Quad – “Love” embellishes each track with his personal revelations

Based in the south of Chicago, Quad started making music when he was around 14 years old and started taking it artistically seriously two years later. He produces, records, mixes and masters, using only a Blue Yeti microphone and FL Studios. So far Quad has written over 300 songs and released 1 EP, 1 Album and 8 singles. Currently training as an audio engineer at SAE University in Chicago, Quad explained that his latest album “Love” describes his personal understanding of the sentiment. The album “Love” was written and recorded over the course of 2 months after Quad was electrocuted

Acemattz & Bipha shine on “Tshanana”

Watching Acemattz & Bipha perform in any of their videos is like watching friends realize they’re onto something big time. They are accomplished rappers individually, on their own terms, and as collaborators, as a unit, their styles gel perfectly. They’re not just comfortable performing together—they are feeding off of each other, refusing to be one-upped, beaming and grinning and head-bobbing as they take turns impressing one another. By the end of each of their performances, their formation into a real show-stopping combination seems inevitable. In the new wave rap scene, there is plenty of talent to go around, Acemattz &

FuzzKill – “The Get Better” reaches all the expected heights!

FuzzKill is a four-piece rock band that started in Boston, MA. Introduced to one another through musical theatre, the band’s sound is firmly rooted in early 2000’s pop-punk influences. They released their debut studio album, “Happen”, in early 2019, and their sophomore album, “The Get Better”, just dropped on September 19th 2020. We have all heard the biggest punk bands of the 90’s and early 00’s. Their music mainly consisted of driving drums, distorted pop-punk guitar work and a set of memorable lyrics to go with the angst-filled high energy vocals. Today punk bands are a rarity, and any good

Dan Friese – ‘Jane Songs’ is something to be treasured!

Dan Friese is an Oregon-based songwriter, performer and multi-instrumentalist. In April of 2020, he released his debut EP, ‘Happiness’, a collection of self-reflective psychedelic indie-folk tracks. His first full-length effort, ‘Jane Songs’, was released on September 18th, and is available on all major platforms, along with the singles “Streetlight” and “I Can’t Say”. There’s a lot to appreciate on the new album, and Dan’s voice is arguably the most attractive aspect. Moreover, his vocals are often enhanced by inspiring songwriting and raw emotion, not to mention a wealth of down to earth acoustic guitar strumming. Dan Friese has an organic,

INTERVIEW: C.E.N. – the voice of the people

Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and currently a resident of Dallas, Texas, C.E.N’s natural proficiency over poetry allowed him to produce meaningful and profound lyrics. Although he initially took the initiative to become a music artist for fame and fortune, he later realized that all he desires as a musician is to be respected and valued for the art he brings to the table. His music is deep lyrically and spiritually. Can you tell us a bit about where you come from and how you got started? C.E.N.: I was born in Oklahoma City, OK, and was raised in a

Hitrocker – “Project One” – breathtaking sound design!

Hitrocker is a German based producer who creates mainly within the EDM subgenres of House, Electro and Deep House. His first album, entitled “Project One” was released at the end of July, while “Project Two” is also out now. When I clicked on the playlist of “Project One”, I was met with song titles that were merely numbers – such as “Project 1.1” or “Project One.Four”. This falsely led me to expect generically themed instrumentals, simply meant to rock the dancefloor. Wrong. Well not totally. They do rock the dancefloor. But they also do a whole lot more. These are

Rashod Holmes Announces New Single ‘The One’

The soul singer relives how he met his wife and started his family on a tender new song. Rashod Holmes is known for bringing romance to life with his evocative voice, but he has never told as personal a story as the one he tells with his latest single. ‘The One’ is a true life love story that acknowledges the struggles and triumphs that go into building a long-lasting relationship. “I found the one for me” Rashod sings. “She is the girl of my dreams.” While Rashod is convinced that he has found the perfect partner, there is much more

Billy Ray Rock – “Get The Funk”- hitting up all the classic tenets of funk

Washington State Singer-Bassist, Billy Ray Rock, plays more than 10 instruments and produces and performs every instrument you hear in his music. From Rock to R&B and Dance, Billy delivers them all. His single “Get The Funk”, simply adds another delicious flavor to his sonic menu. His unearthly bass chops, resonant vocal wobble and inner funk DNA is scorching hot, while it straddles the genre’s trademark grooves. Blaring horns and slapping drums accompanies the party-styled adlibs, as the track treads its momentum. If you’re looking the glossy high-tech dance-club funk perpetuated by bands like Chromeo, then this is not the

