This is the second part of the series of articles about British rap and singers talents that I’ve followed for many years or that I discovered recently. The three of them are also Londoners and they are also very special. I present you Nadia Rose, Jelani Blackman and Emmavie.
THE EXPLOSIVE : NADIA ROSE
I discovered Nadia’s music through MTV HITS UK. When I saw the video of « Skwod » in 2016, I was so relieved, such a raw talent. The Londoner is fearless, stylish and a great lyricist. The video of « Skwod » reminded me of Lil Kim. Nadia Rose’s music is totally British, she includes grime and drill, but some songs have this Southern American vibe, like trap. Her album « Highly Flammable »(2017) is as it says : a fireball. Nadia conjugates different types of music and she always succeeds in playing and adapting her flow on each different song. « 2H2H » is a banger, it’s dangerous, it’s a « boy, get the fuck out of my way » anthem. « U know what » is incredible, it’s fast, it’s a purely and twisted garage song and Nadia owns the flow. Her texts invites us, women, to have fun, to act up or just to be proud of ourselves, to just take that crown and do our shit the right way. Nadia also includes a lot of Jamaican and Afro sonorities. « Tight up » is party banger. With her two distinguished big buns on her head and her sophisticated and street outfits, she’s like a weapon in disguise. After the release of her album, I really thought that her career and her exposure will explode, which was not the case. Similarly to Leikeli47 or Little Simz, who are both barely appreciated, Nadia Rose deserves more appreciation. I’ve seen less talented British women rappers shine after one or two songs, with no charisma or brightness. So Nadia, don’t stop making us dance, continue to make us feel invincible queens. You already know that you’re winning.
THE MYSTERIOUS : JELANI BLACKMAN
Lord, Jelani is something else. I have never seen an artist like him. I’ve heard of him through his EP « 1-4 » at the end of 2016. His deep and dark voice is vibrant and untouchable. Artistically, he’s on his own planet. « Repeater » is and will forever be, one of his classics. It’s graphic, it’s complex and it’s thrilling. The whole project is a spiritual mysterious universe. Like Kid Cudi, with his humming, Jelani voice feels almost like a soul cleanse. His texts are connected to love, human feelings, they’re universal. Even if he sings more than he raps, he does well in both cases. « Submarine », what more can I say ? On this destructed beat, Jelani is on an another level. Seeing the EP cover, he warned us : he presents us 4 of his multiple personalities. His use of saxophone is really clever. He is such a complete artist. The EP « 5-8 » (2017) is on this same wave, but darker. The violon on « Follow » has this sinistre sound, Jelani seems inhabited. With his caribbean accent, he articulates and presents you his world tainted by a mysterious yet visible veil. His E-P « Lockjaw »(2018) is less dark but he still appears determined. The song « Lockjaw » has such a profound beat that it’s mystical. « Manners » is speedy, here, Jelani is breathing hard as if he’s running, it’s stressful and the energy is so spicy that you can’t escape it. Releasing a lot of singles and collaborations, I know that Jelani will never stop. This kind of musical talent is historical. I had the chance to see him almost 3 years ago, in Leeds at the Headrow House, on a little scene with Camody and Mahalia. And this show convinced me that Jelani will one day, have the right to shine correctly and like he deserves.
THE ASTRAL : EMMAVIE
I recently discovered Emmavie. As I was listening to many British artists, her name was always around and, as she’s very talented, I gave a chance to her songs and I think you should too. Her world is groovy, Brown Sugar groovy, 2000’s Jill Scott groovy. With her divine voice, each of her songs is always on top. Her album « Honeymoon »(2019) is really a blessing for your ears. Full of hot colors (yellow, brown and orange), the project feels like a good and organic cup of tea mixed with lime and honey : IT’S FUCKING GOOD FOR YOURSELF. The jamming session at the end of the song « Deluxe » is priceless. Emmavie is what the British urban scene needed, this neo-r’n’b unique talent. « Distraction » sounds like middle garage and dancehall, a mix of bright spirits. « Can’t Get Over You » is a complete message to love. The entire project would make Marsha Ambrosius blush, I swear. And 2 weeks ago, Emmavie released with one of my favourite musician, the fabulous Alfa Mist, a common album. Who knew? Their project called « Epoch »(2020) is of course, excellent. They are winning together. This kind of music is rare and precious. As a Brandy and Robert Glasper collaboration, the song « Stay Here » is orgasmic. I almost asked myself : are they really British? Emmavie is one living proof that r’n’b and soul music are in good hands and that the new generation of these musical genres in Great Britain is extending its horizons, for the good of our ears and souls. Emmavie thank you for your voice and what you’re accomplishing, you’re the ovni I was waiting for.
3 artists in their beautiful own ways. Don’t forget to listen to their discographies. And take care.
See you soon for part.3.
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