I can't believe it's a week into March already, 2016 is breezing by with plenty of fresh new faces on the music scene. The last three months have seen artists fairly unknown make some big waves in the music world, with Annie Mac debuting Nao's newest single as her Hottest Record and Honne earning some regular radio exposure. If you ain't heard of these guys yet, who you been sleepin' on?!
This London duo are finally, finally getting the exposure they deserve. Releasing their first single on iTunes last summer, their unique electro-soul sound simmered through East London, swiftly reaching the ears of some of the city's best DJ's. Since then, they have released three EP's, all laced with the flawless combination of deep, distinct vocals and complex, skin-tingling synth beats.
Described as 'neo soul' combined with '90s RnB', the arresting sounds of Nao have successfully leaked all across London. Two years separate her two bodies of work, with February dropping in the summer of 2015 to critical acclaim. With obvious 90s influences, her production is nostalgic and diaphanous, but it is her distinct vocals that make her music tick. With effortless instinct, Nao can charm with you with melodic, dulcet tones, then in an instant show off a powerful range that takes you back to the sounds of 90s greats.
3. THE JAPANESE HOUSE
I first heard about The Japanese House through The 1975s effervescent frontman and Dirty Hit label-mate, Matty Healy, parading her music on twitter. I was instantly hooked. My first listen to the Clean EP put me on a natural high, feeling every beat, note and tiny detail of the masterful production. Amber Bain, the genius behind the music, has remained somewhat of an enigma until Zane Lowe showed her to the world, choosing her track Still as his last ever Hottest Record In The World.
4. MURA MASA
Only 19 years of age, Alex Crossan is already considered as one of the front-runners of electro-pops next gen. Producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, his career as Mura Masa began on soundcloud, with an ever-growing audience latching onto his exotic, echoing beats. Two years later his page has 20m followers, with his sound becoming more addictive with every new release - definitely one to watch this year!
Still fairly unknown, this North-London duo reached my ears through the dulcet acoustics of Mahogany Sessions youtube channel. With a rough, barely rehearsed track titled Roads, Kawala completely sold me. Jim Higson's addictive, sedative vocals are so well complimented by the acoustic melodies of Daniel McCarthy on guitar. So far, they have about four tracks on youtube, leaving my desperately waiting for more. Until then, Roads will continue to grow in play-count on my iTunes...
It's The New Sound - Soundcloud Playlist: