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STORMZY Releases ‘This is What I Mean’ Album

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STORMZY Releases 'This is What I Mean' Album

British musician Stormzy has released his highly anticipated third album, ‘This Is What I Mean’.

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Over the course of his expansive, heartfelt and defiantly sprawling new album, the BRIT and Ivor Novello award-winning Stormzy has delivered an undeniable classic; effortlessly condensing any number of disparate styles and genres into music which bravely broaches any gap between modern Black British music, soul and hip-hop.
Executively Produced by British producer PRGRSHN, the album includes the top 10 single Hide & Seek; an emotive, soulful and ethereal offering and his latest release Firebabe; a beautifully delicate and deeply touching sound. An array of incredible musicians are also scattered throughout the record including vocal appearances from the likes of Sampha, Jacob Collier, Debbie and more, all of which are listed here.
A bold and courageous leap forward from his critically acclaimed previous two #1 records, ‘Gang Signs & Prayer and ‘Heavy Is The Head, this isn’t music simply for the pop charts but rather, an intimate and sincere love letter to music. He speaks on forgiving his absent father on the mellifluous ‘Please’ and refers to his challenges with paranoia, depression and self-doubt on penultimate track, ‘I Got My Smile Back’ – which also features a guest vocal from the incomparable India.Arie. It’s a record which showcases intensely personal and lyrical themes which in turn lay bare the vulnerabilities, regret, frailties, healing, joy and triumph in a manner and to an extent that reframes the notion of what rap artists traditionally might do and be.
In a letter posted to his social media pages last night, Stormzy wrote:
When Tyler, The Creator released the masterpiece that is ‘IGOR’ he shared a message with it and I wanted to do the same but I was hesitant. Mainly because I would love for my music to do all the talking but I thought I’d share this message anyway.
 
I do a lot of interviews and I forget that everything I say will be shared far and wide, which is probably naive of me. Things that I say in real life don’t feel the same when I see it in text. I feel like I overshare, which makes me feel naked at times. But I do it so that you guys can understand me a bit better and to give the art that I make some context. I’m never ever purposely trying to defy genres or go against the grain. I’m never tryna do what is unexpected of me or what is expected of me. If I rap for 7 minutes it’s because in my spirit, in that moment, I just really wanted to fucking rap. If I sing my heart out then it’s because my soul just absolutely had to. I love music. I love, love loveeeee music. I will rap for the rest of my life, I will sing for the rest of my life, I will make art for the rest of my life. And at no point will I ever do any of those things for any other reason than I JUST WANTED TO AND IT JUST FELT GOOD. I am not a calculated mastermind with the ability to gauge what kind of music to make and when I’ll make it, I literally just feel and then let it out. People been tryna box me in for years but I hope this chapter at least makes my biggest critic say “hey, he’s shit but he loves music and I guess he’s gonna do whatever he likes” lol
 
I pray you listen to this album in your own time, whenever you can. Listen to it properly with no distractions. I pray you listen to this album with an open heart and if you hate it after I promise to God I’m perfectly fine with that, I’m just grateful that you listened with openness. I pray that it moves you and captures your imagination. And I pray that someone, somewhere, feels it. 
 
This Is What I Mean.
And it’s what I’ve always meant. 
 
God bless. Stormz x”
 
The confidence which drove the album stemmed from a deeper and far more spiritual place than we have seen from Stormzy previously. For all the success and awards that he has accrued during his brief, meteoric career, the lockdown that ensued from the coronavirus pandemic gave him one commodity he’d long lacked: time. And thanks to his sense of accomplishment following Glastonbury he was, for the first time, in a position to make the most of it.
Much of the creative energy that shaped the album emerged from a Stormzy music camp in Osea Island – a remote island in the Essex estuary that’s only accessible via a Roman Causeway for four hours a day at low tide. Surrounded by leading-edge producers and musicians each and every morning they would eat and pray together and then spend the rest of the time driven to creative heights by each other’s talents.
When you hear about music camps they always sound intense and sombre,” says Stormzy. ““People saying: “We need to make an album.” “We need to make some hit records.” But this felt beautifully free. We’re all musicians but we weren’t always doing music. Some days we played football or walked around taking pictures. And the bi-product to that was very beautiful music. Because when you marry that ethos with world class musicians and the best producers, writers and artists in the world, and we’re in one space, that’s a recipe for something that no one can really imagine. You can’t even calculate what that’s going to come up with. And it came up with a big chunk of this album.
The net result is that while ‘This Is What I Mean sounds very much like Stormzy, it sounds like no Stormzy album you have ever heard before.
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These are the emerging artists to watch in 2023, according to Spotify

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Ameyaw Debrah listening to music

Few things are quite as exciting as discovering new talent to listen to on repeat, add to your favourite playlists and lean on for emotional support over the course of the year.

 

For fans of African music on Spotify, 2023 promises another roll-call of amazing artists, ready to break through to fame and mainstream streaming success.

 

If anything, African music has consistently unfurled waves of new, fresh talent every year who have propelled the global interest in Afrobeats, Amapiano and its many other sub-genres. 2022 was a breakout year for artists like Buju, Costa Titch and Asake, whose success propelled them into Wrapped top lists at the end of 2022.

 

And while those talents took their voices to the main stage, a slew of rising stars was also laying the groundwork for their own breakout year. Some of these musicians are primed to release their best music in the coming months. Others have enjoyed early success on Spotify, and show many indications of even greater success on the horizon. Others are relatively new elements, developing new takes on familiar sounds that harken towards major shifts in popular music.

 

Hailing from South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania and Uganda with a wide array of styles, cultures and perspectives, these artists are, according to Spotify data, the ones to watch in 2023.

 

REGGIE

As Asakaa drill music picked up in Ghana, Reggie’s banging anthem Geng Geng was leading the charge as a favourite among music lovers. Built on shared experiences and a collective sense of solidarity, Reggie’s music is usually built around brotherhood and growing in the second largest city in Ghana – Kumasi

MELLISSA

With a handful of guest verses and a 2021 release titled Limelight, Melissa is one of the most interesting newcomers in music. This Ghanian’s verses portray a gifted pen at work, and her silky voice has been employed navigating a range of sounds from jazz, reggaeton, R&B to Afropop influences. 2023 should give us more Mellissa music.

 

SAMSNEY

This multi talented musician is one who has proven indeed audience sharing and collaboration is one of the best ways to break through in the music scene. He registered his first song Goldigga  by collaborating with Black Sherif. SAMSNEY used this song to showcase his musical prowess as an artist to look out for in 2023.

 

SNYPA

Snypa has a knack for identifying, and stringing together artists for the best collaborations. For instance, he assembled Kwesi Arthur, Ms Banks for the highly infectious Gbedu which became an instant hit when it was released.

 

BEEZTRAP KOTM

Ghanian drill  rapper Beeztrap KOTM is fairly new on the scene but he proved his mettle with his hit track Radio, featuring Reggie which took 2022 by storm. The success of that track, and others like Cinderella and Distance Relationship will see him become a firm favourite on 2023 playlists.

 

Below is the list of other emerging artists on the continent.

 

 

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Emo-Afrobeats Act OGC Explores Victory, Growth, And Success On New Single “Blessed Boy” Featuring Odumodublvck

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Rising Nigerian Emo-Afrobeats star OGC is thrilled to share latest single, “Blessed Boy,” following the enormous success of his debut EP, “Epiphany,” which debuted on Apple Music’s Top 100 Albums Worldwide. The song is the lead single off his next album, “The Maraji Experience.”

Download and Stream “Blessed Boy” https://song.link/blessed-boy

As they take us on a journey of their ascent to the top of the industry against all obstacles, the Grey Beatz-produced song stars NATIVE Records frontline sensation Odumodublvck. Odudomoblvck provides a glimpse of what his victorious return to the oil city of Port Harcourt might entail. Both musicians use their past to demonstrate to the audience that it hasn’t been a smooth ride. The track’s flawless soundscape, which is created by the alluring drum and bass beats, gives it even more vitality.

