Being out in South East Asia has definitely had an influence on our picks for this month. The warm weather and calm vibes have drawn us towards a more international compilation of tracks. British talent still prevails, but kick back and enjoy the sounds of artists native to Nigeria and Jamaica too.
Bakar - Chill
Bakar’s back after the success of his first album ‘Badkid’, and following single ‘Dracula’. Influenced by early 2000s indie, Foals and Bloc Party in particular, and the DIY spirit of grime, he relishes in combining groovy guitar riffs with modernised beats that contemporaries like Lancey Foux would rap over. ‘Chill’ reflects on his success up until now, “making the hood proud” but also longing to just take a break from the lime light and find love. It takes all the good elements of his debut project, and squishes them into one single, give it a go below.
Sami Baha - K
After collabs with 67’s Dimzy and Stockholm’s Yung Lean, the Turkish producer has found a niche for fusing illustrious sounds from around the world with the drill and trap tendencies in England. ‘Dawsha’ is an Egyptian MC; a perfect fit for the sonics Sami creates so effortlessly. If I ever ride a camel through the desert, this would be my jam for the adventure. The vocalist’s tones skip around the synthy, Tetris-esque beat - fluctuating in pitch and aggression.
Obongjayar - Frens
An enriching figure amidst London’s music scene, Nigerian born Obongjayar found himself on Richard Russell’s mercury nominated ‘Everything is Recorded’ album last year. Singles like this though, have established himself independently as one of the most unique talents we have. His guttural vocals harmonise with the authentic African instrumentation, creating such euphoria that you cannot help but have a bit of a boogie. I’d love an album from him soon.
Koffee - Rapture
Mikayla ‘Koffee’ Simpson has been one of the most exciting acts to watch this year. Her new EP resonates reggae with an Afro-swing swarve. ‘Rapture’ is unapologetically infectious; an emotional tail told in her native Patois about her willingness to capture people’s attention and uplift them. The Chronixx Prodigy is on for a huge year, so give her new EP a listen.
Channel Tres - Brilliant N***a
Everyone gasses about the gruff vocal tones of Morgan Freeman, but Compton rapper Channel Tres’ are equally as effortlessly deep. Not only this, he has shone in reworking Detroit’s famous 80s house sound, underlying it with a funky hip hop prowess. Brilliant N***a is his first single of the year, an acceptably braggadocios tune about getting people’s “shorties”, girls, on his “wave”. After listening to such a track, I don’t think anyone could complain about getting their girlfriend stolen by Channel Tres, especially when he is producing bangers like this one.
Injury Reserve - Jailbreak the Tesla ft Aminé
With all the hype surrounding BROCKHAMPTON, it is of huge surprise to me that Injury Reserve are still on the cusp of mainstream success. Their new Aminé featuring single is as chaotic as it is contagious, jittering between scatty car screeching samples and xylophone inspired rhythms. It is one of their most accomplished tunes to date, helming the ferocity of previous bangers like ‘Oh Shit!’, as well as the more emotionally immersive ‘TkTv’.
Little Simz - Venom
An intense violin score, and Simz’ trademark lyrical realism, unite on Venom with such a profound fluency. This is definitely my pick from the new album, ‘Grey Area’; a project way ahead of her time, blending reggae, grime and electronica to amplify a unique swagger no one else can boast in the UK. “Never giving credit where it’s due because you don’t like pussy and power, venom” is just one of the many hard bars the tune can bravado, addressing the distaste she has for sexism in the music industry.
Flume, HWLS ft Slowthai - High Beams
The spontaneous release of Flume’s new Mixtape ‘Hi, this is Flume’ caught many fans off-guard. As always with Harley Stretan, the project’s ability to embrace the weird and wonderful elevated my intrigue to a new level. This collab is the most surprising on there, Slowthai absolutely kills it with his abrasive flow, which sits in good company with the buki beat. It’s a trap banger that sounds like the mechanics of a formula one car, tearing up tarmac and ripping through roads. Shout out to JPEGMAFIA for absolutely killing his verse on ‘How to build a relationship’ too.
Mundy - Lord Knowz ft Love Okami
After a classic scroll through Soundcloud, this song caught my eye because of the production of DylanTheInfamous. I am bloody glad I clicked on it. Barely reaching the two minute mark, Mundy’s bars glide in and out of the ambient beat, and Love Okami adds an extra level of tone to broaden the vibe of the song. The Londoner’s kill the track, and have a clear chemistry that I hope to see again on future projects.
Pinty - City Limits
South London, especially in and around Peckham, is a thriving hub of creativity. We’ve been blessed with the introspective jazz of King Krule, the ambiguous U.K. rap of Ammi Boyz and much more. Next to rise from the concrete jungle is Pinty. His new EP, on Rhythm Section records, is a genre infusing ode to the 2000s. With garage at the core, and jazz shimmering through in glimpses, ‘City Limits’ references Mike Skinner’s ‘The Streets’, as well as addressing life growing up in the claustrophobic fog of London. Check it out below.
Loyle Carner ft Jorja Smith - Loose Ends
The third and final single prior to the release of his second full length LP, ‘Loose Ends’ sees Carner reflect on his life in soothing circumstances. Jorja’s dreamy vocals add an extra layer of beauty, counteracting the deep bars Coyle Larner spits about depression and “guzzling jägers”. His album, if you don’t already know, drops in early April.