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.
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!
Ladies and gentlemen, The Wonderful World of Carminelitta is back (again)! I know, I know… I guess there’s no denying the obvious: life has been hectic and my mind elsewhere in the past months, and despite a vague desire to update the blog more regularly and start sharing some music with you again, I was simply not in a space where I felt motivated and inspired enough to do it. After a few attempts which proved to be short-lived, I’m giving it a new try. Many posts are waiting in line, but for tonight, I thought some smooth French soul would be appropriate.
I told you about Aldrick on two occasions, first for his collaboration with French spoken word artist JLS on the album DES MOTS [dé]NOTENT, and second with his acapella EP Dans Ma Chambre. As I already explained then, Aldrick is part of the numerous artists I discovered on MySpace in what seems to be another digital lifetime and I’ve always appreciated his voice, his style and sense of humour. After giving us those very appetising teasers, the French singer finally delivered a long-awaited debut album back in May. While I tend to listen mainly to American artists, as well as a few from the UK, I have to admit I have overlooked artists from my own country for the most part of the last years. When I discover albums like Histoire de…, I am reminded of how much talent France has nurtured and I am therefore tempted to go back to listening to more “homegrown” music. Aldrick is clearly among my favourites and the album is yet another confirmation of his skills.
An eclectic collection of songs that range from dancefloor-friendly, feel-good music (Bouge) to stripped down vocal prowesses (Tous les garçons et les filles) or straight emotional soul (Come back, Je t’aime) and sensual invitations (Bodytalk), among others, Histoire de… constitutes a very comprehensive introduction to Aldrick’s universe. As the cover artwork illustrates, the singer offers us different sides of his personality and moods, appealing to different people or matching various moments in the day or life. As a whole, the album is extremely satisfying and calls for repeated listens, both for the incredible smoothness of Aldrick’s voice and the well-written, heartfelt lyrics. Listening to it now, I am drawn mostly to the most intimate songs, especially the aforementioned Come back and Je t’aime, as well as Rester gravé, but I know that at other times I can be attracted to the blunt but borderline funny Franchement tu m’énerves, which was one of the first songs I ever heard from him, or even the beautiful ode to his mother that is Y en a qu’une.
As usual when talking about French artists to an audience that is mostly from the States, I will have to say that while understanding the words is quite important, you can still appreciate the beautiful music and atmosphere created by the various songs. Highly influenced by soul, Histoire de… is also sprinkled with different other elements, making it a musical melting-pot and testimony to Aldrick’s own complexity and varied inspirations.
All that is left to say now is, do yourself a favour and treat your ears to some high quality French soul. You won’t be disappointed.
You can grab Histoire de… on (among others). Once you placed your order, enjoy the official video for the first single, Franchement tu m’énerves. The visuals really respect the lyrics and spirit of the song, which should make it easy for you to understand what’s going on. Enjoy and spread the word!
It’s been quite a while since I offered some video updates and I stumbled upon a few in the past days or weeks that caught my attention. I don’t usually post videos on their own, but when I see such quality, I have to gather some of them and share them with you. The songs are in different genres and the themes vary, but all those visuals have something in common: they are beautiful and inspiring. A great video only enhances a song and can sometimes make it even more touching, powerful or entertaining. Let me tell you more about today’s selection and why I love them so much…
Fabian Akilles is an artist I discovered very recently, thanks to Dewey Decibel and I’m sure glad I did! Comb My Hair, taken from his album Evil Round That Corner, is a very interesting and uplifting song that everyone should listen to and particularly little girls who sometimes don’t have the best of role models if you consider current mainstream stars. The video is very simple and straight to the point so I won’t tell much more about it, but leave you to enjoy the great song and lovely visuals. You can get the album via
Then, a wonderful video by Stevy Mahy, who is among my favourite artists and whose album The Beautiful Side of A Kreyol Folk Trip is still in heavy rotation. For this song and video, she teamed up with singer James Germain, to offer a beautiful tribute to Haiti and its inhabitants. The visuals are stunning and allow you to get a glimpse of what day-to-day life can look like on the island. Stevy actually started a charity that helps children receive school supplies, clothes and other useful goods. All I have left to say is enjoy the journey and support by buying Haïti chérie on
Another lovely video set in the Caribbean is offered to us by Sébastien Drumeaux for his latest single Sonjé Mwen (“Think about me”), that features saxophonist Jacques Schwartz-Bart. Everything is gorgeous here, from the music, the vocals and of course the breathtaking visuals. Watching this kind of video from rainy and cold London sure hurts a little, but at the same time helps me escape the greyness and dream of warm, welcoming lands like those I can see here. Sébastien Drumeaux is currently working on his new project and I will most probably tell you more about him in the near future. Until then, you can buy Sonjé Mwen on
Finally, some feel-good music made in UK, with this highly energetic and inspiring track courtesy of the HornDogz. For Movin’ On, the musicians teamed up with Ty, Peeda and Breis, who offer positive lyrics that match the musical atmosphere perfectly. London may not be all sunshine and blue sky 24/7, but people sure know how to enjoy themselves and make the most of what they have. Listening to this kind of track and watching visuals like those are sure to put a smile on your face and give you a great dose of motivation for the day. While you’re nodding your head, pre-order the track via Uptone Records.
