Introducing Cape Town based Nigerian afrobeats rising sensation PABRYMO with his highly anticipated sophomore EP titled CITY BOY. Out on August 18 via his own Woke Entertainment imprint in partnership with Dvpper Music (Omah Lay, Seyi Vibez), the City Boy EP from PaBrymo is a testament to his artistic evolution, and reveals the unique blend of passion, energy, and authenticity that he brings to the afrobeats music landscape. Featuring guest appearances from the likes of Odumodublck, Seyi Vibez, and Kida Kudz, the stellar project is packed with five dynamic tracks that are bound to captivate listeners, and showcase the rich and diverse style, sound, and culture of his hometown Benin City that has deeply influenced PaBrymo’s unique sound.
Produced by his long-time collaborators DibsTunes, Rhedi, and DwillsHarmony, the City Boy EP sees PaBrymo painting a vivid picture of his life right now, and the experiences that come with it, as well as the rich Benin City culture that has profoundly shaped his music. The City Boy EP is a promise, a statement, and an invitation: to dance, to celebrate, and to be a part of PaBrymo’s incredible journey. Unpacking the inspiration behind this new project and his determination to break barriers, PaBrymo shares, “I wanted to incorporate the highs of the lifestyle we’re living – the good and fun times, the vibes, women, and all that. I also want the entire world to hear the style, sound, and culture from Benin that has influenced my music today”.
With his unique blend of afrobeats, dancehall, and afrotrap that make him very highly recommended if you like the sound of Burna Boy, J Hus, or Popcaan, PaBrymo has quickly and effortlessly amassed a remarkable following in his burgeoning music journey, already garnering over 15 million global streams. Originally from Benin City in Nigeria, PaBrymo has lived a journey filled with creativity and resilience, two key elements that have shaped his musical style and ethos. “As a boy from Benin City, it felt surreal to imagine back then that this could be a reality,” says PaBrymo, reflecting on his humble beginnings and the dreams that have fuelled his passion for music.
From his hit tracks, ‘Odoo’ featuring Zinoleesky and ‘Overload (Kala)’ with Rexxie and T.I Blaze, PaBrymo is soaring and quickly becoming one of the standout artists in this new afrobeats class for 2023. His deep connection with the music is intricately woven with his life and experiences, and he believes that his success is in part due to the strong community he’s nurtured — building his team from his group of long-time friends who continue to support his rising career, and this love for community extends beyond personal connections. His record label Woke Entertainment is not just a business, but a mission to support the talent and community that PaBrymo cherishes deeply.
PaBrymo’s ‘City Boy’ EP is out now via Woke Entertainment / Dvpper Music
Barely days after surprising fans all around the world with his new collaboration with Latin superstar Becky G on the hit track ‘Cough’, award-winning global superstar KIZZ DANIEL has pulled another out of the hat by announcing the release of his long-awaited and highly anticipated fourth studio album titled MAVERICK. Arriving two years after his chart-topping Barnabas EP, which was released in November 2021 and led to Kizz Daniel being the most streamed artist in Africa for the first half of 2022, the Maverick album is set for release on July 28 via FlyBoy INC and EMPIRE.
Driven by his captivating dynamism, adept musical sensibilities, and creative vision, the 20-track Maverick offering sees Kizz Daniel pushing the envelope of creativity and innovation, while staying true to his signature sound, as he redefines artistic boundaries with unparalleled creativity. From the infectious hooks to the thought-provoking lyrics, each song on Maverick delivers a unique and unforgettable musical experience, with Kizz Daniel drawing upon his personal experiences to craft songs on this album that will resonate with listeners on a deeply emotional level.
The long-awaited album represents a ground-breaking new chapter in Kizz Daniel’s illustrious career that showcases an evolution of his musical style, and a portrait of the artistic versatility and brilliance that made him a global superstar, while promising to be a thrilling journey for his fans and music lovers all over the world. Sonically, it comes with an eclectic yet seamless list of collaborators that includes Becky G, Not3s, Yemi Alade, Jahmiel, and Nomcebo Zikode, and an esteemed ensemble of some of West Africa’s best producers such as DJ Coublon (Oxlade, Patoranking), Blaisebeatz (Chris Brown, Wizkid), Mr Soul (Rema, Omah Lay), and M.O.G Beatz (Sarkodie, Stonebwoy).
Speaking about the inspiration behind his Maverick album, Kizz Daniel says, “A lot of things have happened over the years, and I think it’s time for me to just express myself. I don’t want to prove anything to anyone on this body of work. The only thing that kept coming to my mind when we were making this album was pretty much that I want to do me, and what I know how to do, I want to make music the way I want to make music. For ‘Maverick’, it’s my expression, and I think the music will explain itself. I want to give a piece of me that I have been hiding all this while”.
Diving deeper into his thought process for making the album and calling it Maverick, Kizz Daniel adds that, “I am very passionate about this body of work, and I want it to make sense. It’s not like there’s no ‘gbedu’ there, but then, the most part of this album is actually my journey, I even have songs for my kids on the project as well. ‘Maverick’ is someone that sticks out, someone that doesn’t go with the norm, but goes their own way. I have always seen myself as a maverick from the onset, but I feel I have been shying away from that label, so I’ve decided to embrace it on this album”.
ABOUT KIZZ DANIEL
With billions of streams under his belt, two Shazam chart-topping singles, sold-out tours across Africa, North America, and Europe, and over 25 million social media fans, Kizz Daniel is one of the leading figures at the forefront of representing afrobeats on the world stage. The enigmatic musician is the epitome of an all-round entertainer with a magnetic tone, captivating lyrics, alluring stage and screen presence, and an undeniably infectious musicality, which are just some of the irrefutable characteristics of all his songs, cutting across afrobeats, pop and R&B music, from classic cut ‘Nesesari’ to chart-topper ‘Buga’ to fan-favourite ‘Cough (Odo)’, and everything in between.
Already coming off of a very eventful 2022 that saw the global music sensation achieve huge milestones of being crowned the most streamed artist in Africa for the first two quarters of the year, releasing the biggest afrobeats song of the summer with ‘Buga’, and performing at the 2022 World Cup opening ceremony in Qatar with Diplo and Calvin Harris, 2023 is already promising to be an even bigger year for Kizz Daniel, with the success of ‘Shu-Peru’, his Essence Festival headline performance, and this new collaboration with Becky G offering just a glimpse into what listeners can expect from his highly-anticipated Maverick album via FlyBoy INC and EMPIRE.
‘MAVERICK’ ALBUM TRACKLIST
1. Red & Green
2. My G
4. Cough (Odo)
5. Show You Off (featuring Pryme)
7. Buga (Lo Lo Lo) [featuring Tekno]
8. Feran You Two (featuring Jalil and Jelani)
9. Feran Mi (featuring Johnny Drille)
10. Complicated (featuring Nomcebo Zikode, Jahmiel and Not3s)
12. Blood Is Thicker
13. One Dollar (featuring Blaqbonez)
14. Easy To Love (featuring Chike)
18. RTID (Rich Till I Die)
19. Side Chick (featuring DJ Big N, Yemi Alade, Young Jonn)
‘MIRROR’ is the glorious new offering from multi-faceted Atlanta-based singer, songwriter, and vocal producer ARYEÈ THE GEM as she continues to tease towards her highly anticipated debut solo EP arriving later this year via independent label Saint & Citizen Music. To be released on August 4, ‘Mirror’ comes on the back of the success of Aryeè The Gem’s last single ‘To It’, which has nearly amassed one million plays online, and garnered critical acclaim from the likes of Earmilk, Apple Music, ThisIsRnB, Notion Magazine, SoulTracks, and Metal Magazine, among others.
Written by Aryeè The Gem, with production coming from her longtime collaborators Trakmatik (Snoh Aalegra, Keyshia Cole, August Alsina) and Hvstle, ‘Mirror’ sees Aryeè waxing lyrical about getting out of your own way enough to trust yourself and others, and being open to reciprocity and new beginnings. The poignant and emotive track is driven by infectious drum patterns, synth keys, and lush bass guitar arrangements, over which Aryeè shines bright with her beautiful vocal display, rich harmonies and melodies, and captivating songwriting about growth, resilience, and freedom.
