I know, I know… I haven’t blogged in forever and many of you probably wonder what’s going on with me. Well, I won’t go into details, as this is not a personal blog, but I apologise to all the artists I should/could have written about in the past months. I may or may not catch up on all the posts I was planning on writing, but tonight something special happened. So special that I feel compelled to write again! It’s as if inspiration was coming from a very distant place and possessed me entirely a few minutes ago. This fire I feel burning inside at the moment makes it impossible for me to do anything but type these words and experience a wonderful moment of pure musical ecstasy. In case you are not familiar with my tendency to get carried away at times, you may thing I’m slightly crazy, but if you know me and read most of my previous posts, you already have an idea of how totally subjective and irrational I can be when it comes to music I love. So… after quite a lengthy introduction, it is now time I tell you what mesmerised me tonight, what incredible thing took over me and encouraged me to update the blog again. What happened was… Phraim released a new album! Ok, I know some of you may not know about this incredible Chicago-based producer, but he’s among the few I greatly appreciate. Silver Lined, his first project, is still in heavy rotation in my iTunes and it’s one of the albums I listen to the most regularly, regardless of genre. The anticipation has been slowly rising on my side, as this new album, the beautifully-titled Kasbah Moments, is a labour of love and Phraim is a perfectionist who knows great things should never be rushed. To say the result was worth the wait is an understatement. Actually, I believe it was released exactly when it needed to (a few days ago, on April 30th) and I discovered it, almost by chance, exactly when I was supposed to. Now, let me try and focus my thoughts and give you a few reasons why I love this album so much.
From the moment I laid my eyes on the album cover and when I heard the very first notes of Kasbah Moments, I knew I would love it. The cover is mysterious, enticing and bright, matching the content of the album perfectly. As soon as you see it, you know you are going to embark on a wonderfully beautiful musical journey to distant territories. In the same way as Scheherazade mesmerised the King with her stories, Phraim captivated my ears with his music. As I started listening to Kasbah Moments, my pleasure kept increasing and I successively designated each song as my favourite, such was the beauty and quality of every one of them. As I continued listening, a few stood out and touched me more deeply than others, but on the whole the album is excellent, from the first track to the last. Taking us on a journey to the Middle East, Phraim masterfully crafted soundscapes filled with emotion, beauty and light. For someone like me who is more and more interested in travelling around the world and discovering new cultures, this sounds perfect. While there’s nothing like being somewhere to fully experience the place and get lost in it, music can definitely help you wander in your mind and create your own version of those distant lands. Something I discovered on Silver Lined and can find here once again is the intricacy of the instrumentals, with a myriad of details adding up to create the overall effect. I can clearly picture Phraim spending hours creating those musical pieces, making sure everything is where it should be and sounds exactly how it is supposed to. All this technicality never prevents the music from sounding natural though and head-nodding drums, beautiful melodies and effects are combined perfectly. I can also picture myself as an Arab princess walking through the rooms of a huge palace or enjoying the caress of the sun and the songs of the birds while sitting by a fountain, but that’s another story. What I mean to say is that Phraim’s music is a perfect way to embark on a metaphorical journey and dream of beautiful landscapes while nodding your head to the hypnotic rhythm. One thing is already sure in my mind: Kasbah Moments will join Silver Lined in the list of my favourite albums and will be played over and over and over… again.
P.S. Phraim, it’s whenever you’re ready for the interview
Now that you know a bit more about Kasbah Moments, it’s time for you to discover the incredible album. Head to Phraim’s Bandcamp page to listen and buy the album, or simply click on the link below. Enjoy the journey!
