I saw Sailor & I last evening at London’s intimate Pickle Factory. The sound coming out of this Swedish talent through a good sound system is one thing, but hearing the synths and beats live was on another level! Debut album ‘The Invention of Loneliness’ is out now via Skint.
Danish Cuban newcomer KING exploded on to the blogosphere with debut ‘Promise’ back in August last year – and the track is nearing a million plays on YouTube already.
Her releases so far give out an intense, deep sound that bounces from euphoric pop through to dark beats. Curious to learn more about this talent, I sent through a few quickfire questions…
What influences you to write songs?
I feel like I make up small fairytales about how I want things to be – or how I want things to end up.
Who are you currently loving listening to?
I listen to Tory Lanez. He is currently by biggest idol. I also really like Big Sean’s music.
Coming from Scandinavia, why do you think so much good pop is born from the region?
I think people in Scandinavia are really good at making music and I make most of my music in Stockholm – I’m in Stockholm right now. I love listening to Tove Lo and Zara Larsson. And I really like everything Max Martin did.
Who would your dream collaboration be with?
Justin Bieber, Tove Lo, Tory Lanez, Big Sean.
What do you have planned for the year ahead?
I’ll be spending a lot of time in Stockholm and Los Angeles writing and recording my music. And later this year I’m releasing my debut album and I’m really looking forward to show people who KING is.
Despite only releasing one single so far, my obsession for jazz newcomer Betti is quite strong. Reminiscing of a classical jazz era, yet blended with a modern and raw edge, Betti’s sound plays between elegant and sass. Here’s a few quickfires to get to know the kid.
Tell us a bit more about your story…
I got my love for the stage through theatre when I was a young girl. I was never thin enough back then for them to cast me as the starring roles, but still I fell hard for the heat of the lights. Now that I’m older, I find myself taking a lot of what I learned from theatre and incorporating it into my art. It’s as important to me now as it was then to always put on a show. Now however, I’m finally front and centre.
Who do you draw your inspirations from?
I find inspiration in many different avenues. One day it’s from fellow musicians, the other from fashion or film. For me, I’m always searching and what inspires me is always changing.
Is it easier to write songs about falling in love, or being heartbroken?
Honestly, they are equally satisfying. Song writing in general is just such a fun experience. I always encourage other artists to give it a try if they haven’t before. It’s therapy.
‘Ordinary’ is a pretty special track considering it’s throwback-jazz vibe at a time when EDM seems to dominate the charts – what made you want to release the song as your debut?
I wanted people to hear what my artistry is at the core. That’s what this song is for me, and for my upcoming album. It is the foundation.
Who would your dream collaboration be with?
This is probably the toughest question really because I am such a fan of so many artists. If I had to narrow it to one at this moment though I’d say Bruno Mars.
What is your favourite track to listen to right now?
Probably Caroline by Aminé. My best friend introduced me to this song and it’s quickly become our new jam.
What have you got planned for 2017?
A lot of sleepless nights. All of the stars have finally aligned for me to begin releasing my music, and I couldn’t be more excited to give this year everything I’ve got.
Following the release of new EP ‘Luminous’ earlier this month, London’s master of fresh electronic vibes Draper goes through some quick fire questions for us…
Firstly, tell us more about the new EP…
Exciting escapism, it’s taken about a year to put together and is the result of my confidence in myself right now. I have no criteria to fill, simply writing what comes natural. In essence this is the most natural representation of my music to date.
Where has been the best crowd that you’ve played to?
Reading Festival 2016, my first non BBC introducing stage, I was nervous no one would turn up but I walked out to a pretty packed out tent! It was a great show, I had my full live band with me for that one, so much fun.
If you could play any show in the world where would it be?
Wembley Stadium, oh wait I’ve already done that, next question please…
Sum up your live show in three words…
Lights. Excitement. Hype.
What are your favourite tracks to play live right now?
‘Jealous’ is definitely up there, it has a huge chorus and always seems to get people going. ‘Pressure’ has always been a favourite, it’s got so much going on dynamically and gets so hectic in the choruses, it’s also the slow one of the set so adds something a bit different.
Who’s sound are you obsessed with right now?
Mura Masa, some organic produce right there. Love the sonics.
What was it like working with Låpsley?
It was great. She’s a lot of fun and a great writer, very poetic. ‘Falling Short’ is probably the most abstract thing I’ve done.
Who would be your ultimate collaboration be with and why?
Chris Martin, he’s my favourite song writer of all time. He can make the simplest song beautiful.
What do you have planned for 2017?
I’ve got a show at KOKO on February 3rd, then off to USA in march for SXSW! Then more singles and festivals! It’s going to be a good year.
