10 things you didnt know about Shakka (the guy in the Wretch32 ‘Blackout’ tune)

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You may have heard of Shakka recently because of his duo with Wretch32 ‘Blackout’ currently in the charts.  What a tuunnnee for the summer!  If, like us, you immediately fell for the guys velvety smooth vocals on the track, you’ll want to find out more … so here it is …. 10 things you didn’t know about Shakka.

1.  Shakka is of Dominican origin, and his father was guitarist and producer of reggae band “The Foreigners Crew”

2.  Shakka grew up in  Notting Hill, London, England

3.  He has a band called ‘The Shakkapellas’ that produce accapella covers on you tube

4.  Shakka can beat box 🙂

5.  Rita Ora wants to work with him

6.  Shakka likes to play his own version of ‘Simon Says’ during live performances called ‘Shakka Says’

7.  He was a runner-up in the MTV Brand New Unsigned 2013 competition

8.  Shakka describes his vibe as if he was “Bob Marley and Chris Martins love child (and Andre 3000‘s cousin)!!”

9.  Shakka has a single out called ‘Sooner or Later’ (watch it below)

10.  Shakka studied Music Production and Theory, Classical Piano, Percussion and Vocals at CYM (centre for young musicians) in London

‘Take our Time’ is also a pretty cool chilled song from Shakka – back from 2011. Enjoy…

T.I. & Cee Lo Green – a suprisingly good mix

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Atlanta’s baby faced rapper T.I (aka Clifford Harris) is back and this time he’s teamed up with an unlikely suitor – Cee Lo Green.  Despite serving two stints in county jail, T.I. has managed to continue producing and writing and now releases his 9th Album (at only 32 years old) entitled ‘Trouble Man II: He Who Wears the Crown’; the album features Kendrick Lamar amongs others.  T.I. keeps himself busy with an acting career as well has as his music and record label (Grand Hustle Records) and is currently filming his part in movie ‘Last Vegas’.

T.I.’s record label, Grand Hustle Records, signed both Iggy Azalea and Chipmunk in 2012.  T.I. also executive produced Iggy Azalea’s mixtape EP ‘Glory’ and he also appeared in her song ‘Murda Bizness’

AFROBEATS in LONDON – DJ ABRANTEE’S ‘AFROBEAT SUNDAYS’ @ INDIGO2

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On Sunday 26th May, The Indigo2, North Greenwich, played host to Choice Fm’s DJ Abrantee’s Afrobeat night ‘Afrobeat Sundays’ with live performances from Joey-B (Strawberry Ginger), D-Black (Oh Vera) and other UK Afrobeat Djs; following the success of the sold out Christmas Special.

We arrived at the night around 11pm to a bustling crowd getting down to some classic RnB and Hiphop (thinking ‘hello? where are the Afrobeats?’).  At around midnight the live performances started, with Ghanaian acts Joey-B and D-Black only doing their sets after 1am.  The performances were smooth and well rehearsed with DJ Abrantee regularly coming on stage to speak to the crowd and introduce the next artist who had flown in from Africa especially for the night.  Great Azonto dancers accompanied the singers – were they from the London Azonto all-stars?

‘Strawberry Ginger’ (featuring D-Black and E.L.) has been a massive hit for Black Avenue Muzik act Joey B.  Joey B only came onto the scene recently after featuring as an unsigned artists on D-Black’s hit tune ‘Oh Vera’.  Black Avenue Muzik signed him in a matter of months.  His new Azonto beat single ‘Benedicta’ is out soon – will he stand alone in the charts without D-Black?  Only time will tell.

D-Black performed his 2012 hit azonto tune ‘oh Vera’ (which stands for ‘very enormous round ass’) alongside Joey B.  For those of you unfamiliar with Ghanaian artist D-Black (aka Desmond Kwesi Blackmore) MTV BASE have crowned him king of GH-rap and an African Hip Hop star.

The first mainstream afrobeat / azonto tune that entered the UK charts was ‘Oliver Twist’ by D’Banj )aka Dapo Daniel Oyebanjo) the Nigerian singer-songwriter, back in Spring 2012.  Since that song came out we’ve seen azonto become the new urban dance craze in London and the ‘London Azonto Allstars’ appear on the scene with their part 1 and part 2 videos.  Around the same time British artist (of Ghanaian descent) Fuse ODG released his track entitled ‘Azonto’, further embedding the dance into the UK scene with (slightly cringeworthy) ‘step by step’ scenes to show you how to Azonto!

5 months ago Fuse ODG brought out their new remix of ‘Antenna’ featuring Wyclef Jean (check our earlier post here).  This tune is properly propelling the afrobeat genre into the mainstream.  The tune has a London feel about it and with international artists Wyclef Jean onboard it has managed to diffuse the Ghanaian / Azonto / Afrobeat vibe into a track that already mainstream Radio 1 Dj’s are raving about.  D’Banj’s ‘Oliver Twist’ was definitely not met on this level by chart followers.

DJ Abrantee Very much made the night feel like it was an event for Africans in London – and not for those who appreciated African influenced music. There were numerous shout outs to people in the crowd from African Nations – but no real love for Brits who were there purely for the love of the tunes; which was disappointing considering the night was in London and not Africa! Dj Abrantee also has his own Afrobeat compilation Album out (available on Itunes) off the back of the branding for his Afrobeat Sundays club nights – but after attending the night, the album now sounds like a diffused version of the original music and less authentic. Somehow the album didn’t quite match the night’s ‘world music’ vibe, but looking at them as separate entities – both deserve credit in their own right.

