August 29, 2020

Virgo Season: Time To Get Focused

We've all been trying to make the most of these summer months, soaking up sun when possible, leaving our worries behind in the shape of luminous sun burns. With the pandemic shaking up all our lives, many of us have been set back in our future plans, but have no fear, Virgo season is here! Now is the time to channel those inner organization skills, both physically and emotionally.

Aries (March 21 - April 19)

Life has become slightly more complicated than anticipated, am I right Aries? Time to wash away those feelings of uncertainty with small steps. Set up a morning routine, prioritise your music and make the most of this energy boosting cosmic opportunity that's heading your way.

Listen to: Easy Now Tiger by Hazlett

Taurus (April 20 - May 20)

Dear Taurus, this has been a slow summer, time to finally jump into those ideas you've pushed away for too long! Virgo season is offering you the chance to kickstart those projects and focus more on the parts that you're truly passionate about. Don't stress about the long term but focus more on the now, it's time to introduce your true colours into your daily routine.

Listen to: Jumpman by Puar

Gemini (May 21 - June 20)

You've been doing okay emotionally Gemini but damn, time to clean up your studio space! The more comfortable your space is, the clearer your mind will be, and therefore the more productive you'll become. Start small by letting go of one thing that you've been holding onto for too long and soon you'll get the hang of it.

Listen to: Patience Riddim' by Blu3 W3rd

Cancer (June 21 - July 22)

Gentle Cancer, you've been in your shell this summer, cautiously peeking out when you're sure there are no risks! But you're feeling energized and ready to blossom into the social butterfly that you've always had in you. Use your energy with intention, focus on getting those annoying tasks off your to-do lists so you can give full attention to what truly matters.

Listen to: When the Music Drops by Cosmovision

Leo (July 23 - Aug. 22)

Loud Leo! You've partied hard for your birthday month, but now's the time to wind down and start saving for next year. Focus on reigning in those excess expenses, create a budget plan, and try not to fall for instant gratification...like do you really need another speaker?

Listen to: Bad Habits by Kalm

Virgo (Aug. 23 - Sept. 22)

Happy Birthday sweet Virgos! Whilst you're used to giving away most of your time to helping others, this month is all about you! Time to channel those energies into focusing on yourself and discovering new talents. I'm talking self-care Sunday everyday, the stars are in your favour so make the most of this confidence boosting time.

Listen to: Life Don't Stress Me by Aaron London

Libra (Sept. 23 - Oct. 22)

Lovable Libra, you've been a social genius over Leo season but at what cost? Time to cut down on the caffeine and start indulging in a good 8hrs of sleep. Constant networking can prevent you from giving much deserved time to yourself and your music. Enjoy those empty calendar dates and swim deep in your solo time.

Listen to: Careful by Beatrice Eli

Scorpio (Oct. 23 - Nov. 21)

Sensitive Scorpio, you've been beyond overwhelmed with the amount of information circling your IG feed. Now's the time to focus on action rather than burning out over it. You're a natural leader, so get some friends together and start a project that will bring social change and settle those worries.

Listen to: People Getting Mad by Rebecca & Fiona

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 21)

What a time Sag! Virgo season is the perfect opportunity for you to show your true talents. Time to level up your career game. Re-vamp your merch, update your social media pages, and add some extra final details to your work projects. You've been waiting to show off so go ahead!

Listen to: Workin by Yasin

Capricorn (Dec. 22 - Jan. 19)

You've been in a rut lately, but it's time to welcome in new energies Capricorn. Think less with your head and more with your heart this Virgo season, you're never too old to start learning something new, so say yes more and don't worry Cap, trust in the universe, it's got your back!

Listen to: Say Yes by Rey D'Asian

Aquarius (Jan. 20 - Feb. 18)

Aquarius! You've been too easy with those around you and have forgotten why setting boundaries is so important. Time to get vulnerable and honest, which is difficult as an air sign but if you start now, it will be much easier in the long run. Don't hold on to this stress, honesty is the best policy!

