A relatively new name but an indomitable force in contemporary R&B, Ojerime returns with a new visual – the self-directed video for her track “Greasy”, taken from the South London native’s recently released EP 4U.
Showered in hues of blue and pink, Ojerime embodies an undeniable strength, one which celebrates female empowerment and subtly explores sexuality. With a failed romance long forgotten, she moves through the nightscapes of the city with fresh possibilities simmering. The video encapsulates the culture of R&B and hip-hop Ojerime grew up with, the sort trail-blazed by the likes of Hype Williams.
4U holistically serves as an experimental blend of beats, cadence and instrumentation across the spectrum of left-field R&B, with sprinkles of murky melancholia and Black British vernacular. The EP features three previously released tracks; the dusky yearning of “I Know Now”, the fearsome empowerment of “Handle” and the otherworldly, hypnotic “Moisturise”.
Ojerime echoes 90s pioneers like TLC and SWV who she cites as key influences, yet there is a distinctly modern, millennial quality to her music. 4U has already received praise from the likes of Sunday Times Culture, i-D, Fader and Highsnobiety.
Maverick Sabre + Chronixx – “Her Grace”
The multitalented English/Irish singer, songwriter and rapper, Maverick Sabre, has announced he will be releasing his new album, When I Wake Up in March 2019, just after the release of his new music video for “Her Grace” which will feature on the upcoming album.
The video shocks viewers with its raw approach to depicting domestic abuse, without showing actual violence. Instead, Maverick takes a soft approach with his video by isolating the physical damage of domestic abuse from the emotional damage. The woman at the beginning tells listeners “It’s not evil, evil’s too easy for you to leave. It’s love, and love is hard”.
By showing the woman’s belief that the abuse stems from love, we get a point of view that some often dismiss. She tells us, had she thought her husband / lover evil, she’d leave him, but because she loves him, and is certain he loves her, she stays. A common case among domestic abuse victims which often goes unnoticed in society.
For example when she visits the shop, no one reaches out to her. She feels completely alone in a sea of hatred – mimicked by the cyclical image of the sea that she stands in with her baby. When she tries to leave, she ends up full circle at the sea shore once more, unable to tackle her crippling thoughts of losing her lover.
Speaking on the video, Maverick says “With each of the videos for this album I’ve wanted to tell strong, emotive stories that carry across the feeling and message of the song. “Her Grace” is about the unspoken unheard struggles of women that go unnoticed in society and this video feels like a glimpse into an inner battle within that”.
And Shaun Grace, the director, quotes “When the opportunity arose to work on something powerful with Mav I couldn’t say no. I wanted to explore the day to day emotional and physical endurance needed to cope with domestic abuse and also the deeper, continuing cycles of conflict that affect both the abused and the abusers”.
“I made the choice to cast my baby within this film as I knew how to get the reactions I needed from her comfortably. Even though I’ve watched it dozens of times in the post process, that final shot of the baby in the bathroom leaves me wondering what their future holds”
TM88 + Southside + Valee + Lil Yachty – “Hmmm”
On December 10, rap artists TM88 and Southside have teamed up with Valee and Lil Yachty and have released their brand new single titled “Hmmm”. The track is set to appear on TM88’s upcoming debut album which is expected to drop in early 2019.
The 808 Mafia hitmakers have been dropping hits after hits throughout the year and on Monday, they have yet again blessed their followers with another banger. “Hmmm” has premiered on Beats 1 as Zane Lowe’s World Record and is now available for streaming on all platforms.
On Beats 1, TM88 has shared how the hit single was created: “Me and Southside was in LA working on my project, and Valee came through and he did a few songs or whatever. This was one of the songs. We were like: ‘Dang, I think I hear Yachty on this’. So we sent it to Yachty, and Yachty killed it”.
The Atlanta producer has also spoken out about an unreleased project with PartyNextDoor: “I got a joint project with PartyNextDoor. I don’t think it’s ever going to see the light of day”, he revealed. “It would have been for everything because it was very melodic and trap at the same time. It was called ‘Party at Eight‘”.
Airways – “Blue Gasoline”
Peterborough based four-piece Airways give us an earful return with their last release of the year in the form of brand new single “Blue Gasoline“.
Taking healthy doses of inspiration from a range of genres, the bands new single “Blue Gasoline” emerges as a dark, brooding track that, yet again, refuses to let Airways be pigeon-holed by genre. While leaning on synth-pop and rock tendencies, “Blue Gasoline” is but a slice of the creativity and a more refined style of songwriting. Vocalist Jake Daniels commands the track yet his presence is not overstated.
Speaking on the track Daniels states: “’Blue Gasoline’ is an exciting one for us because it’s a new strand of the Airways sound, and it feels like the beginning of a more mature direction for us. We’re basically old men now and this song reflects that.”
Airways have followed up on the success of their debut EP Starting To Spin, bursting back onto the scene with fan-favorite “Alien” in September and headline dates across Europe. More dates to come throughout December with indie stalwarts Razorlight. With this, Airways continue to be one of the most exciting emerging bands in the UK right now.
Diztortion + Lethal Bizzle + Maleek Berry – “Pull Up”
Diztortion is back with more heat for the clubs! The top-notch producer comes through with new heat in “Pull Up” – calling in longtime collaborator Lethal Bizzle and Afrobeats’ star Maleek Berry for the new single and video.
This energetic party anthem is set to be the soundtrack for the clubs during the festive season and sees the GRM Rated and MOBO Award winner doing what he does best with his signature hard-hitting drums; a hefty fusion of hip-hop and electronic dance music. The video is loud and obnoxious and features the trio in a London bus decked out for a wild party.
Since collaborating with Lethal Bizzle on the iconic club track “Fester Skank“, Diztortion has always been at the forefront of working with exciting new Urban talent including most recently the Radio 1 playlist track “CRB Check” with Chip & Not3s and his global smash for Sean Paul, David Guetta & Becky G “Mad Love” which has now amassed over 200 Million streams worldwide.
“If This doesn’t make you move in the club, nothing will!” – Diztortion
Usher + Zaytoven – “Peace Sign”
Legend artist Usher has finally shared the visual to his recent single “Peace Sign”. The track belongs to his latest debut project A, which featured hip-hop artists Future and Gunna and had been produced by Zaytoven.
“Peace Sign” was one of the highlights of the album. And now, Usher and Zaytoven have teamed up in order to produce a brand new music video for the banger. The visual shows Usher cruising in the streets of Los Angeles as he reminisces over a dancer.
The video also showcases his hometown Atlanta and the famous gentlemen’s club Peaches of Atlanta.
The entire project can be classified into the R&B genre without a doubt. A consists of merely eight tracks so we can therefore expect something bigger to be released by the R&B singer perhaps in the next year.
Hopefully, we will receive some more details regarding a forthcoming studio album, but until then we can enjoy his recent project along with the brand new visual “Peace Sign”.
Words by Jay Tijani, Pia Subramaniam and Nicole Russell
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- Best New Music Of The Week // December 10 – December 16, 2018 - December 17, 2018