Monday, 2 December 2013

Caught Live: BLESSED SOULS - 24th November 2013 review

Blessed Souls is one of London’s best live music showcases for home grown talent with a soulful flavour. Now in it’s 6th year, the event returned last week with yet another great line up.

The night treats it’s audience like extended family, celebrating birthdays of guests and offering speakers the opportunity spread the word about charitable & fund raising causes.

The music began with host and vocalist ADELAIDE MACKENZIE getting things underway by introducing and performing with resident house musicians, The Mac Band.

First up on stage was SOPHIA BEN-YOUSEF. Billed as the night’s ‘One Too Watch’, the stunning 17 year old had traveled down from her home in Liverpool especially to appear on the night. Performing two of her own compositions ‘Carry On’ & ‘I’ll Be True’, the singer/songwriter & multi-instrumentalist displayed a talent and maturity beyond her years as belted out the tracks and also played keys beautifully.

Following on from Sophia was another young star in the making. LAWRENCE ROWE has already achieved much in his first (almost) 21 years. The Brit School graduate is not only a vocalist with one of the UK’s best know ensembles, the London Community Gospel Choir and has appeared at the National Theatre, but also writes and performs as a solo artist in his own right. Showcasing self penned material, including some taken from his forthcoming ’19 Expressions EP: Vol 1’ Lawrence took command of the stage throughout his set even selflessly offering his backing singers their own moment in the spotlight.

Next to hit the stage was a lady with a soul pedigree. WENDI HARRIOTT, herself also a product of the Brit School, has lent her backing vocals to some big names in the business including Emeli Sandé, John Legend & Rebecca Ferguson and recently sang with rock superstars The Killers at the MTV Europe awards. However tonight she stepped out of the shadows to perform two songs, firstly a cover of the Rufus and Chaka Khan classic ‘Tell Me Something Good’ and then a touching self penned ballad entitled ‘Come Too Far’ which she dedicated to her daughter who had recently been seriously ill and was recovering from an operation. No surprise then that this song was emotionally driven and the performance left not only Wendi but much of the audience with a tear in their eye.

BBC TV’s The Voice has brought many vocalists to our attention over the last couple of years. None more so than our next guest performer. J MARIE COOPER, instantly recognizable with her fiery red hair, blasted on the stage and proceeded to belt out a selection of tunes. These included three of her own compositions, including the touching ‘Never Too Late’ and the belting ‘Closure’ plus an amazing mash-up of Destiny’s Child’s Survivor mixed with Mary Mary’s Shackles. Despite having a bit of a sore throat she still managed to hit every note perfectly and blew the house down.

After her full performance, J Marie was also joined back on stage by Adelaide for a amazing duet on Kings Of Leon's modern rock classic 'Use Somebody' which they cleverly switched up halfway through and taking the track on a reggae tip that had everybody enthralled.

With Vanbrugh Hill unfortunately unable to attend there was a late addition to the bill. Enter MICHELLE JOHN, a girl from South East London with yet another outstanding vocal ability. Providing one of the highlights of the night she launched into an impromptu version of the Sam Cooke classic ‘A Change Is Gonna Come’ but switching up the lyrics to a slightly more personalized version. On hearing the first line was ‘I was born in Peckham.....’ you get the general idea.  The unique cover was followed by one of Michelle’s own compositions. ‘Priceless’ deals with her own experiences of an abusive relationship and the emotions clearly ran high once again during this delivery of the song.

Finally gracing the stage was MOBO Award winner JAHAZIEL. The rapper draws on a variety of styles for his music, which mixes traditional hip-hop with reggae, soul, R&B and even gospel. Performing a selections of tracks, some taken from his new album ‘Heads Up’ Jahaziel lyrically takes inspiration from personal experiences as well as having a spiritual edge to his songs. 

Adelaide Mackenzie and The Mac Band (who did an fantastic job backing every artists on stage) brought proceedings to a close with another incredible jam session before bidding everyone goodnight.