Listen to: Bye Bye by Chi Virgo

Pisces (Feb. 19 - March 20)

Virgo season is all about focusing on those near and dear to you, Pisces. Time to evaluate those relationships which are working and tune in to those that aren't. Whether romantic, band mates or work-related, make room for long over due difficult convos and be sure to balance with positive messages.

Listen to: Feelings by Bobo

August 13, 2020

Q&A with Hardest Bars CEO, Joey Clipstar

We caught up with music all-rounder and CEO of rap platform Hardest Bars, Joey Clipstar. Based in London, Hardest Bars is the evolving online space and video blog created for the rapper community. Clipstar created the platform back in 2011 as a weekly Youtube chart, revealing the top 5 lyrics from new rap releases. It has since grown an impressive following and with additional content of HB Freestyles, HB Streetstyles, Hardest Bars mixtapes, and other content targeted at Urban music audiences.

Q. Name drop the team behind Hardest Bars.

A. The team is comprised of 11 of us:

Myself Joey Clipstar - @Joeyclipstar

Debbie - @Debmckoy 

Ali - @Altindal__

Joey - @joey_l_d_n

Tadas - @Tadas.vanagas 

Kam - @kamcordings

Fran - @Fbondioli_

New motion (hayden & Jordan) - @newmotion_visuals 

Kadeisha - @kadeishakhalil 

Q. How did you meet? 

A. So our team is all sourced, Debbie is my mum, Ali and New Motion applied for their roles, kadeisha was headhunted, Kam is a videopgrapher, I met Fran through the industry, as well as Tadas as we work together at Link Up TV

Q. What's your mission with the channel? 

A. Our mission is to have everything we represent and promote flowing through one channel. For example our HB freestyles & HB Street styles, all our mixtapes and mixtape entries and our Hardest bars live show (via Instagram)

Q. Favourite under-the-radar independent artists right now? 

A. I would say all of the artists on our hb freestyles as everyone who does a hb freestyle is someone who we feel have great potential and people we want to collaborate with.

Q. Best live music venue in London? 

A. I would probably say the 02 Arena 

Q. Which London rappers are on rotation most in the office right now? 

A. Fortunately for the team we have the luxury of working from home so we communicate through our phones etc. however in terms of personally the Insomnia album by Young Adz, Skepta & Chip. 

Q. Top tip for independent music artists who want to get discovered?

A. Stay independent and stay unique!

July 31, 2020

Music Roundup of July 2020

Here we are at the end of yet another month! July has been somewhat less dramatic that June but definitely still full of musical drama. From Rejjie Snow to Zara Larsson, here's ten music moments from this month that you should know about🔥👇

#1 Beyonce

Premiered only a few hours ago, Queen B is back with the music video of 'Already' from her visual album 'Black Is King'. A celebration of African culture, from the choreography to costume design and featuring Major Lazor and Shatta Wale - this track is an absolute win.

#2 Rejjie Snow

Lovable Irish artist and rapper Rejjie Snow came through with his newest playful track Cookie Chips ft. MF DOOM & Cam O'bi. With heavy Tyler The Creator vibes, this track is deffo one for your playlists.

#3 Dua Lipa

On July 10th, Dua Lipa released her newest addition 'Hallucinate'. Channeling early 2000s club energies, the track is yet another bop from the British artist.

#4 Denai Moore

Denai Moore is the emerging British-Jamaican artist that you've been missing out on. Her newest album 'Modern Dread' is a genre-bending merge of R&B, with electronic elements. Prepare yourself to be carried away to a surrealist world.

#5 Troye Sivan

Sweetboy Troye Sivan gifted us with a strange, yet nostalgic pop track for those dance-alone moments in your kitchen. His weirdly wonderful autotune has been described as a hit or miss - what do you think?

#6 Reyn

On July 10th, adored Swedish artist Reyn released his well-awaited album 'Skyfall'.  Combining the best of his hip-hop sounds, the EP is a complete and honest summary of his music, and a celebration of his progress over the last two years. Created from his own experiences, the album is a mix of emotions associated with significant moments in his life.