 

Speaking about the single, OGC said: “After the success of my debut EP ‘Epiphany’ I knew God has a purpose for me and felt like pouring out my emotions in ‘Blessed Boy’. Also I needed someone who has a similar story to me and who better else than my brother Odumodublvck. He understood the assignment and killed it.”

 

OGC is getting set to release his forthcoming debut album titled “The Maraji Experience” later this year and it promises to be an exciting project.

 

CONNECT WITH OGC:

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D Jay shares tender new song ‘Morning Stress’

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D Jay shares tender new song ‘Morning Stress’

D Jay gets the year off to a tender start with his new song ‘Morning Stress.’ Stream or download ‘Morning Stress’ across all major digital platforms here: https://empawaafrica.lnk.to/DJayMorningStress

After months of lodging on some of the continent’s hottest playlists, thanks to his unforgettable 2022 hit ‘Balance It’ – which raked in over 20M streams on Boomplay alone – and later its Mr Eazi-assisted remix, D Jay is ready to deliver his next chart-topping delight: ‘Morning Stress.’

Another love song to put the singer’s feelings into perspective, ‘Morning Stress’ is an instant Afrobeat charmer, driven by a steady flow of drum loops that pave the way for D Jay’s supple intonations – one that he seeks to woo his love interest with, singing: “Baby girl, come caress me oh, caress me/Free up my mind, oh”.

Announcing ‘Morning Stress’ as his next release on Twitter two days before Christmas Day, D Jay’s new song could be well underway to become another infectious hit, following in the footsteps of his previous release, ‘Balance It’, seizing the airwaves in the process.

Last year, D Jay was one of Ghana’s breakout stars, dominating social media and the airwaves with his irresistible song ‘Balance It’ – a smooth cut that has to date accumulated over 40M streams on all digital streaming platforms.

 

 

CONNECT WITH D JAY

Instagram: onlydjayy
Twitter: @onlydjay

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Meghan Trainor Releases Remix Of Her Worldwide Smash “Made You Look feat. Kim Petras

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Meghan Trainor Releases Remix Of Her Worldwide Smash “Made You Look feat. Kim Petras

Today, GRAMMY® Award-winning, global superstar Meghan Trainor recharges, re-energizes, and revamps her global smash “Made You Look” with a brand new Official Remix featuring Kim Petras. Listen to “Made You Look (Feat. Kim Petras)” HERE. The original highlighted her acclaimed new album, Takin’ It Back, out now. Listen to Takin’ It Back HERE.

About the track, Petras commented, “I had ‘Made You Look’ stuck in my head for months. It’s just so catchy and I felt like the song was like a warm hug. So I loved it right away, and then when I got asked to jump on it, I was really, really excited. I think Meghan is such a great pop songwriter, so it was an incredible experience. I’ve never worked with an artist who wanted to track me and comp my vocals and do it all together. She really is like a little angel and such a treasure and deserves everything that’s coming her way with the song and I just feel so excited and honored to be a part of it. We collaborated in a really special way that I won’t forget.

This notably marks the first collaboration between Trainor and rising pop powerhouse Petras. Together, they lock into a bouncy call-and-response as Petras urges “Don’t be shy, just put your hands on me, as Trainor’s towering runs ring out. It adds a whole new dimension to the fan favorite.

On the collaboration, Trainor gushes, “Kim is an icon. I have been a fan for a very long time and I am so excited to have her on ‘Made You Look.’ We had such a fun time in the studio together and she added the perfect energy to the song. She is a queen and I cannot wait for everyone to hear her voice on this song! She really brought it to a whole new level.”

“Made You Look” has exploded as a runaway hit and a major moment for Trainor. It has tallied over 353 million global streams. Simultaneously, the music video has clocked north of 87 million YouTube views. At radio, it continues to hold strong in the Top 5 at Pop.

