‘Songs to listen to when…”you’re in your feelings/in love” (Volume 1)

Hi everyone! Hope everyone is having a good and productive week! Today’s post is all about looooooooove! There are times in nearly everyone’s lives when they suddenly realise they are in love or have strong feelings for someone. Luckily for us there’s definitely a song that can describe exactly how you’re feeling.! Here are some songs that come to my head and to listen to when you’re feeling all loved up! Remember this is only part 1 so stay tuned for a lot, lot more!!!

Fantasia – When I See U (2006)

I’ve previously talked about this song but honestly when you think about songs that explore how you are feeling when you have just fallen for someone, this is it. The song explores the feeling you get whenever you see that special person . The funny thing is, in this song, it can even be related to unrequited love as Fantasia sings more about the feeling she gets just from “being in the sauce” rather than when that person in question is doing something specifically. I love Fantasia’s voice in this song and her lines “I start to stutter when I speak, try to stand but my knees go weak “<<<< I mean if that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.

Wyclef Jean & Mary J Blige- 911

Another song I’ve always expressed my love for. There comes a time especially if its your first love where you feel as dramatic as can be possible. When the love is so much that it even begins to feel like pain, “Someone please call 911, tell them I just been shot down & the bullet’s, in my heart”. It sounds illogical and over exaggerated to those not in love but if you are or have been, you can understand this song. Mary J Blige puts her all into this song and you can hear the pain in her voice.

Usher – U got it Bad

Pretty much most of Usher’s discography can relate to this topic but this is the signature song of “In your feelings”, when you begin to realise that you are developing feelings for that special person. The song reminds me of Fantasia’s “When I See U” as Usher also lists the signs that show you have started to fall. Anyone that has felt love can most likely react to some of the things Usher says in this song, especially for men. This song is so funny to me because I know for a fact most people have experienced most of the situations he states. As Usher himself says “Nobody wants to be alone…If you’re touched by the words in this song then maybe..you got it bad“. <<Forreal!

Whitney Houston – My Love is your Love

A classic love song and a legendary Whitney song! Whitney sings about the unbreakable bond she has with her lover and the fact it would “Take an eternity” to break them. She sings about the fact that regardless of what life throws at her or where she ends up, as long as she is with her lover, it will be okay. A beautiful song with a beautiful sentiment. R.I.P. Whitney.

Laura Izibor – If Tonight is my Last

I feel this song takes inspiration from Whitney Houston’s ‘My Love is Your Love‘.The song contains many similar scenarios and very similar sentiments, “If tonight is my last, I wanna spend it with you”, can’t get more romantic than that to be honest. I’ve always expressed my love for this song and the song lyrics speak for themselves. Check it out below;

Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran – Perfect

This duet is more recent but it’s no less of a beautiful love song. Both Ed and Beyonce’s voices blend into the “perfect harmony”. This is the kind of song that makes you sway upon hearing it. The song plays on the idea that when you find that special person and to you, they are the most perfect person in your eyes. Have a listen below:

Jessie Ware – Say You Love me

This song is more towards the “In my feelings” side. The passion and power Jessie exudes in this track is mind-blowing. She sings “Cause I don’t wanna fall in love, if you don’t wanna try…but all that I’ve been thinking of is maybe that you’re mine“. That feeling when when you are falling for someone but are too scared to let all your guard down in case the person isn’t feeling the same or in case you are going to get hurt. Unfortunately you cannot experience true love if you don’t let all your guards down…A catch 22.

Boyz II Men – I’ll Make Love to You

Released in 1994, this song was number 1 for a crazy 14 weeks!!! This song is the ultimate sexual song professing your love for someone.

Destiny Child’s – Cater 2 U

One of my favourite DC songs!!!! This song is the perfect ode to your love. In the song the women talk about all the things they are willing to do for their men in the most affectionate way. “You’re all I want in a man, I put my life in your hands“. For me, this is one of the most beautiful modern love songs released, it shows the selflessness women feel when they are happy and in love, the idea that nothing is too hard to do for their lover. The video is beautiful too. Side note, for me Michelle had the BEST verse!

Usher/ Alicia Keys – My Boo

“There’s always that one person that will always have your heart” is how this song starts and whew is that true! Falling in love will have you wanted to sing this with your own “boo”. Usher and Alicia did a fantastic job with this duet and the lyrics definitely resonate with those that have that special person despite anything going on.

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New Music: What I’ve been listening to…

Hey people! It’s that time where I give you all an insight into what i’ve got playing on rotation. I just want to say, the past week or two has been a barrage of new music! There’s so much music out at the moment, that I’m even getting a bit overwhelmed!!!! I still have a few album reviews (Burna Boy and Chance the Rapper) to talk about and I will make sure I get to them! For now, here’s a list of some songs I’ve been playing in the past week or so. Enjoy!!

Big Sean – Single Again

Big Sean is back!!!! SO happy as he is one of my favourite artists. Sean recently said that he needed to take time off to work on himself and recharge. In this song Sean reflects on the fact he is now single after the breakup of his relationship. In the song he talks about the importance of “being strong on your own”. The song serves as a reflection of the lessons he has learnt while being single. One of the quotes he says that I like: “Looking for the love in somebody else that I probably should have given to myself“. It’s clear that this time away was needed for Sean’s mental health and I’m glad he is rejuvenated. Ty Dolla provides additional vocals along with Sean’s ex Jhene Aiko.

Headie One – Rubbery Bandz

I’m beginning to become a fan of UK rapper Headie One. He has just recently released his tracklist for his upcoming album and it looks immense! This song is his latest single from the upcoming album and I love it. This is a perfect song to blast in the Summer and do a little dance to. The production and his flow compliment each other on this song. Can’t wait to hear more music from him. Have a listen below;

Rick Ross Ft.Drake – Gold Roses

Ricky Rozay drops another single from his anticipated upcoming album ‘Port of Miami 2’, this time featuring Drake. This may be an unpopular opinion but I am not a fan of Drake’s verse on this song. I feel that the song would have been fine with just Ross. I like the concept of the song with the idea that you should give people their credit and praises while they are still alive rather than waiting until they are gone to appreciate them. With the numerous tragedies that have been happening recently for example the tragic death of the late great Nipsey Hussle, this is more relevant than ever. I heard an interview with Rick Ross where he said him and Drake did have Nipsey in mind when they recorded this track. One of the reasons I love Rick Ross is because he has the ability to rap about something deep and meaningful in a way that does not sound like he is preaching. He is very consistent and him and Drake do usually have a wonderful partnership. Have a listen below:

Burna Boy Ft. Jorja Smith – Gum Body

Burna Boy has just dropped his latest album ‘African Giant’ and while I haven’t taken in the whole album properly, this song for me has had the most replay value. I won’t lie I’m not usually a fan of Jorja Smith but her voice on this song is sensational. Her voice has a kind of huskiness to it that makes me want to reload every time. So beautiful…have a listen below;

Davido Ft. Chris Brown – Blow My Mind

It took me a while to get into this song but I’m a fan now. Nigerian artist Davido collaborates with Chris Brown for this hit. Davido has colloborated with many American artists for example his song with Russ; “All I Want” that I have written about before. I really like how Chris Brown adapted to African sound on this song demonstrating yet again his versatility.

Quality Control Ft. City Girls, Saweetie & DJ Durel

This is a ladies summer song right here! Girl power galore! It’s nice to hear JT on a track with a new verse too. Have a listen below;

Beyoncé – The Lion King: The Gift Review…

My review on Beyonce’s latest project.

Beyoncé recently blessed us with an album inspired by the newest remake of Lion King. It’s so good to hear new music from Beyoncé but even more exciting to hear she took a different approach to the music this time.

The album is mixed with interlude’s with clips from the film as well as new original songs with Beyoncé and some of the best African singers. I’m gonna talk about some of the songs that gripped me the most.

Beyoncé – BIGGER

This is a great intro track as it really does soothe us in. To me, this song feels personal to Beyoncé herself as well as relating to the Lion King and it’s surrounding themes. She mentions “Trying to be a good wife, still really hard, I can’t lie” matches some of the content in some of her other songs. The idea that not everything is as easy and nice as it looks, in life there are challenges and we have to go through them. I feel that for this song Beyoncé encourages us all to see we are “part of something way bigger” in the sense that there is so much more to life. This relates to a scene in the film where Mufasa tells Simba something similar. Have a listen to the song below:

Beyoncé – DON’T JEALOUS ME Ft. Tekno, Yemi Alade & Mr Eazi

This is the first feature of Africa on the album and the song features 3 Nigerian artists. As a Nigerian myself, this of course is one of my favourite songs. From the first second I feel the African drums and you know this is going to be a good song. Throughout the song Tekno says “Sheep don’t run with lion…Snake don’t swing with monkey” which makes me laugh as it is such a typical Nigerian/African saying to have. The song also features a bit of Igbo (A Nigerian language) and Pidgin language. Yemi Alade starts her verse saying “Oh Oh Odogwu (Odogwu), abeg make them talk” which is a reference to a man in a high position, she is asking him. The song does not actually feature Beyoncé vocals which is even more refreshing. I say refreshing because it is nice for Beyoncé on her own album to give the stage to others to showcase their talents too. I like how respectful and inviting she has been in regards to Africa for this album.

Burna Boy – JA ARA E

Yet again, Beyoncé passes on the stage to someone else and in this case it is Nigerian superstar Burna Boy. For anyone that is not familiar with him, please search him up and look into his own music, for me he is one of the best current Nigerian artists. In this song Burna Boy does his thing while referencing “watch out them for them hyenas” which could be very ambiguous. It could be literally in reference to the film as they are the ones that caused the most trouble. In addition to that it could be a reference to life, where people who are like the hyenas are those that look forward to your weakness in order to pounce and take advantage. Stay away from people like that. The title of the song is a Yoruba term meaning “wise up” which could mean stay alert at all times and be prepared.

Beyoncé Ft. Jay Z & Childish Gambino– MOOD 4 EVA

This is a celebratory anthem that I love! Personally I don’t think Jay Z was really needed on the project however it would be strange to have a Beyoncé project without her featuring her husband. The song features an intro from another African star, this time coming from Mali, singer Oumou Sangare. In the song Beyoncé sings “‘Cause every day above ground is a blessing” and Amen to that! In Hov’s verse, he name drops some of the legends; Nelson Mandela, Nigerian artist Fela Kuti as well as Biggie and Prince. The song is just a feel good anthem, perfect for the summer!

Beyoncé Ft Wizkid, SAINt JHN & Blue Ivy Carter- BROWN SKIN GIRL

Where do I even start with this song?! Before I even get into the lyrics, I just want to point out that for me, this song has one of my favourite productions. The beat is so simple but so effective. I’ve seen so many challenges where young girls have been dancing to this song and I can see exactly why they love it. It is such a feel good song to heat. I know this is one of the most popular songs from the project and with good reason. This album as a whole I feel, was a way for Beyoncé to pay homage to the African culture which inspired Lion King. This song pays homage to black women and brown skin, dark skin women in particular. Beyoncé wants these women to embrace and be proud of their skin and celebrate it. I love how she puts her daughter Blue Ivy in the song as she sings; “Brown skin girl, your skin just like pearls” to give it a more personal touch. Beyoncé also name drops some dark skin celebrities; “Pose like a trophy when Naomi‘s walk in, she need an Oscar for that pretty dark skin. Pretty like Lupita when the cameras close in…Drip broke the levee when my Kellys’ roll in”. Those that are young listening to this song can know there are so many role models that look exactly like them which could comfort them.  

There are so many beautiful words Beyoncé sings in this song. One of my favourite lines is when she says “Melanin too dark to throw her shade” and “Same skin that was broken be the same skin takin’ over“. That last quote is so powerful, it shows the contrast between the way black skin was discriminated against leading all the way back to slavery and now when you look at countries such as America (even with those she name dropped as examples) we are now “taking over”.

Personally when I first heard the song I felt very emotional because I know the criticism and isolation many brown/dark skin women have faced growing up. This song is a perfect love song to them with the lesson to be proud of who they are. This is such a powerful and uplifting song that I hope is played for many generations to give hope and confidence to future ‘Brown Skin Girls’. Have a listen below:

Tiwa Savage Ft. Mr Eazi – KEYS TO THE KINGDOM

Nigerian matriarch Tiwa Savage takes control of this song. It took me a few listens to get into it but now I feel it’s a song that you can have playing in the background and just vibe along to it. I like Mr Eazi’s addition to the song too.

Beyoncé Ft. Shatta Wale & Major Lazer – ALREADY

YES!!!!! This song is such an anthem!!!! I LOVE how dedicated Beyoncé was to incorporating an African sound in her own voice with this song. It just shows her versatility just in case people ever doubted her. The way she pronounces and emphasises the word “Already” is such an African way. African’s will hear it but it may go over the head of others. The song features Ghanaian star Shatta Wale and American dance trio Major Lazer. Since listening to the album, this song has been on rotation! The song has references to Lion King where Beyonceé sings “Long live the king” which is what Rafiki says to Simba. Shatta Wale had a blast on this song and his addition really added an authentic vibe to the song. I will definitely be playing this song for a long while to come. Have a listen below:

Beyoncé – SPIRIT

I really REALLY like this song. I feel this is one of my favourite ballads from Beyoncé in general. The song exudes so much raw emotion from me and gives me a sense of spiritual energy. Listening to this song for the first time literally made me weepy and I have no idea why. Beyonce’s voice in this song is just out of this world, I can’t even express the power. The video is just as beautiful and having watched the video before I saw the film, when I saw the exact scene in the film, it had a different meaning for me. The song is extremely uplifting too; “Your destiny is comin’ close, stand up and fi-i-i-ight” meaning never give up! If there was ever a doubt that Beyoncé has one of the most incredible voices in our lifetime, this song will put that debate to bed. Beautiful, beautiful song.

I also recently read a beautiful review on this album via the newspaper ‘The Metro’. Have a read below:

New Music Saturday: What I’ve been listening to this week…

There’s been so much new music released recently, so here are a few songs that I’ve loved hearing so far…

Krept & Konan Ft. Headie One & K-Trap

After their recent song ‘Ban Drill’, Krept and Konan are back with another hit! This song features recently unmasked K Trap and UK rapper Headie One. As expected, the song is filled with so many punchlines…something you can always expect with a Krept and Konan song. The accompanying video is just as entertaining. My personal favourite is Krept dressed in Spanish attire while he raps “Chupa a tu mama“. Krept also came with the punchlines when he said “Bro done so much cheffing nearly gave him a job at Crepes and Cones”. Despite all the years Krept and Konan have been consistent with their flow and witty wordplay. I respect that a lot. Have a listen below;

dvsn – Miss Me?

Can you believe I’ve only just realised that dvsn are a group!!!?? All this time I thought it was one person! Anyway, this R&B duo are back with another seductive song. One of the things I love about dvsn music is that I know that I’m guaranteed to hear an incredible beat in the background. The production on this particular song is exactly what I mean. This is the kind of song that will have you singing to yourself randomly throughout the day. It will be added to my ‘Vibes’ playlist without a doubt.

Ed Sheeran Ft. Stormzy – Take me Back to London

Ed is back with his new album ‘No.6 Collaborations Project’. I will actually do an album review in due course as I think there will be so much to talk about. On first listen, this was the track that stood out to me. As a fan of Stormzy and having loved their previous collaboration, I had high hopes. Safe to say, I was not disappointed. I feel this song is perfect for the summer. Ed is not shy working with grime artists having previously had a collaborative album featuring many of the UK great grime artists. In this song both Ed and Stormzy reminisce on their success and achievements while both having a common love for their hometown London. Ed says; “I wanna try new things, they just want me to sing because nobody thinks I write rhymes” and throughout the song Ed graces us with his rapping ability. It seems from the song that Ed is some kind of mentor as he gives Stormzy advice on how to handle all his newfound success . I like their partnership on this song and most importantly , I love how the song is an actual collaboration. Both Stormzy and Ed own this song respectively and both have equal amounts of input. Have a listen below;