First of all, a disclaimer and a (kind of) apology: I am not a professional journalist and this quick review is not intended to be the most well-written, perfect analysis of the show I was blessed enough to witness tonight. What it is though, is an extremely biased and emotional reaction to something that touched me, made me feel good, made me want to cry and to laugh, or to put it simply, made me feel alive. After missing Lianne La Havas several times when I was in London, I finally had a chance to see her live in Marseille tonight and I had the most wonderful evening, as I knew I would. To the simple question, Is Your Love Big Enough? both Lianne and the audience replied by a beautiful, joyful and powerful YES! tonight and I need to say I was pleasantly surprised by the energy and atmosphere here in Marseille. I haven’t been to any concert in my hometown in years and I didn’t really know what to expect but my fellow Marseillais blew me away, as they apparently did Lianne. The young singer didn’t disappoint of course, and the incredible quality of her vocals and guitar playing, as well as that of the band, associated with a very receptive and involved audience made for one of the most amazing concerts I have ever attended.
Since I discovered the Lost & Found EP, my love for Lianne La Havas and her music has grown steadily and her wonderful album, Is Your Love Big Enough? was only a confirmation of her talent, as a songwriter, singer and musician. Both albums are in heavy rotation in my iTunes and her music has become almost necessary to me. Seeing her on stage and listening to Gone, Lost & Found, or Elusive, my three favourite songs, made me feel slightly overwhelmed and emotional. Obviously there’s nothing like live music to share emotions and bare your soul, so the rendition of those songs, more precisely the first two, brought tears to my eyes. Speaking of Lost & Found, I already told you how special this song was for me, but I have to admit it hurt a little bit to listen to it tonight, as it brought memories back to my mind. I don’t complain though and as writing and performing the song must have been cathartic for Lianne, listening to it surely is for me. Those words she sang were things I could have written (I actually did on several occasions) and they make me feel close to her, in a way. On a happier note, I have to highlight a few things, like the performance of Is Your Love Big Enough? and Forget, where the incredible energy of the singer, her band and the audience made those two songs the most entertaining, joyful and energetic moments of the night, complete with hand-clapping and singing from the whole venue. After Lianne and the band exited, we were obviously having none of it and the anticipation before the encore was growing, which is usually one of my favourite parts in the concert. I can’t imagine how it must feel for a singer/band to hear an audience so in love with their music that they will not stop clapping and cheering until they reappear on stage. When she did come back, she was only accompanied by two guitarists and a percussionist at first, and did a wonderful rendition of Empty, which is another of my favourites on the Lost & Found EP. Finally, she closed the show beautifully with Elusive, which I was waiting for anxiously, and Age, apparently one of the crowd’s favourites. As I finish writing those lines, still on a high and having flashbacks of the night, I can’t but feel blessed, once again, to be able to witness such wonderful moments, where music unites people and make them forget about everything else around. Moments like these, when love is flowing abundantly around, are ways for the universe to remind me how beautiful life can be.
P.S. I didn’t take any picture or record any part of the show, because I wanted to enjoy the experience fully for once, feeling the music and letting myself be submerged by the atmosphere of the venue without the interference of technology. You should try it once, it’s quite amazing…
If I don’t have any video of the concert to share with you, I won’t let you leave this page without giving you some beautiful visuals to enjoy… A few days ago, Lianne released a two-part story, with a video for Elusive and one for Gone. I think by now you know that those two songs are among my favourites and I have to say the videos make me appreciate them even more. As was the case with Lost & Found, the visuals only enhance the power of the songs. Enjoy!
It’s been a while since I last posted one of those video updates and since my eyes were blessed by several wonderful visuals in the past days and weeks, I thought it was high time I shared them with you. If you follow the blog regularly, you probably know that I generally don’t post single videos but sometimes the beauty, originality or inspirational message carried by a handful of them tickles my interest. This time around, I have an incredible selection of four videos from artists coming from the States, the UK, Switzerland and France. Variety is the spice of life! The genres and themes of the song are varied as well, which makes for an interesting melting-pot. Anyway, enough rambling for now, let me tell you about the first one…
Ty is an iconic character from the UK hip-hop scene I discovered only a few years ago (I know, I know…) and whose music and message I sincerely approve and appreciate. After releasing Special Kind Of Fool back in 2010, the talented MC is back, with a new single taken from his upcoming Kick Snare And An Idea EP, scheduled to drop in April via Tru Thoughts. With Like You Never, Ty provides the listener with some honest and authentic music deeply rooted in hip-hop but with a contemporary twist. This is actually the message of the song, so pay attention to the lyrics and enjoy the pearls delivered by the British wordsmith. The video was shot in Aruba, which makes it original and full of beautiful sights. An album release concert will be held at the Jazz Café on April 10th and I’m gutted I won’t be able to be there. If you’re in London at the time, I highly recommend you attend. If the Special Kind Of Fool album launch is anything to go by, you are guaranteed to have the time of your life.
