What a time, what a time: Today, Daniel Caesar received two Grammy nominations for Best R&B Performance ("Get You") and Best R&B Album (Freudian). And as if to cap things off, he also released the music video for "Freudian" with added vocals. Above, watch the duality unfold.
Honestly, I was never really put onto Sade as a youth nor do I know much of her catalogue of music. I have listened to her a bit here and there but to self-describe myself as a true fan would be false. Although, from what I've heard, I know Sade is truly one of those best-of-all-time types and her level of credence is above most. So when Brooklyn-based DJ/producer VACATIONS (John McSwain) decided to mash-up a few of Drake's More Life tracks with the UK songstress, it doesn't take any stretch of the imagination to know it works. Stream it below and download it here (alongside the absent "Never Thought I'd See the Passionfruit").
The Emptiness, as Alex puts it, is "the music itself" and "Alex Bent is the Emptiness." In other words, it's the creative void that he feels as a singer-songwriter based out of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Last week, his newest single, "Vanilla Blue," was released alongside its very own music video directed by Riley Deacon. The song itself was inspired by different interpretations of the words "Vanilla Blue," one of which struggles with "a sweet kind of sadness." The video begins with a brief intro before it is properly interrupted with guitar-driven, occasionally barking production where Alex's voice cuts through. Enticingly, everything holds up and complements each other rather nicely (seriously, like my text to Riley said: “this ... is really fucking good”). From the song itself to the video, "Vanilla Blue" is a bona fide hit — the type of thing I show to others to try and put them on to an artist. That being said, I've definitely become a fan. Keep watch as Alex Bent + The Emptiness have an upcoming album releasing later this year. You can download and stream "Vanilla Blue" here.
The soundscape in Canada has unquestionably changed over the last decade and the music in Saskatchewan is no different. Based in Regina, groups like the Queen City Stoop Kids and affiliated collective, Out My Mind Music (OMM), have appeared and are affecting and changing what it means to be a rapper in the Canadian prairies. Although, being from the proverbial fringes of what's good in Canadian culture is usually considered a negative by insiders and outsiders alike—that's not the case here.
For instance, OKM (Okmoz) is one of the members of Queen City Stoop Kids and is also a part of OMM.
Mozzy has made it really easy for the listener; it only takes about 30 seconds to decide whether or not you like his song. Conceptually, "Oldfriends" pushes one of the truest of truisms—an aphorism: "when old friends surface / you know you doing work." It's a timeless saying, yes, but there's more to it than that. How do you deal with all the fakeness in the world? The thirst? The wackness? All of the people who switched up on you? "Fuck 'em / fuck 'em / fuck 'em"—that's how. Moz' immediate response sums it up perfectly. It's preemptive and an example of how to retaliate first. After all, you'll always need to cut certain people off.
Properly entitled, "Sade," Louis Val just put this out on Bevstmode a few moments ago. You might recognize the instrumental from the namesake's "Jezebel" record, or maybe you're like me, and SAFE's "Feel" came to mind first. Either way, Val does a fantastic job with the emotions in his voice and channeling his inner Sade. He moves gingerly—at a lover's pace—throughout the 5-minute runtime leaving the listener wanting more, as is his method operandi.