Happy Tuesday AML readers! I am happy to say that I came across a crop of great new music from artists on the rise. These artists all have that special something; that x-factor. The musicality from each artist is stellar in his/her own right, so get familiar so you can say you remember them way back when. 🙂
Spirit Fade – Kwabs
First on the roster is Kwabs (born Kwabena Sarkodee Adjepong) and he has an absolutely STUNNING voice. This Ghanaian born Londoner is a student of Jazz at London’s Royal Academy of Music and his raw talent has already been putting him on the map. He has already performed at the legendary Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club and he appeared on the BBC where he sang “Motherless Child” at Buckingham Palace in front of an audience, including Prince Harry. His latest track, Spirit Fade, is featured here this week especially for you. There is so much power, beauty and rawness in this track. Kwabs is a certified baritone crooner and his voice is so distinctive that it just stays with you. When I say “get familiar,” I mean it! I guarantee you that it will not be long before Kwabs is all over the world stage. He’s already been endorsed by the likes of Joss Stone and India Arie.
Listen to “Spirit Fade”
Watch Kwabs cover the James Blake track, “The Wilhem Scream”
Stars & Dragons EP – Juliyaa
Last week I wrote about the emergence of another African music streaming service called Orion. I have to give Orion props for putting me on to Juliyaa; I would not have discovered her music otherwise and I’m thankful that it came up in the queue. I am loving the title track (Stars & Dragons) and Tidal Wave. Stars & Dragons is a great EP and thankfully, you can listen to it in its entirety below.
“Juliyaa is a half Welsh half Ghanaian singer-songwriter from North London. Rooted in polyrhythms, layered with soulful harmonies and infused with the high energy of UK urban music, she has coined the phrase ‘Rhythmic Soul’ to describe her sound.”
Listen/Download Stars & Dragons FREE:
Video- “Tidal Wave” – Juliyaa
There are many submissions to sift through every week and sometimes I keep a song on file to see if at a future date in time, I still find it worthy of a feature. Tanana appeared in my shuffle a few days back and I realized just how catchy it was and that it definitely deserved a slot. Meet Nasiru, who is a brand-spankin’ new artist on the scene. In Tanana, the wordplay is funny and the beat to this song is infectious. There is a bit of auto-tune *gasp*, but it is minimal at least.
“Michael Lawal a.k.a *NASIRU* @iamnasboi is a young talented singer and songwriter. At the age of 14, his music creativity became so stylish and unique. The Mechanical Engineer, who studies at the University of Uyo Nigeria, still manages to keep his passion for music alive despite his heavy academic load. TANANA is destined to be a club banger and it has gotten rave reviews already.”
I don’t understand how I had not heard of the magnificent Laura Mvula until last week. I don’t see how it’s possible that talent this great had yet to be unearthed and thrown into my music library or yours for that matter. This is an AMAZING debut album. Laura Mvula is a British singer-songwriter hailing from Birmingham (the Brits are taking over this week).
“…In 2005, she sang with Black Voices, an acapella group set up by her aunt. In 2008, she formed a jazz/neo-soul group called Judyshouse, singing lead vocals and wrote material for the band. She graduated from the Birmingham Conservatoire with a degree in composition. While she was working as a supply teacher in a Birmingham secondary school, she started writing songs on her laptop. She was working as a receptionist when she sent out two demos to several people in the music industry. She is married to singer Themba Mvula.”
Sing To the Moon is available for just $7.99 on iTunes; it’s definitely a steal. You can preview the album and purchase it here. Watch the videos below to hear Mvula’s glorious voice and see the reason that she is all the rage right now. Case in point, the lyrics to Sing To the Moon are wonderful: “…Hey there you, looking for a brighter season, need to lay your burden down. Hey there you, drowning in a helpless feeling, buried under deeper ground. When the lights go out it’s a waiting game. Never gonna see the day when your world will change. Sing to the moon and the stars will shine, over you, lead you to the other side. Sing to the moon, and the stars will shine, over you, heaven’s gonna turn the tide.” So, so beautiful. Or in, That’s Alright: “I will never be what you want and that’s alright…I play my own damn tune, I shine like the moon. Tell me who made you the center of the universe? Who made you judge and jury over me?” Love it! Watch below.
Video: Sing To the Moon by Laura Mvula:
Video: That’s Alright by Laura Mvula:
Last but most definitely not least is newcomer Tawiah (born Beverly Tawiah), a Ghanaian-British soul/R&B singer hailing from South London, England. She is a former member of the Brit School performing academy in London and her stylings have caught the attention of producers such as Mark Ronson, having toured as part of his live band. Also, she sang backup for the likes of Corinne Bailey Rae and The Guillemots. In early April, Tawiah released a music video for Faces from the upcoming “FREEdom Drop” scheduled to release April 30th. The video was shot in Accra, Ghana and it was directed by Mantse Aryeequaye for REDD Kat Pictures.
“Faces is about disconnection and my intention was to draw parallels between the song and the reality of this “Circuit City” and Tawiah’s wandering character within these spaces” – Mantse
Faces – Tawiah: