Buddy Nelson – JamSphere http://jamsphere.com The Indie Music Magazine & Radio Network! Sun, 22 Oct 2017 20:15:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 AKASH: “Rooftop Vibes” creates a truly immersive sensation http://jamsphere.com/reviews/akash-rooftop-vibes-creates-truly-immersive-sensation http://jamsphere.com/reviews/akash-rooftop-vibes-creates-truly-immersive-sensation#respond Sat, 21 Oct 2017 16:04:32 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=30515 AKASH is an 18-year-old Indian Hip-Hop/Pop artist from New Jersey who a couple of months back rolled out his 10 track album “Rooftop Vibes”. AKASH penned all the tracks and called in a crew of talented producers including Davincii, DopeBoyzMuzic, and ANS who also contributed his vocals on several of the songs. The entire album […]

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AKASH is an 18-year-old Indian Hip-Hop/Pop artist from New Jersey who a couple of months back rolled out his 10 track album “Rooftop Vibes”. AKASH penned all the tracks and called in a crew of talented producers including Davincii, DopeBoyzMuzic, and ANS who also contributed his vocals on several of the songs. The entire album was mixed, mastered and engineered by ANS of ANSstudios in New Jersey. “I’m excited for this album because it’s a reflection of not just my life now, but the life I’m striving for,” explained AKASH. “It’s a diary of the various aspects of life that I want to share with the world.”  Just how important is substance to music? How important is originality and performing skill? Listening to a lot of music, one develops a set of criteria by which they judge it, like looking for depth of emotion, or creative soundscapes. There exists music which combines the effectiveness of this criteria, managing to be strong and entertaining, fulfilling all of it. AKASH is an artist that makes that type of music.

The album mixes luxurious, futuristic beats with a blend of auto-tuned rapping and singing to surprisingly entertaining effect. The beats are enjoyable and distinctive, generally very innovative, and AKASH’s lyricism and rapping abilities are top notch. Furthermore, he dedicates enough to his sound, and has a strong melodicism that makes sure there are no issues.

One of AKASH’s main strengths here, apart from his own technical and creative skill is his ability to wrangle numerous different producers into one coherent sound. His style is essentially a raided-up version of thumping pop menace, filtered through hip-hop and trap maximalism.

The beats take what should be a refined, subtle sound and turns it up to 11, through a decent pair of headphones, “Rooftop Vibes” world envelops you, and creates a truly immersive sensation. The production conjures up an imposing sonic architecture for AKASH to hang his stories on.

Those stories are where the album into its second layer. It really has to be said that AKASH is as good a rapper as he is a singer. His words rhyme appropriately, and there are some hooky pronunciations hidden in there, while the lines always have something say. Furthermore, AKASH’s vocal delivery is so on point that it’s near-impossible to not find any humanity in it.

Over and above the beats, melodies and vocal performances, there’s an intangible something about “Rooftop Vibes” that makes it extremely engaging. AKASH has embraced his style, and his go-for-broke energy and catchiness actually makes this a pretty damn great rap and pop album.

It’s the kind of music that is all about mood, and atmosphere, and once you get hooked onto the feeling it evokes, “Rooftop Vibes” is well worth the time. Essential tracks include: “Do The Time”, “Sacrifice”, “Text Me”, “Ride My Wave”, “Distance”, “Visions” and “Chance”.

 The structure of “Rooftop Vibes” is proof that AKASH is fully aware of how to play to his strengths. Fueled by his consistently infectious delivery, hypnotizing production and show-stopping verses, AKASH is able to entice the senses on just about any level by delivering an immediately gratifying project.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEFACEBOOKTWITTER

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Midnight Watchman: “Liquid Universe” – multifaceted sonic landscapes http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/midnight-watchman-liquid-universe-multifaceted-sonic-landscapes http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/midnight-watchman-liquid-universe-multifaceted-sonic-landscapes#respond Wed, 18 Oct 2017 20:15:47 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=30487 A guitarist and keyboard player who began as a street musician in UK before touring the US and then returning home, Andy Jones AKA Midnight Watchman, is a composer and producer of ambient music. Influenced by an extremely wide spectrum of music and musicians, that go from Vangelis to Chopin, ad Ryan Adams to Tycho, […]

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A guitarist and keyboard player who began as a street musician in UK before touring the US and then returning home, Andy Jones AKA Midnight Watchman, is a composer and producer of ambient music. Influenced by an extremely wide spectrum of music and musicians, that go from Vangelis to Chopin, ad Ryan Adams to Tycho, Midnight Watchman has released his 12 track instrumental album, entitled “Liquid Universe”. In the hands of a lesser artist, the varying song structures of this album would likely become tiresome, but every one of the album’s twelve tracks is a testament to the Midnight Watchman’s breathtaking compositional skills. The producer builds much of the record around a theme of melodies and rhythms which start off simply, to which he adds layer upon layer of complexity as they progress.

The album as a whole is itself a blend of structures and forms of arrangement that shift from track to track. But, like all great songwriters, Midnight Watchman knows how to surprise the listener. The album really eases you in with songs like “Double Up” and “Suburban Bliss”, which both sound like a prototypical tunes; supremely chilled but with enough layers to make them feel like much more than just background music.

There’s a shift in “Chaos From The Cold”, the song begins with chugging, sweet basslines that drift over a rolling synths as the space around them fills with harmonic textures. But as soon as this pattern is on the verge of becoming predictable, Midnight Watchman switches gears to a lyrical, twinkling keyboard melody.

Listening to tracks like “The Lichfield Hour” and Bering East is the aural equivalent of exploring an art museum. The overall effect is one of remarkable beauty where you have the option of how you take it all in. Just take a take a careful listen to sounds that strike you, then listen closer and closer until new colors, patterns, and themes emerge.

In this sweet spot, Midnight Watchman treads a fine line between soothing background music and multifaceted sonic landscapes that warrant close listening. And this is where energetic arrangements like “Face of the Future” and “One Day It Will All Seem Funny” keenly step onto the playlist.

“Liquid Universe” appears to be deliberately confident in its mixing of slow-burning tempos and warm organic-sounding instrumentation. The resulting effect compounds well with the magnificently epic sounds and rhythms of “French Canadian” and “Super Moon”.

On “Starling Stars”, Midnight Watchman opens with a lovely throbbing bass line that creates a rich tonal texture. When the drums liven the atmosphere, he tweaks the resonant keys and strings to become playful and the rhythm hard-driving.

The tracks on here each have a life of their own, leaving the album feeling substantially fulfilling, rather than just sounding like one long instrumental repetitive recording divided into varying segments. The fluidity of the songwriting also ensures that “Liquid Universe” transitions from song to song very smoothly. This is an extremely focused record and a positive step forward for Midnight Watchman.

OFFICIAL LINKS: RECORD LABELARTIST WEBSITESOUNDCLOUDTWITTER

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Ziggy: “Breathe” – blurring of lines between the worlds of rap and electronic music http://jamsphere.com/reviews/ziggy-breathe-blurring-lines-worlds-rap-electronic-music http://jamsphere.com/reviews/ziggy-breathe-blurring-lines-worlds-rap-electronic-music#respond Mon, 16 Oct 2017 11:56:03 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=30428 Zachary Raul Reyes aka Ziggy was born in Arcadia, California, but spent a lot of time moving around since his dad was in military service, ending up in a town in Ohio called Middletown where he spent most of my elementary and high school career. Growing up, music was his life. At 13 he received […]

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Zachary Raul Reyes aka Ziggy was born in Arcadia, California, but spent a lot of time moving around since his dad was in military service, ending up in a town in Ohio called Middletown where he spent most of my elementary and high school career. Growing up, music was his life. At 13 he received his first guitar, as a gift from his mom. He took two lessons before teaching himself how to write tabs and understanding harmony. From there Reyes ventured into listening to Hip hop and metal before discovering Dubstep, which represented a complete change of direction. Suddenly sound design became his driving passion. That desire saw the birth of Ziggy and the signing in 2017, to Victery Records LLC.

