#WildCardWednesday: Misha B – ‘Letter To My Sistars’

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Misha B is finally back with her latest single, ‘Letter To My Sistars’, and I couldn’t be happier to see her return!

The latest song from the ex-X Factor artist has a definitive, old-school R&B / Hip Hop vibe with an understated beatbox intro, vinyl-tinted beats and clean guitar melodies throughout, topped off with some wonderfully raw and effortless vocal harmonies.

‘Letter To My Sistars’ is a strong departure from her post-X Factor days yet still remains polished and true to herself. It’s a female empowerment track about looking out for each other (Don’t mess – “If you put a finger on my sister, guaranteed your head pop, pop, pop just like blister”); an urban anthem at its best.

The video for the track is fun too – seeing Misha B performing alongside strong female characters in and around the urban environment but also has narrative segments depicting Misha as a child, with one of her “sistars”, as referenced in the track. Go check it out, below.

I’m super excited for this return and hope that maybe this will signal an upcoming debut album?! We can only hope!

What are your thoughts of Misha B’s latest release? Are you as pleased to see her back, as we are? Do you have a #WildCardWednesday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or via social media.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Letter To My Sistars’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://music.apple.com/gb/album/letter-to-my-sistars-single/1467045615


#Review: Tom Walker – What A Time To Be Alive

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Tom Walker is a Scottish-born, singer-songwriter that has continued to grow and rise to fame over the past 12 months or so. Aside from relentless touring, he started gathering mainstream attention with the BBC putting him in the running for their Sound of 2018 accolade. Then came the release of his massive single, ‘Leave A Light On’, which received heavy radio airplay, leading to a performance on X Factor. Now 2019 has kicked off with in style, with him winning the Brit Award for 2019’s British Breakthrough Act…and all of this has happened before the release of his debut album! Well, it’s finally here, What A Time To Be Alive and here’s what we have to say about it…

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Passion. Power. Personal. Three words that can’t help but swim through my mind as I listen to Tom Walker‘s debut album, What A Time To Be Alive. All three qualities are beautifully and intricately interwoven too – there is passion and power behind his vocals – both in what he sings and the way he sings it – and the personal songwriting leads to their prominence…and this wouldn’t be such a remarkable record without even one of those elements.

We’re catapulted into the album with ‘Angels’; a track starting out raw and edgy but endlessly continuing to build to a huge crescendo, complete with bells and strings, becoming an intricately layered behemoth of a track by the end, topped off with Tom’s intensely passionate and gritty vocals.

This is soon followed by the hit single, ‘Leave A Light On’, which despite being such a massive single, is interestingly, probably one of my least favourite tracks on the album. It’s a great song lyrically and thematically and I can see exactly why it was such a hit but I honestly preferred the original version, before the off-key synth sounds became so prominent. Also, there’s so much more to love about the album!

He has successfully crafted an outstanding debut album that takes elements from many different genres and styles, mashing them up into the perfect concoction of contemporary pop.

The biggest tracks on the record have to be: ‘Not Giving In’ – haunting wind chimes trickle delicately into the intense track, where echoing vocals and programmed drums lead the verses into the passionate chorus that seems to swirl around you, engulfing with its honest emotion; ‘How Can You Sleep At Night?’ is vocally one of the most diverse songs on the album – quiet, low tones in the verses are pushed by thunderous drums to a chorus of what could be described as vocal hoots and a downward zigzagging of his voice. Melodically, it’s a rather playful track, even though it’s about an intimate subject.

‘My Way’ is a real genre-bender; hip-hop-style drum beats, oriental-tinted synths, a repetitive hook and wonderful production trills, such as subtle, underlying female vocals, make this one of the best songs on the record. An effortless breakdown calms the mood right before bursting back into the repetitive, yet highly addictive chorus. Think EDM elements meet rock with a slightly Asian-flavoured edge.

And of course there’s ‘Fade Away’ which has a very Tom Odell-sounding melody, in places. It’s an emotionally devastating, piano and string-led track, that honestly brings tears to the eyes. Naturally, in its more heightened moments, Tom’s signature, raspy vocals shine through but during the quieter parts, his interesting annunciation and poetic lyricism make this track truly bewitching.

This is a stunning, diverse album that is sure to make massive waves throughout the industry and I’m certain will be a benchmark album for years to come.

‘Now You’re Gone’ featuring Zara Larsson is very electronic in tone with laser-like bass notes and a broken-up rhythm, ‘Blessings’ has an Ed Sheeran vibe and takes a candid look at the modern lifestyle, whilst ‘Dominoes’ is a very political track and another honest take on the state of the world right now, becoming wonderfully chaotic and grungy by the end.

Intrigue doesn’t stop there either, ‘Cry Out’ is like a dark western soundtrack (somewhat reminding me of the Peaky Blinders theme) with chain-clinking sounds giving it a laborious edge and ‘Just You And I’ is an old fan favourite – a big, positive love song. Possibly the most captivating track on the record has to be ‘The Show’ – a story-like track about London that really gives the sense of physically moving through the city streets, just listening to it. It has a real jazzy feel which sound effects weaving throughout the storytelling.