Cilla K is a wonderful mutli-talented artist from Guadeloupe in the French West Indies who is currently based in NYC and is creating beautiful soulful and futuristic music that pleases my ears. I already told you about the singer/producer a couple of times, but in case you missed them you can catch up with my review of her debut albumFine Line, that was featured on Preach Jacobs’ online magazine Mo’ Betta Soul, or my write-up aboutNew World Lullabies, her excellent sophomore album that was released a few months ago.
Now, to make my ears and yours even happier, she teamed up with fellow French producer Teru, who crafted this lovely remix for You know me better, taken from her latest album. I have to admit I am very excited and happy to present this track exclusively on The Wonderful World of Carminelitta and offer you a double dose of “Frenchness” to enjoy without moderation.
While the original was very laid-back and enchanting with the delicate piano notes, Teru flips it in a very interesting way with this remix, by adding some haunting electronic elements, while keeping the essence of the track. This is what I love so much about remixes, that ability that producers have to create something new and personal while paying homage to the original and respecting the artist. As I am listening to it now, I can’t help but be captivated by the dark, mysterious atmosphere created by Teru, which gives a certain depth to the lyrics. I am also very happy about this collaboration, as is always the case when artists I greatly appreciate decide to work together, and I hope Cilla K and Teru will create magic again in the near future (*sends a virtual wink to both of them*). Until then, I will play this track on repeat and urge you to do the same.
You can listen to and download Better (Teru remix) on Teru’s Soundcloud page, or simply by clicking on the link below. Enjoy the journey and spread the word!
Pumpkin is a French female MC I discovered quite recently thanks to producers Supafuh and Teru, who put me on her music and more specifically her previous album, the excellent Ainsi de suite (that I am very happy to own in its vinyl version). As the talented lady was in London for a few days, I thought it would be a great opportunity to meet her and do an interview with her. We ended up in a very nice old-school pub in Baker Street, which was the perfect setting for our conversation. In this interview, Pumpkin tells us about how she discovered hip-hop, London, meeting/working with DJ Vadim and Pugs Atomz, as well as previous and upcoming projects, among other interesting things.
Without further delay, let me present to you Pumpkin, in her own words…
Now that you know more about Pumpkin, (re)discover the official video for Ainsi de suite, taken from the album of the same name. The track is featuring producer/MC Supafuh and is produced by Teru. You can buy the album on Pumpkin’s Bandcamp page.
After Stevy Mahy, Meemee Nelzy and Cilla K, I have another beautiful lady to introduce to you, who is coming from the island of Guadeloupe in the French West Indies. Ines Khai is proud of her creole origins and creates music that incorporates many influences but always stays true to her roots. While I still have to listen to her debut album BwaBwa (shame on me), I was enchanted by her brand-new offering, the extremely uplifting Amazòn La (“The Amazone”). As I could discover in her bio, the singer spent her childhood in metropolitan France but was surrounded by Creole language, music and traditions from a very early age. Her influences for her first project also included “neo-soul” and gospel, as well as “kako mizik”, a Guadeloupean genre of hip-hop she discovered thanks to DJ Phonie and Exxòs. I actually didn’t know much about “kako mizik” until recently, when I watched Meemee Nelzy’s beautiful EPK, where the genre is explained by Exxòs himself, and I recommend you give it a look.
For Amazòn La, Ines Khai departed slightly from the influences mentioned above and focused on her creole heritage and more precisely the importance of the “ka”, this very powerful percussion that structures the whole album. I saw the name of Jacques Schwartz-Ba mentioned in the press release, which is the only one I recognised, and I could actually see similarities between Ines Khai’s new direction and the saxophonist’s only album I own (and listen to regularly), Soné Ka La. Percussions and drums are among the most impressive instruments and never fail to touch me deeply, as my heart follows their rhythm and beats in unison. The album is therefore very intense musically, with the addition of bass, guitar and saxophone that make it a wonderful sonic journey. The lyrics sound very powerful as well and even if I can’t understand all of them, I get a sense of what Ines Khai is saying and the themes she is touching upon in the different songs. As is obvious with the title, the beautiful singer is proud and strong, and wants the world to discover her history and that of her ancestors.
Now that you know more about Ines Khai and her music, discover the wonderful Amazòn La and start a journey through time and space to the rhythm of the drums. You can listen to and buy the album on her Bandcamp page or simply by clicking on the link below. As always, support is strongly recommended.
Whenever I’m feeling down, I know it won’t last long and the remedy is usually a wonderful piece of music or encouraging words from a loved one. As I was experiencing “one of those days” on Monday, I was immediately uplifted and given my smile back with Cilla K’s sophomore album, the beautiful and positive New World Lullabies. I will never cease to be amazed by the power of music, something I mentioned countless times before and that I am truly grateful for. I am also very fortunate to be surrounded by many incredibly talented artists with beautiful souls, who share their art with me and give me hope whenever I doubt or feel discouraged. I’ve heard/read many people say that music saved their life and that they didn’t know where they would be without it and I can definitely relate to that feeling. Enough with my personal life though and let’s go back to the topic of this post, which is Cilla K’s new offering.
After discovering the French West Indies native almost two years ago with her debut album Fine Line (read my review featured on Preach Jacobs’ “Mo Betta’ Soul”), I became enchanted by her music and I have to say I was excited to know she was working on a new album. While Fine Line was self-produced and focused mainly on love and her own life experiences, Cilla K teamed up with other producers for New World Lullabies, including several Beat Inn members, and introduced more global topics, as the album was “inspired by the feeling of a transition to new society structures“. Following various uprisings around the globe, notably in North Africa and Middle East countries, the singer wanted to share this feeling of hope for a new world and a better future. To quote her once again, “This is an evolution in my artistic journey, a vision of hope for a better place and a description of the events we’re living in our present time”. Despite this new direction, we can still find songs inspired by love, like the beautiful Lady or the amazing You know me better and Beautiful Thing, which are two of my favourites, probably because I can strongly relate to the lyrics and feelings expressed. I really appreciate the blending of influences and inspiration showcased on this album, all the more so as it reflects my personal evolution.
Musically, we find Cilla K’s trademark futuristic approach, with an electro touch added to soul, funk and hip-hop influences. As stated previously, she invited other producers to work on this album, which give a more global and varied element to the album but still sounds like what the singer is used to creating. I mentioned in my previous post about Tensei’s One EP how they surrounded themselves with other musicians, creating a collaborative project that emphasised family, and the fact that Cilla included production by Beat Inn members, which is a very tight community of artists reminds me of this collective initiative (special mention for Sid Mercutio’s incredible remix of Lost In You, which was originally featured on Fine Line). This is also something that is related to this hope for a better world, as like-minded music lovers and creators unite to provide a shared vision, inspiring others to join their movement and create a beautiful future. Finally, Cilla K’s beautiful and unique voice is as mesmerising as ever, making this album all the more delightful. It is a real pleasure to listen to her words and this is a proof that you don’t always need to have a “perfect” voice that will reach many octaves or be highly technical, as all the emotion can be carried in different ways. Here, heartfelt lyrics are emphasised by a simple, natural way to sing and that makes New World Lullabies even more authentic.
In case you have any doubt, I highly recommend Cilla K’s new album and strongly encourage you to give it a listen. You can discover New World Lullabies on her Bandcamp page or simply by clicking on the link below. Support is also suggested, of course!
Inspiration is such an amazing thing! I was chilling at home after a long day at work and didn’t think my evening would be very productive when I stumbled upon a link to an interview that reminded me of a project I should have listened to and purchased a while ago. Erika Lernot is a beautiful and very talented French singer I discovered many years ago on MySpace (yes… you know, when it was a great way to discover new artists) and she was among the singers I checked out regularly and whose page I visited often to listen to the music, especially the incredible La Vague, which left such an imprint on my mind I still remember about it now. Time passed and I found her again on Facebook in the past few years and even if I haven’t been following her closely, I saw links here and there that enchanted my ears (and eyes, with her latest video). This project I was talking about at the beginning of the post is her debut EP, entitled Le Voyage (the journey), which came out last October. I don’t know how I managed to miss this release but I’m glad I was able to catch up and discover this musical gem today.
Four tracks deep, the EP clearly sounds like a journey, both musically and metaphorically, as we explore different rhythms, themes and atmospheres. While Oyaya (La joie !) opens the project with tons of positive vibrations, Si je te donnais raises the levels of energy a notch and got me to dance as if my body was possessed. I can’t dance but I still could move my body and probably invent some moves to the incredible rhythm and melody. Once again, the song is very positive and deals with a beautiful love story that transcends social status and expectations. I’m actually listening to this song right now and it’s quite fun, if only a bit difficult, to type on the laptop that is on my lap (doh!) while shaking all that I can in that position. The follow up, La dame de la mer is slightly calmer and a bit sad but incredibly beautiful and emotional, taking us on a different path and allowing Erika to explore different emotions, as well as deeper vocal ranges. Finally, we can enjoy Les jours d’été (summer days) with a lovely and once again uplifting song where the singer reminisces over those special moments when she can simply enjoy life, the sun and a somewhat slower pace. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the incredible talent of Siam Lee, Erika’s composer and guitarist, who provides the excellent musical background to this gorgeous project.
As I am on my third listen, I can feel my mood getting better and better every time and I have a feeling this EP will be all I listen to tonight, while smiling hard, dreaming, dancing and simply loving life.
To give you an idea of what Erika Lernot’s music is all about, let me share her video for Oyaya (La joie !) with you. You’re most welcome!
Now that you are completely hooked to Erika’s beautiful voice and uplifting music, all you have to do is run to or Amazon and purchase Le Voyage. I know it’s in French, but hey, music is a universal language!
Writer’s block, lack of motivation and inspiration, need for space and breathing, sometimes all those conspire to make blog posts quite difficult to create and in the past weeks they all took turns to keep me away from serious, consistent and regular updates. As is often the case though, a sparkle will rekindle the fire and bring back my enthusiasm and desire to share beautiful music. Tonight, this sparkle is a gem of an album, courtesy of French West Indian singer Meemee Nelzy. I first told you about her back in 2010, with an introduction to her music and debut album Âme Nouvelle and more recently with the single Opposite of us with US rapper DiverSe. After months of more or less patient waiting, we are finally offered the amazing Kréyòl Seasoning. An album that pulls me out of my lethargy most definitely deserves a blog post and it is with great pleasure that I am sharing it with you now.
Taking a slight turn from her debut album, Meemee presents a B-side album where all the tracks are in Kréyòl (most tracks on Âme Nouvelle were in French) and where she invited extremely talented West Indian producers to help her shine and showcase all the goodness they have to offer. A wonderful invitation to discover Kréyòl language, music and more generally culture, the album will make you travel to Guadeloupe in your mind and imagine yourself immersed in all the richness the island has to offer.
Dealing with love and life, Kréyòl Seasoning is blending different rhythms (or spices) from hip-hop to soul and Carribean traditional music, making the project deeply rooted in the islands’ soil but with a universal and international approach. This openness and blending of traditions and modernity makes it very powerful and unique. When it comes to the lyrics, if you are not lucky enough to understand kréyòl, you’ll have to feel the vibes and enjoy the melodious and enchanting voice of Meemee Nelzy. I can kind of guess some of them so I could say I’m halfway there, but I really appreciate this part of mystery that is left and how it makes my imagination work harder.
On top of the elements I already mentioned, what makes the originality of Kréyòl Seasoning is the different collaborations, with West Indian beatmakers and artists but also with US rapper John Robinson, who is featured on one of my favourite tracks, the incredible Nouriti a lespwi. This could have made the project less personal, as Meemee is much less involved in the production as she was with Âme Nouvelle, but this is actually not the case and strength in numbers really works here, as the addition of all the talents only reinforces the singer’s message and once again makes the album both personal and universal. As it is quite different from her debut album, it will be a great complement, not just a new version of the same thing, which is a testimony of her growth and progress. I greatly appreciate that in an artist and I’m very happy to see Meemee shine brighter and brighter and be discovered by a wider audience.
Both Âme Nouvelle and Kréyòl Seasoning will be in regular rotation here and will surely help me find some warmth and brightness whenever I need it.
Now that you know more about Kréyòl Seasoning, all you need to do is head to Meemee Nelzy’s Bandcamp page to listen to the album and of course support her efforts. You can also click on the link below. Enjoy the journey and spread the goodness!