Artists to look out for in 2017

6LACK – I came across 6LACK on Spotify and haven’t stopped listening to him since. With his recent release of ‘First Fuck’ featuring Jhene Aiko, similar releases and collaborations will make 2017 his year.

Yxng Bane – What a year it has been for him already and it’s only the beginning of March. With rumours of G Frsh becoming his manager, he will have the whole Disturbing London team behind him including the expertise of Dumi and Tinie. All this success mainly coming from his Ed Sheeran – Shape of You remix and his debut single Fine Wine.

Dave – Dave had a massive year in 2016 with Drake’s remix of ‘Wanna Know’. But, this is the year he can truly make anything of himself with the platform provided by Drake. With 6 Million views on Samantha in only one month; his first song of 2017  feat. J Hus shows just what he is capable of.

Jorja Smith – She killed it in 2016, there’s no doubt about that. But with a sneak peek of Drake’s More Life tracklist, she’s featuring on it. That is big. We all know the capacity of attention that is on an artist once they are associated with Drake.

Top 5 Fire in the Booth

  1. Avelino and Wretch 32 – The word play is phenomenal, every bar has a meaning deeper than what you may first think. ‘I can’t swim but i’ll be the anchor for the scene, how do they expect musicians to stay afloat, when all our sales keep going down the stream.’ Just one of the memorable bars.
  2.  Bugzy Malone – I think the 9 million views speaks for itself. Although the whole Bugzy vs Chip situation may have gained him most of these views, Bugzy raised the bar. He’s Manchester’s best MC and he knows it.
  3. Stormzy – This FITB from the start of his career shows us why Stormzy is in fact the problem. Three years later, we’re expecting his debut album and if it’s anything like this freestyle, we’re in for a treat.
  4. Nines – Nines has been slept on, watching this it seems almost unbelievable that it has took four years for him to be signed and release an album. But, it was worth the wait. This was definitely an underrated FITB.
  5. Dave – A more emotional take in the booth, but that is Dave’s whole aura. Only 17 years old at the time of the recording and he touches on highly intellectual topics such as politics and racial issues. Now, appearing on stage with Drake at his Boy Meets World Tour, it’s obvious that Dave is a problem for the UK rap scene.

Tinie Tempah @ The O2 Shepherds Bush 14.02.17

This night was a part of the War Child BRITs week, which is kindly sponsored by O2 to raise awareness of the charity as well as raising money with all of the profits from tickets going to children who’s lives have been devastated by war. There are twelve intimate shows going on throughout the week with acts such as The 1975, New Gen and Craig David.

Youth is going to be a phenomenal album; that’s one thing that I walked away from the venue thinking. Tinie performed four new tracks for the first time ever; Something Special, Text From My Ex, Chasing Flies and Lightwork ! These will all appear on his up and coming album Youth which will be released on March 31st 2017. From what I heard and experienced, Something Special and Lightwork are definitely going to be ones for the festival season.

This was Tinie’s first show of the year, and he came through with a bang. He obviously started as he meant to go on, giving us songs from Pass Out to Text From My Ex. But, the main songs which truly reflected the energy of the audience were Tsunami and Miami 2 Ibiza in which the whole venue went crazy. Tinie performed for around 5o minutes, pleasing the crowd most definitely, while also raising awareness for such an amazing charity.

Click here to pre-order Youth on iTunes

 

Boy Meets World Tour Review – O2 London 01.02.17

Rating 5/5

It’s fair to say that I was pretty lucky and attended the best show of the tour. Why? Travis Scott had an incident on stage when he fell into a hole on the stage which was meant to give the globe hologram, the biggest feature of the show. As a result of this, Drake announced that he was refunding everyone who attended the show due to it ruining the set. (I SAW DRAKE FOR FREE!!!)

The special guests included Travis Scott, who performed Pick Up The Phone, Antidote and Goosebumps. Section Boyz who performed Bimma. And, Giggs who performed Whippin Excursion.

The production on this tour was exceptional. Although our night missed out on the hologram, the rest of the features made the show something special, definitely worth the £10o tickets. Entering the arena, the most obvious feature were white balls on the ceiling. When Drake came on the stage, they lit up in various colours and almost moved with every beat, creating some amazing illusions.

Drake covered all albums from his career. From Thank Me Later to Views, and a preview of his new song with Giggs, Drake. The scheduled end time was 22:30, however it went on till 23:20. Giving us almost 2 and a half hours of Drake.

All in all, whether it was to be free or not, Drake gave a once in a lifetime performance, it’s the best gig I have ever been to and it will take a lot to ever beat this.

Drake x Giggs?

We know that Drake has a thing for collaborations with UK grime artists, but this one is somewhat a surprise. The Drake and Skepta collab was pretty obvious that it was in the works. But, Drake and Giggs kept this one a secret till The Boy Meets World Tour as he gave fans a preview while performing at his postponed Amsterdam show.

It’s obvious that Drake wants to use his platform in music to help other artists, and this could just be what the underground scene needed. His powers were obvious with the worldwide buzz on Skepta shortly after they were seen to be collaborating, and performing together. However, it is unknown whether grime would change with the hype, or whether it could benefit from a bigger audience.

Now, the question is who will he work with next?

 

New Gen Album

If you haven’t heard about the New Gen album on any social media, where have you been hiding? This album is set to feature collaborations between some of the best underground artists such as AJ Tracey, Nines, Avelino and Ray BLK.  New Gen is said to bring the UK underground scene together with the help of XL Recordings.

We have had somewhat of an idea of the excellence which is going to come from this album, as the first track of the album features Tiggs Da Author and Avelino. The tracklist includes My Ways (Ft. AJ Tracey and J Warner), Money Haffi Mek (Ft. Stefflon Don and Abra Cadabra) and Loose (Ft. Wstrn).

This album is going to be something special.

Favourite Artists of 2016

2016 was an amazing year for music, from Chip’s and Yungen’s beef to the release of Konnichiwa and Views. So, here’s a few of my favourite artists as I look through my Top Songs on Spotify.

Bryson Tiller – Once I listened to Bryson there was no going back. Although Trapsoul was released in 2015, it wasn’t till 2016 when I discovered it and I can only wish that I found it earlier. From Don’t to Rambo, I can 100% say that there is a song for almost every mood.

Drake – I mean, who didn’t rate Views, every song is on my top songs of 2016. Drake just knows how to perfect any project that he creates. Then, the remix on Dave’s Wanna Know, that’s all I have to say.

Stormzy – Stormzy has been the name of grime in 2016. From his One Take Freestyle to Birthday Girl, he knows how to keep fans happy. Although, late 2016 he seemed to disappear off the face of the earth as he became inactive on all social media.

Skepta – The Mercury prize for Konnichiwa just sums up the year that Skepta has had, as he continues to create the best music while remaining as a top influencer for the UK grime scene.

The Weeknd – Released in November, Starboy was the cherry on the top for music for the year. There was a lot of hype around this album, which mostly creates disappointment; but not for The Weeknd. And how could we forget that he cut his hair.

 

New Years Resolutions

So, it’s a new year which means everyone has their own goals. I struggled to come up with some this year as I had such a good 2016 despite everything going on in the world like Brexit and Donald Trump. But, after some careful thinking I came up with the following three goals.

Visit at least three new countries.

Last year I didn’t manage to take a break from the UK as I was too busy saving for university, but this year I have made a big effort to plan in advance as I feel that travelling is such an important life experience. So, in the Easter break I’m going to Hamburg and Amsterdam. Now, that leaves only one more trip to plan.

Post more on my blog. 

I get so distracted with working part time and my university work that I sometimes neglect my blog. But, this year I am going to put my all into my blog. I’ve just purchased a new camera meaning that I can up the quality of all my posts.

Have a regular and persistent gym routine. 

Basic, I know. But last year I joined my university gym and I didn’t exactly stay motivated enough to have a regular routine. So, this year I’m determined to be the best version of myself and to make time for the gym at least three times a week.

Until next time,

Nic x

 

J. Cole 4 Your Eyez Only Review

Considering there are no features on this album, it’s surprisingly good. At first listen I wasn’t sure on my opinion of the whole project. But, now that I have listened a few times I am certain that this is going to be one of my most played albums for the end of 2016.

With the simplicity of just J. Cole’s voice throughout the ten songs, this is somewhat a work of art. Keeping listeners engaged for the full running time of 44 minutes with only one artist, that right there is an achievement itself.

To truly enjoy and capture the beauty of this album you should listen from start to finish, taking time to process each lyric, each verse, each song and then the album as a whole.

For me, this is one of J.Cole’s best projects, maybe not THE best, but it is definitely one of them. It almost feels like he has gone back to the beginning of his music, which as we all know is where some of his finest can be found.

 

They don’t need him, but Drake will help grime go worldwide

It all started in the summer of 2015, when Skepta joined Drake on stage at Wireless Festival to perform Shutdown. This was the start of something special for the grime scene. Drake somehow created a platform for grime artists to showcase their music. Whether this be him playing songs on OVO Radio or remixing their songs.

Drake himself walks around with pride showing support to the grime scene. Earlier in the year he was repping a ‘Lukey World’ tee; these t-shirts are a tribute to one of Skepta’s friends who was stabbed to death in June 2015. He also took it among himself to get a BBK tattoo (Boy Better Know is the collective which features major grime artists such as Skepta and JME). So, to return the favours, Drake claimed to have signed to BBK, meaning that he was the only non-british, non-grime artist in the collective.

Drake has made some decisions which has shown how dedicated he is to the culture. February 2016, Drake chooses to ditch The Brits Awards after party, to instead be a surprise guest at the Section Boyz show, in which tickets were £10. That sounds mad if you consider that Drake tickets are £110…

Fast forwarding to October 2016, Drake does one of the most unexpected remixes on Dave’s ‘Wanna Know’. Only a week before this remix had Dave tweeted saying ‘Seriously. Who’s coming to Drake with me’, then a week later it wouldn’t be surprising if he is up there on the stage.

With all this in mind, it will be interesting to see which UK grime artists make a surprise appearance at Drake’s Boy Meets World Tour in at the O2 in London.