A newcomer of experimental pop moves between fantasy and realism, Finnish musician Ada Aik produces electronic music that flirts with the uncanny valley effect.
Ada Aik is an alter-ego for the musician Karin Mäkiranta, who is known from bands such as Karina and Babel. Now she hides under a plastic wig and lives in a dollhouse, which is the scene for her 2022 forthcoming album. Each track represents a room in the dollhouse. Here you can read more about the ‘rooms’.Speaking about the process of how she created the focus track ‘Garage’, Ada shares, “I knew what I wanted when I composed this song, the form and the lyrics came easy. The fast tempo felt compelling to me, I listened to the demo a lot while running.This song is a bathroom in Ada Aik’s house but the song was composed in a garage where the title comes from. Anyhow- the bathroom has elements from the garage (the concrete walls and an unfinished look) so the title stayed.”
Receiving praise from the likes of WRSZW, New Music Friday on Spotify and Radio Helsinki, Ada Aik is also known for her conceptual gigs. Creating a room in a dollhouse live and also on her website, performing arts is one of her main interests. An incredible songwrite, Karin Mäkiranta also creates music for the silver screen. Musically endearing, the track is situated within a glistening experimental pop limelight and transcends listeners into a ethereal realm.
Having received praise from the likes of The Line of Best Fit, COLORS, Wonderland & Dummy Magazine for her debut EP ‘If I Am Falling’, this songwriter is going from strength to strength with each release. Teaming up with London born queer filmmaker and photographer Ben Cole (Odunsi, Franz Ferdinard, Boy George, Dolce & Gabbana, SKYN, Vogue), this is a partnership sent straight from heaven.
As for many other people around the world, the pandemic induced lockdowns brought XATIVA periods of prolonged isolation. It was during this time that XATIVA, still grappling with the core subjects of love and loss, began to piece together and record Fly Away, her second EP, at Soup Studios in London with Giles Barrett (Alfa Mist, Nubya Garcia, Moses Boyd).
Speaking about the lead single ‘You’re A Mistake’, XATIVA shares, “A central theme of ‘You’re A Mistake’, and the project as a whole, is the seeming contradiction of the frustration of falling for someone who is wrong for you, but at the same time the powerful feelings of love that still draw you towards them.”
The accompanying video, directed by Cole and starring The Irregulars’/Sex Education’s Jojo Macari and Alice Bird, explores how these conflicting feelings can surface at the end of a relationship. Set in a surrealist landscape ever shifting from monochrome to vibrant hues of yellow and orange, the video interweaves moments of intimacy with others of destruction. Cole’s defining glam horror aesthetic, combined with an array of ominous head sculptures, designed by artist David Hochhauser, creates a perfect dark and dreamlike world, wherein the complex and at times sinister undertones of a breakup can be fe
With a new season brings change and growth. Texas-based R&B/pop-soul artist Tina Rix rings in the spring season with her upcoming motivational anthem “I’m Winning”.. A soulful upbeat track with elements of Latin music, Afrobeats and hip-hop, this single embodies what Rix aspires to share with the world - hope. “I’m Winning” celebrates achievements, big or small, and champions a never give up attitude.
Blending the multiple sounds of the diaspora, in addition to fusing modern R&B, Gospel and pop the Texan creates a genre that is uniquely her own. A strong proponent for creating music with a meaningful message, the artist aims to heal listeners with every track.
In addition to her music, the Nigerian-American artist Tina Rix is a licensed therapist, filmmaker and mental health advocate. After graduating from Prairie View A&M University, a historically Black college, Rix began her extensive career in the mental health field. After several successful years as a practicing therapist, Rix sensed she could provide healing energy on multiple levels and through multiple forums, including music. In 2020, at the start of the global pandemic, Rix used the down time to craft her debut album, No Looking Back, a 17-track project that aims to inspire listeners to live their lives fearlessly and authentically.
