Nia Wyn – ‘Who Asked You’

Hot on the heels of her debut EP Love I Can’t Ruin, released in February, London-based Welsh artist Nia Wyn has returned with a stunning new single ‘Who Asked You’.

‘Who Asked You’ is a soul rich jam that swaggers along with attitude amid a sea of lavish warm brass, seductive groove and dusty hip-hop beat. This deeply alluring backdrop provides the perfect canvas for Wyn’s rich, soulful and unmistakable voice to thrive and take centre stage as she directs a middle finger to unsolicited opinions and judgement. It is defiant, rousing and of course, soulful and irresistible – par for the course when it comes to Wyn. We’ve been keeping an eye on Wyn for a while now and she has done nothing but impress time and time again – a huge talent – long may it continue.

Tune in to ‘Who Asked You’ below:


Justy – ‘Love Letter, Pt.3’ (feat. Huas)

Justy is an independent musician & singer/songwriter from Staten Island, New York inspired by the likes of J Dilla, Amy Winehouse, NoName, and Lauryn Hill.

Recorded between 2017-2019, debut album Soul Food is a culmination of soul searching, heartbreak, loss, self-awareness, and renewal embodied in a musical composition which captures both the artistic and human growth – a journey that began 10+ years ago when she began writing music at the age of 12. The record is a smooth, soulful and lush blending of hip hop, R&B, soul, jazz and pop, and latest single ‘Love Letter, Pt.3’ (feat. Huas) is very much of the same variety and encapsulates all that Justy has to offer in three minutes. It is a slick, smooth and super soulful marrying of lush hazy tones with seductive grooves. ‘Love Letter, Pt.3′ smoulders with emotion and drips with rich melodies as a gentle languid strum joins dusty beats, distant fading parps of brass amid a dusky air. Amid the woozy vibes and hushed melodic cooing in the back, the composed, smooth and honeyed vocals add a layer of melancholy alongside Huas’ contribution. A stunning intro to both Justy and the new record.

Listen to ‘Love Letter, Pt.3’ (feat. Huas) below:


Arema Arega – ‘Wherever You Are’

Arema Arega is a Barcelona-based Cuban singer-songwriter whose lush and soulful sound is marked by touches of Blues, Bossa Nova, Jazz, Folk, Funk and electronica, and of course, the tropical influence of her homeland.

Arega already has a number records to her name – The Red Soundtracks, The Blue Soundtracks: The Light Seekers Journey and some singles / EP – all part of an ever developing project which sees her craft scores for imaginary films. Arega’s latest single ‘Wherever You Are’ is very much of the same variety; slick, smooth and cinematic, marrying lush tones with seductive grooves. It is a record of of breath-taking beauty as smooth, soul-filled vocals flow above while percussive rhythms bubble away amid the smokey noir atmosphere, sweeping sumptuous strings and peppered by brass and flutters of flutes. A seductive, cinematic and evocative song tempered by an otherworldly quality, deliciously retro vibe and rich, smoky vocals – a grandiose soundtrack to the movie that never was.

Listen in below:

Joviale – ‘Storm’

Joviale is a musician and songwriter from London with a flair for colourful, infectious, effervescent and soulful psych-pop.

She introduced her intoxicating sound with suitably titled ‘Taste Of The Heavens’ ahead of the release of debut EP Crisis, this week. Coincidentally coinciding with this is the unveiling of ‘Storm’, Joviale’s reworking of Rare Silk’s 80s jazz jam for London producer Bullion’s 4 Down compilation – more info on that here. Joviale’s commanding vocal take centre stage, with a slightly haunted tone, pulls heavy as it stridently towers amid a flurry of fizzy electronic beats, flourishes of twinkly synth and increasingly pulsing rhythm. Joviale’s take on ‘Storm’ is nothing short of breathtaking – a stunning track.

Tune into ‘Storm’ below and check out Crisis – it is out now


Devon Gilfillian – ‘Get Out And Get It’

Raised on a a steady diet of R&B, hip-hop, rock, blues, and soul music, it is hardly a great surprise that Philadelphia’s Devon Gilfillian own sound gravitates to one that ignited the mind while making the body move.

Gilfillian already has a number of releases to his name but with a forthcoming debut album on the horizon, he has shared new single ‘Get Out And Get It’ – an exuberant blend of neo-soul, psych, funk and Afrobeat. ‘Get Out And Get It’ is a radiant, jaunty and joyously infectious cut, with some soulful psych-pop leanings. It is bursting at the seams with colour and vitality as it shifts along a fabulous funky strut, that swaggers and sways amid the warm groove, bubbling basslines and is given an added level of supreme coolness by the utterly smooth, soulful vocals from Gilfillian. A soulful funky groover, this is utterly irresistible and compelling listening – this is powerful stuff.

Listen to ‘Get Out And Get It’ below – hopefully we’ve more detailed news on the album soon.

Nia Wyn – ‘Last Laugh’

We’ve been keeping tabs on London-based North-Walian artist, Nia Wyn for a while now, and on each and every given opportunity, she has impressed no end.