On a more experimental tip, let me introduce you to producer extraordinaire Willy Sunshine. Part of Chief’s Feelin’ Music label, the Swiss artist released his sophomore album, Kitchen Blues Explosion in November and is now providing our mesmerised eyes with a gorgeous visual interpretation of Circles on the water, first single from the album. While the music is laid-back and dreamy, the video is enchanting, with coordinated movements and colourful shapes dancing along to the rhythm of the beat. To me, this is the perfect illustration for this type of music, as it retains an experimental element while allowing you to delve deeper into the beautiful soundscapes provided by Willy Sunshine and wander to unknown and mysterious dimensions. After you have stocked up on aural and visual pleasure, you can discover Kitchen Blues Explosion via Feelin’ Music’s Bandcamp page. Enjoy the journey!
In keeping with instrumental vibes and experimental sonorities, it’s time for you to discover French producer Saneyes’ latest offering. After a wonderful video for State of mind shot in New York (of course!), the talented beatmaker just released new visuals, this time for a lovely ode to wanderlust entitled Roller Girl. An American living in the body of a French guy, Saneyes is currently making a name for himself and becoming a worthy representative of the young French production scene. If this track is quite smooth and soulful, some of his work is much more electro and experimental, including for example his homage to French singer Serge Gainsbourg. In the video, we follow a beautiful Parisian girl strolling in the streets of the capital and wonder where all this is going, before surrendering to the loveliness of the music and appreciating the snapshots of Parisian life provided by the director. You can download Roller Girl on Saneyes’ Bandcamp page.
Last, but definitely not least, I have to share a very special song with you. Ricardo Iamuuri (“I am you you are I”) is an artist hailing from Pittsburgh I was fortunate enough to discover several years ago thanks to fellow artist BusCrates. His music touches me deeply, on an emotional, intellectual and spiritual level and it is therefore with great pleasure that I discovered his latest single. His debut album Conversations With Shepherds, Sheep, Guinea Pigs and Monkeys: Nursery Rhymes for the Underfed Mind Vol I (yes, that’s a very long title and I love it) was released about 7 years ago and the multi-talented artist is coming back with Imperial Sugar, first single taken from his upcoming sophomore album, due to be completed this summer. When I said the song was special, I meant it on several levels, from the incredible brand of “urban folk-hop, electro blues afro-rock” music Ricardo is creating to the amazing, highly inspiring message he is spreading. Until the single is out, go discover the first album on Bandcamp.
I became acquainted with Rachel Brotman and her music through a Bandcamp recommendation by her fellow artist and collaborator Diggs Duke a few months ago. When I listened to her songs for the very first time, I was immediately mesmerised by the magnificence of the music. I found it very peaceful and soothing yet extremely powerful and emotional, while Rachel’s voice was the icing on the cake and sent my ears on a direct flight to cloud 9.
On Anecdote, the singer wrote most of the music and lyrics, but she is joined by a group of talented musicians who create an amazing soundtrack for her to delicately deliver her soft vocals. Infused with jazz, the EP is a wonderful collection of lovely tracks that is best appreciated on a quiet, overcast day, when the music is like a smooth balm for your heart and lifts your spirits as Rachel’s voice rises. While it is not necessarily sad or melancholic, the music has this particular quality that fits introspective moments perfectly. There is also an apparent simplicity in this project, some sort of innocence and humility, that is only enhanced by the angelic texture of the singer’s vocals. I don’t know what heaven sounds like if it exists but I have a strong suspicion it wouldn’t be too different from Anecdote… Closing my eyes while listening to the music, I could travel to a welcoming world where everything was beautiful and pure, and I felt a sensation of calm overwhelm me while I drifted off to the sound of the enchanting notes and lyrics.