She continues to breathe new life into the track. In addition to the Joel Corry Remix, she capped off the holidays with “Made You Look (A Cappella).It gathered 6.2 million YouTube views on the accompanying video featuring friends Sri, Scott Hoying, Elyse Myers, and Chris Olsen.

So far, the song has soundtracked over 4 million TikTok videos and 308K YouTube Shorts. Apple Music touted it at #1 on its A LIST POP Playlist, and Spotify placed it on Today’s Top Hits Presents Best Hit Songs of 2022 and the Best Pop Songs of 2022. Billboard applauded it as “inescapable, and Entertainment Tonight chatted with her about the track.

It sets the stage for more to come from Meghan Trainor in 2023!

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Rae Sremmurd Drops New Track “Sucka Or Something”

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Clearly intent on making waves in 2023, iconic rap duo Rae Sremmurd releases “Sucka or Something.” Listen HERE via Eardrummer Records/Interscope Records. As usual, the Mississippi brothers employ their dizzying lyricism over innovative production to craft an unforgettable earworm. The track follows their New Year’s release “Torpedo” and is  accompanied by a vibrant D.I.Y.-themed music video. Watch it HERE.
“How you gonna try to play me like a sucka or something?” Swae Lee ponders over a bombastic beat. “How you gonna try to play me when I know what’s up? Feel like I’m 6’ 5” ‘cause the money is up.” Laid-back yet typically larger-than-life, “Sucka or Something” is a reminder that even though the duo has done it all—they still haven’t lost any of their creativity or fire that made them superstars.
 
The casual ambition of the song is reflected in the dynamic video. The grainy footage showcases the brothers’ performance skills, but it’s an eclectic, collaged concoction that ebbs and flows with the mellow track. The deftly edited imagery conveys Rae Sremmurd’sunique bond and nods at their humble beginnings. Watch the visual HERE.
Rae Sremmurd has established themselves as the preeminent melodicists in hip-hop, racking up hit singles from the moment they landed with 2014’s “No Flex Zone.”
The duo’s first two albums, 2015’s SremmLife and the following year’s SremmLife 2, were each certified Platinum, and the latter spawned the group’s first No. 1 hit, the Gucci Mane-assisted “Black Beatles.” SR3MM, from 2018, was groundbreaking in its own way, a triple-disc effort that saw each brother get his own LP’s worth of space to work solo, before tying them back together.
Most recently, Rae Sremmurd was announced as the headliner for this year’s NFL Pro Bowl taking place on February 5th at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. The entire 7 minute performance will be televised across ESPN, ABC, and Disney XD. Fans can also catch the duo hitting the Coachella stage this April for the first time in 7 years.
 
Rae Sremmurd – “Sucka or Something”
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Paapa Versa Releases New Single ‘Lights go dim’ from upcoming ‘Versa Villa’ album

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LIGHTS GO DIM Cover Art

Multitalented Ghanaian musician and producer Paapa Versa has released a new video and single titled “Lights go dim” on Friday, 27th January 2023, featuring fast-rising rapper KooKusi.

 

The music video, directed by MRCMulti.me, depicts both artists struggling to pursue their dreams while fighting their inner demons. 

 

The incredibly soulful song, produced by Paapa and mixed & mastered by Jayso, holds an inspirational message for all dreamers. “A sentence can change a life. A song can ginger a tired heart. This song is for anyone struggling to smile lately, deeply wounded by someone’s words, or simply trying to recover a joy they once had” the artist says. 

 

KooKusi has chalked many milestones since the release of his debut EP “5 foot 3” last year, and this collaboration marks another step in his remarkable rise.

 

The release of this song leads up to the release of Paapa Versa’s third studio album, “Versa Villa”. The artist will host an album launch and concert on Feb 17th 2023 at the Virtual Hub in Accra, Ghana. 

 

“Lights go dim” by Paapa Versa is now available everywhere:

https://paapaversa.fanlink.to/lightsgodim

 

Website: https://www.paapaversa.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/paapaversa

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/paapaversa

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/paapaversa

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/paapaversa

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@paapaversa

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