Bringing you a pick of the month’s best releases, Jojo Jones and Maria Hanlon present 10 tunes that have hit their decks – and got a reload – in August. Starring Amindi, Shy One, 30/70 Collective, Adi Oasis, Greentea Peng, Asha Gold, NiNE8, Ezra Collective & Sampa the Great, Jelani Blackman with Moonchild Sanelly & Trillary Banks and Kokoroko…
For fans of… SZA, Jhene Aiko, NAO
Why listen… Confident and defiant vocals with kicks and snares to die for.
Hot on the anniversary of her debut EP ‘nice’, the Inglewood-based singer has finally returned with a tune perfect for easing us outta summer. With the release of her immensely popular ‘Pine & Ginger‘ and ‘Love Em and Leave Em’ ft Kari Faux, this slow burning tune takes a smoother approach. With smoky vocals and an addictive bass and snare drum, this R&B/jazz infused track feels fresh and floaty. (JJ)
For fans of… Thundercat, Tom Misch, J Dilla
Why listen… 5 minutes of broken beat jazzy beauty to zone out too.
London based DJ and producer Shy One is known for their eclectic sounds fusing the sounds of soul, garage, jazz & broken beat, as well as producing the best DJ memes in the game (go follow @shyclart on IG). This newly released EP From the Floor to The Booth does not disappoint, overflowing with melodies and bass hits that leave you shoulder shimmying wherever you are. ‘Scorpio Sun‘ is the stand out track, a 5 minute hazy, stripped back jazzy number, where vocals are not needed as with every listen you pick out a new layer of the song to fixate and obsess over. (JJ)
Without You, Within Me
Energy Exchange Records
For fans of… Ezra Collective, Erykah Badu, Jordan Rakei
Why listen… Australian jazz experts deliver another fusion banger.
One of Melbourne, Australia’s biggest exports, the 30/70 collective have gone from strength to strength in the past few years. Escaping the Australian winter and arriving in Europe for summer has produced this upbeat, sundrenched track. Full of broken beat inspiration and a jazzy horn sections, Allysha Joy’s vocals shine through to deliver a gorgeous message: “I am expansive beyond another person’s perception of me in spirit, in time and in music, beyond my own sense of self.” (JJ)
Red to Violet ft Jamila Woods
For fans of… Thundercat, Snoh Alegra, Ravyn Lenae
Why listen… Soul-lovers unite for a dreamy & classic link up from two epic vocalists.
This track feels simultaneously straight out of the 70s soul and funk scene, whilst maintaining a freshness unique to 2022. Adi Oasis, formerly known as Adeline, delivers stellar vocals to match the hazy, pulsing bass line, making you feel like you’re riding through the desert whilst the sun is setting. And if it couldn’t get better, Jamila Woods’ unmissable voice meshes perfectly with the melody, adding another layer of smooth nostalgia to this already relaxed to the max song. (JJ)
Look to Him
For fans of… Ego Ella May, Pip Millet, Nia Archives
Why listen… London spiritual star does it again with an urgent, trumpet led jazzy joint.
The London based psychedelic jazz fusion singer has risen rapidly in the past few years, playing their first Glastonbury in 2022. The Look to Him EP is from the first follow up to her acclaimed 2021 album MAN-MADE, and it shows a mature progression. This track delves into the idea of looking inside yourself for divine and creative inspiration, and to pull from this we must understand we are all products of a higher power. With a meaning that deep, staccato horns and a bassline to build anticipation, this is not one to miss. (JJ)
Up To Me
For fans of… Safiyyah, Hope Tala, Mysie
Why listen…This radiant release from Asha Gold will be your new summer staple.
West London star Asha Gold’s, ‘Up To Me’, is a fun take on adulthood and its disadvantages. The playful backing beat, produced by multi-instrumentalist and producer Louis Fulford Smith, works perfectly with Asha’s renowned smooth and bright vocals. Speaking on the track Asha says, “I had a lot of fun writing ‘Up To Me’ – the quicker tempo pushed me to be inventive with melody and challenged me to tell a story without crowding the space with too many words. The lyrics encapsulate a sort of playful nostalgia: it’s about growing up and entering the real world, and therefore losing the freedom to carelessly spend hours upon hours with my favourite people”. (MH)
Nige Piano (Deja Vu)
NiNE8 / Other Projects
For fans of… Biig Piig, Lava La Rue, NAYANA IZ
Why listen…The London-based collective continue genre-bending and perfecting their DIY sound in ‘Nige Piano (Deja Vu)’.
NiNE8 is made up of ‘music industry misfits’: Lava La Rue, MC Niall Williams (aka NIGE), Biig Piig, Mac Wetha and KXRN, Bone Slim, MC, Libaan (aka L!BAAN), Nayana Sharma (aka IZ) and Lorenzo (aka LorenzoRSV). Since they formed six years ago they’ve been helping shape the underground music scene in the UK, whilst making music individually and together as a collective. NiNE8’s founding member Lava La Rue shares some insights on their latest release: “Mac Wetha recorded Nige’s sweet keys playing on voice notes – airdropped it to his laptop, chopped it up into a beat as the rest of the collective proceeded to pour their hearts out on paper.” (MH)
Ezra Collective, Sampa the Great
Life Goes On
For fans of… Little Simz, Kokoroko, Erykah Badu
Why listen… Ezra Collective are back with a rapid, fiery track, featuring Sampa the Great which is guaranteed to grab your attention.
Following on from ‘Victory Dance’, Ezra Collective don’t disappoint with their second release from their upcoming album incorporating the energies of southern Africa with their own style of London jazz. This time they feature the incredible voice of Zambian rapper and songwriter, Sampa the Great. The song comes ahead of their album ‘You Can’t Steal My Joy’ which will be released on November 4th and features guest appearances from Emeli Sandé, Nao and Kojey Radical. The song arrives alongside a video directed by Nathan Miller which was shot on location in both London and Lusaka, Zambia. The band describe it as “London meets Lusaka. Moments of Joy, moments of struggle, but United in a spirit that we must carry on”. (MH)
Jelani Blackman, Moonchild Sanelly, Trillary Banks
18 Records / MNRK UK
For fans of… Kojey Radical, The Silhouettes Project, Wesley Joseph
Why listen… Jelani Blackman returns with a sensual and soulful new single that will have you hooked in no time.
‘Comfy’ is the first track that Jelani has released since his mixtape last year and it was definitely worth the wait! It’s a dancehall-inspired bop featuring the brilliant Trillary Banks and Moonchild Sanelly. Jelani Blackman is known for being a fan of collaboration and ‘Comfy’ is the perfect example, highlighting each of the three artist’s talents. Speaking about the collaboration with Moonchild Sanelly, Jelani says: “I’ve been chillin with Moon for a minute and the vibe has been so good, this song came out of it. It’s about feeling comfortable and when you do, how much your energy just radiates out and people catch it.” (MH)
Those Good Times
For fans of… Femi Kuti, Nubya Garcia, Nubiyan Twist
Why listen… Every track on their new album is simply stunning but ‘Those Good Times’ is a standout song, full of nostalgia and happy memories.
London based 8-piece collective Kokoroko recently released their long-awaited album ‘Could We Be More’ via Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings. It’s an expansive and ambitious album that takes us on a journey whilst moving across Afrobeat, Highlife, Soul and Funk in its 15 tracks. Speaking on the origins of Could We Be More, band members Sheila Maurice-Grey and Onome Edgeworth explains: “I think home has hugely informed the way we write and play our music. Everyone comes from different backgrounds but the thing that unites us in Kokoroko is that we all have a similar love and appreciation for Afrobeat and Highlife”. (MH)
Words by Jojo Jones (JJ) Listen to Jojo Jones on the first Wednesday of the month 1-2pm voicesradio.co.uk @jojo_j0nes