Vincent Krennerich – “Verlassene Stadt” – plenty of delicate aural color

Vincent Krennerich is a composer, songwriter and pianist from Germany. The artist, who has featured on our pages before, has released his double-side single, entitled, “Verlassene Stadt”, which translated, would mean ‘abandoned city’. The second track, contained in this set, is called “Morgengrauen”, which in English, would mean ‘dawn’. However if you heard these compositions, there would be no need to translate them, as Krennerich’s music describes itself rather poignantly. Though stripped back and basic solo piano, the key to the success of both these recordings, is the propensity Vincent Krennerich has in composing subtly fine melodies. Both tracks have

Hybrid Blues fuses stellar musicianship, heartfelt songwriting and soul-stirring vocals

Out of Aotearoa (New Zealand), Hybrid Blues are a 4-piece band, made up of Mike Everard (guitars, vocals), Adam Pendred (bass), Mark Schaumann (drums) and award winning front-man, singer-songwriter Roy Hudson. The band signed to SGNB Records USA, has just released its self-titled blues-based album. No two songs on “Hybrid Blues” sound the same. The record not only showcases Roy’s abilities as a singer and a songwriter, but also highlights the wide range of influences that have impacted on his music. The album takes you in so many different dynamic directions that it can feel a little dizzying, while the

N0va: “Lessons and Blessings” – a masterfully orchestrated mega-mixtape

Mega lengthy mixtapes are notorious for doing poorly with fans. The issue lies in the content and the listeners’ attention span. Can you make it through 22 tracks of the same artist and find something different about each song you like? That’s almost impossible…unless it’s “Lessons and Blessings” by Shawn Nova, better known as N0va of course! Most hip-hop heads can easily rattle off a few dozen albums that qualify as bona fide masterpieces, seminal song suites that embody the best of the genre’s rich recorded canon to date. But ask them to name double-albums massive mega mixtapes that fit the same bill, and that number invariably dwindles to no more than a few, most often comprised of 2Pac’s expansive All Eyez on Me, the Notorious B.I.G.’s posthumous Life After Death, and the Wu-Tang Clan’s triumphant Wu-Tang Forever.

You can also throw in OutKast’s Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, which sold more than 11 million units. The truth is, aside from these rare shining specimens of epic dynamism, most massive multi-track efforts—hip-hop or otherwise—typically fall victim to diminishing returns. This is largely due to the inevitable presence of superfluous filler fare, which constitutes little more than mediocre tracks best left to an artist’s diehard fans.

Enter N0va’s new 22 track mixtape, “Lessons and Blessings”, the Canadian emcee’s most ambitious recording yet, which proves the exception to the rule outlined above. Beyond proving to be one of the most fully realized and masterfully orchestrated mega-mixtapes underground hip-hop has witnessed in the last few years , “Lessons and Blessings” is also unequivocally one of 2017’s finest long players, regardless of genre classifications.

Reflecting on the past and prepping for the future, the tracks on this mixtape swell into N0va’s signature frantic-but-laidback style as he pounds through the verses on top of clamorous beats and catchy choruses that build up to unify the underlying messages.

Thus the duality of the mixtape is established early on, with N0va willing to bounce back and forth between his reflective and earnest personas quite intentionally, on tracks like “Selfish Eyes” – Produced by B. Young x Abel Petit and “Swervin’” – Produced by CashMoneyAp x CedDidIt.

“Lessons and Blessings” masterfully balances N0va’s demured and frantic styles quite realistically. From track to track, he exposes his shifting perspectives which keeps the mixtape moving at a good clip. Aiding the dichotomous quality of these tracks are N0va’s bellowing vocals, deep and resonant and meshing against the luscious bass-driven instrumentals.

Major cases in point are “Along the Way” – Produced by Noise system, “Tongue Tied” – Produced by Noise system, “I Don’t Need That” – Produced by Homage, and “Boomerang” – Produced by Homage, among others.

N0va has no interest in bending his music or the public’s perception of his art for the sake of a mere hit single; if a song of his becomes popular he’d rather it be because the public deemed it so than because he forced himself into something that would fit on the radio.

As such, eclectic, alternative and progressive standouts like “Heart of Stone2 – Produced by B. Young, “Oh Lord” – Produced by The Beat Plug and “Spider’s Web” – Produced by Abel Petit, turn out to be as catchy as hell on their own terms.

“Lessons and Blessings” does something important for N0va going forward. It exposes the rapper as a guy who’s unquestionably made his influences his own and is now ready to poke and prod the finished product, to play with it in a self-confident fashion that allows for pronounced and interesting artistic growth. N0va’s experimentation with new flows and lusher, diverse instrumentation makes for a release that just cannot be missed.

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