[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

[Track of the Week] Rudimental ft Emeli Sandé – Free

Usually, it starts with a melody that won’t migrate or a bassline I find myself rocking out to hours after the music is over.  But, my love affair with Rudimental is different: it started with a Youtube video and a carefully woven story that was equal parts beautiful and tragic.  Sure – I’d listened to the song before but it takes skill  and intention to create something with a message as powerful as this.

Over the course of this past year UK based Drum & Bass quartet Rudimental has found a permanent place in my heart and if there’s one thing you should know about me by now it’s that I’ve set the bar incredibly high for anyone that dabbles in EDM.  Rudimental has roots in Hackney, London and is comprised of DJ Locksmith with singer / songwriters songwriters and producers Kesi Dryden, Amir Amor and Piers Agget.  They’ve seen some hot rotation on esteemed radio shows like Annie Mac’s on BBC Radio 1 and have been remixed over, and over, and over by some of the most creative minds in the business.

Beyond the inspirational track ‘Not Giving In’, their entire debut album ‘Home’ is solid gold from start to finish.  Even though their roots are firmly planted in ‘Drum and Bass’, these 4 hitmakers pull inspiration across the musical board and are on a self proclaimed mission to fuse modern Soul Music into their EDM.  And let me tell you – it shows! They sample some Deep House with their liquid Drum and Bass hit ‘Waiting All Night’ with Ella Eyre and the sultry single ‘Baby’ featuring vocals from MNEK and Sinead Harnett.  On the other hand, the Summer anthem ‘Feel the Love’ with John Newman has all the makings of a classic liquid drum and bass track.

For the past week, I’ve been on a new Rudimental kick – this time, with their single Free featuring one of my new favorite female vocalists Emile Sandé.  Even though this track is incredibly fresh off the press it already has a smorgasbord of remixes and no – I’m not complaining!   Hip-Hop heavy hitter Nas jumps in the mix and belts out a verse on a fresh version, Deep House maven Maya Jane Coles gives it her signature spin and Jack Beats creates a club worthy anthem.  As this track gains remix steam, there’s no telling how big it’ll get but here’s a clue: huge.

For kicks, you can download the original and the Maya Jane Coles remix for free on iTunes – I’d call this an early birthday present for sure!.

If you’re as hooked as I am, keep in touch with Rudimental across the interwebs:

Soundcloud | Twitter | FacebookYoutube

[The Audiofiles] Required Listening for HARD Summer, Day 2

Well, it’s happened – it’s August!

 It’s been officially one year, 200+ posts and 80+ subscribers since I started this amazing blog last Summer and I have to admit – it’s the best kind of therapy a girl can have.  Thoughts stream from my brain, through my veins and onto the screen with beautiful synchronicity and I’ve watched myself grow from a confused young lady to a less confused woman.  Also, I’ve realized that it’s a crying shame I never formally created a 2013 Bucket List because there’s a lot of things I could be crossing off right now – like this:

My first Drive Thru Car Wash!

To that effect, this week has been beyond bonkers and full of wonderful food and good company [ per usual; noticing a theme, yet? 😉 ].  First things first though, I love the way that new months are announced! Whether it’s a friendly ‘Rabbit, rabbit’ or someone posting Bone Thugs n Harmony, the first of the month is always full of wonder [ e.g. ‘I wonder how the fuck this year has gone by so fast! ]  I remember last Summer when I was getting ready for HARD – while most girls are sitting around debating about outfits, getting excited about makeup; I’m sitting around drafting schedules and figuring out who I must-see this weekend.

Tracklist:

  1. Justice – Helix
  2. Bassnectar – Upside Down
  3. Empire of the Sun – Walking on a Dream
  4. Zedd – Spectrum
  5. Crystal Castles – Plague
  6. Disclosure – You & Me (Baauer Remix)
  7. Dillon Francis – IDGAFOS 2.0
  8. Etc!Etc! x Brillz – Callisto
  9. Flosstradamus – Rollup
  10. Gesaffelstein – Control Movement
  11. Mr. Oizo – Secam
  12. Busy P – Still Busy
  13. Claude Vonstroke – Beat That Bird
  14. Breakbot – Baby I’m Yours
  15. Brodinski – Let The Beat Control Your Body
  16. Felix Catral & Clockwork – The Fire
  17. Rudimental – Feel The Love
  18. Justin Martin & Eats Everything – Feather Fight
  19. Eats Everything – Jagged Edge
  20. Paper Diamond – Can We Go Up
  21. Breach – Jack
  22. J.Phlip – Big Ass, Party Hat
  23. Cashmere Cat – Mirror Maru
  24. Don Diablo – M1 Stinger (gLAdiator Remix)

Unfortunately, with how much vacation I’ve taken and the limited amount of time I’ve been able to update, I haven’t done a ‘Wednesday Watercooler’ piece in forever.  And, with the amazing news that I’ve been hearing and reading about lately it’s truly a shame! So, before we get into the fun and fabulous post I had in store -I thought I’d hit you with a dose of awesome links and reads to make your cheeks hurt from laughing and turn that pretty mind of yours in circles.  We’ve got the whole spectrum: science, silliness and of course – cats, so let’s dive in

So, here it is – your Friday Fun Links:

Music: Revealed: The Part of Our Brains That Makes Us Like New Music

Funny: 16 Problems Every Petite Girl Deals With, illustrated by cats

School: Teacher Takes Student’s Phone, Sets Passcode as Math Problem Answer

Science: The trouble with teleportation: It could take quadrillions of years

Cats: Cat Stowaway Survives On Freighter From Philippines To LA

Equality: 75 Unforgettable Moments From Minnesota’s First Day Of Marriage Equality

And a few videos – just because they’re AWESOME:

Homeland Season 3 Preview:

Living in a Van Down By The River…

And with that, a fabulous weekend to you and yours! Xx