Having gained mainstream recognition featuring on Disclosure’s monster hit ‘Latch’, singer Sam Smith is making all the right moves to achieve independent success. He’s not only produced a sensational new pop single in ‘Safe With Me’, but he’s also attached himself to London’s leading label PMR (home to Jessie Ware, Disclosure and Julio Bashmore) who will release his forthcoming debut EP. ‘Safe With Me’ displays Smith’s controlled vocal theatrics across a cradle of progressive pop production courtesy of PMR’s resident beatsmith Two Inch Punch. TIP fills the track with droning drums, twinkling keys and an angelically looped backing vocal. In lieu of the recent success of acts like Disclosure and AlunaGeorge, ‘Safe With Me’ positions itself as an assuredly confident pop song.
British newcomer Raleigh Ritchie releases the video for his exceptional debut single ‘Stay Inside’ which appears to capture the fleeting insanity that often ensues after a prolonged bout of self-imposed quarantine. Granted not all of us may go to the extreme of building our own puppet army, but hey maybe that’s just how he deals. Jesting aside, watch Ritchie’s symbolic new video up top and download his free EP The Middle Child which also features singles ‘In Too Deep’ & ‘A Moor’ now.
Continuing a string of relatively cringe-worthy interviews for Revolt, producer Timbaland has spoken (again) on the potential release of a new posthumous Aaliyah record. Having already aired his opinions on the matter, Timbo rather unsurprisingly reiterates that new music without him at the helm “will never work”, saying “Chris Brown got a record [with Aaliyah sampled], it won’t work. Drake can go and do a record with Aaliyah, it ain’t gonna work. Aaliyah music only work with the soulmate, which is me”.
There are undoubtedly millions that will agree with Timbaland’s sentiments here, but it might be worth remembering that Aaliyah consciously worked with new producers throughout her career and specifically on her self-titled third and final album. Perhaps Aaliyah wasn’t as defining or as iconic as One In a Million, but it is an album that for many stands as her best body of work.
Still, regardless of personal opinion on how Aaliyah compares to the singers former work, the decision to step away from Timbaland and Missy Elliott at that stage in her career is something that is usually (and perhaps naively) overlooked entirely. In retrospect it appears that Aaliyah got a genuine buzz from working with new producers (a fact she reiterates in many interviews during that period) and lets not forget Tim and Missy were virtual unknowns at the time they recorded One In a Million.
With that in mind it’s difficult to completely agree with Mosley’s sentiments that new music without him would “never work” because the fact is an album without him (for the most part at least) already did work. Timbaland was credited on 3 of 15 songs on the Aaliyah album (‘We Need a Resolution’, ‘More Than a Woman’, ‘I Care 4 U’) and at the time of its release Aaliyah received widespread critical acclaim – although admittedly it did sell significantly less than it’s predecessor at first.
If a new Aaliyah record was to ever see the light of day (and at this stage it seems unlikely it ever will, which is probably for the best) it would be wholly appropriate to have Timbaland & Missy involved, however given their recent outputs (or lack thereof) and current position in music I’m still not apposed to having a new (carefully selected and relevant) producer at the reins. You probably know where my vote goes.
The Revolt interview also reveals a new track produced by Timbaland for Nas featuring Jay Z & Justin Timberlake called ‘Sinatra In the Sand’. Tim excitedly compares Timberlake’s performance to that of Frank Sinatra – take that as you will.
Southampton based singer/songwriter Will Ozane, otherwise known as Gang Colours, quietly released one of the best albums of last year with his debut The Keychain Collective. It was an album created in a post-James Blake world, where melancholic electronica was emotively infused with rhythm & blues melodies and UK bass shifts.
A year later and Ozane returns with an intriguing new single titled ‘Invisible In Your City’, a twinkling folk ballad dedicated to the complexities of human nature and the loneliness that is susceptible to city life. Melodically speaking the single isn’t as sweet as songs found on his debut, nor does it have the same swing, but his soft-natured vocals and ornate approach to production certainly continues to pique our interest.
Watch a trailer for his upcoming music video for ‘Invisible In Your City’ after the jump.
After an unfinished version of Kanye’s ‘Black Skinheads’ video leaked early, West took to his twitter to explain that the official video has been worked on for “5 months” with creative collaborator and renowned photographer Nick Knight. The video premiered on West’s official website today, which explained how users can interact with the visual by adjusting the motion speed, which also enables them take still ‘screen grabs’ of it (“creating their own art” in the process). Watch the after the jump and head over to kanyewest.com to interact with it…
Having ruled the 90′s as one of the most defining and successful electronic musicians, producer Moby returns with a captivating new single titled ‘A Case For Shame’ featuring the arresting presence of London-based Canadian singer Cold Specks. Lifted off his forthcoming Innocence LP, the tracks accompanying visual was filmed at Moby’s Los Angeles home and marks the producers directorial debut. It features Moby submerged in a swimming pool surrounded by cast of eerily masked observers; The curious clip works well with the songs melancholic and tranquil stature.
Escaping the dreaded one-hit-wonder curse is no mean feat, but Jeremih brought his career back from the brink following his 2009 mega-hit ‘Birthday Sex’. In fact he’s not only come back, he’s also created the rare and coveted cult following very few R&B artists get to enjoy. Even electronic producers were stanning. ‘Ex-To-See’ (get it?) is Jeremih’s latest free offering, a precursor for his upcoming new album Thumpy Johnson – it’s a cleverly titled ode to, you guessed it, running into an ex.
After nearly a decade at Hyde Park, Wireless Festival 2013 made the bold move to uproot to Stratford City’s Olympic Village, marking the first major event there since last years historic summer games. It was a move that had a lot of people intrigued, well that and the small fact that Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z were headlining individually and as part of their Legends of the Summer tour outfit – prompting nearly 200,000 to descend onto East London.
Fantastic Mr Fox returns to the forefront with a heatwave appropriate new jam called ‘The Trap’. As he always seems to do, he’s putting his best foot forward here with this high-slice of bass heavy soulful house. Everything about ‘The Trap’ is finely tuned: the unearthed sample, FMF’s trademark fragrant chords and the songs dizzying pulse. The songs b-side is titled ‘Jackal Youth’, both tracks are available to pre-order now.
We’ve been a little enamoured with Raleigh Ritchie since hearing his debut single ‘Stay Inside’. And even though it was only released less than a month ago, a lot has happened since then for the young Bristonian – including an support slot for Kendrick Lamar and a performance at Wireless. Today though the singer returns with a new single titled ‘In Too Deep’, a seasonally appropriate ballad-bubbler shrouded in summery synths, dancing hi-hats and reverbed vocals.
Although perhaps not as immediately striking as ‘Stay Inside’, the songs potential is certainly evident. ‘In Too Deep’ is lifted off Ritchie’s debut EP The Middle Child.