WSTRN – Maggie & Stardawg

WSTRN are the best male group to come out of the UK for a while. I have never seen a group have this many consistent hits! I have yet to hear a bad song associated with these guys. That is definitely an achievement. This song has a very Caribbean feel to it which i love. WSTRN are so good at bringing the island vibes to their songs. Perfect summer tune! Have a listen below;

Chris Brown Ft. Tank – Early 2K

Chris Brown recently released a new album and I must say…I am not disappointed. I will do an album review in due course but for now 1 song in particular stood out to me. This song features Tank and is one of the smartest songs Ive heard. The song focusses on a trip back down memory lane referencing well known R&B songs from the early 2000’s. I suggest people listen and see how many references to songs and artists they can hear!

Wale Ft Jeremih – On Chill

MMG artists Wale is back with another hit. This time, he recruits R&B hook master Jeremih. Ive had this song on replay since I heard it. The song provides you with such a chilled vibe. I like Wale because I feel his wordplay is somewhat poetic, he has a skill. Have a listen below;

Rick Ross Ft. Wale – Act a Fool

Port of Miami 2 couldn’t come fast enough in my opinion! What is a summer without music from Rick Ross? For this song, Ross and Wale team up as the MMG duo and provide us with a nice taster if what is to come. Rick Ross has the ability to make you also feel like you’re rich when you listen to his music! I was definitely rapping loudly to certain lyrics living vicariously through Ross for example;

“Thought it was Obama, way I came through (Haha)
I’m talkin’ different commas from them lame dudes”

Wale is a good addition to the song too as he provides the song with a more calm vibe. Either way I can’t wait for Ross to release the new album!

‘Songs to listen to’ when you’re in need of…Motivation. (Volume 1)

Hey everyone, just a reminder of how amazing music is. I’ve previously spoken about how music is considered therapy to many due to the fact that there is pretty much a song for every situation in life. I’ve decided to do a series of posts dedicated to specific feelings and provide you with a list of songs to help you or support you through that time.

There are times we all feel we are maybe not doing enough or feel like giving up in some situations. Today’s post is dedicated to songs to listen to when you are in need of motivation or a pick me up or just for something to keep you inspired. This is just part 1 as there are so many songs I could have mentioned so for now I’ve given you 10. Have a read below…

Yolanda Adams -I Believe (2001)

The first song that comes to my head when thinking of songs to provide me with confidence is this. The song is probably most known for being in the ‘Honey’ soundtrack. I used to listen to the song on the way to school whenever I had exams to give me the confidence and belief I needed. The lyrics are very motivating;

But never mind the nights you had to cry
‘Cause you have never let it go inside
You worked real hard
And you know exactly what you want and need

The song encourages you to believe that you can achieve your dreams and focus on the possibilities rather than the negatives tearing you down. My favourite lines have to be;

So just believe they will come true in time
It will be fine
Leave all of your cares and stress behind
Just let it go
Let the music flow inside
Forget all your pain
And just start to believe

This song should 100% make you feel some kind of motivation and self belief.

Bashy – Black Boys (2009)

UK rapper Bashy is possibly loved by so many men due to the impact of this song. In the intro Bashy says ; “This is out to all the black boys growing up, yeah. There’s bare positive black boys around you making movements…making movements toward success“. This song is an ode specifically to Black Boys all around. In a world where they are the minority and sometimes persecuted due to their colour, this song lets them know they are not alone. The song touches on the successful Black Men in media and in life that are doing and where doing well. All those men could be considered role models to young black boys listening. This song is still relevant today in a society where Black boys are killing each-other in every part of the world, some black boys may be feeling de motivated but they must remember “Ooh child, things are gonna get easier…Ooh child things will get brighter”

Beyoncé and Walter Williams, Sr. (of The O’Jays), Walter Williams – He Still Loves Me (2003)

Religious music is always considered inspirational as it puts things into perspective while putting you at ease. This particular song is also from a movie called ‘The Fighting Temptations’ but the message should not be missed.

