January Selections

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Where to start? Firstly, it’s been awhile since I’ve done my monthly selections in detail, but just because I’ve been away, it doesn’t mean I haven’t been listening – and what a year 2016 has been! Check out my bitesize selections for the past few months. This year, I’m back with all the latest music news and reviews. So far we’ve highlighted all the rising artists in BBC Radio 1’s Future Festival, had luscious new music from London Grammar with ‘Rooting For You‘, an infectious dance floor banger from TCTS with ‘Icy Feet‘, Circa Wave’s epic new single ‘Fire That Burns‘ and Major Lazer’s infectious collaboration with Nicki Minaj and PartyNextDoor on ‘Run Up‘. Before we get into all the music releases, let’s see what else has been happening in the music world.

2017 kicked off in true diva style with Mariah Carey ringing in the New Year at Dick Clark’s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve ball drop. Unfortunately there were issues with mics and sound causing Mariah walk off stage in true Diva fashion. She later tweeted the following, perfectly capturing the spirit of 2017!

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Ed Sheeran emerged from his year of social media silence with a video he posted to Twitter and Instagram of him holding a sign saying: “New music coming Friday!!” This was shortly followed by two new tracks ‘Castle On A Hill’ and ‘Shape Of You’, taken from his forthcoming album ÷ (divide) due on March 3rd. Keep an eye out for a Carpool Karaoke feature too! Welcome back Ed, We thought Mariah had us all doomed before we’d even started the year!

In chart news this month, The xx stormed into number one with their third studio album I See You, following the success of 2012’s Coexist. Not far behind it though was Golden Globe and Bafta Award winning film La La Land in at number three, with original songs performed by Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, such as the beautiful duet, ‘City of Stars‘. 2017 paved the way for an important comeback and a well timed one at that. Damon Albarn’s band Gorrillaz unveiled their anti-Trump anthemHallelujah Money‘, featuring Benjamin Clementine. The single is taken from their forthcoming fifth album and follow up to 2011’s The Fall and serves as the first new material from the band in five years.  A new year also marks the start of some exciting new tours. Kasabian teased some new music over Christmas and have since announced a number of dates this year, including a big gig in their home town.  Ed Sheeran announced his new world tour, including 11 UK dates and 2 Ireland dates.
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I know it’s only January, but Festival Season will be here before you know it. Legendary Coachella Festival kicks off in April over two weekends (April 14-16 and 21-23) with none other than Radiohead, Kendrick Lamar and Beyonce set to headline. (Update: In case you’re living under a rock, Beyonce and Jay-Z are expecting twins. Unfortunately Beyonce has had to cancel her headline performance on doctors orders, but promises to headline Coachella in 2018. Check back soon for news on her replacement) Other acts announced include The xx, Dillon Francis, Banks, Bon Iver, Martin Garrix, DJ Khaled, Lorde and  even Academy Award-winning film composer Hans Zimmer (Pirates of the Caribbean, The Lion King, The Dark Knight). Moving closer to home with far lower temperatures and heavy downpours, Glastonbury Festival confirmed it won’t be around in 2019, but fear not, it’s replacement festival has already been confirmed. The iconic music festival is temporarily moving away from Worthy Farm, and will be called ‘The Variety Bazaar’. Reading and Leeds Festival announced Kasabian and Muse as two of their headliners for the August Festival. Other acts set to perform include Flume, Circa Waves, Fatboy Slim, Major Lazer and Bastille.

With the tragic passing of George Michael on Christmas Day, 2017 was met with a flood of tributes and kind words for the talented artist. James Corden kicked off The Late Late Show with a tribute to George Michael and reminisced over a 2011 Comic Relief Sketch, featuring Michael and Corden singing together in a car; the original inspiration for Carpool Karaoke

While December-February is dubbed in the film world as ‘Awards season’, February in the music world is all about the Brits and the Grammy’s! The Brits are set to take place February 22nd at the O2, with hosts Dermot O’Leary and Emma WIllis stepping in for Michael Buble. With Little Mix and Skepta leading with three nominations each, The 1975, Kano, Michael Kiwanuka, Calvin Harris, James Arthur, Clean Bandit, Jonas Blue, Tinie Tempah and Coldplay all have two nominations. Mastercard British Album of the Year looks to be a tough category this year, with nominees such as David Bowie, Skepta, The 1975, Kano, and Michael Kiwanuka vying for the coveted award. Likewise for the The International Female Solo Artist category featuring artists such as Christine And The Queens, Rihanna, Sia, Beyonce and Solange Knowles. See the full list of nominees hereOver the other side of the Pond, James Corden will be hosting The Grammy’s live from the Staples CEnter in LA. (Feb 12) With performances from nominated artists such as Adele, Metallica, Carrie Underwood and Keith Urban, it promises to be one incredible night. Unsurprisingly, Beyoncé leads this year’s nominees with nine for her visual album Lemonade, but goes head to head with Adele and her album 25. Check out the full nominees here. It wouldn’t be The Grammy’s without a bit of controversy –  Kanye West, Drake and Justin Bieber won’t be attending this years ceremony, despite having 20 nominations between them.  Apparently they believe the Grammys aren’t relevant anymore… #awkward. How will we ever get by without Kanye storming the stage and causing controversy?

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Now in February we can look ahead to what will no doubt be an epic Superbowl half time performance from Lady Gaga, as well as all the antics from The Grammy’s and The Brits. Check out my January selections below with just over one hour for your listening pleasure.

1) Wiley – Speakerbox

The Godfather of Grime, Wiley, returns with his new Eski-influenced riddim ‘Speaker Box’ taken from his highly anticipated and aptly titled 11th studio album Godfather. The track surfaced late December so I thought it appropriate to highlight it again in my January picks. Godfather features contributions from fellow grime MC’s JME, Ghetts, Skepta, Frisco and Lethal Bizzle to name but a few, so expect quite a few bangers this year. Opening and closing sampling a Skepta Interview, Wiley proves why he’s the originator of grime, as he spits his rhymes with such energy and flow. Upcoming dates for Wiley include Albert Hall, Manchester (March 25) followed by a string of UK Festivals such as We are FSTVL, Wildlife, Parklife Reading and Leeds, and a headline date in Brixton Academy (Nov 3)

iTunes: Godfather
Google Play: Godfather
Tour Dates

2) LOYAL – Moving As One

UK quartet LOYAL unveiled their latest single ‘Moving as One’, serving as the follow up to previous singles ‘House for You’ and ‘Blue & the Green’. ‘Moving As One’ is a slow burner of a track from it’s defined drum rolls, pulsing guitars and looped echoed vocals, gradually building momentum throughout, culminating euphorically with it’s sassy horns, soulful piano chords and indie-pop vibes. The multi-layered production gives great depth to the track and delivers a true feast for the ears.  Currently signed to IAMSOUND, ‘Moving as One‘ is available from the below links:

iTunes: Moving As One
Google Play: Moving As One

3) Ed Sheeran – Shape Of You

Ed Sheeran made his long awaited return, having taken a well deserved break from the spotlight following his 2014 album X and chart topping singles ‘Sing’, Thinking Out Loud’, Bloodstream’ and ‘Photograph’. Ed kicked off the new year in style with two new singles –  ‘Shape Of You’ and ‘Castle On A Hill’. The former was originally written for Rihanna and later suggested for Rudimental before keeping this gem for himself. ‘Shape Of You‘ delivers a bouncy, tropical groove – not your typical Sheeran sound, but one that delivers a unique twist and edge. ‘Shape Of You‘ is taken from Sheeran’s forthcoming third studio album ÷ (Divide) which is set for release March 3rd. In the meantime you can buy the single’s from the below links.

iTunes: (Shape Of You) (Castle On A Hill)
Google Play: (Shape Of You) (Castle On A Hill)
Tour Dates

4) Don’t Leave – Snakehips & MØ

British producer duo Snakehips, (Oliver Lee and James Carter) have teamed up with Scandinavian popstar for their latest single ‘Don’t Leave’. Their new collaboration follows a string of successful partnerships with Tinashe & Chance The Rapper on ‘All My Friends‘, Anderson .Paak  ‘Money One Me‘ and Zayn with ‘Cruel Summer‘, so it’s no surprise Snakehips have continued with this trend. ‘Don’t Leave’ highlights MØ’s emotive vocals and rousing chorus, while Snakehips delivery some slick, synth infused production and rolling RnB style beats. Upcoming dates for MØ include Lollapalooza in March, while Snakehips are gearing up for Lollapalooza 2017 ‘Don’t Leave’ is available from the below links:

iTunes: Don’t Leave
Google Play: Don’t Leave 
Tour Dates Snakehips  (MØ)

5) Sampha – (No One Knows Me) Like The Piano

British Singer/songwriter and producer Sampha unveiled his breathtakingly beautiful new single, ‘(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano’. The multi-talented producer and songwriter has lent his talents to a whole host of artists over the years such as SBTRKT (Hold On), Drake (Too Much), Jessie Ware (Valentine), and Kanye West (Saint Pablo); but now it’s Sampha’s turn to take center stage. ‘(No One Knows Me) Like The Piano’ is a heartfelt and reflective piece, with Sampha’s smooth vocals and delicate keys glistening throughout. The single is taken from Sampha’s debut album Process, which is set for release Feb 3 via Young Turks. Upcoming dates include O2 Acadmey Brixton (March 8)

iTunes: Process
Google Play: Process
Tour Dates

5) Maggie Rogers – On + Off

22 year old Maggie Rogers unveiled her new single ‘On + Off’. Maggie was first propelled into the spotlight in 2016 when a clip of her showcasing her track ‘Alaska’ to Pharrell, during a masterclass at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute, went viral. If you haven’t seen this clip, please watch this!  You can see the precise moment Pharrell is thinking … wow, this girl has something really special and even made the super producer all teary eyed! Taken from her forthcoming debut EP Now That The Lights Is Fading, ‘On + Off’ serves as the follow up to ‘Alaska’ and ‘Dog Years’ and delivers a captivating genre-defying mashup of electronic, indie and pop, mixed with Rogers’ glistening vocals.  Now That The Light Is Fading is set for release Feb 17th via Capitol/Debay Sounds. Upcoming dates include Omeara, London (February 27,28) and Electric Brixton (June 27)

iTunes: Now That The Light Is Fading
Google Play: Now That The Light Is Fading
Tour Dates

6) Run the Jewels – Legend Has It

This is another one of those December tracks that I’m sneaking in here – only because it’s too good to miss! Run the Jewels, aka hip hop duo Killer Mike and El-P, kicked things into gear with their latest single. ‘Legend Has It’ is the third single taken from their highly anticipated album Run The Jewels 3, following the release of singles  ‘Talk To Me’ and ‘2100’ ft Boots. The fiery duo alternate bars over El P’s infectious beats, delivering with such fierceness and fluidity. Run The Jewels 3 is available now and features collaborations from Danny Brown, Trina and more. Upcoming gigs include London’s Roundhouse (April 1) and Field Day (June 3)

iTunes: Run The Jewels 3
Google Play: Run The Jewels 3
Tour Dates

7) Loyle Carner – Damselfly

Loyle Carner, aka Benjamin Coyle-Larne, unveiled his latest offering from his stunning debut album Yesterday’s Gone with a track titled ‘Isle Of Aran’. Having teamed up with producer, singer and multi instrumentalist Tom Misch in the past, Tom once again lends his talents to Damselfly. Lloyle showcases his effortless flows, clever wordplay and tight rhythms, all delivered above some jazzy guitar loops and Misch’s carefree vocal hook. The production throughout serves up some laidback soul/jazz, similar to that heard in ‘Isle of Aran’ and the track that first garnered my attention, ‘Aint’ Nothing Changed’.  Growing up, Carner was heavily influenced by the Grime scene, yet there’s a distinct old school hip hop edge and a vulnerability to him that really stands out. Upcoming dates include O2 Shepherds Bush Empire (February 17,18)

iTunes: Yesterday’s Gone
Google Play: Yesterday’s Gone
Tour Dates

8) Lethal Bizzle – Round Here Ft Giggs, Flowdan

After almost 8 years, Lethal Bizzle is set to drop his new album Lennox Rd, which serves as long awaited follow up to 2009’s Go Hard. The first single to be taken from Lennox Rd is ‘Round Here’ ft Giggs and Flowan – an explosive track with the 3 MC’s spitting over a fiery instrumental. Produced by The Heavytrackerz, ‘Round Here’ makes a statement with its frenzied pace, commanding lyrics and aggressive beats. Make way 2017 – Bizzle means business. Be sure to catch him at Hit The North in Newcastle Upon Tyne. (April 28-30)

iTunes: Round Here
Google Play: Round Here
Tour Dates

9)  Syd – All About Me

First there was the hip hop collective Odd Future, then the incredible successful and Grammy nominated band the Internet; now Syd has become the first member to showcase her solo material with her debut single ‘All About Me’. Taken from Syd’s forthcoming solo album Fin, ‘All About Me’ serves up a trippy, trap infused banger with hard hitting 808 kicks, skittering beats and Syd’s hypnotic vocals weaving throughout. Fin is set for release Feb 3 . In the meantime, check out the video for some cameos from Tyler, The Creator, Hodgy and more Odd Future members.

iTunes: Fin
Google Play: Fin

10) Shy Luv – Shock Horror Ft JONES

Shy Luv, made up of producer duo Jake Norman and Sam Knowles, (aka Karma Kid) dropped the title track from their new EP ‘Shock Horror’. The newly formed producer duo showcased their collective skills last year with their first single ‘Joyriders’ . Following this up with their latest offering, ‘Shock Horror’, serves up some funky baselines, soaring synths and infectious electro-pop vibes. The Shock Horror EP is available now via Black Butter Records. Upcoming dates for the duo include Disclosure’s Wildlife Festival in Brighton (June 9-10).

iTunes: Shock Horror EP
Google Play: Shock Horror EP

11)  Skott – Glitter & Gloss

Skott first came to my attention last  year with her dazzling single ‘Porcelain, and her latest single ‘Glitter & Gloss’ is no exception. The  Stockholm singers captivates with her stunning mix of folk, electronic and delicate falsetto vocals, while the siren style synths give the track some depth and edge. Skott’s vocals soar above some twinkling electronic melodies and atmospheric production by Saint James, making it her meatiest track to date. Upcoming performances include a headline date at London’s Omeara (March 7), followed by the legendary SXSW and The Great Escape.

iTunes: Glitter & Gloss
Google Play: Glitter & Gloss
Tour Dates

12) Glass Animals – Pork Soda

Indie-rock band Glass Animals, unveiled a re-worked version of their song ‘Pork Soda’ – a name inspired by a tattoo of a pig they saw on a woman’s arm. Premiering with Mista Jam as his Hottest Record, the single conjures up a bustling street with various characters voiced by the band members. Originally taken from their 2016 album ‘How To Be Human, each song depicts a different made-up character(s). Pork Soda showcases the group’s creative flair, with drum sounds heard throughout made from old bins and pieces of metal, bringing the idea of street drummers to mind. Having overheard a homeless man saying ‘pineapples are in my head’, the unique lyrics become one the of the main melody hooks throughout. With a driving, groovy bassline and a rousing crescendo, ‘Pork Soda‘ delivers on all fronts with its quirky production elements. Upcoming dates include O2 Academy Brixton (March 16)

iTunes: How To Be Human
Google Play: How To Be Human
Tour Dates

Check out the full playlist below and here’s to another exciting month of music ahead!

Circa Waves – Fire That Burns

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Circa Waves, made up of Kieran Shudall, Sam Rourke, Joe Falconer and Sian Plummer, are gearing up for the release of their highly anticipated second album Different Creatures. We’ve already been given a taste of what to expect with ‘Wake Me Up’ and with that comes another brand new single.

The first one [Wake Me Up] was punch in the face and this one [Fire That Burns] is a hug to calm you down from the punch; It’s an aggressive hug!

‘Fire That Burns’ is the second single taken from the album and premiered as MistaJam’s Hottest Record on BBC Radio 1. Speaking with MistaJam, Kieran commented how the album title reflects not only the changes within the band but also how he was affected by the Syrian Refugee Crisis.

A lot of the song on the record comes from Syrian refugee crisis. I wrote a song about how bizarre it was and how we’re judging these people to be different from us when they’re not at all. Then the band and style changed and we became ‘Different Creatures’

Following the success of their debut album Young Chasers, Different Creatures is set for release via Virgin EMI Records on March 10th. Upcoming dates for the band include Rough Trade East (March 14), O2 Academy Oxford (March 25th) and Reading and Leeds Festival (August 25-27)

iTunes: Different Creatures
Google Play: Different Creatures
Tour Dates

Major Lazer – Run Up Ft PartyNextDoor, Nicki Minaj

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Major lazer dropped their latest banger ‘Run Up’ as a follow up to the successful ‘Cold Water’ with Justin Bieber and MØ. This time around, Diplo, Jillionaire and Walshy Fire have teamed up with PartyNextDoor and Nicki Minaj. ‘Run Up’ serves up a futuristic, afrobeat vibe. Mix that with Minaj’s fiery delivery (of which she originally wrote 16 verses for) and PartyNextDoor’s Caribbean influenced verse, and you’ve got yourself one infectiously catchy tune, perfect for the lead into Spring.

Speaking with Zane Lowe on  Beats 1, Diplo commented:

“I tried to get Nicki to do records with us for a couple years now. We happened to find the right one that made sense for her. She’s inspiring man, it’s crazy. I’ve never had an artist be so disciplined on cutting a song like this. She wrote sixteen different verses for this song.”

So what’s next for Major Lazer? While fans are eager for Music Is The Weapon as a follow up to 2015’s Peace Is The Mission, Diplo commented on the current music landscape:

“We know we’ve done a couple of singles that have gone multi platinum. We want people to know the song. We have over thirty songs so at any point it’d be easy to just drop the album but I’m not sure people digest our music like that anymore. They don’t listen to our album as much as they listen to a song or watch our videos.”

iTunes: Run Up
Google Play: Run Up
Tour Dates

Future Festival 2017

 

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“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”

At the beginning of January, BBC Radio 1 unveiled their highly anticipated shortlist for the Sound of 2017. 23-year-old Ray BLK was crowned the winner of the coveted poll with her soulful R&B vibes, while bluesy-soul singer Rag’n’Bone Man came runner up. Continuing with their unparalleled support and recognition of new music, Radio 1 presents a further look into the future of music with Future Festival; a live event showcasing some of the brightest new stars of 2017.

So, who are the artists set to make a big impression in 2017? Let’s have a look at all the featured artists and be sure to tune in live tomorrow evening with MistaJam and Huw Stephens from 7pm.

First up is 20-year-old Alma (Alma-Sofia Miettinen) from Finland, making waves with her distinct vocals and brightly coloured hair.  Alma first appeared on Finland’s version of Pop Idol and has gone from strength to strength and hair colour to hair colour, before signing to Universal Music last March. Having been compared to the likes of Beth Ditto, Alma’s talent is being recognised internationally, having supported pop start MØ in Helsinki, as well as a seal of approval from Elton John on his Beats 1 Radio show. Alma’s debut single ‘Karma‘ delivered a heavy dose of sass and swagger, not to mention 20 million Spotify streams. Her latest electro-pop single ‘Dye My Hair’ is taken from her debut EP of the same name and is available now via PME Records/Polydor. Upcoming dates for Alma include the iconic SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas (March 13-19) and Flow Festival in Helsinki, Finland. (August 11-13)

Reading four-piece The Amazons (Matt, Joe, Elliot, Chris)  successfully made this years coveted Sound of 2017 Longlist. Having burst onto the scene with the explosive ‘Stay With Me’ produced by Tom Dalgety (Royal Bloody, The Maccabees), the group have been busy touring their energetic and raucous sound with The Strypes and Jimmy Eat World. The Amazons have received great support from BBC introducing, who provide support for unsigned, undiscovered and under the radar artists. Their music was soon supported by the likes of Huw Stephens and Annie Mac, leading to at performance on the BBC Introducing Stage at 2015’s Reading and Leeds Festival. Their latest single ‘Little Something’ featured as Annie Mac’s Hottest Record back in November. Currently signed to the Fiction Records, home to Tame Impala and The Maccabees, The Amazons are fast becoming one of the most exiting young bands to watch. Upcoming dates include Leicester (March 11) The Portland Arms (March 14) and London (April 12)

