Self-described as conscious pop music, Blesd provides a new way for people to access their spirituality through melody and harmony. Possibly unlike anything out at the moment, it’s easy, soothing Pop-Rock production coupled with powerhouse R&B vocals – and it only gets better as choral backing vocals tug at the heartstrings via the bridge and then fade on out. I say this is the perfect way to kick off your Monday.
“‘Gratitude‘ is about the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. The song is about appreciating what you have and looking at life from that point of view – you feel lifted when you listen to the song.”
Blesd is single-handedly infusing positivity and spirituality back into mainstream music. Not to be confused with dogmatic religious beliefs, Blesd encourage freedom and promote self-healing through their songs.
Wauve – “Wayside Story”
After impressing with his sensational major label debut, new kid on the block Wauve has finally released the music video for his latest single “Wayside Story” accompanied by UK Afrobeats sensation Kida Kudz, which captures the feeling of being stuck outside of the system, hustling day-to-day to get by.
With such a strong R&B-Afrobeat fusion of a track, it’s necessary to have a track that is up to scratch. It’s another clean video from director KC Locke, who quite nicely portrays the sensual romance between Wauve and his female co-star, which happens to have a ‘ride or die’ feel to it. Kida is also on hand to provide his verse with a beautiful woman by his side as he sports a vibrant green haircut.
Wauve, hailing from Eritrea, is making no secret about East African heritage as he lets it ring at the end of the song, putting his country on with the hope that others may follow suit.
Che Lingo + Mick Jenkins – “No Sidekicks”
One of the finest Hip-Hop rappers in the UK Che Lingo has found his match as he teams up with one of the finest rappers in the US in Mick Jenkins for a brand new song, and the results “No Sidekicks” is truly a masterpiece
As the track flows between vibes, from a more soulful beginning with the keys to a swift drum and bass punch, a juxtaposition at times, this is a beautiful expression of Hip-Hop, with both artists finding their feet and flourishing.
And at the core of it, the songs message doesn’t get lost in the sonics, brilliantly encapsulated in the chorus “I sacrifice my love for you…but who’s saving who?” “No Sidekicks” is about admitting that as men we aren’t always the hero’s and women are not accessories.
“There are no Sidekicks in a healthy relationship and more time, it’s the men that need saving. In more ways than one.” explains Che Lingo.
Speaking about the collaboration with Mick Jenkins, Che had to say “I’ve been a fan of Mick since a friend put me onto The Water[s] tape about 4 years ago and people always said to me we’d make a good collab. Being able to go back to back with him on a track and with such different metaphoric takes on this topic, just rapping gives me hope for hip hop both US and UK…it doesn’t happen enough.”
Jorja Smith – “On Your Own”
In the wake of winning ‘British Breakthrough Artist’ at both the GQ Men Of The Year Award and AIM Awards (and generally a sensational 2018), Jorja Smith today unveils the incredible visual for “On Your Own” – a track which comes off her critically acclaimed, Mercury Music Prize-nominated album, Lost & Found.
Directed by Rashid Babiker – who also directed the visual for Jorja’s previous single “Teenage Fantasy” – the video sees a young woman reading a loaned library book titled ‘Jorja Smith’. As she turns the pages, a tale of love and lust unravels and literally comes to life, with Jorja performing the track in various stylised settings.
Speaking on the video, director Rashid Babiker – states:
“…I was imagining books, the hardback clothbound ones, being retrofitted into interactive photobooks, or video books sometime in the future when print is in the terminal stages of obsolescence. To stage it in a way fitting for the song I channelled imagined-nostalgia from the perspective of a girl, a fan of Jorja, who’s living in an intentionally anachronistic world where these videobooks exist and cassettes are the new, old vinyl of today.
Gabriella Vixen – “Old Mistake”
It’s a beautiful return to the spotlight for the talented R&B/Soul songstress Gabriella Vixen. With sensational singles “Maybe” and debut single “Golden” steadily garnering the numbers, she provides us with another upbeat number in the form of new cut “Old Mistake”
“Old Mistake” spins a relatable narrative that speaks from a place close to her heart, and affirms the strength in the realisation that follows that brief heartwarming moment, once we snap back into reality. The new track leans on both R&B and Pop sensibilities with its playful production, signalled by its toybox melody which chimes the whole way through. Shout out to Eddie Serafica on production.
Gabriella proves time and time again that she is more than capable of creating hits which are ready for the radio.
Speaking on ”Old Mistake”, Gabriella states:
“Old Mistake affirms the strength in the realisation that follows that brief, fluffy, heart-warming moment, once we snap back into reality…it’s about finding the strength to bump into someone from your past, someone who you thought you loved, but treated you badly and finding the strength to leave them in the past, where they belong. Without making that same Old Mistake”.
2 Chainz + Drake + Quavo – “Bigger Than You”
Directed by Nathan R. Smith, the cinematic clip finds 2 Chainz and his crew back in high school. Child actors take on the roles of 2 Chainz, Drake, Quavo, and Murda Beatz as they sit in detention and cause mischief. Dripping in a fur, shades, and head scarf, the young Drench God and friends take over the library, terrorize their teachers, and throw a party in the halls.
The newly-married 2 Chainz is now readying his fifth studio album Rap or Go to the League for release later this year. “It’s my version of black excellence,” he explained. “In my culture, my community, [it was] one of the things that we were often told was the only way we could get out of the circumstances we were put in…[was to Rap or Go to the League].”
Words by Jay Tijani