Ziggy

Now out on all major digital platforms you’ll find the Ziggy single “Breathe”. The blurring of lines between the worlds of rap and electronic music is nothing new. Many of hip-hop’s first songs drew their inspiration from the rhythmic thump of dance music, flipping samples from songs that had the specific goal of getting a crowd moving.

So it’s no surprise that the latest modern mutation of dance music, under the ambiguous EDM has crossed over and even been absorbed into hip-hop. This type of cross-genre pollination is essential to hip-hop.

The best EDM shares many of the same qualities as the best hip-hop: an emphasis on rhythm, a commitment to intensity and a powerful physicality. It’s really no surprise that an artist like Ziggy, with “Breathe”, brings one right into the other – it’s like Eminem meets Diplo, meets Martin Garrix.

The acquaintanceship of rap and EDM is perfectly personified by Ziggy, an anomaly of sorts who is an imaginative lyricist and nimble emcee. Ziggy sounds like one of the first rappers to try and conquer underground hip-hop and electronic music concurrently.

Music isn’t a one size fits all anymore. Electronic music today has fragmented into dozens of subgenres, and when combined with hip-hop it can range from appalling Pitbull remixes of Daft Punk songs, to the vibrant beat scene genre-mashing at Los Angeles’ Low End Theory club.

Hip-hop, of course, was created by piggybacking off of other genres, and has been infused with everything from disco to rock to nu-metal over the years. Hence today there are young and talented artists like Ziggy taking the genre in different directions. In the end, he is probably helping keep both hip hop and electronic music relevant for a new generation of kids.

OFFICIAL LINKS: TWITTERFACEBOOKYOUTUBEGOOGLE PLAYAPPLE MUSICSPOTIFYSOUNDCLOUD

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Russell Esby: “Post-Sentiments” – cool, calm and collected! http://jamsphere.com/reviews/russell-esby-post-sentiments-cool-calm-collected http://jamsphere.com/reviews/russell-esby-post-sentiments-cool-calm-collected#respond Fri, 13 Oct 2017 18:19:53 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=30391 Russell Esby is a 17 year old multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter, from the European island of Malta. Russell says that writing songs and playing music is his escape from everyday life’s complexities. “Post-Sentiments” is Russell’s 6 track EP: exquisitely meandering sonics that author tranquil moods presented alongside insightful lyrical content. With a clear love of personal […]

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Russell Esby is a 17 year old multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter, from the European island of Malta. Russell says that writing songs and playing music is his escape from everyday life’s complexities. “Post-Sentiments” is Russell’s 6 track EP: exquisitely meandering sonics that author tranquil moods presented alongside insightful lyrical content. With a clear love of personal storytelling, and a keen eye for the problems present throughout relationships, and yet with no desire to feverishly impose his knowledge, Russell weaves a gentle spell that pushes listeners toward awareness at their own pace. If you can embrace the gentlest subplot inside yourself – one that cherishes whisper-soft dances across the aural waves – then please do step into this acoustic dominated experience.

The music is stripped down to the mostly acoustic essentials, with some percussion and other sparsely used electric and organic instrumentation. It’s not easy to define: incorporating elements of Folk, Rock, and Pop, blended into something that is always soft, rhythmic and undeniably catchy in the most peaceful sense of the term. “Amanda’s Hymn” opens the recording with a meandering tale and a gentle swaying beat.

“Carnival Day” sounds like diamonds of a sunshine shimmying across ocean waves that balances all things infectious in Esby’s sound which matches his intelligently poetic lyrics. He follows this with the sweet-sounding “Girl Of My Dreams”, with a lovelorn dreamy feel that is reminiscent of the first time you really fell under the spell of infatuation. “Chocolate” flows superbly into the rustic guitars and drums that set the tone for the upbeat rhythm and eclectic unison vocal style which makes for a quirky and spirited recording.

“Hypnotised” is an exercise of song writing minimalism that keeps Russell Esby’s lyrical narrative at the forefront beside his simple and crisp guitar work and beautiful song writing. Few artists so young could write such a simple song that is overflowing with a level of soulful emotion, yet Esby seems to do so effortlessly. The title track, “Post-Sentiments”, is without a doubt the EP’s catchiest radio ready song, with its smoothly flowing rhythm and fleshed out instrumentation.

Uncluttered, simple, and spotless, the song features solid production work for a homemade project that’s never over- nor under-produced. The combination of the essential music and deep lyrics hit home in unexpected ways, because it’s easy to listen to and learn what Russell trying to convey.

Russell Esby’s songs allude to reigniting love, being empathetic, encouraging imagination and wonderment, and reflecting on life. Not bad for a seventeen year old. Esby remains cool, calm, and collected throughout, but there’s a charm about his vocals.  Even though he never asserts himself in an aggressive manner, his personality wins you over, despite his subtlety.

All in all, Russell Esby delivers a well-rounded affair with “Post-Sentiments”. He’s a minimalist artist – at least on this record- but for the most part, he does a great job of balancing stripped and more electric moments. Everything feels natural and right, with a soulfulness that’s never forced.

OFFICIAL LINKS: SPOTIFYYOUTUBEFACEBOOKINSTAGRAM

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MBK Richy: “Enriched” – layers of street psychology http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/mbk-richy-enriched-layers-street-psychology http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/mbk-richy-enriched-layers-street-psychology#respond Sun, 08 Oct 2017 08:03:46 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=30327 Auburn, NY artist MBK Richy is back with his brand new body of work “Enriched”. This mixtape is the follow up to “#Richyseason” that dropped in March this year. This is a recording that needs to be heard from beginning to end to truly be appreciated. This is a “mature” mixtape and has the best […]

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Auburn, NY artist MBK Richy is back with his brand new body of work “Enriched”. This mixtape is the follow up to “#Richyseason” that dropped in March this year. This is a recording that needs to be heard from beginning to end to truly be appreciated. This is a “mature” mixtape and has the best production he’s ever had for one of his projects. It proves that he is on top of his game. The lyrics have always been there, but he takes it to another level with this mixtape. The production too, is top notch. I’m very particular about the hip-hop I pay attention to nowadays, with there being so much to listen to on a daily basis. For me to actually be enchanted by something, it has to be a “press play and listen”. “Enriched” is just that.

This is one of the few hip hop mixtapes from the last year that I can listen to all the way through and not have the urge to skip a track. There are more worthwhile themes and subject matter on “Enriched” than your favorite rapper’s last three albums combined, and they’re presented in a focused, fleshed-out fashion. This mixtape is even more “ambitious” than Richy’s previous project.

He doesn’t seem content with merely finding hot beats and rapping his ass off anymore, which is admirable because he could feasibly ride that career path. Here he’s got all the necessary components for the magnum opus he may have wanted – a vibrant mind, a story worth hearing and stellar production.

From the “Intro (Enriched)” he’s in the lab improving on his formula and making the proper tweaks to insure that this project packs the necessary wallop. All of the variables are in place, the hypothesis is tested and proven, as track after track Richy works his way towards perfecting the equation, which he already nails with the second track “Hear More (final)”.

