Catching up on new music after a 2-week break (plus an extended M.I.A. period…) is no easy task, especially when several of my favourite artists decided to drop their gems right when I was away. With that said, I will do my best to share the best with you and as usual I will ask you to bare with me and be patient. As I was listening to various albums waiting in my iTunes this morning, I decided to indulge in Bama Love Soul’s On Deck another time. I already listened to the excellent compilation shortly after it was released but didn’t seize the opportunity to tell you about it earlier. Bama Love Soul is one of my favourite blogs and probably the one I have been following for the longest. While I may not check it out as regularly as I used to, I know I can always count on them to put me on some incredible sonic treasures. Whether I listen to artists I have never heard of before, brand-new tracks I haven’t discovered yet or compilations and mixes by founder DJ Rahdu, I am always extremely happy after I visit the website. When I learned that it was threatened to close due to increased expenses but that supporters/readers could help, I didn’t hesitate and contributed to the Kickstarter campaign they launched. After successfully raising the necessary funds, they finally released one of the most awesome compilations I have listened to in quite a while.
What better way to start the year than with great music? I actually left you before Christmas with some music by Diggs Duke and this first post of the year presents his brand-new project, in collaboration with Bama Love Soul. I actually discovered him and Gravity on the great blog and it’s a pleasure to see that what they were saying about him releasing more music very soon was true. I was not expecting it to be that soon and I am therefore both surprised and very happy.
While Gravity had a very smooth and sensual vibe, making it the perfect soundtrack to a late night dancing/love making session, Black Gold sounds more energetic and lively, making your head nod and putting a smile on your face as you enjoy the feel-good factor of the music. When it comes to the lyrics, it’s more varied as well and Diggs Duke explores different topics besides love, which is always interesting. I find the concept quite beautiful as well, since it’s all about enjoying the little things in life and turning those into “gold”, as opposed to trying to reach some seemingly unattainable and unrealistic goals.
As the singer says when comparing this second EP to the first one, Black Gold “seeks to expand on the musical concepts and vibes that were presented to you on “Gravity.” He explains: “You will hear the same layering of instrumental sounds. You’ll hear the same character in the vocals. […] But, you’ll also hear something different in the tone of the music. No better, no worse. Just another take on the Diggs Duke style of music.” Even before listening to the music, I really appreciated this description and how Diggs Duke aimed at staying true to himself while experimenting and exploring different sides of his talent and personality. His voice is as smooth as ever though, which will make it very easy to put the (once again) very short EP on repeat, as was the case with Gravity. Both projects complement each other very well and present some of the varitey of music the singer can explore. Stay tuned for more, probably sooner than later!
You can listen to and download Black Gold on Diggs Duke’s Bandcamppage or directly on the link below. You can also find more information on Bama Love Soul. Enjoy and spread the word!
This is actually nothing near brand-new and I appologize for the time it took me to post it on here, but I hope you’ll forgive me and give me the benefit of “better late than never.” I need to give a shout out and thank Apple Jac aka Uncle Shecky for putting me on this album and more generally for sharing great music. I had heard of Nodzilla before thanks to one of my favourite blogs Bama Love Soul when they presented one of his previous projects Nodzilla’s Badasssss EP and I already appreciated his style then. This new instrumental album is a very nice journey into the producer’s universe and really makes me feel good. I like the way Black Dude is described so I’ll share it with you: “True School in design, Boom Bap in essence, All Soul… in the tradition of Pete Rock’s Petestrumentals, J Dilla’s Donuts and Madlib’s Beat Konducta, this collection of soulful, funky tracks comes with the sole purpose of making your head nod.” This goal is most definitely achieved and makes it very easy to press the replay button. I don’t know if it’s the end of the year coming, or me growing-up but I have a tendency to feel kind of nostalgic these days and I take comfort in going back to ‘old shcool’ music lately or listening to projects that have this ‘Golden Era’ feeling to them. Black Dude enters this category and I’m sure many of you will feel the same way about it. If you are in need of inspiration, healing or simply of positive, enjoyable music, this one is for you! It is definitely worth having in your collection so I encourage you strongly to go to CD Baby, where you can purchase it and of course to spread the word/love about it.
