EP, Newness for your ears Elle Winston, Uncertainty
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. More
Uncategorized 2012, blog anniversary, The Wonderful Year of Carminelitta
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.
EP, French touch, Newness for your ears 20Syl, DJ Vadim, Mentalow Music, Pugs Atomz, Pumpkin, Silence Radio EP, Ty
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. More
Album, Newness for your ears Netherlands, Rebekka Ling, Travel Light
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. More
Album, Newness for your ears, UK talent K.I.N.E.T.I.K., London, The Kinesis Thesis Vol. III, UK
Here is one of the many posts that have been waiting in line for months and that I absolutely wanted to share with you. I guess “newness for your ears” may be replaced by “long overdue” in some instances, but as I stated several times on this blog already, better late than never… Why did I want to tell you about this project that came out several months ago? Well, it’s quite simple: few artists have this capacity to blow me away on first listen. K.I.N.E.T.I.K. is one of those. If you are not yet familiar with him and his music, then I consider it my mission to get you acquainted. I first discovered him when he was part of Grand Central, one of the most famous hip-hop duos in London, and I have followed his adventures ever since (however late I was). After seeing him on stage when the group opened for Black Milk during one of his shows in the English capital, I was impressed by his flow, witty rhymes and energy. While the dynamics in Grand Central worked quite well, I have to admit I’ve always preferred his solo endeavours and I was happy to learn he was still working very hard after the split, releasing projects and videos on a regular basis. The latest to date is the one I will now tell you more about, the last instalment in his album series, The Kinesis Thesis Vol. III.
Album, French touch, Newness for your ears Aldrick, France, French touch, Histoire de...
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. More
Event, Review Eric Lau, Jazz Cafe, London, Oddisee, Olivier Daysoul
Tonight was one of the best nights I’ve had in a very long time and I feel that sharing it with you and FINALLY updating the blog is probably the best way to keep celebrating. I won’t go into too many details about the reasons why I have been M.I.A. for so long but let’s just say that one of them was a general lack of inspiration and motivation. You know, shit happens (excuse my French). Tonight though, I feel a renewed sense of belonging, a revived faith in the power of music and desire to share it through my words. It all started with a long overdue meet-up with my Word Is Bond family before the gig. Obviously you don’t really care about my personal life, but all I wanted to say is that it was a breath of fresh air for my mind and everyone’s motivation and excitation was contagious. It’s difficult to feel down and idle when you are surrounded by people who are so active and enthusiastic about what they do. They reminded me about myself when I started the blog and I finally got a glimpse of hope, reminding me that everything was still there, waiting for me to be ready again. The time has come, ladies and gentlemen, and I couldn’t be happier about it! More
Audio, Interview 3, Alexis Davis, DJ Spinnerty, interview, Mecca:83, Replife, Simon S
Alexis Davis is the combination of the wonderful talents of DJs Spinnerty and Simon S, producer Mecca:83 and MC Replife. Having known each other for several years and collaborated on various projects, the four of them decided to create a group and give birth to a common project. Living on both sites of the Atlantic ocean, they prove that music is truly universal and can cross boundaries, physical or metaphorical. While I have not followed those guys since the beginning of their career, I greatly appreciate every single project I have heard from them and it was therefore a great pleasure for me to discover their group and brand-new EP, 3, released via the newly created Expansions Collective. The project is clearly among my favourites for 2012 and I am really happy to have had the opportunity to connect with them and do this audio interview. Thanks to technology, we were able to have a conference call where they told me more about the origins of the group, the creative process behind the 3 EP, the importance of having fun while tackling serious social issues, and much more. This lengthy, in-depth interview is among the best I have ever done and I am really grateful for all of them to have taken some time to sit down and have a chat with me. In case you haven’t picked up the 3 EP yet, I highly recommend you do so. This interview should be enough to convince you anyway.
Discover the interview after the jump… More
Interview, Video TastyKeish, video interview
I already told you about my recent trip to Berlin with the Nomad•ness Travel Tribe and I am very happy to say I met amazing people there, most of which share interests with me, whether it is writing, music or blogging. Keisha aka TastyKeish is among those like-minded people and it was great to see her again in London. Radio host, event organiser, music and fun lover based in NYC, she is also an avid traveller eager to discover the world. While she was in the English capital for a few days, I took the opportunity to chill with her and have a quick chat on camera. She is a very interesting and inspiring individual and it is therefore a pleasure for me to introduce you to her and her positive energy. In this short interview, she talks about her European tour, art and culture in Berlin, some of her future projects and more. Without further delay, let me present to you TastyKeish, in her own words…
Discover the interview after the jump… More
Album, Newness for your ears Ego Free Music Group, John Graham, Magic: Noir et Blanc
As I mentioned on several occasions before, one of my favourite things in life is to discover new music through artists I appreciate and support. Another thing I love is when I have a chance to collaborate with said artists, but also when MCs and producers I know decide to work together. Now, if you consider John Graham’s new album Magic: Blanc et Noir ticks all the boxes, you will easily understand that it became an instant favourite as soon as I started listening to it. Let me develop all this a bit more… I first heard of John Graham thanks to Prosthetik Intelligentz, a group I greatly appreciate and who used my voice on their project The Sounds & Wonders EP with GravityMovement. This lead me not only to become familiar with John’s music but also to be part of his new project. Finally, when I read the tracklist and saw that Shade Cobain and Prosthetik Intelligentz’ very own Doom Got Beats produced some songs on the album, a huge smile appeared on my face. The smile of course remained when I pressed play and discovered the beautiful music they both created.
At a time when many so-called artists rely on public image and trends to be “successful”, it is quite reassuring to know that others still decide to provide the listeners with music that is the result of creative self-expression and hours spent working on their craft and honing their skills. With Magic: Blanc et Noir, John Graham presents a concept album dealing with the constant contradictions and going back and forth you can find in life and within yourself. The introduction by yours truly actually gives you a good idea of what to expect and I am really happy to say that John and I were on the same wave-length when it came to how we considered the album. Clearly one of his most personal and honest works to date, Magic: Blanc et Noir is compelling by its bluntness and willingness to say what others don’t even dare to think.