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UD Selects: January Mixtape

Bringing you a pick of the month’s best releases, Maria Hanlon presents 10 tunes that have hit her decks – and got a reload – in January. Starring Vintage Culture, Maverick Sabre, Tom Breu, KeepVibesNear, Jay Lewn, WESLEE, mustbejohn, Douvelle19, Kaisha, Kaiya, Sakawah Boys, Anolah, Nectar Woode, Jordan Rakei & Debbie

Photo: Benedict Priddy

Vintage Culture, Maverick Sabre, Tom Breu
Vintage Culture

For fans of… Disciples, Pharrell, Más Tiempo
Why listen… This track will get rid of the January Blues in no time!

This beauty comes from Vintage Culture, Maverick Sabre and Tom Breu. Maverick said he wrote this quickly after the ‘Slow Down’ remix which he also worked on with Vintage Culture. They are clearly a dream team and Sabre’s voice works so well laid on top of the housey, bassy production. The song dropped alongside an album announcement from Vintage Culture: “The rumours about the ‘Promised Land’ were true. My album will be released on May 24th!”

KeepVibesNear, Jay Lewn
In Your Eyes
Melting Pot Music

For fans of… The Silhouettes Project, Safiyyah, Kieron Boothe
Why listen… This laid-back track will lure you in within the first few seconds.

Keep Vibes Near (KVN) and Jay Lewn have teamed up for ‘In Your Eyes’ a chilled R&B bop taken from KVN’s upcoming project ‘NOIR’, which will drop on the 23rd February. Speaking about the story behind the song, KVN explains: “Sometimes your image of someone or expectations don’t match up with reality and I think that’s something everyone comes across at some point in life. Perception is an interesting thing and I guess this song is a conversation about trying to be that for someone as well as the fear of not being able to.”

Big Collide

For fans of… Noname, Frank Ocean, Childish Gambino
Why listen… WESLEE are making refreshing and immersive music that needs to be on your radar.

WESLEE are a dynamic duo that blend together R&B, indie, soul, and pop to create a dreamlike and ethereal sound. ‘Big Collide’ is taken from their highly anticipated EP ‘World One’ which dropped on the 12th Jan. The three track project dives into the layers of love and is a really exciting and unique body of work. WESLEE says ‘Big Collide’ is “our favourite song we’ve ever made and took us years to finish.”

Lights Go

For fans of… KiLLOWEN, Pinty, Mike Skinner
Why listen… mustbejohn continues to create party starters that need to be on your playlist.

mustbejohn combines relatable lyrics with rave culture to create exciting and energetic tunes. You can hear similarities to Mike Skinner and Pinty whilst mustbejohn still creates a lane of his own. ‘Lights Go’ is his latest release and is about being drawn into nights out but also enjoying the ride. He made serious moves last year and dropped his debut EP ‘Losing Balance’ and is about to go on tour next month. We’re excited to see what’s next for the rising star!

Douvelle19, Kaisha
Skin to Skin

For fans of… Conducta, Salute, Interplanetary Criminal
Why listen… Listening to ‘Skin to Skin’ will give you an instant dopamine hit. 

DJ/producer Douvelle19 has kicked off the new year with a brand new track ‘Skin To Skin’ featuring singer-songwriter Kaisha. The track is atmospheric and energetic and you can imagine it going down an absolute treat on the dance floor. The banger is taken from the upcoming EP ‘When I Dream’ due 29th February 2024. Speaking about the track Douvelle19 says, “Kaisha and I put ourselves in the heart of the dance floor when writing this.” 

Blue Moon

For fans of… Frank Ocean, Miguel, The Weeknd
Why listen… Dreamy vocals, heartfelt lyricism and warm, groovy production…what’s not to love?

Australian-born, London-based singer/songwriter Kaiya has released her mesmerising new single ‘Blue Moon’. The R&B ballad is named after the expression ‘once in a blue moon’ and is about an unreliable source of love and the actions a person should take to preserve themselves and their sanity. Kaiya adds, “Sonically, it taps back into my sensual feminine sound, which is both strong and soft. It’s when I master the art of balancing the two that I feel most empowered as a woman.”

Sakawah Boys, Anolah

For fans of… Kurupt FM, The Streets, The Manor
Why listen… 2024 is their year, so get to know Sakawah Boys quick!

The boys are back with another banger and this time they’ve linked up with Anolah, and the collaboration is sounding vibey! Anolah’s voice is stunning and soulful and perfectly compliments the gritty garage verses from the four MCs. They say the track is “a testimony to the party and the afters.” This single is part of Sakawah Boys’ debut EP, due to drop in March with a celebratory event in East London, so keep your eyes peeled.

Nectar Woode
Nothing To Lose
Communion Records Limited

For fans of… Hiatus Kaiyote, Yussef Dayes, SAULT
Why listen… Nectar Woode’s velvety voice will be your new fave.

Nectar Woode is a singer/songwriter based in East London who’s one to watch this year. Her latest release ‘Nothing To Lose’ is warm and soulful and was produced with long term collaborator Dom Valentino. It’s also the title track from her forthcoming EP due out on 23rd Feb. The EP release will be followed by a headline at Omeara on 14th March. If the rest of the EP is anything like her previous tracks, we can’t wait!

Jordan Rakei
Universal Music

For fans of… Oscar Jerome, Tom Misch, Yussef Days
Why listen… The one and only Jordan Rakei returns with a stunning new single.

‘Freedom’ will appear on Jordan’s upcoming fifth studio album, following the release of ‘Flowers’ last October. He co-wrote the song with Alhaji Waziri Oshomah and produced the track himself. Jordan said on Instagram the track is about “Embracing that inner child and having fun with it.” He has also announced his album ‘The Loop’ is coming for our ears on May 10th with an accompanying tour kicking off in September with two London dates at the Royal Albert Hall.

Universal Music

For fans of… Jaz Karis, Stormzy, Pip Millett
Why listen… Debbie begins the year with an incredibly empowering new single.

Debbie’s just released her first track of the year after taking a short break. ‘Rain’ is a song about being resilient and reflects on challenging times. Speaking about ‘Rain’ on Instagram, Debbie says “I needed to start the year on a high and feel free in so many ways. I hope you listen and feel the same.” Debbie’s year has definitely started strong as she’s also been nominated for ‘Song Of The Year’ at the BRITs for ‘Firebabe’ with Stormzy!

Words: Maria Hanlon @mariahanlon

Listen to The Voices Breakfast Show with Maria Hanlon on the 1st Friday of the month 9-11am on voicesradio.co.uk.

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