Damian Sage – It’s impossible to listen to “Drive” without being genuinely moved

Listening to the single “Drive”, is a whole different and beyond glorious experience. Singer and songwriter, Damian Sage really outdoes himself with this one. The record, tugs at my heartstrings in the best and most beautiful gut-wrenching ways. I can feel the emotion as he sings each and every lyric. Released through Dark Spark Music, a record label headed by former Guns N Roses manager, and Grammy Award winner, Vicky Hamilton, “Drive” certainly gives me the chills each time listen to it. The two simple opening lines deliver the kind of powerful imagery most lyricists strive most of their lives

Midxnite – “Emotionless” – fluid, hypnotic heartfelt strokes

Midxnite, whose real name is Yusuf Salim, grew up in a South Asian family. The Phoenix-based artist credits singing traditional melodies with his family as his introduction to music and says it provided him an easier transition to contemporary R&B and Hip Hop. The artist, whose previous releases, “Live and Learn” and “Look at My Whip”, have accumulated hundreds of thousands of plays on streaming platforms, recently dropped his latest single, “Emotionless”. Recorded at HKStudios in Phoenix, AZ, the song narrates an afflicting and burdensome moment in the artist’s life when he believed the binding sacrament of matrimony was in

TK Mac – “The Living Room” – a laid back, yet intensely emotional feeling!

Justin Barnett was born in Boston and raised in South Jersey. Inspired by two of the people who have given him so much support over the years, Justin used his grandmother’s middle initials (TK) and his father’s middle name (McDonald) and became TK Mac. As a DJ, he’s spun at various A-List clubs across the globe including Tao, Avenue, The Highlight Room, Marquee and Studio Paris. He’s produced songs for Zak Downtown, Cade, Bryce Vine, and other new artists in the hip-hop, R&B, and pop genres. Now he steps out into the spotlight with his single “The Living Room”. There

MAZE – “From Start To Perfection” – a grand symphony of alternative and melodic rock abrasion!

Gary, Paul, Jack, Lee and Sam make up the 5 piece band from London UK, called MAZE. The band started out as a recording project, but the response and reaction they received induced them to start gigging and they have since been offered plenty of gigs for 2020. In the meantime they have released their 4 track EP, entitled “From Start To Perfection”. The recording is a rich quilt of guitar-driven sounds and rock influences. What’s thrilling about the production is not only are the clear punchy sonics, where each instrument is captured at its most resonant – but there’s

Plastic Barricades – “One for the Road” -showcases technical and creative maturity

Plastic Barricades are one of the smartest bands in alternative indie rock right now. The band which has it very first beginnings in 2007 have produced enough worthwhile material in the ensuing years to deserve escaping the shadow of the underground culture. They’ve released outstanding music in terms of resonant songwriting and daring variability, and their formula has remained strongly characteristic and enjoyable. The band, which has been undergone various member changes through the years, is now stably based in North-West London. Plastic Barricades currently are, Dan Kert on guitars, keyboards and vocals, and Paul Love on drums. The band,

RAHM – “Something Different” – Ardent and lush sounding

The single “Something Different” by singer-songwriter RAHM, was produced by Yarden Ashkenazi and Dor Roeh, and features the female vocalist Shany Oshri. A software engineer, RAHM wrote the song for his wife, Anat Brown who also appears on the cover artwork, which was done by Victoria Manashirov (Photography) and Itzhak Holyland (Graphics). This is one of those songs that has some sort of spark, a creative stamp that when you listen to it, you can tell something wonderful just happened in your presence. Yes, it’s like an experience unto its own. RAHM has a lovely lilting voice, a light instrumental

Brendanfrielmusic knows how to hypnotize and bond the listener

Even if you usually loath introspective singer-songwriters who play acoustic guitar and sing depressing songs, Brendanfrielmusic’s music will penetrate your shield and make you relate to this songwriter from Glasgow, who will draw a great amount of empathy from unknown parts of your psyche. Brendanfrielmusic is the perfect brand of tortured soul, flaunting an elegant, yet afflicted poetic trait. His stripped-down melodramatic song-writing and guitar playing are in line with his moody narratives. He is a perfect emblem of the counter-culture hidden in the underground music scene. The guitarist and vocalist usually works in a lo-fi setting, using the bare

Kathy Ingraham – “That’s What Crazy Lovers Do” – sultry tones and piquant timbres!

