When reality became too much, ELUNIA created an alternative existence. A singer-songwriter-producer executing all of her own visuals, the New Hampshire-based recording artist captures the endless meaning of human interaction as an immersive experience. Her music delves beneath the surface, with striking electronic textures, soaring melodies, and observant, probing lyrics.
Although trained in music from an early age, it was the discovery of transforming feelings into creative entities that inspired the emerging songsmith to chart a different path. The multi-instrumentalist began writing and producing incessantly, hiding away in school practice rooms as a coping mechanism for the isolation she faced in the world around her. Fragments of thought noted in the midst of heart-wrenching moments evolved into ethereal, liquid atmospheres. Co-producing with multi-million streamed producer JMAC (Haux, Luz), the result is a flood of wild self-expression channeled through cinematic soundscapes.
Her new five-track EP DEEP END is a fresh and fluid, deep-blue dive into ELUNIA’s waves of emotions narrating the motions of life as an outsider. Sonically, the EP has classical undertones under a mystical, oceanic bed of electro moments, all carrying dark currents with a glitter of hope. With gentle swirling synths and ELUNIA’s tender vocals, each single shows the progression of the young artist’s personal development through an observant lens of mental health, exploring the societal pressures of conformity vs. individuality. She explains, “The listener follows my path to finding a feeling of purpose, from the growing pains of bullying and exclusion to discovering people and experiences where I felt wholly accepted, and for the first time, at peace, with my own identity.”
Leading single “Pressure Points” speaks of idolizing someone through a struggle with mental health and the fear of losing them. ELUNIA describes, “It’s not like someone is outright saving you, but more that they’re just existing in the right places and the right ways, and it’s really subtle, but that makes it all the more powerful.”“Pressure Points” features cries of hazy guitar falls and atmospheric keys, all shimmering with authenticity. The mellow track includes original voice memos with birdsong floating in the background, resulting in a hypnotic and peaceful delivery and ultimately giving listeners a moment to breathe and appreciate our inner strength.
Looking for a rap-infused bass listening experience that features lyrics with integrity? We did as well and then we found it in the electronic bass outfit Ultimate Fantastic’s latest song ‘Who Now?’, which is set to feature on their next EP project Gadzooks via renowned bass record label Gravitas Recordings. The EP is slated for official release tomorrow and we are thrilled to present you with another track to feature on this release; ‘Keep Moving’. When listening to this track please ensure you have ample space around you, as listening to it will fire you up to a point that you may end up bouncing off the walls. The band formed after performing together at Burning Man and have been inseparable ever since. ‘Keep Moving’ is a vibrant bass track that is filled with a poised attitude, and that is what 8oh8 is all about. As we wait for the full EP to be unveiled, please enjoy ‘Keep Moving’ below.
On “A Tenuous Tale of Her”, Poté (aka Sylvern Mathurin) marks the debut album release for Bonobo’sOUTLIER imprint. He shares emotive single from the album titled ‘Stare’, in which we see the Paris based artist reflect on his own experiences with mental health. “It’s a song about being in a vicious cycle with anxiety and paranoia” he explains, “where we feel there’s no escape, no space to breath”.
‘Stare’ arrives shortly after the announcement of “A Tenuous Tale of Her” and lead single ‘Young Lies’ ft. Damon Albarn, which received widespread support from the likes of Pitchfork, NME, Line of Best Fit, Consequence of Sound, Stereogum, XLR8R and Mixmag who described the single as “an energetic cut that pulsates with vibrancy and life”. Poté has also received praise across a wide spectrum of supporters in the past, including Annie Mac, MistaJam, Phil Taggart, Nina Las Vegas, TEED, Pierre Kwenders, Jamz Supernova, Laurent Garnier, and Toddla T. He’s been featured in Bonobo’s 2019 ‘fabric presents’ mix, featured on 2019 Africa Express album “EGOLI”, produced remixes for Little Dragon and Gorillaz, and recently performed on Colors Berlin.
Channelled through an imagined theatrical performance with a pre-apocalyptic setting, “A Tenuous Tale of Her” provides a record that’s tough, tender and grand all at once. The connections Poté has built along the way speaks to the variety of his influences: with connections from Lisbon’s kuduro-fused Enchufada label, to Benji B and Damon Albarn, he’s built a sound that’s packed with ideas and musical touchstones alike.