Bank Holiday Beats – Fresh New London Tunes

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Whatever you’re up to this bank holiday (lets face it if its raining it ain’t gonna be much!) here are some fresh new tunes straight out of London Taan to keep you in an ayre mood.

First up is T-Star (Juvenilez) with track “Carry Home” [Video By @PacmanTV] (follow them on twitter @TstarJVZ).  This track really grows on you.  They’ve done well for an upcoming group to get the perfect mix of beats, rhymin and  sweet vocals to break it all up.  Juvenilez are made up of 4 members (2 rappers and 2 singers):  AJ (14),  Gabriella (15), T-Star (14) & Indiana (13).  Serious talent for such youngsters – we predict great things for these guys!  If you wanna find out more have a look at their slick site:  http://juvenilez.com/

Second tune comes from our absolute favourites right now –  FlowNtrees.  Not only do these boys spit well, they are looking gooood too.  We’d describe their vibe as a mix of German hip hop group ‘Freundeskreis‘, meets ‘Bones Thugs and Harmony’ with a dosing of (vintage) Snoop Dogg thrown in.  Mellow is the name of their game.

They have a load of tunes you can watch on youtube, our favourite has to be a seriously chilled beat called ‘Lil Old School’.  It has a sexy slow beat and wreaks of 90s cool.  The vid on their trip to the Dam is worth a butchers too.  These boys like their Mary Jane 🙂 We’re hoping they’ll take time out for a WhenMiParty.com interview soon as we’d love to find more out about how they started and where they’re headin.  For now, roll a big one, sit back and listen to ‘Lil Old School’

Last but by no means least we wanted to tell you about a fierce lady called ‘frizz’.  A lady with serious rhymin skills.  We like her tune “One Mic” which starts off with a Phil Collins style sampler and chills out into an RnB beat.  Annoyingly all her vids are disabled for embedding so here is the link – watch right to the end for a mad hectic ending.  She good, she real good.

The Great Gatsby Soundtrack – music from Baz Luhrmann’s film

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If you didn’t know already, Jay-Z was executive producer of ‘The Great Gatsby‘ alongside Baz Luhrmann and Anton Monsted.  The trio did an amazing job producing the screen version of the famous book by F. Scott Fitzgerald, written in 1925.  The film is an eclectic mix of Baz Luhrmann’s signature colourful outrageous style, with a hip hop (in parts) sound track and a modern-day sitcom / comical vibe from the, in places comical, naration by Tobey Maguire.  If you havent seen it already, you should, its out in 3D too, should you wish to don the shades.

The most controversial song on the soundtrack is the Amy Winehouse cover, ‘Back to Black’ performed by Beyoncé and Andre 3000.   Mitch Winehouse (Amy’s father) is said to be furious about the cover and has publicly voiced his view on the new version.  If you listen to it in comparison to the original, hands down, Amy wins – there is no question there.  But as I have listened to the Beyoncé & Andre 3000 version more it has definitely grown on me and deserves credit in its own right.  It also works a treat in the movie – which I guess it what its purpose was – so that’s a tick for Jay-Z.

The soundtrack is a strange mix of artists and melodies that somehow work together.  My favourite track has to be Jay-Z’s ‘100 $ bill’.  The song is used to set the scene for the era at the start of the movie, showing the boom of the stock market and the party scene.  Although weird at first for hip hop to be used for a movie set in the 1920s – again somehow, maybe with the vivid Technicolor and other ‘out of place’ features – it works.

Black Eyed Peas’ Fergie’s ‘A little Party never Killed Nobody (all we got)’ is bound to be a club hit for summer 2013.  A pumping house tune with a 1920s flapper vibe and vintage mic vocals.  Doesnt really float my boat but no doubt, along with the film being a hit, this one will fill many a dance floor.

Lana Del Ray excels herself with her sugar sweet ballad ‘Young and Beautiful’.  Perhaps grows on you more if you’ve seen the movie and appreciate the meaning of the song in the context of the story.  It wreaks of romantic tragedy, which is what the movie’s all about.

Beyoncé wasnt the only one doing a cover on the album, Emeli Sande does her own 1920s cover of Beyoncé’s ‘Crazy in Love’.  The tune sounds more like the Puppini Sisters than Emeli Sande – but nice to hear her doing something different for once.

Other artists on the album include Will.I.AM, Bryan Ferry, Florence and the Machine, Coco O, The XX (every song sounds the same – and this one is no exception) Gotye, Jack White, Nero and Sia

The full album tracklist:

1.  100 $ Bill  –  Jay-Z

2.  Back to Black  –  Beyonce and Andre 3000

3.  Bang Bang  –  Will.I.AM

4.  A Little Party never Killed Nobody (All we Got)  –  Fergie & Q TIP & GOONROCK

5.  Young and Beautiful  –  Lana Del Ray

6.  Love is the Drug – Bryan Ferry and The Bryan Ferry Orchestra

7.  Over the Love  –  Florence and the Machine

8.  Where the Wind Blows  –  Coco O. of Quadron

9.  Crazy in Love  –  Emelie Sande and The Bryan Ferry Orchestra

10.  Together  –  The XX

11.  Hearts a Mess  –  Goyte

12.  Love is Blindness  –  Jack White

13.  Into the Past  –  Nero

14.  Kill and Run  –  Sia