Music ranges from, electro-pop, serious grime, indie, Afro beats, hip-hop and some heavy bass music to shake your vertebra or engage your cerebellum. Also there are a couple of forays where it is not artists that are profiled but instead we take a look at a brilliant venue in Shoreditch and a rather good play about the choices we make in life-let’s go in!
Shoreditch is a live area when it comes to everything that is trendy so it’s no surprise that Boxpark the “pop-up” fashion shopping hub come live events venue is firmly planted bang near Shoreditch station. In the info regarding Boxpark it’s billed as:
“a unique mix of international fashion and lifestyle brands, galleries and cafes and you’ve got the world’s first pop ‘pop-up’-so named because its basic blocks are inherently moveable: they can and will literally pop –up anywhere in the world”
From a fashion experience it houses some of the top names that those who know know and those still dropping an Armani flex do not but it is definitely more than a fashion connoisseur’s nirvana; from food to facilities for exhibitions of art to truly different and brilliant live music events you could literally spend a day there.
Last month Box park paid host to one of UK’s most popular urban groups Roll deep who dropped their totally live album launch and having spoken to Katie whose part of the press division there are a whole host of events lined up like: Gola X Tado Art Exhibition or the soon to be regular Beatbox event.
So the concept of Boxpark means that it is going to be in Shoreditch for the next five years or so and the events team that includes Katie Cameron are totally up for anything that can fit into the Boxpark remit so if you have any ideas give them a bell!
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery or so goes the famous saying from Charles Caleb Colton and indeed Dizzee Rascal would be totally gassed I am sure with this young group.
Hailing from Dizzee’s manor Rascals drop their first cut from their mix-tape Ape-Shit and from their staccato flow that rides the riddim, to that aggy sound and of course the blatant reference to “Dylan” this is a track that could have been penned by Dizzee-it’s tight.
The young quartet’s cut is sure to get people hooked on this nostalgic throwback to that Dizzee, Wiley-esq braggadocious explosives vibes. Caution however that continued imitation is also the sincerest form of irritation but I cannot imagine that becoming an issue after all they are now signed to EMI and so the need for their own individuality will I am sure be pushed to the front in their mix-tape The Launch Volume 2 dropping in October. This track is about getting them noticed and it does that.
Liz contacted atstreetlevel1 on twitter (take note other artists) and it was her serene vocals that intoxicated. With inspirations ranging from the Eurythmics to the bohemian eccentricities of Kat Bush and Motown, multi-instrumentalist Lizzie brings all of her influences to her first EP release Tiny Teardrops written exclusively by Lizzie.
This is a brilliantly atmospheric EP that really shows the soulful edge that she possess but it is NOT a soul EP being indie pop with smidgens of electro thrown in and of course dub-step which is en vogue it’s a definitely contemporary sound.
Lizzie has worked with Gary Powell (from the Libertines) on Tiny Teardrops. Gary actually saw her perform and immediately recognised her talent and so it is no surprise that her EP release Tiny Teardrops is a seven track bit of class. Production comes in the shape of Matty ‘Parka’ Thomson whose credits include Wayne Hector, Monica and the femcee of the moment Lady Leshurr.
Some of the major cuts of this debut are the use of Magnetic Man’s brilliant Flying Into Tokyo instrumental her vocals over the top are a perfect compliment.
And Sparkle a slow tempo number that draws you in-resistance if futile! Also check out the dub versions of Sparkle and Alone on the EP blatant fire!
So success beckons for Lizzie who recently spent some time in Toronto touring. With nods of resounding approval coming from BBC 1, BBC 2 and a session at the place that is a mark of approval for all potentially massive artists Maida Vale-Lizzie is destined to be a Future Flavour! Look out for her live set with her band the Remedies who have worked with Ed Sheeran and Mikel Pane!
Special K’s-“The healthy Option”
So from Scotland we head to Brighton and an electro pop outfit that bring a live performance that is totally absorbing. Future Flavours caught them supporting the immense talent of Jessie J (who incidentally smashed it). The fact that they supported Jessie J is obviously a massive nod in the right direction but by proxy acclaim aside Special K are the real deal. Significantly you have probably been listening to their music without knowing it. Programmes like E4’s made in Chelsea and MTV’s ‘Punk’d’ have all laid host to their music as did the international brand Coca-cola.
This year sees them drop their album BOA (the larger release). They initially dropped a smaller version of BOA in early 2011 to satisfy a growing fan base that was baying for material from the group. 2012 they drop the official album that has some radio destined tracks like Cosmic and the title track BOA. Check the acoustic version of this track which is stupendous I dare you not to be singing that hook and chorus after hearing it the first time.
2012 Special K are ever busy with performances at the Shakedown Festival an event where they will share the stage with Professor Green and Dizzee. Also look out for some behind the scenes footage of the band’s extensive touring coming soon.
They are sure to be big particularly when you have Chase n Status loving your sound: ”Great songs and a really exciting band!”
Mr and Mrs-no arguments it’s purely about the music
So now we travel across thousands of miles to the USA.
There have been famous husband and wife collaborations but you would be hard pressed to think of a contemporary hip-hop duo and so the huge talents of Nadirah X and John ‘Swish’ Whitfield are indeed setting a benchmark.
Nadirah X is an immense artist/rapper/poet in her own right whose influences are steeped in a rich tapestry ranging from seminal musical artists like Queen Latifah and Salt n Peppa to socially aware and immortal symbols of change like Malcolm X and Marcus Garvey but as she states: “I heard Black Hand Side from the Black Reign album and I was hooked”.
On the back of such a colourful tapestry, in 2010 she dropped her critically acclaimed album Ink (2010), (on former member of the Eurythmics) Dave Stewart’s label Weapons of Mass Entertainment. Significantly production on Ink also featured her husband Swish and this was just a taster of things to come.
Swish’s production stands out for clean beats which are hip-hop without delving into that over-used sound which has proliferated commercial hip-hop-Swish is evidently years ahead in terms of production.
So now the two have embarked on their first project as Mr and Mrs and the project promises to be a magical meeting of talents and minds that completely ignores that dance/hip-hop formula that is popular today-the new formula is an oscillation between old skool influences while still being essentially futuristic-dark overtones (without being oppressive) and powerful sixteens that have the ability to transport you through time and space whilst allowing Nadirah and Swish to really say something.
Check one of the tracks off Mr and Mrs On Everything .
Mr and Mrs are box-fresh like a limited edition new pair of trainers-are you ready to try something new?!
For more information visit the following: firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter @nadirahx @officialswish @OfficialMr_Mrs and Facebook
Download On Mr and Mrs here http://www.mediafire.com/?zzlbtoib9h1lae6
Cocoa-bringing some Fizz.
Twitter once again proves a successful engine of talent and Cocoa is no exception. Literally only just embarking on her singing career it was a tweet about her current single Why which set the interest alight. The UK resident who was born in Nigeria Ibadan Lagos to be exact brings a RnB cut that has a distinct Afro-beat sound creating a. For limited resources the track (which is almost like a feeler track) reaches the heights in production, song writing and of course vocals
Cocoa’s beginnings are awash with the influences of music. Her father was a dj and Cocoa was immersed (from the age of 6) into the church and gospel. This familiar musical genesis has formed the foundation for a career that up until now has seen performances at places like Rich Mix and support from the award winning Playvybz radio.
She is an artist eclectically influenced: “I’d wake to the sounds of Fred Hammond early in the morning, be welcomed home from school in the afternoons by the sounds of Fela Kuti and watch the likes of Destiny’s Child on the music channel with my sisters”. With Afro-beat and African culture now starting to really have a global impact it is probably the right time for her to step on the scene so Future Flavours will keep a very close eye on what happens for this young lady-starting from…….NOW!
Why” is out now.
Machines Don’t Care
Machines Don’t Care are a collective of producers that are due to drop some massive bangers for our pleasure. The first track to be dropped is the thumping Beat Dun Drop featuring the urban queen Meleka who has had fame with her single Go featuring production by the influential Crazy Couzins.
In a bit of fan interaction check the site for Machines Don’t Care who have partnered with Retrofuzz to create a remix visualiser using YouTube and Flash. The application gives users a unique viewing experience within the environment of YouTube which most will be familiar with.
With several more high profile collaborations scheduled to drop throughout 2012, and the MDC live show ready to hit the summer’s festivals prepare for MDC’s tropical bass and beats to be the sound of Summer.
The gorgeous London singer has been making steady progress since gaining huge amounts of praise for her open mic session at I Luv Live a bastion for breaking new talent.
Since then she has garnered more and more props for her song writing abilities and of course her note perfect vocals a product of starting singing at 5. With backing vocals for massive UK artists like the legend Omar and the influential Rhian Benson it was of course only going to be a matter of time before she started to make in-roads on her own solo career. Earlier this year she released her debut mix-tape ‘I’m Here’ which notched up an impressive 20,000 downloads.
After pushing out a number of great tracks this month sees her dropping her new single called Top Gear featuring a cameo rap from Lady Lykez (“Not Your Hair”). Set against the background of London’s notorious Ace Cafe in the accompanying music video, Top Gear is released on 9 Sept. With support already coming from BBC 1Xtra Lanna is destined for the UK charts.
Download her ep Come Closer http://www.mediafire.com/?55r51o33xzvjras
Lastly we focus on a new play by Stepping Stonez called The Waiting Room’ written by Serge Rashidi-Zakuani, co-founder of Stepping Stonez.
The premise for this play is not a new one being essentially about the choices we make in life. Set inside a waiting room of sorts six people find themselves brought together without any knowledge about how they got there or indeed why they are there. As the group struggle with this group amnesia of sorts their stories are slowly told through this hour and a half play eventually reaching the frightening conclusion that this is not a normal waiting room.
In many respects similarities can be drawn to the first instalment of the Cult classic Saw with individuals looking at their lives retrospectively while try to work out why they are in a strange surrounding. However this is not a horror play but rather a serious and at times humorous look at why in life we need to try and make right choices but ultimately why we also need to try and have a relationship with God.
Playing for the next three weeks, Waiting Room is an intriguing, thought provoking play that is well written and well-acted and continues to further cement Stepping Stonez’s status as a growing force of theatrical productions.
For more info visit the following: Twitter @steppingstonez
The Waiting Room playing at: The Lost Theatre, 208 Wandsworth Road, London, SW8 2JU