Kathy Ingraham is an experienced vocalist who has sung on TV and radio commercials for organizations such as McDonald’s, Chrysler, ABC Network, Coke, Pepsi, and many more. Kathy launched her artistic career in 2014 and has since completed several solo projects and singles, working with an impressive roster of artists and composers, including Grammy-winning composer Henri Krieger, Luther Vandross, Meatloaf, Marc Cohn, Michael Bolton, Richie Havens, Michael Kamen, and several more. Her latest single “That’s What Crazy Lovers Do”, is an original jazz track that features the legendary Pete Levin on piano. Kathy Ingraham is clearly surrounded by outstanding musicians here, as witnessed in the

CYGNOTIC – “Cygns” – a multi-layered monument of decadent pleasure

Markus Lindwurm is CYGNOTIC, the electronic synthtrance-project hailing from Munich, Germany. Lindwurm started out in the days of the C64 8Bit music experience grabiing influences from legends such as Jean-Michel Jarre and Tangerine Dream. CYGNOTIC’s latest 2019 album, “Cygns”, arrives almost a decade after the previous “Through The Gates Of Nocturnal Sleep” release. The music of CYGNOTIC is a balance between structure and brilliance, together with seamless instrumentation and visceral cinematic exploration. Mixing disparate elements without one sound or style holding rank over others is something many artists strive for, but they often come up short. CYGNOTIC pulls it off

Miles Grindey – “Make Up Your Mind” – peaks of quality, depth and beauty

The track “Make Up Your Mind” is not only a display of Miles Grindey’s artistic skills as a musician and songwriter but it also gives the opportunity to some of the band members, in particular Ian Michael Bruh on vocals, Wayne Viar on drums, Enrico Galetta on bass and Bill Hart on keys, to shine with a level of musicianship of incredible standards. Bruh has an exceptional presence to his vocals that’s more than big enough to compete with the rock solid band behind him, and listening to it here will totally heal your spirit. Miles smokes on the guitar,

Blue Flamez: “Rez Life” wins ‘BEST VIDEO’ at the NAMMY Awards!

A small group of young Native American musicians met for a songwriting retreat led by legendary recording engineer Uncle Rick Clifford (former chief engineer at Death Row Records) in Seattle, where they wrote and recorded what would become the first single on the new project by Blue Flamez“Rez Life,” out on Portland-based Ibori Records.

The track “Rez Life” which had been nominated for “Best Video” and “Best Single” at the NAMMY Awards – reaching the final positions in both categories – eventually picked up the “BEST VIDEO” award at the culminating  ceremony which took place in New York on September 17.

Blue Flamez aka Scott Kalama pictured here with Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas

Blue Flamez aka Scott Kalama pictured here with Taboo of the Black Eyed Peas

Scott Kalama AKA Blue Flamez, who has been a mentor in training with the music empowerment program Beats Lyrics Leaders, is joined on this track, by youth from the program, to tell the world about life on the Indian Reservation, strictly from their perspective.  “The most significant thing about this project to me,” says Scott, “is the message in the lyrics, which tell the truth of reservation life and the situations we as a people are living.  I love how the video shows us in a fun, positive atmosphere.”

Creative oversight on the video was left to Eat Cho , which also features acting by rising Portland star, Talia Reasoner.  Music production was led by Yamio263, and includes session work by Tony Ozier, Portland’s King of Funk.  The project was recorded at Orbit Audio in Seattle, also used by Macklemore.

If you have not yet listened to Blue Flamez, you are missing out. If you have any interest in contemporary urban music with a Native American flavor you must get your hands on some. If you have any interest in powerful, truthful, lyrics set to well written and performed music you need to get your hands on this. It’s hard to pick a favorite song on this 7 track collection.

Although it’s obvious that the single and title track “Rez Life”, grabbed me immediately, it was very hard not to fall in love with the slow-burn anthem “Warrior”, or the funky bass line of “King Without A Crown”. Just as much as I couldn’t resist the strings on “Stayin’ On My Mind” or the drum-driven head-nodder, “We Come Correct”. This stuff goes beyond its birth as Native American rap music, to become ear-catching truths that touch us all.

blue-flamez-crew“Rez Life,” is a superlative compilation of music, lyrics, and song – highly intelligent and deeply profound; a delight to the senses; an emotional roller-coaster hitting all the feelings – happiness, inspiration, sadness, anger, and despair. The album production is excellent and Blue Flamez voice and flow soars over the beats.

This is the type of album most artists are trying and hoping to make for their whole of their career. Every facet of hip hop music is well represented here – lyrics, beats and substance. I would like to conclude this review by expressing my gratitude and appreciation to Scott Kalama AKA Blue Flamez and the complete crew who wrote, performed and produced this exceptionally fine and highly enjoyable project.

You still have a few days left to vote for Blue Flamez at the NAMMY Awards so go HERE to register and vote.

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