British-Nigerian artist Priscilla Nwachi is here with new Gospel Amapiano track ‘Just Like You’. Wanting to be the breath of fresh air to the nation by changing the voice and face of gospel, Priscilla is certainly a visionary in the new release. A Scouser with an Igbo heritage that now lives in Northamptonshire, Priscilla’s exceptional aura is diverse.
Speaking about the new release, Priscilla shares, “‘Just Like You’ is about trying and striving to be more like Christ in our everyday lives. We all have imperfections and each day brings forth new challenges and opportunities to try and do better than the day before, so we should come as we are. ‘Just Like You’ is a message for everyone regardless of faith, background or ethnicity, to think about our decisions knowing we are not alone and that if we trust in God, He will guide and light our path.”
Priscilla is a regular woman that has lived life and has been through many experiences that have shaped her into the artist and woman she is today. Mental health and suicide is an issue close to Priscilla’s heart, having lost a couple of close friends to suicide over the years, and having also battled with self-doubt, depression and anxiety – inspirational music and singing was what got her through her darkest times.
The world can be such a difficult and stressful place, and with her positive and uplifting message, Priscilla’s beautiful new track is certainly what the globe needs right now.
Adding to how the track was created, Priscilla shares, “I wrote the song over 15 years ago when I heard the chorus in my dream. I remembered the melody when I woke up and proceeded to write the first verse. I only had the chorus and first verse by the time I contacted the producer in South Africa and wrote the rest of the song once he made the beat.”
Chicago based musician HODJE inherited her love of music from her dad, who is a keyboard player, as well as her grandfather, who worked at Gibson. Back with an exceptional new release ‘Jump From The Table’, HODJE’s influences range from The Beatles, to Dagny, to Enya. Outside of music, HODJE fosters dogs and assists in developing plant-based restaurants.
Speaking about the new release, HODJE shares, ‘In 2020, I was riddled with anxiety about all the unknowns of the pandemic, like I imagine most people were. I was also in a serious relationship which was falling apart that same year. I wasn’t eating enough, I was just not in a good place. I started thinking about what it was going to be like to reintroduce myself back into social activities. I love going out into the world and meeting new people and trying new places, but that also coexisted with my anxieties and sadness about 2020 in its entirety.
This image of a girl going back into a bar for the first time after the pandemic and getting happy drunk with her friends, climbing on a table and thinking she could jump off and fly, was just a funny vision to me. That hook, ‘I think I can fly,’ also was a metaphor for, ‘I think I’m going to get over this, I think I’m going to be okay.’
Musically, the track is based around a gorgeous indie rock arrangement with elements of pop throughout. HODJE’s vocals stand out from the crowd and are instantly recognizable.
The entirety of Jonah HEI$T Jurick’s life has been painted by music. Before the age of 1, Hei$t began his artistic journey by attending the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and has returned on a yearly basis ever since. Finding influence from his father, who played live music as a drummer his whole life, Hei$t began writing songs and taking vocal lessons at the age of 12. As the era of SoundCloud picked up steam, Hei$t immersed herself into his own style of smooth melodic rap and alternative pop music, taking influence from artists like Kid Cudi, Future, Leon Bridges and Mac Miller. His song ‘Romeo’ has amassed over half a million streams. Back with his newest release ‘Lazy All Day’, HEI$T will once again have you beaming from ear to ear.
Speaking about the new release, HEI$T shares, “Have you ever woken up next to someone you love and wanted to stay in the same place all day without leaving their side? That’s what this song is about. “Stay, stay-ay-ayy, stay with me, we can be lazy all day.” I woke up one morning, went directly to Ableton Live on my computer, and told myself I wasn’t going to leave my room all day. This song brings out groove, sunshine, and relaxing with your best friend or loved one. It is a fast-paced fantasy world.”