Speaking about the inspiration behind ‘Mirror’, Aryeè says, “This song was inspired by the process of growth and development, it reflects my growth, resilience, and newfound freedom. With this song, I honed in on knowing myself and trusting in the path that I’m taking. As I’m moving forward, I’m releasing a lot of things that no longer serve me, and calling in a reflection of love through another person. My intention for this song is to amplify the energy of new beginnings in love and life, while trusting that everything that is unfolding is for my highest good”.
Recommended if you like the sounds of Victoria Monet, Syd, Ari Lennox, or Solange, Milwaukee native Aryeè The Gem comes with a strong passion and love for music that started from a very young age, having been immersed in choirs from elementary school all the way to the collegiate level. With early influences coming from black music legends such as Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott, and Brandy, Aryeè The Gem beautifully merges R&B, soul, hip-hop and indie elements to deliver an eclectic high frequency sound that intersects art and healing through musical expression.
After establishing himself as one of the fastest rising afropop stars on the continent with his ground-breaking debut album Bravo, which garnered nearly 200 million plays online, on the back of viral hit singles including ‘Body’, ‘Dangerous’ featuring Ayra Starr, and ‘LOML’ with Olamide, and saw the versatile rapper, singer, songwriter and musician receive international acclaim from the likes of Highsnobiety, Wonderland, Grungecake, and PAUSE Magazine, global music enthusiasts have eagerly been anticipating what CHEQUE will do next.
Cheque’s debut album Bravo, bolstered by top-charting hits such as ‘Dangerous’ featuring Ayra Starr, ‘Call Me Baby’, and ‘LOML’ with Olamide, amassed nearly 200 million streams, cementing his emerging superstar credentials. Notably revered for his versatile style and captivating music, Cheque has etched a significant domestic impact in West Africa, and is now keen to broaden his international reach. His latest EP Chequemate – out now via Penthauze and EMPIRE – underscores his artistic evolution, encapsulating his journey in a compelling afropop narrative.
After weeks of teasing new music on social media, Superboy Cheque, as he is fondly called by his fans and contemporaries, is finally ready to share his glorious new EP titled CHEQUEMATE with the world. Out today (July 28) via Penthauze and EMPIRE, the highly anticipated project reveals Cheque at his versatile and captivating best, as he skilfully weaves a genre-melding sonic tapestry of afrobeats, R&B, hip-hop, dancehall and everything in between, all held together by his magical voice, irresistible flow, relatable songwriting, and vibrant performance prowess.
For his Chequemate project, Cheque has tapped into the creative genius of producers like Ozedikus (Rema, BNXN), Hitsound (Ayra Starr, Joeboy), and 10ten (Blaqbonez, Candy Bleakz) to bring his vibrant musical visions to life. The EP also sees Cheque reuniting with his childhood friend Fireboy DML on a new track titled ‘Hustler’, following their chart-topping track ‘History’ from the Bravo album. The only other feature is the Mavin Records prodigy, Crayon, who joins forces with Cheque for the captivating ‘Sunflawa’ track, further enriching the 6-track EP.
Speaking about the inspiration behind his Chequemate EP, Cheque says, “This EP is born out of my life’s journey in recent years – the relentless hustle and cycle of striving to achieve something bigger and more impactful. I just want to help and inspire others through my music, and if you listen to ‘Shine’, which opens the EP, you’ll hear how I’m intent on motivating people to overcome tough times, because I myself was going through similar adversities. There’s a lot of hate in this world, but some love and motivation might just be what we need to make things better”.
Cheque is a vibrant luminary in the African pop music landscape, who has been making his mark since signing with African rap icon Phyno via his Penthauze imprint in 2019. His diverse musical repertoire effortlessly fuses afrobeats, R&B, hip-hop, dancehall, and pop music to great effect, with his lyricism and entrancing melodies distinguishing him as a rising global star. His 2020 debut EP Razor served as a springboard, with the breakout single ‘Zoom’ spawning a bigger remix with afrobeats legend Davido and Grammy-nominated rap star Wale.
