Unknown P Shares New Single ‘Piers Morgan’

Check it out now…

Comedy drill rapper Unknown P has shared his new single ‘Piers Morgan’.

The viral sensation is the work of comedian Munya Chawawa, and it’s done with the utmost love for the form.

Famed for his quickfire videos – his take on the Chip vs Stormzy beef was absolute gold – Unknown P recently inked a major label deal.

Translating those witty videos into something as coherent as a single was always going to be demanding, but we reckon Munya has just about managed it.

Out now, ‘Piers Morgan’ is done efficiently, with the rolling snares in the production echoing the traits of some of 2020’s most popular street bangers.

The word play – as ever – in on-point, with Unknown P’s lyrical ability and playful putting many ‘proper’ rappers to shame.

As Munya puts it…

“I created Unknown P as a nod towards the appropriation and false ownership of black culture that often happens in western societies. Drill is very much portrayed as violent music for violent people, as a means of stubbing out a form of expression for many black young men…when in reality, it’s a genre of music enjoyed by people of all demographics across the world…”

“Unknown P comes to burst the bubble of what the stereotypical drill artist and fan ‘should’ look like. He’s a pheasant-eating, Brexit-backing Tory who loves the genre as much as the next man and furthermore, he’s a decent drill artist in his own right.”

Tune in now.

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A Gradual Evolution: Teenage Fanclub Interviewed

Raymond McGinley and Norman Blake in conversation…

Teenage Fanclub are always different, always the same. Each album has a welcoming feel, like resuming an age-old conversation with a close friend, gently easing itself into fresh areas while still tugging on old memories.

This time, though, is a little different. It’s a slightly different line up, for one, with Gerard Love having departed the group in 2018. Welsh musician Euros Child comes into the fold on keys, with the newfound space enabling Dave McGowan to move full-time on to bass duties, a line up that was finesse’d on some global – pre-pandemic, we might add – live shows.

It’s a subtle but striking transition, one that Clash explored at length with songwriting pair Raymond McGinley and Norman Blake earlier this week. The two are dynamic but very distinct characters – Norman Blake is staying at his parent’s place just outside of Glasgow, and his breathless comments on the phone arrive in the aftermath of a 10 kilometre walk. He grins down the line: “Just want to keep busy!” His counterpart, however, is rather more taciturn and thoughtful – in terms of conversation, at least, less is more.

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New album ‘Endless Arcade’ is out in March, with exploratory opener ‘Home’ leading the way. “We’re keen to get it out and let people hear it because we’re really pleased with how it’s come out!” Norman exclaims. “We’re all frustrated that we had to cancel the dates. It’s funny – I’m still getting alerts on my calendar every day!”

“Obviously we had to put both the album and the tour back a bit, because of the pandemic. That’s frustrating, but things look as though they’re going to be resolved early next year.”

Every cloud has a silver lining, however, with Teenage Fanclub afforded that rare ability to truly live inside their album. “Because of what’s happened, it did give us more time to spend with the mixes,” he continues. “I was over at Raymond’s – we finished mixing it there, he’s got a nice set up – and it allowed us to ponder our choices. I think we’re really happy with the mixes, and the way everything sounds.”

“It’s always good to get to the end of something,” Raymond comments. “I think everyone who makes music obsesses about it, and you get into this bubble when you’ve been working on a record and it’s just you vs your own expectations. Then you finish… and you sometimes forget that other people will hear this thing you’ve been working on!”

The band picked Clouds Hill Recording in Hamburg as a base – a residential studio, it found the reconstituted line up bedding down in a city they’ve come to love. “Hamburg has always been a place that we liked to go to,” confirms Raymond. The mixing desk is the same one used on John Lennon’s final solo album ‘Double Fantasy’, a piece of Beatles lore that thrilled Norman Blake. “The equipment is great!” he purrs. “There’s accommodation there, and you’re only a couple of stops on the S-Bahn from the Reeperbahn and central Hamburg. It’s a really good city and a nice place to work.”

Choosing six songs each, the band worked quickly, moving with alacrity. “Sonically we’ve always been a bit like this – we don’t conceptualise it, we just do what we feel like doing at the time,” says Raymond. “And that leads to what exists sonically. Sometimes I think you can kid yourself on a bit, that you’re completely in control of how the record is going to sound. From my experience, records come out sounding a bit different to what you actually imagined. Unless you make the record completely on your own, you’ve got other people’s humanity on board, and that’s not a controllable thing… and nor should it be.”

“Sonically, to me, I can hear Euros on keyboards, I can hear Francis on drums, I can hear Dave playing bass. I can hear the people. The sonic thing is a result of different people’s tastes, individual decisions, and what equipment we have at the time. So there’s an element of randomness to that. In any record we’ve ever made, you’re just going with the instinctive feel of what you’re doing at the time. Instead of going into the studio with a half-baked concept in your head… and the reality ends up different! As it always does. You just have to go with the process and see where it takes you.”

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For Norman, the motivation is almost a form of self-competition. “You’re always trying to write a better song, or something that’s interesting, or something people can relate to, or find catchy. You can come up with a good melody. Come up with an interesting arrangement. I think that’s all you’re ever trying to do – you’re striving to make a better record,” he laughs. “I don’t think we’ve ever done anything that’s tangentially, massively different. It’s pop songs with verses, choruses, and solos – that’s what we do! We feel comfortable doing that.”

‘Endless Arcade’ certainly delivers on that. It feels refreshing but also familiar, with Teenage Fanclub allowing the essential chemistry that lingers inside the line up to come through on record. Teenage Fanclub are a band who thrive on being a band, on the processes and decisions that entails. For Raymond, songwriting is almost a form of self-discovery, with its “self-indulgent processes” affording him moments of creative analysis. “It’s not like you sit down and before you start writing a song you know what you’ll be writing about,” he insists. “Sometimes just the process of writing the song leads you to think about things in different ways. It all comes out as part of deciding to do it in the first place.”

The results speak for themselves. ‘Endless Arcade’ has a real sense of daring, it’s looser, freer than Teenage Fanclub have been for some time – just check out the four minute guitar wig-out that adorns Velvets-inspired chug ‘Home’. “The way we work, we go in, we set up, and we start. We try to make the process as simple as possible,” explains Raymond. “Individually we all care about what we do, we’re all passionate about it, we’re trying to do our best. Sometimes you’ll feel good about what you’ve done, but I don’t think we’re necessarily an angst-ridden bunch in any kind of cliched way – I mean, we have our own cliches, I’m sure! But we go in, we set up, we get comfortable, and do some takes. It’s pretty straight forward, really.”

Perhaps its this simplicity that has enabled Teenage Fanclub to persevere as their peers tumble by the wayside. Labels come and go, line ups shift and evolve, but that central ethic remains the same. “I think we are pragmatic people,” agrees Raymond. “You find yourself in a situation where you’ve got a slightly different thing around you, in terms of what the band is. With Gerry not being there… it’s different. But then Dave is on bass and Euros is there. It’s an inspiring thing! It’s the same as when we moved from Francis playing drums to having Brendan playing drums, and it felt different… there’s a different personality there.”

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“I think – and maybe only people who have played in bands know the extent of this – that little changes around you can have a big impact on you. Being in a band, in terms of the way we work, we go in, set up, look at each other, and go to work. So the personalities involved – everyone involved – does make a big difference to the sound of the record. It sounds like the people.”

He continues: “Different changes led to different elements. I can hear that. When I listen to aspects of the band’s history it sounds like the people involved. Being inside it, we’ve got our own take on how it all is. So having that slightly different set up, it was inspiring to us, definitely.”

With extra breathing space during the pandemic, Teenage Fanclub have taken time to pin down the final elements. They’ve refused to become lost in this endless world, however – at some point, Norman explains, you simply have to cut your ties. “I read this really good David Bowie quote – and he made brilliant-sounding records – and he said, you have to abandon records. Because you can just keep going forever, tinkering with them, and changing little bits and pieces. The way I look at albums is that it’s capturing a moment in time. If we made this moment now it would sound different, for sure. What’s happening in your life – what’s happening environmentally – will influence how the record sounds.”

“When you make something, you’re just happy to reach the end of the process,” he adds. “There’s a sense of fulfilment purely from completing a record. Once it comes out, and you’re on tour… that’s when you start to think – OK, we’ve done that, and now we have to move on to something else now. I suppose in that sense it’s constant evolution. You can never rest on your laurels. And that’s what most songwriters do – anything who is creative will want to do something new.”

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Teenage Fanclub will release new album ‘Endless Arcade’ on March 5th – order it HERE.

Join us on the ad-free creative social network Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks, exclusive content and access to Clash Live events and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.

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Rimzee Is Ready To Live The Upper Clapton Dream Right The Second Time Around

"No one's done what I've done…"

The spring of 2012 saw London preparing to host its first Summer Olympics since 1948. The general mood was that of excitement and the buzz of anticipation, but at just 21-years-old, Hackney-native Rimzee would not get to experience the historic event in the same way as the rest of the country. Instead on May 28th he was sentenced to thirteen years for shooting at an unmarked police car.

That same year had seen his star begin to rise amongst the underbelly of the UK rap scene, helped in no small part by his hood-certified debut mixtape, ‘The Upper Clapton Dream’. Since then Black British music has come forward in leaps and bounds with rap stars shining authentically across mainstream media. Unfortunately, that has been a pie that Rimzee has been unable to have a slice of, until now that is.

His time inside has taught him a lot, not only about himself, but about what he wants from his life. It’s opened his eyes to a wealth of possibilities, including a return to music. His homecoming has seen him experimenting with different tracks over the last year or so and he’s now ready to release his first project in eight years: ‘Upper Clapton Dream 2’.

In a phone conversation with Clash Magazine he talks about the new project, what he’s learned from his time away, being different from other rappers, not wanting to be a “washed-up guy” from the block and more.

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You were away for six and a half years. What did you learn about yourself in that time?

I feel like I became very self-aware in that time. A lot of things can tick me off, but me being away for so long made me become very self-aware so I know what does and what doesn’t do that. So now I’m thinking how can I avoid even being in that situation so I won’t be ticked off.

What made you call this project ‘Upper Clapton Dream 2’ rather than going in a new direction?

I felt like there was more to the story that I didn’t get to finish. At the time when I made the name ‘Upper Clapton Dream’, Black The Ripper – Rest In Peace – had one called ‘Edmonton Dream’, so that’s what gave me the idea to call mine ‘Upper Clapton Dream’. But in terms of songs, how I made the first one, I just put bare songs together. I had bare songs, put them together anyhow. Some songs I’m flopping, some songs I’m going off beat a bit. I just put them all together, put it out and it just went mad. This time it was more polished though because I feel like the game has developed a lot since those times. Everything down to the beats, the sound, the videos…The quality of everything has improved.

Do you feel pressure to reach the levels of the first one seeing as many people consider it to be a classic hood mixtape?

Personally, I feel like this one is better but everyone is entitled to their opinion and you can’t make everyone happy at the end of the day.

How did it feel to go to prison right when your name was starting to build a buzz?

Bro, that was all out of my control. There were some things I had to pay retribution for, that’s what it was. But I ain’t got no regrets, it was just something I had to go through. Like, going through that is what has made me the man I am today. That’s what’s got me so focused and feeling like I need to experience some life. Man was experiencing no life; I was just in the hood every single day. Doing the same shit. Now when I’m in jail and there’s bare older guys and younger guys, you’re getting worldly experiences just by being in the same place with different people. It just made me feel like there’s more to life. I need to experience stuff.

It opened your eyes a bit.

Of course man, 100%. When you go to jail your cell is small, the room is painted shit, the flooring is dead, so its like when you come from that to when you land, everything has to be perfect now. Everything has to be sick. I need to be in a mad car, my house needs to look crazy. Everything needs to be way better. It makes you hungrier. It’s like having everything and losing it all and becoming poor. You’re feeling like “next time I get it back I’m going to go even harder”.

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Potter Payper said a similar thing in interviews when he came home too.

It’s true, and why I have to work ten times harder is because I’m independent, I don’t have industry friends…I could potentially but a lot of the industry is fake so it’s like…none of my bredrins rap. I’m the only one of my friends that raps. So it’s like, I don’t want to force relationships just because we’re in the same music business. Yeah cool, if we build a relationship that’s genuine, that’s different. But I’m not trying to force stuff just to make songs with people and to be seen with people and to be popular. Man’s not wired like that.

So a lot of stuff man just does on my own bro and if a relationship comes through doing that, I’m all for it, but other than that bro, I just do my own thing. And with that I feel like as well, with the game its like there’s groups. If you’re not this group, then you’re that group and if you’re not that group, you’re that group. And I’m not in none of these groups. I’m my own group. So that’s what it is.

How important is it to you stay true to yourself and your sound and not to follow the trend?

It’s everything because you know what, when I landed…obviously when I was in jail I didn’t write that much. I wasn’t even going to rap anymore so I wasn’t really writing bars like that. When I came out now and was in open jail and I’m hearing the music, now I’m feeling like “Rah, I need to make something more current”.

I deeped all my songs. All my pain songs, they touched bare people but they never done numbers. And all my songs like ‘Keep Stacking’, ‘Everyday’, all my hustling songs, were doing numbers, so I thought, “You know what, I don’t want to come out of jail talking about jail, it’s boring. No one wants to know about that”. So then I made ‘Go Time’, just a fly ting. And yeah it went off, but people want to know my story. They want to hear it.  

It’s not every day that a man can go jail, do a thirteen-year stretch, shoot at feds, come home and be normal again and still even be able to touch the scene. No one’s done what I’ve done, no one’s done mans bird and no one’s lived my life. That’s what I had to realise. My ting is unique and a lot of the young yutes, they’re getting serious money right now.

So when I was talking down to people about cartiers and all of that, that was a dream bro. I was the only young yute with a cartier. Now its like these young kids, they’ve got mad jewellery right now. When I’m talking p’s now it’s nothing special because everyone is doing it. But when I tell my story it’s special because it’s unique and it’s like “okay, now I’m seeing life from your eyes”.

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You said there that you were thinking to stop rapping. What made you think that and what changed your mind?

I like music as a hobby, don’t get me wrong. But it was always secondary. Music never payed my bills, ever. So it was like why am I going to be in jail, writing all these lyrics, thinking I’m going to come out to rap? I need to get my business back intact. I’m getting older, I’ve grown up in jail, I’m landing road…I don’t ever want to be a washed-up guy. I always made a promise to myself that I’d never be that guy that talks about what he used to do. I only want to talk about that if I’m doing better.

So my main priority was making sure that when I land on road I’m not like these washed-up guys that are these old guys from your ends that used to do this ting but they’re washed now or smoke food. Obviously, I don’t even do drugs anyway, I don’t even smoke, but I never want to be like these guys. My main focus was that when I land on road, I’m nice, financially.

Going back nearer to the beginning, what inspired you to rap in the first place?

My older sister used to listen to bare grime. Like all them old school songs from the Wiley’s, Dizzee Rascals, Crazy Titch…that era. So I used to listen to grime, I used to MC at first. I had grime bars, but all my bredrins used to rap. I was the only that did grime. So then I switched to rap in like 07 and I’ve just been running with it from then bro. Grime is too fast. It’s live and energetic but I feel like rap is more me, it’s more grown. I can get more words out as well. One older guy from my ends used to tell me, “You’re hard at grime man, why don’t you rap though? You can get more words out!” But when all my bredrins started rapping, that’s what made me start to rap.

A lot of people will listen to anything and say it’s hard but for me I’m my worst critic, a critic for people, anyone. I listen to lyrics. I want to know what you’re saying. Where I’ve been rapping a long time as well, you can’t say a basic bar and think I’m going to think that’s hard. No, that’s dead bro. It needs to be proper. I’ve got high expectations bro. Unless someone’s just started or something.

Who did you listen to growing up in terms of rappers and who do you listen to now?

DVS, Blade Brown, Colours Miyagi, Margs, Chedda Boy, Rest In Peace…let me say all of Mashtown actually. L.O.R.D, they were cold, they’re from Hackney as well. Joe Black. I can do this all day bro, I can do this all day.

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How did you decide on the features for the new project?

Sometimes it’s like, someone will send me a video of them listening to my song and then I’ll hit them up like “Yo, love” or boom boom boom and then from there I might say “Yeah bro, I’ve got something for you to jump on” and if it comes through, it comes through and if it don’t then it don’t. Like there’s been many times where I’ve hit man up to jump on songs and they didn’t jump on it, and there’s been times where mans hit me up and I haven’t jumped on it. But you see me? I’m just long because I’m a perfectionist and I’m always doing bare stuff so with me I take long for everything. But that’s how it was.

With Snap [Capone], I was in jail with Snap. He came to the D CAT when I was there, that’s how I built the link with him. Stardom, I remember I was in jail one day and I was listening to him and I thought, “yeah this yutes hard”. These guys are rap rappers. Then M24, a lot of drill sounds the same to me, but I like M24, he’s cold.

There’s a few of them as well, they’ve got their own style and I like it still. So boom, I reached out to my man and got him on there and then Haile, I had to get him on something, on some street stuff anyways. And then I got him on a girl tune. Ay Em is wavey obviously. Potter [Payper], it was overdue, and he’s hard as well. And then there’s a girl, Tyler Monet, she’s a singer and she’s cold as well. My artist is on there as well, Tyson, he’s signed to me and he’s on there as well.

What do you want fans to take away from the new project?

I want them to know that I’m back in full effect.

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Words: Aaron Bishop

Join us on the ad-free creative social network Vero, as we get under the skin of global cultural happenings. Follow Clash Magazine as we skip merrily between clubs, concerts, interviews and photo shoots. Get backstage sneak peeks, exclusive content and access to Clash Live events and a true view into our world as the fun and games unfold.

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Jay Wud Shares New ‘Dark Cinema’ Album

Tune in now…

Jay Wud has shared his new album ‘Dark Cinema’ in full.

