As we approach our 30th edition of Cloud 9, the world of music has been ticking over again. We covered Skepta‘s Konnichiwa saga with our official album review and celebrated his accomplishments, with the album scoring #2 in the UK Album Chart. We saw the wide range of genres the UK scene has to offer with new releases from the Astroid Boys [‘Fall Back‘] and A.M. SNiPER‘s team up with Curren$y [‘Hype‘]. We also received another long awaited release with Chance The Rapper finally dropping Coloring Book. But with every week comes a string of new releases and as always, 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: 029.
1. SNE x Nadia Rose – GOKU
Continuing 2016 on a high and with an arsenal of tracks ready to release, SNE is back with a bang on this one and starts his takeover campaign alongside fellow Londoner Nadia Rose on ‘Goku‘. The track is the second to be taken from Ralph Hardy‘s upcoming release Growing Pains 2, which is a series from NANG that emphasises the strengths and barriers people face in day-to-day life, Verses filled with punchlines and intricate word play, as well as a diverse range of vocal ability and rap finesse has seen both SNE and Nadia Rose gain a solid following online. Gradually carving out his own lane within the UK scene, SNE looks sure to set the summer alight in the coming months and this well and truly sets the tone.
2. Laura Jae – Underwater
Following the success of her Silver Lined Hearts EP, championed by the likes of The Guardian and Huffington Post, soulful electro-cinematic artist Laura Jae returns with ‘Underwater’, the first single from her forthcoming Cut Piece EP. Fusing the influences of a wide range of artists, Laura’s new material sees her team up with fellow London-based songwriter Dele Ladimeji, who is renowned for his work in the Japanese music industry. Complemented by his ethereal, textured production and familiar shimmering electronics, the infectious track is interspersed with dark, bassy beats and soft retro drums, all carried by Jae’s unwavering vocals.
3. Emay – Israfil “angels trumpet”
Emay is a Canadian MC/producer from Hamilton, ON. Having parents that immigrated to Canada from Ghana in the late 1980s, Emay was born in Montreal but grew up mostly in Toronto, Brampton, and Hamilton. Emay’s long-awaited LP, Ilah, is a completely self-produced effort, and a unique, introspective experience that he has been developing for over 3 years with ‘Israfil ‘angels trumpet” being the first single to be released. On the self-produced cut, Emay shares of personal struggles growing up and a yearning to make it. The varying accents of horns throughout the song help to connect the track to its title. A befitting clip from author and social activist Bell Hooks helps to drive the song home.
4. Laura Mvula – Phenomenal Woman (Idris Elba’s 90’s Flex Mix)
Idris Elba has stepped in to give Laura Mvula‘s ‘Phenomenal Woman‘ a special remix. The original, inspired by the writings of Maya Angelou, is a soulful piece of future-facing funk music, blasting those 70s influences into some startlingly fresh areas. The acclaimed actor has delivered his own take on the track, which adds some serious 90’s flex sound to Laura Mvula’s songwriting. It’s anything but safe, in effect. Quick-thinking, stuffed to the brim with hooks, it’s a bright and inventive rallying cry and is pretty good too. In a post-Lemonade media narrative that’s focused more on drama than Beyoncé’s message of uplifting and supporting black women, this is a nice, clear juxtaposition that retains the same essential spirit.
5. Seramic – Found
Seramic is an enigmatic London artist who had us excited with his funk-tinged track ‘Waiting‘ a few months ago. He’s now returned with no more information about himself but with an excellent new cut called ‘Found’. It’s rare for new artists to be this ambitious but on ‘Found’, Seramic holds nothing back. It’s packed with bold vocals, roaring choirs and attention-demanding instruments. There is certainly an old soul running through his music, but that mix of electronic and analog, new and old, that intrigued us from his first song is also present and correct. This time, a mighty choir and electric guitar help propel Seramic’s own vocals into the heavens.
6. Adian Coker feat. Charlotte Turnbull – Iyamide’s Son
Fresh from his recent performance alongside Allan Kingdom for DJ Semtex presents, Adian Coker continues his blitz of new music taken from his Connect E.P, due for release at the end of the week. ‘Iyamide’s Son‘ is somewhat of a game changer for Coker as it opens up to a whole new sound. A deeply emotive record with an explorative delivery is risky for the rapper that has been known to reside in a mysterious and conscious lane up until now, but the risk pays off. Overall the E.P is shaping up to be a much more adventurous, charming and personal offering than we’ve previously heard and seen in past releases.
7. Kamaiyah – How You Want It
Oakland Rapper Kamaiyah released her hyped debut mixtape, A Good Night in the Ghetto, back in March, and now she’s back with ‘How You Want It‘, her first new track since the mixtape. Much like her first project, the song, produced by Cardo, includes plenty of sweeping synths and Kamaiyah’s smooth flow atop a bumping bass foundation. Coated with the same sort of ’80s nostalgia that permeated the mixtape, it’s a bouncy, personable cut complete with rumbling bass. “Summer ’16 is mine in the making,” she raps on the tune and hopefully she’s right. She has the chops to become one of this year’s most hyped rappers and ‘How You Want It‘ only fuels that fire.
8. Mai Kino – The Waves
London-based Portuguese singer, songwriter, and musician Mai Kino’s voice strikes a stunning balance between gentle and powerful. Her new song ‘The Waves‘ starts off with a few elements peeking out from behind her unique vocals. An off-centred, disjointed introduction gathers pace, eventually finding its structure with a core drum pattern throughout that keeps everything together. Production comes courtesy of Luke Smith and remains restraint enough not to overshadow Kino’s haunting vocal. Mai Kino has emerged as one of the artists to stand out within the over-saturated genre, and with good reason. It’s dark, mysterious, and demonstrates her potential.
9. TheFame – Pink Skies
Following his most recent, PORNOGRAPHY project, New Jersey artist TheFame looks to build some momentum towards his upcoming B A D G I R L S EP with his newest single, ‘Pink Skies‘. The new track displays a soulful vibe with a dark and trippy production combined with deep vocals from Fame that bring you in to his musical fantasy. Fame is a prospering NJ artist who produces his own music as well. Check out Pink Skies and be on the lookout for B A D G I R L S EP scheduled to drop May 20. As with most of his work, the track is entirely self-produced and makes him one of the hottest prospects of 2016.