In the last instalment of the year, we thought we’d drop a triumvirate of ladies that you just have to watch out for in 2012.
What connects the three is the fact they are multi-talented – they all spit bars, they all sing and one is a stupendous producer. This trio deserve the Future Flavours title not necessarily because they have already worked with big names in the business, but because far and beyond, their artistry (whether it’s your thing or not) is undeniable…
We first saw Kay at a night called ‘We Plug Good Music’ down in the venue now synonymous with great live acts – the Queen of Hoxton. Backed by a full band with brass section – unusual in the urban world – Kay engaged her audience on a brilliant level. Whether it was her soulful hip hop-tinged vocals or just plain bars, Kay did it all with aplomb. By the end of the set people were clapping spontaneously and the respect she paid to her band was a nice touch to end on.
Kay is staunchly independent and certainly has that ‘going against gender preconceptions’ thing, being not only a female rapper who sings but also a producer whose inspirations by hugely influential names like J Dilla and Madlib come roaring out in her jazzy laid-back production with musically cute samples. In fact, Kay is the producer behind a past Future Flavour in the shape of Joel Culpepper’s album. Tellingly, she had Wretch 32 perform with her at a past I Luv Live and they really gave it to the crowd.
She recently dropped her latest EP, called The Smell of Winter, which is sonically different to some of the commercial stuff out there, but it is nevertheless still great music.
The question and hardest part is how to take her obvious underground popularity and her brilliant live performances to another level where she can become a popular name. Her CV is already impressive: she was the winner of the Jump off Producer Battle 2005 at 18, she supported Kelis on tour in the UK, produced music for Making The Band 4 and The Salt-N-Pepa Show on MTV.
Recently she performed at the Rock The Belles event where Ms Dynamite and Yasmin, to name but a few, have also blessed this hub of female creativity, which is definitely a step in the right direction.
Nothing is certain in the world of music, but with tracks like ‘Look At Me (Monster)’ featuring Kersha Bailey and ‘Amazin’, she surely has the talent to take it all the way.
Follow Kay Young on Twitter
@KayYoungMusic or visit
Taking her throne
Next up, a lady who raps and sings her way right into your cerebral cortex. When we met for our interview we had to ask her to drop some vocals and she did, with huge levels of confidence and as her voice skipped between rapping and singing, it was on point. The 18-year-old from Tanzania by origins but brought up in Sweden may have only been here nine year in the big scheme of things, but she has gone from English being her second language to spitting intricate bars with the best of them.
Since the age of 16 she has been building her contacts and counts Westwood as one of her admirers. As the year ends, things are hotting up for this young lady from West London. She’s been pushing her latest release ‘On My Throne’ featuring P Money (signed to RCA and Rinse FM now) who administers a lethal injection of grit. The brilliant dubstep-influenced track that uses the En Vogue drum and bass loop at the end has had big support from Choice FM, KISS and 1Xtra.
‘I am going to drop my next single when this campaign runs its course called “Get This Money”, featuring two hot features…’ Who are they? ‘The features are definitely “wavey”. That single should be dropping [now] and you will get two videos; then after that I will be dropping a mixtape.’ The future sure is bright for Miski.
Follow Miski on Twitter
@YoItsMiski or visit
Last but not least is a 20-year-old rapper from Harlem, New York, whose swagger is big! Vocally blessed with a distinctive and emotional voice, her bars are at a distinct and antagonistic (almost) juxtaposition to those sweet vocals, and she manages to maintain harmony like a volatile nuclear reactor. Dare we say she has more swagger than Nicki Minaj?
We first got wind of Azealia through a Facebook friend, Juliette Dalton, with a track called ‘212’… which may not be for everyone as Azealia uses the c#*t word and d*#k word, and talks about the delight that is cunnilingus… it is not light-hearted or for the faint-hearted. However, do not let the liberal use of profanities detract from the fact that she is a brilliant lyricist and she has bars for days.
Indeed, ‘212’ is a real club-banging, rip-your-shirt-off-and-sweat-like-a-pig-on-a-spit-roast dance track, simply shot with Azealia and a backdrop of a wall – and you know what? She carries it off with ladles of sex appeal and, yes, even more of that swagger.
Probably still in her experimental stage, you will see her appearing on a multitude of genres, be that hip hop, dance or whatever if you research her; but despite her experimentation, she does not strike us as a genre-restricted artist. Can’t wait for more material from her. Check this out:
Follow Azealia Banks
@AZEALIABANKS or visit
That’s Future Flavours 2011 done, but 2012 promises even more! And we’re not only all about singers and rappers – this is about all people with skills and something to shout about who need to be recognised. So holla at ya boy and send through the talent whatever the area or suggest a person or an organisation doing it for the future to: