From Change EP
Syria isn't known for RnB music, in fact Mai Khalil hadn't even heard of it until she moved to London and a mysterious CD was left on the street where she lived. The RnB Edition of Smooth Grooves may have just been one of those mix-up albums that home-school DJs love, but for Mai it was a gateway into something much more. Finding her soul reflected in the music, with its iconography and subject matter, it wasn't long before Mai. K had found her calling in life. Recording an album was a breeze, with great talent behind her, Reflections became a project of all projects. Then, Mai felt accomplished and decided to settle down and start a family. Why not? But hold on a minute, her skills on the microphone deserved to be made public and it wasn't until she met Rob Saunders from Deuce Music that she had somewhere to turn. Deciding to take Mai. K under his wing, Rob Saunders re-marketed the album into 3 splendid introductory EPs. Mai. K's Soften is the second single from the first EP, Change, which is out now. It's received timeless reviews like this one already, plus attracted the BBC who put her on the radio in London.
A harpsichord style instrument plucks twangy chords in a slow groove and Mai. K begins to sing. She is reminding us that we're all people inside and the pain we hold within isn't meant for others. It wasn't meant for us either so we are better off letting things go. Mai. K asks us to take it easy, not be so harsh and cold, and to treat her like the fragile soul we all hide within us. Melody on two instruments gives a harmonious river of sound that grants effervescent buoyancy to Mai. K's spectacular vocal range. Soften by Mai. K is a swimming journey through clever composition and true to life feelings.
Visit Mai. K on her website
And follow her on Facebook
Like many of us, Sophie Griffiths enjoyed singing to herself in the bathroom when she was growing up. Unlike most of us, Sophie's voice was top-notch. When an attentive music teacher noticed her talent, Sophie was given a key role in a school performance. This sealed the deal for her, and a career in performance and song was not only on the cards, it was also a logical choice. Taking her talent to the streets of her home in Essex quickly found attention from a Love Island star, who showed off Sophie to her Instagram following. Since then, Sophie Griffiths' fan-base has grown exponentially, and her talent has been the driving force.
A joyous piano melody spells an easy going tune, then Sophie Griffiths adds an element of soul with her lyrics. Beautiful imagery about emotional connection and communication of feelings asks us if we can show the same level of warmth. Battling with the thought of non-shared feelings and the implications of that, it reminds us that people don't think or feel like we do no matter how much we think we are right. What's right for one person is not necessarily the same for another, and the song Numb puts this across in a romantic yet mature manner. It is sad, and it's moving, however there's a happy energy to it that just seems to radiate from Sophie Griffiths' personality.
Listen to the song Numb by Sophie Griffiths on YouTube
Catch up with Sophie Griffiths on Facebook
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Make That Move (Feat. Ruby Shay)
An Australian citizen and originally from Nigeria, Ray Ramon has been busy winning awards for his Michael Jackson inspired dance music. By mixing down the lean from the 80s dance scene with a spicy dose of modern clarity, Ray Ramon has engineered an energetic and accessible niche for himself in very little time. It's amazing to think that Ray Ramon has won major awards in categories such as Gospel, Christian Music Production, R&B, and Indie Music! Does his talent reach any further? Does anybody's? We can only assume it will with this re-release of Make That Move, a single that's already done well at home.
It begins with a cymbal ride that breaks open the music like a well wrapped present. Funky chords roll in on open top wheels of quick stepping groove. Ray Ramon starts singing, he invites us to go dancing. He wants us to go ahead and have a good time! Ruby Shay adds her tones to the mix, she brings her own verse lines that compliment Ray Ramon as he shifts his composition to ever more catchy lines. Repeating chorus words and a progression of pressure that keeps the energy rising makes this an instant dance-floor hit. It's fun, upbeat, and easy on the ear.