This girl creates images in my mind that I don’t want to let go of. “Stay” is essentially asking to slow down time and be lazy together. Once I finished the rough draft, I was ready to release it. At the time, I was on a beach in Viña Del Mar, Chile and showed my good friend and saxophonist Zach Vlessing. He immediately said to me “Jonah, this song is not finished until I play the sax.” Once we got back to the states, we headed over to Bushwick, Brooklyn to finish recording at Slide BK studios with legendary mixing engineer Invisible Will.”
Writing songs since the age of 13, Lucas Harmon is a songwriter on a mission to change the industry forever. The most important thing to Lucas is the raw and genuine emotion conveyed through his songs, striving to relate to his listeners on a personal level. Lucas holds himself to the idea that every lyric written must have a deeper meaning to him and never decides to write in a lyric simply because it sounds good. Back with an exceptional new release ‘Breakaway’, the track covers themes of anger, redemption but most of all, empowerment. Produced by Grammy-nominated Shane Adams, ‘Breakaway’ was recorded at the studio ‘House of David’ located in Nashville, TN.
Speaking about the new release, Lucas shares, “I wrote Breakaway about 2 different people I was involved in romantic relationships with. These were not healthy relationships, these two people were very manipulative and did not treat me well. When I was in these relationships it was like the wool was pulled over my eyes though, I would keep coming up with excuses on why I was in the wrong in certain situations, when in reality and with time I soon realised I was not and was completely valid in my emotions.
Breakaway is a song I wrote when I was finally able to think clearly about these 2 people and finally get my own perspective when it wasn’t being skewed. In a comedic sense I guess you could refer to this song as a “roast” in a way. I tried to put everything I was feeling out in an aggressive a straight forward manner. I held nothing back and tried to explain my thought process without being afraid to speak up. I’m telling myself to breakaway from my habits of getting involved with people that don’t treat me right, while hopefully encouraging others to do the same.”
Striving to always be honest with his music in order to convey his authentic self, ‘Breakaway’ comes across as relatable and a strong contender in the world of indie rock.
Alternative rock band Public Theatre clearly state that the Seattle music scene will forever be iconic. The band is composed of Logan Britsch on lead vocals, Cory Meldrom on guitar, Grayson Malone on bass and guitar, and Matthew Tran on drums. Drawing heavy inspiration from music in the early 2000’s such as The Killers, Arctic Monkeys and The Strokes, Public Theatre are back with their finest release to date, ‘THE HUNT’.
Speaking about their new release, Public Theatre share, “THE HUNT is a song about somehow always falling into toxic or abusive relationships and hopefully this song will help a few people realize the cycle that they're stuck in. We wrote this song just like any other one of our songs, one person comes in with either a guitar lick or vocal melody at practice and we all just jam around that person until it feels right. We've all been playing together for years and years, so it's easy to pick up what someone is trying to get across.
Receiving support from Spotify’s All New Rock, New Music Friday: Norway & New Music Friday: Iceland to name a few, Public Theatre are certainly turning heads across the globe. The first track from the band in two years, ‘The Hunt’ is certainly a triumphant return. Public Theatre plan to release one track each month for the foreseeable future!
Musically a hard-hitting number with elements of grunge throughout, ‘THE HUNT’ requires you turning the volume up to eleven straightaway.
Allen Chen aka the mastermind behind project Aguava returns with invincible new single ‘Can We’ - and it will certainly get you making your way to the nearest dancefloor. Drawing on a wide range of influences ranging from Afro-Cuban jazz and bossa nova to disco and 90s house, he seeks to blend these genres into forward thinking retro grooves.
Born in Shanghai, China, Chen grew up surrounded by traditional Chinese folk music along with the works of Mozart, Chopin and Beethoven from his dad's vast collection of classical music. Receiving support from various online publications such as Acid Stag, Indie Shuffle, Stereofox, and Wonderland, along with releasing on labels such as Majestic Casual, Czech Vibes Sound and Routine Expresso, Aguava is set to have a big 2022 with his unique take on house music.