The first mixtape standout comes in the form of “Loud (Ft. LIT)” which consistently provides thought provoking bars, a palpable rap narrative, and a unique style of delivery that differentiates him from the stylistics of many contemporary rappers.

MBK Richy’s take on the hip-hop aesthetic is reminiscent of street dialogues: hard, abrasive, and quick-witted verses that flaunt his lyrical finesse, and is easily evident on “I Gotta” and “Fast Life”. Listeners need to keep a close ear to every line of Richy’s lyrics as he peels back the layers of his street psychology, his earnest artistic ruminations, and his intellect on “Cool Guys” and “No Hate”, probably the best two tracks on the album.

In between, you can also savor tracks like “Stuck In My Ways” ft. Bri Mack and “Ballin” ft. LeeDreamer, as Richy uses his craft as a platform to vent and find meaning.

The candor of MBK Richy’s stories is a reminder of the urgency with which some rappers deliver their lyrics to their listeners. For artists like Richy, hip-hop is not just a popular music genre, but a platform for thinkers to explore and develop the lost narratives of the street life, and a cultural landscape that considers the circumstances of all people in relation to their own personal experiences. I look forward to hearing the continuation of MBK Richy’s powerful sonic narratives.

OFFICIAL LINKS: ITUNES – SOUNDCLOUD – INSTAGRAM – FACEBOOK

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Ghost Unknown: “7 Point Society” – A stunning dose of realism! http://jamsphere.com/reviews/ghost-unknown-7-point-society-stunning-dose-realism http://jamsphere.com/reviews/ghost-unknown-7-point-society-stunning-dose-realism#respond Fri, 06 Oct 2017 00:03:01 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=30314 Ghost Unknown is an American musician based out of Charlotte NC. He has primarily done Hip Hop for over a decade and has in recent years stepped foot into the worlds of other genres and that of theatrical performances as well. Ghost Unknown recently dropped his 19 track debut studio album “7 Point Society”, featuring […]

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Ghost Unknown is an American musician based out of Charlotte NC. He has primarily done Hip Hop for over a decade and has in recent years stepped foot into the worlds of other genres and that of theatrical performances as well. Ghost Unknown recently dropped his 19 track debut studio album “7 Point Society”, featuring tracks with Art Project – an open and ongoing collaborative project headed by Dan Royer and Josh Bean.  I only discovered Ghost Unknown a fortnight ago. His talent as an emcee is truly jaw dropping – blistering flow, incredible storyteller, raps that can be both deeply personal and confrontational, and sometimes really witty too. On this debut album, the Charlotte rapper shows his hunger to gain respect – not anger, but drive to prove he seriously belongs in the game.

Songs like “Life Changes” and “No More” ft. Ambiguous & JAY MAC are full of the confidence and swagger of a man on a mission who will not be stopped. He is comfortable talking about his personal aspirations in life on “I Wanna Live” ft. F.Dux & Capital Chris and the philosophical “People Round Here” ft. Dan Royer, Jaws & Ambiguous, but still has an uplifting message of hope for humanity running through the album.

Some of the best songs on the album are his character raps like Can It Really Be” ft. Suicide Saints and “Nirvana Angeles, Dead Trees & City Lights” ft. Matt Dean, E.Low Dubb & Dan Royer.

The beats and production on this album are impeccable – your head will be bumping the entire album, but there’s still enough space for Ghost Unknown and his featured guests to rhyme. Ghost bursts out of the gates with an unstoppable power on “You’re SOL” ft. Tonya Wood and there isn’t a single weak track in the bunch from here on.

If you consider yourself even a passing fan of underground hip hop you must add this album to your library immediately. Simply put, it features some essential listening – “Demented Times” ft. D-Crisis, Dana Kerr & Marshall Alexander, “Concrete Baptism” ft. Dan Royer, Kyng Rash & KidCrusher and “People Round Here” ft. Dan Royer, Jaws & Ambiguous, among them.

None of the tracks on the album is condescending as such, and much of it is infused with the constant drive to push forward, to do better, to grind harder, and to understand more, in order to improve and sometimes even overcome the problems of this world.

With a hard-hitting delivery and words that pack an even greater punch, “7 Point Society” tackles real issues affecting real people. A relevant rapper is one who has something meaningful to say, penning words that will resonate with a broad audience. Ghost Unknown has achieved just that here.

In an increasingly polarized world at the hands everyday personal, social and cultural struggles Ghost Unknown exposes some of the world’s ugliness and our intrinsic weaknesses. Beaming with an air of honesty, you can feel the passion that Ghost Unknown puts into his music.

“7 Point Society” is a welcome work by an artist who’s put it all on the table throughout this album with sublime wordplay and otherworldly atmospherics. A stunning dose of realism when we need it most.

OFFICIAL LINKS: SOUNDCLOUDBANDCAMPFACEBOOKINSTAGRAMTWITTER – snapchat: GhostUnknown403

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Keno Meechie: “Fame Before 18” teases his creative range http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/keno-meechie-fame-18-teases-creative-range http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/keno-meechie-fame-18-teases-creative-range#comments Sun, 01 Oct 2017 18:32:33 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=30272 Keno Meechie is an artist out of Birmingham, who has been doing music for 6 years. Along with deleting endless numbers of practice EPs and singles, Keno has finally released his first official album, entitled “Fame Before 18”. Along with the release of this project Keno has suffered depression, and epic mood swings, etc. “If […]

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Keno Meechie is an artist out of Birmingham, who has been doing music for 6 years. Along with deleting endless numbers of practice EPs and singles, Keno has finally released his first official album, entitled “Fame Before 18”. Along with the release of this project Keno has suffered depression, and epic mood swings, etc. “If this one blow – I’ll really consider myself one of the luckiest 17 year olds alive”, says Keno. The music world is constantly evolving. Hip-Hop has gone from generic beats to songs where the base is louder than the lyrics.

Artists are constantly switching up their flows to experiment and keep the fans on their toes. In a time where music is becoming all about money and material things, Keno’s album is certainly a breath of fresh air. He has popped onto the music scene as a very versatile artist who mixes a street style with his emotional devotion.

I’ve long been aware that rap is the most adventurous genre of music in the game, so it was no surprise to hear the eclectic blends on “Fame Before 18” – but it is a fair surprise to hear that it sounds this good. For the sake of the project, Keno Meechie morphs his characteristic rap into various connotations, presenting fans with an album made up of diverse flows and rhyme schemes.

Twenty-five seconds into the opening track, “36 Villianz” and you can hear a young rapper teasing his creative range by launching himself to a genre extreme and then working backward, track after track, to his real wheelhouse, before finishing with another genre extreme – “Never Wake Again”.

“Fame Before 18” does make Keno sound like one of the more transcendent newcomer hip-hop artists around, as he moves through the varied flavors of “Ed Hardy, “Ms Indiana” and “Anti Niggas”. Of course, at seventeen, he’s not afraid to be different or to be classified as left-field. Hence, from the unusual beats to the multifarious flows, these tracks will grab your ears and twist them into submission.

Moreover, you just can’t help but make weird body movements when listening to Keno Meechie. The crowning achievement of this tape might actually be “Ms Indiana” with its crisp rhythmic inspiration and catchy vocals. It’s a pity it’s so short, being just under two minutes. Though to be honest “Anti Niggas” too, encapsulates many ear-worm elements.

Keno Meechie is a unique, if not unusual, talent. But uneasy times call for uneasy music. “Fame Before 18”, surpasses expectations, with incisive lyrics and beats that spurn current trends for a set that sounds unlike anything else in hip-hop right now. This is stuff you can either hate or love, depending on where you’re coming from, but you can hardly ignore it, if you’re looking for diversity in the genre.

