Last Thursday we arrived at XOYO Shoreditch to see Zebra Katz & Njena Reddd Foxxx. Not knowing anything about the support act, promptly at 8.30 this amazing lady entered the stage with her super human drummer. We were totally and utterly captivated by the lady that goes by the name of MOKO.
MOKO, 21, opened the night with her track, ‘Summon The Strength”. The girl’s vocals are a mix of Adina Howard‘s power and Jessie Ware‘s smoothness; a perfect entrend recycled 90s vibe that we’d describe as electronic soul. Not only did MOKO sing like a pro, she’s pretty on the eye with her afropuff pig-tail plaits and she already knows how to work a stage with her signature dance moves. ‘Hand on Heart’ is going to make MOKO a star; you can imagine the club remix too.
MOKO is from New Cross in London and has just completed her degree at Goldsmiths Univeristy. She sang as a child at church and during her time at university started experimenting her voice with bands. She only has 2 videos (so far) and 4 songs (see her soundcloud).
‘Freeze’ is beautiful; it starts with a melancholy Jose Gonzalez ‘esque piano intro and then a Massive Attack ‘Teardrop’ beat kicks in. When the song gets a bit more uptempo the tune samples a slightly modernised beat from Massive Attack’s ‘Unfinished Sympathy’. MOKO’s vocals have a Mica Paris meets Soul 2 Soul vibe:
If you want to see MOKO, and you should, you can actually get free tickets to her headline gig at Electrowerkz in Islington on July 4th. All you need to do is register for tickets at http://billetto.co.uk/moko – but hurry because we’re sure they will run out fast!
Connect with MOKO:
If, like us, you listen to BBC 1Xtra, you’ll already be familiar with this genius idea championed by DJ Target. The twitter hashtag #TARGETSNOTICEBOARD was started recently for new and unsigned artists (anywhere in the world) to get their work featured online and even live on air during DJ Target’s show – how amazing is this opportunity for artists struggling to get noticed in the industry?!
Here are a few up and coming artists fresh off the noticeboard today:
1. Young Slugz with ‘Perfection’ (they’re looking for a female vocalist for their tracks)
2. Roll One Up – Drama Feat Jamie Lewis @jayeluk @gmta drama
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…
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.
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 air was thick with the sweet smell of mary jane. The Brixton Academy crowd was hungry to see A$AP. White sheets hung flapping around the empty stage while Kendrick Lamar beats were played out. We were all waiting patiently for 24 year old Harlem rapper, A$AP Rocky and his mob to get up on stage and spit some lines. After a silence the heavy beats dropped and the young rapper took to the stage for one hell of an intro to the show and as the lights pierced through the smokey haze the mob went straight in with ‘Suddenly’.
A$AP Rocky is an amazing performer – he literally hit every beat spot on and blew the album out of the water. The playlist for the night included ‘Suddenly’, ‘Long Live ASAP’ , ‘Whassup‘ , ‘ Angels’ , ‘Wild for the Night’ , ‘Pretty flacko’ , ‘Trilla’, ‘Goldie’, ‘Fuckin Problems‘ & ‘Peso’.
During his intro to ‘Purple Swag’ the rapper addressed the crowd with his expectations for the night saying “I want you to know, they called me here to perform today, but I came here to party tonight. This is not an ASAP ROCKY show, this is the ASAP ROCKY mother fucking party niggas! I wanna see crowd surfing, I wanna see mosh spinnin, I wanna see slam dancing, I wanna see bitches with their titties out…..I wanna see some weed smoking…”
A$AP definately ran the show true to his word despite security’s attempt to stop him. He himself got into the crowd (and afterwards complained on the mic that a girl had got a little too personal with his privates), he crowd surfed, he got fans up onstage – he got properly involved. There was no ego, no attitude, no self-ritiousness – he was 100% committed to the night and the crowd. At one point during the night he asked for all the girls to come to the front of the academy so he could choose the prettiest ones to get up on stage – only to humiliate them after about 8 seconds of dancing telling them to get the hell off cause their dancing wasnt up to scratch!
The performance ended at around 10.30pm – making it feel like a very short performance. I guess he ‘ended on a high’ which is not a bad thing. All in all a class act, from the minimal white stage lit up with chandelier and purple lights, to the totally engulfing beat, all orchestrated by a seriously talented young rapper. I know tonights show is completely sold out – those lucky enough to have tickets, you will not be dissapointed!