21-year-old Londoner Carmen Green released her stunning debut single ‘Part Time, which went on to receive numerous radio plays on BBC Introducing, BBC 6 Music and Soho Radio, and was named Track Of The Week on BBC Introducing Devon and Cornwall. She has since seen her profile go from strength to strength. With a wealth of smooth and seductive jazz-inspired RnB cuts under her belt, she now returns with her latest luxurious offing ‘Tell Me’.
Writing her music within the guise of the urban jazz genre has allowed her to open her sound up, regularly blending her direction with hip-hop and RnB production, which also applies to ‘Tell Me’. Combining a free and laid-back guitar hook, smooth drums, and her own naturally sweeping vocals creates a bold and refreshing addition to her growing catalogue, one that also reflects her own sassy personality.
Carmen Green has also collaborated with former Amy Winehouse guitarist Robin Banerjee on her previously shared single ‘Foolish Views’, which arrived in January of this year and also received airplay on both BBC Introducing and Soho Radio.
Dan Crossley is a 23-year old singer/songwriter from Telford, now based in London. Consistently drawing from personal experience, Dan’s lyrics are flawlessly honest. Following from the success of his previous singles off his EP ‘Closure’ (7 Minutes, Call Back, Mind Games and Heal) Forgive Me is the fifth and final chapter to the EP.
Dan wrote Closure about a toxic relationship he was in from start to finish. The EP goes through each stage of the relationship with 7 Minutes being that initial attraction despite knowing that person is going to be bad for you down the road. Call Back is the aftermath where you’re desperate for that person to get in contact. Mind Games represents the peak of the relationship where that person is constantly playing on your mind and you’re trying to get over them. Heal is the result of the break up and Forgive Me is realising your wrong doings and asking for forgiveness and making peace with the relationship resulting in closure. Speaking on Forgive Me Dan says “It was a chance for me to escape the bitterness, let my guard down and be more mature about my first heartbreak. Forgiveness is something I’m still learning everyday, not just in relationships but with myself. I’ll always have love for someone that taught me lessons and made me who I am today.”
Speaking on the EP Dan says “Closure was a writing journey I started after my first heartbreak. The relationship never fully ended and I’m still to this day left with a question mark hanging over the two of us. That being said the project gave me the closure I needed to move on. It’s been just as much as a personal journey as well as a musical one.” Having caught the attention of Billboard, CLASH, Earmilk and Notion, Dan certainly remains as ‘one to watch’. He has accumulated over 500,000 streams on Spotify along with editorial playlists such as Chilled Pop Hits, Out Now and New Pop Revolution and has also been included in Apple Music’s Best of The Week playlists. Dan Crossley has been featured as Track of The Week numerous times on BBC Introducing, which led to him being named BBC Introducing’s One To Watch for 2018 as well as finishing last year off with a sold out headline show at The Camden Assembly.
Out of Birmingham, Lycio are a hybrid electronic live band combining soulful vocals with real/electronic instrumentation. They have developed a distinct sound while creating music that covers a variety of moods and styles, from up beat pop to alternative electronic. With their focus on groove and emotion, everything is performed live; there are no backing tracks or stock loops.
Tim Arstall, BBC Introducing WM/BBC Radio 1Xtra – “A brilliant band from Birmingham called Lycio, I have seen them perform they are like nothing else”
Danny de Reybekill, BBC Introducing WM – “They for me are genuinely coming out of Birmingham as one of the biggest up and coming names in the city, huge huge talent”
Released Monday 22nd April, Lycio’s latest offering ‘Cash’ sees a temporary departure in narrative style for the band. The often ambiguous approach of front woman Genie Mendez is this time replaced by a more direct message in ‘Cash’ – one directly reflecting its title.
Of the track, front woman Mendez explains – “I’m sure you can guess what ‘Cash’ is about. It’s all in the title. Living in a capitalist world, we all want nice things; we all want a little more cash to spend. It’s amazing that one way or another, all of us are broke. I’m pretty damn broke, and friends who earn four times as much as me complain about being broke. We always want it, we always need it; no one’s got it.”