Find out more about Ray Ramon online
And follow Ray Ramon on Facebook
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Feels Like Home
Arizona based Jim Pipkin returns to Alternative Fruit with his fresh Amerciana sound. This time he brings with him Feels Like Home, a song released recently and enjoying lots of radio play around the world. His first taste of the stage was in 1974 with the Union Grove Fiddlers Convention. That must have been a great evening, full of folk sounds and lively banter. Imagine no smartphones to record the performances, no cameras waving in the air, perhaps one or two journalists had an old fashioned lightbulb affair at the time? Since then, Jim Pipkin has written music and performed with many big names in the pop and folk scene. Recently, he played the 34th Annual Tucson Folk Festival which would have been a brilliant occasion.
The song begins with a steel guitar melody. Chords are plucked in jumpy phrases, the progression builds a smooth and shifting landscape of tone. Jim Pipkin begins to sing, his homely American accent combines with the flowing guitar to tell a moving story about travel and the school of life. Drawing the scene for us, various angles of life in the world where we find people of all kinds. Jim Pipkin tips his hat to all of it, and shows us that he cares, then reminds us that his one true love is where he is from.
Get in touch with Jim Pipkin on Facebook
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Damn It All
London based folk-rocker John Dartnell takes to the stage once more with a brand new single. Damn It All is a song taken from the forthcoming new album, expected later this year. Having toured the UK and the USA on the back of several albums already, John Dartnell has an established fan-base of good taste around the globe. With a new song like Damn It All, it only makes sense that this crowd of Dartnell darlings will grow in number. Writing and singing his way into the music halls of city after city, this trooper of talent just keeps going.
Opening on a cool bluesy country guitar lick, the rhythm backs up a slinky steel string melody. The music fades to let him sing, John Dartnell starts the story of one time when he was with you. The fond memories take us on the same journey he had one time, such a journey that made a lasting impression on his spirit. An acoustic guitar strums a chord progression with picked notes to emphasise certain phrases. The chorus breaks in and reminds us of heartache, when we can't be with the person who made us feel so happy. Is it just for the moment, or is it for the rest of time? I think it's not quite certain, and that's maybe the hardest bit of all. This is one of the most moving songs I've heard in a while.
Find more about John Dartnell on his website
Then follow him on Facebook
Tears Of Happiness
Close To You
Bedford based and electronically wired, Tears Of Happiness were named after the feeling people get when listening to their music. This duo of musical maestros have been honing their skills and perfecting the live event to the point where a popular sports brand have endorsed their new song. Close To You wraps up the whole sandwich and gives their sound a brand new fortification in the realms of musicality. Like a star in the pavement, this track is bound to stick around. Comprised of Me'da and LCamz, this sonic collaboration just keeps rising.
It starts with a trance inspired rhythmic melody. Lyrics curl over the rocks like gusts of ocean breeze. A sunny feeling shines from the sound. Uplifting and harmonious, this electro-pop song catches the ear straight away. Drums build and crash in as the music shimmers down for a brief moment. The song breaks in once more, chorus lines about wanting to feel close to someone help us find the words to explain our emotions. This fusion between dance music and a love song touches base on both levels, making it doubly as effective.
Why not follow Tears Of Happiness on Facebook
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This Is Us
East London singer-songwriter Oliver New reports back for duty after an amazing adventure. Performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival followed by 31 dates around the big smoke back home, where he visited all the open mic nights going, leads up to this brand new single. This Is Us makes use of all the energy gathered so far on his journey, finding his wings and leaping around the country brought with it many angles and feelings. Having worked hard to raise money for the charity Beam, which works to empower homeless people with opportunity and knowledge, it's clear Oliver New cares a lot about people and making them feel part of the whole. Naturally, his shows reflect this and with his easy going and audience friendly attitude, he always goes down well.
With a plucked chord guitar structure, Oliver New begins the music with a catchy rhythmic tune. His voice sprinkles the notes with great clarity. He leaps like a gazelle from pitch to tone with expert positioning, the drums kick in and synthesiser melody compliments the guitar. Wistful and questioning lyrics wonder what if and how come, acceptance of the one's own path and choices plus the actions of others which affected you comes with time. Understanding the non-personal nature of the universe involves people too. It does feel like a sad song, however it could be perceived differently.
Listen to This Is Us by Oliver New on Soundcloud
Visit Oliver New on Facebook
Part of the Homunculus Media Group. Written and edited by Rowan Blair Colver. Thanks for reading!
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