Poté’s music has always balanced contrasting impulses. On the one hand, there’s the rhythmic, celebratory music of his Caribbean upbringing, and on the other, there’s his interest in exploratory, emotive songwriting. On this record, he takes that approach in a bolder direction: immersive and atmospheric, it’s a platform for those two sides of his music to strike a fresh dialogue. It’s the latest chapter in his journey to find newer and bolder ways to express himself. On this record, more than any project he’s released so far, Poté undoubtedly opens up – both in his sound, and in the parts of himself that he reveals.
Jungle fans marvel at the sounds of Jerry Folk’s latest single ‘Dotted Red’. The single released last friday and was produced along Folk’s side project FENGSEL, which is bound to be the word on everyone’s lips in the months to come. Why is this you may ask? Jerry Folk will be releasing his first album in his career under the FENGSEL name. This album is rumoured to be years in the making. Be prepared to hear a new sound that contrasts with the music producer original acclaim.
In a conversation with The Playground (read interview) about his ‘Everything’ single, the music producer shared: “I’ve had a lot of side projects. Folkestad and some stuff on Soundcloud. Right now my new side project is FENGSEL. It’s gonna launch with this single and the upcoming album. It will be released as both Fengsel and Jerry Folk because Fengsel is the universe I want the album to exist in and since it’s a slightly new direction for Jerry Folk.”
Indeed this is a new direction for the producer that has performed on the stages of Coachella and opened for renowned electronic act Odeza in recent times. ‘Dotted Red’ is a huge leap from the Jerry Folk we know, with its feathery jungle atmosphere but we are loving this new direction for sure.
Jerry Folk previously featured on Muze FMwith song ‘On My Way (ft. Bearson)’
Interview with emerging dance music producer AIR APPARENT
Bouncing between electro-pop, trap & dance music, you are bound to feel the need to tap your foot to the floor listening to AIR APPARENT energetic dancefloor soundscapes. A rising musician currently sitting over 45,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, AIR APPARENT is known to collaborate with other emerging musicians on all of his releases. Neil Sethi, known popularly as AIR APPARENT shared his dancefloor worthy hit ‘Bad For Me’ via Pug Life Records last month featuring noteworthy singer GESS is sure to put you in high spirits.
We asked AIR APPARENT a few questions about his favourite memories thus far since pursuing a career in music.
Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?
I began appreciating curated music in a serious way when I was a freshman in college and got involved in college radio. At the time, the best way to find new music was blogs and Hype Machine! Since then, the landscape has shifted a ton. I started getting into making music around the same time, working on a few childhood-inspired tracks that blended emo/pop-punk with experimental electronics. Some of that has stayed with me today!
Take us through your list of dream software/gear you would like to get?
I’d love to get some serious analog synthesizers like a Moog or a Prophet. So far, I just use digital versions :). I’d also love to get a bunch of non-digital instruments like a Nord piano and a couple of guitars, just to open up the possibility of making music away from a screen every once in a while.
What do you need with you when you sit down to write or produce?
I typically start by opening up a DAW and a notepad/text editor and jam on a midi keyboard. Stuff kind of opens up and unfolds from there!
What other artistic revenues do you pursue?
I write and produce some music for other artists and am looking to get into Twitch streaming soon :).
Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, what do you prefer?
I think studio work and music creation is the most magical part, but I’m excited to spend more time connecting with audiences in person as we near the end of the pandemic.
What has been the most memorable moment of your career so far?
I think releasing ‘Asking You’ was pretty amazing. It was a track I threw together relatively quickly, but definitely the first time I felt there was a widespread appreciation for some music I felt I cobbled together.
Name 3 artists you would love to collaborate with in the future
Abhi the Nomad, Jai Wolf, Louis the Child.
Do you think music should provide social commentary and reflect the current world?
I think music could provide social commentary – but I don’t think music needs or has to be anything specific. I think the only thing music should be is an authentic representation of what an artist cares about.
What can we expect from you in the near future? Any upcoming projects or gigs in the pipeline that you would like to tell us about?
Look forward to a virtual music festival gig later this year and an album in the summer.
