So how time flies when you are extra busy and doing the stuff that makes your grind worthwhile. It’s another Future FLavours bringing it fresh for July with talented artists who enthralled me like an episode of 24.
Before I get onto the talent, just to let you know about Quality Control Live the music show filmed at Proud Camden. Since the show started in March brilliant names like Caitlyn Scarlett, The Equals and last month’s headliner Laurel have been caught in their filmic best. Last month was again a thunderous selection of names-Adrian Roye with his acoustic performance was charismatic and devastatingly good.
The next show on the 29 08 14 will be equally good with some brilliant names including D Double E (the original Newham Generals) coming to drop a performance of the theme track for the brilliant new UK film, Brash Young Turks-it’s an acoustic set with a talented singer called Havva. Our headliner Lady Leshurr will be the proverbial cherry on the cake with a live set and a band that’s a first for this year I am sure. It’s going to be heaving so I suggest you get your 5 pound early bird tickets for Quality Control Live NOW.
Ok that done, it’s onto Future Flavours which is guaranteed to make you giddy and amped like drinking 6 cans of Red Bull mixed with copious amounts of vodka. From the supreme serene vocals of the simply named but so gorgeous Andrea Balency, to the creative flexes from the LA native AEli, the supreme hip-hop credentials of the Otha Soul, the sure fire talent of Shura, before stepping back to the UK with the riveting Rhyan -let’s go in!
Andrea Balency bloody brilliant!
Ok let’s go with the gorgeous 22 year old Andrea Balency and her excellent cerebral self and that oh so distinctive vocal that stands out like black on white. The Franco-Mexican singer, songwriter and producer came to my attention through the good people at Prescription Pr who waxed lyrical about this rather intriguing lady-so is she good?
Since her initial discovery by James Blake in 2010 (who asked her to support him) Andrea has either worked, supported or been touted by some of the most respected names in the world of music: she has supported the legends that are The Cure on a tour of Mexico (not bloody bad), she has worked with names like We Are Shining, co wrote with the artistically excellent FKA Twigs (from the Young Turks’ stable) and Gilles Petersen (the ultimate taste maker) loves her-enough said?
So a late night listening session ensues to check this talent out and with lights down, a temperamental Sky connection and the glare from an equally temperamental PC screen to guide me, You’ve Never Been Alone (her most recent output) and the accompanying video for the track bellowed that here was a talent for me to get excited about (by the way check out the Yosi Horikwa tight).
The video for the track (which was shot in France and in the UK) takes simplicity and high production levels to their furthest point to bring 4 minutes or so of magic-in its essence it is a short film that is classy like a cold glass of Moet and Chandon while gazing at a fully lit Eiffel Tower as night time takes hold.
Lyrically the track produced by the highly acclaimed Rob McAndrew aka Airhead details the simple fact that sometimes you can be in a relationship that on the surface is fine but in reality one of you still needs to deal with inner demons-
‘I have to hide away/Hide-away in my own mess’.
The sum of the parts makes for a huge pop track with elements of electronic and RnB, all while being very much avant-garde -it’s sound that seems to step into a bit of Frank Ocean, a bit of The Weeknd and a bit Of Aluna George all while still being the classically trained pianist Andrea Balency.
New material from Andrea will be an ep called Walls an exploration of subjects from relationships right through to dislocation. Tracks to sink that glass of Moet to are numerous but on the late night listening session Adieu Creature hooked me like a first hit of crystal meths.
While it is sung in French no need to check out Google for the translation the music translates all you need to know so throw on your headphones, get another glass of cold Moet, shut your eyes and be taken away-Balency is a huge name to watch out for.
Don’t Look for the other crew just look for Otha Soul.
It’s nice for me to drop a UK hip-hop act to bless Future Flavours. In truth I am always slightly picky when choosing UK hip-hop for the blog because some of the hip-hop I get sent is not always great. Otha Soul however are different-it’s like going to Aldi and checking out their aisles of champagne to be faced with Mute Blandon everywhere bar one bottle of the bonafide stuff Moet Chandon staring out at you.
I recently asked them to appear on Quality Control Live and they tore the whole venue down with their high energy selfs and their hip-hop that evidently borrows from that beacon of hip-hop production, J Dilla while still keeping it very much UK avoiding irritating US clichés –you know what I mean-talking about a ‘whip’ which happens to be a 1.1 Aygo-not good!
Ok so music, Real Talks is their current ep and it is so good it’s like a glass of Cognac Jenssen Arcana on the rocks while a rather delectable lady (or dashing man) eyes you up. Production ostensibly comes from the trio of the Camdenites; Dozer, Jungle VP and DMobbs who bring their hip-hop flourishes straight to a sound system near you full of soothing bass lines, the occasional tinkling of the ivories and of course laid back tight lyrical flows. Drain Pipes which has the accompanying video is an excellent track brimming with all that soulful cultured hip-hop sound which stands head and shoulders above the usual slightly irritating tracks that are out there.