Speaking about the new release, Aguava shares, “Can We is a healing track that I made in reaction to the crazy events that occurred in the summer of 2020. I was stuck at home with my parents in quarantine at the time, and learned about the tragic death of George Floyd. I felt powerless and hopeless about the world and the hatred that was dividing us as a species. I sat down that day to make something that would soothe the pain and anxiety I was feeling; a sort of plea to the world for love to triumph over hate. It represents what I love about music as a whole; the ability to heal wounds and make the tough times a little bit better.”
Independent American born, Indian rapper SnapDibz starts the new year off in the best way possible - announcing his latest release ‘On My Mind’, and it’s seriously a track you don’t want to miss. After years of creating underground music with DJ Dibz, Snap continued to create music while DJ Dibz backed out. Keeping the SnapDibz name, his first professionally produced EP “Levels,” was released in 2020 and the EP introduced SnapDibz to the world.
Speaking about the new release, SnapDibz shares, “On My Mind is a song about life. It’s about ones journey of self discovery and finding what you really want out of life. Everyone has a different view or opinion of happiness… “some just want to be alone...some just want to chase gold, want a big house with a boat” and so on.”
Talking about different desires and how some are never satisfied, ‘On My Mind’ is about chasing the stream and never giving up on your dreams. Quite optimistic, the track features a subtle melancholic vibe at its core. About trusting the universe and going with the flow of our destiny, this track is best described as empowering.
Adding to how the track was created, SnapDibz shares, “The beat was produced by Flawless in Canada. I mentioned to Flawless what type of beat I was looking for and he delivered. After obtaining the beat and vibing to the track, the concept was created and then I sent the track to Rey for a hook. Once I had the hook I began writing my verses and recording in small town Quincy Il. So the track had a few parts that I had to coordinate.”
Deep house producer, songwriter and DJ Jeh makes wide-eyed, emotional music that will leave you wanting more. His songs blend organic and electronic instrumentation, incorporating classic sounds to try and bring the underground house grooves into mainstream tracks.
Receiving praise from the likes of Rolling Stone India, Distract TV and Indian Express to name a few outlets, Jeh’s music has also accumulated over 3 million streams. Back with exhilarating new release ‘Wonderland’, Jeh said the track’s about ‘sometimes life isn’t perfect, it’s no wonderland, but it’s beautiful’.
One of India’s fasted rising electronic artists, if ‘Wonderland’ is anything to go by, Jeh will have his name in vivid lights in no time. Receiving DJ support from across the globe, Jeh has even charted at #107 in Estonia, #121 in Latvia and #169 in Germany.
Based around a hypnotising rhythm and innovative vocal, ‘Wonderland’ will have you lost and leaving the track stuck on repeat. At just under 3 minutes long, the mystical number comes across as ethereal and everything you’d expect from India’s finest artist.
Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter and producer Matt Moody’s philosophy on creating music has always been “songs first”. Harboring inspiration from heroes such as Tom Petty and Gregg Alexander, Matt’s desirable music lies somewhere between indie, pop-rock and even folk. Back with the inspiring new single “Party In The Valley”, the message behind the anthem isn’t what you’d expect.
Speaking about the new release, Matt Moody shares, “Party In The Valley is about experiencing that deep, melancholic state of depression / numbness / staleness. I decided to name it "Party In The Valley" because I thought it best captured that idea of throwing a pity-party for yourself instead of facing your emotions head on. There are so many distractions these days, it's hard to find clarity of self. P.I.T.V. was just a way for me to transform that stagnation into creation.”
A melancholic electro-pop single with layers of indie sensibilities, the track is endearing and draws you in with each listen. Self produced with further mixing done by Jim Stewart (The Happy Fits, The Lighthouse, The Whaler), ‘Party in the Valley’ certainly kicks off 2022 in the best way possible.
Having heard the track in his imagination and rolling with it, Lon’nie knew which direction it had to go in. Speaking about the release, the artist shares, ‘Smile Back is about you just loving the way your girl is smiling back at you, that look just lights up your soul!’
Produced by Diamondz, ‘Smile Back’ is armed with an infectious beat that will leave you heading to the nearest dancefloor. Armed with character and attitude, this will instantly leave you smiling from ear to ear.
London based singer-songwriter, performer and vocal coach Anouska Taylor is back with a heartfelt new offering, ‘Runaway’. Having recently spent 12 years living in Melbourne, highlights from Anouska’s career as a performer include her soloist performance for the ‘Carols by Candlelight’ concert attended by over 25,000 people (Melbourne) and singing at her own sold-out Eva Cassidy Unplugged show (Recital Centre, Melbourne). As a solo artist and singer-songwriter, Anouska is now stepping into the spotlight and enriching the acoustic pop landscape with her soulful sound.
Recorded at Metropolis Studios with Liam Nolan (recording and mixing engineer), the track was further mastered by Dan Baldwin. “Runaway” features a star-studded line up of talent unlike any other track you’ll encounter today. Composing the music, lyrics and performing vocals and piano melodies, Anouska owns her part. The string arrangement was created by Steve Corley, and performed by a string quartet called Giardino Strings.
Explaining her thoughts on the release, Anouska adds, “It’s a love song. After experiencing so much loss, I was afraid to open my heart again. This song was written to empower me to change that.”
“Runaway” is a breathtaking ballad that could easily give artists such as Adele, Sam Smith and even Dame Shirley Bassey a run for their money. Musically captivating and able to steal your attention from any sort of distraction, ‘Runaway’ will grab hold of your heart and never leave.
An inspiring artist that turned to songwriting after the sudden passing of her parents, Anouska’s songwriting is personal and heartfelt. Having only started to get into songwriting at the beginning of lockdown, Anouska had spent her life singing other people’s music. As a vocal coach and teacher, this songstress’ goals are always related to the voice.
Born near Barcelona and now residing in London, Jay Blanes is a singer-songwriter and producer destined for greatness. Infusing indie, pop, disco and folk with his Latin roots, Jay’s diverse music style could land him in front of industry specialists. Receiving praise from VENTS, NOTION, The Yorkshire Times and Music Crowns, Jay has also gathered over 12,000 followers and 560,000 streams.
Speaking about the new release, Jay Blanes shares, “The song is about setting us free from all the overthinking and taking risks. In particular, it is about risking a friendship for something more, even if it's for a night.”
“To The Moonlight” is based around an infectious mantra-like vocal and charismatic guitar melodies. Bathed in euphoric metaphors that will leave you forgetting your worries and dusting yourself off to start again, this is a motivational number with layers of empowerment.
Jay has been performing for live audiences since age 7, in cities such as London, Paris, Los Angeles or Barcelona. In fact, his free spirit inspired him to busk on the Santa Monica Pier and in Trafalgar Square for a year, which turned out to be a masters in the art of entertainment. On the horizon is Jay Blanes’ fresh, passion-filled, sound-defining EP, to be released between 2021 and 2022. He will then start promoting it live across the UK, as a one-man show.
San Francisco based duo ‘The Jealous Guys’ made up of Casa and Yin are on the rise thanks to their conscious and soulful Bay Area Street style that pays tribute to Hip Hop culture as a whole. They’re now back with their brand-new incredibly slick single ‘North Face Sermon’ which is released worldwide on 19th November 2021.
The release of ‘North Face Sermon’ coincides with their anticipated new album “Art of Hip Hop Vol. 1” which is set for release via Audio Vandals and features an abundance of the Bay Area’s finest underground artists including Ozer, Kaly Jay, Professa Gabel, Daylite and more. Opening up about their new single ‘The Jealous Guys’ mention, “North Face Sermon is a soulful track with references to old school Hip Hop and fashion filled with slick wordplay”.
The track opens up with hugely expansive production allowing Casa and Yin’s soulful vocals to take centre stage. The introduction of a crisp cut beat draws power into the rhythm by edging us closer to a powerfully intense chorus. It allows you to feel every bit of long-lasting passion portrayed in their vocals. 'North Face Sermon' shows the strength of pure, rhythmically conscious ability, that oozes experience. The distant, yet prominent minor elements of the instrumental creates the perfect pockets of space for Casa & Yin, showing the extent of how perfectly synchronised the duo are vocally.
New Zealand singer-songwriter Josie Moon creates hypnotic, timeless music with an edgy pop vibe. Not shy of the stage, Moon has clocked live performances alongside Tash Sultana, Chelsea Jade, Physical and Thomston; and has made festival appearances including Rhythm & Vines (Main Stage) and The Others Way. Moon’s commercial debut EP ‘Rose Tinted’ (2018) was well received by critics and fans alike – Achieving 4 stars in the NZ Herald, #1 iTunes Top 200 Pop Chart (Czech Republic), ‘After Hours’ reaching #9 on the NZ Viral 50 Chart; and TV/Radio support from MTV, The Edge, ZM, RNZ National & George FM. Back with her strongest effort to date, ‘Más Que Nada’ keeps the momentum going for the Wellington based singer-producer as one of the most exciting new talents.
Explaining her thoughts on the release, Josie shares, “Más Que Nada started off as a quiet love song to someone I fell for over the internet. We both had a couple of languages in common but they sent me a message that said “te amo más que nada.” I don’t speak much Spanish at all but I suppose that made me romanticise the phrase. Speaking about our situation outside of my native language felt like it added a layer of privacy. It kept it a little secret I could hold to myself. The song developed into the idea of loving someone beyond geographical, social, personal barriers, in a safe corner of a world of your making. The song is also paired with another song on the album “rain on me” which delves into some of the harsher realities of what happened next.”
American international recording artist Jafar Curry returns with soul meets funk offering ‘Loving My Girl’. Armed with an electrifying R&B sound that embodies the greats such as Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Michael Jackson and Prince. Jafar was born to Caribbean-American parents in Harrisburg. The family later relocated to Atlanta, Georgia where Jafar began learning, singing, writing and performing music. Finding his love for music in middle school with a group of friends, the rest is simply history.
Typically staging his shows with live horn sections, multiple keyboards and a full rhythm section including percussion, ‘Loving My Girl’ certainly lives up to expectations. Taken from his forthcoming album ‘The Tuxedo Bartender’ due for release December 2021. This track sits perfectly on the 13-track release.
Standing for creativity and creating music that will leave fans empowered, Jafar is also an advocate for music and the arts being taught in primary and secondary schools. Inspired by live performance, Jafar is the type of artist you’d be proud to support along his career.
Speaking about the new release, Jafar Curry shares, “This song talks about the redemptive power of love, the mistakes we make in love & relationships and the beauty of our experience impacting the end result. The song has a funky and original backbeat rooted in hip-hop and funk while maintaining a nice melodic and vocally rich R&B/Soul timbre.”
Independent songwriter and recording artist Koza is someone destined to be at the top of your playlist from this moment on. Inspired by the likes of ethereal artists Kate Bush & Fleetwood Mac, Koza is an artist with a clear vision that believes in the power of dreaming, the power of love and real connections. Hearing this throughout her music, Koza is on a mission to inspire dreams and empower everyone to embrace the power in vulnerability.
Speaking about her new release, Koza shares, “Heart Bleeds is about not shying away from relishing in the nostalgia of a love that makes you feel alive. It’s an ode to the kind of love that is beyond time, togetherness or separation, and the sole beauty of it irreverently changing you.”
“The creative process spanned from the start of my journey in London to travels through my hometown of Istanbul, encompassing both the girl in love with love, and the woman I am now; unafraid and enamoured,” adds Koza.