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UD Selects: July Mixtape

Bringing you a pick of the month’s best releases, Maria Hanlon & Jojo Jones present 10 tunes that have hit their decks – and got a reload – in July. Starring Nubya Garcia, Kaiya, Outlaw The Artist, Yiigaa, Yussef Dayes, Masego, Genesis Owusu, Berhana, Jianbo, p-rallel, Ella More, Katus Myles, Nix Northwest & Hilts.

Nubya Garcia
Lean In
Concord Jazz Records

For fans of… Ezra Collective, Obongjayar, Kokoroko
Why listen… 5 minutes of enchanting drum patterns and hypnotic saxophone solos

Mercury Prize 2023 nominee, Nubya Garcia, has paved the way in recent years for the UK Jazz scene with impressive releases again and again – this is no exception. The Camden native wowed audiences with her energy-filled live shows and her debut album, Nubya’s 5ive, back in 2018, and the established artist returns with upbeat single ‘Lean In’. With unflinching snare kicks and addictive keyboard solos against Nubya’s trademark floaty saxophone melodies, this track is completely addictive. (JJ)

Kaiya, Outlaw The Artist
Could Be
Independently Released 

For fans of… Frank Ocean, Safiyyah, Loie
Why listen… Kaiya teams up with Outlaw The Artist to create the perfect blend of soulful vocals and gritty UK hip-hop

Rising singer/songwriter Kaiya and rapper Outlaw The Artist have joined forces to create a stand out sound in ‘Could Be’. The track is set against a backdrop of drill 808s, enchanting piano melodies, and cosmic synths perfectly produced by London based J.Ar.J. (read our interview with him HERE). The track showcases Kaiya’s ability to weave deep and heartfelt lyrics into drill and hip hop beats. The music video for this is giving ’90s nostalgic vibes too. (MH)

Jianbo 
Play Your Part
Jianbo

For fans of… KAM-BU, Bone Slim, Louis Culture
Why listen… Jianbo is a rapidly rising star who you need to know about

Jianbo is a Chinese/Vietnamese-British rapper who pairs a mid-noughties inspired grime flow with tales of a classic east Asian upbringing to create a fresh sound, you won’t have heard before. ‘Play Your Part’ is Jianbo’s latest release and is a UKG tinged summer track and an ode to Hong Kong. Jianbo says on Instagram ‘This one is inspired by city life, growing up, and trying to navigate urban chaos.’ Jianbo is also known for his movie-like music videos, and this one is no different! (MH)

Yiiga
All Night
Yiiga & Supernature

For fans of… Tems, Mahalia, Jorja Smith
Why listen… Sultry smooth vocals with an Afrobeat inspired production from this rising star

Bringing together pop, Afrobeats and R&B, Yiiga explores a range of emotions through this haunting track. From her new EP Light Years, produced by longtime collaborator J.Ar.J., through layered vocal harmonies and poignant lyrics this south Londoner shows her range and impressive ability for storytelling. Not to mention the ability to create a chart-worthy chorus. Love. (JJ)

Yussef Dayes
Marching Band ft Masego 
Brownswood Recordings

For fans of… Mereba, Masego, Tom Misch 
Why listen… US R&B icon meets a UK Jazz legend for 5 minutes of bliss

The drummer Yussef Dayes first came to my attention on his collaboration album with Tom Misch and the songNightrider‘, but this EP proves the expanse of his sound since then. Released on Giles Peterson’s Brownswood Recordings, Dayes invites the US R&B singer and saxophonist Masego to this cut from his new Marching Band/ Tioga Pass EP. A creative match made in heaven, proven by the scatting Masego performs at the beginning, an outtake of the creation of this song and how it seems the melody came to be. What follows is 5 minutes of chilled out, jazz and R&B fusion with silky vocals from Masego and expert drum control from Dayes – get tickets for his forthcoming Royal Albert Hall date if you can. (JJ)

p-rallel
I Know 
4ZA Music / Black Butter Limited

For fans of… Conducta, IZCO, KiLLOWEN
Why listen… ‘I Know’ will be sure to get you moving with its summery UKG sound

