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.
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.
I usually don’t post videos on their own here (I had to check and the last time I offered video updates was last year) but I saw three today that were so amazing I needed to share them with you. I am sure you will be quite happy about that, as they all are very soothing, peaceful and provide for escapism. As summer is coming to an end and a new academic year is upon us, I thought it was a good idea to feature some visual goodness that will allow you to start the weekend in a beautiful way.
First of all, this official video was released today and it is for a song that is on one of my favourite albums ever (yes, it’s official!), that is Stevy Mahy’s incredible The Beautiful Side Of A Kreyol Folk Trip. In case you are not familiar with the wonderful singer and her album, I kindly recommend you have a look at my album review but more importantly buy the album and watch the other videos she released for previous tracks. Yenki Pou Vou is one of my favourite songs on the album and its lyrics always touch me very deeply, while giving me strength and courage to go on with my life as Stevy’s angelic voice sings “dry your eyes, you’re way too blessed to cry”. This is a message everyone should remember. To complement the lyrics, we can now appreciate some amazing visuals courtesy of Ivan Herrera and travel all the way to San Domingo in our mind, to stroll along the streets with Stevy. Enjoy the journey!
Then, I had the great pleasure of discovering the brand-new video for Sinitus Tempo’s single Utopia, taken from his latest project Peaceland. Once again, if you are not familiar, you can have a look at my recent article about the EP. The visuals (filmed and edited by John Carter) are beautiful here as well and are a very enticing invitation to escape reality and imagine yourself on this beach. The track was one of my favourites on Peaceland and it is very interesting to watch how its beauty and soothing element was rendered on screen. Please also head to the Youtube page to read the director’s comments on the video. Let’s create our own Utopia…
Finally, a gorgeous track and video I discovered a few days ago on Apple Juice Break and that I watched again today is Martin Parks’ collaboration with the blog and Pronounced Love for their upcoming project entitled If It Speaks, Listen. The track, Far is once more an invitation to drift away from your daily routine and the visuals are simply impressive. There is an otherwordly dimension here, which I find extremely appealing. As we dive under the water, we discover how peaceful but also vivid life can be in that place and it clearly makes me want to disappear there, at least for a while and go Far away from the concrete. The video is directed by The Ports. Enjoy this under-water adventure.
Amazing. Wonderful. Incredible. Words are powerful, but sometimes they just can’t capture exactly how you feel. To describe how The Foreign Exchange‘s show on Thursday affected me, I would need more than words. There was something special in the air, something that made my soul smile. The energy and vibrations Phonte, Nicolay, Sy Smith, Zo! and AB, as well as the other musicians exuded made it impossible not to be enchanted and elated. There was also a great connection and interaction with the audience, which is one of the most important elements in a live performance. All the artists clearly gave the best of them and made the audience feel part of one big family. There were a lot of jokes exchanged, a lot of smiles and laughter, but also some emotional moments with the music and lyrics. It was a very enriching experience and I have to say the goal Phonte stated at the beginning of the show was clearly reached: I did feel much better after than I did when I walked in. I am actually still on a high, two days after.
They performed songs from all three of their albums, as well as This could be the night from Zo!’s SunStorm, plus some little extras, including remixes and their imaginary future reggae hit, that was hilarious. Phonte is a great performer and has a ‘wicked’ sense of humour, which made the show even more enjoyable. From impromptu interludes to the reggae ‘hit’ or singing into a lady’s Blackberry, these moments made everybody laugh hard and that was most welcome. It was also a pleasure for me to see AB live again, as I really appreciate him and his vocal talent. Another highlight was Sy Smith’s presence. She is an artist I don’t know a lot about, which is a shame, but seeing her live made me want to do my research even more! The musicians, including Nicolay and Zo! were on point, of course and really captured the energy of all the different albums perfectly. To put it simply, this show was one of the best I ever attended. I need to give a big shout out to soulBEAUTIFUL for making this magical moment possible and I hope it’s only the beginning of some great adventures for them.
In case you don’t believe me, I will share two videos of the show. These are two of my many, many favourites and it was a great pleasure to listen to them and see them live. Both taken from Foreign Exchange’s second album Leave It All Behind, here is first House of cards, followed by the amazing Daykeeper, which is clearly one of many people’s favourites as well. Enjoy!
Finally, a little extra treat for you is a quick interview I did with AB after the show, where he tells me about how he feels about it, upcoming dates on the tour and his own projects. Enjoy and check out his music if you’re not familiar, you won’t be disappointed. And be on the lookout for a more comprehensive interview coming soon…
I haven’t presented any French artist on here in a little while and it’s time to fix this situation! I have to apologise profusely to Anne from Nubyan Vibes and to you readers for not posting this earlier, as I had it in my inbox for several months now… I hope you won’t be too mad at me for keeping the goodness for that long, and that you will appreciate as much as I do. I first heard from Tum’Soul productions years ago, during the ‘golden era’ of MySpace but I have to admit I haven’t followed their releases and artists closely. When I listened to Osmojam and the track Si tu veux rester for the first time, I was immediately attracted by the great production and by the lady’s beautiful and smooth voice. There is a very chilled and soothing, jazzy vibe to the song, which I greatly appreciate. It’s really the kind of music that puts a smile on my face and makes me dream of beautiful moments spent with special people… The lyrics are also very interesting and if you don’t understand French, I can only suggest you take lessons, as Osmojam definitely has a talent with words and it’s a pity to be deprived of the pleasure of understanding what she has to say. Si tu veux rester is an ode to secrecy and mystery when it comes to a relationship, to avoid being put under people’s gossiping spotlight and risk being judged for not ‘making it’ eventually. I really like Osmojam’s honesty and openness here, which is miles away from mellow love songs that can sometimes seem a bit too ‘idealistic’. The song really makes me want to hear more from the talented lady and I’m quite happy to say that she is currently working on her debut album. That means I will probably tell you more about her in the near future! Until then, you can appreciate her beautiful music and put Si tu veux rester on repeat. This should help you stay warm during those long cold winter nights…
You can listen to and download the song on Tum’Soul’s Bandcamp page or just by clicking on the link below
And you can discover the very nice video for the song, which was shot partly in one of Paris famous venues le Bizz’art (formerly known as Opus). Enjoy!
I am getting a lot of music in my inbox these days and it is something I’m really grateful for, even if I can’t post everything on here. One email from Deep from 2 Hungry Bros caught my attention though and I think the word is definitely worth spreading. Janelle Renee is a very talented young lady I discovered on 2 Hungry Bro’s project with 8thw1 entitled No Room For Dessert (you can read my review here if you missed it) and it is a pleasure for me to hear more from her. She has a very beautiful and warm voice, she is gorgeous and on top of that doesn’t seem to take herself too seriously. This is something you can find with 2 Hungry Bros and other members of the AOK Collective, which I underlined in the review and in my interview with Deep (catch up here) and which is definitely appreciated. She provides positive vibrations and feel-good music and I have to admit this is most welcome nowadays!
Paralyzed is a very pleasant track to listen to, thanks to 2 Hungry Bros’ energetic and funky production as well as Miss Renee’s amazing voice. I’m nothing near a good dancer, but this is really the kind of song that makes me want to move my body and just enjoy myself. I also appreciate the hook, borrowed from Bob Marley’s classic Waiting in vain and the whole spirit of the song. I can definitely relate to the need to slow down and take my time once in a while! This track is a confirmation of Janelle Renee’s talent and of the artistic chemistry that exists between her and 2 Hungry Bros. It obviously makes me want to hear more from her in the future.
You can now listen to and purchase the single on Janelle Renee’s Bandcamp or simply by clicking on the link below
And you can also discover the official video, which makes me appreciate the song even more and reinforces the feel-good and fun element I mentioned earlier. Directed by Tony from Surrealphobia and with cameos from 2 Hungry Bros, Homeboy Sandman & Fresh Daily among others, it’s a great visual addition to the track, in true AOK Collective fashion. Enjoy!
Find out more about Janelle Renee: official website
Even if I am really not a sneaker addict, I can definitely understand and relate in a way. I could say I’m a music addict and of course my relation to new music is similar to what sneaker addicts have with their brand-new acquisitions. What happened to me when I opened the treasure box this afternoon (aka my inbox) was definitely a mixture of excitation, amazement and desire to share the beauty. Which is what I’m doing now… I guess I have to thank Twitter for this one, as it’s apparently how the email initially landed in my inbox. I had never heard of Cloud City Classic before and I definitely appreciate their universe and the concept of this album a lot!
In their own words, this Brand New Kicks is ‘a throwback to mid 90’s hip hop with nicotine beats and Palm Bay flows.’ This really appealed to me, even before listening to the album and I have to admit the production plays a great part in my loving it! There is definitely an old-school feeling to the album and obviously in the most positive sense of the word. From classic boom-bap to jazzy and soulful prods, Brand New Kicks presents the best of the 90′s with a modern twist and makes it really easy to press replay over and over… and over again! It is also absolutely impossible not to nod your head to some of the beats and to be inspired and uplifted by the lyrics.
