Aside from being an incredibly talented musician, she managed to recover from a devastating brain hemorrhage two years ago. After losing vision and some of her memories, she had to relearn basic things we take for granted like how to walk, read and write. Within a year of hard work and rehabilitation,she was back to being able to play the piano well again.
She recently recorded a new album, “The Captain.” The title track contains uplifting melodies with oceanic ambiance in the background. Though there are no lyrics, the song manages to evoke positive and optimistic emotions. In contrast, her song “Life,” which is just as terrific, harbors a more somber and varied tone. “I’m in love with…” is another gem that builds to a somewhat epic climax. It’s tough for me to say which of the songs I like the best, as they all kind of represent different moods and experiences. Musically they are top quality. I could envision these songs being used as part of a soundtrack to the emotional scenes of a film. Naro has achieved great things musically with this album, quickly making you forget what she had to go through to create it.
Young rapper “Jazz” from Texas has a jam out called summer. The backing has kind of an early 90′s feel to it, which matches the aesthetic of the cover. The beats seem to transition back and forth from tribal to modern throughout the song. Jazz has a very laid back style of spoken word delivery, that’s very easy to listen to. I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys mellow summertime hip hop songs.
California group Africali’s “You Don’t Love Him Quite Like You Love Me” has a pleasant 1970′s folk aesthetic. The percussion elements and musical backing contribute to creating a really authentic ambiance. I would love to hear how this sounds on vinyl. It would make an excellent track to relax to on a summer afternoon. You can listen to it here on Soundcloud.
Valley Joe, a rapper from Vallejo, CA has a new single out called, “If I Got Rich.” Like the title suggests, the lyrics mostly about what he would do with the money in the event he accumulated a lot of it. The production is good, and the eerie backing is well chosen. Valley Joe has an assertive style and tone to his delivery, which gets the point across clearly and plainly to the listener. I recommend you check out his music if you are into contemporary West Coast hip hop / NorCal style.
Hailing from Greensboro, NC, Jerrel Moore has a new mixtape out, titled, “Dear Nas.” It seems to be somewhat personal and autobiographical as the songs attempt to convey various aspects of his personality, experiences and outlook to his son(the first sample is one of a baby crying) He has a mellow, echoey kind of delivery style. The production and sample integration seems to fit well. The lyrics are more personal than you would expect from this kind of recording but often interesting and unpredictable. You can check out Jerrel Moore’s mixtape here:
Jreasn, an artist from Buffalo, NY has a new single out titled, “That Way.” Jreasn seems like you’re average rapper at first, but what’s especially impressive about his music is how he manages to avoid falling back on hip hop stereotypes and cliches and is able to create something genuinely new. “That Way” has an artistic musical quality to it which explores the feelings of a woman hurt by the past. The song flows smoothly and has character. It steers clear of the smug aggression and superficialities which are so common in other indie hip hop. Give Jreasn’s music a listen here.
Rich Newly is a rapper from Fontana, CA. His songs have kind of a mellow classic 90′s California style. The beats and samples bring to minds old school analog stuff like Tribe Called Quest. Rich’s song with the best aesthetic in my opinion is probably “Run It.” It’s catchy. The flow is smooth, and the jam has a killer intro.
David Serero has performed in concerts all over the world, as well as appeared in over 100 films, film tv shows and film shorts. He is known for being the youngest French opera singer to debut in the U.S. when he was 26. A French actor and musician with impressive musical and theater resume, he recently released a new album in December titled, “All My Love is For You.”
His background in musical theater and shows is evident in his songs, which are an eclectic mix of Broadway, World Music, Jazz, and Adult Contemporary pop. You can almost feel the stage presence through the music, with Serero’s larger than life vocals at the helm. It all has kind of Tom Jones quality to it. Even reminiscent of big band styled Sinatra(with a slight French accent.) In fact, I could easily picture Serero being a resident performer and one of the popular hotel casinos in Vegas. Considering he has already performed in more than 800 concerts and venues around the world, it may have already happened.
The songs are romantic and all about love, but even the “unrequited” ones don’t come across as overly melancholy or depressing. My favorite track on the album is the title track, “All My Love is For You,” as it’s a little more epic and up tempo than some of the slower, more brooding songs.
Serero draws from a wealth of experience and manages to create an adult contemporary, pop rock album that shines. A dedicated performer, I have no doubt that his career will continue to grow.
What if you took 90′s style pop punk vocals and attitude and combined them with modern EDM grooves? That’s kind of the vibe I get when listening to Belle Vex’s latest album, “15 Minutes of Fame.” His singing takes on a rebellious tone and the cadence is reminiscent of punk genres. That’s somewhat unique for EDM, which is more known for abstract, and vague “niceness.” Despite the attitude the pace of the music is energetic and upbeat.
The production quality on Vex’s songs is as good or better than anything on the radio. This makes sense given that several of his tracks have charted nationally. Especially refreshing is what a great singer Vex is. Most modern song vocals are heavily processed and autotuned to the point of drowning out anything organic from the sound. Belle’s voice on these recordings has only subtle and minimal effects.
Belle was born in New Bedford, MA and learned to play the cello as a child. His musical talent is evident in his music as an adult. Give him a listen for yourself.
Sometimes, an artist deserves a few points just for having a clever name alone. That’s kind of how I feel about rapper “Montey Kaloh.” His new single “My Wings” is pretty catchy though in it’s own right. “You can have anything, but you cannot have my wings” is repeated enough times, that it’s sure to stick with you after the song. My favorite portion though was the synthy intro, which had a late 70′s early 80′s electronic, sci-fi vibe. It was a good choice to start the jam. Take a gamble and give Montey Kaloh a listen.