#7 Zara Larsson

Zara Larsson released a new intense pop song 'Love Me Land'. Carrying dark disco pop vibes and a dance routine that will wanna get you moving, the young Swedish artist hits high notes higher than the clouds. We NEED more Zara.

#8 Taylor Swift

2020 has rocked the boat for every artist, especially those with booked out tours. Nonetheless, Taylor presented a whole new album 'Folklore' in the midst of isolation and its been noted as some of her best work. You can also cop her newest merch...hella cute cardigan with 'Folklore' embroidery.

#9 H.E.R

H.E.R has been doing bits in 2020! Her most recent track is a reggae infused love song and welcomed surprise 'Do To Me'. Sampling Sister Nancy's classic cut 'Bam Bam', this upbeat bop is a major summer anthem.

#10 Pop Smoke

Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon is an ode to the late Pop Smoke. Released posthumously, the debut album exists with the attempts to cement his legacy and role as the voice of Brooklyn Drill. Executively produced by 50 cent, the album carries a glimpse of what could have been his future before his passing.

July 17, 2020

Lofi: Ryan Celsius Breaks Down The Game-Changing Genre

With thousands of dedicated followers, Lofi is the underground music genre that has boomed over the last few years. The phenomenon exploded across channels like Youtube back in 2016, after the introduction of 24/7 live streaming. We caught up with Ryan Celsius, king of Lofi to break down how this multi-faceted genre came about.

Ryan Celsius is widely-known amongst the Lofi community as being part of the a wave of artists to really place the genre on the map. After producing early versions of "fruity loops" in 2007, he ended up creating over 80 tracks that became some his best attempts at mixing and combining sounds. Tragically, a few years later, he lost most of his work when his laptops were stolen during a robbery at his home, leading him to have to re-discover new music and entering a phase of demotivation. The incident lead him to create YouTube playlists featuring and supporting independent artists, in the hopes that it'll keep them encouraged to continue producing. In 2012, he started up his widely-known YouTube Channel creating "unofficial" music videos further promoting artists whilst simultaneously assisting with production needs.

So what exactly is lofi and why is there such a high following? Ryan explains "Lofi hip hop as it is known today can be broken into several sub-genres that play into a distinct common sonic theme of nostalgic simplicity and more slow paced instrumental hip hop production." The genre is built to be versatile, able to be enjoyed as both background and foreground music, completely dependant on the listeners needs. Whilst it comes across as simplistic, the music itself carries a more complex relationship to each individual.

"When focusing on something else, a lofi hip hop beat tape or track can comfortably wash over the listener and provide a soothing backdrop. If given a bit more attention that same tape can provide a wealth of depth upon further analysis and really show case interesting sound design, unexpected percussive patterns, and melodies that seem vaguely familiar."

In 2016, there was a major boom in listeners of the genre after YouTube introduced 24/7 live streaming capabilities. This was the start of the common 'Anime Study Girl Loop' and the variations that followed. Lofi, specifically the sub-genre of 'Study Beats', was then marked as the perfect accompaniment for those late night study hours, merging with easy anime and cartoon animations. However this mix of anime and lofi isn't a new phenomenon and actually came around in the early 2000's as Ryan explains:

"During this time in the US, Cartoon Network began playing anime that had heavy hip hop and jazz components. This nostalgic association with anime and beat tape style bumps is a huge reason for the existence of anime within lofi hip hop currently. However, it has definitely evolved and taken on a new form with the consistent pushing of these aesthetics through YouTube livestreams."

Whilst the 'Study Beat' sub-genre may be considered the most popular version of lofi hip hop in todays time, there are in fact multiple versions of the genre out there, in which the scene is constantly evolving with many producers connecting various other genres to "craft new soundscapes that help them establish a unique sound".

With the current global pandemic causing havoc to many areas of the music industry, strangely enough, the lofi hip hop scene hasn't necessarily been affected. As Ryan shares "The lack of performance venues and live shows does not particularly hurt the scene at all, as the majority of popular lofi hip hop artists do not tour or perform shows that commonly."

