Here’s our shout on four new artists you need in your life this month
We know it can be hard trying to find the most exciting new music out there and with new streaming services popping up daily and bands forming a mile a minute it’s becoming even harder.
To make your life that little bit easier we spend a few hours each month hunting down the best new artists out there and giving them back to you for your listening pleasure.
We hope you find what you’re looking for and if you do, you’re more than welcome.
Grime’s recent omnipresence has in some cases brought the impact of Dizzee Rascal back into public perception. One artist reflecting on his influence is 18-year-old Jorja Smith, who used his 2007 track Sirens as a launchpad to explore the negative stereotyping of young black men through her debut Blue Lights. Where Dizzee used speed and intensity, Jorja takes things slow; a potent mixture of yearning observation and social commentary inspired by her school project, her raspy, jazz-tinged vocals gave the theme a meditative edge. Followed by her exquisite turn on the softer A Prince, it was an impressive debut from Jorja, who works on music in between shifts at Starbucks, having recently moved to London from her hometown Walsall. With prodigious talent for dim lit RnB at its best, it’s another day, another formidable breakthrough from a UK female vocalist. And from the evidence offered so far, it looks like Jorja’s here to stay.
Amy Winehouse / NAO
Prep yourself for the summer and get to know Happy Colors, the 22-year-old Miami-based producer who has made it his mission to breakdown whatever we think we know about reggaeton and Latin- American dance music as a whole. Since moving to Florida from the Dominican Republic aged 12, he’s consumed sounds from all over the globe. More importantly, he has developed a certain attitude where vibrantly infectious energy is of the upmost importance. Manically joining together strands of Bhangra, reggaeton and dancehall through one scattershot vision, this is the sound of a producer zipping across borders at light-speed.
J Balvin / DJ Blass
While he’s been releasing music since 2011, East Baltimore rapper Tate Kobang broke through with last year’s Bank Rolls freestyle – a viral hit based on local legend Tim Trees’ 2000 track of the same name. “If Bank Roll come on, it makes you feel good,” Kobang said last year. “And that’s what we’re tryin’ to do, put some fun back into the city, because Baltimore is depressing right now.”
Having won the support of veteran hip-hop mogul Lyor Cohen, Kobang recently released Since We’re Here – his first project with Cohen’s label 300 Entertainment, which is also home to Young Thug, Migos and Fetty Wap. Number 5 sees Tate Kobang repeat Bank Roll’s trick of effortlessly rapping over a spacious, danceable beat. A diverse record, Kobang also raps over the delicate pianos of Lie To Me, the hard-hitting boom-bap of Same Shit and croons in auto-tune on the melancholic Going Back. “Mama used to pray to God I’d make it out the trap / Love the fast money, no but I ain’t going back.” With solid label support and Swizz Beats overseeing a forthcoming debut, let’s hope Tate Kobang’s music career brings him the fortune his talent warrants.
Kodak Black / Playboi Carti
Some of the strongest figures in South Wales punk rock have formed a supergroup and it’s fucking sick. Members of The Arteries, Dividers, and the sadly defunct hardcore outfit 33 are now Hot Mass, and what we’ve heard so far is more of the quality output we’ve already come to expect from their alternative projects. They’ve announced their arrival with a double-song shot from their forthcoming LP, Nervous Tensions, and despite the introspective lyricism that touches on wasting away, rotting down, and having your senses ripped away from you, there’s an overriding optimism that makes every song arresting and urgent – if you’re not listening closely, it’s almost party punk. After catching them live over the winter, we’d heartily recommend that, too.
Hot Water Music / Cloud Nothings