The Lebanon born producer matches different strands in his work, resulting in something striking.

Leaning on his heritage, there’s also a rock element to his ultra-raw take on digital electronics.

Working furiously throughout 2020, Jay Wud set about matching the taut atmosphere of this pandemic year to his studio craft.

New album ‘Dark Cinema’ is an attempt to channel those emotions, while steering his music in a unique direction.

Lead single ‘I Can’t Breathe’ was a dynamic return, with the producer interpolating elements of light and shade.

Of the album itself, he comments:

“‘Dark Cinema’ is an emotionally driven record inspired by our current world events in 2020. Every track narrates a period during lockdown and was my way of summarizing this chaos in sound.”

Tune in now.

Jay Wud · Dark Cinema – Jay Wud

Pre-save ‘Dark Cinema’ HERE.

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The fin. Share New Single ‘Sapphire’

Tune in now…

The fin. have shared their new single ‘Sapphire’ in full.

The Japanese project is in a continual state of evolution, matching their Kobe roots to a worldly sense of creativity.

Yuto Uchino and Kaoru Nakazawa worked tirelessly throughout 2020, with their recent ‘Wash Away’ EP delighting fans.

New single ‘Sapphire’ casts their dreamy melodies in a digital sphere, with The fin. moving into a fresh space.

Out now, it ably follows their tasteful ‘Over The Hill’ release, with ‘Sapphire’ opening a fresh chapter for the group.

Tune in now.

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Watch Goan Dogs Blast Through ‘Shut Up’

Live in the studio…

Goan Dogs have handed a new performance clip to Clash, featuring their new single ‘Shut Up’.

The Bristol indie pop outfit have a neat line in self-deprecating lyricism, with their new song addressing their inner demons.

Out now, ‘Shut Up’ is an ebullient guitar pop wonder, opening with that repeated command before collapsing into something quite subtle indeed.

Say the band…

“‘SHUT UP’ is about trying to silence the negative voices in your head – the ones that tell you you’re not good enough and that you should leave the party, then follow you home and make you wonder why you ever do anything at all. We should all tell that voice to shut up but sometimes it’s impossible, and all you can do is play a slap bass riff over it instead.”

We’ve nabbed this wicked live cut, with Goan Dogs blasting through the song in the studio.

As close as we’ll get to a full live show, ‘Shut Up’ is given a new, refreshing form of potency.

Check out the video below.

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Christian Löffler’s ‘Fate’ Finds Fresh Inspiration In Beethoven

It's part of a new project…

German producer Christian Löffler has shared new piece ‘Fate’.

The electronic musician is embarking on a new project, with a fresh four tracker out now on Deutsche Grammophon.

Invited to explore Beethoven’s work from a modern vantage point, the release toasts the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth.

The starting point is a series of 1920s recordings of his work, with Christian Löffler then building on top of this.

“I was just following my ears choosing them. I was searching for parts that really caught my attention,” he comments. “I was jamming on my synths or on the piano to find melodies and sounds that kept the original idea but took it into my universe. My focus was to find little nostalgic moments that can make a good link to my music.”

‘Fate’ is a beautiful piece of work, exploratory electronics with a heady, swirling sense of classical composition interweaving among it.

The visuals mirror the mystique of the music itself, matching Christian Löffler’s use of colour and texture.

Tune in now.

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Next Wave #994: Páula, Povoa And Jerge

In Association With Vero True Social

There’s no doubt that 2020 has posed more than just a few challenges for all of us. However, for musicians, it’s been particularly difficult thanks to the elimination of any form of touring, with much of their yearly income along with it. But, with such a change in schedule, came a lot more time for studio work.

In the case of the Brazilian/French trio of Páula, Povoa and Jerge, it gave the long-term friends time to collaborate, something they’d been meaning to do for some time. Merging their unique experience from all corners of the music industry, the final product arrives in the form of an EP entitled, ‘Primavera’. Four tracks that encompass inspiration from across the globe, that merge genre’s and bring emotion to a dancefloor that we all hope to step foot on once again someday soon. We caught up with the trio ahead of the EP’s release to discuss just how it all came together.

The trio’s relationship goes back many years, with Jerge and Páula working together in electro-pop group, Tampon Tango, a time when they were also roommates. Pavoa had also worked with Jerge, sharing responsibilities on a producing level with previous projects. The creative urge to work together was always there, but in the end, the timing was based on fate. “We were planning on working together,” says Povoa, “Paula was going to come for a day to try and make one track. Then the first lockdown happened, we were in the same place and happy to see each other. We ended up making six tracks.”

That fate came in the form of lockdown, back in March. The trio found themselves together in Normandy, unable to do anything else, they delved deep into their creative methods to try and bring a bright light into a world facing dark times. All three work in different areas of the music world, Povoa is a notorious house producer, with two impressive EP’s on Moshi Moshi records, Jerge is also a producer, as well as being a live band member of Christine and The Queens. Then there’s Páula, the vocalist of the trio, and perhaps why this project has come out sounding so unique. “Páula is the key to the project. If we did a track with another singer, it would be totally different,” Jerge states, and you’d find it difficult to argue with him. The Brazilian’s voice, singing throughout in Portuguese, is joyous, sultry and ludicrously catchy.

Looking back, that pure emotion in the singer’s voice may have been one of pure relief. She was living in Brazil up until a day before France went into lockdown. Had she paused on that decision for just 24 hours and this EP would never have happened. “I was living in Rio for four years, but the political situation was so complicated. I had the feeling that now was the time to come back to France,” Páula proclaims, “I’m a very spiritual person and I trusted my instincts. So, I bought a ticket and I came back, and I was so happy to reconnect with my friends and with music. I wanted to translate my Brazilian energy here in France and all of the of the vibes I was feeling. This record is a declaration of love for my country and for my friends. I really want to go back there, I need Brazil. I’m a happy woman. A little crazy, but very happy.”

This emotion Páula talks about can clearly be heard throughout the EP. Electronic music at it’s core, the trio looked to at add something unique to the genre, bringing joy to people across the world, who are still dancing in their living rooms. “It’s electronic, its music for dancing. I’ve always been a big fan of the genre and to work with two producers was amazing,” Paula states, “With my voice, singing in Portuguese, it feels like we’re making something new, really sensual. But it’s a different type of dance music, it’s full of emotion. Whether it be sad or crazy at times, we can dance to all these emotions.”

For Povoa, as an experienced producer in the dance scene, he knows there’s something unique about this project, “It’s not only dance music.” He says, “‘Doido’ is slow, the rhythm is changing. We like to have that different energy.” And there’s a lot of variety on this record. This is by no means a pure dance record, the opening track Povoa is talking about is almost the polar opposite of dance, playing with spoken word, inspired by Greek artist Lena Platonos, the song is hypnotic and almost calming. ‘Primavera’ plays more with nostalgia, bringing 80s synth-pop to the record.

On the variety of the EP, Jerge comments, “‘Sua Boca’ and ‘Não Sei’ were the first tracks we made. The two club songs. We thought just to change the sound, we’d use a piano, as the tools we use inspire us. We thought with Paula’s voice we could do something with a pop vibe. We still didn’t get that dance track with the emotion we wanted. ‘Sua Boca’ is fiesta, ‘Não Sei’ is ecstacy, club, rave. We haven’t managed it yet, but we will do it.”

At the core of this record are three creatives determined to use anything and everything around them to create the sound they’re driving towards. A DIY approach that led the way to this EP’s unique final outcome. As Jerge comments “Sometimes we’d take a professional approach, counting down in the studio etc. But most of the time it was spontaneous and recorded on an iPhone’s microphone. The compression is amazing, it adds life to the record.”

Povoa adds, “We’ve worked like that before; we call it bricolage. It was all about the spontaneity. It’s like holding a camera on someone, if they know it’s pointed at them, they act differently. Paula is very spontaneous; she has something very true in her voice. She has personality, we like that fragility. We want to share the good moments, for that we need to stay ‘amateur’. To keep that mindset, having that beginner approach to the process, even if we’ve been making music for 20 years, it keeps things fresh and helps us to discover new things. We didn’t want it to be too perfect.”

This DIY was inspired by two key things as Povoa tells us, “Paula gave us a Dictaphone of local Brazilian music that she recorded in a taxi. In the favela there is a local radio that produce their own music for gangs. Which is totally imperfect and wild. Inspiration also came from Ghana in the form of Ata Kak’s track, Obaa Sima. The song is very DIY and yet the energy is huge. You could play that in any club.” This desire for imperfection is a refreshing one. Without any form of overthinking and living totally in the moment, creativity blossoms and an outcome never previously imagined, suddenly emerges.

With lockdown 2.0, comes the second project. With the trio already working on ‘Primavera’s’ successor, they’ve worked out what makes their relationship work so well, expect to see an even more refined, yet more explorative release next Spring. “We did dance music during the first lockdown because we were so frustrated that we couldn’t go to clubs, so we wanted to make something we could play when they reopened. But that never happened.” Jerge states, “We want to keep this variety in the next project, with the only thing the same, being Paula’s voice. Her voice has so much variety, so we want to try to enlarge the range of emotion within the music. This is a new artistic area for us.”

