High on a low tide with Leven Kali

If there’s one thing you should do this weekend, it is to listen to this new 11 song project called “Leven Kali: Low Tide”! Having already dropped singles like “Do U Wrong” with angel voice Syd and the two related love songs “Nunwrong” and “Sumwrong“, I was wondering how much more greatness this album could even reveal.

But the creative Leven Kali does certainly not disappoint. After starting off with an appropriate warm “Welcome” intro, consisting of his oddly familiar signature sound, Leven jumps right into “Mine” singing, “It’s been three whole weeks, since I saw your face, and girl I need you here, when I call your name”. What I love about Leven is that he manages to write the most beautiful laid back love songs without sounding corny at all. He just seems to speak his mind and heart with realness and honesty and makes showing emotions look cool.

I also love the fact that he likes to make references between his songs. Just as “Sumwrong” is the sequel to “Nunwrong”, “Mine” can be seen as the sequel to his previous track “Yours“, which he also references in the third verse of “Mine” when he sings “I know everybody wanna have the world babe, but I just wanna hear you say I’m yours”.

Next off is “Cassandra“, which has a nice little groove to it and makes the most classy use of autotune that I’ve heard since T-Pain. The following intro “ardnassaC“, yes you’ve guessed it, Cassandra backwards, functions as a musical extension to the song and shows Leven’s attention to detail and love for sound. The intro “My Pen” probably includes one of my favourite lyrics “I’m a victim of my past life”…aren’t we all? “My Offer” is definitely a highlight of this project, with its acoustic emphasis on all types of jazz instruments for the first 2:50 minutes of the song, followed by a call to tell someone you love them.

On “Mad At U“, Leven is giving us a completely new perspective on fighting in a relationship, by singing “I’d rather be mad at you than be faking and be hanging with someone new, it’s really not the same I hope you feel the same”. By describing the relationship as a movie and the fights as the parts that he doesn’t like and wishes he could rewind, he is expressing his love through the good and the hard times and it’s beautiful.

And then finally, before finishing off with “Sumwrong“, Leven Kali is serving us a romantic slow jam with “1 On 1” that manages to introduce the Leven Kali sound into the familiar R&B soundscape and that electric guitar solo starting around 3:28 is truly giving me life.

So all in all, an amazing breath of fresh air Leven Kali project that will be playing on repeat throughout the years. Find the music video to “Do U Wrong” below to catch a vibe.

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.

 

Yellow Friday

So like every Friday, I was skipping through all the new music and then there was this one song that stood out to me immediately, “Yellow” by Myles Cameron. And I was like whooo the hell is this incredibly talented guy?? So what I found was an interview with him and his producer Frankie Scoca speaking very humbly about their working process and the 2018 mixtape “Everwanted” that they produced together. With it being on Soundcloud, I honestly didn’t expect much of it, sound and production wise, but goddamn! Someone put this whole thing on Spotify and Apple Music already!!

There’s a lot of talented artists out there but they either lack real songwriting talent, a distinctive full range voice, personality or a good producer. But Myles has it all. Also I came to find out that this guy from New York is only 20 years old! Guess he’s an old soul. Excuse this pun but Myles is gonna go miles! Mark my words.

According to Myles, what had really inspired him to start his music career in the first place was the release of Frank Ocean’s “Channel Orange”. And disregarding the obvious colour theme, I have to say that his new track “Yellow” gave me Frank Ocean vibes right away. Like Franks’, his lyrics are very poetic and creative in that he establishes profound connections between different subjects and things and thereby hints at a deeper meaning. His playful use of theme words like dream, mango, ocean/water and flowers throughout the song is simply beautiful and while listening to it you get this mental picture of what he is referring to when he says that his dream was yellow.

Yes, Yes, Yes Myles this is what the world needs more of! I’m looking forward to the yellow music video by the way. Oh and when you guys go check out his mixtape make sure to listen to my favourite tracks “Caged Bird”, “Pride” and “Soliloquy”. And while you’re at it Myles’ sister Sydney Cameron also happens to be a really talented singer, so check her out as well. I personally really like her latest single “Fragile“.

Happy Friday and happy listening!