Singles like ‘Do You Love Enough’, ‘Help Me’ & ‘Turnstile’ introduced us to Wyn and marked the Welsh artist and her powerful, raw and soulful sounds as something special. Teaming up with producer Nutty P (Ghetts, Wretch 32), new single ‘Last Laugh’ is of an equally high calibre as those which have gone before it. Moving over a soulful hip-hop-tinged backdrop, ‘Last Laugh’ moves, grooves and swaggers along as Wyn’s rich soulful voice takes centre stage as she takes aim at some of the liars and bullshitters that pop up in the music industry, promising the sun, moon and stars, but in reality are just in it for themselves – a ‘me feiner’. ‘Last Laugh’ is another sublime single, rich and soulful, and the vocals – just stunning!

Listen to ‘Last Laugh’ below & if that is to your liking, why not check out Nia Wyn’s back catalogue.

ZENDR & James Chatburn – ‘Simply No Better’

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UK producer ZENDR and Australian artist James Chatburn have joined forces to deliver a fresh cut of future soul in the shape of ‘Simply No Better’.

This new single from the pair is a textured mesh of instrumentals – a chunky breakbeat groove, glowing electronic beats and glistening synths – all pieced together with finesse and peppered with jazzy brass riffs. In doing so, ZENDR has crafted a cocktail that’s the perfect backdrop for Chatburn’s soulful vocals. While ‘Simply No Better’ radiates a mild aura of euphoria, it smoulders with a nagging sense of melancholy – mostly due to Chatburn’s world-weary and soul-soaked vocals. It is a rich and dreamy sound, both mellow and soulful, and oozing with opulent melodies throughout.

Tune in now:

Nia Wyn – ‘Turnstiles’

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We were introduced to the powerful, raw and soulful sounds of North-Walian artist, Nia Wyn about this time last year.

Singles ‘Do You Love Enough’ & ‘Help Me’ immediately marked her out as an exciting prospect. Now, one year on, Nia Wyn is back with a brand new single ‘Turnstiles’. Produced by Paul Weller, ‘Turnstiles’ is a rich blend of soul meets bluesy rock. Weller provides backing vocals and the bass bits alongside a steady beat and strum, and some illuminating, heart-winning parps of brass, that all oozes with a glowing vintage charm. As marvelous a backdrop as it is, the music pales into insignificance when compared to Wyn’s most considerable asset; her voice. Powerful, rich and engrossing, Wyn’s vocals are special (in an Amy Winehouse way) and combined with a flair for storytelling, demand you full attention.

Listen to ‘Turnstiles’ below and if it is to your liking, there’s more here.

Nia Wyn is also one of twelve acts selected from across Wales for Horizons 2018, so you will be hearing plenty more from her over the next 12 months.

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Horizons Acts for 2018 Announced & Playlist

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As regular patrons of the site will be acutely aware I have a great fondness for Wales, and more specifically Welsh music (not to mention the footballing powerhouse that is Wrexham AFC).

For a relatively small place, Wales does rather well for itself musically and for somewhere of its size, it is surely unmatched in both quality and quantity. From the towns and cities, mountains and valleys, Wales proves itself time and time again, to be an ever reliable source of creative, superbly inventive and experimental sounds across a myriad of genres.

While I am entirely grateful for the seemingly never ending stream of wondrous sounds, something apparent from a casual listen to Adam Walton’s excellent BBC Radio Wales Programme (see also Bethan Elfyn also of BBC Radio Wales & Lisa Gwilym’s C2 on BBC Radio Cymru) or cursory glance at the Focus Wales lineup or the Horizons showcase.

It is the latter that draws our attention today – a collaboration between BBC Wales and Arts Council of Wales – Horizons aims to showcase exciting new, independent contemporary music in Wales, providing promotional and performance opportunities, incl. festival slots throughout the year.

Just this week, the twelve acts selected from across Wales for Horizons 2018 were announced. There are some familiar names in there; Adwaith, Campfire Social, CHROMA and Nia Wyn, and some new; Himalayas, I See Rivers, Aleighcia Scott, Alffa, Eadyth, Marged, No Good Boyo and The Pitchforks. Either way, new acquaintances or old, it is an incredibly diverse array of artists.

You can, like me, delve in below:

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Raincity Blue – ‘Keeping Busy’

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Raincity Blue are the wonderfully (and aptly*) named, Vancouver based Neo-Soul outfit.

Formed in 2016, the five piece ensemble – Clare Twiddy, Kaylar Chan, Ryley Kirkpatrick, Jay Schreiber & Chantal Gauthier – draw influence from R&B, soul, psych-rock and funk, to brew something smooth and soulful, that’ll get your feet moving and the heart racing. Their latest release ‘Keeping Busy’ is one such case. It slowly swaggers along, soulfully, with a groove and aura of coolness, before gradually swelling, growing and becoming more impassioned to envelope everything in its wake. Amid this soulful waltz, there is yet more to relish in Twiddy’s luscious, powerful, impassioned and oh so soulful vocal as it rises to soar emphatically atop. ‘Keeping Busy’ has all the key ingredients; magnificent, simple as that.

You can listen to ‘Keeping Busy’ below now & you will be all the better for it.

Raincity Blue released their debut album Stuck on Replay this month – you can check it here.

*Why apt? Anyone who’s been to Vancouver, BC will know how synonymous it is with rain, particularly the winter months.