I used to wake up some days
And wish I’d stayed asleep
Cause I went to bed on top of the world
Today the worlds on top of me

There are times when you wake up stressed or de motivated, it happens to the best of us. It’s good to remember that regardless of what religion you are part of, there is a greater spirit out there that believes in you unconditionally. Beyonce sings “Stand for him or fall for anything”, so those who believe in God…I urge you to always pray to him not only for thanks but also when you are in doubt. You have to believe he will always have the answers because he does. The Lord still and will ALWAYS love you.

Biggie – Juicy (1994)

I don’t know anyone that knows Biggie that doesn’t know this song. This could be considered one of his most memorable songs of all time. Beyond the catchy chorus, the lyrics behind are quite inspirational. The intro of the song Biggie states

Yeah, this album is dedicated
To all the teachers that told me I’d never amount to nothin’
To all the people that lived above the buildings that I was hustlin’ in front of
Called the police on me when I was just tryin’ to make some money to feed my daughter (it’s all good)

Biggie explores the idea that many people did not believe in him but now he has shown them that he has made it. Throughout the song he raps about the difference between his previous life before he became succesful and now that he has. The song is a good reminder to anyone that you may not be the only person that feels like the world is against you. If anything, that should be used as motivation to prove everyone wrong. Throughout the song we can hear Total singing;

You know very well
Who you are
Don’t let ’em hold you down
Reach for the stars
You had a goal
But not that many
‘Cause you’re the only one
I’ll give you good and plenty

^^^^If anything that chorus should be resonating with you whenever you whenever you start to doubt yourself. The hook sounds like your conscience talking to you telling you you’ve got this!!

DJ Khaled – All I Do Is Win Ft. T-Pain, Snoop Dogg, Rick Ross & Ludacris (2010)

This is a more modern motivational song. This song is more of a song that when you listen to, you feel on top of the world and that you can do anything. Possibly when you’ve overcome your depression or doubts, this is the song for you. It’s all about winning in life. I just want to add that a win is relative, it could be something small from motivating yourself to get up if you’ve been feeling depressed or it could be something big like the fact you’ve saved up for your dream car. Celebrate every achievement in your life whether big or small. A win is a win and remember ALL WE DO IS WIN!!!.

T.I. – Big Shit Poppin (2001)

From the beginning of the song; “Hey, hey, what you waitin’ for?
Do it, do it, do it—what you waitin’ for?
“, you already know what T.I is going to say. This song may make you realise to just go for whatever you are stalling on! He even raps; “Don’t listen to them suckers when they say you too irrational” meaning ignore the haters and doubters. So whateve you’re delaying doing due to fear or doubt or overthinking? DO IT!

Dj Khaled Ft. Nipsey Hussle and John Legend – Higher (2019)

Another spiritual song here. I’ve previously mentioned what this song does to me but I could argue it can be looked at as an inspirational and motivational song. The song reiterates the belief that we will always rise above any obstacles that may come in our way. Heres a link to my article on the song in more depth; https://musicandlifeblog.com/2019/05/17/higher-by-dj-khaled-john-legend-the-late-great-nipsey-hussle-thoughts/

Meek Mill – Dreams & Nighmares Intro (2012)

This could be considered to be one of the most popular intros to an album of this generation. The song starts off slow when Meek says “I used to pray for times like this” as he talks about his past. The song then eventually builds up to Meek describing his success. The energy you get from this song is enough to get you out of your feet and ready to face the world!

Nipsey Hussle Ft YG – Last Time I Checc’d Ft YG (2018)

After Nipsey’s death I feel this song was one of the most common songs played around memorials for Nip. In this song, like his others, Nipsey spreads wisdom about the importance of self ownership. YG raps about the advice Nipsey gave him in the song “Fuck the middle man” meaning cut out all the extras and do thing yourself. The beat of the song is also very upbeat and I genuinely believe this is a song that will be played for many more years to come. Rest in peace Nipsey. All Money In!

Beyonce – Run The World (Girls) (2011)

This song is probably motivational for many women. I would say this is the perfect song to play when you are at work and feel possibly conscious of the fact that maybe you are being treated badly due to the fact there are few women. I would also say this song is perfect for mothers that need motivation to know how amazing they are. Women are amazing and conquer so much on a daily basis. Sometimes songs like this are great for reminding us our worth.