You can have a sneak peak here, with the introduction of the project, also entitled Black Dude. Enjoy!
Sometimes you are tempted to go out of your comfort zone and discover some experimental music that will challenge you and take you to places you didn’t know existed. When I first read about Tony Towerz’ mixtape on Bama Love Soul back in February, I was immediately attracted by the concept and the song that was featured, which put me in an adventurous mood.
I downloaded the mixtape, listened to it and was like: ‘Wow! That is something else!’ Tony Towerz’ music is a very eclectic and experimental mixture of soul, R&B, pop, rock and electro. One could think it is not possible to blend all these genres and manage to come out with a great result, but Plastik Soul is the proof that you can!
As the beautiful cover suggests, this mixtape is like a journey into the slightly crazy mind of Tony Towerz, taking the listener through different sides of his personality and talent. It is definitely an exploration of music and several stages of one’s life, and a very enjoyable one.
The songs and interludes deal with love and relationships mainly, but also life in general, with philosophical undertones. Several songs are about breaking-up or being faced with difficulties in relationships, which is something everyone can relate to and the way he writes about it makes it very emotional and heartfelt. I particularly appreciate the lyrics in Already lonely (‘You might as well go cos I’m already lonely’) and in Headed nowhere (‘I’m tired of chasing dreams when it seems we’re headed nowhere’). Other songs are very sensual and sexy, which is something I really like, and the mixture of the production and his sultry voice add to this specific atmosphere. This is clearly the case with Let me squeeze you, Higher and All damn night. And some songs are more about life in general, an exploration of his doubts, fears and disillusions. These are my favourites, as he really bares his soul and is 100% honest about how he feels, not pretending to succeed all the time (I will still fly, Angel, Do over and Plain Jane).
There are moments when I was thinking he reminded me of Van Hunt or Cody Chetsnutt, with the rock prods and craziness, but he anticipated this reaction in his listeners and summed it up perfectly: ‘This sounds like X. Well, no, not really. But I like this’.
If you haven’t checked him out yet and feel like pushing the boundaries of your musical preferences, I highly recommend you get the mixtape now and enjoy the trip! Download it herefor free
I discovered this lovely lady recently on Facebook and she represents a breath of fresh air in my musical world. What comes to my mind when I listen to her music or read her words is positivity, and that is a trend I find in several other young artists these days, which gives me reasons to be optimistic!
Born in Paris with a French West Indian background, Meemee infuses her music with several different influences, including hip-hop, jazz, soul and Carribean music. The result is great and her album Âme Nouvelle (which means New Soul) is a fantastic collection triggering off a desire to travel and escape reality for a while. This an aspect of music I often mention but this is really important for me, as music is one of the rare things that allows me to disconnect from the world in this way.
The themes she approaches are revolving around love, relationships and most importantly self-discovery and empowerment. Even when she deals with ‘negative’ situations, there is a light of hope and the idea that you can always grow and learn from your experiences. It is a really smooth and inspiring album which will be in heavy rotation for quite a long time!
As usual it’s better if you understand French and Creole, but you can still enjoy the beauty of the music and feel the positive vibrations. A proof that her music is universal is the wonderful reactions she provoked in the States, with rapper John Robinson and the famous blog Bama Love Soul praising her album and highly recommending it (it’s in Bama Love Soul’s ‘Top 5 New Releases You Should Own’).
Now, in order to convince you of the beauty of Meemee’s music, here is the official video for her first single off Ame Nouvelle, entitled L’essentiel (quite transparent word, isn’t it…). This song is a very inspiring call to come back to the basics, to get rid of unnecessary things and focus on what’s truly important for one’s growth and happiness. The video itself is also beautifully realised and if you didn’t get why it made me want to travel, here’s a hint. Enjoy!
I know you are already convinced by now, so just for the pleasure, here is the wonderful Gadé mwen an zyé (‘look in my eyes’ in Creole).
You can also listen to and download the song Soulagée (‘relieved’)