Performing alongside the likes of names like Skepta & Stefflon Don in recent months, music producer & rapper Nutty P (Anton Flanders) is here to make music with impact & substance. The producer has even charmed the likes of presenters Annie Mac & Zane Lowe with his effortless swag & charisma while tackling important political discussions. Inspired by his dancehall & reggae upbringing, the music producer has shared his latest banger ‘Ballerina on a Minefield’ via Dream Walk Records.
We chatted with the one & only Nutty P below.
Looking back, what was your earliest entry into music appreciation? And music production?
Well, when I first got to Earth, the woman who you humans would call Grandmother introduced me to the likes of Bob Marley and John Holt. It wasn’t long before she discovered I was not of this realm and needed to channel my ethereal energies, so she got me a cheap Yamaha keyboard that I used to compose melodies and loops
How would you describe your sound?
On my homeworld, the sound of people is called Aadv651r-][[q which roughly translates in Earth English as multilayered bass-heavy melodic tunes you can vibe to.
Do you have a motto or mantra that you live by?
I only have another 136 years left on this planet, which seems like a lot to humans but where I’m from originally, that’s only a fortnight. So the mantra I live by is “treasure every moment, don’t hold onto grudges, have fun, and don’t be afraid to take risks”.
Outside of music, what inspires you?
Literally everything, movies, books, games, life, my memories of my OG realm. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to get a direct connection to the essence there and bring the vibes straight to Earth. I clear my mind, meditate and let the ideas form naturally.
Is there a particular historical moment in the music industry, that inspires you today as an artist?
That would probably be the moment 2pac existed, that era of mid to late 90s, he was just unstoppable. How’s a man making a million albums, starring in movies, writing books, shooting feds, getting shot, going to jail coming back with a banging album all at the age of 25. He was a beast, pretty sure he was from another planet as well, I’d have to check my sources though.
Tell us one interesting fact about yourself that no-one would expect.
Sometimes when I’m working on music I get synesthesia.
Music producer Wax Tailor returns with a trio of remixes
Image Credit: Ronan Siri
Not too long ago, Wax Tailor treated fans with the release of the spectacular hip hop LP, Shadow Of Their Suns. A collection of a unique range of talent from around the world, the album had several outstanding tracks, including‘Shining Underdog’with Boog Brown and‘Keep It Movin’with D Smoke. However, our personal favourite of the album was ‘Dusk To Dusk’ with South African artist Yugen Black, who has coincidentally worked with Kanif The Jhatmaster, the rising producer Wax Tailor commissioned to help remix ‘Everybody’. You can read our full feature on the albumhere.
Along with the remix from South African artist Kanif The Jhatmaster, Wax Tailor also shared his own reworked version of the song, as well as an instrumental edition for fans who simply couldn’t get enough of the hypnotic beats. The trio of tracks compliment each other, while the one Wax Tailor’s approach is softer, bringing a more orchestral element and Kanif The Jhatmaster leads listeners further infor the world of hip hop.
Kanif The Jhatmaster tells us about working on the remix: “I think one of the interesting things about remixes is bringing a different feeling to the song. To find different emotions in the words. Del and Lif are two of my favorite MCs. It was a great pleasure to work on this.”
Interview with confrontational, ‘Grammy Weeknd’ rapper Lucidious
Following the controversy of the Grammy’s & the past weekend’s event, rapper Lucidious shared his frustration. If you are not in the loop, the Weeknd single‘Blinding Lights’ was a top-charting single throughout 2020 and was not recognized as a Grammy winner due to slimy decisions & dodgy record deals. Rapper Lucidious then took the opportunity to shed a light on this controversy with a music video ‘Grammy Weeknd’, which speaks on the disgusting hierarchy in the Grammy voting board.
We spoke with Lucidious about his latest video release below.
Hello Lucidious, Thank you for sitting down with us to chat about your new music video ‘Grammy Weeknd’. The Grammy’s just happened this weekend, so can you tell us a bit about how your song fits into the conversations around the snubs of this year’s nominations?
Appreciate you having me! As artists on the come-up, we imagine winning a Grammy to be the ultimate accolade and something to reach for. With that being said, the last few award seasons have been telling. How can we be excited about something that’s so subjective, lacks transparency, and is riddled with networking politics? It’s discouraging for the rest of us. Seeing artists come forward about their sentiments really inspired me to do the same, which is how this song came about. Moreover, I used this song as an opportunity to touch on other factors of the entertainment industry that contribute to smaller artists’ quitting altogether.
