ORKID delivers a candid vocal over something like synchronized culinary clangor in “Lay Low”. Pots and pans, hand claps and the clinking of metal pipes contribute to a sense of frenzy that punctuates the rhythm as if ORKID has help from the kitchen staff. She refuses to submit to constraints and is prepared to drink, steal and outpace police to exercise her freedom. That recklessness reflects, as ORKID describes, “getting to a point where I simply don’t give a — and where I want to misbehave. I want to do whatever I feel like. I want to wake up in Vegas.”
The 21-year-old lives in Stockholm—the capital of pop—but grew up listening to Nat King Cole and Sam Cooke. These contrasting influences manifest in ORKID’s ability to be both on-trend and mature beyond her years. At only 16, she used the Idol stage to transition from performing small town gigs to playing on an international stage. In the next three years, ORKID completed her education, improved her songwriting and stage presence and developed into one of Sweden’s most exciting artist exports.
Over 6 million streams in first year
Featured on 20 + Spotify New Music Friday playlists all over the world
Playlisted on Swedish national radio
Posted on 25 + Hype Machine Blogs, reached top of most-posted list
“Swedish starlet ORKID combines velvet vocals with electro-pop” – Complex
A few years ago, 2 friends know as Radio Smash decided they wanted to share their love for good music with the world. Since Sal and AJ came from different musical backgrounds, their sound is a medley of the different styles of music that have inspired them over the years. When listening, close your eyes and envision how they felt in that moment of time when their passion for music was captured into the song. Through the sad, yet hopeful vocal on Someone Like You, to the euphoric Call Me (On the Weekend), you’ll be taken on a journey through the life and times of Radio Smash.
Boys Choir is the new electronic prodigy from Scandinavia. A territory already renowned for its brilliant dance tunes. They deliver a true blend between pop and club music with their hard hitting tracks and infectiously catchy melodies. On June 8th they released their third single, “Sorry” – A lush, grand sounding track with punchy drums, massive synths and glimmering guitars. On vocals we find the amazing voice of HART.
Sergio Hernando A.K.A DJ Soak at the early age of 24 years old has become a top reference in spanish scene electrónic and turntablism. Credentials, of course, is not lacking: in 2003, with only 12 years old, opened an enviable achievements in becoming runner-up Spain in DMC. Since then it has not ceased to be a landmark in the national and international competitions for DMC and ITF, now known as I.D.A.
“A young prodigy from scratch” would be one of the most successful definitions to discuss Soak, and that is that this kid wants to bite the world.
DJ Soak shows an innate talent, which has managed to shape practicing very hard since he barely lifted was a child and used to sneak the dishes of his brother Dj Elko. Soak has grown and grown into one of the new covering of urban culture of our country.
Valencian, but with good hands who could have been forged in the crib from scratch, at it’ s Soak bet the electric rhythms.
It plays in each of them to perfection by mixing electronic, freestyle, hip hop, and requires more than an unbeliever to turn his head toward the cockpit to check that this wonder is scratching vinyl meat and bone, ultimately free music that skips the rules without giving up the party.
The best thing is that the reign of Soak just starting and we can only expect good things very good things, this guy in constant exploration of ways and innovation that transform and magically erase the dividing lines between musical genders.
TITLES AND AWARDS:
*Vize-Champion of Spain DMC 2003
*3º in the championship of Spain of the I.T.F 2005
*4º in the championship of Spain of the DMC 2005
*Champion of the Community Valenciana of DMC 2006
*3º in the championship of Spain the DMC 2006
*Champion of Spain I.T.F / I.D.A 2006
*Vize-champion of World/Euro I.T.F / I.D.A 2006
*Vize-Champion of Spain DMC 2007
*4º in the World I.D.A/I.T.F 2007
*Champion of Spain DMC 2008
*5º in the championship of World DMC 2008
*Champion of Spain DMC 2009
*Red Bull Thre3Style Champion of the Community Valenciana
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.
Foley started almost as a dare – a challenge between two long time friends to blend their mutual love of pop, funk and dance into a meaningful spin on pop music. Frustrated with the standard model of two-piece acts being pigeonholed into 1 vocalist and 1 producer, Foley made a point to be equal. Songs are crafted together, 50/50; with neither party more important than the other. In a male dominated industry where female vocalists are often commoditized, it’s an important distinction to make.
Both talented writers, producers, and performers, the pair collaborate on everything from lyrics & melody to instrumentation & performance – nothing is one sided and the result is greater than the sum of its parts. The long list of achievements following their debut single ‘Settle’ is proof that going against the grain works.
Released in October 2017, the bass-driven debut immediately launched the pair into local hearts and minds, receiving extensive radio support from one of New Zealand’s largest commercial radio stations ZM and NZ’s largest dance station George FM. ‘Settle’ also received wide support from DSPs, landing on Spotify’s prestigious Fresh Finds: Hiptronix playlist and clocking up over 50K streams since release. And after only one month in the public eye, Foley were invited to play New Zealand’s largest New Years festival, Rhythm & Vines for it’s second consecutive sold-out year.
Waves like this don’t go unnoticed – Foley’s success quickly pricked the ears of the industry, landing the duo features on tastemaker blogs like Coup de Main. The pair also secured government funding and a coveted spot on the NZ On Air’sNewTracks disc – which is presented to top level broadcast media. Behind the scenes, the duo have formed a relationship with some of NZ’s best producers: Josh Fountain (Thomston, LEISURE, MAALA) and Djeisan Suskov (Mitch James, Matthew Young) – trying new sounds and tearing apart old habits.
X.ARI the Toronto born, LA based songstress deftly dances in and out of genre lines, moving from enchanting alternative pop to gritty hip-hop production under a cover of electronic elegance. All the while, her visceral lyrics transmit messages of hope as often as they ponder tragedy. It is the mixture of those two elements when X.ARI’s sound and voice come to life.
X.ARI finds healing and her unapologetic voice in her music. In addition to that she also dedicates much of her time and energy into her Pain into Power campaign, which focuses on self care and well being in regards to one’s mental health. Her latest single ‘Stay v Go’ and 5 track EP “Dis-Order” are being released in May as a part of Mental Health Awareness month. There will also be a line of self care products such as journals, candles, etc to accompany these releases.
A version of ‘Stay v Go’ was filmed to air exclusively in over 1200 Journeys stores, during a campaign that will run in Fall 2018. “We don’t need to be defined by labels and we can turn our weakness into strength with a lot of self love, radical acceptance, support, therapy, and consistency. If I can get through my traumas and turn pain into power, so can you” is one of her anchoring beliefs and much of the purpose behind her latest web series ‘Self Care Sunday’.
The identity and name X.ARI is a persona that was adopted amidst working on her debut EP in 2017, which she has stated “became the birth of a totally new process”. She goes on to say “In Nordic, ARI means eagle and in Hebrew, it means lion. It is more me than I’ve ever been”.
Her debut EP, Tunnel Vision went on to win several awards, including Artistic Echoes Indie awards for ‘Best Female Artist’, ‘Best Album of the Year’, and ‘Best Single’, for the title track ‘Tunnel Vision’. Her single ‘Teachers’ also won the Indie International Songwriting Competition in March 2018. In addition to all the accolades, X. ARI is also determined to give back. Proceeds from every show, music, and merchandise go to Jack.org, the only Canadian charity training and empowering young leaders to revolutionize mental health. Through their programs, Jack.org is ensuring young people in Canada take care of their mental health and get the help they deserve, when they need it.X.
ARI’s music is aimed to serve as a vehicle for expression. 2018 has seen the release of her most recent single “Vapors”, which was produced by Justin Gray (Mariah Carey, Joss Stone) and premiered on Wolf In A Suit. This came fresh on the heels of the EP’s announcement and first single, “Cattle Call”, which came out on October 2017, was produced by Drew Skinner, and the single’s release party included a SOLD OUT performance at the acclaimed Toronto venue, The Piston.
Currently she is working on a remix for her latest single “Stay v Go” with Bimbo Jones. The release of the ‘Dis-Order’ EP, will be followed with new music she is already working on for her third EP with Midi Jones (2Chainz, Trey Songz).
Ellen Murphy know as the music artist Lenii is a singer, songwriter, music producer and multi-instrumentalist from Cork, Ireland. Her musical journey started with classical violin at age 4 but, since discovering the endless possibilities in producing electronic music, she developed a love for fusing different genres and styles. At 15 years old she moved to New York to further her skills in music production, and subsequently spent years involved in the underground electronic music scene.
Her first single release of 2018 is ‘Human’, a subject of 80’s synth-pop influences and a forward-thinking approach to the underground electronic music scene. Having originally composed ballads and instrumentals from as young as 7, her musical style now showcases the melodic songwriting from her roots, mixed with electronic production reminiscent of the 80’s synth-pop era.
Her music is centred around her ethereal vocals and moving lyrics that focus on social and emotional subjects. Sent awash by reverb-drenched anthemic beats and twinkling synthesizers that shine bright matching a starlit night, her delivery of effervescent vocal qualities and reflective lyricism shows her clear pop qualities on full display.
Commenting more on the single, Lenii states “Today’s world is so divided and when it comes down to it we’re all human, we all feel the same emotions and deal with the same things.”
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.