Download Wesley Joseph’s soulful banger ‘Thrilla

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This week’s download comes from Visual artist, producer and emcee Wesley Joseph and his forthcoming project “ULTRAMARINE.” You have seven days to download the song “Thrilla.”

Welsey Joseph | photo credit: Rashidi Noah

From the press release:

Wesley Joseph has firmly established himself as an artist to watch in 2021. The artist, producer and director kicked off 2021 with the release of highly anticipated single ‘Thrilla’, launched by Annie Mac at Radio 1.

Visual artist, producer and emcee Wesley Joseph has firmly established himself as an artist to watch in 2021. His debut project “ULTRAMARINE” will be released on his own EEVILTWINN imprint (via Transgressive) this summer with collaborations with contemporaries Jorja Smith, Leon Vynehall, Dave Okumu and more.

Since emerging last year with his self-produced debut single, the skittering, jazz-flecked “Imaginary Friends,” 24-year-old rapper-singer Wesley Joseph has written, directed and scored his own short film, Pandomony, as well as directing the video for his undulating second single, Martyrs. While he delegated the animated visuals for glitchy ‘Ghostin’’ to Pixar’s former technical director Najeeb Tarazi, the video’s fusion of the hyperreal and the mundane marries purposefully with the intention of his music. “When you look back at life, the romanticized memories are… more poignant than the reality,” he told The Face. “But music allows you to relive those moments as over-exaggerated, melodramatic soundbites. And I want to provide those soundbites.”

Born in Birmingham and raised in Walsall, where he was a member of the OG Horse collective alongside Jorja Smith, Joseph moved to London in 2016 to study film. He also started making beats on his laptop, converting his bedroom into a makeshift studio. That ad-hoc, DIY ethos permeates everything he does, with the lyrics to Ghostin’ written quickly on the bus home from a session with the song’s producer, electronic pioneer Joy Orbison. He’s also working closely with Jai Paul associate Lexxx on an upcoming debut project that encapsulates the likes of Andre 3000, Frank Ocean and Donald Glover.

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Download Navy’s reggae-infused soul track ‘One Shot’

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This week’s download comes from the Caribbean artist Navy. You have seven days to download her new song “One Shot” which samples Deniece Williams’ 1976 hit “Free.”

Navy | via Pretty Boy Worldwide

From the press release:

Navy is a small island girl with big dreams. Coming from Dominica, there were few Caribbean musical heroes for her to look up to on a global stage, and even fewer Dominican ones. She’s lived in Martinique, Guadeloupe and Barbados, and is a proud representative of her island. In her career, she aims to be a role model for other Caribbean musicians looking to make it in an industry that’s largely focused on and in the United States and the UK. “In terms of being an example to other Caribbean artists, I would love them to look at me and be like, she’s from the tiniest, bushiest island and she made it, there’s a chance for me. I don’t want Caribbean artists to be in despair anymore, thinking that Rihanna was one in a million or that you have to be Jamaican. Each island has its own identity, accent, history, stories, experiences, and there’s a place for everybody.”

As a Black Caribbean woman working in music, Navy has experienced what it’s like to shrink herself to fit others’ perceptions of what she should be. After dealing with her mother’s worry about doing late-night sessions with strange men (“It was a war!” she jokes), she’s had to prove time and time again that she is worth being taken seriously as a musician and artist. This, combined with a lack of knowledge about the music industry due to being from a small island, has prepared her for the necessary struggle to achieve her dreams. “I had to fight,” she says. “I had to quit my job and take risks. My strength is definitely my story. It’s not an easy road.”

For Navy, the sky is truly the limit. She’s been dreaming big since she was young, and now it’s time for her to go the distance. “No limits, quite honestly,” she says. “I don’t want any limitations. I just want to go as far as this thing can possibly take me.”

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Download Mndsgn’s laidback and hazy ‘Hope You’re Doin’ Better’

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This week’s download comes from Mndsgn and his upcoming album “Rare Pleasure.” You have seven days to download the song “Hope You’re Doin’ Better.”

Mndsgn | photo credit: Eric Coleman

From the press release:

Mndsgn returns to share the new single and video “Hope You’re Doin’ Better”. The single is taken from the new album “Rare Pleasure,” out June 4th on Stones Throw Records. The track’s video, directed by the artist himself, has a ’70s-inspired, whimsical atmosphere, using warm surreal imagery to complement the song’s hazy groove.

Rare Pleasure is Mndsgn’s third album to be released on Stones Throw Records. Following 2016’s Body Wash, this album truly shows the artist’s evolution from his roots as a heralded beatmaker to vocalist, songwriter and arranger. Though he began writing for the album in 2018, the final recordings took just a week in studio with the help of trusted collaborators: Swarvy on bass, guitar and as Musical Director for the sessions, Stones Throw label mate Kiefer Shackelford on keys, drum work by Will Logan, the blessed percussion of Carlos Niño, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson on strings, and accompanying vocals from Fousheé and Anna Wise.

Inspired by soundtrack music, samba, exotica and ’70s/’80s library records, “Rare Pleasure” is intensely intimate, sourcing lyrics from Mndsgn’s family and interpersonal experiences, and reflective of the world at large. Despite the tenderness of the recordings, the music is joyfully vibrant and draws on Mndsgn’s formative experiences as a b-boy, showcasing a range of rhythms that will make you want to groove.

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Download Poté’s ‘Young Lies’ featuring Damon Albarn

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This week’s download comes from Poté and his forthcoming album “A Tenuous Tale of Her.” You have seven days to download the song “Young Lies” featuring Damon Albarn.

Poté | photo via Facebook

From the press release:

On “A Tenuous Tale of Her”, Poté (aka Sylvern Mathurin) marks the debut album release for Bonobo’s OUTLIER imprint. A record that’s tough, tender and grand all at once, the connections he’s built along the way speaks to the variety of his influences: with connections from Lisbon’s kuduro-fused Enchufada label, to Benji B and Damon Albarn (who features on single ‘Young Lies’), he’s built a sound that’s packed with ideas and musical touchstones alike.

He’s received boosts across a wide spectrum of supporters, including Annie Mac, MistaJam, Phil Taggart, Nina Las Vegas, TEED, Pierre Kwenders, Jamz Supernova, Laurent Garnier, and Toddla T. He’s been featured in Bonobo’s 2019 ‘fabric presents’ mix, featured on 2019 Africa Express album “EGOLI”, produced remixes for Little Dragon and Gorillaz, and recently performed on Colors Berlin.

Poté’s music has always balanced contrasting impulses. On the one hand, there’s the rhythmic, celebratory music of his Caribbean upbringing, and on the other, there’s his interest in exploratory, emotive songwriting. On this record, he takes that approach in a bolder direction: immersive and atmospheric, it’s a platform for those two sides of his music to strike a fresh dialogue.

Channelled through an imagined theatrical performance with a pre-apocalyptic setting, Poté raises the curtain on a more vulnerable, open side to his music. A storyline of looming disaster runs through many of the tracks: he imagined how different people would react to the news of impending apocalyptic breakdown. It’s a way of upping his musical ambition, and taking a step out of the limelight. “I wanted to write something that can live on stage without me being present,” he says.

Damon Albarn features on “Young Lies,” a collaboration which came about through Gorillaz producer Remi Kabaka Jr. “I love it when tunes evolve like this one”, Albarn said of the track.

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Download the DJ Python remix of Braids’ ‘Young Buck’

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This week’s download comes from Braids. You have seven days to download the DJ Python remix of Braids’ “Young Buck.”

Braids | Photo credit: Mélissa Gamache

From the press release:

Braids is thrilled to start 2021 with a brand-new “Young Buck” remix from renowned New York-based DJ Python. The lead single from their most recent album “Shadow Offering” was widely acclaimed by fans and media when it was released a year ago. DJ Python’s take on the track is hypnotic, throbbing and intoxicating. Electronic modulations of Raphaelle’s voice project the listener to an out of comfort, new dimension where Braids is suddenly dominating the dancefloor. Amid this year-long pandemic struggle, it is time to reclaim dancing and expressing ourselves.

“Upon receiving DJ Python’s remix of our track Young Buck, my pining for the dance floor kicked in,” explains Braids. “I pulled my car over to an empty parking lot and turned the volume up as far as it could go. Alone beside the concrete barriers of a now desolate shopping mall, I was reminded of bodies beside bodies, of a night that you never want to end, of sweat, of joy. For a moment I was transported from my new and uncomfortable reality: distanced, living through a pandemic, to memories streaming behind my closed eyes, of a life lived prior, and one that will be lived again. This track offers the fuel needed to keep going, the energy needed to stay hopeful. When I close my eyes and dance to it in my living room, I am at the club and the club is with me.”

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Download Yeek’s new sensual R&B track ‘Back N Forth’

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This week’s download comes from singer/songwriter Yeek and his latest album “Valencia.” You have seven days to download “Back N Forth.”

Yeek
Yeek | press photo

From the press release:

For years Yeek preferred to work alone. Across two albums and two EPs, the L.A.-based singer-songwriter handled producing, recording, mixing, and mastering by himself. Because his songs are personal and resistant to genre classification, this method suited him. The DIY approach made sense for his evocative, guitar-driven portraits of youthful wandering and wondering. Singing about sitting alone in his room on “Only in the West,” bummed because he has to board the bus while his drug-dealer friends are out driving cars — quintessential solo dolo music.

But not now. This year Yeek presents “Valencia,” his most emotionally lush and polished work to date, and his most collaborative too. Featuring production from his cousin, Kevin Halasan, and a smooth mix from Jeff Ellis, the engineer who has worked with Frank Ocean, Snoh Aalegra, and Omar Apollo, “Valencia” is indebted to the vitality of family, close friends, and new romance. After strengthening his voice on tour and with a vocal coach, Yeek’s performances on “Valencia” are confident and vulnerable, shaded heavily by the R&B records he heard growing up during family karaoke. “R&B music is a deeply-rooted part of Filipino-American culture,” he says.

Born in New Jersey, Yeek spent his first decade living in a large Filipino community. Then he moved to South Florida, where he wasn’t just the new kid in town but one of the only Asian people outside his family. Bonding with kids who wanted to make music, he found a place for himself by joining punk and hardcore bands, and rapping.

All this music touched his own, making for a sound that is totally contemporary and genre agnostic, but still grounded in what can be done in a bedroom with a microphone and some instruments. Though Yeek produced nearly all of “Valencia,” its ten songs are powered by community. “Whole gang gotta eat,” he sings on the title track, and he means it. After coming off his first headlining tour in Europe in 2019, he decided to recommit to working with the people closest to him. “My priority is putting on the people I’ve grown up with,” Yeek says. “I feel that better art comes from working with family and friends. Otherwise, it’s making art via email.”

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Download Satya’s beautiful new song ‘Summertime’

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This week’s download comes from 20-year old singer-songwriter Satya. You have seven days to download the song “Summertime.”

Satya | photo via Facebook

From a press release:

20-year old singer-songwriter Satya’s music and life is a healing journey. Her 2020 self-released debut EP Flourish Against Fracture explored the aftermath of a devastating breakup and the journey back to self love. In her follow up single, “Summertime”, we are introduced to a new Satya, one who is clear on who she is, and what she wants for herself and others in a relationship. “Summertime” is about my desire to be loved in my most raw, authentic form,” says Satya. “It’s about falling in love with someone’s truest, most authentic self, and really loving every part of them.”

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Download Jungle’s disco-infused song ‘Keep Moving’

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This week’s download comes from Jungle and their forthcoming album “Loving in Stereo.” You have seven days to download the song “Keep Moving.”

Jungle | Photo credit: Anna Victoria Best

From the press release:

“Loving In Stereo,” the highly anticipated new album from British songwriting and production duo Jungle, is set for release on August 13 via AWAL. “Keep Moving,” the album’s debut single, premieres today accompanied by an official music video.

The disco-infused track, which premiered on Annie Mac’s Hottest Record in the World, reflects the changing circumstances the pair found themselves in during these trying times. As co-founder Tom McFarland summarizes, “Whatever you go through, as long as you can stay strong and fight it, there’s always something on the other side.”

Jungle directed the video for “Keep Moving” alongside longtime collaborator and creative partner Charlie Di Placido, the first look at a larger project to create a visual identity for every track on the album. In pursuit of this aim, Jungle filmed all the visuals in five days, shooting roughly three videos a day. “Our focus was to create a collection of visuals where we developed the narratives of the characters throughout the whole piece, giving the audience a chance to form more emotional connections to these inspiring people,” explains McFarland.

“We had always been inspired by West Side Story and the idea of two groups working together and in opposition at times,” furthers the other half of Jungle, Josh Lloyd-Watson. “We worked closely with two of the best up and coming choreographers in London, Nathaniel Williams and Cece Nama, who both have their own distinct styles. The fusing of these two styles created a whole new approach for us where style and movement could be fluid.”