‘Primavera’ is a truly unique release of 2020. A culmination of so many sources of inspiration, and a unique working process saw three friends come together to try and bring a piece of joy to all of us. As Povoa states, “dance is part of the happiness we want to share with this project, we want our friendship to be felt and a good emotion for everyone listening. That’s why dance has to happen. We were living in an amazing moment during that first lockdown.”

In many ways this release is incredibly selfless, knowing how many thousands felt isolated and aggrieved, they wanted to share the joy they felt as three friends reunited. After all, the power of music can never be understated as Páula says, “I’m very sad. I’m very sad for the world and especially for my country. Art can transform, it’s my job, it’s the only thing I can do.”

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‘Primavera’ is out now.

Words: Jake Wright

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Track Of The Day 27/11 – Bad Boy Chiller Crew

'Needed You'

Bassline force Bad Boy Chiller Crew have been one of 2020’s breakout success stories.

The Bradford club collective have stormed across this pandemic year, with their ‘Full Wack No Breaks’ release becoming one of summer’s essential listens.

Freshly signed to Relentless Records, Bad Boy Chiller Crew light a fire under those winter blues with their new single.

Out now, ‘Needed You’ is UKG with the brakes shorn off, an unrelenting slice of 2-step leaning mayhem that can’t fail to put a smile on your face.

An incredibly infectious club thriller, ‘Needed You’ comes equipped with a retro-themed visual that boasts sun, sea, and scooters.

Directed by Matthew Shearer, Bad Boy Chiller Crew are here for a good time, no a long time.

Tune in now.

Photo Credit: Mia Clark

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Flohio – No Panic No Pain

A tirelessly inventive mixtape…

At this moment it feels like Flohio is one of rap’s most vital voices, the MC’s unparalleled vision and sound acting as a crucial reminder of the need to confront the less glamorous side of life and find the necessary tools navigate through it. Music is Flohio’s tool, her brutalist sound and punchy vocals ensuring that every release the MC makes is a statement, a punk-like attitude that encourages everyone listening to take a serious look at themselves and the world around them.

Her latest offering comes in the form of a mixtape ‘No Panic No Pain’, a tireless body of work that uncovers the rapper’s experiences so far – death, recovery and heartbreak – absorbing these experiences and overhauling her creativity in the process. The opener ‘FLOFLO!’ opens with a confessional voice note: “I was upset and needed you to just be there from me, and I felt like you dismissed me…” What follows in the face of dismissal is the musical equivalent of a war cry, Flohio shaking off the sense of rejection screaming: “I need energy right now!”

This rejuvenated sense of self shines through on the following track ‘Unveiled’, the artist embracing the reality of her newly found success; “More hype, more rage. I can’t complain!” The lead single’s flawless flow and menacing instrumentals send listeners into a frantic dervish of musical relief. The track single-handedly sees Flohio justify the hype around her, the MC’s ability to channel such an empowering message of self-acceptance and deliver it to a musical backdrop of dark menacing beats feels revolutionary.

The mixtape delivers a plethora of contrasting emotions and feelings, all of which are brought to the forefront. One leading emotion is rage – it comes up a lot in the mixtape, whether it be the aforementioned tracks, as well as other tracks like ‘Flash’ and ‘Active’. It isn’t presented in this mixtape as a synonym for anger, instead more as a necessary energy that can be channelled through her music in a level-headed and clear-cut manner.

Littered with jaunty moments of darkness, this mixtape is a haunting, but equally necessary reminder of the lived experiences that have shaped her into the artist and person she is today. Any negativity or sense of defeatism is overridden with a beautifully manic sense of energy, a lust for life from the rapper, an artist whose music couldn’t be more important at such a difficult time. Rap has been screaming for an artist like this for years – soon, the silence surrounding Flohio’s name will be converted into the deafening roar of acclaim.

8/10

Words: Josh Crowe

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Billie Joe Armstrong – No Fun Mondays

An unpretentious punk'd up covers record…

There’s an age-old – if largely unfounded – argument that punk was a response to the sheer, unrelenting boredom of the mid 70s. In rejecting the moribund status quo, it seems, a generation decided to Do It Themselves, working from the very basics of rock ‘n’ roll to construct something new.

Now, that probably doesn’t work as a sociological treatise, but it acts as a neat sketch for Green Day singer Billie Joe Armstrong’s motivations behind this new covers record. A lockdown project designed to alleviate quarantine tedium, it also serves as a neat resume for some of his formative influences, throwing some deep cuts into the measure.

For the most part, it’s actually pretty entertaining. ‘No Fun Mondays’ is served without the bombast that has laboured over the past few Green Day records, opting for three chords, a snappy melody, and some playful teen angst lyrics. Kim Wilde’s ‘Kids In America’ is giving a rousing sing-along, while Wreckless Eric’s wonderful ‘Whole New World’ is performed with gusto.

There’s a sweet take on power pop codex ‘I Think We’re Alone Now’ by The Rubinoos, while ‘Police On My Back’ – originally penned by Eddy Grant, no less – is a timely and astute pick. Indeed, there’s a rich Anglophile streak on the record, with Armstrong opting to cover everyone from Billy Bragg to late 70s cult heroes The Starjets.

It doesn’t always work, though. ‘You Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory’ is a stodgy version of the Johnny Thunders war horse, his cover of ‘Manic Monday’ is simply surreal, and the punk’d up ‘That Thing You Do!’ is a curious take on the Beatles-esque original.

That said, taken as a whole ‘No Fun Mondays’ is a real blast. Music crafted for the unpretentious love of making music, it serves as a reminder that Billie Joe Armstrong’s fusion of punk and pop has always come from a profoundly genuine place.

6/10

Words: Robin Murray

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Caught In Conversation With Goya Gumbani

Get to know the trans-Atlantic rising star…

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York City, the rising artist Goya Gumbani has been catching the eyes of many worldwide. Having recently made an appearance on ‘COLORS’ with his blissful performance of “Blasé”, the now London-based musician, who’s transatlantic upbringing glimmers throughout his sound has released his newly-formed project titled, ‘Truth Be Sold’.

Gumbani’s music is deeply rooted within his profound ability to story-tell, spending over a decade perfecting his unquestionable craft, he first broke through with his self-produced debut EP ‘Morta & More Doves’ back in 2018; paying a warming dedication to his sister who passed away, this cemented his forthcoming position within the scene.

Exploring a variety of topics including personal growth, life, death, and materialism, ‘Truth Be Sold’ is enriched with an assortment of flavour-some textures from start to finish. Clocking in at just over 15 minutes long, this six-track EP features guest appearances from George Riley, Elijah Maja and houses production from UK-based beat-smith Oliver Palfreyman.

Following the release, we recently caught up with Goya Gumbani to talk all about his latest project and more.

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How have you been? How have you been affected by the pandemic?

I’ve been good, the pandemic has been kinda trash but cool at the same time, can’t really do shit – that’s a blessing and a curse.

I’ve been speaking to a few artists recently and they said their productivity has taken a knock due to the pandemic. How have you found this period creatively?

It’s been good for me to be honest, I’m on the same time I was on before the pandemic.

For people who aren’t aware of who you are, could you tell us a bit more about your upbringing and how you were introduced to music?

I’m from Canarsie, I came to London for the first time when I was 15, it was an eye-opening experience. My intro to music was Hot97 and BET to be honest, and the CDs my mom used to play in the V (car).

In moving from New York to London at a young age, what do you take from both cities for inspiration?Were there any artists you were drawn to here in the UK when you moved? Maybe in the grime era?

Yeah, I rocked with Ghetts, Chipmunk etc, but who I really took to was the U.K. Lovers Rock scene and Garage – Janet Kay, Dillinger, UB40, Desmond Dekker, Louisa Mark were so hard.

You recently featured on ‘COLORS’ which is dope! How did this come about? How did you find the experience?

Erm, shit just happened to be honest, it was good! Really cool and welcoming team over there, forever grateful to those folks.

That platform tends to really widen your audience, what has the feedback been like? The feedback been great, it’s been coming from everywhere.

You recently dropped the ‘Truth Be Sold’ EP. Tell us a bit more about the concept or messages you wanted to push with this project?

Everything comes with a price, good and bad, and time is the most precious currency. Bring safety, truth, and knowledge to ALL Black people.

Were there any songs that challenged you? Maybe lyrically or sonically?

Nahhh.

Through listening to your catalogue, you come across as an artist that holds quality over quantity. Is this something you strive for in your music?

I mean, that’s just how I am with everything, but the music is a release for me, it’s me writing in my journal and showing you the page.

Would you agree that in our current soundscape several artists are losing the quality in their music? Or do you think that is just down to the commercial trend and people trying to create a ‘hit’?

To be honest, I ain’t been listening to a lot of new music so I don’t really know, I’ve been in my vintage vinyl bag.

Having now released the project, are there any tracks in particular that resonate with you more now in comparison to the recording process?

Normally no, but Elijah’s verse on ‘Hither Green’ hits different every time.

What can we expect to see you from you this 2021?

