There are some of us dedicated to rummaging the inner regions of the web in search of that good alternative urban music and serving it directly to music lovers. This initiative is what we call "The Slice" at EARMILK. Every fortnight we share with you 10 or more ear-grabbing songs from genres ranging from hip-hop, grime, soul, afrobeat-pop and dancehall. So let us do the digging for you while you sit back, relax to some brilliantly crafted music from around the globe.
Rho – "Black Dress"
This week's Slice kicks off with "Black Dress", a gripping song from Nigeria, Lagos-based R&B artist who goes by the Greek-inspired moniker Rho. The song in question is a tale of an abusive relationship that ends violently. Rho details the circumstances of a young woman caught up in the mix as she decides to permanently end her abuser. Although the song is essentially an R&B cut, it also has a Reggae tinged vibe resulting in a stunning fusion of sound. Rho holds her own with an enthralling vocal performance but more importantly her decision to tackle this very delicate issue.
Justene – "GLOW"
The emerging UK act Justene turns the ante up with a sassy tune titled "Glow". The track is a vibrant jam that showcases the artist's expressive and confident style while being true to her self. She knows her worth and finds strength from within on the vibrant track while knocking the time-wasters to the sidelines. "Glow" is the feisty follow up to her female empowerment anthem "Queenin"
Jerome Thomas -"Bruises"
As he prepares the release of his new EP Mood Swings, London singer-songwriter Jerome Thomas delivers a soul-gripping taste in the form of the single " Bruises". the video is the work of director Dumas Haddad, and finds Jerome playing the protagonist in an awe-inspiring depiction of the metaphorical pain that can be suffered during a relationship.
Jak Lizard -"Can I Stay"
Jak Lizard brings new life to old-school styles on his latest track "Can I Stay". The song has a vintage 50s feel to it and as he mentioned, is dedicated not only to a person but to an entire environment and vibe they created for him to be inspired to write the song on the spot. The style he employs here is a mix of Doo Wop, Hip Hop, R&B, and Soul. That seems like a lot of sounds to try and blend together, but he did it here perfectly and the final product is an infectious jam that needs to be turned up. " Can I Stay" is taken from Jak's debut EP "Shine to Rise", which is exec produced by GRAMMY-winners Brasstracks.
Santi – "Rapid Fire"
Santi's international single, "Rapid Fire" which teamed him with South African rapper Shane Eagle and Ghanaian singer AMAARAE just got the visual treatment. Produced by longtime collaborator and one-quarter of Santi’s tight-knit Monster Boys crew, Genio, the single showcases the different styles of the trio. From Santi's 90s tinged Reggae vibes, Eagle's confident flow, and AMAARAE's airy vocal style. The self-directed visual brings the song's theme to life expressing youthful exuberance, freedom and all the emotions that come in between. It was shot in South Africa and Nigeria and centers around a gang called ‘The Lost Boys’, and the exact aim of the video was to show freedom from a group of people who were necessarily never understood by society but continued on their quest to find themselves while enjoying and grasping the ups and downs of life”.
Black Lion Ft. Janel Sherise – "Miles Away"
The Toronto collective Black Lion help take it back to that good old days with the soul-tinged, boom-bap single titled "Miles Away". Made up of blood brothers Rich Lindo and JR ‘Heny’ Lindo, the collective share their personal experience and struggles over a gloomy soundscape while emerging singer Janel Sherise solidify the sentiments with her angelic vocals. Although Rich Lindo is the collective’s Music Producer, "Miles Away" was produced by Tone Mason.
J Appiah – "Wash"
J Appiah knows one or two things about personal pain and shares with us the deepest secrets on his new single "Wash". Over a surreal and sparse soundscape, the UK-based singer shares his poersonal journey of coming to terms with the loss of a father he never knew and a bittersweet meditation on the ‘what-ifs’ in life with heart-stopping realness. He doesn't hold back the punches and delivers each bar with true passion and fiery conviction that will make the listener stop and think for a minute or two.
Ámani – "medication"
Tiyonna Amani Stewart professionally known as Ámani shows up on the list with the Dem Jointz produced cut titled "Medication". Far from a cry for help, the song is about falling deeply and freely in love, so deep that it's the only thing sustaining her. The single shows the new path she is following since her introduction to the industry through a now-defunct girl group founded by Zelma Davis of C&C Music Factory. Ámani took the high road and put the pedal to the metal leading her to where she is now. Make sure to keep a watchful eye on this artist as she is currently working on her debut EP.
Alvin Allure & Jasmine Jordan – "FALLING"
Record producer Alvin Allure taps the vocal talents of singer Jasmine Jordan for their collaboration project titled "Falling". The record is dripping in pure R&B and laced with lush textures and love-laden melodies. Jasmine Jordan's sultry vocals sure hit the bullseye on this one and makes "Falling" both a great break up to make up song.
"Falling" is a tip of the iceberg for Alvin Allure who plans on dropping a project entitled 'Kids With Dreams'. A project made up of songs he made with new talented artists that inspire him.
Professor Green – "Photographs"
U.K's Professor Green just released the visual for his new single "Photographs" featuring Rag’n’Bone Man. The song is a solemn cut that reflects on childhood memories through pictures and the emotions surrounding them. For the visuals, he called on his fans to share photographs of loved ones they had lost and the stories behind these photographs. The response was overwhelming and some of those fans who shared their photographs and stories, (Yvette, Fiona, Meg), feature in the Simon Emmett directed music video alongside Professor Green, Rag‘n’Bone Man and Green’s grandmother, Nanny Pat.
This is an absolute heartwarmer and will warm the heart in these winter months.
rum·gold – "Get Through" (prod. James Chatburn).
Emerging singer Rum•gold helps wrap up this list with his silky vocals on his new single "Get Through". The artist talks about growth and self-realization from a unique perspective of understanding that contradiction is natural and if allowed can be incredibly freeing. The slow jam exudes a blend of classic and modern R&B styles with its alluring acoustic sounds and atmospheric textures provided by singer/producer James Chatburn. A brilliant jam if I do say so myself and it's taken from his upcoming debut yaRn which I can't wait to hear.
If you dug what you heard, you can revisit our previous episodes of "The Slice" here.