Instrumentalists Charlie Kellie and Alex Lowe have certainly done their best to reflect this in the arrangement. A huge bass line hook (which took the band weeks to perfect) and jagged drum arrangement forms the heartbeat of the song.
‘Cash’ sees their most instrumentally varied effort to date. We see Lycio playing with call and response; washy, open textures are quickly contrasted by tight up-close-and-intimate answers. “We were really aiming for our most texturally diverse recording with this one, and the sounds took a lot more work than our other tracks” explains Kellie. Drummer Alex Lowe adds “I wanted to get an almost industrial vibe, but still keep that element of groove”.
Complete with a sub bass breakdown, bouncing choruses and a vocal delivery by Mendez at her best, ‘Cash’ is wrapped up in style with a huge final vocal outro; one of their proudest moments to date. Mastered at Metropolis Studios by Stuart Hawkes (Jack Garratt, Lorde, Fickle Friends, Rudimental, Mura Masa), Lycio want to put this industrial pop number out there in good time for festival season and the sweaty clubs alike.
Music competition auditions dates for Open Mic UK 2018 have been announced!
Open Mic UK have announced their music competition auditions dates for Open Mic UK 2018! The Open Mic UK music competition auditions will be hosted at 11 regions across the UK and the competition will be searching to find the UK’s best singers, singer songwriters, rappers and vocal groups!
PERFORM IN FRONT OF RECORD LABEL A&R AND GET YOUR MUSIC HEARD!
It’s a chance for aspiring singers and musicians to perform to Music industry judges who are at every stage of the music competition from the auditions to the Grand Final. Judges in the past include judges that work for the three major record labels (Universal, Warner and Sony) in attendance at last year’s competition, as well as festival organisers, national radio DJs, regional press and BBC Introducing, with judges getting more prestigious as the competition
SINGING COMPETITION AUDITIONS DATES ANNOUNCED FOR OPEN MIC UK 2018
Open Mic UK is brought to you by Future Music, the company behind the discovery of numerous acts who have competed in the competitions on their way to being signed to major record labels. Lucy Spraggan, Luke Friend, Karen Hardy, Jacob Banks, plus Warner
Music’s signings and Open Mic UK’s first winner Birdy and The Lottery Winners along with Union J’s Jaymi Hensley amongst many, many more have auditioned.
OPEN MIC UK 2018 MUSIC COMPETITION AUDITIONS
Book your audition for 2018 now to secure your place… Enter here!
Sunday 26th August 2018 – Early PM – Dingwalls, Middle Yard, Chalk Farm Road, Camden Lock, London, NW1 8AB
Sunday 9th September 2018 – PM – Mediacityuk, University of Salford, Plot B4, Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 2HE
UHURU are a duo whose music knows no boundaries – even their name means “freedom” in Swahili. Bringing together dance, electronica and R&B, their sound is a vibrant fusion that takes up today’s post-genre challenge to create soul-infused, modern pop equally at home on radio or the dancefloor. “The mix of weird sounds which you can do now in pop really excites me,” says UHURU’s vocalist, songwriter and producer Connor Daniel. “Pop production now is the most exciting I’ve ever heard it.”
Still only 22, Daniel been making music since his early teens, when he began uploading unofficial dubstep mixes of Drake and Usher to YouTube. He now describes the tracks as “awful”, but they showed impressive studio skills, clocking up plays in the hundreds of thousands, earning him a feature on BBC Introducing and, more importantly, impressing his future bandmate Robert Jones when they met on a music technology course in their home town of Southampton.
“When I met Connor at college he was talking about having one of his mixes played on Introducing,” says Jones, “and I was thinking, This guy is big time!”
It turned out Daniel had his sights set well beyond the dubstep scene. His background, too, marked him out from his fellow students. Born in Kenya, Daniel spent his early years in the coastal city of Mombasa before his parents moved to the UK when he was six. “My mum’s family have been in Kenya for generations,” he says. “I’m proud of my Kenyan roots, for sure. I have tattoos to prove it!”
His parents also encouraged an early musical flair. “There’s videos of me when I was four years old tapping along to the beat of a Michael Jackson song,” he laughs. Later he developed into a gifted pianist, with a soulful vocal delivery that elevated early efforts at writing pop songs to echo those he was hearing on the radio.
Jones’s ancestry is somewhat less cosmopolitan – both parents are originally from Wales – but his wide-ranging musicianship has been key to UHURU’s development. Like Daniel, the 22-year-old plays five instruments, having first taught himself guitar as a teenager. “My family’s not musical at all,” he says, adding that he took inspiration instead from Nile Rodgers and Noel Gallagher. “Other than my grandad, that is. He plays euphonium with the Salvation Army.”
Having clicked as friends, Jones and Daniel initially formed UHURU as a four-piece band while still in Southampton. Daniel recalls their live set was mostly made up of “electro house and Chase & Status covers”, and it was only after downsizing to a duo that the current, more complex UHURU sound started to take shape. By the time they’d finished their studies in Southampton, both agreed they should continue working together – especially after being accepted onto courses at the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM) in Guildford.
“It was all quite natural,” says Jones of the move. “We ended up in this little two-up, two-down and it had a conservatory. We used to practice in there, much to the annoyance of old Richard next door!”
Jones and Daniel, however, quickly impressed their tutors – not least former Prodigy drummer Kieron Pepper who came round to listen in on the conservatory sessions. With Daniel studying Electronic Music Production and Jones signed up for Contemporary Music Production, at this point neither quite knew what UHURU was going to sound like from one week to the next. But well aware that ACM had previously nurtured some major talents (Ed Sheeran is a former student), they relished feeding new experiences and influences into the mix.
“Connor would come back to the house with people that were on his course,” says Jones, “and we’d try and work out this cool new direction he wanted to go in.”
“I was trying to do really experimental, underground, future bass hip hop stuff,” laughs Daniel. “But from there I discovered that you can mix all of that into pop music, which is more what we’re pushing towards now.”
Currently holed up in a studio off the M25 where they’re mixing tracks for a forthcoming EP, UHURU is rapidly evolving beyond an experimental studio project. Attention-grabbing new songs such as Riddle and Thirsty show their ambition, updating contemporary R&B with neon-tinged synthpop and global beats in a way reminiscent of breakout acts such as Bondax and Mura Masa (“a huge inspiration, production-wise” says Daniel).
Daniel insists there’s much more to come – he has hundreds of melody lines and vocal fragments recorded on his phone. He’s also still restlessly seeking out inspiration from unlikely sources, whether it be his mum (she recently clued him into jazz maestro George Benson) or Justin Timberlake. “Songwriting and vocal-wise, I love Justin Timberlake,” he says. “People say to me, Is he a guilty pleasure? But there’s nothing guilty about me loving Justin Timberlake!”
With ideas flowing so fast, it’s not surprising Daniel and Jones are eager to take UHURU out on the road and test their songs on live audiences, not least during a busy summer festival season. But for all the stylish sophistication of their new material, Daniel says his aim remains the same as when they played student clubs in Guildford: to make people dance. “Put us on a stage in front of a crowd,” he grins, “and I think we can do the rest.”
The word is out: UHURU are on a mission to liberate your mind, body and soul.
Fresh indie-pop quartet Corella started their journey in Manchester early 2016. Joel (Vocals/Guitar), Ben (Vocals/Bass), Jack (Guitar) and James (Drums) are currently bouncing between the studio and the road with their powerful vocals, melodic guitars and pulsating drums.
Pacific are a Piano-driven Alternative/Indie band from Manchester, UK. The band consists of brothers & songwriters Anthony Orzel – Vocals/Piano and Daniel Orzel – Synths/Bass/Backing Vocals, Dave Bithell – Guitars and Drew Burns – Drums/Percussion.
Pacific’s single ‘Time to Forget’ reaped the band’s first BBC Radio 1 play on the Huw Stephens show, along with airplay on a further eighty UK radio stations and press features from Q Magazine. Pacific’s energetic single ‘Life in Short’ exclusively launched with Metro declaring “New band Pacific are proving indie music is getting a much needed coming back.” The single won Staffordshire & Cheshire’s ‘Best Local Single’ at the 6 Towns Radio Awards 2018, it has been playlisted in retail stores across the UK, and has been placed on national radio rotation with the Jack FM radio group. The song has recently passed over 160k streams of Spotify, and has been selected by professional snooker player Liam Highfield as his walk-on song for TV matches in the 2018/19 season.
Pacific’s music has additionally gained support from Manchester football clubs; the band’s song ‘Dream of Mine’ has frequented Premier League match playlists at Manchester United’s Old Trafford stadium, with Pacific’s music videos also on heavy rotation on Manchester United’s TV channel MUTV. The band have performed at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium as Premier League pre-match entertainment, and there has also been backing from Gary Neville-owned Salford City FC, who have used Pacific’s song ‘Blinded’ across all their social media video content.
Pacific have made huge steps on the live circuit, sharing stages with Razorlight, Maximo Park, Newton Faulkner, Toploader, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Wheatus, The Hoosiers, Starsailor and more, having played festivals across the UK including Crystal Palace Festival, Cornbury Music Festival, Leestock Music Festival and Liverpool International Music Festival to name a few. 2018 has also seen continued strong support from BBC Introducing, and a live Freeview TV interview on London Live. Pacific continue to bring piano back to modern indie music with a vengeance, with ‘Not Telling You’ released October 2018.
The Captivating and soulful vocals of Rayon Nelson has ushered in praises despite being independent. With such eclectic influences from Jamaica, London and Suffolk, his music portrays inspiring themes which are brought to you in a fusion of styles. The singer and songwriter who has just released a second EP ‘YUNG SOLO’, was shortlisted for Glastonbury festival 2013, performed at Isle Of Wight Festival 2014, featured on BBC Introducing and BBC 1Xtra whilst remaining unsigned and unmanaged. His leading single ‘Memories’ taken from the EP has already authentically earned over 170k streams on Spotify and have been featured in numerous blogs.
Hi im a starting up singer/songwriter, picked up a guitar and started writing and singing at the age of 19, My main musical genre influences Hip-Hop, Funk and Singer song writer. I have played gigs from pubs to clubs to festivals around Norwich.
Eddie Prové is a name everyone will soon be hearing about as the twenty-three year old singer-songwriter’s outstanding talent has begun receiving recognition. After being compared to huge artists including Years & Years as well as Lorde-it’s no surprise that Eddie Prové was chosen (after releasing just one song) to play a BBC Introducing gig. Eddie is also set to play at a number of festivals including Live At Leeds and Are You Listening Festival to show his exceptional and compelling live performances. Eddie has also co-written and produced all of the music from his forthcoming EP Silent Lovewith Oh Wonder’s Frank Colucci.
Never Cared is the forthcoming single from Eddie-with soulful vocals resembling the Grammy Winner Sam Smith. The pieceis passionately sung in a falsetto tone, having likeness to music by huge artists such as The Weeknd and Nick Jonas. The production has a euphonious reverb, which is similar to music from Frank Ocean. The piece is on the electronic side of pop, which combined with songwriting related to that of James Blake creates an emotive and distinctive piece.
Eddie Prové’s debut EP will be available on Friday 13th May 2016.
Live Dates – APRIL
Saturday 23rd – READING – Are You Listening Festival, Purple Turtle – stage time 7pm
Thursday 28th – LONDON – Discovery Talent Night, 229 Club, stage time TBC
Saturday 30th – LEEDS – Live At Leeds Festival, Belgrave Music Hall, stage time 3pm