Many, if not most, lofi artists share a common theme of being 'DIY bedroom producers', so being able to totally focus on their EPs and albums during self-isolation has been a majorly productive time within the lofi community. With the lofi hip hop community constantly evolving into new mixes of genres, who knows what will be produced next.

"As producers seek to stand out and innovate within a genre that many attempted initially to place into a box of 'background music', the community becomes more dynamic. With YouTube channels focusing on more and more specific styles of lofi hip hop."

Did you know that Ryan curates some of our Spotify Playlists and that they're open for submissions? Read more about how you can apply here and check them out on our Spotify profile!

June 30, 2020

Music Roundup of June 2020

From the global pandemic to a major shift in the Black Lives Matter movement, the first six months of 2020 has certainly left a defined dent in history. Even so, it seems that artists have delivered with statement tracks and game changing albums. We've rounded up some of the top music moments, from emerging to experienced artists, over this last month🔥🤩

#1 Beyonce

Starting with the Queen herself, Beyoncé dropped an unexpected new track 'Black Parade' on Juneteenth. "I’m going back to the South, I’m going back where my roots ain’t watered down,” Beyoncé sings in the opening line of the song. With all proceeds going to Black-owned businesses, this track will no doubt wake up the 'unwoke'.

#2 Chloe x Halle

After passing on their album 'Ungodly Hour' to Beyoncé for feedback, in which to receive A+ results and a record deal with her label, Chloe and Halle Bailey are all that have been missing from your playlists. Their newest track 'Forgive Me', part of 'Ungodly Hour', is a power house of emotions and strength...someone call the Grammy's.

#3 Anderson .Paak

Not only is the track the perfect summary of .Paak's funk sounds and easy beats, it hits a political level relevant to the last few weeks. Featuring big names in the industry, like Syd and an impressive verse by Jay Rock, and directed by Dave Meyers (Kendrick Lamar collaborator) the track is an intimate portrait of this significant uprising in history, and the aftermath of protest.

#4 Yasin

Whilst technically Yasin released his newest masterpiece 98.01.11 in late May...we couldn't help but throw this album into the mix (shhh! don't tell anyone). With various tracks from the album staying up on Spotify Sweden's Top 10 for multiple weeks, this young rapper is on his way up, watch this space.

#5 Haim

The sweetheart sister trio is back with their third studio album 'Women In Music Part. III', featuring their recent hits 'Summer Girl', 'Hallelujah' and 'Now I'm In It' as bonus tracks. Proceeds from their first live performance of the newly released album raised over $5000 for The Bail Project. If you live in the UK, make sure to check out their bundle, in which you can receive a personalised voicemail message from one the team!

#6 H.E.R

A voice like heaven, 23 year old H.E.R released this extraordinary track, 'I Can't Breathe' in light of the Black Lives Movement. Honestly using her platform to expose the tragic consequences of police brutality. The track itself shows the true bravery from the artist, her pure talent and we can't wait to see what's next.

#7 Doja Cat X Gucci Mane

Whilst Doja Cat has been involved in her fair share of controversies this last month, she still came out on top with this release alongside Gucci Mane. The track 'Like That' is classic bop from both artists with Sailor Moon animations...make sure you watch to the end and catch Doja in the splits.

#8 Janice x Oscar Zia

Swedish artist Janice came through with this classic rendition of 'Älska Mig' (translating to 'Love Me'), a well-known track originally by the Ainsbusk Singers in 1991. After televising the cover, with Oscar Zia, live on Swedish National day, Janice realised the heaviness of the words and took it upon herself to release a cover in which all proceeds are donated to Afripedia, an organisation focusing on creating opportunities for creatives of African descent.

#9 Fenty Summer Playlists - Steve Lacy

Just as you thought Fenty couldn't get any better, they've gone ahead and created your ideal playlists to get you ready for the summer ahead. Collaborating with big names to host the selection process, like Steve Lacy and Imaan Hamman, with their intention to "soothe your soul and lift your spirits" - sign us up!

#10 Orion Sun

REC Philly's own, Orion Sun has produced a beautiful yet somewhat saddening track, 'Mamma's Baby' as way of coping during the uncertain changing time. The track raised over $18,000, in which all were donated to Breonna Taylor's gofundme and the Loveland Foundation."i won't stop fighting just like my ancestors even with the world stacked against me im 24 now but i'll always be mama's baby".

June 22, 2020

Janice Talks Us Through Her New Release ‘Älska Mig’

Swedish singer, activist and role-model Janice Kavander has released a powerful cover of the Ainbusk Singer's 1991 track 'Älska Mig', translating to 'Love Me'. After being presented with the opportunity to perform the song live on television, part of Swedish National Day celebrations, Janice took it upon herself to record the track, alongside friend and artist Oscar Zia. In the hopes to shed light over the current major civil rights movement occurring across the world, all proceeds from the single will be donated to her chosen organisation, Afripedia, an online community space connecting and celebrating creatives of African-descent. Janice explains the emotional attachment she has with the song, how singing it became more meaningful than ever and openly discusses her experience as a black woman in the music industry.

A: Introduce yourself!

J: My name is Janice, I’m 25 and I’ve been in the music industry for 4 years now. I released my first song in 2016, but previously I toured with many other artists, part of the backing vocals. I usually say I’ve almost done backing vocals for every single Swedish artist! I have a choir background, so I used to, and still do actually,...sing in a gospel choir, which I’ve been doing for around 10 years. I have a hard time letting it go! 

A: When was your big breakthrough? 

J: I think if you ask different people you’ll get different answers. I released my first three singles independently, my first song was actually listed on P3 (A Swedish radio station) as one of the best songs of 2016. I found this funny because my manager and I went to talk to labels and everyone said about my music that "they don't think it's for the Swedish audience”, that was fine because I wanted to go international. Of course it would’ve been nice to have my home country enjoy my music, so that’s why I chose to release independently.

And I mean...it went very well here. I was grateful to play in my hometown and at festivals in Sweden. I say that my single ‘Queen’ that I released in 2017 was not necessarily my big break but a good moment in my career, it was also the year I was nominated for a Swedish Grammy.

A: What was the thought process behind choosing the song ‘Älska Mig’?

J: In January I got a question from SVT that they were doing a programme on Swedish national day, where they were doing a celebration of Swedish classics, and they wanted relevant artists to sing them. When choosing the track I was thinking how I love to sing in Swedish but never make music in it. I ended up choosing a classic song, ‘Älska Mig’ from 1991 by Ainbusk singers. I’ve loved this song since I was a little kid, I remember when I heard it for the first time, it was the first time I actually got chills from music. That song has been with me for quite sometime and with all that’s been happening in the world, with the murder of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, the song became even more meaningful to me. I felt like there were days where I didn’t have any words. All my energy, all my force was basically taken, so when I sang the song I was like ‘shit this really hit me’. I was performing it with a great artist and friend of mine, Oscar Zia, and we hadn’t sang together before but that day when we sang the song, I can’t even describe it, it was so uplifting but still, it felt like we were screaming.

A: How has your personal experience in the music industry been as a black woman? 

J: It’s been hard, actually, ‘cause I mean, even though people don’t really wanna see it or even think it, racism exists everywhere and it exists here in Sweden. I’ve felt like as a black woman and as an artist, I have to be better, I have to be EVEN better, I have to be 10/10 to get the recognition I deserve. I always want to work for what I do and challenge myself but it comes to a point where it feels meaningless because you’re here and you’re shouting and you feel like you're doing the same as everyone else but you don't get the same reaction. When I go on a TV show, I always have to check who is going to do my makeup and hair. There's been endless times where I’ve come to the studio and they don’t even have the colours for makeup and they especially don't have hairstylists experienced in curly hair or afro. It gives you a feeling that you're not even accounted for, that they’re not even thinking about you.

