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REVIEW: Cherri V – Brown Eyed Soul Vol. 1

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This album may be the first time many are introduced to Cherri V, but for those that know – she has been around since the MySpace (dot com) days and has a long back catalogue.

However in this latest release its all about the new, and over 8 diverse tracks she showcases the full gamut of her lyrical and vocal abilities exploring the peaks and throughs of relationships.

It starts off with “Leave Me Be” a summery track with soft reggae influences, perfect for cruising on a summer evening with the windows down. The summer vibe continues with Runaway where she switches things up for a more afro bet style.

Things get a bit trappy on Snapchat Mistress, as she gets a bit more militant, describing catching her man receiving naughty pictures on Snapchat.

Things You Do is a solid piece of pop RnB, which could easily slot into radio daytime playlists.

The second part half of the EP is dominated by slower tracks starting with the mid tempo slow jam Lock Down/Prisoner then moving on to Situationship , a duet between her and singer Sincerely Wilson, Brown Eyed Soul (Interlude) with vocals by RnB veteran Terri Walker.

Finally the album picks with Swimming, produced by XVRBLCK who seems to be on everything in UK R&B these days.

Overall this album well produced and Cherri V is flawless with the vocals. Definitely a stand out release for 2018. You have no reason not to stream this album today and keep it on repeat. We cant wait for Vol. 2!

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Zion Foster signs to Virgin/EMI

We’ve been following Zion for a hot minute now, since he dropped the underground smashes “Wavey” and “Let’s Go”.

Recently he announced he signed to Virgin/EMI a massive step in his career. Over the past couple of years he has built a solid following on Instagram with his covers, and released a few bangers along the way.

Defo one to watch this year and beyond!

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AUDIO: Blow – Matt Blvck

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South London singer Matt Blvck drops a new track for 2018 – “Blow”. Following on from his solid EP “Afterparty” he interpolates Ushers classic “Nice & Slow” to add a current twist on the usual boy/girl relationship story.

The singer has been writing and recording music for 3 years and has his eye on being a leading artist in the resurgent UK R&B scene. Check out his last EP below.

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VIDEO: Confidence – Raye ft. Maleek Berry, Nana Rogues

We love Raye, her sultry sexy vocals have seen her carve out a strong niche for herself as an R&B/pop artist. In her latest visual in one continuous shot she gives the viewer a private view into her doing a dance rehearsal. Rapper/singer Maleek Berry adds vocals while Nana Rogues (Drake – Passion Fruit) provides the production.

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Why Spotify’s Ban of R Kelly is Dangerous and Pointless

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Last week, Spotify announced they would no longer playlist R Kelly’s music. This means he would be removed from all playlists that are made by Spotify employees. As these are prominently featured within the app they are followed by millions of their users.

This move will inevitably cause a drop in R Kelly streaming numbers – however in the long run it will be meaningless to R Kelly financially.

A quick search of his name in the app reveals the following numbers

Ignition – 320 million streams
Bump n Grind – 70 million
I Believe I can Fly – 44 million
Im A Flirt – 28 Million
Same Girl 28 million

For an artist of his age and length in the music career those numbers could be a lot higher. In fact outside of Ignition the number of streams for his top tracks ranks pretty poorly against say Beyonce, Drake or Chris Brown.

Despite this, his live shows continue to sell out and his albums consistently go Platinium. This suggests that:

  1. His fans aren’t really listening to his music on Spotify anyway
  2. If Spotify de-playlists him it wont have much of an impact because people who want R Kelly will search for him anyway.

There was no mention of him being removed from peoples personal radio stations or coming up in automated suggestions, which are also responsible for a significant amount of artist streams.

If Spotify really wanted to make an impact they could just remove R Kelly from their platform all together.

However they will never ever do this simply because Sony music and Warner Music own sizeable stakes in the company (around 12% of all public shares between them).

If Spotify started removing artists they didn’t like the record labels would start losing money.

R Kelly is signed to RCA who are owned by Sony Music. Somewhere deep in Sony HQ R Kelly is responsible for a sizeable part of various execs fat salaries. They are not going to want a good thing to be messed with.

If they straight up removed R Kelly, then Sony could respond by saying they couldn’t stream Micheal Jackson (another controversial figure but well leave that for another day), Beyonce or any other popular artist that gives people a reason to pay Spotify the £9.99 (or equivalent in whatever currency) a month.

The same would apply for Universal (Drake) or Warner Music (Dr Dre, Interscope, Kendrick Lamar etc.). The consequences of such a scenario would not be positive for Spotify.

Its a bit of good PR, but nothing more. R Kelly will still continue to keep collecting his royalty cheques and maintaining his alleged harem.

Their actions also set a dangerous precedent, and across the media industry could lead to further erosion on freedom of expression and speech.

To a debatable extent this is already happening, but why should Spotify start censoring artists they don’t agree with?

Spotify should stop with the virtue signalling and just get on with delivering our music conveniently and effectively. Thats what people are paying them for right?

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COLORS: Best UK R&B Performances – Part 1

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Colors are a mysterious Berlin based platform that started in 2015, posting video performances of musicians from around the world. Recently they have emerged as a platform for many UK R&B singers. We have selected a just a few of our favourites.

Jorja Smith

The Walsall born singer has taken the world by storm with co signs by Drake (she featured on two songs on his More Life album), Preditah, Kali Uchis and Black Coffee. However with her album due to drop in June she is certain to take her career to another level. In her Colors performance she takes it back – performing Blue Lights.

Alexndr London

Singer, creative, revolutionary. Its hard to put this singer in a box – and maybe he doesn’t want to be. Standing just as much as his voice is his unique East Asian inspired Afro-futurist style. In Colors earlier days he was one their most popular videos with 1.7 million views.

Tiana Major 9

Coming from A rough part of East London, Tiana Major 9 came to our attention with the amazing Round and Round, which drew comparisons with an early Lauryn Hill. Since then she has continued her organic growth, following it up with “Levee” which she performs in her Colors performance.

IAMDDB

IAMDDB has continued her rise building a cult following. Her moody trap sound, Gothic inspired branding and all round swag have made her into one of the most exciting talents in UK RNB. In this colors performance she performs her track “Pause”

Malika

Malika first came on our radar with the amazing Songs About C EP. One of the standout tracks was the Bearcubs produced ‘I Live’ – which she performs in this Colors performance.

Rachel Foxx

What can we say about Rachel Foxx. Her sultry jazz inspired vocals saw us through winter – she features on Vol. 3 of our mixtape series! In this Colors performance she performs “To You” a track from her Blue Moon EP.

Desta French

Desta French keeps it chill with a 90s inspired mid tempo hip-hop jam “Shame” (Featured on Vol. 3 of our Mixtape series). We love the trench coat too ;).

Shakka

Shakka has been bubbling in the UK R&B and mainstream scene for a while now and he doesn’t disappoint with a lively and expressive performance of his track “Heart The Weekend”.

Mahalia

Over the past year Birmingham singer Mahalia has gone from strength to strength. Here she performs her breakout track “Sober” a smooth hip-hop/soul track where she reminices over a past relationship.

J Grrey

Outside the studio JGrrey could be mistaken for any young south londoner dressed in adidas. However in this Colors performance she truly astounds.

There are still so many we have left out so stay tuned for Part 2 of our best picks.

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