Another week, another Cloud 9 playlist! Even with the lead up with Christmas, this hasn’t slowed down the release train as there have been a number of releases on both sides of the Atlantic. The US scene showed it’s versatility with new tracks from Justine Skye [‘U Don’t Know‘], Jean Deaux [‘Pressure‘] and Tish Hyman [‘All That I Can Do‘]. Closer to home, the UK showcased R&B with Kx [‘Pillowtalk‘], grime with Reppatwa [‘Wu Tang Strapz‘], soul with Brooklyn [‘Cupid‘] and rap with SeeJay100 [‘Pull Up‘] and MoStack [‘Block Poppin‘]. So as always, we have brought 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: 051.
1. JaJa Kisses – Feelings
Songstress JaJa Kisses celebrated her birthday in the best way in 2016 with the unveiling of her debut EP Young Fashioned . The London-based RnBass artist delivers a 14-track featureless project with a blend of different influences. JaJa explores a range of moods and tempos throughout Young Fashioned – from lush cosmic lullabies [‘Gold Bra‘] to swervy trap bangers [‘Feelings‘] – and that versatility is what makes her such an exciting artist. Now the first lady of the postmodern nostalgic art collective Serotonin, 2017 is set to be more than an exciting year of more sereneness soundscapes, abstract visuals and tender performances from JaJa Kisses.
2. Gucci Mane x Future – Die A Gangsta
Gucci Mane fans have been pateintly waiting for The Return Of East Atlanta Santa to arrive next month, but out of nowhere last night the ATL veteran decided to drop a bomb on the game & surprise us with the release of his Free Bricks 2 mixtape alongside Future. Laced with only 6 tracks, the project was reportedly recorded just 24 hours ago when the two linked up at a studio in ATL. The outcome quickly turned into Free Bricks 2, and now fans & social media are freaking out. Gucci has been having some good days since his prison release, with two strong albums already behind him, and now an appearance on one of the most over-played songs in the country, Rae Sremmurd‘s ‘Black Beatles‘.
3. Chip – Winter Time
As we are knee deep in Winter Season, it wouldn’t be right without a showing from the “Grime Scene Saviour” Chip. The North London rapper flexes the essence of JD’s ‘Hook&Loop Collection’ collaboration with Timberland with his latest release ‘Winter Time’. It’s all the way up for the MOBOBest Grime Act winner as he joins JD to celebrate their latest collaboration with American manufacturer and retailer of outdoors wear Timberland with a brand new single. A few weeks ago, he was at JD in Oxford street to perform the single to a huge number of fans to attended his meet and greet session. Hopefully this will spur Chip to get back into the studio and work on some new music.
4. Jorja Smith – Something in the Way
Since her phenomenal debut single ‘Blue Lights‘ in January, British singer Jorja Smith has commanded our attention – landing a spot on our UK Females To Watch 2016 list and making the BBC Sound of 2017 longlist. Now, as she prepares the release of her new EP, Project 11, Smithstopped by BBC Radio 1 with Annie Mac to share ‘Something in the Way‘, the first song from the project [and first of four that will be coming out this week]. After an ethereal opening of layered vocals eases us into the song, Smith slides over bluesy guitars to deliver self-assured but painful lyrics about moving on after a failed romance. Alongside later releases ‘So Lonely’ and ‘Carry Me Home’, Jorja Smith is making a name for herself.
5. GRIM – SLW DWN
GRIM is certainly a L Ø S T C U L T U R E. favourite as we have previously featured his previous releases, ‘In The Moment‘, ‘Slow Intuition‘ and ‘Movies‘ over the past 18 months. With an impressive 2016 already under his belt, GRIM is looking to finish the year on a bang with his latest release, ‘SLW DWN‘. Premiered by Dobby over at Reprezent Radio, the track is certainly a track to vibe to with an electronic vibe with sultry R&B tones pulsating throughout. It shows yet another side to the young artist and alongside being on GRM Daily‘s Go Left and Radio 1 shows his potential for 2017 and beyond!
6. Goldlink x Isaiah Rashid – Untitled
Both Isaiah Rashad and Goldlink have recently released some solo material, but today they come together on the equal-billing single ‘Untitled‘. Dropped on Zane Lowe‘s Beats 1 show, we don’t have much context for the single, but judging by the minimal description on the SoundCloud page, this is just a one-off “4r da fans…”. Isaiah and Goldlink each get a verse on the morose arrangement, which is led by a wavering string sample. Each has their own brand of nonchalant swagger that comes through well on the instrumental, while Preston Harris supplies the soulful hook. It’s possible these two have some more music in the stash, but for now, we’ll take this one as an effective standalone collab.
7. Tara Carosielli -Leave You Lonely
If you’re making electronic-pop these days, you best be as far away from being average as possible. You’ll fall on deaf ears if you don’t and be forgotten faster than the latest internet fad. Tara Carosielli, a new pop artist from London, is sure doing her best to have an appealing and above-average sound, it seems, because, with her new track, ‘Leave You Lonely‘, there’s plenty of sonic accenting going on that’ll inevitably rope fans in. Her passion for music started at the age of 17. From the title you can assume the song comes from a place of neglected in a relationship and a broken heart. It’s one of the catchiest choruses I’ve heard this year, and it will be interesting to see what else Tara has in store.
8. bliss & alice – London
Bliss & Alice makes a big return to the music world after 2 years with the release of his brand new EP release Mama Tried, and it has certainly lived up to expectation. While he has been away for a while, the absence has been for the best with Bliss really taking the time to hone his craft. He really has delivered with a beautifully crafted EP, and that’s all we could ever ask for when it comes to this. He has some of the best bars and one of the best flows in the UK right now, with a unique and interesting soundscape. The reality is a blend of genres, influences and sound and it certainly doesn’t feel like “rap music.” This is fucking art.
9. Knucks – From Rome With Love
Since making an impact with his breakthrough hit ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s‘, UK artist Knucks has made quite the impression. He also teamed up with Jevon and Bonkaz for ‘Sleeping In The Studio‘, reaching a larger audience and performing up and down the country. When Knucks turned 21 he gave us ‘21 Candles‘ and it was an huge introduction to the rapper and on his 22nd birthday yesterday, the rapper shared his new track ‘From Rome With Love‘, taking a trip and out there and recollecting the amazing year he has had, and this year you will hear more from the rapper. It features his now trademark relaxed flow with a wavy laid back beat with some unique sampling.
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