More music, more visuals and fingers crossed at a show near you!

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Words: Elle Evans

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Moncler Grenoble Goes High Fashion For Winter 2020

Après-Ski dreaming…

Driven by a forceful desire to create peak performance mountain-wear pieces with style at the forefront, Moncler Grenoble has released their boldest, most vibrant and colourful collection to date for Winter 2020. 

 

Celebrating the 20 year anniversary of its conception this year, Moncler Grenoble is expanding into kids wear for the first time with the Moncler Grenoble Enfant range. Winter 2020 sees a collection of enhanced skiwear with exaggerated notes pulled from the fashion led Moncler Genius brand. Dramatic fur hoods are teamed with form fitting, suited silhouettes and a series of shearling and and oversized quilted puffers designers for mix and match layering. Born of technical research and innovation, the latest collection is the most comprehensive from Moncler Grenoble to date. Experimenting with new design themes in stretch fabric for optimal thermo-regulation and weather protection, this line is designed for fashion forward pro-skiers of tomorrow, and delivers the ultimate Après-Ski experience.

Visit moncler.com

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Track Of The Day 26/11 – V.RI

'friend of me'

Kids in 2020 don’t pay much attention to genres.

Grab a beat from one tune, sample a melody from another – waiting to see which pigeonhole it belongs in doesn’t really make much sense.

Take Love Sept. Essentially rooted in the UK rap universe with some heavy duty drill leanings, they’re often compared to Odd Future in their willful disregard for genre lines.

Isaac-Murray Harrison is a key aspect of the collective, and his own work as V.RI is worth exploring.

Much more personal and exploratory in tone, he’s even been known to chuck out the odd – very odd – indie rock tune or two.

New single ‘friend of me’ is a case in point. Scratchy production gives it that early Rough Trade vibe, while his pensive but open lyricism comes straight from the heart.

A bit like arch culture vulture Damon Albarn going rogue at the Brixton Windmill, ‘friend of me’ is a post break up bop that discusses the raw frustration of leaving someone who your heart still desires.

It’s an off piste indie ear worm, and comes equipped with a startling new visualiser – tune in now.

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Bombay Bicycle Club Confirm Special Streaming Event

Performing their debut album in full…

Bombay Bicycle Club will play their debut album ‘I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose’ in full for a special streaming event.

The band toasted its 10th anniversary last year with a show at London’s O2 Academy Brixton, a performance that will now be released.

Out on December 11th, live album ‘I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose – Live At Brixton’ captures a very special evening for the group and their fans.

Alongside this, Bombay Bicycle Club have arranged a special streaming event, to be broadcast on December 15th.

Speaking about the event, the band say: “We’re looking forward to revisiting this album in a special one-off performance and then we’re entirely focused on new music which we hope to get to you next year.”

Catch Bombay Bicycle Club performing ‘I Had The Blues But I Shook Them Loose’ on December 15th.

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Giant Swan Announce New EP ‘Do Not Be Afraid Of Tenderness’

It's out early next year…

Bristol duo Giant Swan will release new EP ‘Do Not Be Afraid Of Tenderness’ next year.

The band’s phenomenal live shows are the stuff of legend, with their self-titled album landing in 2019.

Almost a year to the day after that juggernaut impacted, the Bristol pairing are back with new material.

Set to hold down a special Boiler Room broadcast on November 27th, a full three tracker arrives early next year.

Harry Wright comments: “The EP is called ‘Do Not Be Afraid Of Tenderness’, which I feel is something we can all relate to, but for me this comes as a result of a more personal struggle I’ve been exploring with regards to loss, consolation and serenity.”

“It’s about accepting we’re all ‘under’ something in all senses of the word, through oppression and limitation in one sense of course, but in a more positive way it’s about knowing there is love and help around and it will always find you if you can’t find it. This is also the first time we’ve made a whole record without seeing each other IRL… definitely learned a lot from that experience…”

Robin Stewart adds: “I found the writing process incredibly difficult because we weren’t able to see one another. An unusual lack of contact meant that mixing the tunes felt very raw and reactionary, which I felt actually made the experience an enriching one. Despite this it was a very powerful experience and one that has definitely resulted in some of the most personal music we’ve ever written.”

Ahead of this, Giant Swan have shared epic new cruncher ‘Silkworm’ – tune in now.

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will.i.am Apologises To DJ Lag For Megan Ryte “Mistake”

He discusses the "situation" in a new statement…

will.i.am has offered his “apologies” to South African producer DJ Lag after his work was appropriated without credit on a new single.

Megan Ryte’s new single ‘Culture’ raised eyebrows on its release, after it seemed to interpolate entire segments from the Durban producer’s gqom anthem ‘Ice Drop’.

In a video statement on IG, will.i.am took responsibility for the “mistake” commenting: “I made the mistake not Megan…”

He said: “The person that’s at fault is myself. When the song was turned in, I turned in the credit information to Megan and I obviously got the credit information wrong. When I realised I made a mistake I tried to fix it and that point in time it was already too late, so I apologise to DJ Lag.”

will.i.am added: “DJ Lag you are an awesome producer, you have an amazing future ahead of you and I’m so sorry for getting the information wrong.”

Find the video in full below.

 

 

 

 

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A post shared by i.am/will (@iamwill)

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“I’m In A Position To Just Do What I Love” D Double E Interviewed

An audience with the grime legend…

D Double E is a UK music legend, whichever way you want to look at it. A key figure in the grime scene before there even was a grime scene, he’s almost definitely your favourite MC’s favourite MC, and for good reason. There aren’t many other people who can cause a wheel-up at a rave with ad libs alone, and his tracks and features are routinely some of the best in the game.

The one thing missing from his arsenal for a long time was a full-length solo album, but 2018’s ‘Jackuum!’ rectified that, attracting critical acclaim and boosting D Double’s legend even further. Now 2020 has rolled round and he’s back with a second helping.

New album ‘Double Or Nothing’ is a different beast entirely that sees him flexing his muscles outside of grime, a move that will come as no surprise to long-time fans, but might take people who only know him for the one genre by surprise.

We hopped on the phone with him just as the second nationwide lockdown kicked in to ask about the album, the features, and why he categorically refuses to let people box him in.

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Hey, how’s it going – are you coping with lockdown?

It’s fine, I’m missing the raves though – had a tour lined up but these things just happen sometimes. I’ve got a couple of other tricks up my sleeve to promote the new album, but it’s basically all just street work, thinking hats on. We’ve got more than enough time when we’re locked down to be thinking of plans and making things work.

Speaking of the album, why did you call it ‘Double Or Nothing’?

It’s ‘Double Or Nothing’ because I feel like that’s what everyone should aim for. We need to stop cutting ourselves short and just aim to be the best thing we can. And separately from that, it’s what time it is for me personally – three years ago I felt I really needed to do me, go solo and get ‘Jackuum!’ out, so this is another thing to keep me in lane.

It’s all double or nothing now man, for me and for anyone else that wants to make something.

This is your second album now after a long time in the game, do you think this is the format that works for you now?

Honestly, it’s the only format now, the only one for a successful artist. If you don’t wanna be successful you can just go in the rave and spit or become a clash MC and just do battle rapping, but if you wanna be successful? Anyone that we could mention sitting here, albums is what they do, so to live another way just sounds silly to me.

Right now I’m doing what I’m supposed to do and being consistent with these projects, because I’m trying to live that life, you know? 

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Was there anything you wanted to do differently on this album?

Naaah man. Everything I do is because I wanna do it – do people just want me to eat chicken and chips every single day of the week for fucking breakfast, lunch and dinner? ‘Jackuum!’ is there and ‘D.O.N’ is here. On my next one I’ll be switching it again, because I love a lot of stuff and I want to show you that I might love chicken and chips, but I’m eating different during the week. I’ve got so many styles that I want to show to people, but I don’t wanna be mixing them about, you understand? Next one I could have singers all over it, but I’m still D Double, I’m still moving. Just moving in a new shape.

I’m gonna do ‘Jackuum! 2’, but I want to have these different platforms first, then go back and do more of it. I can’t just have ‘Jackuum! 1-7’ because people are gonna start thinking it’s a mixtape, and I don’t want people to be thinking of mixtapes when they look at my albums. I’m gonna get all the covers looking good too, you know? I’m there like ‘Rah, if I’m in a suit sitting down on this cover, I’ll be in a suit standing up in this one’ and then it can all fit together, but not sound the same.

I love a lot of different foods man, none of it is cheesy and all of it is hard, but everyone’s trying to back me up into this one chicken shop instead of letting me give my real all.

How do you pick who to have on the album that fits the vibe? You must be spoilt for choice on people that want to hop on a track with you.

Yeah, but getting who you want personally, it’s…if I showed you the Nike website and I asked which pair you wanted, you’re gonna be able to pick the one you want. It’s the same thing – if you’re broke as fuck or don’t care, you’re not gonna give a fuck what one you get, but that’s not how I do music. I get my features by loving them, not by looking for the new heat, I don’t care about the new heat, I care about what I love.

So right now [Birmingham rapper] M1llionz is new to me and I really, really like him, so that’s someone I wanna work with. I’m doing what I love, working on what I love, it’s not hard to choose who I love to jump on with me. Just tell me who the talent is and I’ll go online and look, but if I don’t like them? I’m not working with them.

I’ve got so many people I want to work with, and there’s no confusion on why I’ve picked them if you know my personally because I’m playing them all the time. But if you don’t know me you might be sitting there like ‘I didn’t know Double liked that!’ because I need to give people my tastes more.

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Do you think your broad music taste is how you’ve managed to stay passionate for so long?

Most definitely. That’s the reason why I’m here today, because I love music. When I look at myself, what I tell myself is the ultra reals. Someone who doesn’t know me will see me in the street and think ‘rah, why is Double walking? He should be in a helicopter!’ (laughs) but I know where I am and I know myself.

When I think about myself and people saying I just do grime, I think back to early: (sings the opening bars of ‘Birds in the Sky’) That’s from the birth of grime and I’m singing, I’ve always done it. The difference is that now I’ve stopped letting people tell me what I am, my only job is to be what I actually am. 

My job as I see it is to be free, just open my wings and work with whoever I want. I don’t wanna just get booked at Eskimo Dance for the rest of my career – I love Busta Rhymes, I love Snoop Dogg, I love so much different things and I’ve given love to everything apart from what I really, really love. When I’m with a DJ and he’s playing tunes, he doesn’t know what I love; we’ve never sat down and spoke about what I love. Every time I touch mic, no DJ has ever talked to me, I’m just on the set and maybe I don’t even know what I love until I start spitting crazy on it, you understand?

What I’m doing is not experimental, it’s not new, it’s from before the before – even before that. I love skanking out, so I love stuff like funky house as well as grime, and you know when I love something because you’ll see me and I’ll be vocalling it.

It must be great to be independent and have the freedom to only work on what you want to work on.

For sure, because this karaoke thing of just spitting on anything and not caring what the DJ’s gonna play, just being happy to be on the mic, that’s not me. If I don’t like the tune I’ll give the mic to the next MC and he might ride it anyway, then a good tune will come on and I’ll grab that mic and pull it off him!

At the end of the day, I’m in a position to just do what I love, and that’s what it’s all about – all about doing what you love. Simple.

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D Double E’s new album ‘D.O.N’ is incoming.

Words: Jake Hawkes

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Jessica93 Re-Work ‘Enigma Of The Absolute’ Into A Dreamy Sonic Phantasia

Check it out now…

Mothland is the label.

The Montreal based imprint is a key figure in the psychedelic underground, linking up countless left-of-centre voices to forge something greater than the sum of its parts.

The glittering roster includes some fantastic groups, and a deep-dive into the Mothland archives will always result in something intriguing.

A full length compilation is incoming, with Mothland set to release the album on December 18th (order it HERE).

Matching stellar names against a few new-to-us acts, it’s a riveting display of the in-depth creativity that lingers around the stable.

We’re able to share something new from Jessica93, who have decided to rip up an archive piece from Dead Can Dance.

Reinventing the seminal group’s ‘Enigma Of The Absolute’ into a shimmering piece of dreamy guitar pop, it’s an off piste journey into melodic sound.

A blissed out offering from Jessica93, you can check it out below.

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Orville Peck Saddles Up For New Wrangler Icons Collection

FW20 is for cowboys…

Wrangler have enlisted musical masked cowboy Orville Peck for their latest FW20 Icons collection. Focussed on reissuing classic pieces from the brand’s extensive denim archive, Wrangler Icons seeks to weave together modern styling and attitudes of the Wild West. The latest collection sees the addition of black denim and corduroy across trousers and Sherpa jackets.

 

“The Wrangler Icons Collection offers re-issued and re-styled denim inspired by Wrangler’s 70-year history of dressing ranch hands and rodeo riders, rebels and rockstars,” said Holly Wheeler, Vice President, Global Brand Marketing at Wrangler. “For years, we’ve been dressing cowboys as they break down boundaries and Orville Peck is no exception. Peck has been shaking up the country music scene with a fresh new take on the cowboy spirit, and we’re thrilled to have him as our latest icon – an embodiment of Western heritage’s significance in today’s global landscape.”

 

The FW20 Wrangler Icons collection is available now at wrangler.com

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Remembering The Time Diego Maradona Once Threatened To Shoot Oasis

When worlds collide…

Argentinian football icon Diego Maradona has died.

An international star, his career moved from South America to an ill-starred time at Barcelona, before finding his true home at Napoli.

Almost single-handedly driving Argentina to world cup glory in 1986, Diego’s life of excess has become the stuff of legend.

Sadly passing away at the age of 60, fans are sharing the story of the fateful time Diego Maradona met Oasis.

Liam Gallagher revealed all in an interview with VICE for their wonderful British Masters series a few years back, setting the scene in memorable style.

Liam and brother Noel were relaxing in an Argentinian bar, when a cavalcade of people entered.

“We were going ‘Who the f**king hell’s that?’ We found out it was Maradona,” he recalled. “He’d gone upstairs with a load of f**king madheads and all these women of the night. We were going like, can we go up and meet him? Like that, to the interpreter. And the interpreter said ‘Alright cool, let me go and square it with them’.”

An interpreter came across to the brothers, and ushered them upstairs to meet the man himself. “We steamed up there and we got in there and there’s loads of… activity going on. Maradona’s in the middle of the room doing f**king football tricks with a bottle top. He’s sweating his bollocks off.”

Liam continued: “His eyes were f**king like that [imagine some colossal eyeballs here, folks]. Ours weren’t far off.”

“I was going, ‘It’s a bit moody in here, let’s get a quick picture with him and we’ll f**k off.”

The singer then noticed Maradona discussing something with the interpreter, so the Oasis duo asked what had just occured.

The interpreter seemingly replied: “He told me to tell you, if yous leave with any of these b*tches, he’ll have you shot.”

Watch the interview in full below.

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Rina Sawayama Shares All-Out Bop ‘Lucid’

Her debut album is gaining a deluxe edition…

Future-pop queen Rina Sawayama has shared her new single ‘Lucid’.

It’s been a huge year for the pop auteur, whose debut album ‘SAWAYAMA’ earned across the board acclaim.

A deluxe edition is out on December 4th, and it’s trailed by an emphatic new single.

‘Lucid’ is simply an all-out bop, a glistening, focussed, intensely melodic piece of pop music.

The lyrics come straight from her heart, with Rina’s voice colliding expertly with BloodPop’s production.

Rina comments…

“It’s about living a different life through dreaming, whether it’s to be with the dream girl or to be the dream girl. me and lauren aquilina wrote this together on the floor of my tiny rented living room back in early 2018. bloodpop sent us the beat and the melody flowed out so easily that i remember at one point i started hoovering cos i knew this would be easy to write lol. i’ve kept this song secret for 2 years so I’m so excited to finally release it to the world ! 2020’s been a tough year so I wanted to finish it off with a dance bop to take us into a more hopeful 2021 ❤”

Tune in now.

‘SAWAYAMA: Deluxe Edition’ is out on December 4th.

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This Feeling: Self-Growth And Self-Acceptance With Babe Club

“Remembering where you're coming from, remember the reason behind why you're doing what you're doing…”

“On the very last session we did for the EP we worked until 5am, and we both had work the next day!” Sometimes – as Babe Club lead guitarist and keyboardist Corey Campbell puts out – there’s a not-so-glamorous side to recording an EP.

Consisting of singer-songwriter and frontwoman Jenna Desmond and Corey Campbell, Babe Club are a new wave / indie pop duo from Charleston, North Carolina. Their sound is a potent blend of influences from Wolf Alice, Sorry, and pinch of Sonic Youth.

Out now, the band’s debut EP boasts a five-strong tracklisting of melodic and dream-like indie cuts. Chatting amiably to Clash, Babe Club open up about working with Grouplove’s Dan Gleason, self-growth, and a potential album to look forward to in 2021.

– – –

– – –

In 2018 Babe Club released their first single, ‘Hate Myself,’ a grungy, transparent ode to the troubles of battling the constant punishment of self-doubt. Around that stage of their career the band were touring with American indie rockers Susto and so didn’t spend too much time on their own material, as Corey explains: “we were mostly devoted to that and writing songs on the side.”

Whilst Babe Club’s first ever release was in 2018, the band had “started writing for this project four years ago,” adds Jenna. Now the band are working on their own project; Babe Club are a special endeavour manifested by just two people – with the occasional help of Meg HA who works with the group for their live shows and creative visuals, such as their music videos.

‘Remember This Feeling’ is a concoction of five romantic indie tunes that swirl you through alt-rock tendencies, into their preferred indie pop. Corey details Babe Club’s influences, commenting that “our sound in 2016 was very guitar-driven, but at the same time we’re both really into our indie pop. Jenna is really into Arcade Fire and I’m really into Vampire Weekend, Always, Grouplove etc.” – Jenna comments that “growing up I really liked PIXIES. Corey and I really like bands that have a strong orchestral composition, but I also really like the moody song writing style.”