A: How have you been taking care of yourself during this time? 

J: I've been hanging out a lot with my family, friends, and with other musicians. Just staying with my community and definitely staying off social media has helped a lot. There was a time when I was getting headaches just because I was on my phone all the time, trying to write, absorb everything whilst trying to stay updated. But I think it’s really important to get offline because it's a traumatic experience in many ways, seeing all these posts and videos all the time. Just reminders that you’re a black person without the same human rights. But I feel a lot better now that I make myself watch TV series totally disconnected to what’s happening in the media. 

A: How long did it take you to record the track? 

J: So it was a very quick process, I haven’t even registered that it happened. I contacted my friend Mats Sandahl aka MASAKA who is an amazing producer and also part of the black community. I had a strong feeling that I wanted to do something more, even before discussing it with my managers. I was like “I’ve already decided!”. Mats mentioned that he never watches TV but then randomly chose to switch it on one evening and there I was on his screen singing ‘Älska mig’ for SVT, he really felt everything I was feeling so thought why not, let's do this. We got into the studio, Oscar and Mats and I, and we recorded for around three hours and then it got sent off for mixing. 

A: What do you want people to take away after hearing the track? 

J: I would actually like to leave people with a force of energy, but also understand why I’m even putting it out. There are many people thinking that we ”import ideas from the US” about racism and that’s bullshit. Structural racism is here, in Sweden too. Also, I really hope the black and POC community in Sweden really connect with it, and get strength from the lyrics, because it’s lifted me during this time.

So, I hope to bring some light but I also hope white people who listen to the song will understand it, and that they actually educate themselves and make an effort to have these difficult conversations, and look within themselves too. It’s ‘great’ that you’re posting a black box in solidarity but that’s not nearly enough. Being anti-racist is not political, it’s an act of human rights.

A: Can you tell us about Afripedia? 

J: All proceeds will be donated to the organisation Afripedia, who work with creative talents from Sweden and around the world who are of African descent, helping them to create more job opportunities and reach the million-dollar businesses that wouldn’t have been previously possible. I wanted to donate to an organisation where we can actually see where the funds are going. If you listen to the song, you can create a difference and change the future for the better. It’ll be so uplifting for me to follow up and see how the proceeds have created an impact.

A: Were you scared or nervous to release this track? 

J: There could be some people who could be strongly against this, but I’ve been more “political” in my own music and interviews, and I’ve got enough backing so no, I’m not scared.

A: How do you feel that the track is was released on Juneteenth? 

J: For me it’s quite symbolic because Midsummer is a holy Swedish tradition and falls on that day too. I think people should do more of these types of “projects”, because what we’re really doing is shining a light on what our society looks like. What we see in the media is not close to that. Representation is very needed and yet it is lacking. Sweden is far from just people with blue eyes and blonde hair. I’m a swede, born and raised, and I’m here too. So hopefully people aren’t too busy and spend a minute and listen to the song. I think it’s more important than ever, to take a stand, not just show solidarity, but also take action. 

Listen to Älska Mig here.

May 21, 2020

Isanna Guides Us Through Her New Ethereal Music Video

We caught up with the talented American-German producer, Isanna, ahead of her newest release 'Moshpit of Emotions'. After creating the entire music video from her living room under self-isolation and with limited resources, we discussed how she and her team went about producing the unique and dramatic visuals to her new track during these unprecedented conditions.

Introduce yourself!

Hey I’m Isanna, a German/American songwriter and producer currently based in London.

What was the inspiration behind the music video for Moshpit of Emotions?

We really wanted to capture the feelings of isolation, wonder, and awe that I felt while writing the track. The character I play in the video is floating through space, and through life in general, to mirror that. She’s lost in the middle of nowhere, but still refusing to lose her sense of wonder.

Did you have any assistance creating the film? If so, who?

My amazing brother Alex co-directed the video with our wildly talented VFX editor Harry Lindley. I did my own makeup and styling, and my mom did my hair haha. It was a family effort, to say the least.

Can you explain the process behind the production?