As “Loving In Stereo” is an album that embodies what’s sure to be a summer of social liberation, it’s fitting that Jungle are experiencing something similar. Lifelong friends J and T are embracing the newfound freedom of launching their own label for the first time, a decision that has initiated a creative rebirth. They’ve ditched the external influences, put commercial considerations on the backburner and avoided second-guessing what people expect from them. Instead, they’ve taken their music back to their roots, to a time when they could make whatever music they liked without overthinking it. The album’s themes exude positivity—new beginnings, new love and fighting back against the odds. “When we write music there’s hope,” adds Lloyd-Watson. “Maybe today we’ll create something that influences people and changes the way they feel. If you can make something that lifts people, that’s an amazing feeling.”

“Loving In Stereo” was recorded at J and T’s own studio as well as The Church Studios. The album features songwriting contributions from Inflo—a Mercury Prize and Ivor Novello Award winner for his work with Michael Kiwanuka and Little Simz—as well as vocal contributions from rapper Bas and rising star Priya Ragu, which marks the duo’s first feature collaborations.

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Download Hiatus Kaiyote’s ‘Get Sun’ featuring Arthur Verocai

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This week’s download comes from Hiatus Kaiyote and their fothcoming album “Mood Valiant.” You have seven days to download their song “Get Sun” featuring Arthur Verocai.

Hiatus Kaiyote
Hiatus Kaiyote | photo credit: Tré Koch

From the press release:

Today, twice Grammy nominated, Melbourne-based group Hiatus Kaiyote returns to announce their new album “Mood Valiant,” out June 25th via Brainfeeder Records / Ninja Tune. Comprised of Naomi “Nai Palm” Saalfield (guitar, vocals), Paul Bender (bass), Simon Mavin (keys), and Perrin Moss (drums), the new album is the follow up to their 2015 album Choose Your Weapon, which Rolling Stone described as “a stunning step up”. The new project comes after being sampled on songs by The Carters (Beyonce & Jay-Z), Kendrick Lamar, Anderson .Paak, Chance The Rapper, and Drake—with whom Nai Palm collaborated on his Scorpion album.

The announcement of “Mood Valiant” also comes alongside the first single “Get Sun (feat. Arthur Verocai)”. The new album has been in the making for six years, but that interval reflects more hustle than hiatus. The result is an album that relaxes into a groove: sunlit, sublime, masterful. Behind everything is Hiatus’ familiar sense of musical adventure, their knack for making the complex sound simple.

The six-year journey of the album originally began on the road, as they began to add new material to their live sets in while touring in support of Choose Your Weapon. By the fall of 2018, backing tracks had largely been laid, ready for Nai’s vocals. Then, during a brief swing through the U.S., Hiatus’s frontwoman was diagnosed with breast cancer. “That was a massive scare,” recalls Nai. Her mother’s death from the same disease was never far from her mind. Nai rushed back to Australia and into the hospital, where she underwent a life-saving mastectomy.

As Nai recovered, the band turned back to their work with altered perspectives. Her lyrics, even those written before her illness, took on a prescient quality. It wasn’t until a trip to Rio de Janeiro in late-2019 to work with legendary Brazilian arranger Arthur Verocai on “Get Sun” that the vibe of the entire album shifted.

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Download Genesis Owusu’s ‘Don’t Need You’ ft. Mick Jenkins

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This week’s download comes from Genesis Owusu. You have seven days to download the song “Don’t Need You” featuring Mick Jenkins.

Genesis Owusu |photo credit: Bailey Howard

From the press release:

Genesis Owusu has held onto the reign of being one of Australia’s most exciting breakthrough stars since his first release several years ago. The Ghanian-born, Australian-based performer’s avant-garde twist on R&B, hip-hop and future-funk sees him dancing around a melting pot of his own dynamic layers. 

“Smiling With No Teeth” is a 15-track collection that carousels the prodigy’s shockwave of energy, as he blurs the boundaries of genre. Owusu layers the album with complex issues such as race and mental health, under a rollercoaster of oscillating soundscapes. Each chapter is a personal testimony and reflection upon such issues, slathered in Owusu’s chameleon-like presence while not shying away from the harsh realities at the core of the album.

The road to the release of Owusu’s debut album has been littered with praise. Since the release of his debut “Cardrive” EP in 2016, Owusu has landed international appraisals from the likes of Elton John and The Free Nationals and received several ARIA nominations–Australia’s highest musical honor. He was also NME’s January’s cover star and has been labeled an ‘Artist To Watch’ among The Guardian, NPR Music and more.

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