EsZ – “Liquor & Emotions” – introspective and emotional

Hip-hop has been cranking out bangers and high energy anthems for decades, but the average genre historian is well aware that dark or emotional thoughts on a chill backdrop is not a foreign concept for the game. After all, profound moodiness feels rather natural for a culture that grew out of urban plight and the trauma of purposely disenfranchised people. It makes sense that at least some mellow tunes in the genre, reflect deep-thinking speculation, in what artist EsZ, describes as thoughts on “life, growth and fake friends” in his track “Liquor & Emotions”. The song is a drunk text

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

Somaya: “Stand Up” retains a surprising amount of individuality

The album, “Stand Up” sits waiting like cream inside an éclair. Most tracks are like immaculate shells that are waiting to expose themselves with the magnetism of the right artistic match. The same is true of the best songs on the album, which give North Carolina artist, Somaya, room for interpretation and allow her to balance intimacy, and soaring melodies.  Somaya’s voice spans three and a half octaves, and she glides up and down her register with ease, sounding wispy and ethereal with her high notes and sensual and resonant in her low. A Somaya vocal is easily recognizable, and the songs on “Stand Up” have sonic and lyric lines that get into your head immediately. While that amount of catchiness and familiarity might prompt a listener to download a song immediately, the album never suffers from predictability.

If you want to host a party where the dancing doesn’t stop and you can have one album on, then “Stand Up” would serve you well. But if you like to listen to an entire album as a representation of an artist’s emotional and musical psyche, then you’re probably going to be love “Stand Up” more. Despite the trendy dance beats and pop sounds, “Stand Up” nearly always sounds like a Somaya album because of her distinctive fluttering vocals and sometimes strikingly personal and powerful lyrics. There’s a duality within Somaya at play here.

There’s the stadium-sized choruses and electronic pop sensibility – the side of her that appears to take soaring upbeat anthems in her stride – as on the title track, “Stand Up”, “Open Up” and “Straight Girl”.  Then there’s her darker side; a far cry from the pop glitz it counterbalances, these heavier, temperamental moments provide a perfect milieu for Somaya’s intimacy and empowerment to manifest, whilst making for the more memorable tracks on offer.

Just turn towards standout and introspective songs such as “Dear Future Love”, “Take Me Away” and “As Much As I Love”. The raw emotion these tracks harbor, coupled with their almost-mercurial production make for pop music with soulful bite. When this dichotomy works, it works brilliantly and the record shines.

However, it’s Somaya’s vocal range and lyricism which make the stand out moments come off as nothing short of pop perfection. “Go With The Beat” for instance, is a prime example of her ability to combine instantly relatable emotions with understated yet rousing production. As such, it retains a surprising amount of individuality.

The main difference between “Stand Up” and previous electro-pop offerings this past year, is that there is there is no breathing room. From the moment the opening track hits its stride, the audience is locked in for a roller coaster ride of varying tempos. While most artists would struggle to keep up with this constantly switching pace, Somaya does so with the expertise of a pro.

She has enough on this album that there is something for everyone, and many of the tracks hit the bullseye, allowing Somaya to fully submerge herself in glowing pop goodness. Without forgetting though that her lyrical themes are about empowerment and the ability to stand up to societies cruelties, many of which are currently in the news headlines.

MORE ABOUT SOMAYA: Growing up in Charlotte, North Carolina, Somaya was drawn to music from a young age. She began learning the piano when she was 4 years old and picked up singing while learning the guitar when she was 11. However, when she began experiencing depression in her early teenage years, she turned to songwriting and music as a source of healing. Somaya then decided to pursue music as a recording artist, hoping to help others heal through music as well. She started posting her music on YouTube, performing at small venues, and writing endless songs which led to the release of her debut album.

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