The U.K.‘s own AJ Tracey has arrived with visuals for his new surprise single “Dinner Guest” featuring MoStacks. In the video above, we see the two rappers open up the visuals in an empty strip club, carrying on a performance as if there are people around.
This is a nod toward the current global quarantine, and also lines up with the rapper’s initiative to donate all first-week numbers of the song to the COVID-19 Urgent Appeal relief fund. AJ stated in a press release that “all first week download profits from the single will be donated to the COVID-19 URGENT APPEAL, supporting NHS staff and volunteers as they put their lives on the line to help us get through the pandemic.”
The Kaylum Dennis-directed video also showcases the duo rapping in isolated areas such as their home and an outside balcony. The track, produced by The Elements and AJ Tracey himself, heavily samples the MK Dub remix of “Push The Feeling On” by Nightcrawlers. The single is meant to gear folks up for the summer, something AJ has done in the UK with the release of “Butterflies” and “Ladbroke Grove,” respectively for two summers in a row.
Things are rarely easy for the actor who choses to dabble in pop. For every Donald Glover, apparently able to flit at will between the film set and the recording studio, pausing only to bask in the superlatives that garland both sides of his work, there are umpteen Russell Crowes or Johnny Depps, their dreams of polymath stardom crushed by a reception that ranges from suspicion to bemusement to outright hostility. Those that try and fail usually put the negativity down to the public’s desire to pigeonhole, to unfairly demand that one stays in one’s lane, but really the problem is a distrust of dilettantism.
That isn’t an accusation that anyone is likely to throw at Riz Ahmed, the Emmy-winning, Wembley-born actor who’s enjoyed a parallel career as a rapper under the name Riz MC and as one half of the duo Swet Shop Boys. Whatever you make of his second album, The Long Goodbye – a conceptual work based around the idea that British Asians are locked in an abusive relationship with the UK and that the rising tide of racism spawned by Brexit might represent the moment at which they’ve finally been dumped – really doesn’t seem much like something you’d knock together to kill time between roles. It comes complete with tracks that reference the work of poet and philosopher Muhammad Iqbal and writer Saadat Hasan Manto and an accompanying, disturbing short film (it’s hard to explain exactly why it’s disturbing without incurring no-spoilers wrath).
ALMA RELEASES DEBUT ALBUM HAVE U SEEN HER? VIA SONY MUSIC GERMANY/RCA RECORDS
Finnish pop-punk supremo ALMA has shared her brand new single today “LA Money” alongside the release of her compelling punk-tinged pop debut album Have U Seen Her?, which are both out now via Sony Music Germany/RCA Records.
“LA Money” follows her recent three-track offering Have U Seen Her? Part II, which features the lead track “Stay All Night” alongside “King Of The Castle” and “Find Me“, all of which are featured on her debut record.
ALMA says; “‘LA Money’ is the core of this album. It’s a story about my life at the time. I felt like I was somewhere I didn’t want to be, making music I didn’t want to make, everyone had me wrong. Writing ‘LA Money’ was like a release after it everything started to flow out and make sense. I knew I had to move on, make music that made me happy, and live my life how I wanted to.”
A unique and talented writer, ALMA is leading the charge on a new wave of female powerhouses that have something to say through their music. Engaged, forward-thinking and opinionated, she addresses issues from women’s rights to body positivity to sexuality to depression, drug use and anxiety head-on.
The anticipation for her debut record has been building with frenzied excitement and the day is finally here with the release of Have U Seen Her?, which has been executive produced by Justin Tranter (Justin Bieber, Julia Michaels, Britney Spears, Gwen Stefani). From out and out pop anthems such as “Bad News Baby” and “Worst Behaviour (feat. Tove Lo),” to avant-garde emotive driven tracks such as “Final Fantasy” and “My Girl,” with refreshingly thought-provoking and honest lyrics throughout, the album is a welcome explosion of the senses.
ALMA offers the following about the inspiration for her songwriting and music:
“My childhood wasn’t very easy. Growing up with both of my parents poorly and struggling through school, I felt like I was invisible and didn’t have a voice a lot of the time. I think that’s why at night I used to have this recurring dream that my sister and I ran away. We’d go to the same place every time, a fantasy land full of giant blue flowers, butterflies and pink mountains. I fell in love with that place and never wanted to wake up.”
“As I got older and the pressure of living in the public eye grew, that dream came back to me. The idea of running away, leaving everything, and finding that quiet, calm, safe space replayed in my brain again and again, especially while I was making this album.”
Hailing from Slough, Houston X is a growing force in the world of alternative rap-meets-R&B. He’s long been obsessed with writing melodies and composition: it was in Slough that Houston X first fell in love with music, after joining an international church choir where he’d sit at the back, humming complementary melodies to the hymns he was hearing.
Though he’s been hailed as the UK’s answer to Travis Scott, Houston X’s music also points to artists as varied as James Blake, Prince and SZA. With its woozy, emotional feel, you can hear that Blake influence on latest offering ‘Scarlett Red’.
Underpinned by a melancholic guitar line, it’s a slow-burning cut designed for late nights that flaunts Houston X’s versatility as an artist.