While I am in no way a jazz specialist, I can’t but appreciate the arrangements and the atmosphere created by the various instruments, as well as the way they complement each other. Projects like this one also help me feel confident about the state of independent music, where young artists showcase a real passion for their art and take the time to hone their skills to present music of great quality that is honest and heartfelt. Rachel Brotman sounds like a breath of fresh air and is among the artists who make me fall in love with music all over again. The Anecdote EP will therefore be played quite regularly, until the singer provides my ears with more beauty. If you are in need of soothing music, I would advise you to listen to the project promptly and to let it please your heart and soul.
You can listen to and buy the Anecdote EP on Rachel Brotman’s Bandcamp page, or simply by clicking on the link below. As usual, spreading the word is highly recommended.
When I first listened to ArinMaya’s music, I stepped into a whole new universe where everything sounded fresh and innovative. With The Sound of ArinMaya, I got acquainted with the singer and I immediately fell in love with her unique style and voice. While the music was clearly rooted in soul and gospel, there was an electronic edge to it that gave the EP a sound that was unlike anything I had heard before. After that, I discovered the beautiful Let The Love Come, an album of acoustic music she released in association with guitarist Nick Cassarino. It was a way for the singer to showcase different skills and prove how versatile she could be, delving into folk music and giving a new life to a few famous songs.
Now, with Her Imaginings, the brand-new project she just released with frequent collaborator Theimagination, she is once again flipping the script and providing the listeners with a diverse selection of tracks filled with an electronic soulfulness that is deeply satisfying to my ears. Her Imaginings is actually the name of the group they formed and I dare hope for future releases from the duo. If this is the first project they put out as an official group, not all the tracks are recent on Her Imaginings, as is the case with Do You Think, a song that was present on The Sound of ArinMaya and that never failed to move me.
Dealing with personal experiences, love and loss, Her Imaginings sounds like a snapshot of the singer’s life, as her voice reinforces the various emotions carried by the lyrics. Of course the production by Theimagination is spotless and it only enhances the beauty of the vocals. A true collaborative project, Her Imaginings gives as much space to the singer as it does to the producer, and two perspectives are presented as the songs alternate with interludes where Theimagination lets his thoughts and feelings wander. The hypnotic element that can be found in songs like I Find You or Alright makes the album all the more compelling, while the feelings of hope and fear expressed in the lyrics make ArinMaya sound very candid and beautifully human. What I loved in The Sound of ArinMaya, where the singer affirmed she wanted to be Beautiful before asking her lost love: “do you think of me when you lay with her?” is present here, as she admits she is Scared, but asserts that everything will be Alright eventually. In life and in love, nothing is ever white or black, and it’s always a good thing to hear an album where balance is respected, where certain songs will be most appreciated when the sun is shining in your life and others will touch you more deeply when you are facing hurdles and challenges. To put it simply, Her Imaginings could be mine and the album will always move me, no matter what I’m going through.
Now that you know a little bit more about it, discover the first video taken from the album. This is Do You Think, one of my favourite tracks, which gets a wonderful visual treatment.
Since you must now be convinced of ArinMaya and Theimagination’s talent and the need for you to have Her Imaginings in your life, I invite you to listen to the album and buy it on Bandcamp, or simply by clicking on the link below.