Keno is not reinventing the wheel just yet – and at only seventeen he has plenty of time to do that – but he is definitely remixing the genre’s essential constituents. In a business where it’s common for an artist to cling and attempt to re-purpose classic material, Keno Meechie is running the gauntlet with his own ideas.

OFFICIAL LINKS: SOUNDCLOUDTWITTERFACEBOOK

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LREDS: “Words” – one of the smarter electronic producers on the block http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/lreds-words-one-smarter-electronic-producers-block http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/lreds-words-one-smarter-electronic-producers-block#respond Sun, 01 Oct 2017 02:01:12 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=30261 Playful, fun, and a little bit quirky – “Words” by Italian LREDS producer and pianist, is an energetic EDM song that’s perfect for getting the party started. Strong drums, throbbing bass, and the funkiest synths sitting on top of a fast ever-changing rhythm. This up and coming producer brings something totally different to the table. The […]

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Playful, fun, and a little bit quirky – “Words” by Italian LREDS producer and pianist, is an energetic EDM song that’s perfect for getting the party started. Strong drums, throbbing bass, and the funkiest synths sitting on top of a fast ever-changing rhythm. This up and coming producer brings something totally different to the table. The drop has this melody that can only be described as videogame-ish; like something you’d hear in a platform game. It’s light and airy, falling in line perfectly with the scintillating melodic vocals.  There’s something to be said about a song that walks the line between a club banger, a glossy game soundtrack and a pop anthem, without losing it’s either its play-ability, or credibility along the way. For all the lovers and dreamers out there, “Words” is definitely for you.

The Rome-based talent continues to innovate in his musical style, this time presenting us with a melody and a voice able to thrill the hearts of butter. The hooks are subtle and without realizing, settle in your mind and won’t leave anytime soon.

LREDS seems to be in an exciting moment and luckily he does not disappoint, at all! There is something special, almost mystical about this production. Is it the captivating voice with that special emotive quality, or maybe the honest lyrics? Moreover, the poppy melody and lush production definitely helps in making this an ear-worm too.

LREDS’ previous singles have been making waves on various platforms across the web and this new track will probably mean another important next step for him. I believe it will be only a matter of time before LREDS will experience an even more rapid growth in his fan base and streaming numbers.

“Words” shows he deserve a much bigger audience. This is the type of track that could have the chance to get some serious burn on European radio, Sirius and late night American radio. This is the latest chapter in the new transformation of LREDS from his beat-driven Pop, Rock and Alternative music arrangements to something even more melodic and catchy.

LREDS currently sounds like hot property, and “Words” is only going to ensure that he maintains this status for the foreseeable future. This is a track that takes one type of music and molds it into something completely different throughout the arrangement, allowing LREDS to cement himself as one of the smarter electronic producers on the block.

OFFICIAL LINKS: SPOTIFY – SHAZAM  – SOUNDCLOUD – FACEBOOK

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AnandL: “Read Receipt” – The lyrics are just as poignant as the beat http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/anandl-read-receipt-lyrics-just-poignant-beat http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/anandl-read-receipt-lyrics-just-poignant-beat#respond Tue, 26 Sep 2017 18:20:17 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=30204 Anand Lakshminarayan aka AnandL, an alumnus of UC Berkeley, who graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science says his main interest is in music. Since last year’s “Throwback Covers” playlist, which included songs by Mario, Enrique Iglesias and John Legend, the R&B singer- songwriter has moved on towards completing his original EP, […]

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Anand Lakshminarayan aka AnandL, an alumnus of UC Berkeley, who graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science says his main interest is in music. Since last year’s “Throwback Covers” playlist, which included songs by Mario, Enrique Iglesias and John Legend, the R&B singer- songwriter has moved on towards completing his original EP, and recently released  his second single, “Read Receipt”, produced by Ivan Reyes at Templo Records. The song finds AnandL stepping into the spotlight, a vibrant portrait of an artist on a quest to cultivate a creative statement as an individual. The track offers listeners a fresh perspective of a dynamic voice that will resonated with core R&B fans around the world.

 AnandL

AnandL

AnandL’s flawless vocals and the feel-good vibe will put this one in the conversation for one of the better underground R&B tracks of 2017. But the song is more about progression than imitation, as it investigates the question of infidelity and faith and the need to have your partner believe in you.

The track’s groovy, no-frills production accentuates that message. The lyrics are just as poignant as the beat, with AnandL coping with an insecure situation: “I’m talking about that infidelity. I’m talking about that lack of faith in me. I’m talking about that dude you see, but why can’t it be me you see… ”

Throughout “Read Receipt”, AnandL’s voice remains the star of show.  He’s incredibly expressive, exhibiting authenticity, smoothness, and soulfulness. Something that never goes awry in the recording is the voice. Among other pros is the production work.  The production, sound, and vibe thrives off a familiar sound.

The harmonic progressions remain jazzy and sometimes out of the box, a rarity among the new-school of R&B musicians.  Musically, there’s the sense that this song is clear ‘descendant’ of 90s R&B, hence accurately representing the characterization of rhythm and blues.  The keyboard lines are shimmering, the guitars chill, and the overall feel is smooth and lush.

All in all, “Read Receipt” is a fine addition to the newly launched AnandL discography.  He sounds awesome vocally, the song is well-written, and the production work is excellent. He never really misses the mark on any count here.

AnandL sings relatable material. It’s about love, it’s about hope for the future. It’s not too fancy or filled with over the top instrumentation or overblown vocal pyrotechnics. AnandL keeps it simple and very much blue collar R&B.  He is one of those singers that you could listen to over and over again.

OFFICIAL LINKS: FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAMSOUNDCLOUD

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Vizualye: “Hunger Games” ft J Schick – socially conscious lyricism is matched by a dynamic instrumental http://jamsphere.com/reviews/vizualye-hunger-games-ft-j-schick-socially-conscious-lyricism-matched-dynamic-instrumental http://jamsphere.com/reviews/vizualye-hunger-games-ft-j-schick-socially-conscious-lyricism-matched-dynamic-instrumental#respond Sat, 23 Sep 2017 23:06:53 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=30159 Vizualye, born Rajaee Grey presides over his tunes with an old world grace and steely strength that feels oddly calming in these uniquely turbulent times. Given how unorthodox 2017 has been and how much more unorthodox things are going to get, we need someone who has been fighting for a while to tell us the importance […]

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Vizualye, born Rajaee Grey presides over his tunes with an old world grace and steely strength that feels oddly calming in these uniquely turbulent times. Given how unorthodox 2017 has been and how much more unorthodox things are going to get, we need someone who has been fighting for a while to tell us the importance of continuing to fight. The rapper knows his duty to educate and inspire the public, and “Hunger Games” feat J Schick is one of his best records since his debut release. The record is produced by Taye Legend, and is steeped in a muscular, economical piano-driven sound, giving it a terrific sonic cohesion that scarcely has time for obsolete pleasantries.

Vizualye emerged on the scene in 2014 coming from Northern Virginia and has maintained a steady growth in the underground scene. He is a true intellectual and a master of subtlety when the situation calls for it, which it rarely does in this climate.

“Hunger Games” feat J Schick is particularly resonant, as Vizualye’s message doubles both as a retrospective on his own career and the current state of social activism. The rapper knows how much work is ahead, but despite the unprecedented present circumstances he still sees the parallels to past battles and a way to change.

