So posting every week appears to have been impossible for me but hopefully the greatness of this post will more than make up for my absence over the past 2 weeks. In this post, I wanted to concentrate on some musicians who I have been really into of late that I am really enjoying for their singer-songwriter capabilities and all round coolness as people (in my opinion ha. What I mean by coolness is their originality, style- obviously because I love clothes, style and fashion) and their honesty in that they appear to be ‘real’ people. They have various social media accounts/outlet where you can easily contact them see new material of theirs and just keep up with their everyday lives.
The artists that I am going to concentrate on are Elli Ingram, Etta Bond, Moko, Banks and Max Marshall. There are probably other artists who I feel will fit into this similar field, but want to focus on these in this post. I guess you could say a common thread between all of these artists is what I have previously said is there honesty and raw talent. I’ve recently been looking back to 90s/noughties RnB and so naturally, also looked to soul. You could say that these…coincidentally, all female singers represent a neo-soul movement/ genre in a world where a lot of music is electronic and produced for clubs and dancing.
My attention was first drawn to Moko after having worked on a Coffee stall at Glastonbury in 2013. Sadly, I barely got to see any music, due to having 10-13 hour shifts over the course of 24 hours, but upon arriving home, I was eager to look at highlights from the festival to see what I had missed. This is where I stumbled across Moko, who appeared in the BBC introducing stage. Just knowing she was on the bill for the stage signified to me that she would bring something new and fresh to the scene, and she certainly does.
Apart from her great style, where she often wears all black, with her signature lengthy pigtail hair do that is ‘bobbled all the way down’ (see pictures and you’ll know what I mean), I was also enthralled by her charisma on stage. Man, that girl can DANCE! I was captivated by her moves and how she just let loose on stage. So yeah visually she was really entertaining and vocally, she doesn’t disappoint either. I loved her sultry soulful vocal over varying speeds of what I can only describe as thoughtful, sexy and percussive music.
This song, ‘Hand on Heart’ is taken from her ‘Black EP’ which can also be found on her youtube and soundcloud accounts (https://soundcloud.com/thismoko) . The video takes me back to those 90s videos where you would see people singing in a barber shop. The black and white filter of the video adds a sense of melancholia to the video—not necessarily sad or mournful, but a source of reflection and thinking and when it is combined with her vulnerable vocals with lines like ‘just be mine!’ I can’t help but be taken in by such emotion.
The second artist I’d like to introduce is Elli Ingram. Now I’m not sure exactly how or when I came across this girl from Brighton (probably just random youtube clicking through related searches) but I am SO glad that I did. The first time I heard her voice, was a cover she was singing of Kendrick Lamar Poetic Justice. Now I had never heard the original (yeyayaha I know, how HADN’T I listened to that Kendrick tune?!) so had nothing to go on but maybe that could have been a good thing because I wouldn’t be comparing it to the original. But I instantly fell in love with that jazzy music and the amazing smooth, yet distinctive soulful voice that accompanied it. The video production was effortless and so was the singing. I wondered, how can so much soul and wise-ness come out of such a young girl?! So anyway, here’s the video I originally watched:
Real good. So I began to search through her whole youtube channel and found various other covers she had produced and was really really impressed! What was even better, was that she had an EP, Sober being released FOR FREE pretty soon after I had rinsed this song to death so I was straight on that. You can download it for yourself here too http://www.elliingram.com/sober. GO DO IT! It does not disappoint. Similar soulful vibes where she talks about being young and the things that come with it—indecisive lovers, doing the walk of shame in the morning with no makeup, not throwing yourself at people yet still wanting to be madly in love with somebody. Each song ascribes to the common soully thread of the whole EP, however, they are all different enough to keep it mixed up and not boring or repetitive. My favourites are Mad Love and Sober. WHAT’S MORE!
She’s recently (I say recently before xmas) done a mash up of Chance the Rapper’s Cocoa Butter Kisses and T-Pain’s I’m Hi’ (and not going to lie, that’s what got me into Chance the rapper and lead me to explore his Acid rap album, which is also really really good). It’s completely different from either of the originals which is what makes it so original and fresh, something that I think british Vocal music is lacking in some areas at a present time where the music industry is being saturated by (dare I say mediocre) house and techno records.
Enough spoonfeeding, here’s her soundcloud and go check her out for yaself https://soundcloud.com/elliingram
Admittedly I only heard of this girl through MTV/ Brit award nominations for breakthrough acts of 2014 but she is definitely something special. Etta’s style is a mix of spoken word and singing over some quite in-your-face productions (Cred to Raf Riley). I can’t imagine this girl to be shy in real life. She sings about real events and true situations that the ‘youth of today’- an internet age can easily relate to. Ie following somebody on twitter, relationship troubles and generally getting a little bit trashed. I think this girl speaks for herself really so I will just link a few songs and her soundcloud/facebook where you can cop ANOTHER free download of her EP Meds.
I think I’m going to leave my trans-Atlantic artists for another post simply because this one has been a lot longer than I initially intended and I didn’t even say everything I wanted to say. BUT I didn’t wan to bore you, so I will leave it at this and come back to this ‘neo-soul’ genre later on.