After my « New School of Chicago » article, I have to introduce you these cool and poetic artists. The three of them are bringing a type of wave in the new era of urban contemporary music. Coming from California, these young men got something else. They each have their own world and creativity. Let me introduce you to Sunni Colón, Elujay and BlAck pARty.
THE VISIONARY SUNNI COLON
My discovery of this talented man was during my viewing of the phenomenal movie Dear White People (2014). During a lovely scene, I heard his song « Temple » (2014) and I was mesmerized. Since this day of summer 2015, I have never forgotten this music and I have started following the musical advancement of Sunni. Sunni born Thierry Tetsu, is a New Yorker who arrived in L.A circa 2013. How can I describe his music? The singer and producer music feels like a tropical forest, it feels like a day at the beach, it feels like a gift that you’ve wanted for too long and receiving it finally fills you like it’s supposed to. His first album , « Thierry Disko »(2016) is a perfect combination of disco, funk and r’n’b. It’s vintage and modern. It’s a good blink to his influences.The song « Way You Talk About Me » is so West Side. It feels like a Tupac or a Snoop Dogg type beat. It’s gangsta but soft. « Feng Shui » is vibrant and it’s a disco anthem. « Black Hole Sun » is totally the Sunni Colón‘s identity, it’s slow, solar and spiritual. He is today a confirmed Californian and you can totally feel this energy guiding him. The same energy that I used to feel when I first heard The Internet or Anderson Paak. Sunni‘s music is timeless.
His second album « Satin Psicodelic » (2018) is in the continuity of the first one. It’s very 70/80’s. « Technicolor » reminds me of some of Lionel Richie or Prince songs, it is a reminder of one of the golden age of Black American music : the age of Black pop Artists. « Baby I don’t Mind » is deep and modern. It’s a futurist ballad. « Summer Blu » is psychedelic, it’s bucolique and calm. Sunni‘s universe is like the 4 seasons : it’s in perpetual blooming and like a circle of emotions. Besides his music, Sunni has incredible visuals. His creativity is sharpened along the years, I feel blessed to be a witness of it. Whether his music videos or his Instagram and photoshoots because Sunni Colon is also a signed model with IMG Models. He’s surrounded by creativity, neon lights. He has a particular sense to magnify black and brown skins too, in the sun or in the night, black skin always shines. Last year, Sunni has released « Supernova » which confirmed me his persistent envy to create and vogue in every music sphere. Sunni, thank you.
THE CONSCIOUS ELUJAY
It’s been more that 2 years since I fell upon Elujay’s music. The first song I heard of him was « Golden » (2017), a bop. And since then, I’ve added it to my favorite songs playlist. Elujay is reviving the 90’s r’n’b. His music feels old school like Poetic Justice or Moesha. Of course it has this L.A bumping rhythm. Elujay‘s music is divided between rapping and singing and he is winning on the both sides. His first album « Jentrify »(2016) is atmospheric. And it’s also a reminder of the gentrification of his city, Oakland and to be exact of California. « Oxygen Interlude » is pure 90’s, those missing calls tapes, it’s so cool. « Respirate/Atlas » is an hymn to life’s successes and his willingness to win. The song « We Don’t Mind » has this melody reminding me of Saba‘s first album « Bucket List Project » (2016) or Chance‘s album « Coloring Book »(2016). Accompanied by Samaria‘s angelic voice and the dope Caleborate, the song is joyful. « 580 » is cool and wavy. His first album is crossing the roads of different feelings and thoughts that we young people have. This project is urban, it’s universal, it’s underground but heard. It’s a social reset. The cover of the album was already warning us : Up at the edge of a building top, Elujay or his avatar is watching his city from the top, analyzing its changes and its living organism.
His second album « Adojio » (2019) is a door to another Elujay. He is revealing us a softer side of him. He feels love. The song « Spaceships » is romantic, like a musical travel, far from Earth. To continue « Starchild » is here to affirm this travel. It’s voluptuous and deep and all about love. « Get U » is in the same atmosphere. Elujay has reached an another step in his relationship side and he’s talking to us about it with grace and truth. The whole project has a luminous vibe yet silky and groovy. Almost 2 months ago, Elujay has released a new song called « AuraBlu » featuring Flwr Chyld and MA GLADSTONE and it’s Insecure show (2016) material : it’s melancholic and bright, it feels like hope. Thank you Elujay for sharing of your mind depth.
THE MISFIT BLACK PARTY
Black Party was born Malik Flint in Arkansas but he’s a Californian in the soul. The day I listened to his album Mango (2016) I was returning to Paris from London. And in the same hour, I discovered him and I listened to « Harlan & Alondra » (2018), Buddy’s prodigious album. What a day. The album « Mango » is strange but soulful. « Summer love » is aquatic and aerial. It’s a beautiful song to open a project. « Show me » ft Kari Faux, is dismantled and totally balanced. We can hear the L.A famous bounce and tempo. « Best View » sounds like a sleepless night in the summer, during the Blue Hour (you know around 5 am). « Wanderlust » is intensive and rock. « Low End » is marvelous. « Low End » with its indescriptible and numerical sounds is really futuristic.
His second project called « Endless summer »(2019) is on the same way. It’s light and solar. Black Party went from the water lilies lake to the ocean. « Endless Summer » is bold. « July » is the perfect summer song. With his thin and nasal voice, Black Party is in his element on every song. « Dancing » is a summer party classic already. « Lay » a kick back jam, it’s sensual and private. « Smoke Breath » is tainted of blues and a reminder to go slow and to breath, to simply take our time. With the bass sound, the short song is here to signify to rest, during this intense period of summer. Black Party is a modern poet. With his voice, he gives a candid touch to every song. He has a vision and a path leading him to a destination that only he knows, for our ears pleasure.
These three young men have managed to capture some of California‘s creativity and soul. They are living examples of its vivid cultural spirit. A state that is not always sunny and fun for a lot of people and maybe even for the artists themselves but with their arts and conceptions, they are giving a Renaissance to the Golden Coast and to urban sounds. We are travelling with them. And I thank them for that, from Paris.
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