RAY BLK - Run Run

RAY BLK – Run Run

RAY BLK – Run Run

 

 

RAY BLK - Run Run

RAY BLK – Run Run

 

 

RAY BLK – Run Run

 

 

Hailing from Catford, South-East London, Ray BLK (real name Rita Ekwere) is an R&B singer/songwriter known for her introspective and socio-political lyrics. She grew up heavily influenced by music, having grown fond of Timbaland and Missy Elliot performances on music channels such as MTV Base, and grime artists on Channel U. Having decided that her dream was to pursue a career in music, she set the wheels in motion at the age of ten, penning her own lyrics in her school notebooks, which led her teachers to put her in a music program for talented young individuals. She continued to explore her creativity throughout her teens; when she was 13 she worked on some of her earliest material with fellow school pupil and future record producer and songwriter MNEK, in a group the two had created called New Found Content. Although the project’s end results never saw the light of day, it proved a significant cornerstone in the young creative’s journey. It wasn’t until the final days of her University studies in English Literature that she felt ready to put her voice out into the world, and delved through the lyrics, songs, and assorted instrumentals that she had kept over the years. It didn’t take long for some cohesive material to come together, and she ultimately decided upon the stage name of BLK, which stands for “Building, Living, Knowing,” and put together some finished material. Inspired by the character of Ms. Havisham in Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, she described the character’s journey as being “like a lot of women around me, who got their heart broken” and put together her first EP, Havisham. It was the public’s first real introduction to the young singer/songwriter and had an instant impact. Alongside her impressive collaborations with artists such as Dream Koala and SELVSSE, her verses evaded the surefire rap-influenced vocals of her youth and moved closer to an area that combined elements of hip-hop, R&B, and neo-soul. The release led to an ever-increasing fan base for the young singer beyond the fringes of her native Catford. She released the single “50/50” in 2015 – a woozy, languid, and magnetic R&B piece consisting of mordant lyrics directed at an old flame. The track earned her a high spot on BBC 1Xtra’s playlist as well as the honorable “Record of the Week” from BBC Radio 1’s Huw Stephens.

 

2016 saw more success for Ray BLK. Generally considered her “breakthrough track,” “My Hood” featured grime heavyweight Stormzy. The song was appealing because it was a bittersweet ode to its author’s hometown, and it also highlighted the struggles and stresses of living in gentrified parts of the city. This way of reminiscing about her youth and growing up earned her a comparison to Stateside R&B legend Lauryn Hill, as well as other soul artists such as Amy Winehouse, and exemplified BLK’s ability to combine a myriad of influences without being consumed by a single particular style. Both “50/50” and “My Hood” were featured on BLK’s second release, the mini-album Durt. Alongside Stormzy, the effort also featured collaborations with Wretch 32 and SG Lewis. Ray BLK’s status among both fans of urban music and music industry critics earned her widespread praise and a nomination for the BBC Sound of 2017. She won the award in January 2017 and continued to write more material.

~ Rob Wacey

 

 

 

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Claire Richards - On My Own

Claire Richards – On My Own

Claire Richards – On My Own

 

 

 

Claire Richards - On My Own

Claire Richards – On My Own

 

 

 

 

Claire Richards – On My Own

 

 

The first solo single from Claire Richards ‘On My Own’.

 

Claire Richards is excited to announce that she has signed to Sony Music and will release her debut, solo album on 2nd November.

 

My Wildest Dreams is the first time that Claire Richards has branched off alone. As 1/5 of Steps, who stormed the charts last year with their #1 single Scared of the Dark and #2 album Tears On The Dancefloor, Claire has achieved a huge amount of success around the world. While the band take a well-earned break from touring before starting on a new album in 2019, Claire has jumped at the chance to pursue one of her lifelong ambitions and work on an album of her own. Speaking of the record, Claire adds “This album is literally beyond my wildest dreams – it’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was very young. I am so proud of this album – it was important to me that every song tells a story and is filled with real emotion and I think we’ve achieved that. Being in Steps means so much to me, I love every minute, and I am beyond lucky to be a part of Steps and also to be able to do a project of my own.”

 

The first taster of Claire’s new music is the brilliant On My Own, and it beautifully showcases Claire’s phenomenal voice. A very special one to Claire, she comments “On My Own feels very fitting as my first solo single. It’s empowering and really tells the story of the ups and downs I’ve experienced over the years both growing up feeling a bit insecure to the pressures of being in the public eye.”