Blessed Souls will return on February 15th 2014 at The Bedford in Balham and, if tonight’s show was anything to go by,  there’s no doubt the line up will be as hot as ever.

Monday, 23 September 2013

New Music: JESSICA AGOMBAR - Double

Proving there IS after girl groups is JESSICA AGOMBAR who debuts her first solo outing.

She had chart success as part of 5 piece PARADE, but despite the hits, tours and support performances for the likes of ALEXANDRA BURKE and SHAKIRA the band split earlier this year.

Not one to let a little thing like this dampen her musical dream, the East London girl headed back into the studio to record 'Double', the uptempo dance track is produced by THE WRITERS BLOCK.

Due for release on Nov 11th, check out the new lyric video here

Saturday, 21 September 2013

New Video: RACHEL KERR - Committed

MOBO award winning artist RACHEL KERR returns with a new EP and video.

'Commited' is the lead track taken from her new 9 track collection 'Getting Started'. Her most uptempo offering to date, the video is also her first to feature a funky dance routine.

The 'Getting Started' EP is available to download now from itunes and Amazon

One of the hottest soulful gospel artists in the country, her live performances have often drawn comparisons to BEYONCE and WHITNEY HOUSTON but with a style all her own.

You can catch her performing this week as part of the the great line up supporting US R&B superstar BRANDY at indigo2 for MUSICALIZE

New Video: BOANE - Promised Land

'Promised Land' is the new single from BOANE.

The New York born vocalist now based in London provides us with a a contender for late Summer jam of the year.

The stylish video was shot in the streets of London (while attempting to avoid the passing traffic!)

Check it out here

New Video: ANITA - High Heels

Slip on your Louboutins and check out the new track from ANITA

The former member of girlband SERESE unleashes this, her debut solo release dedicated to every girls favourite fashion item.

The track is an uptempo R&B pop gem and the sexy, stylish video was shot recently in Malta 

Check it out below

For more on ANITA visit

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

New Video: SOLANGE - Lovers In The Parking Lot

SOLANGE KNOWLES proves that it's not just her famous sister that has some moves in the new video for 'Lovers In The Parking Lot'. 

The track, taken from her recent EP 'True' was co-written and produced by DEV HYNES and the video, much like the music, takes a fair bit of inspiration from the 80's. 

SOLANGE also appears in the intriguing promo clip for her label, SAINT Records

New Music: TORI KELLY - Dear No One (2013)

TORI KELLY, one of the biggest YouTube sensations (with over 48 million views to date), returns with a brand new EP.

The 20 year old Californian singer/songwriter, once famously given a 'no' by Simon Cowell on American Idol, is now represented by JUSTIN BIEBER's manager SCOOTER BRAUN will release the EP on October 22nd, her first as a newly signed artists to Capitol Records

'Foreword', the follow up to 2012's 'Handmade Songs' is set to include a new version of one of her earliest recording.

'Dear No One' was originally recorded in 2011 and has become a live favourite. You can listen to the new version here

TORI has recently completed an extensive sold out tour of the UK and is about to embark on dates in the US.

Watch her announce the EP and perform 'Dear No One' live on US TV

New Music: MAX MARSHALL - Pressure

22 year old MAX MARSHALL unleashes the new lyric for her track 'Pressure'.

The Baltimore-born has been making a name for herself lately with her debut single Don’t Trip’ and mixtape ‘Forgive Me’ plus support from Radio 1 & 1 Xtra.

Her musical upbringing was in jazz, funk & soul, but now based in London she has also been exposed to other kinds of music, which lead to Drum & Bass production duo Matrix & Futurebound asking her to provide vocals for their forthcoming track 'Control'

'Pressure' is taken from the Pressure EP due for release this November via Fudge Records

Free download of the Forgive Me mixtape at


It's been 4 years since VV BROWN launched onto the scene with her 2009 debut album 'Travelling Like the Light'

Since then her career has taken many twists and turns, juggling her music career with her career in fashion, both with her clothing range and with her modelling work for the likes of M&S.