The 53-year-old event, dubbed “UK’s biggest musical festival,” was filled with drama, stage shocks, and huge surprises. Glastonbury’s gate flung open on Wednesday, 21 June 2023, and welcomed over 210,000 people who trooped into Somerset’s Worthy Farm to experience the anticipated occasion’s glitz, glam, and glory.
Here are seven highlights from the event before the curtains closed on Sunday, 25 June 2023.
The Churnups? What The Hell!
Mystery band, The Churnups were announced as headliners, leaving speculations on their identity. But the atmosphere roared with life when Dave Grohl came on stage and revealed The Foo Men as the missing piece of the puzzle. The band’s frontman dedicated their last song on the setlist, Everlong, to their deceased drummer, Taylor Hawkins, and introduced Josh Freese as his replacement. Friday night also saw performances from Arctic Monkeys, Kelis, and Guns N’ Roses.
Blimey! Is that Cate Blanchett?
Two-time Oscar award-winning actress Cate Blanchett got the crowd wild on Friday night when she appeared on stage with US pop duo Sparks. Glastonbury has a reputation for pulling off surprises, but no one was ready for the 54-year-old Australian superstar dressed in a yellow suit and buzzing with vigour. Sparks performed “This Girl Is Crying In Her Latte” while Cate replicated her energetic dance routine in the song’s music video.
Confession Time With Lewis Capaldi
Scottish singer Lewis Capaldi announced his struggles with Tourette’s syndrome in September 2022. While singing his final song, the worldwide hit “Someone You Loved,” on Saturday, the 26-year-old pop artiste lost his voice in an emotional atmosphere. He took the backseat, allowing the crowd to fill in for him as his band played the outro, signifying an end to his one-hour set. On Tuesday, the singer announced an indefinite break from touring to focus on his health.
Headliner Lana Del Rey Cut Short On Set
Lana Del Rey’s performance at the Glastonbury Festival got cut short after she arrived 30 minutes late on Saturday. The technical crew muted the 38-year-old’s mic before she could perform anticipated tracks like “Summertime Sadness.” But the fans protested and sang “Video Games” a capella, while the critically acclaimed American songwriter joined them just in time before security led her off stage.
Jacob Collier Brings The Church To Town
English multi-instrumentalist Jacob Collier led the audience at the West Holts Stage on a soulful rendition of Queen’s “Somebody To Love.” He split the crowd of 30,000 into various sections and directed them to sing in different harmonies, waving his hands like a skilful choir director to signify unison, change in keys, and up and down scales. The 28-year-old Jazz singer was left dumbfounded at the magical result and thanked the audience for being unbelievable and surreal.
Debbie Harry Shows Up In Style
On Sunday, the 77-year-old lead vocalist of the ‘70s band Blondie rocked the Glastonbury Festival in an all-black mini dress. Debbie Harry paired the dress with a black jacket and a black inner t-shirt. She also wore dark visor sunglasses to match her striking outfit and started her performance with the band’s smash hit “One Way Or Another.” However, some online and onsite viewers complained that they couldn’t hear the American rock legend.
Elton John Bows Out Gracefully
On Sunday, Sir Elton John came out in a gold suit and delivered an impeccable performance on what may be his last gig at Glastonbury. With hits upon hits like “Rocket Man,” “Tiny Dancer,” and “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” the 76-year-old British legend didn’t disappoint, taking the audience on a nostalgic ride into every era of his 50-plus-year career.
John was joined on stage by Brandon Flowers, Stephen Sanchez, Jacob Lusk, and movie debutante Rina Sawayama. The Beatles legend Paul McCartney watched from the wings as the singer dedicated his single “Don’t Go Down On Me” to his deceased friend, British legend George Michael who would have turned 60 on Sunday.
These were the memorable events of the just concluded festival. Early this week, organisers Michael and Emily Eavis confirmed that there would be Glastonbury 2024 when they shared a picture on Twitter with the words “See you in 366 days”. Although the dates are not confirmed, we look forward to more surprises as we anticipate next year’s event.
Debut EP by British producer Yaz León, It’s Only Takeout Ma, merges soul, funk, R&B and pop, to document some intimate memories
The six-track EP by Yaz León, ‘It’s Only Takeout Ma’, is, by her own admission, a whale of a project. “It took a complete character development to finish,” quips León. The neo-soul artist from West London took a year to finish the EP and despite being innately personal in nature, the sounds of the extended play exude a sense of nostalgia that would be familiar to almost any listener.
“The first track titled ‘Abu’s Song’ is quite literally a candid conversation with my grandmother about her youth, it’s nostalgic and warm and really sets the tone of the body of work. The EP just summarises many life events of the last few years,” says the British producer who’s a Spanish Iraqi native.
Written and produced by León herself, with additional production from Ess West, and live instrumentation from Luke Bachuss, Seun Folayan, Jack Oliver, and Starkey the Messenger, the EP takes modern soul to new heights. We caught up with the producer to learn more about her debut EP.
In Conversation: Yaz León
Tell us what influenced this EP. How personal is this project?
The project is insanely intimate, I wanted it to be thought-provoking and moving in one way or another. There had to be an aspect of starting conversations and covering taboo topics. Lyrically, there were a lot of conversations I was having with myself and others. The single titled ‘AUGUST’ is a love letter to my first girlfriend and I guess… a sort of coming out letter to my family.
‘Abu’s Song’ sounds intricate and nostalgic. Tell us a little about the lyrics.
Abu’s song is all about my Abuela (maternal grandmother). Whenever we were together we would sit and talk for hours. She was really progressive for the time she grew up in. In this case, she was talking about a trip with her sisters and being pushed to sing publicly. I sneakily recorded some of it because it was too cute. Out of nowhere, she brings up what she sang and then actually sings it, and it was moving. I was halfway through my project and I was looking for something to set the tone of the EP. It was then that I found the voice note again and decided to use it. I paired it with my piano arrangement, beautifully played by Luke Bachuss, and everything just came together.
Is the EP anchored by a singular narrative?
No. The whole idea of the ‘It’s only takeout Ma’ was to have each song be different in topic and tone. I might’ve written a million songs about heartbreak or daddy issues but I wanted to make the project as multifaceted as people generally are. In some way that’s the singular narrative of the EP. I guess I’ve changed my mind…
Tell us a little about your creative journey and the year you spent making this album
Not gonna lie, it’s been a rough year. So, spending time with friends creating and channelling energy into making this project has been therapeutic. I met some really wonderful people and saw different perspectives and approaches to composing. I also never pushed myself to meet deadlines if I wasn’t mentally in the right place. Something which I have to credit my friends for reminding me to focus on. It’s been character-building. I started the project timidly and unsure and now I’m really proud of everything I’ve made and learnt during the process. Could tattoo it on my forehead!
How do you define ‘modern soul’?
I think modern soul is just evolved soul having mixed with other genres and new ways of producing as well as including very current topics lyrically. People are more political and opinionated and vulnerable in their music.
Tell us why you named the EP ‘It’s only takeout Ma.’
My mum and I have a pretty typical immigrant mother-daughter relationship. It used to annoy me (and still does a bit) that she would worry so much when I’d go out. She’d ask for my friends’ phone numbers and addresses, and social security numbers (just kidding!). As a result, I’d lie about where I was going. That really put a distance in our relationship. With the number of women victims you hear about on and off the news, I understood more and more about her worry for her children’s safety. So, the title of the EP references a lie.
What are the different sounds you explore in the EP?
A goal of the project was to look at experimental production and potentially mismatch the melodies with different-toned lyrics. Some of the songs that have the happiest lyrics have the saddest instrumentals. I also wanted to mix different genres. Considering emotions go up and down, the genres had to match. We’ve got some funk, pop, Spanish undertones and some emotional soul. Even got some Arabic oud on one of the tracks… have to rep the heritage!
The arrangements and some aspects of songwriting feel personal and very present. How challenging is it to channel authenticity in music at the moment?
I don’t think it’s too difficult. Especially in the London music scene at the moment, people are so much more soul-baring. It feels more accepted and needed. Lines might be blurred for some in terms of knowing what their truth is. But nobody’s completely unbiased in their version of events. What we think is the truth is probably the most authentic we can get.
Are you back to performing live?
I am! It’s been f***ing lovely to do live shows the last few months. I supported AKA Block and played at Soho House so that’s been really fun. I’m hoping to plan another headline show after the release…
Tell us what you’re planning next…
I’m working on some music videos and live sessions to follow the EP which is exciting. But there are some really cool singles and collaborations for the new year, I’m telling you. These people are going to be the next generation of iconic musicians.
With a multitude of projects to their name and constant grafting, The Happy Fits have finally landed within their element
Realizing that a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity doesn’t stay around forever, the trio took their chance, dropped out of college, and ran away with a journey of highs and lows. From the wonders of their first-ever EP to gracing the stages of the world, The Happy Fits’ latest work, Under the Shade of Green, is a magical testament to their past two years.
Across a 12-track album, listeners have been invited to a typical The Happy Fits style through the blend of serious subject matters, told by the essence of infectious hooks and melodic charm. One could argue that the group has found their spark, and whilst I sit here and tend to agree, there’s a slight disagreement in my head, that The Happy Fits still have some fire left in their belly to let loose in months to come.
After an overwhelming yet exciting couple of months, Chapter Z catches up with lead singer Calvin Langham, about their latest project, Under the Shade of Green, chasing their dreams and being open to trying new things.
Hey hey, how are you? Congratulations on releasing your latest album, Under the Shade of Green – what have the past few months entailed?
Hello! We’re doing so extremely well, thanks for asking! The past few months have been a whirlwind. We’ve spent a lot of time working on our next two music videos… our 19th & 20th to date! We’ve also been live-streaming quite a bit, playing Jackbox Games, Drawasaurus, and Truth-or-Dare with our fans and giving out tons of merch prizes. Other than that, just been practising a bunch for our upcoming tours, trying to beef up our live set.
Breaking onto the music scene back in 2016 with multiple projects to now teasing a new venture, how would you describe your rise and your journey in music?
We started gaining our initial fanbase on Spotify thanks to one of our first tracks, “While You Fade Away”, from our EP Awfully Apeelin’, getting placed on the Fresh Finds playlist on Spotify. After the initial hype simmered out, we were on this German dance and disco playlist and that kept us going through the latter half of the first year of us being a band. It wasn’t until our second album, What Could Be Better, that our song “Hold Me Down” started spinning on a massive Alt Rock station in the states called AltNation, and we started seeing fans pop up all over the USA.
Speaking of your rise and talking of some of your fond memories of dreams, why did you want to become a trio, and what was the number one key influence?
We all wanted to be rockstars growing up, but kids around our rural New Jersey area weren’t particularly musically inclined, so it was a pipedream for a long time. Ross and I (Calvin) met in our freshman year of high school, but we didn’t start bonding through music and becoming friends until late Junior year. We started out playing folk covers like Andrew Bird, George Ezra, and Milk Carton Kids, but we quickly lost interest due to our covers being, well, shoddy to say the least.
One day Ross showed me this cool instrumental loop he made on his loop pedal, and I took it back home with me, and wrote words and lyrics over it; what would become our song “Dirty Imbecile”. This was around the Summer before we left for college, and Ross’ mom was adamant we get some of our originals recorded to share with our friends and family. We found Luke our drummer through Ross’ brother Kyle, as Luke and Kyle were close friends. After we recorded the EP together, we released it and went off to college.
But, once that Spotify playlist got us some traction, we all realized the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity we had to follow our dreams, so we all dropped out. I wouldn’t say there was one key influence, but the key factor was definitely Ross’ mum Agnes’ support of our original songs, in the beginning, to make us record our EP.
Currently, in one sentence, how would you describe your sound?
Our music is an eclectic mix of catchy indie, alt, and pop rock with soaring cello riffs and roaring guitar licks.
With this new project now out, what do you hope to achieve from it, and what do you hope listeners take from it?
Under the Shade of Green is an album trying to emotionally process the climate crisis and the rise of fascism here in America. It’s maddening watching everything unfold the way it has and seeing the systems in place be completely inept at solving our generation’s problems. It’s obvious that the Earth we inherit will be much more violent to us than in the past, but I think to really emotionally process this reality is different than just knowing this dark fact. There is no one good place to start processing every wrong thing in the world, but this album is attempting to start somewhere.
Opening yourself to a new chapter and sharing stories from the past two years, how did the album come together and what was the creative process of the tracks?
I was living in our old practice space for a lot of this album’s creation during the pandemic. Our old work focused on coming-of-age stories, but as we watched BLM happen and the country rip at the seams, it felt unwarranted to keep writing about ourselves. Music, to me, is all about emotionally connecting with others, and I felt like there weren’t many outlets musically trying to connect with the darkness of the times in which we are.
I know this is a dreaded question, but what is your favourite track off the album, and why?
I have to go with “In The Lobby”. It’s a tongue-in-cheek song about how our government is super corrupt with lobbyists. There are so many songs praising fame and fortune, but none really about getting there by being a self-serving lobbyist.
Having already worked with many artists and producers; whom would you love to collaborate with in the future?
I would love to collaborate with Brittany Howard. Everything she creates you can tell comes from an other-worldly place and shimmers, unlike any other music.
On the other hand, if you could bring three music icons to a dinner party, dead or alive, who would you bring?
Brittany Howard, David Byrne, and Bruno Mars
As you endure the highs and lows of the music world, what has been your number one learning perspective of the music industry, and what do you want to share with aspiring artists?
Get a good lawyer before signing any big deals. For any aspiring artists, understand you’re probably going to have to do more than make music nowadays. The industry is bonkers for TikTok right now and who knows what the next fade will be. Be open to trying new things and working your ass off.
What is your most significant pinch-me moment so far?
We played BottleRock music festival in Napa Valley, California, earlier this year. There were so many people that we couldn’t see to the end of the crowd. That was so awesome.
Continuing to cement yourself within the music scene and ready to take on the world with your tour, what is next for The Happy Fits?
We’re going to keep on doing what we know best; writing rock music to make you want to dance, cry, laugh, sing, and scream into the endless abyss.
BTS members are planning to begin their mandatory military service starting this year. They might only get back together around 2025, per an official statement from their management company. BTS fans have been outraged, yet many of these reactions ignore the social and political context of South Korean mandatory military service.
All South Korean men must serve in the military for at least 18 months. Conscription in South Korea has existed since 1957. Women aren’t required to perform military service but can voluntarily join the military. By law, when a South Korean man turns 18 years old, he’s enlisted for first citizen service, making them liable for military duty but not required to serve. Upon turning 19-20, he’d have to go through an Impairment & Disability evaluation to determine their suitability for military service. If they are deemed suitable for military service, they must enlist by age 28.
But, there is an exception to this rule: award-winning global athletes and classical musicians recommended by the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, who can replace military duty with alternative services. Unfortunately, the South Korean boy band doesn’t fit within this category. And, speculation had been rampant for months, theorizing that the K-Pop group could be granted an exemption from the rule.
BigHit Music confirmed it through Twitter. The group’s oldest member, Kim Seok-jin, will be the first to enlist after dropping his first solo album in October. The other band members will follow suit, but exact time frames were not discussed.
A two-year extension for notable K-Pop artists could be provided by the government for their career, with the age for joining the military being 30. Some media outlets stated that this amendment was to benefit Kim Seok-jin, who was about to turn 28 at the time. BTS’ contributions to the spread of Korean culture and Hallyu made exemptions for their group a trending topic both in and outside South Korea.
Since making this statement, the government has been in a back-and-forth final decision with BTS members, and fans were unsure if a final exception would be made for them. It seems as if BTS members took the matter into their hands, though there’s no confirmation from an official authority on what happened behind the scenes.
Due to age differences, not all boy band members will go simultaneously, with an estimate of 2 to 3 at a time being most accurate. Jin and Suga will serve through the end of 2022 and the beginning of 2023, as they were born in 1992 and 1993, respectively. Military service could also mean going to the Navy for some, which is 21 months instead of 18.
In the meantime, fans have solo albums, units, and previous content, with some expressing relief that 2025 isn’t that far away.
Here are our favourite upcoming Black British artists right now
October marks Black History Month in the UK, and how better to celebrate than by bigging up our favourite upcoming Black British artists of the moment?
Much of the music we listen to today is inspired and derived from genres created by Black communities in the US. Some of the most notable of these genres include the blues, jazz music and RnB. But, today, all genres are rich in Black history and impact.
So, let’s celebrate by meeting Dexter, Clavish and Rachel Chinouriri.
Dexter is the South London-based artist who seamlessly mixes indie sonics with smooth RnB to create her own perfect blend.
The songwriter’s most recent single Play Pretend flows with a slow groove and light beat that keeps the track airy, while the lyrics take a more serious tone.
Play Pretend is also accompanied by a nostalgic music video directed by Lengurz and comes from Dexter’s second EP.
Claivsh, another artist from the capital, is representing the North London rap scene. The wordsmith has been tearing up the underground scene for a handful of years. But, with the release of his debut EP in December 2021, Clavish has started to climb into the gaze of the mainstream.
And, only yesterday (October 16th) he dropped his latest single NRF Freestyle. Check out the new track below:
Another artist who’s about to break the big time is Rachel Chinouriri. She’s currently writing her debut album, but even before her first full-length release, she’s enjoyed her fair share of success, namely with her dreamy indie-pop single All I Ever Asked which premiered as Clara Amfo’s Hottest Record In The World on BBC Radio 1 earlier this year.
Chinouriri has also supported notable artists Celeste, Sam Fender and Lianne La Havas on tour and is due to be Kojey Radical’s opening act at his O2 Academy Brixton show in November.
Lizzo is on her way to Europe, and she’s bringing her iconic flute to The Special Tour
Since solidifying herself as one of the main pop girls, Lizzo has been notoriously America-focused. But finally, Lizzo is giving her European fans what they want, after announcing a mammoth 15-date tour, titled, The Special Tour 2023, which will finish in the iconic o2 arena in London.
“IT’S ABOUT DAMN TIME THE SPECIAL TOUR CAME TO THE UK AND EUROPE! YALL BEEN WAITING FOR THIS ONE,” says Lizzo to her adoring fans on Twitter. British fans will have ample opportunity to catch the Truth Hurts singer on one of the dates, which includes six UK cities; Machester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Dublin, and of course, London. Tickets go on sale this week.
Lizzo first broke out onto the music scene in 2017, with the old-school-inspired track, Juice. The track was championed by BBC radio and helped propel Lizzo to the dizzy heights of fame. But it wasn’t the single that got everyone’s attention, as the follow-up. Truth Hurts overtook Juice and became Lizzo’s first breakout hit. Since then, Truth Hurts has racked up an impressive 800 million stream count and Spotify and has even won a Grammy for Best Solo Performance.
Part of Lizzo’s appeal is her humble relatability. Before her commercial success, Lizzo was working hard to find her USP and her audience. In 2013, Lizzo released Lizzobangers, and in 2015, Big Grrrl Small World – but to little success. Lizzo was struggling to finalise what kind of artist she wanted to be. “The big Black girls were always the belters, and I’ve always been afraid of being put into that box,” says Lizzo, discussing stereotyping in the industry. “That’s how we were tokenised.” But as Lizzo started to embrace herself, her sound and her unique quirks, she began to get attention for all the right reasons.
Now, Lizzo is an inspiration for many fans who are struggling with body confidence issues in the context of a vain and superficial world. In an interview with People Magazine and Glamour, Lizzo recalls, “I was body negative for a long time.” She continues, “to continue to live in this body and survive in this body and be happy and actually enjoy life, I need to find a way to like myself.” With this positive mindset, Lizzo hopes to share her love and talent with a European audience. And for that reason alone, it’s not one to be missed. Tickets go on sale this week.