STM Reviews: J Israel – Be Grateful (Give Thanks)

Set for release on 25/11/21, ‘Be Grateful (Give Thanks)’ is also set to become the new go-to Christmas song that families across the world will be yearning to play.

The soul, characterised by its weighty beat and confident vocals, that comes across in ‘The Real J Israel’s upcoming festive single, adds a rich depth of flavour to the memories that have been drawn in the name of jubilant remembrance. He incorporates messages of gratefulness, and the fact life is hard for all of us and that we should be proud for our perseverance.

Juxtaposing this seemingly negative strife with something as wholly heart-warming as the comfort you get from family, and building on this through the already lightened spirit of Christmas, is only complimentary of his illustriousness and skill.

When listening, one feels intensely moved as a result of the gospel undertones. The beats that remain consistent during the whole song attributes to the consistency in the joy that being grateful will bring you, and the notion then of these beats mimicking the gospel sway and clap just makes you fall into the music and transcend yourself into joining in with that community spirit.

Family is clearly of high importance to ‘The Real J Israel’ and he makes admirable use of the passion and soul within this and evolves it into the compelling yet humble sound of his music. His history of gospel choirs and the church only enhance these notions, yet even as an atheistic listener you still feel embraced and loved through his words given the positioning this song has as a beautifully curated R&B ballad to life. Everyone has experienced life, so everyone can attune themselves to this touching tune.

‘The Real J Israel’s’ modern production combined with traditional instrumentation reflects on how deep-rooted the emotions of the song are, yet how we also need to look to the future and be grateful that we have another day to be grateful for all the love in our lives. His thoughtful style and clever curation make the prospect of new music from him all the more exciting.

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Words by Cecelia Koç

The Ex Convict, Ang Low, embraces his musical prowess with the release of new single “If I Slipped”

Against all the odds, the Brooklyn based singer-songwriter and producer has manufactured an exceptional R&B track by blending momentous topics such as religion and romance with compelling drum beats and synth riffs. Low’s soothing vocal melody throughout this exhilarating single further transcends his musical genius and hones in on the emotional turmoil of making regretful decisions.

Low’s road to this musical greatness has been far from a quiet ride. Low has served a substantial amount of time in jail and suffered hugely from depression during the cold, lonely nights in a prison cell. But Low has been able to use his first-hand account of this traumatic experience into a positive musical outlet. Low says:

“I just wrote songs in my cell every day. I had no clue where to go from there. But the music just kept me sane, writing kept me focused and going. Eventually this mentality just blossomed into an artist.”– Ang Low

Make sure you keep your eyes firmly fixated on Ang Low’s SoundCloud account around mid-late July 2021, as this is when “If I Slipped” will finally be released. This single to me feels like it has been divulged by a seasoned musician with decades of experience, whereas Low has only been on the scene for a number of years. He is an up and coming artist you will not want to miss!

Check out Ang Low here:

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Words by Aidan Whelband

Soul & Funk legends Crack of Dawn team up with Soul diva Melba Moore to release stunning new single ‘Tiempo’

With over forty years of funk under their belt, Canadian soul powerhouses Crack of Dawn are veterans on the scene.

The titans of Soul have teamed up with the incredible Melba Moore to bring us brand new single Tiempo.

The female flair which Melba Moore adds to Tiempo elevates the tune to a whole new realm. Filled with emotion and pain, Tiempo is a stunning single from this dream team.

Soul diva Melba Moore is a four time Grammy® nominee and winner of the 1970 Tony Award®, for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical, for her performance as Lutiebelle in Purlie.

Both a musical and Broadway legend Melba Moore lends her incredible vocal abilities and funky flair to Tiempo. With a massive eleven top ten US hits, Melba Moore is one of Pop music’s most enduring talents.

Crack of Dawn are legends in their own right. The Canadian powerhouses became the first ever Black Canadian band to sign with a major label, having joined Columbia in 1975.

After a period apart, Crack of Dawn reunited for a concert at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre in 2012. The group began working on a new album shortly after; with a lineup of old and new, the soulful legends were back and better than ever.

Tiempo, translating as ‘time’ in Spanish, is a grooving Soul track written by Dennis Nieves and Michael Dunston. Tiempo tells the tale of two lovers needing time to find themselves again after a tumultuous split. A soulful and emotive single, combining some of the best talents in the Soul & Funk genres, this track is truly unstoppable.

