The Jungle Is The Only Way Out

Singer, songwriter, producer, poet,…the list goes on. Mereba is what I would call a relevant artist in today’s times. Even though I don’t like categorising anyone I would go as far as to say that she is like the female version of Frank Ocean. And the visuals to her album “The Jungle Is The Only Way Out” are attesting to that.

This album is filled with blooming wisdom carefully woven into the most beautiful soundscapes enlightened by her angelic voice. She really had me with the intro “more” where she lists all the things she (and really each one us us) should do more of like writing, listening to your inner voice, being passionate, giving unconditional love, not caring about what other people say and walking away from everything that’s no longer serving you.

And listening to the album you will realize that every single song contains valuable lessons that Mereba is generously sharing with us. So here’s a list of the songs and contained life lessons.

Kinfolk
The truly important things in life are hidden treasures that can’t be bought with money.

Highway 10 
Know your worth, leave the things behind that don’t serve you on your journey.

Black Truck
The hard times shape you into what you are destined to be. Listen to your intuition.

dodging the evil 
Resist temptation, stay focused on what you want because what you focus on, you become.

Heatwave (feat. 6LACK)
Racism is real.

Get Free
There is a difference between living and truly being alive.

My One 
Don’t let anything take you away from what you’re passionate about.

on the rocks
Nothing really loved is lost. (direct quote)

Planet U
Real love that opens you up to another dimension exists.

Stay Tru
Don’t deceive yourself and don’t let yourself be deceived by anyone else.

Sandstorm (feat. JID)
Relationships should help you grow, not tie you down.

Souvenir 
Time is the most precious thing we have.

Below you find the beautiful visuals, I promise it will be worth the 7 minutes of your day. Enjoy!

 

 

Snoh with the warm feels

Today I got a little beautiful gem for you. Snoh Aalegra just released her new single “I Want You Around” that features one of my favourite artists Leven Kali on the background vocals by the way (read my blog post about him here). And I don’t just want you to listen to the song, I want you to watch the video while listening to it for the first time. I feel like a lot of music videos nowadays fail to fulfil their purpose which is to enhance the song and emphasise its deeper meaning. For me, a great music video is like art. It’s more than just about telling a story, it’s colours, lights, setting, interaction between characters, camera angles, filters and little details that underline metaphors and references.

Now, if you’re thinking that you’ve never heard of Snoh Aalegra before, I can almost definitely tell you that you have because I’m pretty sure you’ve heard Drake’s single “Do Not Disturb” from his More Life album where he sampled Snoh Aalegra’s single “Time“. The original is a very beautiful and deeply emotional song about her father passing away that Drake took out of context in kind of a rude way to be honest. But anyways…Snoh Aalegra is a very special artist, she has this timeless grace and beauty almost like she’s time travelled to the future from another time. I had the chance to see her perform live at a small club, last time I was in Los Angeles and she definitely wowed me.

Enjoy this short little romantic movie. Also, shout out to Snoh for reminding us of the greatness of Stevie Wonder’s “Innervisions” album.

NAO – Artist to Watch

For this week’s *Artist to Watch* I want to talk to you about NAO, 31 year old singer-songwriter Neo Jessica Joshua from East London. Her voice is so extraordinary that I doubted it was real when I first heard one of her songs. But after having watched some of her interviews I can confirm, she actually sounds like a cute little angel all the time. Her debut album “For All We Know” was released in 2016 which included “Fool To Love”, “Get to Know Ya” and “Bad Blood” and I can imagine you’ve probably heard one of them before.

Her lyrics are full of emotions and power, but it is her voice that really transfers the feelings onto the listener. I’d describe her music as soulful, sometimes funky, electronically influenced, galactic RnB. That she is not only a great singer but also a talented songwriter is proven by the fact that she’s co-written Stormzy’s “Velvet/Jenny Francis (Interlude)” which I personally loved for its depth and honesty.

Now last year, NAO released her latest project called “Saturn” and it absolutely amazed me. Listening to this album, it feels like she is taking you on a very personal spaceship ride right through her inner galaxy. Starting out right away with the first song “Another Lifetime” which is heartbreakingly beautiful (I absolutely love her reference to the concept of having multiple lifetimes and meeting certain people again in another). The next equally beautifully tragic song “Make It Out Alive” features the incredible SiR which I’ll most likely feature in one of my next Artist To Watch posts as well. Yeah… I could probably talk about every single song on this album but instead I will give you my personal highlights and then leave you to listen to it and make up your own mind.

First favorite I have to mention is “Saturn” with British singer Kwabs. It’s a beautiful, romantic duet which uses planet and zodiac sign metaphors in order to describe a relationship. “I love the way you open my heart, I feel you around me like Venus and Mars”, she sings, very #universey if you know, you know. The other song I want to emphasise is “Orbit”, equally universey and sooo, sooo magical.

Now while writing this, I am getting extra excited because I will finally be able to see NAO live in concert on my birthday next month. So if you find yourself loving her songs as much as I do check out her upcoming tour dates here and maybe you’ll be able to go to one of her concerts this or next month as well.