Future Flavours returns just a little after Jay Z dropped his highly anticipated album Magna Carta. Funnily enough I still have not heard it and in truth I have not felt some overwhelming urge to hear it not because I do not want to but really I am a little indifferent to it. My friend Kevin however gave me the most succinct review I have heard for a while-“The album is shit and Jay Z is shit”.
Anyway Magna Carta aside let’s get to Future Flavours which once again is a fantastic mix of great talent-three excellent female singers (one from Bulgaria) , one brilliant UK male RnB soul singer a Canadian emcee who has taken a shine to the most UK of sounds grime and a productive magician who embraces samples old school RnB flexes to create electro/bass music- anyway let’s go in!
The busy Izzy Bizu!
So first up is a 19 year old with the unique name Izzy Bizu.
Hailing from South West London the half English and half Ethiopian singer is refreshing like a mojita on a hot day. It’s a cliché to call her style effortless but that is exactly what it is as she serenades with ease through her beautifully written songs.
If I said I liked Izzy it would be like saying that a couple of channels were interested when William and Kate’s baby was born- it would indeed be an under statement. The whole world stopped eating while waiting for the only baby to be born on that day-there were no other women who would have the audacity to go into labour while Kate was and if they did: “don’t you dare push bitch” said her husband.
(I am incidentally happy for them).
Anyway Izzy is totally off the hook. She first astounded people at I Luv Live when she performed at the Open Mic session and since then management from the influential Rachel Bee (owner of the I Luv Live brand) has seen her name steadily increase in music circles. In truth her name has already been acknowledged in these circles and indeed offers from labels have peppered her career so far. In rather mature and astute manner however she has decided to avoid the numerous baits and forge ahead with efforts for an EP and her own album eventually.
In many respects it makes sense-going to labels before success can mean they try to mould an artist with obvious talent into what they want. Izzy’s method means that she is defining her own image and singing the music she wants-a label would be unlikely to change her when she has been successful.
Anyway my two penny analysis over Izzy has consequently released a quality EP called Cool Beanz and needless to say but it absolutely smashes it. It features a live version of the huge track White Tiger which just gets better and better each time. Edith Bowman off Radio 1 in fact has already been singing her praises for this particular cut and once you hear it the reasons are obvious.
While I like White Tiger the track Fool’s Gold which is accompanied by a simple video is my preference with its hint of a ska flex in it noicee.
At only nineteen Izzy has a totally bright career ahead. For chance to see her live go check out her mini tour around London which is going on right now and get the business on Izzy Bizu.
Repeat the Mantra: Abigail Wyles
If I said I love Abigail Wyles and her sound it would be like saying that the UK were happy when Andy Murray won the Wimbledon title giving the UK their first male champion since Fred Perry who can now finally Rest In Peace-indeed it would be an understatement.
It’s always nice when you hear a track and you rewind it even before it is finished and that is exactly what I did when I heard the emotional heat from her single Mantra. It actually made me feel a bit like when I heard Laura Mvula’s She-it’s that same soulful energy without necessarily being under the genre of soul. Aided by long-time production partner Holly Simpson, Mantra picked up 40,000 Soundcloud plays in its first 10 days just in case you doubted its appeal.
The track starts off in a surreal ambience and Abigail’s voice which does the magic just takes you further into this ethereal world. Her vocals oscillate between a jazzy feel that conjures up images of a smoky jazz filled room (could just be me) while still being credibly pop to be attractive to many different musical lovers. In truth pigeon holing the track and Abigail is difficult (which is a good thing). What can be stated categorically however is this is a track that just grows and grows on you.
Due for release on August 11 on MTA records (Chase and Status’ label) this is definitely the beginning of some huge things. Apparently she was in the studio with the great Nile Rodgers (he just did that track with Pharrell and has been behind names like Madonna) so the industry insiders are obviously talking about her.
I said it when I heard Laura Mvula and so I will say it again-this is a lady who could well be setting herself up for some awards if this track is anything to go by-awesome!
Ok well Tre-mission is probably an anomaly of recent time for the UK.
He is a Toronto born emcee who has come to the UK to immerse himself in the quintessentially London sound of grime. To that effect he has been signed by the ubiquitous Big Dada Records who are behind music or artists that are always innovative.
Grime of late is not as popular as it was but in the underground it is still tearing up twenty four inch subs on a regular basis and while veteran exponents of the scene are presently not making ‘grime’ for popular consumption new names are doing their thing. So here’s Tre who’s dropping bass heavy beats for us.
They are labelling him under grime but in truth the music is an amalgamation of a type of grime sound with a distinct mix of a hybrid of crunk music and some dance vibes (I think). Even his raps are not necessarily grime with his flow being more laid back than the agitated angry sounds of other grime emcees who occasionally like to repeat things in case you did not hear them the first time-“you don’t know about me- you don’t know about me!”
If I said I like Tre it would be like saying that Real Madrid would quite like Gareth Bale to sign to them-it would indeed be an understatement as they pursue Gareth Bale with all the intensity of a blood hound that has been served a huge does of crack and has a taste for Welsh Rare Bit.
Tre does indeed throw a stomach churning punch to the solar plexus with his bars and flow which has attracted attention from stalwarts of grime like JME.
So current out put from our man Tre is Malmaison produced by the man himself. Cuts that will keep the heads happy are numerous but to launch his signing to Big Dada they dropped a special flex involving three tracks from MalMaison that you need to check (here they are)
So keep an eye out the tre-mendous Tre-mission. The album is due out in 2014 but in the meantime check out more of his material.
Download the mix-tape: Tre-mission
Joel Compass setting the bearings
Ok I am really excited about Joel Compass a UK singer who is dropping RnB soul niceness with a slight difference. He’s already gaining comparisons to Maxwell which might be a tad early but that aside Joel is the real deal-hugely talented.
If I was to say I like Joel it would be like saying that England would be happy if they won another World Cup by beating the Germans in a penalty shoot out while having a goal stand that was clearly offside-it would indeed be an understatement of goliath proportions.
With his soulful soubrette vocals Joel brings an infinite cool vibe to what he does. More significantly he brings an RnB soulful swagger that is just damn sexy.
Case in point his fresh cut called Astronaut which is out of this world me tell you straight! It starts off in something similar to a gospel flex with Joel going through the notes vocally before the drop comes smooth, classy and brilliant (I could drop more superlatives in fact I will) it’s a fantastic smouldering cut.
What’s even better is that Joel co-wrote and produced this track so this really sets him apart to a greater extent from some of his contemporaries who have to rely on other s to produce for them. More significantly for his career he has more autonomy and of course financially it’s a win win after all while all the artists love what they do this is a career-pay me!
Astronaut is a further precursor to a multitude of musical gems that will undoubtedly come from Joel. Previously he had Fucked Up which was totally serious.
I think in many respects he is slightly different to the current crop of male UK singers and Astronaut is a perfect intro to Joel (if you were not on him before). Astronaut is the lead track from his four track EP which promises to be something to relish like a good medium steak-succulent.
The EP is due for release on the 2nd of September but in the meantime get your bearings and feel the magnetic force of Joel Compass-damn good music!
Ruth Koleva-From Bulgaria with classy soul
I literally got this through as I was finishing off this installment of Future Flavours from my man Steve and I just had to add this lady in. I hope I do not sound too ignorant but this is the first time that I have heard of a singer from Bulgaria that is most definitely under the genre of soul. Of course in this global world now the ability to tap into the culture, movements of the world is undeniable so maybe I should not be surprised.
If I said I like this lady it would be like saying that Australia are slightly miffed that for a third time in the Ashes England have beaten them with the help of the English weather-it would indeed be an understatement as Australians would bathe themselves in rosemary infused olive oil before dousing themselves in salt and jumping on a barbecue right next to some fat sausages from sheer anger.
Anyway this lady is literally dripping with soulful energy and vibes that are unmistakably classy. Her voice relishes the higher ranges and this high vocal in turn is soft, magnetic and damn sweet. She could tell me I have crust in my eyes and I would not be offended.
She is hugely popular in her native Bulgaria but her first onslaught on the UK features this track which I defy any soulful individual not to love.
Soul of course in its purer form is not as popular as it once was in the UK (that can all change in a second) so it may not be destined for the huge stations here but this does not negate the fact that this is a brilliant track. Furthermore it is a track that definitely points to a brilliant singer that I cannot wait to hear more from.
Blacksmif hammering out some beats
Last up is a producer/dj that is dropping some of the heaviest, most cantankerous off the chain bass, electro vibes from the UK and the guy is straight from North London.
If I said I liked the is guy it would be like saying that if Arsenal were to win the league and the Champion’s League title this year that Tottenham fans would be a little upset-it would indeed be an understatement for Tottenham fans would be committing hara kiri and burning up in droves of spontaneous human combustion from sheer anger.
So Yemi Olagbaiye aka Blacksmif what beats can you check well the first one that just had me nodding my head in the heat of a weekend was Splinter Foot Girl (VIP Mix) which sees him remixing up Usher’s brilliant slow jam You Got It Bad (2000). Under Blacksmif’s consummate class You Got It Bad becomes a garage like flex decked out in deep rich bass, smatterings of sharp high hats and beautiful melodies brilliant. The video is suitably avant garde go check it.
or how about a quick taster of M.A.N.D.Y off the his EP And the Sun Rose Out
and my personal favourite the title track off the EP
Blacksmif drops track after beautifully hypnotic track all bless with a seamless productive quality that eases you through the collective minutes of these tasty aural h’orderves. He has already gained the attention of one Gilles Petersen (who for the record is always way ahead when it comes to fresh talent) for his use of samples.
If you want see a full set from him check him doing a session in the soooo cool Boiler Room but just believe Blacksmif is forging some big beats!