When writing this song, what was the main feeling as an artist who is at the mercy of these “industry gatekeepers”?
Complete frustration. We’re living in a time where independents have more opportunity than ever before to gain exposure and recognition through their own marketing efforts (which is great), but we also have no chance of reaching a level playing field with the majors. We’re blocked out by an imaginary line where private conversations and handshakes land placements. What’s most disappointing is that The Weeknd is not independent or small, he’s earned his stripes and is still being crushed by these “gatekeepers”.
The truth is, less than 1% of artists will be able to sustain a long-term career in the music industry. This unfortunate reality is reinforced by low streaming payouts, suppressed engagement via social media (because Facebook and Instagram’s job is to rake in marketing dollars), playlist limitations, and the inability to “pay-and-play”, because most artists pockets aren’t that deep.
Other artists have been really vocal about the Grammy snubs this year as well… does that change how you feel or how you express your thoughts on the topic?
If anything, it’s made me feel even stronger and more confident in the message we’re trying to get across. Musicians deserve more transparency, representation, and proper recognition on every level.
You accompanied the single with a music video – How does the music video represent what’s being sung about lyrically?
I wanted to tip my hat to The Weeknd using similar visuals and styling from his album, After Hours. We intentionally elected to have the video be more performance-heavy so that the lyrics could be the focal point, but still added in a few symbolic elements. For example, the limo scene was a representation of walking through the music industry – surrounded by a hazy superficial environment and not wanting to be a part of it.
How do you hope that this song affects listeners? The industry?
It’s simply my goal to bring more awareness to what’s happening and not happening. The more noise that is made around artist mistreatment and industry corruption, the better chance we have of seeing some change. The Grammys in particular has always been – and is supposed to be – iconic, respected, and sought-after.
What would be your first step in making a specific change in the industry?
First and foremost, I’d like the public to be more aware of how these votes are weighted and what they are based on (other than the opinion of those allowed to vote). I’d love to see nominations and awards given based on genuine universal impact, engagement, and authentic listenership. Ultimately, I’d also love to see more of a focus on the independent artist community, even if that means adding potential awards to the line-up.
Grammy’s aside, there are some things that would drastically change the sustainability of artist careers:
Allow artists to disseminate information to their audience more seamlessly. What’s the point of having Spotify followers if we can’t inform them of a new release? Open the gates.
Allow artists to reach their fans. Social platforms will say we have hundreds of thousands of followers, but restrict organic reach to 5%. Oh, unless artists choose to spend more hard-earned money on ads to reach fans who voluntarily followed. Open the gates.
Playlists run the game right now. Allow artists a chance to actually land a placement without having to know the right person. We get it, labels need to make their money back. Have your playlists for hand-selected artists, but these playlists are based on making money back on signing deals and label expenses, not skill or curating a listener experience. Open the gates.
Do you think that everyone speaking out this year will make any change happen? Or will the industry be at the same place next year?
I’ll choose optimism on this one. Let’s just keep making noise.
Music producers Wuki & Somkepurpp link up on trap banger ‘Birdz’
Smokepurpp and Wuki link up on the official music video for their new single “Birdz” out now via Hard Recs. Riding through the desert on high-powered quads and sand viper dune buggies, Wuki and Smokpurpp endure the rocky terrain and take us on a reckless, off-roading adventure. Shifting into high gear, Smokepurpp is seen spitting hard-hitting bars while Wuki hypes him up as they both create a rowdy and rambunctious scene. The “Birdz” single has been lighting up airwaves with support from iHeartRadio, Hot 97, Dash Radio as well as major playlists on Spotify including Cratediggers, Beast Mode, Trap Mojito and many more. Already racking in hundreds of thousands of streams so shortly after release, “Birdz” is quickly becoming one of the hottest tracks of 2021.
Future bass trio One Giant Leap debut environmental music video, ‘Human Race’
Directed by: E.T Rouleau ( @e.t_rouleau)
In light of our world’s growing need for environmental sustainability, musician JiLLi was inspired to write a song from the POV of our dying mother nature.
“Human Race” is the first track of an award-winning EP created by JiLLi and two classmates at Icon Collective College of Music under the project named One Giant Leap. This song has been a modest success for them on streaming platforms.
The group hope that this video could go viral with the right publicity, as environmental awareness is on the rise and it’s imperative that we take action.