[Artist Spotlight] MNEK + Sam Smith

There aren’t many male vocalists that get me choked up, but over the past year a handful have popped up on my radar much to my excitement.  Each time I hear a new song featuring Sam Smith or MNEK, my heart stops until I press play – and what I’ve found with each artists, is that I’m addicted to their soulful sounds.

Sam Smith, named the BBC Voice to Watch in 2014, has  slowly but surely etched a permanent place in my heart.  I first heard his breathtaking vocals when he lent them to Disclosure for the feel good crooner ‘Latch’; if that single doesn’t take your breath away, try your hand at the acoustic version:

Then, he does it again on the Nile Rodgers x Disclosure Collaboration ‘Together.’

So far, you’ve gotten an earful of Electro – but Sam Smith’s original work is something closer to Indie Rock with a sexy, bedroom twist:

Not to mention, his voice just remixes so pretty! MK does the jam ‘Money on my Mind’ excellent justice by infusing his remix with some signature deep house grooves.

This morning when I jumped on my mandatory morning music safari, I found a new singles under the man’s belt and I’m beyond excited to share.   ‘Make it To Me’ – has me wrapped up in all of the feels and almost in tears; his vocal prowess is so beautifully honest and refreshing, and that high register – hot damn that sounds phenomenal:

Stay up to date with Sam Smith across his socials: Webpage | Facebook | Soundcloud | Twitter

Another vocalist that I can’t get enough of is MNEK. Every time I find a new MNEK (pronounced Em-En-E-Kay) cover on Hypem, I’m absolutely enthralled by how he refixes the song by ignoring the original format and laying down his own, silk smooth notes. There has been a host of singles over the past year that I’ve heard MNEK re-do, and each and every one is beautiful and unique in it’s own right. 19 years young, MNEK has the vocal power of an old soul;  time after time, he infuses his sultry R&B vocals into deep house rhythms to perfection and I simply can’t get enough.  One thing I really enjoy with the singles he’s released, is playing them back to back with the original; if you want to understand the man’s genius, it’s a great jumping off point – so I’ll get that party started for you:

[Original]

[Re-Fix]

[Original]

[Re-Fix]

[Original]

[Re-Fix]

[Original]

[Re-Fix]

And then of course, there are the original tracks he’s lent his stellar pipes to – like with Rudimental, SubFocus and DEVolution – proving that his voice is so much more than just [Deep] House, it’s an instrument that producers across the genres love playing with.

Keep tabs on MNEK across the interwebs – Webpage | Soundcloud | Facebook | Twitter

[Artist Spotlight] Lane 8 + Russ Chimes

It’s not often that I’m moved enough to share a favorite artist with the world, but when credit’s due – credit is due; I’ve been digging around through the deepest of house music for the past year and I feel like I’ve finally found my niche in it.  Just a little bit of bass, some soulful lyrics, a killer bridge and a dance-able beat – I’ve found it before so I know that it’s possible.  It’s the music Kaskade was giving us back in 2004 with his artist album ‘In the Moment’ and again with his last US tour, which he dubbed the ‘It’s You, it’s Me Redux.  The Deep House that is doled out nowadays can have a generic beat and at times, it can be hard to tell where a song begins and ends….and doubly so during a deep house set.  I can’t tell you how many times my friends and I have turned to each other and asked ‘Is this still the same song?’  So, when I discovered this latest artist I was beyond stoked.  I’ve been listening to my fair share of Finnebassen, Cyril Hanh and the guys on Crosstown Rebels but the one thing I’ve been craving is original work from a deep house artist.  Both Cyril Hahn and Finnebassen are more more than adept at remixing (or as I love to say, mixing down) oldies and goodies alike, including but not limited to: James Blake’s Retrograde and Jessie Ware’s Sweet Talk.

Over the last few months ‘Perfect Form’ and the B Side have come out – giving Cyril his first singles which were amazing; A+! In the meantime,  I’ve had a golden opportunity to discover two amazing new (at least to me) artists in the scene.  Russ Chimes and Lane 8 have been giving me chills for a few months now – between their adept remixes and ellquently catchy singles, I’m surprised these two haven’t blown up more than they already have! They’ve been dishing out hit after hit recently and it would take a real asshole to not enjoy their sound.  Perfect for a BBQ with friends, weekend getaway or poolside – catchy lyrics, dance-y beats, non-repetitive structures; totally my thing! Nothing like having a diamond in the rough, but I’m the type that loves seeing that lesser known artists start popping up in mixes, live sets and finally into festival lineups in my area.  There’s no sense in talking someone up who can speak for themselves, so without further ado – here’s a few mixes and original singles from Russ Chimes and Lane 8.  I guarantee you’ll be sailing smoothly into your weekend in no time!

Lane 8

Russ Chimes