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Written By: Jessica Rowe

Ruth Brosnan’s ‘Toodle-oo’ is the summer power anthem we’ve been waiting for

Cork based singer-songwriter Ruth Brosnan has released her catchy summer single Toodle-oo and it’s truly addictive.

The vibrant track is another brilliant display of Ruth’s infectious character and wicked sense of humour.

With an ultra-catchy chorus, flawless production and some witty lyricism the track really is a feel good, summer vibe we’ve been silently praying for.

Watch the colourful and bright Toodle-oo video below-

The Toodle-oo visuals are energetic and fun, featuring an amazing choreographed dance piece that perfectly showcases Ruth’s quirky style and personality.

Toodle-oo is a follow up single from Ruth’s previous track Good Enough. A powerful and emotive ballad that showed Ruth Brosnan’s more vulnerable side.

Moving and heartwarming, single Good Enough soon made waves for the talented artist amassing thousands of streams on Spotify and Youtube and obtaining great exposure on radio stations and popular music blogs.

IndulgeMe made the song their ‘Track of the week’; and Pure Magazine had her at number one on their Spotlight Chart.

Good Enough came from a very personal place for Ruth Brosnan, she explains-

“I wrote this song from my own life experience. I lost my mother to suicide in 2010 when I was fourteen years of age.

In Ireland and many other countries there has been an increase in suicide rates with worrying increases among younger people. Mental health and wellness are really important and I want to increase awareness”.

Toodle-oo shows us a brighter side to the incredible Ruth Brosnan, demonstrating her diverse songwriting talent and ability to make us laugh and smile with her feel good music.

Listen to Toodle-oo now, out on all streaming platforms.

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Written By: Jessica Rowe

Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s WAP is a record breaker

Original Article

Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion‘s collaboration ‘WAP’ has broken the US record for the most first-week streams for a song.

The track was confirmed as being the new US number one on the Hot 100 by Billboard yesterday (August 17), earning Cardi her fourth US number one single and Megan her second.

‘WAP’ drew 93 million US streams in the week ending August 13, according to Nielsen Music/MRC Data — the most for any track ever in its first week of release, surpassing Ariana Grande’s 85.3 million first-week streams for ‘7 Rings’ that she amassed back in February 2019.

Cardi and Megan’s collaboration is also the fourth Hot 100 number one in 2020 to be credited to two or more women (and no other billed acts), joining Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande’s ‘Rain On Me’, Megan Thee Stallion’s ‘Savage’ featuring Beyoncé and Doja Cat‘s ‘Say So’ featuring Nicki Minaj.

WAP has been a controversial single to say the least, yet Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion have proven its commercial viability despite the explicit nature of the song. Here’s to more number ones for powerful female duos.

Reported By: Jessica Rowe

Rising star JayQ The Legend smashes through the charts

British Virgin Isles born and bred JayQ the Legend has smashed through the charts this week to snag the number 2 spot, leaving the big stars playing catch up to his recently released summer anthem ‘Amazing Girl’. 

Amazing Girl is a feel good single that’s been making waves for Afro-Pop star JayQ The Legend. The track has been an instant success, slowly climbing through the competitive charts to put JayQ in one of the top spots. He comments-

“I hoped this song would catch quickly”, says JayQ The Legend “it is time we celebrate and respect women, and show them how truly amazing they are!”

Listen to Amazing Girl now to soak up the last of the summer glory.

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Rising star Kelsey Coleman says Thank You for immense UK support

Following the huge success of her debut single Nobody, Kelsey Coleman gives a warm ‘thank you’ to her UK audience in a touching video tribute.

Nobody made waves for the young pop talent across the globe but found a special place in the hearts of the UK music audience.

As a thank you for the continued support Kelsey Coleman has released a dreamy cover of Warren Zevon’s Keep Me In Your Heart. Heartfelt, emotive and pure Kelsey explains the sentiment behind the video- 

“In the world today with what’s occurring and with all the conflict and anger, Keep Me in Your Heart is a message about peace and love, which I think we all need more of. I wanted to spread positivity and light to people and hopefully give people something to smile about. This is also a thank you to all the fans and supporters of my music and career so far. Thank you so much everyone and I hope you enjoy my cover!”

Nobody was an uplifting debut single we all needed, an ambient track featuring Kelsey’s dreamy vocals and authentic lyrical style.

Kelsey Coleman is a genuine talent, a delicate musician and a vivid story teller. An artist that brings innovation to the Pop genre and whose future is set to shine brightly. 

Debut single Nobody has already clocked up over 200,000 Spotify streams to date and even received a feature on prominent youtube channel The Vibe Guide. But Kelsey is not stopping there. With a new single due in October of 2020 Kelsey Coleman has endless talent to share with the world. 

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Written By: Jessica Rowe

Théa Marie Marie set to tug at our heartstrings with stunning debut album

London based singer-songwriter Théa Marie sets her sights on greatness with the forthcoming release of debut album Then.

Théa Marie is a Franco-American talent, combining the sounds of her multinational background and upbringing into an unstoppable indie-pop blend we guarantee you haven’t heard yet. 

Born and raised in Cannes France before studying in New York and eventually settling in London, Théa Marie is undeniably a well travelled talent. This diverse life experience and influence is what gives Thèa’s sound an authentic and rare tone. 

Then is an 8-track project composed of soulful indie-pop tracks infused with Thèa’s original sense of flair and style. The album’s lead single Start Of Us is a catchy, infectious indie single that is sure to propel Thea to the next level of stardom. 

Thèa labels her musical direction as Retro-Soul, with project Then centred around the theme of nostalgia. Thea explains- 

“It’s all about being reluctant to grow up because childhood memories are so appealing and simple. Every song relates to a memory or emotions that have led me to feel bitter about growing up and being nostalgic for those more innocent times. For example, Sleepy Summer is about not wanting summer to end and dreading to have to go back to work; Don’t Walk Away was inspired by a dream where I was telling my younger self not to abandon me; Times of My Life is about pleading to bring back the simplicity of my childhood to my present. Most of the songs were written and inspired by my shift to becoming independent”.

Théa Marie oozes quality and authenticity, a true talent and an exciting future female star in the indie pop genre.

Debut album Then has the rare power to take us back, reminiscent and powerful this project is not to be missed. Then is set for release on 28th August, get excited and get ready.

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Written By: Jessica Rowe

Tribute for the late Mac Miller in the works

Original Article

Mac Miller’s team are working on a tribute to the late rapper. The project asks fans to offer their “stories, thoughts and wishes”.

Mac Miller’s team are working on a new tribute project to celebrate the late rapper’s life and music.

The announcement, made overnight on Warner’s Twitter account, asked fans to offer their “stories, thoughts and wishes” by calling a toll-free number which had been set up specifically for the project. It included a website address, where fans must register to gain access to the number and leave their tributes.

Earlier this year, Warner released Miller’s posthumous album ‘Circles’, his sixth body of work. Miller had been working on the album before he died from an accidental drug overdose in September 2018, aged 26.

The passing of Mac Miller in 2018 affected many fans far and wide. I can only imagine the huge outpour of contributions towards this project for such a loved and talented figure in the industry. 

Reported By: Jessica Rowe

A voice that needs to be heard, Israel Nkeki’s prepares us for his debut single ‘Moonlight’.

Israel Nkeki is set to release his powerful and emotive debut single ‘Moonlight’ on 20th June. The soulful track is poetic, using hard hitting lyricism that depicts Israel’s real life experiences.

Israel Nkeki’s upbringing, to put it simply, was one of a kind. A childhood spent in the gospel choirs of Benin City (Nigeria), but marred by family conflict and constant fighting. As a result a young Israel emigrated to New Cross (London), a lost teenager who found himself spiralling into a life on the streets and eventually prison. Fortunately Israel turned his life around, served his sentence and put his pain into the pursuit of a music career.

With life experience worthy of 100 films Israel Nkeki’s music depicts a rich tapestry that tells his life story. His tracks are soulful, emotive and poetic with hard hitting lyrics that tell it how it really is. His debut single ‘Moonlight’, due for release on 20th June, tells of how our split second decisions can have a profound impact on those around you.

‘Moonlight’ is a contemporary R&B track is full of feeling and soul, we can’t wait for the world to hear it on 20th June.

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