Whilst the weather has been a bit hit and miss, p-rallel continues to bring the heat with his new banger, ‘I Know’. Similar in style to previous tunes ‘I’m So High’ and ‘Evening Time’, his latest track showcases his love for garage and 2-step, creating playful production to get your head bopping. p-rallel says on Instagram; ‘Summer’s not done yet, and I still got a lot of music to drop so…’ that is literally music to our ears, as we can’t wait for more! (MH)

Genesis Owusu
Tied Up!
OURNESS

For fans of… Steve Lacy, Billie Eilish, Blood Orange
Why listen… A fusion of new wave indie & alternative hip-hop with hints of punk

At the forefront of his own sound, the Ghanaian-Australian singer songwriter Genesis Owusu returns with a tease of his upcoming album Struggler. Opening with an unmistakable Owusu-esque guitar riff matched perfectly with his almost punk-rock monotonous vocals. You can’t help but bop to the chorus of this one and I know it’ll be stuck in my head for days. For a song called ‘Tied Up’ this one definitely will help you let loose. (JJ)

Ella More, Katus Myles
You’re The One
Ella More

For fans of… Cleo Sol, Solange, NAYANA IZ
Why listen… This infectious soul single needs to be on your summer playlist ASAP

Rising star Ella More has teamed up with Birmingham based artist Katus Myles for the beautiful and bouncy tune that you’ll want on rotation. The track fuses R&B, funk & future beats to create a unique sound with its intricate layers. The lyrics tell the tale of realising you’re in love & that you have found the one. Ella currently has three tracks out so we’re hoping for more later in the year as we’ve found one of our new fave artists! (MH)

Berhana
Gone (Abebe Bikila) 
EQT Recordings

For fans of… Leven Kali, Duckwrth, Steve Lacy 
Why listen… The normally summer-infused sound of Berhana takes on a new chapter

Atlanta artist Berhana has been the soundtrack of many of my teenage Summers, his alternative R&B and falsetto voice perfect for the golden hour. But with this new single from his new album he marks a change in his sound and a new chapter, saying on Instagram “this is truly just the beginning”. ‘The tune ‘Gone’ leans into guitar melodies and layered vocals, reminiscent of early Frank Ocean and Steve Lacy. Named after the legendary Ethiopian marathon runner who won gold at the 1960 Olympics after competing in barefoot after realising his shoes didn’t fit, Berhana’s influences continue to create magic in his music. (JJ)

Nix Northwest, Hilts 
Where Are They Now?
Well Overdue Recordings

For fans of… Finn Foxell, The Silhouettes Project, Frankie Stew & Harvey Gunn
Why listen… ‘Where Are They Now’ pairs modern rap, a classic bossa nova instrumental and the two rappers’ brilliant bars to create something truly remarkable. 

Two of London’s most exciting and evocative wordsmiths have joined forces for a mellow yet empowering track ‘Where Are They Now?’. The track features a re-recorded instrumental based on the 1965 classic ‘Manha de Carnaval’ by João Donato with the added twist of vocals from the powerful pair. The lyrics focus on only keeping people who believe in you close by, Hilts says on Instagram; ‘If they don’t believe in you, dash them away’ ‘Where Are They Now?’ is the final single ahead of Hilts’ debut project, Swings & Roundabouts, releasing August 23. (MH)

Words: Jojo Jones (JJ) & Maria Hanlon (MH)

You can also listen to the UD Selects Mixtape 2023 playlists on the UD YouTube channel

Jojo Jones is a freelance writerphotographerDJ & radio host. Listen to Jojo Jones on the 3rd Wednesday of the month on voicesradio.co.uk and check out her work @jojo_j0nes jojojones.uk

@mariahanlon Listen to Maria Meets on the 2nd Friday of the month 3-5pm on  voicesradio.co.uk.

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