Toddla T – Magnet Ft Andrea Martin

Fresh off the success of ‘Beast’ ft Andrea Martin (as featured in my April Selections), producer/DJ and 1Xtra host Toddla T unveiled his new single ‘Magnet’. Serving as Annie Mac’s Hottest Record, the Sheffield-born producer has once again teamed up with the smooth stylings of Andrea Martin, delivering the perfect blend of soul, R&B and dance, topped off with hypnotic, skittering beats and slick production throughout. 

Speaking with Annie Mac on Radio 1,  Toddla T commented on how the collaboration with Andrea Martin came about:

“I was looking for a vocalist and I called my friend Switch who put me in touch with Andrea Martin. I went in the studio with her, and within a minute I was like ‘this is the lady I want to work with on the  album’… She’s going to voice the record and I’m going to finish it so it was kinda her that inspired me to do the record.”

When it came to producing ‘Magnet’, Toddla was worried he wouldn’t do Andrea’s vocals justice, stating they were ‘too good’. He later followed up with friend and co-producer Chilly Gonzales, who infused some magic while taking ‘Magnet’ to new heights with his vibrant instrumentals:

“I sent him the beat with no music on, and he came back with the most emotive, lush music. I was in the studio having a weep. I put the bass around it, and finally I felt like I did the vocals some justice.

Magnet’ is taken from Toddla’s forthcoming third album Foreign Light and follow up to 2012’s Watch Me Dance. Available via his own label imprint Steeze, upcoming dates for Toddla include fabric (Aug 11), House Of Common (Aug 28th) and Bestival (Sept 7). With the success of his Glastonbury Carnival last month, all roads lead to Notting Hill Carnival at the end of August.  

iTunes: Foreign Light
Google Play: Foreign Light
Beatport: Magnet
Tour Dates

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Laura Mvula – Overcome ft Nile Rodgers

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While it’s been three years since British soul singer Laura Mvula stole our hearts with her award winning album ‘Sing To The Moon’ and singles ‘Green Garden’ and ‘That’s Alright’, Mvula is finally back with new music and a new album.

Overcome’ premiered with Annie Mac on Radio 1 as her hottest record and serves up a funky slice of alternative soul, with references to civil rights and Maya Angelou’s poem ‘Caged Bird’. Produced by Troy Miller, the single features CHIC legend Nile Rodgers, infusing Overcome with plenty of groovy bass lines, while Mvula also showcases her many talents with some bass riffs of her own.

Overcome is taken from Mvula’s second studio album The Dreaming Room due later this year. Upcoming dates for Mvula include The Jazz Festival Big Top in Cheltenham (May 4).

Tiggs Da Author – Run Ft Lady Leshurr

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Tiggs Da Author unveiled his new single ‘Run’, which serves as the follow up to last year’s soulful single, ‘Georgia’. This time around, Tiggs enlisted the infectious skills of Lady Leshurr, who brought us the fiery Queen’s Speech series.

Influenced by a varied range of styles from Grime to Motown, Run delivers a thoroughly uplifting single, brimming with Tiggs’ bubbly charisma and soulful vibes. Mix that with one catchy hook and the rapid rap skills of Lady Leshurr, whose dancehall vibes and energetic rhythms give the track a unique edge.

“The song is about escaping your troubles and just getting away from certain situations and not letting life’s little dramas bring you down. Sometimes it’s better to just run!” – Tiggs Da Author.

The 25-year old Tanzanian born, London based artist first performed ‘Run’ on Jools Holland. Since then, Run was picked up to feature on the FIFA 2016 Official Soundtrack. Tiggs Da Author is set to support Jess Glynn on her forthcoming tour, including dates at the O2 Apollo in Manchester (Feb 18) and London’s Brixton Academy (Feb 20). Full tour dates can be found here.

Run is available now via Sony Records

Introducing: DeQn Sue – Magenta

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DeQn Sue has unveiled her new single ‘Magenta‘.

With some bluesy jazz piano intro and sassy soulful vocals, Alabama based singer DeQn Sue delivers a vivacious alt-pop song that certainly makes for a strong lead single.

The single boasts some infectious hooks, and quirky colourful production from Grammy nominated Kelvin Wooten (Django Unmchained). The rising star breaks musical genre boundaries with her eclectic mix of styles from funk and electronic to R&B and glossy pop, brought to life by the lyrics “I’ve so many different shades”.

‘Magenta’ is the first single to be taken from her forthcoming debut album ‘Zeitgeist‘ and is set for release July 15th. In the meantime, check out DeQn Sue’s Soundcloud page.

Lulu James – Step By Step

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Rising soul singer Lulu James who brought us the infectious tracks Closer and ‘Be Safe‘, has returned with a brand new single ‘Step By Step‘. The track was unveiled as a special delivery with B Traits on BBC Radio 1 on Friday night.

Lulu, who describes her sound as ‘21st Century Soul‘, delivers a subtle dancefloor track with it’s repetitive synths and Lulu’s smooth commanding vocals. What better way to start your weekend than with a dose of some deep sultry house.

Written by Dave Okumu from ‘The Invisible’ and co-writer and producer of Jesssie Ware’s Mercury nominated debut album ‘Devotion’,Step By Step‘ is essentially about taking it step by step with her fans.

Be sure to check out Lulu James upcoming performances at Lovebox, Bestival, and Electri Picnic, with headline shows in London’s XOYO and Newcastle.

James Blake – Retrograde

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London based producer & singer James Blake, has released his new single ‘Retrograde‘, taken from his forthcoming 2nd album ‘Overgrown‘.

The single serves as the follow-up to the 2011 EP ‘Enough Thunder‘, where Blake collaborated with Bon Iver and also featured a cover of Joni Mitchell’s classic track ‘A Case of You‘.

With minimal accompaniment, ‘Retrograde‘ takes on a life of it’s own with it’s beautiful haunting melody, soulful falsetto vocals and sustained electronic pulses further adding to the atmospheric nature of the track.  This is equally matched by the cinematography in Martin De Thurah’s video, depicting an asteroid hitting earth. We’re presented with frozen moments in time, followed by scenes of destruction.

Having already secured a Mercury Prize Nomination and placing 2nd in BBC’s Sound of 2011, 2013  is set to be another big year for Blake, who is set to headline the soldout London’s ICA on February 26th, followed by 3 UK dates in April and further dates in the US.  ‘Retrograde‘ is available from iTunes while the album ‘Overgrown‘ is due out April 8th.