Real Talk is a 6 track musical hip-hop feast that just has to be on your playlist. There’s a lone outside production from Shift K3y also on the ep (Shift K3y dropped that huge track Touch). Shift’s production sees him step out with hip-hop in the shape of the title track Real Talk -listen carefully however and you can hear a bit of that 90’s rnb flex in there as well.
So what’s happening for the trio?
Well I know there is a lot happening in the background with this talented trio. I hear they have been making connects with the fantastic lyrical outfit (from the US) Clear Soul Forces but of course also lookout for the guys and their performance for Quality Control Live –coming soon.
Elijah ‘AEli’ Sortino totally fresh.
Ok from Camden we fly at top speed to LA to check out Elijah ‘AEli’ Sortino who is independent in every sense of the word when it comes to the creative process of music being a; singer, songwriter, producer and engineer all in one. The effect of this multi-talented individual is the ability to create some off the hook numbers that in many respects seem a little ahead of their time. His first mix-tape Reminiscing With Wine was released in 2012 and it really set the foundation for this artist with tracks like Thinking Too Much.
There’s a definite mix of the type of beats that border on that classic soulful hip-hop that Otha Soul drop while encompassing slightly retro soul vibes and ambient flushes-I love it. It’s like sampling a glass of red wine while chilling in your own orchard on a late evening. Even On E as his latest vibe is a laid back surreal sounding exploration where he tries to find the meaning of life through some rather potent drugs it’s crazily good.
There is another individual who posseses many of the same talents in different discipline. I am talking about Drake but I really feel that apart from the fact of being talented in similar disciplines, Elijah has his own clear definitive lane-I am willing to step out and say that his sound and delivery is infinitely and exquisitely more experimental than Drake.
Forth coming material will be his audio film the nineteen track, The Void and with comparisons to Andre 3000 already abound this LA resident is a name for those that want to push their musical ear to a fresh frontier-it might not be for everyone but hey that’s not a problem.
Shura-a sure hit.
Ok from that to this with the Anglo-Russian singer, songwriter, producer and video editor who brings an un-abashed soulful pop sound mixed with something akin to 80’s pop without the need for leotards, leg warmers and phones the size of your whole forearm.
The first single to put her on the map was the wonderful, Touch with an opening sequence which evokes the classic sound of Marvin Gaye’s, Sexual Healing (1982). It’s simple songwriting (product of her time spent in the Amazon) detailing the end of a relationship-
‘there’s a love between us still/but something changed and I don’t know why’.
The telling song writing is complimented by a compelling video showing couples engaged in some titillating tonsil tickling-I defy you not to get a sweet sexual jolt surging through you as you watch this beautifully shot video. The track hit the Radio 1 playlist and amassed some 1million hits. That’s not bad for singer who only emerged this year.
So how do you follow-up a track that seemed to capture a mass audience? Well logic dictates you come with something that once again captures a mass audience (easier said than done) but Shura has achieved that with her latest single, Just Once which delves into an 80’s flex complete with soft sythn touches-damn it’s just as good as Touch and I love it-it’s like drinking a belly full of sparkling Sangria in a rustic part of Spain away from over exuberant English ex-pats pealing from over exposure to sun.
There’s something of the Kate Bush in her delivery about Shura and while she is not (it seems) as Bohemian as Bush she is clearly a hugely talented creative who is certainly walking with huge amounts of confidence down her own path. Just Once, solidifies (for me) her bonafide slightly retro pop credentials with strong hooks and choruses that will allow her music to bless some of the biggest radio stations in the UK.
Look out for her first official live set at Iceland’s Airwaves Festival which has been confirmed for November, alongside the likes of Jungle, The War on Drugs and Caribou).
Last up is a very young singer 16 year old Rhyan-he’s so young in fact that I think I have an Oyster Card pouch older than him!
Anyway his damn youthful self aside, Rhyan is a name to keep on your radar-vocally (watch out a cliché is coming) his voice is beyond his years able to transmit raw emotion with his sonorous delivery. Due to his young years however material (bar his current single) is non-existent. Truth be told I wondered if I was focusing on Rhyan just a tad early and I was kind of veering towards holding back until I had some other material to judge him by. I kind of felt that his debut When I’m With You needed a bit more to it but one can change and I have particularly after seeing the video for his debut, I realised what the hell am I waiting for?
Back story goes that Andrew Weller video producer for Basement Jaxx and Laura Mvula approached Rhyan to use his track for a documentary on the tragic story of albino children in Tanzania who face daily threats from locals who believe their body parts can bring luck and wealth. The result is a powerful video detailing the powerful and unselfish work by the two ladies in the video (Sister Helena and ZeruZeru) while Rhyan’s deft song-writing and talent on the classic piano gently tugs at our emotional spectrum.
So what next well an EP is ready to go so let’s see how he follows up but he is certainly a name that will be making further waves in the coming months?