After presenting her incredible EP Uncertainty last week, I thought it would be a good idea to do an interview with Elle Winston, so that she can express her thoughts on her music, the album, the topics she chooses to touch upon and more. She kindly agreed to answer my questions and I am really happy to share them with you now. As I told you last time, she is one of the artists I really appreciate and her music never fails to move me. It’s therefore a great pleasure to have a chance to exchange with her and get to know her a little better. In case you haven’t listened to the album and purchased it, I highly recommend you do so now. It is definitely worth your time and money! Now, without further delay, let me introduce you to Elle Winston…
First of all, could you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about who you are and what you do?
I am Elle Winston. I’m a singer-songwriter living in Brooklyn, NY. I was born in Indiana, but spent most of my life growing up in Arizona (I miss the sunshine! Haha!). Above all things, I am a sister, a daughter, a friend and a partner.
Something that I find very interesting with you is how versatile you are and how eclectic your music is, drawing influences from a wide variety of genres but never sounding forced or unnatural. Does the music reflect different sides of you and different messages you want to spread?
I find the idea of “genres” really interesting – primarily because I feel like I find such tangible similarities in all of the music that influences me across genre boundaries. I think there is a soulfulness that I really respond to in certain vocalists or certain songwriters that can’t really be put into a ridge genre category. My parents gave me such a rich musical foundation. I grew up listening to Muddy Waters, Aretha Franklin, Joan Armatrading, Tracy Chapman, James Taylor, Paul Simon, Sting, Bob Marley, Rolling Stones, etc. I studied classical music in college and I also spent time singing Afro-Cuban/Afro-Brazilian music for a few years, so I have been so privileged to be exposed to things that I continually draw from in my own music making.
In addition to being a very talented artist, you are also quite vocal about social issues, more specifically those pertaining to women and the way they are treated all around the world. Do you consider it your mission to raise awareness about those issues as a human being and as an artist?
I’m SO glad you asked this question! I’ve always been very passionate about issues that women and girls face both here in the US and globally. I see so much beauty and power in the women and girls in my life and I’ve seen so many of them struggle with the violence and injustice that they have experienced. Because of this, I take violence and injustice against women/girls everywhere very personally. I have always felt that being a musician gives you a unique platform to really talk about things in a medium that human beings really respond to, which is SONG! I know that I will continue to speak about these issues whether that’s in song or in interviews like this, because I feel so strongly about it, so thanks for giving me the opportunity to do so!
Since the release of Who Said It Was Simple? you seem to have evolved a lot, both as an individual and as an artist. Do you feel this project was a sort of landmark in your career, a moment when it took a new turn?
Thank you! I did an interview last year and I was asked what I wanted my new project to be and all I could say is that I wanted it to reflect growth. I think I can say, with confidence, that it does that. I know I still have a lot to learn and I’ll be spending my life learning how to be a better musician, but this project means a lot to me. I took my writing very seriously. Two songs from this new project were produced by Kevan Aaron, who I’ve worked with for a long time and 2 songs were produced by d.C. Soulplusmind, who I worked with for the first time last year. They both brought out some really good things in me and inspired me a lot. Ultimately, I wanted to be sincere and truthful in telling my own stories and that has been a scary process, however, seeing people’s responses to the music has calmed those fears a lot.
Your new EP entitled Uncertainty was released on January 22nd and it is a wonderful musical project where you don’t hesitate to share your innermost thoughts and feelings. There is a level of vulnerability that is very touching and makes the music all the more powerful. Is it important for you to express yourself without holding back, at the risk of exposing yourself through the music?
I definitely felt that this time around I wanted to say all the things I was afraid to say. I wanted to admit that I was afraid I wasn’t good enough. I wanted to admit that I struggle with my identity and I wanted to talk about my frustration with the injustice in my country, etc. I felt like this project needed to be enjoyable music, but it also needed to be serious, because that’s where I am in my life. I was also really hopeful that people would find something familiar in the words and music and maybe not feel so alone. But no lie, the day before I released, I was freaking out! Lol I was asking my girlfriend, “Should I do this? Will people understand me?”
Speaking of Uncertainty still, it may seem that the project allowed you to move on from certain situations and either get rid of your doubts or accept them for what they are. Do you feel the project was a sort of therapy for you, a way to heal certain wounds?
It’s so funny you ask that because at the time I wrote these songs, I remember feeling fear, sadness, power – all of these really heavy emotions. I remember even being afraid to record My Black at the studio because I was recording with a new engineer and I wondered if he would judge me. (So silly!) But now that I’ve put it out and let people hear it, so much of that has subsided. I feel so much freer. I feel like I accept me and my journey in a way that I haven’t before. So, it’s really only been in hindsight, that I’ve felt that bit of healing, but it’s definitely there.
In the past months, you have played on quite a few stages in New York and around the States, and your performances seem to be very intimate and emotional. You are clearly passionate about what you sing, which makes the renditions all the more compelling. Do you feel sharing your music on stage is the best way to reach your audience and exchange with them?
Absolutely! Nothing can replace live music. Sometimes when I’m feeling down, I just go to a show here in NY for some energy and inspiration – it lifts me. I think live music does that for a lot of people. There is also something so magical about performance. It is a one-time experience that you share with every person in that room. It can never be re-created or re-experienced in the exact same way. The magic is in what you feel in the moment of a live performance. Even on stage, things happen that are electric – from how you bond with your players or finding a new way to sing something and thinking “Where did that run come from?” Ya know?! All of those really intimate things can only happen live and I get such a high from singing for people and meeting people at shows. I love it! People are so generous. They give so much love and support. It always humbles me.
Anything else you would like to add?
To all of your readers – if anyone happens to be in New York next month, I am opening up for Bridget Kelly and RaVaughn at SOB’s in Manhattan on February 21st as a part of Hot 97’s Who’s Next Showcase. If you’re in the Big Apple, come say hello!
Now that you know more about Elle Winston and her new project, discover a beautiful and powerful rendition of Waitin On, during a performance for the Acoustic Soul Lounge at Billie Black’s Restaurant last December.
And just in case you missed it, check out the amazing Uncertainty, which is available on and Bandcamp, among others. Press play and enjoy!
I first told you about the amazing Elle Winston almost a year ago, when her debut EP Who Said It Was Simple? dropped (shout out to Sincere Vega for the discovery!) and I am quite excited to present to you her brand-new release. The sophomore EP, simply entitled Uncertainty, came out today and it has already secured it’s position among my favourites for 2013. While her first project was a way for Elle Winston to introduce the listener to her musical universe by showcasing her versatility and eclectic influences, this new EP sees her delve deeper and touch upon some topics that are more intimate and personal. As the title suggests and according to the singer herself, this is her most sincere work to date and was written at a time in her life where she was struggling and questioning herself. Using this Uncertainty as creative fuel, she crafted some intense songs that are as beautiful as they are touching and compelling. From the very first notes of Waitin’ On, I was caught in the rhythm of the beat and as my head nodded I could appreciate the heartfelt lyrics and Elle’s unique, sultry voice. Very easy to relate to, the first song is probably the one that touched me the most, but the incredible Sisters (which was available as an exclusive on The Wonderful Year of Carminelitta Vol. 3) and My Black, more specifically, are extremely candid and powerful. Dealing with what it means to be a black woman in today’s world, both songs ask rhetorical questions or expose situations that are sure to make you pause for a while and ponder. On a more delicate note, More is equally moving and I can’t but feel goosebumps on my arms as I indulge in the velvety vocals and overall atmosphere of the song. Closing this wonderful EP, Million Years is yet another testimony to Elle Winston’s talent, where she offers magnificent vocals that resonate in your heart long after the last note is over. Almost bringing tears to my eyes at every listen, this is one of the most emotionally-charged songs of Uncertainty and it is once again written beautifully, leaving the listener with food for thought and a smile on their face.