Now in 2013 she returns to music with her album 'Samson & Delilah' and what is a complete transformation from the lighter, pop sound of her first record. 

With produced by Dave Okumu (best known as part of the collective THE INVISIBLES and for his work with JESSIE WARE) and Pierre-Marie Maulini (formerly of M83), 'Samson & Delilah' is a much darker affair, filled with electronic elements and almost tribal sounds. 

The (almost) title track 'Samson' has already gained critical acclaim as well as plays on BBC Radio 1 and BBC 1Xtra and second single 'The Apple' looks to be heading in the same direction.

(Watch the brand new 2nd video for the song, produced in association with Paco Robanne and Directed by Daniel Price)


The release is also accompanied by a short film of the same name (which we were lucky enough to catch at an exclusive showing on the big screen at London's ICA). 
The 25 minute piece is a collaboration with Met Film School graduate Jessica Hughes. 

A modern Japanese inspired re-telling of the biblical epic set to a soundtrack of music from VV's album the film is currently being shown at festivals across the country.
It is also available as a bonus with the itunes deluxe version (available here, which contains the new 'alternative' version of her massive hit 'Shark In The Water').

We got a chance to ask VV a few question about her new album and what's going on in her world.....

So ‘Samson & Delilah’ comes 4 years after ‘‎Travelling Like The Light’ and to many it will seem like a complete change of image and direction, but was this a gradual progression for you or is this how you always intended your style to be?

VV: It was a gradual change. I'm still very proud of the first album but in life you grow and learn new things. This album reflects that.

How do you feel as if you have changed from the person you were all that time ago? 

VV: I do feel different. I feel more at peace and a lot more mature. I think I've learnt to accept and appreciate the journey.

Musically the whole production has very much a contemporary  electronic sound and you were lucky enough to work with some particularly cool people on it. How did you connect with the likes of DAVE OKUMU and the other producers featured? 

VV: Dave is good mates with a lovely guy at my management office and he brought us together. Dave came to my house and we wrote nothing really matters. The rest was history and now he is a wonderful friend.

The album has some obvious biblical references, from the title/title track and with others like ‘The Apple’. How did these old testament stories, and ultimately your faith, come to be such a major factor in the writing of the album? 

VV: Overcoming my fears. It gave me strength and hope that I could make this record.

The video visuals and the long form film are stunning too. Tell us more about how you came up with the idea for the film and how you ended up working with JESSICA HUGHES.

VV: She is a film student and I thought it would be cool to support new talented. We put a request out and Jessica replied. She is very talented. We then co directed the short film for the album.

It is a particularly strong time for female vocalists at the moment with the phenomenal success worldwide of ADELE, EMELI SANDÉ etc, do you think this makes it easier or harder to get yourself heard? 

VV: Probably harder in this country as its small and there is only room for a few but easier in the States and Europe as they seem more open.

You have a huge following in France where your previous work has done so well, so much so that you have recorded a version of ‘The Apple’ in French. How important is it to you to reach out and to be accepted overseas as well as in the UK?  

VV: It's not important but it's do nice. France received me better than my home country and I am very grateful for that. I love France. To be embraced anywhere is a blessing,

Despite some interesting collaborations and ‘The Playground’ preview mixtape, you decided against releasing 'Lollipops & Politics' as your second album, what ultimately influenced that decision and will any of it ever see the light of day in the future? 

VV: I wasn't that person anymore and had to stay true. It was a very scary process.

Your fashion range, VV VINTAGE has been a success, as has your modelling work. Do you find it hard to give enough attention to very different businesses at the same time or do you think it’s important or even helps to have a career that is not just focused in one specific medium?