What a year, eh. I was almost tempted to not write up a random list for 2016 on the count of me wanting it to end as soon as possible. But alas, in a year of many disasters, there were a few nice things to come up which made everything OK for a little while. It’s a condensed list this year, so here’s looking to an awesome 2017. Anyway…
The guy who made a song two years ahead of it’s time
This song by UK talent Ragz Originale is basically a view of the future for me. It bounces between dark samples while keeping a gritty rawness. All the while still sounding slick. I see this sound taking off majorly in 2018.
The song most likely to turn you into an emotional wreck
I am not a huge fan of covers, however, when I stumbled across this Kanye West rework by Daniel Caesar I was an emotional mess. Stunning, beautiful, flawless… Everything that reminds you that the world can still be a beautiful place.
The boyband that got it right
Most epic Scandi pop
Smith & Thell have been on my radar for a really long time. This Swedish duo haven’t been afraid to change musical directions, and with the release of ‘Row’ this year I can’t think of any other Scandi act that has managed to come up with a song as intense and catchy as this one.
Most listened to song on my iTunes
I’ve surprised myself with this one. And I’ll be honest, I did consider leaving this category out for 2016, but f*ck it. For the second year, Dua Lipa is behind my most listened to song on my iTunes. This time it’s with ‘Hotter Than Hell’ – a pop banger through and through. It’s not edgy, nor does it push any boundaries. But it’s everything you want from a big pop sound, and that’s all I need to hear a song on loop.
Most likely to be huge in 2017
It’s been a while coming but I am finally excited to see that Rag’n’Bone Man is certain to be the biggest new act to hit the mainstream in 2017. Well deserved too.
Saw SG Lewis this evening at Koko. I’m a sucker for electro soul vibes so I was in bliss throughout.
Shift K3Y has been on my radar for some time, blending house with some old-school UK garage vibes. With his upcoming second Nit3 Tales release coming out yesterday and featuring collaborations with MJ Cole, DJ Zinc and Chris Lorenzo, here’s more from the man himself…
Tell us more about the Nit3 Tales project and what it means to you?
I started the Nit3 Tales project because i like the idea of releasing E.P’s as opposed to single song releases for the moment. The reason for this is my music doesn’t always fit into one genre so this way i can put a few different ideas together.
The project features a few interesting collaborations. How did they come about?
They are all people that i have wanted to work with for a long time or people that I already collaborate with. For example, MJ Cole has been an inspiration growing up as he has always shown limitless skill in making dance music with soul and a strong musicality. Lorenzo and I had been meaning to make a track for some time and finally managed to get something together. Also Ryan Ashley and MNEK who delivered an incredible vocal for No Question.
You’ve managed to straddle the divide between chart success and underground club culture – how would you describe the evolution of your sound over the years?
Most of my stuff is more uptempo but i love to make a lot of different kinds of music. So the evolution comes from naturally from that.
Aside from the artists you’ve already worked with on Nit3 Tales, who would your dream collaboration be with?
Stevie Wonder, and why? Its Stevie.
Who do you listen to when you’re making your own music?
Mostly RnB, LOVE the Nao album, Also really like everything i’m hearing from TY Dolla Sign. I always come back to people like Outkast, Early Snoop, and everything RNB from like ’96-’04.
What’s your favourite club or festival to play?
So far clubwise would be Xoyo, Festival would be Boardmasters.
What do you have planned for the rest of the year?
Can’t say too much but something will be announced in January 2017.
On the 27th October 2006 Amy Winehouse released ‘Back to Black’. I still remember going to the album launch at London’s Bloomsbury Ballroom with a friend who had never heard of her back then and who I had to beg to join me so I wouldn’t go alone.
Anyway… This might excite you if you happen to love Amy as much as I do while also being far more musically gifted than me…
THE AMY WINEHOUSE FOUNDATION INVITE YOU TO CREATE YOUR OWN VERSION OF A CLASSIC AMY WINEHOUSE TRACK FROM HER SEMINAL BACK TO BLACK ALBUM, TO CELEBRATE THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY OF IT’S RELEASE.
DOWNLOAD THE BACKING TRACKS HERE, WATCH THE LYRIC VIDEOS, FILM YOUR VERSION, THEN UPLOAD IT TO YOUTUBE.
Probably the most anticipated gig of the year for me. I’ve made no secret of how much I love HONNE so seeing them at London’s Roundhouse last night was just… Epic.
So I caught Huntar at London’s Camden Assembly last week and realised that I never posted about it…
Anyway – it was a packed house and the effort into the production that this kid put in was spectacular.
Just back from seeing Cornwall’s William The Conqueror at London’s Islington, hearing a unique blend of mellow, trippy psych and Americana. Random and very cool.