In case you had any doubt, I highly recommend you give Elle Winston’s brand-new project a listen and I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed. After seeing a few videos of the young singer on stage, all I can wish for 2013 is to finally meet her and get to see her perform in front of my eyes. In the meantime, I will listen to Uncertainty on repeat and feel blessed to be able to enjoy such quality music. She is among the artists that never fail to touch me, through her sincerity, her talent and her sensitivity.
P.S. Stay tuned for an exclusive interview with Elle, featured on this blog very soon!
You can discover the amazing Uncertainty on Elle Winston’s Bandcamp page, or simply by clicking on the link below. Enjoy and please spread the word!
The Wonderful World of Carminelitta turns 3 today and as usual I decided to create a compilation to celebrate the anniversary. As was the case with The Wonderful Year of Carminelitta Vol. 1 and Vol. 2, I gathered tracks from artists I featured on the blog during 2012. As you may have noticed if you were following the blog regularly, this year has been quite difficult and I have somewhat abandoned it in the past few months. I can’t guarantee I will revive it, especially as 2013 starts with more uncertainties and challenges in my personal life, but I still wanted to share this with you and look back on the great music I discovered over the past 12 months. I want to take some time to say a big thank you to the artists who agreed to take part in this anniversary compilation, as well as everyone I featured on the blog and every single person and fellow music lover who supported my endeavours since the creation of The Wonderful World of Carminelitta three years ago. I really didn’t think I would make it this far and, despite the hurdles and hard times, I am really grateful for everything I had an opportunity to do through the blog and I am proud of my achievements so far. Even if the blog isn’t as lively as it once was, I still have my online radio show on Ness Radio, which is broadcast every other Monday in normal circumstances (i.e. it should get back to normal after a few crazy weeks) and then uploaded on my Mixcloud page.
I wish you all the best for this new year and of course a myriad of wonderful music discoveries. Thanks again and much love to you all!
Here is the tracklist:
Elom 20ce, Analgéblues feat. Kézita
John Graham, Uncivil Rights
Pumpkin, Silence Radio feat. Pugs Atomz & DJ Lyrik (prod. DJ Vadim)
James Klynn & Maleiva Kem, Cold Path (prod. by Kick Coltrane & Spudd Brown)
Rebekka Ling, Remember the Time
Szjerdene, The System (prod. by Tensei)
Diggs Duke, Crazy Like a Fox
Elle Winston, Sisters
Sébastien Drumeaux, Sonjé Mwen feat. Jacques Scwhartz-Bart
Ines Khai, Brenda
Erika Lernot, Oyaya
Aldrick, Franchement tu m’énerves
Greg Spero, Hills
You can listen to The Wonderful Year of Carminelitta Vol. 3 on Mixcloud or directly by clicking on the link below. Enjoy and spread the word!
Pumpkin is an artist I discovered quite recently, thanks to her frequent collaborators Supafuh and Teru, but I have since then caught up with her work, to my ears’ delight. When I interviewed her a few months ago in London, I met a passionate and determined woman who was eager to express herself through music and share her views on the world.
Today is a very important day for Pumpkin, as she releases her new EP, Silence Radio, a wonderful project she has been crafting for a long time. Patience is a virtue and it definitely pays off here, both for her and for listeners, who are in for a treat. With features by 20Syl (Hocus Pocus), Ty, Pugz Atoms or Metropolis (Foreign Beggars), to name just a few, the EP still remains imprinted with the “Pumpkin touch”, as the young woman decides to venture on more experimental territories while touching on topics that are in turn personal tales and social observations she is well-known for. In addition to the aforementioned MCs joining Pumpkin on the mic, talented producers Supafuh, Vin’S da Cuero, Quiet Dawn, Josh Fontan (Beatspoke) and DJ Vadim come to reinforce an amazing team and create refreshing instrumentals that allow the lyricists to shine.