VV: It is hard but we have a small team to support the business. We will be in Topshop from the 22nd so this week it feels hectic.

You also released the album on your own label, was this always something you wanted to do and will you be looking to sign other artists?

VV: I never thought I'd have my own label. It is empowering to have full control.  I absolutely want to sign new talent.

Your recent live show have also been well received, is performing the songs in front of an audience an essential part of the whole experience for you? 

VV: It takes the studio to the real world and you get to share your art with real people. Have performing arts present and utilize lots of different mediums and its all happening in real time. 

Finally, now that ‘Samson & Delilah’ is finally out there, what are you expectations and what’s next for VV. BROWN?? 

VV: Touring and touring. The dream was always to make the album and travel and maybe have a few kids on the way. LOL 

To see VV BROWN live on tour in October, click here for tickets (dates and venues below)

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

New Video: HAYLEY CASSIDY - Still Stay

'Still Stay' is the brand new single from UK talent HAYLEY CASSIDY.

The guitar laden R&B cut deals with how a couple remains together despite a partner's infidelity. The track also features a rap from North London rapper TIGGER DA AUTHOR.

The video takes a slightly lighter tone, showing the scenario played out over two different eras

'Still Stay' is taken from the album 'Stripped' which is still available for FREE
Check out our feature on it here

Monday, 16 September 2013

New Music: PW - Here With You

'Here With You' is the latest single from 18 year old UK rap newcomer PW.

The track mixes elements of hip-hop, garage and even a little Afro beat flavour. 

PW is making a name for himself following some high profile support slots with the likes of DAPPYMINDLESS BEHAVIOR and CONOR MAYNARD as well as a sold out headline show at London's Garage.

Check out the video below

You can also download his new 'FromPWithLVE' EP for free here

for more info check out 

New Music: KATY B - 5am

KATY B returns with yet another dancefloor anthem.

'5am' is taken from her forthcoming second album and might almost be considered a sequel to her her huge hit 'Lights On' and explores KATY's mission to look for love after the club closes.

The video was also shot recently with director RONAN POLLOCK in charge behind the camera and is expected to appear any day. KATY posted a selection of photos on location at the unnamed stately home.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Events: PALOMA FAITH to curate photography exhibition in London

As an artist that is know as much for her style as her music, PALOMA FAITH is set to curate her own exhibition of photography.

In association with ALBUM ARTISTS,
the 4 day event will include displays of album and single artwork (from both 'Fall To Grace' & 'Do You Want The Truth Or Something Beautiful') as well as images from many of her live performances.

Many of the pictures were taken by long time collaborator SAUL who has photographed PALOMA for many years, also directing the video for her version of 'Never Tear Us Apart'

Other work that will be displayed comes from FINLAY MACKAYDAVID STANDISH & ALICE HAWKINS

Limited Edition autographed prints of many of the photos (signed by both Paloma and and the photographers) will be available to purchase. (For prices and availability of artworks please email:

See PALOMA discuss the exhibition here

The exhibition runs November 28th until December 1st at The Gallery In Redchurch Street
50 Redchurch Street, E2 7DP London.

 Click here for more information

New Music: CLARE MAGUIRE - Little White Lies

'Little White Lies' marks the return of CLARE MAGUIRE.

The rocking new track has a hypnotic groove and a dirty guitar riff that gets stuck in your head, all brought together with the amazing tone of the Birmingham girl's vocals.

The song comes hot on the heels of 'Paper Thin', another new track but the sultry piano ballad that switches to an almost drum & bass feel towards it's climax is a an altogether different affair

Hopefully it won't be too long before we get an official release from this powerhouse vocalist, in the meantime, CLARE MAGUIRE has a couple of live dates coming up next month, check the sites below for more info

New Music: NIKITA KC (@Iamnikitakc)-It's Not Good Enough

NIKITA KC It's Not Good Enough ' It's Not Good Enough ' is the brand new single from London based singer songwr...