There will be plenty of important socially conscious rap coming in the near future, considering the circumstances, but it is unlikely that much of it will match the cohesion and clarity of Vizualye’s vision. Regardless of the method of self-expression you consult, whether it’s the brash, raucous street garble from some rappers, or the stringy, often cautious stream-of-consciousness, from others, there is always a larger, sociopolitical elephant in the room.

One of those elephants is Vizualye. The artist stands as one of the leading proponents for change, delivering wordplay lined with context — but this time his supporting cast in the shape of J Schick also plays an important role in crafting his chilling epic.

On “Hunger Games” feat J Schick, the socially conscious lyricism is matched by a dynamic instrumental. Across its three-and-a-half minute running time, it rarely lets up, a stream of consciousness that is both engaging and provoking in equal measure.

This message reflects the overarching narrative of positivity and ambition to create change which builds across the course of the record. Clearly Vizualye is a great student of the origins of hip-hop, its importance for social activism, and providing a voice for the repressed and socially isolated.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITESOUNDCLOUD – REVEBNATION – WHOOLPLALIST – YOUTUBE – FACEBOOK – TWITTERMUSICOIN

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Devil’s Holler: “The Dusty Road Stumble” creates an eerie, haunting and enchanting soulfulness. http://jamsphere.com/reviews/devils-holler-dusty-road-stumble-creates-eerie-haunting-enchanting-soulfulness http://jamsphere.com/reviews/devils-holler-dusty-road-stumble-creates-eerie-haunting-enchanting-soulfulness#respond Fri, 22 Sep 2017 07:35:45 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=30130 Devil’s Holler is a project from multi-instrumentalist and Pittsburgh native Rob Gray, who performs acoustic-based Americana roots music infused with slide guitar, bass and stompbox. Gray has released 5 albums, including his latest, “The Dusty Road Stumble” and has shared the stage with a host of local and national artists. If you enjoy books that […]

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Devil’s Holler is a project from multi-instrumentalist and Pittsburgh native Rob Gray, who performs acoustic-based Americana roots music infused with slide guitar, bass and stompbox. Gray has released 5 albums, including his latest, “The Dusty Road Stumble” and has shared the stage with a host of local and national artists. If you enjoy books that take you into unimagined lands, foods that surprise and please, and effortlessly intriguing conversation. If you enjoy allowing yourself to discover parts of life you didn’t know you liked, Devil’s Holler new album is an opportunity to expand yourself into an eclectic, unassuming, visceral and genuine space full of deep reflection and soul.

Rob Gray sings with a warm, occasionally booming voice, eloquently relating his stories to you, rather than reading a script. His voice evokes imagined memories of the intriguing man you really wanted to know better, in spite of his inscrutable, occasionally gloomy nature. In a time rich with polished pop singer and songwriters, Gray’s work reveals more than a vocal talent: he doesn’t apologize for the lingering aroma of tobacco and last night’s whiskey glasses left out on the counter-top.

The songs are diverse. Included are bluesy woe, twang-filled anecdotes, even sweet ballads with nostalgic memories attached to them. Instrumentation is bold without being too precious. Acoustic strings and simple percussion dominate, but please allow for live-sounding takes. A few tunes are direct and memorable; others flirt with rhythm, lyric and pattern that invite repeated exploration. In all, it is never too technical, never cloying, and often seemingly naked.

“The Dusty Road Stumble” will be constant visitor to your media player on the wrong side of midnight. Devil’s Holler sings in a sober blues and folk drawl that often understates his command of blues and roots singing. Gray’s talent is common to most great interpreters of Americana, he knows how to savor precisely the right syllables and words to craft his own distinctive style.

He understands that real style and substance is as much about what you sing, as how you sing. The timeless quality of Gray’s songwriting invites comparisons to some legendary roots music composers of the past, and his songs too, will improve with age like a fine vintage wine.

This is an incredible album that I cannot recommend highly enough. The instrumentals and Rob Gray’s vocals, all create an eerie, haunting and enchanting soulfulness. The music is kind of bluesy, folksy — simultaneously nostalgic and fresh — like something from an alternate universe where time stands still so you can savor every moment at your own pace without missing anything. Every song has a unique quality and vibrancy, yet all flow together flawlessly.

Standouts “Music and my Horse”, “Trip Sixes” and “The Light” rattle and roll, while “In The Alley”, “Goodbye My Friend” and “One Foot In” slink and slide, as Rob Gray’s mesmerizing singing voice – rich, intricate and resonating impacts your soul. This is music at its purest best. “The Dusty Road Stumble” is raw, unpretentious, brutally honest and simply human.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEREVERBNATIONSOUNDCLOUDBANDCAMPYOUTUBE

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HALO: “Expressions” – aiming at a progressive R&B audience http://jamsphere.com/reviews/halo-expressions-aiming-progressive-rb-audience http://jamsphere.com/reviews/halo-expressions-aiming-progressive-rb-audience#respond Mon, 18 Sep 2017 10:40:12 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=30096 Darnelle Treadwell aka HALO, was born and raised in Gary, Indiana. He started singing in the church at the age of 4, by 13 he found that he wanted to pursue a professional career in singing but didn’t know how to go about it. He met an artist by the name of B.L.O.U.N.T. who introduced […]

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Darnelle Treadwell aka HALO, was born and raised in Gary, Indiana. He started singing in the church at the age of 4, by 13 he found that he wanted to pursue a professional career in singing but didn’t know how to go about it. He met an artist by the name of B.L.O.U.N.T. who introduced him to M80 a producer from the Midwest that owns an independent label called G.S.P. Music & Film. Halo signed to G.S.P. and has been working closely with M80 for the past 9 years. Their latest artistic collaboration has delivered the album “Expressions”.

The recording takes you on bold artistic journey that when compared to the other urban music on the American radio stations is nothing short of genius. HALO is an artist in the best sense of the word as he stretches his muscles throughout the album .If you’re looking for excitement and the big bang, you’ll find it on this collection. On the other hand, if what you want is a slow burning groove, you’ll find that too.

HALO seems to be that can appreciate crossover sounds, as he moves between various soundscapes which have distinctive influences from outside the R&B genre.

His vocals are great and his writing seems well above average when compared to the rest of the stuff currently doing the media rounds. The success of the overall sound also owes a good deal to the production by C. Gilbert (M80), both futuristic and retro but always specific, and in tune with HALO’s vocal delivery.

HALO’s acute high-end R&B croon, his homages to past music greats, and a strong adherence to the four-minutes-or-less template, for pop music, would make “Expressions” feel at home in any decade since the ‘60s. But there are plenty of moments in this album that put it safely in the here and now. HALO’s vocal prowess and that pop sensibility bring him right to the winner’s podium with this release.

The opening track “Get High”, which comes in after the “Intro”, casts an unmistakable nod to the current urban sound, yet complete with retro harmonies and a Mary J Blige type female accompaniment.

“Get This Party Right” (feat. Yung Kahn the Don) is led by a slithering snare and subwoofer-testing bass, the track shifts from traditional funk to a sci-fi nodding club banger in such a fluid style that the change is barely noticeable. The first major curveball HALO throws happens with “Ms. Hollywood (feat. Mic Dubb)” where he forges a voice that sits somewhere between Al Green and Usher.

“I’m Feeling Live” (feat. Bishop the Voice) finds HALO trying to stretch R&B’s boundaries even further, by using an almost industrial sounding mix of synths and percussion. The second major curveball arrives with the brilliantly soulful and melodic “I Call Her Death” (feat. Mathew Herbert) – a splendid guitar driven track that is one of the album absolute highlights.

