replacing Dandi Wind. Fan Death’s synth-pop style marked a pivotal moment in my musical evolution.

The more I got to know Vancouver’s music scene, I discovered a blend of techno and house influences. Although I wasn’t initially drawn to techno, I found my niche in Bass House, a genre that merges elements of house, pop, and rap. My journey is driven by a genuine love for music and a desire to create something uniquely mine. Recently, I’ve been particularly drawn to the lyrical style of Caroline Polachek.”

How indicative is “Heartstrings” of what is to come from your debut album? Which other themes does your LP explore? 

“While “Heartstrings” serves as a starting point, it’s just a glimpse of what’s to come with my debut album. I see it as an opportunity to test the waters, to gauge reactions to both my music and the visuals I create. Part of me is inclined to wait until there’s a readiness from the audience, while another part recognizes that significant change often arises from bold actions, regardless of initial readiness. As Theodore Roosevelt aptly said, ‘It’s not the critic who counts.’ So, while “Heartstrings” sets the tone, my debut album will delve deeper into a range of themes, exploring aspects of personal growth, resilience, and the human/spiritual experience.”

Did your transition from being a lead singer in a synth-pop band to becoming a music producer influence your current style? 

“The transition from being the lead singer of a synth-pop band to stepping into the role of a music producer has profoundly shaped my artistic trajectory. Fan Death was my first experience writing and recording professional music. I learnt what a DAW was and how to use it! Fan Death truly served as a pivotal chapter in my musical evolution.

Despite the stylistic differences between synth-pop and my current direction, I owe a great deal to SZAM, the creator and producer of Fan Death. The band imparted invaluable knowledge and skills. Looking back, Fan Death was ahead of its time, and I often reflect on the synchronicities and patterns that have guided my journey towards future endeavors.”

You’ve had your fair share of high-profile live performances; do you prefer writing music or performing and seeing first-hand the effects of your music on your fans? 

“Thank you for the question! It’s a tough call because I genuinely love both aspects. On one hand, there’s nothing quite like the energy of performing live and connecting with fans face-to-face. Witnessing firsthand the impact my music has on them is truly special. But then, there’s also something incredibly fulfilling about being in my element – in the studio, wearing my glasses and hoodie, lost in the creative process of making music. I find joy in every aspect of my artistry, including dreaming up music videos and bringing my vision to life through visuals.”

As a delegate of The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, what insights have you gained about the music industry?

“Just being around other artists pursuing similar goals is such an amazing experience. The most profound insight I’ve gained revolves around the power of community within the music industry. Coming from a small town where artistic pursuits were rare, I often felt isolated in my passion for music. However, being surrounded by other artists who share similar aspirations has been so refreshing. The opportunity to connect with full-time artists who understand the language of creativity has been incredibly inspiring. It’s a reminder that I’m not alone in this journey and that there’s this supportive community, rallying behind each other’s artistic pursuits.”

Stream KASIA’s latest music video on YouTube now.

Interview by Amelia Vandergast

Ola Beto flowed right back to ‘Old School’ with his latest rhythmically rendered hip-hop release

Ola Beto has dropped a track that’s nothing short of a rhythmic revelation. ‘Old School’ is a melodious trip through the annals of hip-hop via a route never taken. This single firmly establishes Ola Beto as the undisputed king of retro luxe flows in the modern hip-hop scene.

From the get-go, ‘Old School’ commands attention. The cadence in Ola Beto’s bars makes it impossible to remain indifferent. His flow is a rhythmic force that demands your rhythmic pulses to stand to attention while the use of nostalgic samples adds a layer of authenticity. Yet, it’s in the beats and analogue synths where Ola Beto truly shines, offering a contemporary twist that you’ll want to relentlessly ride the waves of.

Ola Beto’s emotional lyrics, combined with his rhythmic production and catchy flows, create a sonic vision that’s beyond measure.  ‘Old School’ is a statement of Ola Beto’s trajectory that’s set to redefine the West Coast hip-hop domain. If he continues on his grind, it won’t be long before he’s revered as a major player in the genre. For fans of retro pop and hip-hop alike, ‘Old School’ is a track that resonates with the past, thrives in the present, and hints at a future where Ola Beto holds the keys to the kingdom.