Why I think Stormzy headlining Glastonbury is a huge step forward for Black culture in the UK…

It’s crazy to think that in 2019, we are still saying “first black” but any progress is appreciated.

On the 15th of November 2018, it was announced that Stormzy would be headlining Glastonbury 2019. Glastonbury, being the largest greenfield festival in the WORLD attended by around 175,000 people meant that this was a huge deal. Fast forward to Friday 28th of June 2019 when Stormzy takes to the stage. Stormzy is the first Black British solo artist to headline Glastonbury in its 48 year reign. If that wasn’t enough of a record to break he is also at 25 years old, the second youngest solo act to ever headline Glastonbury, the youngest being a 24-year-old David Bowie in 1971. However, Stormzy is used to being the record breaker throughout his career. He was the first grime MC to have a debut album go number 1 in the UK charts and has since had 5 UK top 10s. At a time where a lot of genres of music including rap or grime are blamed for the violence in London, I am glad the Glastonbury organisers gave Stormzy the opportunity to shine.

His stardom may seem random and quick to some but he has definitely been putting in the work from very early on. As a big fan of Stormzy, I have watched him grow from the beginning when he was releasing his videos and unique freestyles on his YouTube channel, which has just recently surpassed 1 million subscribers! . On top of his music, Stormzy is a voice for the youth in regards to saying and speaking on things that are happening in our society. During the Grenfell Fire, he was one of the key people rightly criticizing the government’s approach to the disaster. Stormzy is never afraid to get political in his music or performances and that is something to be admired.

In addition, he has collaborated with Penguin and started a Publishing company called #Merky Books. #Merky Books publishes around two to three books a year and is an outlet for a generation of voices. He holds initiatives for young writers to win competitions and a paid internship. Most recently, they have released “Taking Up Space…The Black Girl’s manifesto for Change” written by Black Cambridge graduates Chelsea Kwakye and Ore Ogunbiyi. Stormzy mentions in his latest song ‘Crown’; “I done a scholarship for the kids, they said it’s racist, that’s not anti-white, it’s pro-black”. Stormzy is unapologetically black and is always finding a way to uplift and support his people despite the constant criticism. Stormzy also paved the way for a lot of Black British artists to see how possible it was to chart or to have commercial backing without having to feel the need to dilute themselves.

Knowing all this about Stormzy and having had the privilege of seeing him perform live at his sold out show in the past, I knew this Glastonbury performance was not going to disappoint and I wasn’t wrong. Filled with the most energy I have ever seen him have, his set consisted of his classic songs, a huge choir and backing singers, a very cute little girl with the sass to light up the world, dancers, bikers and so much more. One of my favourite parts of the performance was when Raleigh Ritchie came out and Stormzy had a little piece dedicated to the fact in the ballet world, black people no longer have to stain their shoes to have them in their skin colour as there are now shoes made for our skin colours.

We can’t forget the amazing duet with Chris Martin where they sang ‘Blinded By Your Grace Pt.1’ on the piano. Surely that iconic moment will go down in history. Stormzy always pays homage to those before him through his songs and this time was no different. He brought out two of the hottest young rappers in the UK at the moment, Fredo and Dave, who then performed their hit number 1 song “Funky Friday”. Stormzy later on gave a shout out to all the UK rappers before him and coming up after him. I think the key to the success of Stormzy besides his hard work is the fact he always remembers those before him and those after him. Despite his huge success and despite his co signs from living legends like Jay Z or Ed Sheeran, he never lets that overwhelm him.

Stormzy demonstrates to young black people that you can be yourself and still have people respect you. His confidence is a major lesson that we no longer have to keep quiet and hide away our talent in order to “fit in” or “not stand out”. It is great to see young Black kids growing up with artists like Stormzy doing so well in order to show them anything is possible. We should be at the stage in society where your skin colour should not be holding you back. His message has always been the same and he always gives glory to God. How on earth can you dislike someone like him? To me and to so many others, Stormzy is the chosen one. We are forever thankful that someone like him is representing the young black people. May his success forever reign and we will forever thank him for kicking down the doors for the ones after him.