 

Claire has worked with some of the world’s biggest songwriters and producers on My Wildest Dreams including Diane Warren (Beyonce, Whitney Houston, Cher), Steve Anderson (Kylie Minogue, Britney Spears, Girls Aloud) and Biff Stannard (U2, Ellie Goulding).

The rest of the year is certain to be a busy but exciting one for Claire. Next week, she announces some intimate UK dates and she already has a slew of promotional appearances lined up.

 

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All Saints - After All

All Saints – After All

All Saints – After All

 

 

All Saints - After All

All Saints – After All

 

 

 

All Saints – After All

 

When they debuted in the early ’90s, All Saints were part of the popular British girl group wave kicked off by Spice Girls. While Spice Girls were all about girl power and character image, the All Saints were music aficionados with a softer, more sophisticated brand tied less to their looks and more to their music.

 

The group came together in 1993 when Melanie Blatt and Shaznay Lewis began recording and writing at a studio on All Saints Road in London’s Ladbroke Grove. The duo hooked up with R&B vocalist Simone Rainford and released a single for ZTT Records in 1995 before they parted ways with Rainford and were dumped by the label. Undeterred, Blatt and Lewis recruited native Canadian Nicole Appleton and, later, her big sister Natalie, to make All Saints a quartet.

 

With the help of friend Karl Gordon (formerly part of the British rap ensemble Outlaw Posse), All Saints recorded a demo of the song “I Know Where It’s At.” New manager John Benson signed the girls to London Records and connected them with top-flight producers Nellee Hooper (Massive Attack, Björk) and Cameron McVey (Neneh Cherry). Once finished, “I Know Where It’s At” hit number four on the British charts and crossed over throughout Europe and Asia.

 

By 1997, All Saints had reached the top spot with their second single, “Never Ever.” The quartet released their self-titled debut album in November 1997, and began to grow in America as well, hitting the Top 40 with “I Know Where It’s At.” By 1998, All Saints was certified platinum in the U.S. and five-times platinum in the U.K., but rumors of a split in the group started to brew. Blatt was expecting her first child with Jamiroquai’s Stuart Zender and gossip claimed she was leaving All Saints. Appleton was also rumored to have walked out on the band after the group failed to show up for the Smash Hits Poll Winners’ celebration that year.

 

In early 2000, their William Orbit-produced single “Pure Shores” was included on the soundtrack to the Leonardo DiCaprio film The Beach. Countless festival shows across the U.K. also redefined All Saints’ staying power despite their shaky unit. The long-awaited sophomore effort, Saints & Sinners, was finally issued in October 2000, boosting second single “Black Coffee” into the charts, but trouble still loomed ahead. By the start of 2001, tours of Japan and Australia were canceled. Jealousy appeared to be the culprit because Lewis and Blatt were ill-disposed to the Appleton sisters’ celebrity status, especially Natalie’s relationship with the Prodigy’s Liam Howlett and Nicole’s with Oasis vocalist Liam Gallagher. In February 2001, the split was finalized. Blatt released her first single, “Twentyfourseven,” in the summer and Shaznay Lewis was writing with All Saints producer K Gee. The Appletons were cutting material and making plans for a tell-all book. All Hits, a greatest-hits collection of singles and a limited-edition DVD, was issued in fall 2001, seemingly marking a bitter end for the All Saints.

 

In January 2006, it was revealed that the quartet had reunited and signed with Parlophone. All Saints’ first single in over five years, “Rock Steady,” was released that November and hit number three on the U.K. singles chart. The band’s third studio LP, Studio 1, was released just days later and debuted at number 40 in the U.K. The following year, the women parted ways with Parlophone and canceled another planned tour. Bolstering rumors of another split, the compilation Pure Shores: The Very Best of All Saints appeared in September 2010.

 

After four years of silence, news of another reunion emerged when the band announced plans for a brief 2014 tour in support of the Backstreet Boys, as well as festival appearances. Reinvigorated, they quietly planned for a full comeback a couple years later. Still exhibiting a refined brand of dance-pop, the single “One Strike” arrived in February 2016. Written and recorded without the involvement of a record label, the full-length Red Flag was released in April.