Stream the official music video for Old School by heading over to YouTube now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

ArkAngel47 flowed into the heart of memory in his alt-hip-hop track, nostalgia

ArkAngel47’s latest single, nostalgia, crashed into the alt-rap scene like a rogue wave, unapologetically dismantling the boundaries of the genre on February 8th. The raw, unfiltered plunge into the depths of memory, wrapped in a soundscape that defies easy categorisation, is an unconventional fusion that grips you from the first beat.

Imagine grime’s gritty pulse, new wave’s introspective echo, and alt-hip-hop’s rebellious spirit colliding around lyricism that balances candour and volition. Hit play and feel the push and pull of time as North West London’s grittiest poet waxes lyrical with melancholic wisdom. Nostalgia is beyond reminiscence; it is the dissection of the essence of the psychological phenomenon; an exposition of its sweet allure and sharp bite.

Musically, the track is a beast of its own making. The beats morph and twist before flooding into a melodious flow and glitching like a dream half-remembered as the backing vocals resonate as ethereal whispers from bygone days, adding layers of haunting depth to the track.

Mixed and mastered with the sharp ear of Kult Eviction at Kabin Studios, nostalgia is a testament to ArkAngel47’s raw talent and vision. With plenty more genre-fluid releases locked, loaded, and ready to drop throughout 2024, ArkAngel47 is one to watch.

Watch the official music video for nostalgia on YouTube, or add the single to your Spotify playlists.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Kweku Bandit cinematically reimagined London’s streets in his urban tale of triumph, Nowhere

You may think you know London’s streets but once you see them from a different point of view in Kweku Bandit’s official music video for his latest rap hit, Nowhere, your perception of the cityscape will take a seismic shift after you acknowledge how they can be the breeding ground to success stories rather than just battlegrounds for class wars.

The conceptually compelling music video, which has already racked up over 24k streams since its debut on January 19, depicts Kweku Bandit on a rags-to-riches character arc. The orchestrally laced instrumentals bring a touch of film noir glamour to the track that sees Kweku Bandit bringing as much rhythm in his Dancehall-inspired bars as the snappy beats that heighten the energy of the hit that will give you all the inspiration you need to stay on your grind. The track is as essential as it is phenomenal; as Kweku Bandit exposits, the road to success often moves people out of your corner and in the rearview mirror. If fake friends fall by the wayside, you can always lock into the inspiration that pours from this seminal hit.

Despite the flashy iconography in the music video to depict an ascent through the economic ranks, nothing about Nowhere feels like a flex; the sense of soul that radiates from Kweku’s persona translates into an affirmation that anywhere can be the land of opportunity if you’re willing to reach for it and refuse to be a victim to circumstance.

Stream the official music video for Nowhere on YouTube now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Species Spoke on Staying Inspired on His Experimental Grind in an Exclusive Interview

Minnesota’s Taylor Spiess, better known as Species, has been carving a niche with his experimental trap-tinted hyper-pop edge. A&R Factory pulled him from the studio to explore his musical journey, influences, and how he’s been holding dominion over the airwaves with his hit singles, Barely Breathing and Use Me.

Species, welcome to A&R Factory! We’d love to hear more about your highly anticipated upcoming project with The Lotto Tribe, “Old Me”.

“Old Me is a story about an obvious toxic relationship. It ended with me either coping with it or breaking away from it for periods of time using different substances. Old Me is a song I wrote about that.”

How has the indie label imprint, The Lotto Tribe allowed your music career to gain momentum?

“So far, they’ve helped redistribute my entire catalog professionally and introduced better opportunities for me in this industry. They’ve also shared a lot of knowledge and helped me build a good base for my upcoming releases.”

How did your collaborations with Pardyalone and Henny Hermes come about, and are there any more collabs in the pipeline?

“Pardy grew up in the same town as me; Big Lake, Minnesota. Through mutual connections and just being in such a small community, we ended up in the same crowd. He ended up being influential to me at the beginning of my career by helping me become a better artist/person, building my image and eventually collaborating on a song titled, Sunset Drive. I played it for Pardyalone and his manager Jake, they liked it and thought he would fit on it, so he hopped on the song and killed the feature.

With Henny Hermes, it was a little different. I found him on TikTok, he was promoting a song of his and I liked his voice, so I hit him up on Instagram. He messaged me back and said he would be open to working with me, so I sent him a song I had called DANCING WITH THE DEVIL. He sent me back the verse for that on the same day and I knew we’d be making more together; the sound was just there. Right time, right place. You know? Since then, we’ve released two more collaborative records that we’ve done together, Novocaine and Use Me.”