Moulded with the help of Dan Gleason, ‘Remember This Feeling’ is a physical copy of the early stages and progression of Babe Club’s foot into the music industry. Jenna tells us, “we started recording ‘Remember This Feeling’ in a storage unit before getting the opportunity to record in a studio in Atlanta, which is about five hours from where we live.”

Having spent the first year on this EP on their own terms, and freestyling the process, it’s fair to say the group really bagged themselves a good deal and weren’t going to make that five hour journey an obstacle to getting this beautiful EP out the bag. Corey speaks to us about how working with Gleason has been an inspiring experience for the band, he says. “One cool aspect of working with Gleason is that we went from doing DIY recordings, to then working alongside someone who’s got experience in this field. To work with someone who has worked in a professional environment has really been an evolution – we’ve been able to receive that musical wisdom and grow patience into our own project.”

Having worked with producers and sound engineers on the EP, in the words of Corey the group have been able to leave the technical side of things aside and allow themselves to just, “be the artist.” Jenna adds: “it’s been an opportunity for us to have fun while recording.”

‘Remember This Feeling’ is a snippet of what to expect in the future from Babe Club – it’s summery, it’s hopeful, it’s joyous. It’s like an open letter, a glimpse into the beginnings of Babe Club, but to them, – as Corey points out – it’s harnessing the importance of “remembering where you’re coming from, remember the reason behind why you’re doing what you’re doing.” It’s easy to start journeys you might not finish, or to forget why you started them in the first place. Remember This Feeling encapsulates the motto of taking things day by day, Corey polishes off, “that way you can remember your core and the basis of your emotional being.”

And what a more relevant time to have a message like this than right now? Where the world has seen and felt the effects of a global pandemic take the lives of thousands, and hugely dented the music industry’s main source of income; live music venues. At this point, it’s almost hard to believe the group wrote this EP and title ahead of the pandemic, because this message couldn’t be more relevant.

Similarly, to a few bands this year, the pandemic has put a slight halt to Babe Club’s plans for not only live music but also the release of ‘Remember This Feeling’. Corey goes into a bit more depth on the process of getting this released, “we actually finished this EP in May 2019, and so had planned on releasing it a year ago. But things pop up and by the time we had tidied it up and were ready for release at the start of this year the pandemic hit.”

Jenna continues: “I think one positive thing is that we’re grateful that we are just starting out – we haven’t been too set back in terms of the efforts we’ve put in. Doing interviews like this has been so cool and special to us as these are our only moments to interact with people who have listened to the EP and who are music lovers.”

Whilst the pandemic has been a bit of a buzz kill on this year, it’s not completely stopped Babe Club in their tracks. 2020 witnesses the band’s first EP, and a flurry of richly deserved attention. Corey whispers, “we want to start dropping singles next year and use those as releases for our album.”

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– – –

‘Remember This Feeling’ is out now.

Words: Laviea Thomas

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Milo Bank$ x Chris Vella Hit Hard On New Single ‘Sonder’

Check out the visuals now…

Milo Bank$ and Chris Vella hit hard on new single ‘Sonder’.

The Maltese rap masterminds cause a ruckus on the new release, matching on-point production to some moody lyrics.

It’s a down tempo number, one where the sonics are taut while the MCs display deft lyrical control.

Out now, the video is a reflection of the “shared loneliness” we’re all going through, in this highly challenging year.

Chris Vella comments…

“We were trying to understand what this whole COVID-19 situation was, whilst also realising that everyone was going through this life event in their own way, some dealing with it better than others. It felt like a big eye-opener when you’re struggling with being stuck inside but knowing you’re safe. Whilst some of your friends are going through the motions themselves trying to figure out how to pay their rent.”

“I feel like the video expresses the feeling of loneliness but a shared loneliness. One that every single person is going through in some way or another.”

Tune in now.

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Ryan Vail, Ruth McGinley Share Engrossing New ‘Chrysalism’ Video

Watch it now…

Ryan Vail is perpetually creative.

The Belfast producer has a neo-classical sweep to his work, at times reminiscent of the ambition of Nils Frahm, or the scope of Jon Hopkins.

Winning the Northern Irish Music Prize for Best Album last year, the electronic musician’s plans were swept aside by COVID.

The pandemic couldn’t prevent his creativity, however, with Ryan Vail recently linking with vocalist Ruth McGinley for a series of remote sessions.

New single ‘Chrysalism’ is the result, and it’s a beautiful collaboration, with both artists pouring the frustration and uncertainty of this year into their work.

Ryan Vail comments: “We wrote this piece together at the peak of lockdown. We had to work remotely from our own studios, blending the worlds of classical and electronica to document our mood and frustrations with what was happening around us…”

For her part, Ruth McGinley says of the track “I found deep inner peace in lockdown as the world slowed down and I could stay indoors and connect back to my true nature at a slower pace. But you only had to put on the TV / radio / media to realise that there was a full-blown storm outside in the world. A fusion of sounds and musical worlds, Chrysalism sums up the feels of lockdown for me fully.”

We’re able to share the full video, a COVID-secure shoot that took Ryan (and his family) out to the woods.

Expertly achieved, you can check out ‘Chrysalism’ below.

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7 Key Take Aways From This Year’s Grammy Nominations

It's chaotic mess but we can't stop watching…

Our relationship with the Grammys is analogous to a toxic, ill-fated relationship with a partner that just can’t kick old habits. Time and time again we put our faith in an institution that considers itself the preeminent “arbiter of music excellence”, knowing full well we’ll be left wallowing in disappointment when our deserving favourites are shunned. Still, we come back every year with the hope that change is on the horizon.

The Grammys have always been prone to controversy, conveying an ineptitude to incentivize truly innovative works. When the 2021 nominations were announced yesterday, it was a case of same old story but the vociferous reaction on the Twitterverse, replete with meltdowns, rants and hot takes, was truly something to behold.

Here’s the Clash breakdown of this year’s nominations…

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Album of The Year

In an attenuated 2020, where fewer albums saw the light of day, the Grammys could have opted for albums in their top category that captured a sense of insurgency in one of the wildest years in recent memory. Taylor Swift’s nomination was always a shoe-in. Her foray into pastoral folk – recorded during the height of lockdown – was also a mammoth commercial success. Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia, dominated both the airwaves and critics list, her placement on the nomination list ticking the “pop” quota.

Psychedelic soul outfit Black Pumas also found themselves on the AOTY list. Their nomination derived from something of a technicality is a contentious one: the duo’s self-titled debut album was released back in 2019, but the deluxe issue was released in August of this year, within the eligibility period, featuring live renderings and bonus tracks. Should it have been nominated this year?

As for Coldplay, many didn’t even know a new album existed. Post Malone’s ‘Hollywood Bleeding’ once again conveyed partiality by the Recording Academy towards pseudo hip-hop performed by white rappers: a built-in feature, this tells you all you need to know about what hip-hop looks like in the hearts of Grammy voters. Jhene Aiko’s nomination is the solitary “R&B” pick, a quick allocation on the Grammys’ part to satiate the “urban crowd”. Jacob Collier and his brand of left-field jazz is the outlier in the category. A talented multi-instrumentalist, Collier’s nomination still comes as a shock – even with the Quincy Jones co-sign, even with his previous Grammy wins.

Where is the most universally-acclaimed album of the year ‘Fetch the Bolt Cutters’? Or ‘Punisher’? Or ‘Ungodly Hour’? Or ‘Sawayama’? Or ‘Limbo’? Or ‘RTJ4’? Or ‘Rough And Rowdy Ways’? As tradition has it, the nominations for Album of the Year, are once again tone deaf and thankless, the spirit of discovery and progression lost in favour of palatability.

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The Weeknd Snubbed

Let’s be honest, this snub of all snubs is a different strain of forfeiture. The Weeknd, arguably the odds-on favourite to scoop the most prizes before nominations were announced, has all the hype and hysteria surrounding him this year. The Canadian artist’s fourth album After Hours is the biggest-selling album of the year so far in the US, while ‘Blinding Lights’ is the longest-running top 10 hit in US chart history. You would think the sheer omnipresence of ‘Blinding Lights’ would lead to Song or Record of the Year nomination – alas not even one nod in a genre-specific category was received.

This erasure stands out as just another exemplar of an awarding body rooted in anti-blackness, who even after promises to diversify their ranks and regulate their voting process, continue to prop up white artists at the expense of black musicians. According to the Grammys, The Weeknd’s “pop revolution” was deemed unworthy, his contributions unmerited because “black music can never be pop.”

In a tweet, The Weeknd accused the Grammys of corruption, with reports of a conflict of interest arising as a result of his 2021 Superbowl halftime performance and his presence at next year’s Grammy telecast, which takes place within one week. The interim President of the Recording Academy, has since dismissed any suggestion that the star’s award nominations had been negated as a result of these negotiations. The plot thickens.

The Grammys remain corrupt. You owe me, my fans and the industry transparency…

— The Weeknd (@theweeknd) November 25, 2020

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First time nominees

A first Grammy nomination still means something to an artist and their respective flight path and some of this year’s nominations reflected musicians who’ve demarcated their own mark. BTS became the first K-Pop act to receive a Grammy nomination; the committee rewarding the proliferation of the genre from a regional success story to a global takeover. 2020’s success story Megan Thee Stallion and Chika garnered their first Grammy nominations, most notably for Best New Artist; a vindication for the new wave of female rappers redefining the parameters of rap.  

Harry Styles racked up a slew of nominations in the pop categories for his album ‘Fine Line’, completing his transformation from the realm of manufactured pop to adult contemporary star. Phoebe Bridgers triumphed in the rock categories, her songwriting prowess bestowed with a sought-after Best New Artist nomination. British-based, Canadian-born Jayda G and her brand of underground anthemics was nominated for the first time in Best Dance/Electronic Recording, as was experimental auteur Arca, who garnered a debut nomination for Best Dance/Electronic Album. There was *some* joy to be extracted from last night’s nominations.

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The Beyprint

Beyoncé reigned supreme in her “off year” with a leading nine nominations. Beyoncé earned two nominations in the record of the year category – setting a record as the most nominated artist in this category ever – for her affirmation anthem ‘Black Parade’ and her remix of Megan Thee Stallion’s ‘Savage’. She received seven more across a further seven categories, demonstrating her versatility across R&B, rap and film-making and her commitment to continually pushing the boundaries of audio-visual art.

Accruing 79 nominations across the span of her career, Beyoncé extended her record as the most-nominated female artist of all time, and second most-nominated artist overall. Still, Beyoncé may be one of the most decorated winners in Grammy history, but she’s only ever prevailed in the “Big Three” categories once out of 11 nominations. The awarding body have side-lined black progenitors recurrently in the top categories, exploiting their legerdemain as the top performers during the telecast. Some retribution would be nice.

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All-Women Rock Parade

In a rare occurrence for the Grammys and after heavy censure for perpetuating a gender imbalance in rock categories,

Best Rock Performance was brimming with some of the best artistic feats of the year, and for the first time since its inception, the six nominees were all women: Fiona Apple’s for ‘Shameika’, Phoebe Bridgers for ‘Kyoto’, Haim for ‘The Steps’, Brittany Howard’s for ‘Stay High’ and Grace Potter for ‘Daylight’ or woman-fronted, Big Thief’s Adrianne Lenker for ‘Not’.

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Genre Hysteria

The Grammys have always subverted the rules of genre to suit their picks of the year, but this year’s choices seemed to further amplify the dissonance between consumer and committee. What constitutes a pop number? What defines an R&B song? Is “Progressive R&B” any better than “Urban Contemporary”? Is it just another superfluous variation of a “black category”?

The truth is, the Grammys have never been able to classify artists who genre-bend at whim; white artists are dissected less when distinguishing their sound than their black counterparts, rewarded for their creative license. The Weeknd’s omission from the pop categories for arguably one of the poppiest releases this year speaks volumes.

The raging debate came to head with Justin Bieber, who in a misplaced Instagram rant, questioned the Grammy committee for positioning his album ‘Changes’ in the Pop Vocal category, and not the R&B categories. Are genre-based awards obsolete? That’s a question for another day.

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Best New Artist

What constitutes a new artist? Don’t ask The Grammys.

Kaytranada’s inclusion in the Best New Artist category left us collectively squinting our eyes, much like Lizzo’s inclusion in the category a year prior. The Montreal maverick released his first album ‘99%’ in 2016, but had been shaping the landscape of electronic music with re-worked editions of classics since before then.

Phoebe Bridgers, also a nominee, had released a LP prior to ‘Punisher’, in addition to a slew of EPs. Maybe it’s poetic justice, a redress for talent that should have been venerated years ago?

Cue Nicki Minaj, who in one fatal tweet, addressed the discrepancy and upended the whole Grammy infrastructure, reminding us that when she was at the height of her stardom, when she had “7 songs simultaneously charting on billboard & bigger first week than any female rapper in the last decade – went on to inspire a generation. They gave it (Best New Artist) to the white man Bon Iver.” Ouch.

Never forget the Grammys didn’t give me my best new artist award when I had 7 songs simultaneously charting on billboard & bigger first week than any female rapper in the last decade- went on to inspire a generation. They gave it to the white man Bon Iver. #PinkFriday

— Mrs. Petty (@NICKIMINAJ) November 24, 2020

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The 63rd GRAMMY Awards is taking place on Jan. 31st, 2021.

Words: Shahzaib Hussain

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i_o – Producer, Grimes Collaborator – Has Died

The sad news has been confirmed…

LA based producer i_o has died, it has been confirmed.

The producer (real name Garrett Falls Lockhart) lived in Washington DC, before being drawn into the orbit of LA’s electronic scene.

A noted producer, he’s connected to deadmau5, with his ‘444’ EP project building into a full album across the span of the past 12 months.

Earlier today – November 25th – social media speculation surrounded the electronic musician, who previously worked with Grimes.

Now a note on his official Twitter has confirmed that i_o has passed away, noting:

“This extremely talented spirit taught us that even if nothing matters, you can still lead with love…”

i_o was just 30 years old. Find the tribute below.

pic.twitter.com/YT5r8tVA9y

— i_o (@i_oofficial) November 24, 2020

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Snowk Share Dazzling ‘Under The Moon’ Visualiser

It's the Japanese duo's evocative new single…

Japanese duo Snowk return with new single ‘Under The Moon’.

The creative pairing – Namy and Fuminori Kagajo – grew up in the snow country of Japan, taking the project’s name from their surroundings.

Matching house electronics to neo-soul flavours, the group stretch the alt-R&B template until it breaks.

New single ‘Under The Moon’ is a beatific return, its shimmering use of texture aligning with guest J.Lamotta Suzume.

Taken from incoming album ‘Powder’ – out on January 22nd – it comes equipped with evocative visuals from Noa Biron.

J.Lamotta Suzume comments…

“When Snowk asked me what I thought about making a music video, the first thing that came to my head was dancing.”

“I was fortunate to have the chance to work with the Shanghai-based choreographer Karin Uziyahoo, who happened to be in Tel-Aviv during COVID time. Then, a few weeks later, while visiting my second home Berlin, we got the artwork together with the South-African photographer Gabriella Achadinha. This project had many artists from different places involved, and it’s exciting to keep this exchange going, especially at such times.”

Tune in now.

Photo Credit: Kodai Kobayashi

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Track Of The Day 25/11 – Nina Cobham

'do you come here often?'

Nina Cobham is navigating this world as best she can.

A fully bilingual artist, she can switch between different modes, moving between different vantage points in the process.

A bedroom pop artist who leans on her jazz and R&B roots, Nina Cobham transforms her Manchester home into a creative hub.

New single ‘do you come here often?’ has its roots in a series of 2019 sketches, before taking shape this year.

It’s a nuanced, soulful piece of music, it use of layers creating an opaque effect in the rippling arrangement.

She comments: “I honestly feel like listening to the song you can feel the weight of all the emotion put into it, like weaved in all the layers. The original first verse/chorus vocals are still used in the song, so it’s made up of pieces from last year and half of the vocals were recorded in lockdown in my bedroom.”

Lyrically, Nina explores her need for closeness and intimacy, but without the wrinkles that romance can cause.

She adds: “It was written about platonic relationships instead of romantic ones, and acknowledging I needed new friends at the time…”

“The chorus touches on insecurities, but I wouldn’t say it was even a sad song – it is definitely more a back and forth of I decided I’m getting over it but then being too forgiving and giving people too many opportunities to repeat behaviours, because you’re scared you’re going to hurt someone who hurt you by cutting them off.”

Tune in now.

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0207 Def Jam Launches In The UK

The iconic label is coming to Britain…

Iconic hip-hop stable Def Jam is set to expand across the Atlantic with the launch of 0207 Def Jam.

Easily one of the most influential imprints on the planet, Def Jam’s glittering 35 year run is littered with iconic moments.

The label now extends to the UK, with a fantastic front line team forging ahead as 0207 Def Jam.

Based right here in the UK, the initial appointments include Alec Boateng and Alex Boateng as co-presidents.

Aiming to stamp their mark on British music while making waves internationally, the co-presidents will be joined by Amy Tettey as managing director, Jacqueline Eyewe as marketing director, and Char Grant becoming A&R director.

In turn, Alec and Alex report to Universal Music UK Chairman & CEO David Joseph. He says:

“Bringing the Boateng brothers together at 0207 Def Jam is an important moment in British culture. Alec and Alex have always done things their own way with success always quick to follow. They have already assembled an exceptionally talented top team with a clear vision for this exciting new chapter in the history of one of the world’s most famous labels”.

Jeff Harleston, interim Chairman & CEO, Def Jam Recordings, comments: “It is a perfect fit having Alex and Alec at the helm of 0207 Def Jam. Their creativity, artist relationships, and connection with culture are all key elements that have made Def Jam such an important label for over 35 years. I have no doubt that Alex, Alec and their team will only make the label and the brand even stronger.”

Exciting times… we look forward to seeing how 0207 Def Jam develops in 2021!

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