Juvenal Maze – “In A Place/She Just Wanna”
East London native Juvenal Maze marks the beginning of a new chapter. After signing to SOULUVMUZIQ, he releases two new tracks “In A Place” & “She Just Wanna“. Taking influences from his different backgrounds and incorporating Afro-beats, Grime, and his love for poetry, Juvenal creates music dripping with colourful melodies and fiery charisma.
Juvenal is clearly from a budding crop of young talent that are all about manipulating vocals, classic R&B-esque sounds and finding the right pockets in the song. First half of the two track release, “In A Place” is a brooding, alt-R&B cut. A vocal performance similar to that of 6LACK, the distorted looped piano chords and rattling hi-hats are the perfect foundation for Juvenal to sing his blues.
In many ways “In A Place” and second half “She Just Wanna” are two sides of the same coin. Warped piano chords are central part of the melody but the kicking bass and hi-hats combine for a more trap like feel. The mix is different, the vocals have more of a rap edge. Juvenal puts his blues to the side and he embodies more of a casanova approach. It’s chill, late night listening and shows off Juvenal’s versatile nature.
Juvenal has already turned heads, being described as a “triple threat song-writer”. A knack for modern storytelling and armed with an array of influences, it seems like it’s time for him to narrate his own story. Expect more hot music as both tracks come from his upcoming EP dropping later this year
Taze – “Head Shoulders”
Following his appearance on the remix of Top 10 chart smash “Gun Lean” from his former duo partner Russ, Taze drops his new solo single “Head Shoulders“.
Spinning the classic nursery rhyme “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” into an edgy, dark drill smash, Taze looks set to carry the torch for Drill as it looks to gain a further grip on the ‘mainstream’. Produced by Prynce MINI, the record is laced with gothic chimes and keys, alongside skittering snares. Taze shows out, dropping cold and explicit bars bites with lyrical force.
The video brings the record to life nicely, with a squad of motorbikes on Taze’s side, interwoven with the storylines and one of the worlds most famed dance moves,performed by the man himself Russ. Taze has undoubtedly tapped in to the ever-growing phenomenon of viral dance crazes as this single becomes accessible to anyone soaking it in.
Taze has become a profile figure in UK Drill and the urban music scene. His videos across YouTube exceed over 5 million views and his top 5 tracks on Spotify average out at almost 400k streams per track. Serving up one of the most infectious records of 2019, Taze lights the fire on what is set to be the next dance craze and firmly places himself as one of the most important artists in the evolution of drill.
J.Derobie + Popcaan – “Poverty (Remix)”
Ghana’s next promising talent J.Derobie has had an incredible introduction to music with his debut single “Poverty”, quickly evolving into a huge hit in no time With such an explosive start, he follows up the momentum with a fresh remix with Popcaan, one of the biggest artists in Jamaica right now.
The honesty within the lyrics of “Poverty” was the true key behind its success with J.Derobie conveying his real life experiences. This level of vulnerability – paired with the authentic dancehall sound – resonated with listeners and musicians from across the two continents. It garnered shares all over the net by the likes of Konshens, Sarkodie, and of course Popcaan.
J.Derobie, a talented dancer influenced by the likes of Popcaan, Shatta Wale & Vybz Kartel, is a product of emPawa. Headed by music mogul Mr Eazi, it’s a incubator programme equipping burgeoning African artists with the skills, network and investment to become independent music entrepreneurs.
J.Derobie shared his thoughts: “I feel like the emPawa programme is here to help the underground & up and coming artists get to the mainstream and become superstars… this initiative is really a salvation for emerging artists and I’m happy to be a proud beneficiary of it. Featuring Popcaan on the remix of my first major hit Poverty, makes me feel so awesome and honored. I always go crazy when I think about it…”
With such positive starts to both J.Derobie’s career and Mr Eazi’s emPawa initiative, it’s fair to say this won’t be the last time we hear from either!
Kaleem Taylor – “Fault”
British R&B/Soul artist Kaleem Taylor has revealed the emotionally powerful music video to the brilliant track “Fault“. His most recent single, it is taken from his new introspective EP Surface, to much acclaim.
“Fault” is a simple yet powerful confessional, that swings from sparing melancholic piano backing in the verses to full, textured electronic sounds in the chorus by Australian producer Roams. Drawing on the breakdown of a relationship, Taylor croons about what he has learnt from looking back and taking responsibility for his part in the decay of things, after the storm of emotions has passed.
“With time, you grow up and get a better understanding of life and where things could have gone wrong. You don’t always see what’s happening initially.”
A powerful expression of creativity, the video speaks great volumes and draws on the sentiments of the “Faults”. With Mercy Ufot as director, we see our protagonist couple prepping a dilapidated room for some much needed DIY. As the video goes on, we see the room crumble – the metaphorical decay of relationship – surrounding the literal demise of the relationship.
With the amazing reception of “Fault” and previous single “Not Alone” being B-Listed on 1Xtra, Kaleem has been quietly carving out a following. His recent buzz has pushed him to work with boundary-pushing producers such as Snakehips, Shy Luv and The Code. Kaleem has steadily built up a fanbase, been able to travel with his music and has an exciting collection of new music to share.
The Manor – “The Lottery”
Following their biggest headline show at The Roundhouse and supporting The Streets on tour, The Manor act on momentum with their gorgeous new track “The Lottery”.
A synthy, low-ebb instrumental allows the emcees to deliver some of their most personal lines yet, and a beauty of a sung vocal gives a whole new personality to a style that has been winning them new fans all year. The track comes with the announcement of their upcoming new EP Free The Geezer which is officially available for pre-order.
Speaking on the track, they state: “It’s all about the ups and downs of the music game and life in general that we’ve been through, from retirement to signing record deals. The simple message is you got to be in it to win it, so don’t give up (unless you’ve got a gambling problem!).”
Three friends from South London, MCs Danny Graft, Scotty Stacks and Jonny Dutch started fusing UKG with elements of grime and rap to a fierce sense of local pride and a love of their community. They’ve gone from putting on shows for friends to building a serious rep for themselves. That rise has caught the eye of Clash, Noisey, 1Xtra and the legend Mike Skinner of The Streets.
This new release sees them on contemplative form, and underlines their reputations as one of the most exciting emerging acts in the UK right now.
BiG HEATH – “BiGGY”
Championed by many big hitters, BiG HEATH continues his rapid rise with another powerful release. Following up his explosive single “Bouncy“, he drops the second track taken from forthcoming EP in the form of “BiGGY”
“BiGGY” runs along the same vein as previous single “Bouncy”. It’s simply constructed unassuming from the intro but it bursts with bold production, rattling hi-hats and thick bass. HEATH is known for his lyrical ability and hard hitting lyrics, oozing with bravado makes this track another stellar effort.
HEATH has a track record of quality visuals and this is another strong one in the catalogue. Calling on Henry Smith as director, we have a creative, time travelling visual that follows the track’s storyline. We go from BiG HEATH as a tudor monarch (Henry VIII, anyone?), to an English gangster from Peaky Blinders. It’s altogether another statement single that cements BiG HEATH as one to watch.
Speaking on the track himself: “‘Biggy’ represents me musically and visually, working with Helsinki based producer Hank Solo, we wanted to make a song that could soundtrack my life”
Hailing not from an inner city, but the suburbs of Cambridge, BiG HEATH is not only comfortable with being different, he embraces it. His realness and sensitivity is clear to see within the introspective lyrical content, tackling vulnerability with surprising candour.
Having made serious waves since his debut release Lonely EP, he’s been tipped heavily by BBC 1Xtra, Radio 1, Link Up and GRM. He’s graced big festival main stages and now with a massive deal with Polydor Records, he intends to take his career to the next level.
Words By Jay Tijani