Happy Birthday Ghana ft. E.L, EFya, Wanlov The Kubolor and X.O Senavoe

15 Mar

On 6th March 2012 Ghana celebrated its 55th Birthday. As the first Sub – Saharan country to receive independence Ghanaians are especially proud because the country has come so far! So much so that 4 of Ghana’s musically gifted collaborated to express the universal feeling of joy at the peaceful Nation has grown into.

The track has an incredibly old school feel about it due to the hi – life style guitar providing the rythm, though the hip hop flavour is unmissable due to simple hip hop kicks and of course the presence of 4 of Ghana’s present day musical superstars.

Happy Birthday Ghana is a song which is relevant to both the past and the present, not just musically but also socially. It shouts out the figures who helped shaped Ghana to enable it to become the place it is today, while also encouraging the younger generation to take pride in their motherland.

Ghana Music Award 2012 nominee Efya, provides a dazzlingly simple vocal that holds the song together while the three rappers each bring their unique flair and style to the track. This song is a must listen for all the Ghanaians. Its practically patriotism at the push of a button. Its just a shame its not even 2 minutes long, cause it will leave you wanting more!

Click below to watch the video

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Lianne La Havas Live @ Scala

14 Mar

Last night pint sized songstress Lianne La Havas played her “most enormous gig to date” and if she had any pre show nerves they were overcome as soon as she stepped out before the crowd.

Striding confidently onto the stage in a quirky outfit, she flashed a warm smile, and went straight into a rendition of ‘No Room For Doubt’. Accompanied only by her guitar, Lianne’s clear, sweet tones filled every corner of the Scala and transformed the previously restless and impatient audience into a sea of still bodies with contented faces.

When her band joined her on stage they upped the tempo and the volume with songs like ‘Forget’ “a little ditty” about her ex-boyfriend that got the whole crowd swaying and singing along, with its stomping drums and screaming chorus.

Between songs Lianne seemed completely at ease chatting away to the crowd as though she were with old friends. Giggling away and constantly remarking how incredible it was to be playing to such a large crowd in her home town, her sheer joy and disbelief that everyone was there to see her perform was plainly visible and extremely endearing.

Every bit the entertainer, she cracked jokes but switched from chuckling to mournful in an instant. Her perfromance of ‘Gone’ for her encore was incredibly moving as she conveyed all the hurt and anger with her delicate yet powerful voice, quivering in just the right places. She was accompanied only by a piano, her sorrow was so convincing the whole audience was suddenly overcome and completely silenced by her sombre tones, and when she was done it took a few seconds for everyone to react.

‘Is Your Love Big Enough?’ was the final song of the night, and is also the title track off her forthcoming album. It is a loud song rather similar to ‘Forget’ but different to her usual mellow, and calming tunes. It was definitely the right choice to finish with as its rythmic guitar riffs, stomping drums and simple lyrics left the crowd in a good mood after after the more slow and sad songs she’d been singing earlier.

Lianne’s album should be released by Warner Bros. Records at some point in July and from what she displayed last night it is definitely one of the more exciting forthcoming releases of 2012, and if you get the chance to see her live DO! It seems pretty safe to say that last night’s performance won’t remain her “most enormous” gig for long.

D’lys – Sea Of Heartbreak (Johnny Cash Cover)

7 Mar

Today’s post is very random, in the scheme of what I’ve been posting recently, but then its always good to change things up and in this case slow them down as well.

D’lys is an up and coming singer/ songwriter hailing from the big smoke. Formerly a member of a girl group called Frayja, she has now stepped out on her own and offers up a wonderfully emotive, acoustic cover of Johnny Cash to give us a taster of what she’s about.

Accompanied only by a guitar she gives a beautifully solemn rendition of the country and western classic ‘Sea Of Heartbreak’. Her deep, husky voice which is reminiscent of Tracy Chapman’s incredibly unique tones sits wonderfully well with the slowed down guitar, and gives the song a fresh feel.

Click below to watch the video of Dilys performing ‘Sea Of Heartbreak’. With that stunning unique voice it will be really intriguing to hear what her own original stuff sounds like, because one things for sure there isn’t anyone currently ticking this box in the charts right now!

Nana Boro – Nsem Pii

6 Mar

Nana Boro the artist behind one of 2010’s biggest hip life joints is back with another party track. Admittedly he had a tough act to follow with ‘Aha Ye De’ and he’s chosen to go for a slightly different feel with this one.

‘Nsem Pii’ seems to sample the same syth melody from Edward Maya’s 2009 hit ‘Stereo Love’. The synth is a lot higher but the melody is exactly the same, though the beat that kicks in is distinctly afrobeats. It makes for a very interesting mix that fits together surprisingly well, providing a great backdrop for Nana Boro’s auto tuned musings in both French and Twi.

The track is one to move to, and while it was quite an ambitious idea to mix hip life and western dance music on one track it doesn’t really seem to live up to the vibes of Aha Ye De, but then again it could be a grower!

EL – Turn The Lights Down

5 Mar

This track has been around for a while but seems to have been overlooked in the sudden boom in love for Afrobeats and Azonto dancing.

EL sets himself apart from other Ghanaian artists on this one, as well as showing himself to be truly versatile. He made the Azonto banger Obuu Mo and follows it up with a completely new school hip hop/ r&b track.

The production is flawless, the beat is minimalist with a melodic fast paced synth fading in and out, while the heavy hitting kicks that set in during the chorus help the track to climax. EL comes with a flow to match the incredible production, and his singing adds yet another element to the track. The choice to have very smooth and slow verses, contrasted by the loud and up tempo chorus makes the track reminiscent of Drake’s style, which is a true feat for an artist that is equally at home rapping in pidgin English and his local vernacular.

The video for the track is very well shot and has several things going on yet manages to stay simple and in no means over complicated. EL’s swagger is unmissable in this one, with his dapper shirt and trilby hat, he’ll have plenty of offers to turn down the lights…but the question is ladies are you a fan of toblerone?

Liquideep ‘Still’

1 Mar

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Continuing the house theme from the last post, Liquideep’s track Still is a great feel good house tune, with a sweet message and an infectious melody.

Liquideep is a duo formed of Ziyon a singer/ songwriter and producer and Ryzor a DJ. Together they create lush house tracks with infectious melodies and catchy hooks.

‘Still’ has been around for a few months now and has all the top DJs going mad for it, not to mention filling dance floors as soon as its played. DJ Edu has played it a few times on his ‘Destination Africa’  show on 1xtra.  The tune has an unmistakable light hearted feel created by Ziyon’s fervent and clear vocals reverbing over the the synths and kicks. There is a real summery vibe about it, so for those of us who live in sun starved England its a great one to put on and imagine partying in South Africa’s warmer climate!

Click below to watch the video.

Rudimental ‘Spoons’ ft MNEK & Syron

26 Feb

Rudimental are a London production elective who can’t seem to put a foot wrong at the moment. They remixed Ed Sheeran’s single ‘Drunk’ a little while ago, and did it so well their remix has received support from Zane Lowe, Pete Tong and 1xtra.  Now they’re back with an absolute house banger called ‘Spoons’.

The track features the incredible vocals of the uber talented MNEK, an 18 year old singer/ songwriter and producer from Lewisham, and of course the extremely gifted Syron, a 19 year old singer also from South London. Despite their youth these artists have been putting in work for a long time and have truly mastered their crafts. Both artists have been hotly tipped as ones to watch in 2012, with bloggers going crazy for them and all the taste makers getting into a frenzy some people probably wonder what the hype about these two is, but this track should wipe away any doubts.

Syron’s husky voice fits perfectly will with the smooth soulful sound of MNEK as they sing their hearts  on this chilled jam. The beat has a funky house element to it though the reverb effect on the vocal which runs through the song gives the track a lofty and airy feel.

Being a house track it is of course repetitive but Rudimental have accomplished a true feat in the sense that it never gets old. Using two vocalists means the repeated lyrics seem some how different, the harmonies also help to add new elements, and when the track finishes you’re left wanting more.

‘Spoons’ has already received so much love from the likes of The XX , Mista Jam and Disclosure, to name but a few and I’m sure in years to come it will be counted as a house classic!

Click below to watch the video.