Boy Nash – YMLLK Part III Shackles EP

Another artist I got aware of when I attended MOE presents the other day (read review here) is London-based rapper Boy Nash who has unveiled his new project a few weeks back, in order to celebrate Black History Month. Titled YMLLK Part III Shackles, it was produced by Tummy Wilson and Jayo (Skrapz, Giggs).

The EP comes with seven tracks in total, starting off with Wretch’s Intro which features vocals from – you guessed it – rap legend Wretch 32.
Shackles follows, a genuine song about the struggle of being trapped in society. While Boy Nash shows off with a lyrically impressive rap flow, his guest artist Queen Ameen awards the track that extra special touch by adding her compelling and strong vocals on the chorus. Followed by having shackles on the feet comes the prison – as portrayed in track three Eastfields Interlude, featuring H Busy.


“Trapped in the trap with the mandem the jungle is rammed, I’m juggling fire, hyenas are watching take caution the serpent is clockin,I woke up this morning from last night’s mourning Joseph my bredrin in got clawed by the warden”.


It discusses the struggles of an individual who has no other choice in life anymore than to sell drugs, however the cops are trying to chase him down and lock him up.
But freedom always comes around eventually, and here we are at track four. Featuring sultry yet dynamic verses from Shani Cherry and LEMZI, Freedom is actually the first single which got released from YMLK Part III Shackles EP and again demonstrates Boy Nash‘s immense ability of storytelling through his original lyrics.


“Look within and you’ll find your gold. Look at Wiley, look at Skepta, man they weren’t afraid. And if they were afraid they conquered it and chose faith.”


Gold has a rather jazzy vibe and presents an uplifting mood as it is all about how you can free yourself from your obstacles and remove both physical and mental conflicts. This one is my personal favourite from the project as I really enjoy Boy Nash‘s vibrant and enthusiastic flow, not to mention the stunning voice from his backup vocalist.
Before the EP closes off with a live version of Freedom we get to hear Mary Prince which has a noticeably grittier sound. The artist reflects his deserved success and how he has made it to the top from all the obstacles he had to overcome.

As a result I have to say that YMLLK Part III: Shackles is indeed a truly honest and conscientious project which does not lack of lyrical excellence at all. Boy Nash is a skillful storyteller without a doubt, and his unique vocal abilities do not disappoint at all either. You should definitely check it out below. If you wanna catch Boy Nash live, find him at The Jazz Cafe in Camden on December 20th alongside Moelogo and many more.

 

Follow Boy Nash: Twitter | Instagram

 

An EP about domestic abuse: Summer Days & Winter Nights (Chapter 1)

‘You tell yourself “I like this about him…oh wait, I also like this about this other guy.” Every day in our life we are questioning our choices. But guess what, deep deep down on the inside the answer is somewhere within us. You’ll find it. ‘


Domestic violence and abuse: a topic which is not spoken out about enough and sadly still a taboo topic in society sometimes – only less than half of the cases get reported to the police though as it is not easy to speak up about it and the fear of the partner finding out is often higher than the pain and suffering. According to a survey, over 1 million abuse-related cases were recorded in England and Wales alone last year.


“A Women Empowerment EP based on my mothers Domestic Abuse Experience. I decided to create this powerful project in the hope of giving women worldwide Courage & Strength , to those going through it and those who sadly went through it.” – KXNG JUNIOR


One artist who processes this topic through music is Kxng Junior, one of the singers I discovered at MOE Presents last Monday. The London-based singer joined rapper Lavz on stage to perform chapter 1 of their collaborative EP Summer Days & Winter Nights (featuring Francis Oshy). Based on the relationship of Kxng Junior’s mum, chapter 1 discusses the battles of an abusive relationship. The different points of view are genuinely portrayed by Lavz being the female side and Kxng Junior being her partner – the 9-minute long track is split into an ongoing discussion between the two of them, creating the feeling of a real-life situation.


“When you go through a tough and difficult relationship, courage is that one thing you need. Don’t tell me you don’t have it. You do. More than you can imagine.”


Chapter 1 has truly touched me. The way Kxng Junior, Lavz and Francis Oshy have created it is legitimately authentic and touches the issue in a very honest and genuine way. If you ever experienced domestic abuse or know someone who has, then you should definitely listen to it as these artists are trying to encourage everyone who has or had to deal with it. Even if you haven’t, you should press play because you do not want to miss out on these talented rappers. Chapter 2 coming soon.

Live: MOE Presents

I love going to gigs and I love them even more when it’s an intimate one without a rather huge and pushy crowd. I simply believe you can embrace the music much better when the location is smaller and gives off a familiar vibe. So yesterday [30th Oct] I headed to a live music night, organized by MOE Presents who showcase up-and-coming UK rappers, singers or Grime MC’s. The motive took place at Upstairs At The Ritzy in Brixton.


Five artists were able to perform some of their best songs during their 15-minute set, among them were Emmanuel Adenuga, Warren, Lavz, Chysianna, Peaky and ultimately JokShan as the headliner.

The show kicked off with Emmanuel Adenuga presenting his soothing R&B-infused slow jams, such as Don’t Break My Heart, for which the music video only got released the other week (check it out here. ) or Make You Mine.
Singer Warren followed soon after, and mate, I loved her vibes. Her voice was purely soulful yet very lively, and her songs were genuinely authentic. Additionally to her own material she also covered Dave’s Wanna Know and Not3s’s Addison Lee – it was really pleasant to hear those tracks in a completely new way, she definitely nailed it. Make sure to check out her recent EP here. 



Next up was Lavz, without a doubt one of the best female rappers out there – I am not playing! I have recently reviewed her last show, check it out here if you’d like to find out more about her. She performed some of her older tunes with an effortless flow, such as Formula or Run It and for her last song she invited Kxng Junior on stage. They recently dropped a joint EP titled Summer Days&Winter Nights which focuses on domestic abuse, based on real life events. Listen to Chapter 1 here, it’s an incredibly honest and meaningful project so don’t miss out.


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Chysianna. What can I say…I loved her vibe! Her vocals are stunningly tuneful, with a dash of confident swag. Her stage performance didn’t lack either as she performed her songs with pure certainty and managed to captivate the crowd immediately. I didn’t know about her before but she got herself a new fan. Her latest single Mulla is now out via LinkUp TV, watch it here and enjoy.

Reppin’ West London was rapper Peaky,  who showcased some truly vivid Hip Hop tunes, produced by himself. He’s got an electric rap flow without a doubt, such a shame he couldn’t perform more of his tracks. Check him out here. 



Last but not least it was headliner’s JokShan‘s turn. For those of you who don’t know about him, JokShan is a West London-based R&B singer blessed with a strongly passionate voice. Unfortunately there were some technical difficulties when he came on stage but he mastered it nevertheless. Joined by Boy Nash, they performed a song together – acapella! It was brilliant, I really enjoyed listening to both of them. When technical matters were finally solved, JokShan performed some of his other tracks, all of them deeply melodious. Check out more of JokShan here and Boy Nash here.

My last shoutout goes to the host: mate, you really nailed your attempt to do a freestyle. Never give up trying 😉

As a result I can say that this was definitely not my last time attending an MOE Presents show, nor was it my last visit to Ritzy. I met some genuinely talented people and had the chance to broaden my musical horizon once again. Until next timeeee.

 

 

Misunderstood – Ghetto Style

Do you know that feeling when only the rhythm of a song makes you want to dance and sing along immediately? That is exactly how I felt when I listened to Ghetto Style by Misunderstood – I just instantly wanted to groove along. Unfortunately I couldn’t because I was stuck in my Uni’s library and everybody would have given me weird looks. Oh well…
But anyway, let me introduce you to the pop/R&B duo all the way from South East London, consisting of Stephan Benson and Jeff Okyere. Misunderstood was born when the duo met at school and found out about their mutual love for music, choreography and their experiences of a complicated childhood.


Our message is simple. Its about being free to be yourself. Its about being happy in you. Its about having fun. Its storytelling about the people who arent being shouted about. Youll see and hear that in everything; the music, our style and in our videos. Our personalities and beliefs are bottled into our music.” Stefan from Misunderstood


Written by both Misunderstood and Maegan Cottone (Little Mix, Britney Spears), Ghetto Style marks their debut single, however Benson and Okyere are no strangers in the scene anymore. Having supported the likes of Boys II Men, among others, on tour, they set their footprints into the world of music a while ago already and now that their debut has officially been released they are surely not going anywhere.

So long story short, if you are in the mood to listen to a cheerfully energetic and bubbly track, then press play below:

 

 

RHEA – Views

South East London-based singer-songwriter RHEA is back with her latest offering! Following up on her debut single Dreams, which got released earlier this year and which you can read more about here, Views marks the second single of the skillful artist.


“Views is about stepping back & seeing things for what they are…this was written as commentary on the current wave of change sweeping through our lives & having been awoken to it. When a person makes a big choice there is always a ripple effect upon others.. Views is a song about, defiance, strength & staying true to oneself.”  – RHEA


Just like her debut single, Views showcases RHEA’s dazzlingly smooth and compelling vocals. However, compared to Dreams, this one represents even more confidence and talent by operating towards a more soulful and laid-back direction. Undermined by a clear electronic beat with gentle piano elements, this track brings out a sense of melancholia without a doubt.

Listen below:

 

 

Pillars – Honest People

“I’m here to tell you a personal story”


This is what singer Pillars values in her songs – staying personal and true to herself while taking listeners on a journey through her experiences of finding herself.

After being diagnosed with anorexia, music was the only escape for the 23-year old singer-songwriter as it offered her remedy for her darkest moments. During her way to recovery, she met producer David Jones who later turned out to be her collaborator for her EP Honest People , a deeply personal and vulnerably honest project which approaches different stages of mental health throughout her own recovery.

Coming from a rather acoustic background, Pillars has not always made electronic music. However, soon she realized that this genre was the best for her to express herself.


“Suddenly I realised there was this whole other world of electronic music that I could dig my teeth into. Coming from an acoustic background, having had no influence from the electronic world, I dove into the world of production blind. What was really exciting was that I came out sounding like…me.” 


The title single from her EP, Honest People, is a blunt release in which the singer is opening up to herself, accompanied by an enigmatic yet clear electronic sound. Watch the rather eccentric video below>

Monroe Joe – Ease The Pain

Okay everyone, by now you should have clocked that the guys from Too Rare To Die are all incredibly talented, and every song they drop is basically a banger.
While TRTD member L Martin has recently unveiled his lyrically brilliant LP Growing Pains (check it out here), plus his gloomy visuals to single More Love, Monroe Joe aka ‘Working Class Mafia’ is now back with a brand new track and video, premiered on SBTV. Titled Ease The Pain, the song reminisces of the ups and downs in life and basically portrays his personal point of view.


“I was sitting on the bus home from work one night listening to this track and I thought, lets make that the video. Simple. Enjoy!”


Not only is Ease The Pain, produced by Maschine Man Tim, a really catchy tune thanks to Monroe Joe‘s vivid rap flow – it also contains an important message so make sure to listen carefully! The accompanied music video genuinely adds to the song as we can find the artist reflecting on life on his nightly bus journey home. If you want to listen to some wavey music, then press play below.

Lyves – Cover Me

Releasing a 15 track EP and touring with Coldplay on their A Head Full Of Dreams tour – singer Francesca Bergami aka Lyves has had a busy year so far, undoubtedly. She has previously unveiled her new single Cover Me, the follow-up of Holding Back which was released only a month ago.


“I wrote ‘Cover Me’ around 3 years ago, but it ended up as a lost, unfinished demo until I came across it again by accident this year while writing in Devon. Hearing it after so long re-ignited how I first felt writing it and led me to finish the song. I feel the song speaks about the tug and pull in relationships – that internal conflict that can arise between wanting stability and security vs independence.”


Despite seeing success in music now, the songstress did not always strive for a career in music. Feeling intimidated by the seemingly impossible ways to achieve greatness in the music industry, Lyves decided to study Psychology which led to her embarking a career as a social health advocate. However, soon she realized that creativity was missing in her life – the start of her musical career finally began. Choosing topics such as loss, adaption and survival, Francesca tries to stay as honest as possible and help people overcome their struggles with her lyrics.

Cover Me, produced by both herself and Will Knight, showcases Lyves‘s emotional and soothing yet forceful vocals, undermined by a rather electronic-sounding up-beat sound. It is surely worth listening to, so check it out below.

Mar – Place

Ages ago I featured the collaborative track Gorgeous by Full Crate and Mar. Now singer Mar is back with a fresh new tune titled Place, premiered by Jamz Supernova’s BBC 1Xtra show, which I’d like to introduce to you today.

Born in Amsterdam and raised on a houseboat, the artist has been growing up in a rather musical family of Caribbean/Indonesian origin who have taught him how to play instruments and master them. His journey has brought him quite far already – his credits include collaborations with the likes of Snakehips, Blonde and Full Crate, among others.
Drawing inspiration from the constant struggles and obstacles in life, Mar processes his negative experiences, such as the tragic loss of his father, in his fragile-sounding, lyrically powerful songs.
In Place, Mar once again showcases his pleasantly mellow and captivating R&B-infused vocals, undermined by a laid-back electronic beat – providing a reflective vibe which will definitely get you in your feelings. Listen to it below.


Place is taken from his EP Things Will Be which will be released in late November, so keep an eye out for that.

Live: Lavz

Last night I had the chance to attend a gig night from a wide array of artists, genre-ranging from pop to indie to rap, which took place at Islington’s O2 Arena.
Among them was Lavz, a rapper I have already introduced to you a while back (check here). Only recently she released a new mixtape titled Not This Time – entirely produced by herself.

As I have never seen her live before I didn’t know what to expect – sometimes you go to a concert and the rapper/singer barely performs and only uses backup or just throws in ad-libs as the DJ plays his song. Well, this certainly wasn’t the case with Lavz. When entering the stage, the female MC brought such a vibe with her and managed to capture the crowd immediately.


Lavz performed a decent selection out of her music portfolio. While showcasing the songs of her EP Not This Time, the rapper brought out singer-songwriter HURU (more info about her here) for their collaborative, rather mellow single Meditate. The connection between them was genuinely organic and they offered a great live presence as a duo.
Next to her current body of work, she also presented older tunes such as Way About It or Minor To Major with latter also being the name of her own clothing line.

What can I say… Without a doubt this artist has absolutely killed the stage! Never-ending energetic vibes, great support by her incredible live band and talented background vocalists, and her abilites of engaging the crowd with her high-levels of confident and rousing stage presence turned the gig into one to truly remember. I’m not playing: Lavz is one of the best female rappers in the UK these days.



Check out her EP below: