SF: Laura Wolfie Review

The following is an extract of my article for Sampleface:

“Concept projects seem to be all the rage at the moment and with ‘the seven deadly sins’ in particular being absolutely done to death, Wolfie really needed to knock this out the park. Fortunately for her, her originality coupled with incredible production and THAT voice, makes Laura Wolfie one of the most intriguing artists I’ve heard in a long time.

Remember the 7 Deadly Sins shoot on America’s Next Top Model a few years back? Well, this should’ve been the soundtrack for it. The 7-track EP kicks off with Luxuria (or Lust in layman’s terms). Wolfie’s vocal has depth and sharpness – reminiscent of Nylo/Maryann Vasquez – whilst hats are well-and-truly tipped to Craig Viera for the production. Gula (Gluttony) follows and as expected, it’s full of food-related, tongue-in-cheek innuendo. I mean, “it’s finger lickin’ good when he play with me”. Aaaaow.”

Read the article in full, here: http://sampleface.co.uk/review-laura-wolfie-7ds/

SF: Kaly Interview

The following is an extract of my article for Sampleface:

“One of the most decorated characters we’ve come across in recent times, US-native Kaly (who isn’t actually from Cali, by the way) is beginning to build up a reputation of speaking his mind via the interwebz. The NJ by-way-of Philly rapper spoke to Sampleface in March about his beginnings, his future, Twitter and everything in between.

Note: Kaly’s answers are written in American-English. The Z’s and lack of U’s are jarring as fuck, but we’ve left them in for authenticity. Word to you, bruh.

Sampleface: Let’s dance! Kaly, introduce yourself…

Kaly: Kaly. That’s my first and last name.

SF: Kaly Kaly. I like it. How did you get into music?

K: When I was younger, I used to watch a bit of Bollywood cinema here and there, and it got me thinking about how to approach women.  As a big-rimmed-glasses-wearing- bowl-cut-having Indian kid, I needed all the help I could get. I figured writing poetry, like I saw in the movies, would be my in. Needless to say, it didn’t quite work how I expected haha. Eventually, I started setting that poetry to music and realized I was pretty good at it.

SF: Big-rimmed-glasses-wearing-bowl-cut-having Indian kid. You got a picture of this or nah?

K: Fuck outta here.

SF: What’s the rap scene like around you, right now?

K: If you’re speaking about the South Asian rap scene, in America, I would say it’s non-existent. There’s definitely a lot of guys calling themselves rappers, not really putting in the work to be worthy of that title. Everyone goes for self out here, there isn’t really any camaraderie or outlet for our artistry like you see in the UK/Canada, so I can’t say there is much of a scene really. As far as the regular rap scene, it’s cool I suppose, a lot of “how did that get on the radio?” all the time. The game has definitely changed, to where before you needed talent to rock, that’s not so much the case nowadays.

SF: That’s interesting, definitely with you on the airwave questionability. What musicians ARE you feeling currently?

K: I find myself listening to a lot of Nipsey Hussle, and that new Rick Ross album, too. Nothing crazy on my end, but definitely Nipsey if we’re talking up-and-coming artists.”

Read the article in full, here: http://sampleface.co.uk/interview-kaly/

SF: RKZ’s Round Up #1

The following is an extract of my article for Sampleface:

“What’s happening, beautiful people?

I’ve been inundated with requests to cover new releases this year, to the point where they were beginning to outnumber hours in the day. With that in mind, I thought I’d start a new piece: RKZ’s Round Up! A collection of records I’ve heard that are incredible: whether they’ve been submitted, stumbled upon or Soundcloud-ed. So, let’s get straight into it!

1. Anjelihs – Beneath The Grapevine

The Massachusetts-native has dropped this absolute gem of a record called Beneath The Grapevine, which was recently featured as Pigeons & Planes’ Daily Discovery. And with good reason, too. The raw, soul-bearing R&B joint resonates beautifully around reflective mind-states, and I’ve added this record to near enough every new playlist I’ve created. If You’re A Fan Of: Blues, Frank Ocean, Sad Songs that make for good Soundtracks.”

Read the article in full, here: http://sampleface.co.uk/rkzs-round-up-1/

SF: Miraa May

The following is an extract of my article for Sampleface:

“This time ’round I’m sat in the studio listening to The Beginning: an acoustic EP from the captivating singer and guitarist, Miraa May. Jhené has been known to purr over records because of her sultry tone, runs and melodies; Miraa pretty much does the same. (Do you understand how massive a compliment that is, though?)

The EP kicks off with ‘Are You Down’ and her falsetto during the hook is breathtaking. Jesus. There’s no doubt that this girl can sing. At times it’s hard to believe that Miraa’s British. The song ends with an abruptly cute, ‘wakey, wakey, sunshine’ and a coy giggle. Now, this will either make you a) smile your ass off or b) melt. If it does neither, something is seriously wrong with you and you need to see a doctor.

I genuinely didn’t intend for that.

Track two is called ‘Doctor’. I think I just won at life.”

Read the article in full, here: http://sampleface.co.uk/miraa-may-the-beginning-ep/

SF: Negash Ali

The following is an extract of my article for Sampleface:

“The 4-track record from Denmark-native Negash emphatically kicks off with title song, ‘African Dream’. Hard-hitting lyrics touch on his disillusion with life, being African in a notably caucasian Denmark, “and I know I don’t belong here / I got an afro, they got that blonde hair.” The brashness of Negash’s tone and lyrical content (which, ironically, draws slight comparison to Yelawolf sans country twang) is balanced perfectly with Shakka-esqe vocals from Temu.

The next two records are assisted by Siff, who teases their collaborative potential with ‘Fire In The Sky’ before knocking it out of the park with ‘Outlaw’. It’s a great head-nodder with an incredibly engaging hook. However, Negash really saved the best until last. The production, flow, emotion and lyrics of ‘What You Got’ had me screw-facing from start to finish. It’s a record you would listen to before going to war (or a rave). I mean, try and listen to the second verse without pulling it up several times.”

Read the article in full, here: http://sampleface.co.uk/hip-hop/negash-ali-african-dream-ep/

SF: Alfa & Emmavie

The following is an extract of my article for Sampleface:

“My love for Soundcloud continued to grow after I uncovered another beauty of a song: this rendition of Laura Mvula’s Sing To The Moon by Alfa & Emmavie. After being obsessed with Emmavie’s vocal (her harmony game is subtlety glorious), I was excited when she announced a collaborative project with London-based producer Alfamist, titled Epoch.

An amalgamation of head bopping hip hop beats, sensuous jazz tones and sultry neo-soul melodies, Epoch is a smooth-as-fuck EP that has kept my iTunes occupied for a hot minute. (This is how I imagined Robert Glasper jamming with Floetry would sound). Released on 2nd February, the pair have been working closely together for years, having joined forces to create original music by drawing on their individual styles and the influences of taste.”

Read the article in full, here: http://sampleface.co.uk/free-download/alfa-emmavie-epoch-ep/

SF: The Soul Diaries

The following is an extract of my latest review for Sampleface:

The Soul Diaries – an alternative Soul radio show on Westside 89.6FM – has been steadily gaining momentum since the first episode a couple of months ago. Providing alternative soul, hip hop, break beat and jazz squeezed into two wonderful hours of listening, TSD presenter Nikita Chauhan has really got an ear for music everyone needs to tap in to.

SoulDiariesCh9

When we spoke to Nikita, she explained the reason behind creating the show:

“I love the raw emotion you can feel and hear in soul music, and how it’s relatable to moods. It’s something that I find is missing in the commercial music you hear today. The Soul Diaries is about the bringing together of soul, jazz, funk and even hip-hop… The Soul Diaries aims to bring great musicians to the forefront.”

Read the article in full, here: http://sampleface.co.uk/one-to-watch/the-soul-diaries/

SF: Ben Khan

The following is an extract of my article for Sampleface:

“Ben Khan’s Drive (Part I) is another reason why I love Twitter and Soundcloud. Some beautiful people on the first social network put me up on this record, hosted on the latter, and you know a song is good when it boasts over 100k plays. Ben Khan’s enigmatic approach to music reigns true: a Soundcloud with one song; a YouTube with one video; a Facebook page with one post; Twitter account following no one. Bearing uncanny resemblance to the musical myth that is Jai Paul, the hype around Mr. Khan is growing quickly. Drive (Part I) is addictive, almost trance-like. The repetitive electronic synths remind me slightly of J. Cole’s Power Trip, if it were to be remixed by Jai Paul… or Ben Khan, I guess. An airy, lazy vocal rides the powerful production, without ever taking any of the spotlight. It’s been a while since I’ve heard a record which was allowed to breathe, vocally. The pauses coupled by short, rhythmic BVs really add another depth. I’m excited to see what he does next.”

Read the article in full, here: http://sampleface.co.uk/one-to-watch/one-to-watch-ben-khan/

SF: Indigo Summer

The following is an extract of my latest review for Sampleface:

“The past couple of summers have been dominated by the nostalgic sounds of Frank O, and the sultry tones of Miss Jhené “I-still-want-to-marry-her” Aiko. Since then, I had yet to find a complete body of work to kick it with. Don’t get me wrong – there have been some incredible albums and singles since 2011, obviously – but nothing that quite resonated with me as much as those two ‘tapes (Nostalgia/Ultra; Sailing Soul(s)) did. This may have been down to the fact that ‘hype’ becomes ridiculously off-putting and I’m sorry, but an album cannot be considered a “classic” after a God-damn week. Bandwagons are irritating.

Anyway, I was casually updating my Soundcloud one evening when a random song started playing in my headphones. The mellow instrumental provided good ambiance for the moment, but it only caught my attention when I heard one of the most beautifully kissed vocals, ever. I stopped everything I was doing to find out who this woman was, and searching led me to the Indigo Summer EP by Chi Town’s very own, Nylo. You know a new artist is dope as f*ck when she has Nas singing her praises, as well as hosting the launch of her EP. Yeah. She’s that good. She’s also a graphic designer, producer and session musician, which is pretty cool too. I gave the EP a listen that following evening.”

Read the article in full, here:
http://sampleface.co.uk/reviews/review-nylo-indigo-summer-ep/

SF: Black Radio 2

The following is an extract of my latest review for Sampleface:

“Considering how much of a fanboy I was of the first instalment of Black Radio, it was only fair that I reviewed the second offering from the awe-inspiring Robert Glasper Experiment. When it comes to album releases, I initially look at two things: the cover art, and the track list. Both of which had me more excited than when my cat gets food. Or when he casually chases a terrified pigeon around my conservatory, destroying everything possible in the process. Seriously. This actually happened.

Any fans of R&B would have shrieked in excitement when seeing the features on BR2: Norah Jones, Jill Scott, Brandy, Dwele, Anthony Hamilton and Faith Evans to name a few; with Hip-Hop stalwarts Snoop (Dogg, this time ’round), Common and the returning Lupe Fiasco, added for good measure. The expectations for this album were, frankly, high as fuck which is probably why BR2 seemed quite underwhelming for me – and dare I say it – for jazz. There were undoubted sprinkles of genius from Robert Glasper but he plays a considerably quieter role in this overall body of work, allowing vocals to control and breathe. You’d think I would prefer this, but the collaborations – again – didn’t quite live up to how I expected them to sound. Jill Scott (“Calls”), Brandy (“Who We Are”) and Marsha (“Trust”) who were perfectly fine vocally, never really had me clamouring to repeat the records unlike, for instance, the Musiq/Chrisette Michele record did from BR1.”

Read the article in full, here:
http://sampleface.co.uk/reviews/robert-glasper-experiment-black-radio-2/