Alex and I filmed the video in front of a green screen in our living room during lockdown. It was the most chilled process ever. It was honestly just like hanging out at home, but every 5 minutes my mom was running around, touching up my flyaways and decreasing the green screen. She’s such a legend, shout out mom!! Then we handed the shots off to Harry to create a whole CGI world on earth, in space, and somewhere in between :’)

How long did the entire filming process take?

The filming took approx. one and a half days as we didn’t have much to work with, so we wanted to make sure all of my performance shots were as good as they could be. The editing and VFX process happened over the span of four weeks, with Alex and Harry collaborating remotely to make the whole thing as fantastical and wild as it could be.

Were there any major obstacles that you encountered?

Our living room is teeny tiny, and the green screen wasn’t massive, so we kept having to re-film scenes where my arms and legs would have disappeared off screen once we put in a background. Also, we were working with really limited lighting, which makes a green screen edit super difficult. We had to get creative with ways to bounce light off of my face, like using a small plastic card as a reflector. 

How did it feel to create a music video under the conditions of quarantine?

It was difficult, but if there’s one thing my team loves, it’s a challenge. 

How did being in lockdown affect the final result?

I think filming during self-isolation was beneficial for my performance. It really helped me get into character because I was running through the gamut of emotions in real life as well, as I’m sure many people are during this time.

What's next for you?

I’m writing/producing towards my debut EP at the moment, so I’m still in a place of exploring what I really want to say with my first bigger body of work. We’re releasing my next single at the start of summer as well, so I’m really psyched for that! Sadly the festivals that I was meant to play at this summer got cancelled, but on the bright side, it allows more time for writing and introspection.

Follow Isanna on Instagram for more.

May 19, 2020

Harry Styles’ New Music Video Is A Quarantine Dream

The newly released music video for the track 'Watermelon Sugar' is a juicy ode to 'touching', and a tease for life before and after lockdown.

Harry Styles has returned with a deliciously succulent new visual part of his Fine Line album, giving us fans a more traditional 70s sepia-toned energy and a celebration of summer. Whilst most of us are still in lockdown mode, this new video transports us to warmer climates and is a big ol' tease to traveling and touching. "DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. Practice social distancing," Styles pranked on Twitter.

Fuelled by shots of tanned bodies swimming under sand, fruit being seductively eaten, and plenty of watermelons, this video is a tortuous gift that has been blessed to us by the prince of pop himself. Thank you Harry -we love you.

May 18, 2020

Music-related Podcasts You Need in Your Life

Lets get real, podcasts are underrated. Sometimes a great podcast can be the catalyst to new ideas, the ideal remedy after a stressful day or even just the perfect accompaniment when you need some 'you' time. We've rounded up some essential music-related podcasts to add to your daily routines 😌🙌

#When you just want to know more

Named 'Best podcast of 2018' by The New York Times, Dissect is a podcast dedicated to breaking down the meaning of various albums from pivotal figures in the music industry. From The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill to the mystery of Frank Ocean, each season looks to dissect and forensically examine the music, lyrics and the backstory behind one song. Hosted by Cole Cuchna, Dissect is every music nerd's dream come true 😎 Listen here.

#When you need inspiration

Hosted by Musicologist Nate Sloan and songwriter Charlie Harding, 'Switched on Pop' is the necessary podcast tackling the latest trends in popular music. The podcast is there to convince that maybe 'the worst song you've ever listened to' still has had huge time and effort poured into it. From Justin Bieber to Lady Gaga, the podcast is a refreshingly open and an energised way of viewing the music industry 💕 Listen here.

#When you need a self-care day

Okay so this isn't exactly a *podcast* more of a playlist but nonetheless the wonderfully addictive NPR Tiny Desk Concerts (which has recently revealed to be not so tiny after all) have kindly transformed their originally video based series into a podcast so that you can listen to live music on-the-go. A perfect accompaniment to your 'you' days 🤩 Listen here.

