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Currently Browsing: Soul

Leven Kali · Breaking Soul

When someone pops up in the places you love

Leven Kali has three strikes going for him. One, with his single that introduced me, ‘Mine.’ Second, a few months later he performed ‘Joy’ on Colors Berlin – a collective that hosts musicians to record a live set of a song against a clean colored background. In Kali’s case pink. Which repped him well. The final nail of approval was a tweet praising him from Ebro, a host on HOT 97 and Beats 1.

I went through Kali’s catalogue after his name popped up a third time, which is usually what it takes, and his music is starting to stack up. Although there’s a lot of collaborations with shit rappers crowding his sound. It’s good for exposure though, but he soon won’t need it.

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Masego

Savant in Style

We mainly highlight artists over singles now, which has given us different criteria to look for in what to feature. Mainly, more than just a few singles to show off. Something I see more with vocalists over instrumentalists or producers, but Masego does it all.

But like most musicians I pick, I love his voice most. He’s got personality that’s an artist’s dream and it shows through his voice.

He played with Goldlink at Coachella this year and the two are some of the finest record makers, live performers, and make some of the finest sounds with their voices.

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Gavin Turek

Lovely throwback brought forward

Some progress the old sound forward, but Gavin Turek brings it back to the 70’s in her latest EP Good Look for You. But she’s also teamed up with other notable producers, which gives her classic voice new flavor.

Gavin has been working with TOKiMONSTA and their juxed position in genre make for a beautiful collaboration. And even better, there are a number of my favorite young producers giving her a remix, especially Bishiclet & starRo. You know when some of the most talented music makers right now support her sound, including Mayor Hawthorne on his last tour, you know that it’s not just you.

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THEY.

Smooth words/trap beats

They. played at least a few times last year at SXSW, but I missed one because of The Roots fiasco.

They’re kicking off their tour this year and San Francisco is their third stop. I don’t know if I’ll be going to see them in SF, depends on if the lady likes the playlist, but I’ll definitely be seeing them in Austin at SXSW this year.

Especially since the company I work for is hosting them.
See you there?

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Spire

A fresh breath of inspiration

Spire and his Soda Island friends put on some of my favorite bumble gum funk, generally known as future bass, specifically called kawaii, but I call it vapor (who knows). He does however have much more breath than that.

He has some of the most intricate & introspective music, and a good handful of it, which I don’t see enough. The guy can take what sounds like a scene from a movie and make it music. Beautiful in a way that reminds me of jazz. You don’t know where it’s going next.

Couldn’t have kicked off 2017 any better than this inspiration (other than disco).

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Robots Can’t Dance

How to Cope with Madness

It’s been a mess this last week. When the bombshell of an election result dropped, I landed on one of Robots Can’t Dance’s songs and rolled through the rest of his music. It helped.

Here are 10 of his best (my favorites). Let it get you through any madness you’re going through.

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Sex is Mmm

Don't say it fast, three times

So the title. I was listening to some standup on SoundCloud talking about how sexism sounds too close to “sex is mmm,” and how confusing that can be. May not sound that funny, I know, but like a singer that can make cheesy lyrics sound good, so can a comic. Unfortunately I can’t find the bit again. If you have any idea of what I’m talking about, let me know.

And that’s how I come up with these important, but clearly not that thought out titles. Musicians learn from my failues, the package [artist – title, album art] is everything when it comes to introducing your song.

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I love Tom Misch

I've got to see him live

Tom Misch will be playing his first show in San Francisco, November 11 at the Rickshaw Stop. I sure as hell will be there, even though I have no ticket and it’s sold out. Help me.

I love Misch so much for his guitar playing, producing, singing and podcast Are We Live, co-hosted with Jordan Rakei, Barney Artist and Alfa Mist. I’ve listened to every damn episode.

In one of the episodes, Misch talks about how he’s more known now for his singing than anything else. He’s a good singer, but how he plays guitar and puts a song together is far more amazing to me. I do understand why people attach him to his voice though.

Our voice is the most human sound in music. It’s got greater dexterity than any instrument and we connect to it more than any other sound. It’s often what completes a song to me. The beat has a much harder time resonating deep without it.

And when you’ve got a good one, people will be drawn to it. Even if your guitarin’ is just as good (better).

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Lip Service

The best guys singing soul, because Frank

A few days ago I had the bright idea of making this list to hold us over until Frank Ocean dropped his album. That day it did.

The reason I love Frank so much, and why I’m overshadowing all these other artists for him, is because there’s a difference between him and them, for me. All of these singers have at least one good song, but it’s the song, not their singing, that I love. With Frank it’s different. I just love hearing his voice. On anything. Few other singers do that for me.

Not to discredit any of these artists. All of them have that potential, especially Breezy Lovejoy. Now known as Anderson .Paak. It took me two years to come out with another list of favorite male singers. Still got a lot of catching up to do compared to my favorite females.

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Flamingosis · Old Soul Brought Back

The hardest thing was to cut the good stuff

My first recollection of Flamingosis is not a good one. For me his name is tied to the reshare scheme [trading reshares] I saw a bunch of decent, and better, producers doing on SoundCloud sometime back, even if I’m not 100% he was doing exaxtly that.

Recently I caught his song Next To You and gradually fell in love. I love how he plays with the vocals on it. It always feels like a surprise.

So naturally I went through all of his SoundCloud and found plenty more music to speak about. His music is like that Late Night vibe I love, but with good old soul singers on top.

In the over 100 tracks I listened to, the hardest thing to do was to cut some of the good ones. That’s always the hardest thing to do in making a mix. Cut the fat, as good as it is.

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