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London quartet The Big Moon have been heavily influenced from the grunge and Brit-pop girl groups of the 90s, as heard in singles such as the self-produced ‘Sucker’, ‘Cupid’, ‘Silent Movie Susie‘ and their latest single ‘Formidable’. Juliette, Celia, Fern and Soph bring a boisterous energy, along with their slick harmonies and thrilling guitar jams, reminiscent of sister act HAIM. Having toured with the likes of The Maccabees and The Vaccines, the London quartet have completed a staggering 738 gigs in 2016 alone! Currently signed to Fiction Records (Tame Impala, The Maccabees), keep an eye out for their debut album Love In The 4th Dimension set for release April 17. Upcoming dates include Oxford (Feb 12), Cardiff (April 21), Belfast (April 25), Dublin (April 26) and London (May 2) Check out their full tour dates here.

When Drake remixes one of your tracks and premieres it on his OVO Sound Radio show on Beats 1, it’s safe to say you’re going to garner quite a bit of interest online.  17-year-old South London rapper, aka Santan Dave, clocked up over 18 million streams on Spotify when Drake jumped on his single ‘Wanna Know’. The remix is also set to feature on Drakes forthcoming project ‘More Life’. With his pick of record labels vying for his attention, Dave has taken the advice from Septa and Stormzy and remained independent. Having started free-styling in the underground scene, shortly followed by his debut single ‘JKYL’, Dave showcased his talents on Semtex’s 1Xtra show and Charlie Sloth’s notable Fire In The Booth. With a string of impressive releases and collaborations including ‘Thiago Silva’ with AJ Treacy, Dave excels with his lyrical style and a mature sound far beyond his years, earning him a nomination for this years Sound of 2017 Longlist. The classically trained pianist highlights his broad musical tastes with influences from Hans Zimmer to Pink Floyd. Upcoming performances in O2 Institute in Birmingham and O2 Academy Islington. (March 30-31). Currently working on his debut album with producer Fraser T Smith (Adele, Kano), be sure to check out his debut EP ‘Six Paths’. 

Another artist performing at this years Future Festival and who also made the Sound of 2017 Longlist, is 17-year-old Declan McKenna from Hertfordshire. Having successful won Glastonbury’s ‘Emerging Talent Competition’ back in 2015, Declan has gone from strength to strength with his refreshing slice of indie-pop, even self releasing his debut single ‘Brazil’. Declan has been heavily support by BBC introducing, supporting unsigned, undiscovered and under the radar artists. This led to a performance at Maida Vale and Radio 1 ’s Big Weekend. Declan’s approach to music is clever and thought provoking with a real sense of social awareness, as heard in ‘Isombard’ which tackles the subject of xenophobia. His latest single ‘The Kids Don’t Wanna Come’ was featured as Mista Jam’s Hottest Record. Upcoming dates for McKenna include Patterns, Brighton (Jan 31) and The Garage, London (March 23).

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19-year-old Jorja Smith, yet another artist to make this year Sound of 2017 Longlist, burst onto the scene with her unique sense of thought provoking soul and dreamy R&B. Having released her debut single ‘Blue Lights’, while maintaining a job in Starbucks, she soon gained the attention of some high profile stars including Drake, Skrillex and Stormzy – Not bad fans to have! ‘Blue Lights’ samples Dizzee Rascal’s ’Sirens’ mixed with her stirring lyricism and fragile yet powerful vocals,  bringing Lauren Hill’s Miseducation to mind. Jorja wrote her first song at 11, so it’s no surprise she continued to study music in her A levels, where the classical composers she studied later influenced her follow up single ‘A Prince’ ft Maverick Sabre.  Similar to Dave, Jorja has decided to release music independently. Having sold out her first UK headline tour last year and released her Project 11 EP, 2017 is set to be big year for Jorja who’s currently set to perform in New York and LA later this month.

Nadia Rose kicked off the new year placing 5th in the Sound of 2017. The 23-year-old South London MC/rapper burst onto the scene with her distinct voice, skilful rhymes, fiery flows and clever wordplay. While working in a betting shop, Nadia decided to follow her dream and embark on career in the UK rap scene. Probably one of the best moves ever, with explosive singles from ‘BOOM’, ‘Station‘ and ‘DFWT‘ to back her up.  2016 proved her breakout year, where she won her first MOBO award for the video ‘Skwood’.  Having just released her debut 9-track EP ‘Highly Flammable’ (Jan 13) featuring tracks such as ‘Puddy Cat‘, ‘Tight Up‘ and the infectious re-edit of Kideko and George Kwali’s ‘Crank It (Woah)‘, Rose has staked her claim as a force to be  reckoned with. While Nadia brings artists such as Missy Elliot and Eminem to mind, she also brings her own creative flair to the table. Who knows, maybe a collaboration with her fellow MOBO award winning cousin Stormzy could be on the cards! Upcoming dates include Rust in Denmark (Jan 14) Outlines, Sheffield (March 3-4) Lost and Found Festival in Malta (April 13-16) and Sonar in Spain (June 15-17)

LA based producer/songwriter duo THEY. made up of Dante Jones (production) and Drew Love (Vocals), have joined forces under new independent label Mind Of A Genius Records (Gallant, ZHU). Having received critical acclaim for their debut 3-track EP Nü Religion with their genre defying blend of hip-hop, rock and R&B, they later followed this up with a successful collaboration with Zhu and Skrillex on ‘Working For It’. Both Drew and Dante have varied musical influences from New Edition to Kurt Cobain and have aptly referred to their sound as ‘Grunge’n’b’. Their varied influences are perfectly captured throughout, with their effective use of heavy guitars, atmospheric production, falsetto vocals and edgy rapping. Other releases include ‘Deep End’, ‘What You Want‘ and their latest single ‘U-Rite‘. Upcoming tour dates include LA (Jan 20th) and NY (July 28-29). Hopefully we’ll get some UK and Ireland dates soon!

This years Future Festival is hosted by Mista Jam and Huw Stephens and will take place at Maida Vale Studios on January 17th. To be in with a chance of attending the legendary Maida Vale studios, you can register for tickets HERE. (Entry has now closed) If you miss out on tickets, the whole event will be streamed LIVE on the Radio 1 Website from 7pm! #R1FutureFestival

Check out the Full Spotify playlist below and also HERE.

TCTS – Icy Feet

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Mancunian producer TCTS, aka Sam O’Neil, premiered his new track ‘Icy Feet‘ in December. As we kick off a New Year with new music, I wanted to feature the rising producer… It also felt appropriate considering the weather we’re having at the moment!

TCTS has already been supported by the likes of Annie Mac, Pete Tong and Huw Stephens, and it’s not surprising considering the insanely infectious beats and catchy melody. An instant dance-floor banger.

With the release of his first EP ‘Hands’ in 2012 via Cool Kid Music, TCTS had further success via BBC Introducing and was quickly signed to Bondax’s label, Just Us. This was followed-up with ‘These Heights’ EP via Joe Goddard’s Greco Roman Records and two further EP’s (‘Games‘ and ‘Body‘) via Chase and Status’ MTA Records.  – safe to say he’s been making waves in the underground scene. 

If you like the sound of ‘Icy Feet’, be sure to check out his impressive remix back catalogue featuring Haim, Chase & Status, Jessie Ware and Nero, to name but a few. 

‘Icy Feet’ is available now via his own ‘Make Something’ imprint. Get it now on Google Play and iTunes

 

London Grammar – Rooting For You

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Guess who’s back?

London Grammar (Hannah Reid, Dot Major and Dan Rothman) unveiled their new single ‘Rooting For You’, to kick off the New Year in style.

The new material marks the long awaited return for the London trio, whose 2013 debut album If You Wait brought us the mesmerising ‘Wasting My Young Years’, ‘Strong‘, ‘Help Me Lose My Mind’ and ‘Sights‘.

Rooting For You‘ certainly lives up to expectations, with its delicate instrumentation, heartfelt lyrics and Reid’s thoroughly captivating and haunting vocals throughout. Their latest offering further reminds us just how much they’ve been missed. Welcome back London Grammar, and here’s to many more beautiful creations.

Upcoming dates include Flow Festival (Aug 11-13 Helsinki, Finland.) In the meantime, check out their live performance below on Youtube and the radio edit on Spotify. Also available available to buy from iTunes and Google Play