#When you need new music

Recorded in NYC, Not97 is the podcast you've been needing your whole life. Three hosts and a guest industry-expert meet to discuss music from talented, under-the-radar artists around the world, with each of them presenting two recently released tracks and breaking down the reason behind their choosing. The podcast is the perfect solution for when you're in need of some new music to switch up your playlists 🔥Listen here.

#When you need that 'Gurls Talk'

The Gurls Talk Podcast is here for your every need. Whilst it's not directly a music-related podcast, its a collation of stories and discussions from strong independent womxn, making moves in life and unravelling the truths of what it means to be a 'woman' today. Hosted by it's creator, activist and model, Adwoa Aboah and featuring the likes of Dua Lipa and Jorja Smith, this podcast is one to inspire. Send to your sister, mother, grandmother, girlfriend, partner and anyone in-between that you think could connect with these open and honest conversations 💁Listen here.

May 11, 2020

7 Must-See Music Videos of All Time

We've curated a selection of music videos we believe are amongst the best ever have been made. There are so many fantastic pieces of art out there - new magical videos are created every year! From Childish Gambino to Björk, we've got you covered with some of the must-see videos on the web👌

#1 This Is America - Childish Gambino (2018)

This never ending journey of horrific surprises won a Grammy for Best Music Video in 2018. Directed by Hiro Murai, this genius body of work is filled with symbols and metaphors about race and gun violence in the US. The four-minute long one-shot video will sure hit you hard - be aware that there is graphic violence.

#2 Nothing Compares 2U - Sinéad O'Connor (1990)

Originally written by Prince, Sinéad O'Connor made this song a huge hit with this cutting, exceptional video. The focus on just her face, exposed while going through the stages of anger and sadness that comes with losing someone loved. It feels so real, so raw and so, so beautiful - probably because all the emotions in the video are real. Sinéad O'Connor thought about the death of her mother while recording it - and wow - it sure worked. In 1990, the video won three VMA’s - amongst others ‘Video of the Year’.

#3 It’s Oh So Quiet - Björk (1995)

This iconic video for Björks remake of Betty Hutton’s It’s Oh So Quiet, made in collaboration with the Hollywood director Spike Jonze, has become one of her most famous releases. The playful choreography, each shot looking like a real-life Disney movie, sure is something special. The delicate slo-mo during the verses makes the chorus feel like a trip on sugar. The video received six nominations for the MTV Video Music Awards in 1996.

#4 Humble - Kendrick Lamar (2017)

This gorgeously-shot music video, directed by Dave Meyers, took Kendrick Lamar’s track Humble to a whole new level. Bursting with symbolism - the video brings an edge to the song since it fearless shows the opposite of humbleness. The way Lamar looks into the camera, with such power in his eyes, makes it impossible to look away. Nominated for eight VMAs in 2018, it took home six - of course including Video of the Year.

#5 Cranes in the sky - Solange (2016)

This magical piece of art is something truly unique. Solange way of acting in front of the camera is somehow meditative. Art directed by Carlota Guerrero and co-directed by herself and her then husband Alan Ferguson, it was shot in 42 (!) different setups, all between New Orleans and New Mexico’s mountains through the deserts of Texas. It took them two, completely dedicated, weeks to film everything - impressive!

#6 Yellow Submarine - The Beatles (1968)

This classic, groundbreaking film was revolutionary when it came out in 1969. This video is a short part of the full movie - 87 minute long - that changed the animation industry. John Lassester (Toy Story etc) and Josh Weinstein (The Simpsons) have both claimed that the film gave birth to modern animation and that without it, we probably wouldn’t have either Family Guy, Frozen or Shrek.

#7 Bad Girls - M.I.A (2012)

M.I.A has always been controversial - it’s her thing. This video was no exception. Bad Girls is a middle finger to Saudi Arabia’s ban on women driving, which is now legal since 2018 - this badass video took the world by storm when it was released in 2012. Women armed with machine guns, racing in the beautiful deserts of Morocco, dragging their feet alongside the car at 60 miles/hour - this video is as much of a political stand as it is visually mind blowing.

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