#NewMusicFriday Kintsugi EP by Lexi Tréble!

#NewMusicFriday is here and todays post is dedicated to the debut EP from Lexi Tréble!!

I had the privilege of hearing the EP a few days ago and honestly, hand on heart I have been playing it ever since. Having spoken to Lexi, it is clear her musical influences definitely come from artists such as Solange Knowles, IAMDDB, Lauryn Hill and many more soul/jazz/r&b artists. The EP title “Kintsugi” is Japanese and is the art of repairing broken pottery with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum. According to Lexi this is relevant as for her she believes it relates to life and the idea of growing and healing with situations in life. The Japanese theme is also reflected within the artwork and visuals she has released. From this I knew this EP was going to be a meaningful piece of art.

The first track “Crash and Burn” is a brilliant opening track. I always talk about the importance of intro tracks on projects as it’s the first chance for the artist to show us who they are. As soon as the track starts and Lexi sings, I can tell this is going to be an interesting track. The juxtapositioning of the anticipation provided by the background music and the title of the track for me is perfect. She is singing about crashing and burning which indicates it is the end of something, but the music makes it feel like more is to come. I feel this song will be perfect in a movie or tv show where there is something about to happen, maybe a chase scene. A great intro track as it leaves you wanting more and wondering what other sound can be produced!

The next track “Go” starts off with a slower pace but picks up throughout. It’s funny because I feel Lexi’s voice is quite unique which is rare nowadays. This song is the kind that would sound even more amazing with a live band! The vocal ranges she exhibits in this song is the standout moment for me. I get the impression that she is telling the romantic interest that he should leave because of his actions and she is realising all she has is herself. The content reminds me of Beyoncé’s “Me, Myself and I” with the idea that you can only really rely on yourself. The uncertainty continues into the track “Distant Memories” as she sings “I find myself questioning love…you called me your muse but now I’m just your fool”. This is one of my favourite tracks from the EP as I feel the combination of the beats and Lexi’s voice have the best combination. The uncertainty continues into the track “Distant Memories” as she sings “I find myself questioning love…you called me your muse but now I’m just your fool”. This is one of my favourite tracks from the EP as I feel the combination of the beats and Lexi’s voice have the best combination.

The 4th track from the EP “Superficial” is my absolute favourite. The content/message, sound, compositing is just perfect. Again, this is another song that would be perfect live with an audience singing back. This song is the kind of song I would play for my little cousins in order for them to take the messages being put across. This is an important song in a society where most people are superficial and distracted by unmeaningful things. Lexi sings “Don’t be so superficial, there’s more to life…when you go outside live life to your fullest, don’t need no designer to feel alright”. Lexi reminds us that life is about the simple things and not the artificial moments. Sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the idea of maintaining an image or impressing others but we have to remember life is for living. There is more to life than designer labels, Instagram likes or chasing boys or girls. This will be the first single released from the tape too so I look forward to seeing the video for this!

Love Me Right” is a powerful self-loving anthem. Lexi sings “I’ve got to love me right” meaning that love starts from within before anything else. Going with the theme of the EP, the end of EP focusses on the regeneration of Lexi. In the song she sings “I know that real love has got to start with me”;

We have seen how she was broken in the beginning and how through the journey of healing she is realising what is important and is putting herself back together. The final track “Look At Me Now” is the perfect ending to the EP as Lexi reflects at how far she has come “Look at me now, I’m not the same little child…oh how I’ve changed”. A self-reflecting therapeutic song where we see how much Lexi has grown and how she now sees the bad moments as lessons.

As the first realised EP from Lexi, this is pretty impressive. The EP stuck to theme and took us listeners on a journey through every song. Every song had its own meaning and back story while still keeping a unique sound to each. I have personally added every song to my ‘Vibes’ Spotify playlist and I hope this is the beginning of more music from Lexi.

Check out her music below as well as her socials;

https://www.instagram.com/lexitreble/

hyperurl.co/d9frh5