With the end of the UK lockdown on the horizon and the sun finally making a reappearance, everything is seeming a lot more positive and the vibes are immaculate. Here are six tracks I have been banging out and think you may love too.
‘Free’ – Safiyyah & RADA
On their first collaboration together, Safiyyah and RADA join forces on a “don’t-need-no-man” anthem, Free. The London based songstresses display their lyrical and songwriting ability as they champion freedom, empowerment and confidence.
The sensuous, alt-soul hit hears Safiyyah and RADA’s airy, effortless voices entwine over latin-infused beats, produced by Solarris. Whilst incorporating her Moroccan-Portuguese heritage into the track, Safiyyah encourages being “ruthless and free and letting yourself feel like a bad b” as her infectious melodies harmonise with RADA’s seductive and passionate vocals.
‘10,000 Tears’ – Ghetts feat. Ed Sheeran
Ghetts’ ‘Conflict of Interest’ is star studded to say the least, with features from Stormzy, Emeli Sande and someone he praises as the “busiest man in the world”, Ed Sheeran, on the track ‘10,000 Tears’. The mellow heartbreak track hears the MC attempting to fix a broken relationship.
Ghetts explains how he discovered that he’s a “conflicted human being” and revealed more than one version of himself when on this project, with a passionate, thoughtful persona being brought to life on the collaboration with Ed. He wears his heart on his sleeve throughout the song as he recounts hardships of love whilst Ed flexes his rap skills. Impressive.
‘Bullshit’ – Young Rog feat. Summer Walker
With only a few singles to his name and as the newest sign to the Atlanta-based label LVRN, Young Rog proves himself on the admirably magnetic track, Bullshit.
The new rapper on the scene teamed up with award-winning singer-songwriter Summer Walker on the laid back collaboration, set to appear on his forthcoming project, Boy Next Door. With captivating visuals to go with the self-produced track, Young Rog and his LVRN labelmate fail to settle their differences in an ongoing fight. In a conversation with Complex, Rog praises Walker’s efforts on the song, noting how “her voice over any beat makes records sit in another dimension.”
‘Me 2 Me’ – Shiv
Singer-songwriter and producer Shiv gifted us with her self-released EP ‘Me 2 Me’. The project was written, recorded, and produced entirely by her and is essentially an inward look to her relationship with herself.
Shiv’s authentic voice animates the lyrical journey of maintaining a healthy relationship with oneself across six tracks. On the title track ‘Me 2 Me’, Shiv assures herself of her talent and potential, and though lyrically uplifting, the despondent instrumentals disrupt the positive tones.
Shiv’s potential as an emerging artist is groundbreaking and her explorations of imperfections and insecurities is an important narrative that we need now more than ever.
‘Dream’ – Lucky Daye feat. Queen Naija
Lucky Daye came through just before Valentine’s Day with his perspective on love, relationships and duality in his sophomore album, ‘Table for Two’. The seven track album features the very best of female R&B talent, with vocals from Ari Lennox, Tiana Major9 and more.
The track ‘Dream’, featuring Queen Naija had already been released with Naija’s earlier project, however, Daye felt it fit the overall story progression in his album. The song immediately hits you with a sense of nostalgia, taking us back to the 2000s, with Usher and Alicia Keys ‘My Boo’ vibes. ‘Dream’ portrays a fantastical love, the perfect form of a romantic dreamland that both singers choose over their reality.
‘Test Drive’ – Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande extended the Valentine’s Day spirit and treated us to a deluxe version of the Billboard 200 No.1 album ‘Positions’, along with the music video to the ‘34+35’ remix with Megan Thee Stallion and Doja Cat.
The 4 songs released on ‘Positions’ deluxe were sprinkled with flirtatious undertones and rebellious behaviour, including more of Ariana’s favourite references to driving on the track ‘test drive’. With Ari teasing the lyrics before the initial drop, there were many speculations about the songs and although filled with sexy innuendos, ‘test drive’ was received as an ode to her fiancé and compared to her earlier tracks like Honeymoon Ave.
Listen to Lauren’s picks here: