Natalie Jean and Levi Moore: “The Letting Go” speaks the language of the ordinary person

A good duet, in our modern age, is a rare thing. There are plenty of features, guest verses and co-writes, and the cameo drop-in is a dime a dozen. The number of genuine duets, where vocalists share verses and tell a story together in the space of a song, is very small. If your optimism fails you, as you wonder whether there are enough great acts to keep hit radio stocked with worthy pop music duets, it’s reassuring to find that Natalie Jean and Levi Moore have a first-rate single to carry us through the next few months, all by itself. The

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

Figure 8: “Ballin” ft. Bill $aber X Sir Lafferty – swashbuckling verses that will leave the listener dazzled

Figure 8 is a rapper based in Portland, Oregon. He freshly dropped his single “Ballin” featuring Bill $aber and additional vocals from Sir Lafferty. Recorded at Heretic Studios, the beat was produced by Moo$e, while the Cover art was done by Lafferty. Many artists don’t think singles require tangible concepts. In turn, they settle into redundant, generic themes for their solo cuts, leaving plausible stronger themes for their albums or mixtapes. Figure 8, on the other hand, understands the importance of delivering hard-hitting subject matter and does just that on this project.Between speaking vividly on his virtues and illustrating the vices of others with a flow that will evoke Goosebumps.

Figure 8 creates lyrical storyboards to drive home rational reality checks for listeners throughout the track. The core concept sees Figure 8 spelling out his confidence and superiority in no uncertain terms –“You a mother fucking small air, I’m the fucking tallest. You would need a ladder just to get up to my balls bitch. I am motherfucking ballin.”

The single artwork

The single artwork

But that’s just the start as weaves through a series of interesting topics with sharp one-liners, whether it’s drug or religion he gets his point through with crude imagery that hits you like a hammer to the head.

No matter what Figure 8 may look like or where he may come from, there’s no doubt his sound will stand out from any crowd. The bar is continually raised throughout this project, with the long-haired spitter going for broke with swashbuckling verses that will leave the listener dazzled and hitting replay just to catch the meaning of the lines.

I kept doing it and still haven’t figured everything out just yet. Figure 8 is super confident anthem maker, an amped go-getter along with Bill $aber and Sir Lafferty who throws his lot in too. Plus, for as ferocious as his bars are, the rapid-fire delivery does not make him hard to understand at all, as every lyric is clear, it’s just the meaning you have to work on as Figure 8 stays one step ahead of the listener.

Amidst “Ballin’s” conceptual cohesiveness lies the somber realism that will want to make listeners dissect the complexities of Figure 8 and his music. Listening to an open book trip like this track, where the rapper intricately lays his thoughts on the line with an overcoming flow that is thick, fast, and complex, is easy to believe.

Beyond the technical wizardry put into this project, there’s a clear overarching sense of self-examination and confrontation lacing the entire single, with Figure 8 questioning a whole lot of concepts within what may at first sound just like explicit statements to the untrained ear.

Hip-hop fans will get a glimpse into the world of someone with impeccable talent and no filter, spilling his thoughts on a track for the world to revel in. The pictures Figure 8 paints aren’t always pretty, but they’re accurately honest in his scheme of things. In 2017’s Hip-Hop landscape, authenticity goes a long way.

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