HALO’s vocals and lyrics are able to convey a warm humaneness while being surrounded by cutting edge musical gadgetry, throughout the album. “Clubbin’” (feat. M80) is the album’s most bumping track. If you don’t get the urge to move your feet on this one, then you’re done dancing a long time ago.

HALO is an absolute professional, someone who knows where to put the bridge, who knows the exact right moment to bust out his voice, and when to hold back. It’s this balance between restraint and exuberance which allows his tracks to flow smoothly and his features to fit perfectly into the scheme of things on “Expressions”.

Which is what happens with “Drummer Boi” (feat. I.V.O.E. da Grand Duke & Dre) and “Pick up the Phone” (feat. Bishop the Voice, M80 & Brittney).  This is an album that’s every bit as multifaceted as its makers, and one sure to grow over multiple listening.

 Halo I Call Her Death Official Video

OFFICIAL LINKS: GSPMUZICHALOFACEBOOKYOUTUBE

GSPMUZIK.COM Promotion

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Adam Idris: “Count On Me” – the accessibility of purified emotion http://jamsphere.com/reviews/adam-idris-count-accessibility-purified-emotion http://jamsphere.com/reviews/adam-idris-count-accessibility-purified-emotion#respond Sun, 17 Sep 2017 16:04:16 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=30086 Formerly known as Adamjlss, Adam Idris is musician and composer based in the United Kingdom. Almost a freshman to the scene, Idris started recording and making music seriously in 2016. Entrenched in the urban genres and blending R&B, Pop and Dance elements, the artist has a host of singles in circulation, including “Count on me”, […]

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Formerly known as Adamjlss, Adam Idris is musician and composer based in the United Kingdom. Almost a freshman to the scene, Idris started recording and making music seriously in 2016. Entrenched in the urban genres and blending R&B, Pop and Dance elements, the artist has a host of singles in circulation, including “Count on me”, “I’m incarcerated” and Power hungry”. The songs are by turn oblique, smolderingly direct, forlorn, funny, sad and gorgeous: a vertiginous marvel of digital-age urban pop. On the lead single, “Count On Me” Adam wraps his voice in woozy emotion and pivots in the space of just a few lines between lover-man braggadocios to caring mournfulness.

To release singles as spacious as these by Adam Idris takes confidence, and yet the deeper these tracks explored, the more it seems to be an acceptance of fragility. Adam trades the accessibility of his previous conventionalism for the accessibility of purified emotion.

The tracks are rich with influences and thoughts, and shaving them into a cohesive entities has been well done. As filtered through emotion as it is, the slow burning “Count On Me” feels thoroughly human, Adam’s voice driving like a nail between eeriness and romance.

There’s a focus on the vibe of lo-fi confessionalism on “I’m Incarcerated”, though the production is undoubtedly hi-fi. The song rings with a singular voice, as Adam gets more personal than ever without connecting all the dots.

It’s a track of synthesized interests without sampling, without stealing, without influence-as-copyright. He absorbs his influences, pours them through a strainer, and then filters that product once again. Adam Idris is more than his voice, and this track sees him illustrate all the ways in which he’s a true artist.

Adam’s melodies are more attuned to specific states of mind rather than grand pop gestures. The words are a constant swirl of observation that he conveys in a variety of ways, from bursts of confident hip-hop cadence to classic R&B belting and wandering introspection.

On “Power Hungry” he makes yet another powerful social statement. He is storytelling and constructing a world of events around the theme of being power hungry. The textures are so dense and frequently fascinating that the song scans as meticulously constructed.

What’s refreshing about these songs isn’t just how much ground it covers but the open heart and questioning it carries in doing so. In the drift of the music, from song to song, the only thing to hold on to is Adam Idris vocals, which can’t go unsung anymore. His high pitched voice, is the connective tissue between the projects – emotive, it surprises over and over in its versatility.

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEYOUTUBESOUNDCLOUDSPOTIFYGOOGLE PLAYTWITTERFACEBOOKITUNESDEEZER

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oscarLIVE gives us the wake-up call with “oscar’s first mixtape” http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/oscarlive-gives-us-wake-call-oscars-first-mixtape http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/oscarlive-gives-us-wake-call-oscars-first-mixtape#respond Wed, 13 Sep 2017 14:11:25 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=30046 If you haven’t aimed your attention toward oscarLIVE by now, take “oscar’s first mixtape” as a wake-up call. The Houston rapper who takes his influences from Nas, Andre 3000, Fat Pat, Big Moe, Z-Ro, Scarface, Swishahouse, Kendrick Lamar, and Eminem among many others loves to represent his city to the fullest. oscarLIVE will indeed built […]

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If you haven’t aimed your attention toward oscarLIVE by now, take “oscar’s first mixtape” as a wake-up call. The Houston rapper who takes his influences from Nas, Andre 3000, Fat Pat, Big Moe, Z-Ro, Scarface, Swishahouse, Kendrick Lamar, and Eminem among many others loves to represent his city to the fullest. oscarLIVE will indeed built a steady following with his style of eclectic vocals and eccentric soundscapes. For me, while his lyrics may be a little derogative, misogynistic and explicit, there’s an emotive quality to his voice and worlds he creates that are as captivating as they are unique.

oscarLIVE

oscarLIVE

To be true “oscar’s first mixtape” bumps. Take any cut off the mixtape and there is the same immediate bass-rattling, almost melancholic sound. The mood of the mixtape is quickly found in the opening track, “signals (original mix)” where oscarLIVE proclaims: “She keep on telling me, she keep on telling that she just wanna be friends, but she keep on sending these signals, she keep on sending these signals”

Throughout the mixtape, oscarLIVE teases, boasts and growls, never once losing momentum. What makes this record so exciting to listen to is the atmosphere oscarLIVE creates. He blends stories of consuming, fucking and partying to the murky, dark, and brooding production. Take the funky “fk u”, a certified banger for clubs and house parties, yet there’s something sinister about it.

The production also has an advantage because of oscarLIVE’s eclectic tastes. Even if he has a clear interest in making music with a trap flavor, he manages to sprinkle influences of alternative, electronic and funk. Yet at the same time, with “oscar’s first mixtape” he has actually held together the cohesiveness of the record’s production. While ambitious as it is, the recording never feels as it’s trying to accomplish too much. The experimentalism to be found here, has plenty of room to breathe.

With this mixtape, oscarLIVE also brings his ability to sing. Listen to the melody assisted track, “probation”. But it’s when he’s laying down the rolling and wobbly atmospherics on “drank” and “dis dih”, that oscarLIVE is at his best.

In almost each song, no matter how soft it starts there is always that unexpected moment where oscarLIVE somehow builds momentum to a bass-rattling boil. But the most surprising thing about all of this, is despite the explicit surface of the material, the depth each song seems to possess.

The primary enjoyment here is from oscarLIVE himself, and then in the forces that he amasses in the crazy sounds he can produce. Listening to “oscar’s first mixtape” for any kind of conscious lyrical insight is entirely missing the point. oscarLIVE’s strengths on this mixtape comes in the construction of sounds and atmosphere, as well as the explicit visual imagery in his hedonistic narratives. If that’s your thing, then “oscar’s first mixtape” proves why he definitely belongs here.