The first two singles, Silence Radio and Examen de physique are great representations of the direction taken by Pumpkin on the project, with a solid hip-hop basis accompanied with electronic sonorities that only enhance the power of the lyrics. From new ways of “communication” that may not actually bring people closer to a widespread tendency to judge books by their covers and incidentally people by their appearance, Pumpkin, joined by Pugs Atomz and Ty respectively, provides a very interesting analysis of a few of the ills of modern societies. While the statements may not be highly optimistic, the tracks are quite compelling and are served with the MC’s signature lyricism and spotless production. If those two may serve as appetisers, they can’t sum up the whole project, which is much richer and encompassing. You will probably have understood by now that I highly recommend you get your hands on Silence Radio, whether you prefer vinyl (who could resist such a gorgeous orange record?!), CD or digital. You can get it on , Fnac or through her website.
Because I support Pumpkin wholeheartedly and want as many people as possible to discover this excellent project, I teamed up with her to offer one of you a copy of Silence Radio on CD. All you have to do is register for my newsletter (if you haven’t done so already) and answer a very simple question to enter the draw. The winner will be announced in two weeks. To subscribe to the newsletter, simply enter your email address HERE or under the “Mailing list” tab on the right-hand side. Alternatively, you can contact me directly by email.
Now, to help you understand why this Silence Radio EP is an absolute must-have, I will share the first two singles with you. First of all, the title track is a wonderful collaboration with DJ Vadim and Pugs Atomz, with visuals that only increase its appeal.
Then, the freshly-released second single is featuring London-based legendary MC Ty, for an Examen de Physique in the streets of London. When two talented artists decide to join forces on such quality production, the result can’t be anything less than amazing. Enjoy and spread the word!
When I first told you about Dutch singer Rebekka Ling, she was already working on her debut album Travel Light. Giving priority to hard work and quality over trends and “hot” albums that are forgotten in a matter of weeks, the artist provides the listeners with a solid project that will be remembered as all timeless music is. She also proves that the Netherlands definitely have soul (in case we didn’t know that already…). Once again I am quite late in telling you about this, since the album came out last June (oh, how time flies!), but of course I had to do it eventually. I wouldn’t want you to miss out on such quality music and I hope you will be grateful to me for that. Now, let me tell you a bit more about Travel Light and why you need it in your life.
What I really appreciate about an artist is when they create music that is based on what they love to listen to, but they add their personal touch. While I tend to be quite open-minded and eager to discover experimental sonorities, I am always delighted to hear a good old soulful/jazzy album that makes me vibrate and touches the sentimental side of me. With Travel Light, Rebekka Ling draws influences mainly from classic soul and jazz but adds a contemporary twist, with tracks that will make you want to dance the night away, or some that flirt with broken beat. The music is really soothing, smooth as a caress and will probably be appreciated most during late evening and early night listening/dancing sessions. In addition to the beautiful soundscapes created on every single song, Rebekka’s voice is flawless, sounding like it’s coming out of the soul of a singer from the 1980-90′s living in the body of a young woman in the 2000′s. I was even impressed by how amazing she sounds, as the title track I had heard many, many months ago didn’t really prepare me to such vocal quality. As if the beautiful music and vocals were not enough to enchant me, the lyrics are quite well-written and deal with the eternal topics of life and love. This, of course, may not sound very original, since most soul albums spread similar messages, but it is always interesting to discover an artist’s personal experiences and how they creatively express them. Most songs actually present the different sides of love and describe how relationships evolve, from bliss to heartaches, in ways that are very easy to relate to. From Higher and Fly Away to Missing You or Without Love (probably my favourite track), Rebekka shares her joys and her pains in a very open and touching way. Overall a very pleasing sonic experience, Travel Light calls for repeated listens, whenever you need a little uplifting music. Whereas some of the songs may be slightly less optimistic than others, they still retain a positive element and help you keep your head up while believing in betters day to come. The whole album is like the sunshine after the rain, a hot chocolate on a cold day, or whatever it is that makes you feel good and puts a smile on your face.
Now that you know a little bit more about Rebekka Ling and Travel Light, you can purchase the album via . In case you need any more convincing, listen to one of my favourites tracks, Missing You.