Your previous projects like Barely Breathing caught plenty of momentum, what do you think was the key to the success of this single?

“I think the key to that project was honestly just loving the song so much and believing in the message. If you have a single that you’re confident in and you want the world to hear, it comes more naturally than trying to push a song just because you “have to drop.” Quality over quantity 100%. With Barely Breathing, I also shot a professional music video to accompany it, so that helped.”

What are your influences and goals as an artist? 

“Definitely the homie SLOE JACK. His work ethic is insane. He’s always doing something to better his craft and embracing a style you don’t hear much of anymore, all while doing it perfectly in my opinion. Also, an artist named, Kringe, for sure. He has out-of-the-box ideas and brings them to life beautifully. He’s a huge example of quality over quantity. My goal is to impact as many people as possible with my art while maintaining who I am and not giving in to pressure around me for I’m hoping a long time.”

Can you tell us about your new distribution deal with AWAL/The Orchard and being involved with the Sony Music network via The Lotto Tribe and A&R Bezel Brilliant?

“I’m super thankful to have this opportunity with The Lotto Tribe and to be distributed through AWAL. I’m grateful to the people who made it possible. I’m just excited to see what’s next and keep doing what I do.”

What does being an artist mean to you, and what are your future plans?

“Being an artist means you can voice your thoughts to be heard and help the people who listen and may face those same struggles in their own life. That’s what it should mean to anyone who’s doing this, in my opinion through music the world can come together. Stories that make people feel and a good beat go a long way! I have a few releases and some cool stuff planned throughout the next couple months. Live sessions, acoustics, and more music for sure. I’m just really looking forward to sharing my art with the world and seeing where it takes me next! So stay tuned.

Hear Species on Spotify and discover more about Species here.

Interview by Amelia Vandergast

MOBI1 & Hardest Bars ignited the London grime scene with ‘Joey Clipstar Freestyle’

In the gritty heart of West London’s grime scene, MOBI1’s latest single, ‘Joey Clipstar Freestyle’, is a rhythmic inferno, signalling his indomitable presence and unyielding ascent.

Surviving a catastrophic explosion and emerging from literal ashes, MOBI1i is an emissary of resilience. Anyone who locks into his bars that run as hard as his beats can live it by proxy and feel the fire that blazes as MOBI1 razes the music industry with the head-spinning volition in his flow.

The production, a collaborative genius of Katmandu and Wadizdis, tears up the rulebook of drill beats. It’s a rhythmic firestorm, a relentless assault on the senses that perfectly complements MOBI1’s explosive delivery. Every hook is a masterstroke of lyrical agility, a testament to Mobi1’s skill as he weaves through the beat with a tongue-twisting fervour.

In short, ‘Joey Clipstar Freestyle’ is a declaration that MOBI1 is here to reign supreme in the grime domain. As he continues to make waves across the UK, from radio sets to fashion shows, one thing is crystal clear: he’s a force to be reckoned with.

Check out the official music video on YouTube or add MOBI1’s latest hit to your Spotify playlists.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Phil Coomer prescribed love as a drug in his latest release, All the Medicine I Need

https://youtu.be/eNRKiL6PZT0?si=2dDJrrguCrbBzFlA

The folk-pop evocateur Phil Coomer used all his award-winning song-writing stripes to decorate his latest single, All the Medicine I Need, with a sense of sentimentality that will see your soul swell with gratitude for everyone who sweetens your world.

As the orchestral strings quiver, the tenderly fingerpicked acoustic guitar strings amplify the warmth spilling from Coomer’s folky Americana harmonies which shine with crystalline soul as they emanate the soft and intimate folk vocal style of the late 60s and carry the same affecting mesmerism of Nick Drake.

Even when artists pen their own material, it isn’t a given that they will orchestrate something original; there’s never any danger of assimilative pedestrianism when you slip into a Phil Coomer folk score; just how it is possible for a salve for the soul to feel so expressively raw is an alchemic paradox that stands as a testament to his songwriting virtuosity.

All the Medicine I Need will be available to stream and purchase on all major platforms from 05/06/2024. Until then, you can stream the music video on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast