Jam of the Week: AOSOON – Something

AOSOON, press 2015 (1000x563)AOSOON stands for “Alot of Something Out of Nothing”. And in the case of this south London duo, the acronym sums up the music neatly.

The group’s stirring “gangsta folk” swept me away when I saw them at a live music showcase earlier this year, and since then I’ve been following them. The duo’s songs ‘Same Difference’ and ‘Under’ have been on my hot list all year. And this week’s jam is equally as strong. Continue reading

Jam of the Week: Common – Letter to the Free

Common - Letter to the Free single (630x354)Storied hip hop artist, Common, has long placed conscious messages at the centre of his music. Responding to the testing events that have gripped the United States, he shared the thought-provoking ‘Letter to the Free’ this week. Continue reading

Solange – A Seat at the Table review

Solange - Cranes video still, 01 (1280x720)It is said that the tough times are the true measure of a person’s character. By that definition, Solange is empress, artist and saviour all in one. Eight years after this maverick R&B singer’s second album, and four years since her cathartic portrait of a break-up (True EP), she has gifted us with a bold, vibrant album about freedom and the worth of her people. Continue reading

Jam of the Week: Ray Blk – Chill Out (ft. SG Lewis)

Ray Blk - Chill Out single (1417x797)Bitter truths about love and life are Ray Blk’s shtick. This south Londoner singer disarms with her rich tones only to keep you at arm’s length with her spiny outlook. Her latest single, In ‘Chill Out’, you have new classic when it comes to those bittersweet love games. Continue reading

Jam of the Week: Solange – Don’t Touch My Hair (ft. Sampha)

Solange - Don't Touch My Hair music video still, 01 (980x490)Surprise digital album releases have simply become the “new standard” for a section of big-name artists. Still, Solange’s reveal of her first full-length album since 2008, A Seat at the Table, was enough to send the R&B faithful into a spin last week. Continue reading

Jam of the Week: Willow Smith – Luv You w/ tha Sky

Willow Smith - Luv You single (715x402)New year, new vibe. Kicking off my 2016 JOTW series is a young musician whose interest in science often marks her from the ‘expected’ behaviour of most female stars her age. Fifteen-year-old Willow Smith, daughter of rapper, actor and all-round smooth operator, Will Smith, has dropped a delectable new single with the help of producer Mark Redito. Continue reading

MOBO Awards 2015: uniting with one hand, dividing with the other

MOBO Awards 2015, Section Boyz, by MOBO/PR( 900x506)It’s got moxie, that’s for sure. Because even after 20 years of handing out awards for music of black origin, and taking flak left, right and centre for it, the MOBO Awards are still with us. The MOBOs shouldn’t, and never will, be all things to all people. But, even as it unites its award-winners in celebration, it continues to divide its audience. Continue reading

Oshun – Asase Yaa mixtape impressions

Oshun, press photo 2015, 01 (1778x1000)If you have a problem with the struggle for equality and self-respect, Oshun’s debut mixtape, Asase Yaa, is not for you. The goal of this neo-soul and hip hop duo is to “empower women, and all people,” through music. Care to disagree? Because let’s not kid ourselves: Nicki Minaj and Beyoncé may be having the time of their lives “feeling” themselves, but history shows us that women, and women of colour especially, get the shortest straw of all in the white man’s world. But what makes Asase Yaa all the better is the sleight of hand and the alluring lyrical flow with which Oshun share their stories. Continue reading