Near the end of January, Toronto-based artist Kafayé reintroduced himself through the release of three new songs entitled: "Balmain," "Consuela" and "Paradise." In all of which, the 21-year-old vocalist blends his Carribean roots and influences with contemporary sounds of soul and R&B. The resulting mixture is reminiscent of the islands whilst being grounded in city life. Friend and collaborator, Abdullah, produced the triplet of singles and together they're still working forward to progress. I had the opportunity to see the pair perform live at Outtaline's "Volume 4" showcase a few weeks ago. The songs translated well; and Kafayé's upcoming project, The Sweet Summer Experience, is definitely something to look out for.
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.