OFFICIAL LINKS: FACEBOOKYOUTUBESOUNDCLOUDINSTAGRAMTWITTER

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Davajeya Fomenter: “Seville” – a powerful follow-up to “Jabos Demo” http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/davajeya-fomenter-seville-powerful-follow-jabos-demo http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/davajeya-fomenter-seville-powerful-follow-jabos-demo#respond Tue, 12 Sep 2017 10:28:12 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=30035 Davajeya Fomenter is an independent hip hop artist from Charlotte, NC, who in 2016 released his dynamic debut album, “Jabos Demo”, to critical acclaim. Since the ten track collection release, Formenter has been hard at work, expanding his craft and completing his latest 11 track album, entitled “Seville”. Much like on his previous release, the […]

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Davajeya Fomenter is an independent hip hop artist from Charlotte, NC, who in 2016 released his dynamic debut album, “Jabos Demo”, to critical acclaim. Since the ten track collection release, Formenter has been hard at work, expanding his craft and completing his latest 11 track album, entitled “Seville”. Much like on his previous release, the rapper sticks to the stories and experiences that have been part of his upbringing. This helps spread a veil of authenticity over his compositions.  Another standard from the Davajeya Fomenter template, is his willingness to make space for features on his tracks, which add an extra dimension and interest to the proceedings, and doesn’t subtract from the artist’s personal showcase as he has plenty of bars to shine.

The features, Me$o, Bubba, and Rahim Anthony, on the other hand, make up perfect puzzle pieces in the vivid picture imagery Formentar brings to the table on this recording. Of course one of the main differences from the “Jabos Demo” recording, is that the production duties fall squarely in the hands of Forementar himself. And to be honest, the dude comes shining through with a mix of eclectic beats that are both funky and hard-hitting when needed, as well as sweet and slow on the occasion.

The amount of pressure Davajeya presumably felt to craft a powerful follow-up to “Jabos Demo”, without the help of producers Gaz & Eaze A, must have been palatable, but the he came through with flying colors, often showing flashes of creative skill with a taste for experimentation akin to his peers, the Outkast, who left us with some legendary albums. After the intro, and title track, “Seville”, Davajeya kicks in with an incessant flow and sharp rhyme scheme on “Blvd”, one of the best tracks on the album, which sets the tone for the rest of the album.

Though there are a couple of skits and interludes, they don’t negatively influence the fluidity of the album, but only present an ulterior coloring to the overall theme. “Minutes” ft Me$o is infused with a rich acoustic guitar and a flowing melody, and is another album highlight alongside, “Liquor Route”, “Toilet Tisha” ft. Rahim Anthony and Da Art of Peer Pressure” ft Bubba. All these tracks unfold like an old journal that’s been unearthed and shared with an audience of one – that is, an audience of you.

Low on frills, and rich with introspection and powerful storytelling, this new studio set will immediately resonate with listeners anticipating an album to match the buzz of any previous works. If sincerity and storytelling matter more than sensationalism, then fans will find “Seville” to be a solid album. Davajeya Fomenter digs deep, pulling out his most private thoughts and memories on life’s changing circumstances. On this recording he proves himself to be a good rapper and a very capable producer, and then combines that to his songwriting skills. The result is an artist who deserves the accolades and the buzz, he manages to pick up along the way, as his career builds.

OFFICIAL LINKS: TWITTER – INSTAGRAM – AUDIOMACK 

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Jimmy Heights x Spec K: “Nakamura” – an expansive project http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/jimmy-heights-x-spec-k-nakamura-expansive-project http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/jimmy-heights-x-spec-k-nakamura-expansive-project#respond Sat, 09 Sep 2017 10:08:49 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=30002 Ever since Hazard came out, there’s been a mystique under the surface of his music waiting to leap out into modern rap idiom. Sure, the hooks of his early hits, might bludgeon you with repetition and directness, but even back in those “Don Quixote” days, there were signs that these blatant choruses were merely the […]

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Ever since Hazard came out, there’s been a mystique under the surface of his music waiting to leap out into modern rap idiom. Sure, the hooks of his early hits, might bludgeon you with repetition and directness, but even back in those “Don Quixote” days, there were signs that these blatant choruses were merely the straightforward chops of an art that contained multitudes, not just quick-strike triplet assaults. Then, in a surprise move the Brooklyn rapper switched his name from Hazard to Jimmy Heights, explaining: “I just believed it was time to mature and find a name that suits and defines me. Hazard was the adolescent me, more so a gimmick. With Jimmy Heights, it’s all about growth and maturity.”

Jimmy Heights isn’t as inherently weird as Young Thug, as tortured as Future, or as outlaw-ish as Gucci Mane, but the chemistry and aura of his best music puts him in the same chimerical class. His latest single “Nakamura” is clearly the condensation point. Eclipsing his previous highs on “Black AmeriKKKa”, which has to be said, was a more serious work, Heights returns to the playful wordplay that is all the rage in current crossover blends of pop and hip-hop.

Beyond that surrounding evidence, this track is just flat-out catchier, more fun, and expansive than any project Jimmy Heights have ever released. Melody and spontaneity are used liberally throughout, rendering the Heights already-improved backing vocals and ad-libs even more breathtaking. The beat, once propulsive and jumpy to match Jimmy’s syllable-cramming, is now ebb and flow exciting, as if the rapper’s rhymes are cutting through waves on jet-skis.

All these intriguing elements isn’t just a façade, Heights rhymes are by and large tight as hell, and he never abandons his trademarked flow, while the hooks are even more thought out. Here you’re getting the best of Jimmy Heights’ performances, presented in a catchy, elegant, and stylized package. The mainstream has clearly inched closer to Heights with this release.

Jimmy Heights has pinpointed the elements of his style and skills that are crucial to modern rap and pop culture, regardless of region or genre, and for a good part of this track, he flawlessly flaunts them. “Nakamura” which also features the skills of Spec K, is a big step into the world of commercially-tinged tracks for an artist whose biggest previous successes were bound to mixtapes, and Heights will surely emerge with his brand stronger than ever now, as he works his way towards that world-stopping release that will ultimately launch his professional career.

The young emcee from Crown Heights, Brooklyn is currently working on a new mixtape called “Acrophobia”. The cue for the future comes from Jimmy Heights himself, disclosed in an interview some time back: “The best is yet to come. Train your mind to see positive in every situation.”

OFFICIAL LINKS: INSTAGRAMTWITTERFACEBOOK – SOUNDCLOUD

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Jessie Wagner: “I Want To Dream” – Classic R&B and Soul! http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/jessie-wagner-want-dream-classic-rb-soul http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/jessie-wagner-want-dream-classic-rb-soul#respond Wed, 06 Sep 2017 13:25:06 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=29979 A Norfolk, Virginia native Jessie Wagner is a rising star in the music world. Her career blossomed when her live performance caught the attention of Bo Bice, and she began singing and touring with his band, Sugar Money. She got another break after moving to NYC when renowned drummer Omar Hakim had her audition for […]

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A Norfolk, Virginia native Jessie Wagner is a rising star in the music world. Her career blossomed when her live performance caught the attention of Bo Bice, and she began singing and touring with his band, Sugar Money. She got another break after moving to NYC when renowned drummer Omar Hakim had her audition for legendary disco band Chic where she became one of the lead singers. From then on Jessie’s career went on a roll and performances with A-league music stars became the order of the day:  Lenny Kravitz, Duran Duran, Chic, Stevie Van Zandt and Kid Rock were just the iceberg as she went on to perform with artists from all facets of the music industry, including Patti Labelle, Sir Elton John, Peter Gabriel, Sister Sledge, Musiq, the Pointer Sisters, Bebe Winans and Eric Bene among others. Jessie Wagner has also performed live at such prestigious venues as the Montreux Jazz Festival, the legendary Roskilde Rock Festival, and the Grammys.

Jessie Wagner

Jessie Wagner

Now she is moving towards the next step of her already illustrious performing career, with the release of her latest solo single “I Want To Dream”. This is a very solid project. It is a strong ballad strong filled with the beautiful expressions of love. Jessie proves you can stay relevant while still singing from within. Jessie’s track is unintentionally a very public, very defiant defense against the industry efforts to proclaim R&B and Soul as dead at worst, or on life support at best.

With the best of intentions, she does so with producers who exclude the unnecessary auto-tuned effects placed on current pop songs, returning to the melisma-rich voice and a reliance on the bumping streetwise and smoothed-out soul formula that first brought the genre to prominence. The effect is a project that not only boasts stunningly strong vocals, but a song that is equal in memorability to the voice of Jessie Wagner.

“I Want To Dream” is a gift to the frustrated R&B fan, those who have watched gimmicks overshadow artistry and cringed as mediocrity has been hailed as modern-day classics. Instead of tearing down her peers on social media or whining about the unfairness of the music industry, Jessie puts her money where her mouth is, or, in this case, her voice — that instantly recognizable smoky tone that has powered so many beautiful songs.

As always for any Jessie Wagner song, her vocals tend to steal the show. On “I Want To Dream” she’s lost in love drowning in emotion, while the heartfelt lyrics burst with her trademark passion. And it’s that unmistakable voice that drives home the lilting message above an easy flowing piano-based soundscape.

It’s a message you rarely hear in an age dominated by social-media shaming and finger-pointing. This album isn’t for the shallow radio streams, it’s for fans of R&B and Soul that’s becoming a lost art. That motivation has helped Jessie Wagner and her collaborators craft one of the most touching ballads of the year.

OFFICIAL LINKS: SOUNDCLOUDYOUTUBE

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Imani Wj Wright allows himself the freedom to go where he wants http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/imani-wj-wright-allows-freedom-go-wants http://jamsphere.com/newreleases/imani-wj-wright-allows-freedom-go-wants#respond Sun, 03 Sep 2017 15:49:01 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=29916 The eclectic urban artist – eighteen year-old Imani Wj Wright, from Baltimore – has his own blog and clothing line, but long before those achievements were realized, he had been cultivating his musical skills with passion. This ongoing growth includes his time on scholarship at the Peabody Institute, and The Lyric Opera House of Baltimore, […]

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The eclectic urban artist – eighteen year-old Imani Wj Wright, from Baltimore – has his own blog and clothing line, but long before those achievements were realized, he had been cultivating his musical skills with passion. This ongoing growth includes his time on scholarship at the Peabody Institute, and The Lyric Opera House of Baltimore, where he wrote an opera titled ‘Industrial Love’. Wright also spent an extensive stint at the American University under the auspices of the Washington National Opera.

Imani Wj Wright currently has 3 singles doing the rounds – “Unplanned”, “Consistency” and “Started”. Wright’s particular brand of Pop/R&B is more akin to murky atmospheric soundscapes punctuated by pulsing beats and floating searing vocals than the type of radio friendly stuff that his contemporaries are putting out. The music is ambiguous, melodic, and debauched. He really allows himself the freedom to go where he wants and not forcing him to produce a radio single.

You might get a slow burning, bass-frequency dominated, brooding soundscape like “Started”, and then be flipped into an electronically driven upbeat pop track such as “Unplanned”, only to slip into a slinky piano ballad called “Consistency”.

These two latter tracks also sees Wright playing the saxophone. These three songs will resonate across a wide cross section of music fans, because of their left-field attitudes, swathed in a bundle of mystery. Musical ambition of this kind demands a lot from the listener, so it will keep you engaged as you try and figure out just where Imani Wj Wright is taking his craft.

Wright’s creative songwriting is pure gold: simple at the core but teased out by his extravagant production into something entirely new and exciting, sometimes challenging but always interesting.

His music has the type of crepuscular groove you’ll find at a party still going at 5 AM, after the lights have burnt out and all that remains are empty glasses and a few lingering couples against the wall.

These single feel a true labor of love, more genuine than more prominent R&B stars. But perhaps that is due to Wright’s anonymity. The music stands before the image – indeed, defines the image – contrary to so many other artists.

Imani Wj Wright’s almost nonchalant treatment of the themes in his songs and the knowledge of his own artistic capabilities, seems fresh, awe-inspiring, and at times, even scary. And it is all laced inside some of the most mind-blowing R&B production we’ve heard in years.

This is clearly not music made for the catchy hooks, as Wright focuses on the musical embodiment of his themes. These moments are subtle, and it takes a different mindset to appreciate them. Listening to Wrights creations is the ultimate form of escapism that so many of us flock to music for.

OFFICIAL LINKS: SOUNDCLOUDFACEBOOKINSTAGRAMTWITTERCLOTHING SITE

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Young Nino: “Hands On Ya Knees” is ready jump-start the party! http://jamsphere.com/reviews/young-nino-hands-ya-knees-ready-jump-start-party http://jamsphere.com/reviews/young-nino-hands-ya-knees-ready-jump-start-party#respond Tue, 29 Aug 2017 23:42:08 +0000 http://jamsphere.com/?p=29837 Coming from the Southside of Atlanta, Ga., Carlton Walker, better known by his stage name Young Nino, is influenced by legends such as 2pac, Biggie, Scarface, Outkast, 8ball & MJG, and UGK. He is currently promoting his club banger “Hands On Ya Knees”. This isn’t exactly a startling revelation, as hip-hop has always been rife […]

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Coming from the Southside of Atlanta, Ga., Carlton Walker, better known by his stage name Young Nino, is influenced by legends such as 2pac, Biggie, Scarface, Outkast, 8ball & MJG, and UGK. He is currently promoting his club banger “Hands On Ya Knees”. This isn’t exactly a startling revelation, as hip-hop has always been rife with MCs who style themselves as unrepentant hedonists, recounting in vivid detail – the loose women, the late nights, and popping bottles, etc. And while for most rappers, this kind of bacchanalia equates to a background chattering constant, Atlanta’s Young Nino sounds like the professor emeritus of hip-hop debauchery on this single, as he goes in hard and gives us full insight into the ‘booty syndrome’.

There’s no other way to describe what’s going on throughout “Hands On Ya Knees”, except that it’s a giant party in the club. And an arousing one at that. Young Nino knows who he is and doesn’t veer off the path. The track plays out like the soundtrack to an epic night, with the occasional rapper friend stopping by for a conversation and giving you all the details as the scene plays out.

If you’re looking for a track that bumps in the whip, this is the one you’re looking for. It’ll also serve as part of the soundtrack to every autumn party you attend. The production should have any audiophile coming back, and the hooks and flow should definitely draw in any hip hop fan.

The song’s pulling power is due to three constants: a drum heavy instrumental that will keep you pinned to the floor, lyrics that masterfully cater to their audience, and a wholly engaging persona that effortlessly rides the rhythm.

Young Nino sounds truly assertive as he flows atop the booming beat, while spitting: “I’m the king of the night life, you know how I do it. Got the girls going wild, we be getting’ to it…”

As much as this type of sound has now become a popular equation and a familiar club scene soundtrack, just about everywhere in America, “Hands On Ya Knees” has some moments where it elevates onto even higher ground, if you can take the lyrical heat.

The lust-filled nature of the lyrics is on-key with the emotion of its underlying landscape, and hits close to the bone (no pun intended!), as Young Nino’s smartly timed verbal articulation holds together the slickness of the rhythm which is ready jump-start the party!

OFFICIAL LINKS: WEBSITEITUNESTWITTERFACEBOOKINSTAGRAM

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