First off, this week saw the loss of one of the greatest rappers to grace a stage. A Tribe Called Quest‘s Phife Dwag died on Tuesday 22nd March, aged 45, following complications with his diabetes. Our thoughts go out to his family and the hip-hop community as a whole. But in a week that saw the loss of a legend, we also saw the wealth of new and up-and-coming talent with new releases from TruthCity, Latir and Flatbush Zombies. While US rapper Liana Banks held up the mantle for the females with ‘M.O.N‘, UK’s Wildhood showed an alternative side to music with his EP release, VERT. We caught up with two rising UK stars, Rachel Foxxand Rude Kid as part of our #LostCultureMeets series and ELHAE blessed us with his new release in the form on All Have Fallen. With every week comes a string of releases and we have worked to find you 9 of the best from the “Cloud of Sound”. So sit back, plug in and relax as we present;
L Ø S T C U L T U R E | Cloud 9: 022.
1. Anna of the North- Baby
Epic, swooning and ethereal, Oslo based artist Anna of the North today shares their new single, ‘Baby‘. The track is the highly anticipated follow up to previous releases, ‘The Dreamer‘ and ‘Sway‘, which were streamed over 21 million times, and caught the attention of tastemakers like Fader, NYLON, Pigeons and Planes, and rose to #3 in the Hype Machine charts. ‘Baby‘ is a twinkling new single; a swaying, swoony slow-dance that radiates so much youthful, wistful anticipation that someone should probably make it some kind of official international 2016 prom anthem. The single will be part of Anna’s upcoming debut EP, which is expected to be released sometime this year via Honeymoon and +1 Records.
2. Mr Bigz – Beluga Bitches Bollinger
One of the most respected and charismatic hip-hop artists in the UK, Mr Bigz has announced a new project with the unveiling of its lead track, ‘Beluga Bitches Bollinger‘. Adding a unique twist to some of his favourite classic soul records, the 2014 mixtape My Funked Up Soul was so well-received that Mr Bigz was inspired to create the S.U.M.M.E.R. EP in the same vein shortly after. Now, ahead of his debut studio album The Soul Trader, Mr Bigz will whet our appetites by releasing more gems this week with My Funked Up Soul 2. The first glimpse of this new free ten-track project is two minutes of silky smooth rap that sees Mr Bigz on the top of his game alongside trusted producer Turkish Dcypha [Island Records].
3. Deltino Guerreiro – Duas Caras
The sound of Deltino Guerreiro is a mix of influences, the result of his experiences travelling from the north to the south. From soul and r&b to the musical tradition of northern Mozambique, coupled with conscious lyrics in Portuguese, English and Macua, Deltino marks the difference in the Mozambican musical landscape, dominated mainly by rhythms of southern Mozambique. This is the first record from this artist from Montepuez, and was produced by Milton Gulli. His melodies reflect the strong influence of Arabic music in northern Mozambique, sometimes compared to the rhythms of countries like Mali, Gambia and Burkina Faso. His upcoming album Eparaka is due out on April 8th.
4. ROAM – If You Know
Even though he hasn’t got alot of music online, UK artist ROAM is able to connect with many on his latest release ‘If You Know‘. The track itself is influenced by the sounds of trap and rap but ROAM is able to inject his own personality into the track through his signature melody and flow. The FRZA produced instrumental skips between slow-melodic pulses and energetic hi-hat claps, reminiscent of Drake‘s sound from 2015’s If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late. Look out for more of his music under his previous moniker, Jay P, he has a mixtape which will hopefully be released before the end of the year.
5. Beaty Heart – Soft Like Clay
Beaty Heart are Peckham-based alt-pop trio Charlie Rotberg, Joshua Mitchell and James Moruzzi, who released their acclaimed debut album Mixed Blessings in 2014, championed by the likes of Huw Stephens, Phil Taggart, Steve Lamacq and John Kennedy. Following the release of their single ‘Flora‘, the group have announced the release of their upcoming album Till The Tomb and dropped a new track entitled ‘Soft Like Clay‘. The tracks showcases signature Beaty Heart in its novel alt-pop sound, which
builds with rousing percussion and beats, backed by distinctive vocals that launch into a compelling and memorable chorus.
6. TE Dness – FACTS
UK rapper TE Dness had a great 2015, supporting the likes of Future, Section Boyz and Wretch 32 & Avelino and looks to carry on this initial momentum into 2016. After teaming up with KatManDu for a killer remix of Jamie XX‘s ‘Good Times‘, the talented duo have dropped a new remix, this time focusing on Kanye West‘s ‘FACTS‘. TE Dness lets loose over the beat, dropping one of the hottest freestyles we’ve heard in 2016. We await to hear more official tracks from the young artist and these freestyles only build anticipation for when he does decide to drop a full project.
7. Saya – Wet Dreams
We first encountered Torontonian newcomer Saya with her powerful cover of Travis Scott‘s ‘Drugs You Should Try It‘, and we were left waiting for an official release. It seems like the wait was worth it as Saya drops her first official release, ‘Wet Dreams‘. The track plays with whimsy and progressive production throughout, forming a unique track with plenty of replay value. She drops some voluptuous hip hop rhymes that fit perfectly with the musical carpet created for this tune, which is something that stands somewhere between R&B and disco. It doesn’t sound like it should work but in Saya’s hands it does, making for one catchy, and impressive debut.
8. Innanet James – Summer
After releasing the energetic ‘Black‘ back in July 2015, Maryland rapper Innanet James returns with some added bounce, with new track ‘Summer‘. Following up his most recent track, ‘Vice City‘, James adds his flow to an extremely funky, dope remix of The Kount‘s original track. Over a bright beat with plenty of bounce and some funky ass synths, Innanet brings supreme energy and charisma on a guaranteed summer 2016 anthem. ‘Summer‘ is a bouncy, jazz infused track that just oozes this soulful goodness with James delivering his burst of energetic raps complete with his distinctive rapping style. He raps with a captivating unpredictability and an effortless agility, and he makes it all sound so easy.
9. Animalia – Face On
With her debut album right out on April 15th, singer/songwriter Animalia gives fans another taste with the ethereal and self-expressive ‘Face On’, following the success of earlier release ‘Paradise‘. The Tasmanian native’s atmospheric vocals soar and resonate over the rippling synth tune in the recent single. The incredibly textured new track sees the talented signer delve deep and explore issues of self-awareness, self-obsessiveness and one’s relationship with the world. She explains the struggle behind the track; “I think people that are emotionally sensitive to the world around them often feel betrayed and abused by the power those events have over them“.