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started out playing drums at a very young age, but it was only when he turned 15 and his older brother thought it would be good for him to learn more than one instrument that his love for guitar, singing and songwriting was born. Growing up in a family where his dad was an opera singer and his brothers’ able musical craftsmen as well, Shaun soon started writing, recording and producing his own music. It wasn’t long before the South African artist gained traction in his home country, winning the SAMA 2014 Adult Contemporary Album of the Year, as well

Samplified: Extensive high quality sample libraries

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Sanghera: “In The Thick Of It…” Simple Yet Amazingly Sophisticated

In The Thick Of It…, rips, slaps, slumps, knocks, bumps, and anything else you can think of. Sanghera is smooth on the beat and kills it with soulful samples, some even taken from the likes of Al Green.

Sanghera lays down 6 tracks that sizzle, crackle and pop. “Pass it to the Right” (Produced by Kavinsky), “Yep” (Produced by Flying Lotus), “Al Greening,” “90’s Baby,” “Man at the End (Feel)” and “Blackbird”.

Sanghera’s rhymes are pretty good, with solid metaphors and strong punchlines. The lyrics are not too hard-core or vulgar, keeping the tones within mainstream reach. Musically the arrangements are simple yet amazingly sophisticated. No one song sounds like the other, but the album isn’t too experimental to feel disjointed or messy, with great beats and a wonderful variety of tempo and feel to each song.

On the surface, Sanghera’s flow sounds almost relaxed, like his free-styling the whole Ep. However when you truly listen, and I mean closing your eyes and bopping head listening, you realize the work it takes to develop ideas and themes the way Sanghera does. As I can’t stand rappers who do nothing but preach, I admired how Sanghera handles spiritual and social leitmotifs, without shoving it down your ears.

With this Ep, Sanghera finds the perfect vehicle for his style. Many of the songs don’t crack the 3 minute barrier, and some fans may see this as laziness. I see it as keen awareness. Considering that a lot of people don’t listen to albums straight through in one sitting anymore, cutting down on complex and lengthy song structures, may just be an effective and winning choice.

This album never plods, it never gets stuck, it flows, and refuses to rest in one place too long. This is the beauty of the structure Sanghera has used here. Like the album, the lyrics have a movement, a meeting of fleeting images and careful sentiments, complementing the production, and his flow.

On “In The Thick Of It…”,  Sanghera stays right there in the music. There’s a supreme nuance to what his doing here. Every song is a perfect match, he’s not trying to overpower the music around him, he’s blending in, and his pushing it along.

This is an album to sit back and listen to, just let it flow.

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