I am discovering more and more artists from Canada lately and I can say there is obviously a lot of talent over there, which shouldn’t be slept on. I will most definitely look out for more from Inkspill and Sadler and you should too, if you’re not familiar with their music. I now have some good news for you: first, you can listen to and download this beautiful Brand New Kicks from their label, Chamberlain Drive’s Bandcamp (where there is more goodness for your ears), or simply by clicking on the link below
Second, you can have a look at the official video for the first single, Brand New Kicks, that is a great addition to the song and brings you back to the ‘Golden Era’ once again. Enjoy the ride!
I first told you about Shinobi Stalin when I presented his single Spiritual Law featuring his cousin Word Chemist (catch up here) and I have more to share from him. This album isn’t new, it actually came out in 2008, but I think it definitely deserves to be under my spolight and in your collection. Here is why…
The word I would use to describe Zombie Skool is positivity. From the very first notes of YGB to the closing track Soul rap, Shinobi Staling spreads inspiring messages through well-written lyrics and mostly chilled, jazzy productions. Keeping a balance between lighter topics and more personal and ‘serious’ subjects, he manages to come out with a very uplifting and enjoyable album that is easily put on repeat over and over again. It is definitely feel-good music, while staying true to the spirit of hip-hop and ‘educating’ young people and all the listeners. I particularly appreciate the concept of the project and this teaching aspect, which is a reflection of Shinobi’s job and shows how education can take many forms and reach people in different ways.
In the same way as a day in school is made of different periods, some where you need to concentrate and work hard, others where you can relax and enjoy your time off, Zombie Skool enables you to let your mind go through different phases. It can be open to receive some motivational messages and to be fed with interesting ideas but it can also let go and of stress and be relieved from life hardships. The perfect example of the latter is Smoke break, with a very nice and chilled production courtesy of Shinobi himself. This is one of my favourites and it is definitely a great way to relax and to relate to Shinobi’s need to disconnect from the daily routine. The smoke break is taken as a metaphor and I really like the way he played with that, underlining the need to ‘breathe in all the positive energy’ and to ‘blow out all the negative excess’. This relative lightness of subject can also be found in Confessions of a sneaker addict, which title is quite transparent and in SNM, another one of my favourites, partly because of the great jazzy and uplifting prod, where Shionobi makes a comparison between skating and being an MC, stressing the fact that they are both part of him and different ways for him to express himself.
This is a quick update to let you know that my review for Cilla K’s debut album entitled Fine Line is now featured on Preach Jacobs‘ online magazine Mo’ Betta Soul (read the review here). I need to thank Preach of course, for putting me on Cilla’s music and for giving me the opportunity to feature the review on his website.
If you’re not familiar with Cilla K, I highly recommend you check her music out and discover her beautiful universe. She is doing big things right now and is working with Jneiro Jarel, among others. Before you get the album, you can get an idea of Cilla K’s talent with the official video for Easy to love that was released a little while ago. This should be enough to convince you… Enjoy!
I just wanted to share some videos with you, first because I mentioned the artists and their albums on the blog recently and I obviously really appreciate them and second because I find all of them quite interesting, some great visual additions to the music.
First of all, let me present you the brand-new video for the awesome collaboration between London-based producer Marc Mac and my friend Erik Rico entitled Destiny and featured on their upcoming Direct Soul EP (coming out on 24th October, but you can already listen to it on their Bandcamp). Just in case you missed it, you can have a look at the very interesting interview I did with Erik several weeks ago here. Destiny is a great song, there is absolutely no doubt about that and the video, shot in London while Erik was here for his European promotional tour is very nice and complements it very well. Without any further delay, here is the official video for Destiny!
Then, another great album I told you about recently is Spectac’s full-length, Spectac Returns: Looks Like Another Job For Spectac. You can find my review for the album here. The official video for Superman, the first single featuring Sean Boog has been released several days ago and it is once again a great way to complement the track. I already found the whole concept of the song and more largely of the album quite interesting, with many metaphors and images, and the video has been made in the same spirit. I won’t tell you too much about it and just let you discover the video now…
Yet another great musical project I introduced not too long ago is Jason James and Rodney Hazard’s collaboration entitled Marvelous World of Music (check out my review here if you didn’t get a chance to read it before). The first official video and single is for one of my favourites, Fame us, which is a great track denouncing the overwhelming power of the media in nowadays society and definitely giving you some food for thought. I have to underline the originality of the visuals and the fact that none other than producer Rodney Hazard directed the video, which shows the extent of his imagination and talent.
Finally, I wanted to let you know about the brand-new video for Divine Seven’s Doing my diddy, first single off his album LISTEN!!! produced by fellow Pittsburgh-resident and highly talented Shade Cobain. If you want to refresh your memory, you can read my review for the album here. Once again, I really like the concept of the video, which is rather similar to Spectac’s Superman and definitely a great message to spread! You can also see some ‘special guests’ in the video, including Varsity Squad members Jon Quest and Beedie. Enjoy!