Native Sun Rises

24 Sep

Last week saw the official launch of Native Sun’s debut album ‘Indigenous Soundwaves’. The event took place in Bedroom Bar in Shoreditch and the crowd, rather like the music that was being celebrated was a fusion of different cultures all under one roof.

Womatt award winning singer songwriter Bumi Thomas kicked off proceedings with three beautifully mellow tunes which settled the previously rowdy crowd into contented listening. Other support acts got the cogs of the crowd’s mind turning with performances of thought provoking poetry and music filled with wise words and beautiful melodies. By the time Native Sun took to the stage everyone was ready to receive Mohammed Yahya’s lyrical wisdom, and enjoy Sarina Leah flawless vocals.

The duo, who describe their music as ‘the music that would be created if J-Dilla met Fela Kuti’ wowed the audience with their incredible stage presence and inspired with the creative rapport that so obviously exists between them. Sarina’s sumptuous tones and the smooth classic hip hop vibes chilled the venue and added to the relaxed atmosphere.

Aside from the music there were also stalls selling handcrafted African jewellery, and natural skin care products, all products were responsibly sourced and environmentally friendly.  This is  something which is very dear to Native Sun, who are ‘closet hippies’, taking care of the environment that we live in and ensuring that we are not damaging the world that our children will be brought up in is all part of what they stand for.  Yet you needn’t take my word for it you can check them out for yourself . I’ve put a couple of video links below so you can form your own opinions of Native Sun, and if you’re anything  like me, you won’t be wanting this sun to set for a  very long time!

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EL – ‘Most Beautiful Girl’

3 Apr

A quick search of the internet revealed that the noun ‘EL’ was the term for the father of all Gods in an ancient civilisation, and though it is not clear whether this has in any way inspired EL’s stage name, it is clear he is working very hard to set himself out as the father of all things hot, and trendy as far as tracks coming out of Ghana right now are concerned.

His latest offering entitled ‘Most Beautiful Girl’ may not seem to be any different in terms of the title, but musically it is by far the most organic sounding track EL has blessed us with and its simplicity is its strongest point.

 The mellow guitar, toned down beat and his honesty in bearing all about his approach to relationships makes for interesting listening. His auto-tuned voice on the chorus breaks up the song nicely, giving it a nice variety as he talks us through his descent into the depths of love with this most beautiful woman.
If you’re looking for a nice chilled out track to relax to, look no further people because this is it. The lack of synths and heavy kicks is more than refreshing, though it is somewhat surprising that he’s having to stress he wants this girl to be his as it seems more than likely he has hundreds of ladies throwing themselves at his feet!

Hoodie Allen – ‘No Interruption’

30 Mar

With the promise he’ll give whatever we want with no interruption Hoodie Allen’s piano driven beat, which features subtle kicks, a melodic synth and of course his clear singing voice on the chorus, is an easy going tune that is sure to provide the sound track to a lot of people’s summer’s.

The 23 year old has been making music for a while, and has even toured with the likes of Das Racist, Mike Posner and Chiddy Bang to name but a few. It seems though that now is his time to be in the limelight by himself, he’s getting the blog world in a frenzy as he has done with a few of his tracks before, but judging by the buzz around this extra chilled joint he’s served up, it looks like the work he’s been putting in as about to pay him off big time!

The beat for this banger was produced by RJF and WNDRBRD and it is the first single off Hoodie’s debut EP ‘All American’ which comes out on 10th April, and since Mr Allen’s done a pretty good job of anticipating what we want and serving it up, its likely that our ears are going to be in for some pure unadulterated (and of course uninterrupted) musical treats!

FiF & Kukua Bee – ‘Azonto Slow Mo’

29 Mar

If you already know how to dougie and you’re a huge lover of the Azonto movement, then you’re in for  a treat with this one. The super bumping beat of ‘Azonto Slow Mo’ is sure to get you bopping your head and shaking those hips.

The rythmic claps and kicks ensure that the song grabs you from the first, and then of course there’s the simple but extremely catchy chorus. Fif and Kukua Bee provide simple memorable lyrics encouraging the listener to get off their backside and start their slow mo azonto. Their flows are fitting and though it could be said that the lyrical content is basic that is not the issue at hand.

As Fif himself admits people call the dance the african dougie, so its not lyrical content that counts but the dance that goes along with this bass bumping tune. The video isn’t here yet so we’ll have to make do with freestyling until the masters themselves provide us with the visual instructions on how exactly to azonto in slow mo.

Buk Bak – ‘Ator Mi Line’

28 Mar

Since bringing us the massive track ‘Kolom’, Buk Bak return to us with another hot future classic called ‘Ator Mi Line’.

The Hip – life duo are proving themselves to be serial hit makers with this one, but what is great to see is that they are not simply sticking to the formula that works for them. So rather than sticking to the hugely synth driven beat with a stomping kicks they are now offering up a track that seems stripped back and almost accoustic in comparison to their previous hit.

‘Ator Mi Line’ opens with the simple sounds of a guitar and then builds up with the help of some kicks and claps and eventually some subtle but very effective strings.

As usual there is no shortage of auto – tuned musings on the track and this fuses well with the rap to give add variety to the track.

This may not turn out to be a massive club banger, especially as its not a track to spark an azonto frenzy, but it will be one that’s playing at barbeques and in cars this summer, so if you’re a soldier for the afrobeats cause, make sure you’ve armed your mp3 player with this hit!

MNEK ‘Get Along With You’ (Kelis refix)

27 Mar

When Kelis released her debut album ‘Kaleidoscope’ back in 1999 I was completely in love with ‘Get Along With You’. The delicate strings, her emotion filled voice and of course the dark haunting video, which got its fair share of air time on MTV.

Now over a decade letter one of London’s young rising stars is back with a refix of the track and he has certainly done a great job of bringing it up to date. Using string synths and a fairly heavy beat in parts, MNEK has reworked this track into something of a synth pop spectacular. The track still maintains the same sad sorrowful feeling which is an achievement in itself with the dramatic alterations to production, but it is perhaps his sometimes gritty vocal that adds a believable sense of pleading to the song.

It is so rare for some one so young to rework a song so well, but it just goes to demonstrate this 17 year old’s great talent’s. If this is what he can do with a track that was out when he was 5 it will be very intriguing to see what he will be offering up with his own album next year.

Click the audio box below to have a listen to MNEK’s fabulous re-work

Azealia Banks ‘F**k Up The Fun (produced by Diplo)

26 Mar

Ms Banks the quick flowing, sharp tongued and vulgar mouthed, hotly tipped rapper is back with a track called ‘F**k Up The Fun’.

She teams up with producer extrodinaire ‘Diplo’ on this one and the result is a fast paced banger which has a warfare feel about it. The heavy hitting drums and the more subtle drum rolls which run through the song, give a very strong battle sense to the track. Coupled with Azaelia’s ferocious attitude and confrontational lyrics, its clear she’s channelling the victorious heroine on this one, though this by no means indicates a loss of the fun, gone she brings to every track. There is no shortage of giggles from Azealia on this one, so it seems that she may have failed on her mission to F**k up the fun, because it seems she’s having it by the bucket load, and its slightly infectious.