~ John Bush

 

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Bozeman - Burnt Toast Pt. 1

Bozeman – Burnt Toast Pt. 1

Bozeman – Burnt Toast Pt. 1

 

 

Bozeman - Burnt Toast Pt. 1

Bozeman – Burnt Toast Pt. 1

 

 

ARTIST NAME: Bozeman

 

SONG TITLE: Legos

 

ALBUM TITLE: Burnt Toast pt. 1

 

RELEASE DATE: July 24, 2018

 

GENRE: Alternative Hip Hop

 

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Bozeman – Burnt Toast Pt. 1

 

 

Name the artists that have influenced you so far.

Quinn XCII, ayokay, Post Malone, Lil Peep, Kendrick Lamar, Drake, Chance the Rapper.

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Mention the name of the artist you can regard as the “Greatest Of All Time”.

I think Kendrick Lamar is probably the greatest rapper of all time.  It’s extremely difficult to jump into other genres and say that one is better than another.

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Discuss composition.

For my songs I like to work on really creative instrumental tracks and the lyrics according to the mood that I’ve created in the song.  Typically I have an idea of what I want a song to be about when I start to create it but I feel like a large part of the process is finding the vibe along the way.

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Discuss your music career.

An independent artist originally from Montana, I just finished college.  I like to focus on making songs that tell stories.  My debut EP burnt toast pt. 1 is a low tech exploration of love, addiction, and my own experiences with anxiety.  My songs are word heavy because I love stringing together rhymes and detailed verses that explore what language can convey over beats I’ve made.    I’m now in NYC working on a new project.

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Elaborate on this song.

These songs offer an insight into some of my more personal experiences, but also address more general feelings.  ‘Legos’ is about avoiding responsibility and longing for the freedom that you had when you were a kid.  ‘Burnt Toast’ is about a relationship that didn’t work.  ‘Social’ is about the ways that we struggle with being so connected.  ‘Drag’ is about anxiety.  ‘Fly’ is about trying to find positivity in spite of everything that goes on.

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Rate the social media and tell us the platform that works best for promoting your music.

I like promoting my music on Instagram because I feel that it can capture a feeling with an image and also provide context in the caption.

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State the areas that need improvement in the music industry.

I think one of the areas that needs improvement in the music industry is the relationship between publishers and streaming sites.  With the tremendous change of how people consume music, there’s sort of a jump over an entire part of the process.

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Tell us how you prepare yourself for a live performance or show.

I like to really hype myself up and try to harness a lot of energy for a live performance.  This can be in the form of a personal pep talk or jumping jacks.

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Tell us your opinion on frequent releasing of singles or just an album in a while.

I think it is a good idea to release a couple singles to get people excited for an album.  As long as the quality of the music isn’t compromised, I see no problem in getting as much music out as possible.  But you should never release something just to have more content out there.

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Mention the name of the artist you will be glad to see the live performance.

I would love to see Quinn XCII live.  He brings such awesome energy to his shows and is generally a really cool guy.  He is also my dream collaborator.

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Tell us the theme of most of your songs.

I think that all of my songs address anxiety or depression in some ways.  Like, even in the more upbeat stuff that I try to work on, there is still this bed rock of working through things.

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Discuss your recording.

This project was done low tech in GarageBand.  I found an empty studio space and went to town with a cheap microphone and a midi keyboard.  It was a really cool intro experience and the end product was better than I could have imagined.  I’m looking forward to upping the ante on my next project.

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Tell us how boring or exciting the music career can be.

I think a music career is exciting.  The process of trying to make music you’re happy with and that people like is both challenging and extremely gratifying.

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State your artist’s name and elaborate on it.

My artist’s name is Bozeman.  I chose it because it has a nice catchy sound to it and it also is a cool callback to my growing up in Montana.

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State the title of the song and the meaning.

Legos- I chose this title for this song because I thought the idea of playing with Legos perfectly encapsulated the feeling of wanting to be a kid again.

 

Burnt Toast- I chose this title because of the line in the song “You took too long now I’m just burnt toast.”  Suggesting that the relationship wasn’t going anywhere for too long so I’m burnt out.

 

Social- I chose this title because the song addresses social media and the power it has.

 

Drag- I chose this title because I feel like the word “drag” really represents the feeling of being depressed and anxious.

 

Fly- I chose this title because the feeling of breaking free, even momentarily from anxiety and depression can feel like flying.

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State the title of the album and the reason for choosing the title.

I chose that album title not only because of the song with the same title, but also I loved the image and the album art that my collaborating artist friend created.