One thing’s for certain, Tom Walker has a very unique blend of styles throughout his music; reggae and urban vibes, with subtle hip-hop undertones are met by electronic synth elements and drum pads, combined with real instruments and rock-tinted vocals all underpinned by sincere, heartfelt (and even occasionally political) lyrical themes. I think I can even detect Bob Marley influences in places – reggae sounds and political themes…or is that just me? Sure, at times his voice is quirky and high-pitched but that is met in equal measure by the grittier, growlier and more powerful moments.

You can’t help but want to compartmentalise him as a singer-songwriter or a pop star but he truly breaks every mould you try to apply him to. He has successfully crafted an outstanding debut album that takes elements from many different genres and styles, mashing them up into the perfect concoction of contemporary pop. Despite being an eclectic collection, it still manages to be entirely cohesive. This is a stunning, diverse album that is sure to make massive waves throughout the industry and I’m certain will be a benchmark album for years to come.

It can only get bigger for him from here and I can’t wait to see what new heights Tom Walker soars to next…I’m just pleased I got to see him at The Green Door Store in Brighton (review here) before it all took off.

Rating
5


‘What A Time To Be Alive’ is out now and can be downloaded from iTunes – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/what-a-time-to-be-alive/1435094194


What A Time To Be Alive on Spotify

Leave A Light On (Official Video)

Just You and I (Official Video)

Angels (Official Video)


We hope you’ve enjoyed our review! What do you think of Tom Walker’s stunning debut, What A Time To Be Alive? Are you as much of a fan as us? What would you rate it? Please leave your thoughts in a comment or via our social media.


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#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Ben Haenow


   

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Ben Haenow is probably best known for winning X Factor back in 2014. From there, he released his self-titled, debut album, the lead single from which (Second Hand Heart), featured the singing sensation that is Kelly Clarkson. Now, 2018 has seen the release of his second studio album, Alive. We thought it was a good time to catch up with Ben about everything he’s been up to and more! Check out what he had to say, in this interview…


Hey Ben, how’s it going?
Great thanks! Thanks for having me.

So you are about to release your second album, ‘Alive’, how do you feel prior to a new release? Is it nerve-wracking or exciting?
Yeah, a bit of both. I’m anxious but really can’t wait for people to hear the new tracks so bring it oooon!

Where did the idea for the title come from and what’s the meaning behind it?
The lead track is called ‘Alive’. It was basically written as a thank you to the fans for keeping my dream alive, so we went with that for the album too.

What’s the track you’re most excited for people to hear? What’s your usual process for writing/recording?
The process can vary, sometimes it starts with a vocal melody, or maybe a just a lyric idea or guitar lick. Then it develops from there. It might take a day, a week or longer before it’s all done but that’s the beauty of it. You can take a bit more time writing and playing with sounds until you’re happy. I’d say ‘Give Me Your Love’ is one I want to see reactions too.

Where do you take inspirations from when writing/recording your music?
I guess for this album, the inspiration came from my experiences between X Factor and now. I try to draw on personal experiences when writing as I feel people connect more with something if there is truth/reality in a lyric.

Collaborating with Kelly Clarkson must’ve been pretty cool, how was it?
It was great! She is obviously a very talented lady and boy can she siiiiiing! She was a true professional and an absolute pleasure to work with.

If you could collaborate with anyone else, who would it be and why?
Gary Clarke Jr
– I think the bluesy vibe is really cool and he has a pretty awesome voice too. I love his musical style.

What music have you been listening to most recently?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Stevie Wonder recently so I’m on a soul trip at the moment.

If you had to cover a recent chart song, which song would it be and why?
Selena Gomez
’s ‘Wolves’ – I love the song and have an idea I’d like to try.

That’d be pretty cool…you should do it! So, do you have any pre or post-gig rituals? Or have any of you got any weird habits?
Lots of weird habits if you ask my wife… but we (me and the band) have a ritual which we call ‘Ukla’… I cannot tell you what it is but we UKLAA before every show.

Do you have any other passions outside of music?
I love to cook… and eat.

What really grinds your gears (winds you up)?
The song ‘Jellicle Cats’ from Cats the Musical… I like real cats but that song, and those cats REALLY grind my gears!!

What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you, in life?
I was 14, at a motorway service station, whilst en route to Devon with my dad and brother. I was wearing the Kappa tracksuit trousers with the poppers all the way down the legs… my brother thought it would be funny to pull my trousers completely off leaving me in my pants and a t-shirt in the middle of Little Chef!

Oh dear; that’s pretty embarrassing! So, what’s the best film you’ve seen lately?
Guardians of the Galaxy 2… they’re great films.

If, in say 10 years time, a film was made about your life, who would you want to play you?
Danny DeVito or Morgan Freeman… that would be fantastic.

If you were a chocolate bar, which one would you be and why?
I’d probably be a KitKat… chunky.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t eat yellow snow… or brown snow… or snow in general!

Thanks very much for taking the time to chat!
No problem and thank you for having me!!! Hope to speak soon.


Ben Haenow‘s latest album, Alive, is available:


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#WildCardWednesday: Kris Evans – ‘Famous’


   

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Kris Evans (previously of The Mend/Race The Horizon) has just dropped his new single, ‘Famous’…and it’s massive!

Think Dappy meets Chris Brown with a slightly more underground, urban edge but topped with a strong chorus and you’ve got this single; it’s genuinely one of the freshest songs I’ve heard recently and I can’t get enough of it!

Also, 2018 is already looking very promising for Kris, who’s been nominated for ‘Best Urban Act Of 2018’ at the Unsigned Music Awards! What’s more, Kris has further big plans ahead, which include more releases and some exciting live performances across the UK.

No music video has been released for this track yet, but if one does emerge, we’ll be sure to keep you updated.

What are your thoughts of this epic singer and monster tune? Got a #WildCardWednesday track to recommend us? Please leave your thoughts or song suggestions in a comment or hit us up via our socials.

Matt – Muzik Speaks
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‘Famous’ can be downloaded off iTunes now – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/famous-single/1348400033


#Two4Tunesday: Prides – ‘Let’s Stay In Bed All Day’ & Matrix & Futurebound – ‘Light Us Up’ featuring Calum Scott


   

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Prides – ‘Let’s Stay In Bed All Day’

Prides (check out our interview here) have just dropped their latest single, ‘Let’s Stay In Bed All Day’ which is taken from the forthcoming album, A Mind Like The Tide (out next year). The album is actually being split into two parts, with Part 1 coming October 27th 2017.

The track sees the duo release a song which keeps to their trademark, synth-pop sound and it’s catchy as hell…I can’t wait for the rest of the album!

The audio video is below but no official music video has emerged yet, but we’ll keep you updated on this.


‘Let’s Stay In Bed All Day’ is on iTunes for downloading now! – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/lets-stay-in-bed-all-day/id1268816597?i=1268816600



Matrix & Futurebound – ‘Light Us Up’ featuring Calum Scott

Matrix & Futurebound are an electronic duo who have just teamed up with ex-Britain’s Got Talent contestant (and incredible vocalist) Calum Scott.

The track has a summery vibe to it and Calum Scott’s passionate, ascending vocals weave their way beautifully throughout the uplifting instrumentation. It is a true anthem and begs to be sung at the top of your voice or pumped loudly through your car speakers. It’s a true feel-good track – I can’t get enough of this.

No music video has been made for this track yet either, but we’ll keep you updated on this.


‘Light Us Up’ can also be downloaded from iTunes now! – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/light-us-up-feat-calum-scott-nick-talos-remix-single/id1244764883


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#Two4Tunesday: Charlie Puth – ‘Attention’ & Yes Lad – ‘Walk Away’


   

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Charlie Puth – ‘Attention’

Charlie Puth has been going from strength to strength and whilst I wasn’t a fan of his big hit, ‘Marvin Gaye’, I loved his collaboration with Selena Gomez on We Don’t Talk Any More. Since then, it appears the singer songwriter is gearing up to release a new album with brand new single, ‘Attention’ leading the way.

The song is catchy and I love the way the percussion builds up throughout the track – the bass line is funky and his vocals are great (even if auto tune has been used evidently). A great single and a surefire sign of great things to come.

The music video is steamy and features Puth in a tumultuous relationship, breaking up with glass flying before kissing and making up and starting the cycle all over again. Check it out below.


‘Attention’ is on iTunes for downloading now! – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/attention/id1226009041?i=1226009487



Yes Lad – ‘Walk Away’

Yes Lad are a five-piece boyband who emerged on the scene after their appearances on X Factor UK.

The electro-pop song is tinged with urban sounds and makes for a fantastic debut single from the band. ‘Walk Away’ is catchy, and follows the current trend of having sampled vocals over the chorus but it’s unique in it’s own way – an impressive debut, looking forward to seeing what the boys release next.

The music video for the track, was filmed in Manchester and features the band performing the track, and showing off some impressive dance moves.


‘Walk Away’ can also be downloaded from iTunes now! – https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/walk-away/id1210428767?i=1210429183


Matt – Muzik Speaks
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#MuzikSpeaks: An Interview with Janet Devlin

Matt does a Skype interview with Janet Devlin and finds out all about her latest single, ‘Outernet Song’, her upcoming concept album and which flavour biscuit she’d be. It’s all here…


   

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Having recently released her single, ‘Outernet Song’, I got the chance to chat with the talented, Irish singer/songerwriter, Janet Devlin.

During our interview, Janet discussed how her new single, ‘Outernet Song’ came about, discussed her upcoming album (tentatively titled Holy Water) and we even found out what type of biscuit she’d be, so please make sure you check it all out in the video below!

I really hope you enjoy this interview! Please go ahead and show your support by sharing the link on your social media accounts!


*** Apologies for the poor connection quality of this video…it may be a bit jumpy but it’s still a great interview! ***


Janet Devlin‘s releases are all available:


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