MAKI: ‘Waking Up With The World On Fire’ – truly majestic — grandiose, slowly unfolding, and extremely cinematic

The world is a fragmented place, with fear and hate giving rise to isolationist movements around the globe and huge portions of the population turning inward rather than outward towards each other. As such waves of bigotry spread like wildfire, the music scene becomes extremely important, not just because it means more great music, but because it connects us all together on a wavelength that hits the human heart, soul and mind even harder, faster and deeper than anger can. A creative constant in the field of communicative contemporary Instrumental music, is MAKI who focuses his ample talents on a

3 Phase – ready for genre domination!

The names Chirag Shah, Prasham Deliwala and Melvin Saldana may in themselves not ring a familiar bell in your ear right now. Probably, neither will the moniker ‘3 Phase’, nor their 6 track self-titled EP. It’s logical, it’s the law of the industry’s hype machine – cast a light on the big label clones, and leave the independent creatives in the shadows. Luckily the internet has a different set of rules.  On hearing the 3 Phase EP, the lofty ambition, the focus and dedication of this creative collective of producers, songwriters and vocal talent, makes sense – its six tracks

Sy: “Get Out Of My Dreams” – grab this R&B and Soul extravaganza

The singer, songwriter and author, Sy, releases a brand new single produced by Rueben Wood. The track “Get Out Of My Dreams” is the first single release written by the artist in 2018, since writing two self-help books, “A Swan Among Ducks” and “Saying Yes to (No): Learning the Power of (No) before the end of 2017. This track soulfully captures the spirit and feel of the emotional journey of grown womanhood. It is juicy, dynamic, soulful, gorgeous, and it is nourishment for the soul…and mind, as it examines the intricacies of a relationship built on want and lust. As

IJK: “Johnny & June” – sounds invigorated!

Alternative rock artist Imad Jack Karam, known by his initials and stage name IJK, is a Dubai-based, Lebanese singer-songwriter, who has released critically acclaimed songs and recorded with internationally known music producers in prestigious London studios. Both his singles “Space Odyssey” and “Dancing Shadows” garnered a positive reception from fans and critics alike. IJK has a style that can move between edgy modern-day alt-rock and sixties rock n’ roll crooning.  He recently published his latest single and supporting, fully animated video, for the song “Johnny & June”. So, how does this new offering cope? Very well, in truth. “Johnny &

TRVP HIPPI3Z: “On Lock” – no lack of muscular skill-flexing!

TRVP HIPPI3Z is a Canadian rap duo who just dropped their latest single entitled, “On Lock”.  Listeners beware. This product has been known to blow up and cause fires in a variety of stereo systems, due to the super-hot fire provided by this crew. TRVP HIPPI3Z is a team-up that has risen as great exemplars of righteous chaos. Their supersonic sound and hard-nosed imagery gives them a mysterious sheen, but the duo have grounded themselves via booming production, and a sonorous verbal presence, coupled with their willingness to fuck you up. Their chest-beating bravado is explosive on “IDGAF (Prod. THZ)”,

Eddy Mann: “Simple Things” will leave you breathless and in a state of euphoria

At first as a musician, I created music, then as an A&R executive I challenged it, now as a music reviewer, I explore it.  Of the three, the latter is the most difficult. Criticizing or appraising somebody else’s creation is no easy task. Enjoying it is one thing, understanding it another, and translating it is even more arduous. The funny thing is, I’ve always hated describing music. It’s such a volatile and subjective art, that nobody should really have the authority or the presumptuous audacity to judge the level of enjoyment or emotion any one piece of music is capable

Kitson Lau: “Be By Your Side” – an expressive paean to love’s transformative powers

Kitson Lau wears many hats – a musician, songwriter, singer and graphic designer, he is also a medical graduate. Initially without any musical background, Kitson became inspired by Norwegian record producer and DJ, Alan Walker. This passion drove him to learn music and song production. And soon, with dedication and focus Kitson Lau hit the top of the China Kanjian ING 10 Charts with his Mandopop albums. Since signing to Sony Music Entertainment Malaysia, Kitson has been encouraged to record English songs, so now he is making his official debut via Sony, with the song “Be By Your Side”, which

Earpiphany: “Ultraviolet Dreams and Other Songs” – multi-faceted emotions

Dan G.Hagerman aka Earpiphany is a songwriter, arranger, composer who writes many genres, including his latest pop-rock offering, “Ultraviolet Dreams”, done with Aubrey Whitfield, a talented female music producer from the U.K. who also does the vocals. The track is taken from the “Ultraviolet Dreams and Other Songs” EP. Dan lives near Los Angeles with his lovely Japanese wife of thirty-five years, Reiko, and his daughter, Holly. “We love Japan, sushi and Huskies!” affirms Hagerman. In any potential mythology built up around the music of Earpiphany on “Ultraviolet Dreams”, Whitfield may represent an irrepressibly sanguine voice and Hagerman the barbed

Emmanuel Dalmas – a natural ear for a good melody!

Emmanuel Dalmas is a multi-genre music composer from the South West of France. A company founder and high level executive in the scientific industry he started composing in late November 2016 as a weekend hobby, and continued feeling an intense growing pleasure in learning more and progressing in music composition. Dalmas has since been consolidating both his craft and catalog, with a series of single releases that move between Pop, Easy Listening, EDM, as well songs in his native French tongue. From his home studio Emmanuel produces instrumental and vocal tracks, engaging talented male and female voices to complete his

J-Carter: “Time to Shine” is more than quality flows, rhymes, and beats

J-Carter is based out of New Jersey. Motivated by a plethora of hip-hop artists who have appeared on the scene during the past 30 years, Carter began his musical journey by writing lyrics at the age of 13. “Time to Shine”, his debut album, has been in the works for nearly 2 years now. “And now it’s here to hopefully shed light on all aspects of the world we live in,” says J-Carter. The Deluxe version of the album includes 19 tracks and features Cateasha Carter, Jasmine Carter, Aaron Carter, Jacee Carter and Janiya Harris. “Time to Shine” is a

Dakú Lights: “Illuminate” – a consistent palette of genre-melding pop offerings

London based alternative pop band, Dakú Lights, was formed in April 2016 by the three band members who are represented by their own distinct color to match their personality, with Bhavini being red, Haiiiro as pink-orange and Panda as purple. They have a unique blend of music which incorporates Pop, Kpop, EDM and Urban influences. Currently pursuing a record deal, the band is focused on producing high quality music and building their stage presence for international audiences. Dakú Lights recently released their 5-track EP, entitled “Illuminate”. The title takes a cue from the band’s name, as Dakú means ‘dark’ in Japanese, and is themed around the intriguing combination of ‘dark’ and ‘light’ sounds.

Sometimes it’s okay – even important – to put aside your reluctance to embrace artists who are able to make teenagers scream. It happened when Justin Timberlake scraped the sludge off pop and left something shiny behind, and it happened again with Maroon 5 in what is essentially the most distinctive pop sound to emerge from a single band since the Bee Gees squealed into the mid-’70s. Dakú Lights is another young band made up of two guys and a girl, who promises to defy would-be detractors and go on to greatness, elevating the credibility of crossover pop for years to come.

The songs on “Illuminate” pivot sharply between verse, pre-chorus, and chorus in such a way as to hold the listener’s attention throughout, not always an easy feat in an era when the “shuffle” command is just a finger-swipe away. The songs harness RnB’s breezy vocal acrobatics, Pop’s ear-worming melodies and EDM’s danceability, and anchoring those three elements with K-pop’s fashionable and colorful audiovisual fusion that builds and relieves pressure as the song structures switch gears.

Right from the powerful opening track, “Over”, the EP delivers a consistent palette of genre-melding pop offerings and affable fist-pumping anthems, on the whole surpassing the flaccid amount of records on your local Top40 radio chart. This track is everything radio searches for in a lead single, it’s boppy and its melody is memorable, Dakú Lights’ hooks tend to be supremely addictive and it’s no exception with this track.

Leaving scrappier clichéd pop behind for the sunny horizons of chart-friendly but innovative music blends, was surely a wise move for Dakú Lights to set itself apart from the crowd. Reaching for ubiquity on the singles chart often means sacrificing any hope of making a conceptually cohesive and musically sophisticated album. Not in the case of these exceptional singers who pour their hearts into these songs and the result is something extraordinary.

But Dakú Lights don’t just sing great melodies and harmonies; they write some really cool music too, which is the case with the mid-tempo ballad “Set Me Free” – both intensely seductive and smooth on the ear – the track has a melancholy, yet uplifting feel, and is garnered with heartfelt lyrics. This is one of my favorite songs on the EP.

Listening to “Run Away” and “Say No More” only serves to confirm the fact, that in my book, Dakú Lights are, simply, the freshest pop act around today. Incredibly accessible, with both a pronounced dark and light edge, they mix real alternative ethos with moments so catchy, you can’t help but hum along and nod your head. Dakú Lights are just starting out so they’re here to stay for a while, and will have no problem dominating the airwaves and filling your playlists.

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