M.I.A. – Matahdatah Scroll 01 “Broader Than A Border”

Bashment, Dance, Hindi, Hip Hop, R&B, Rap, Reggae, Tamil, UK, UK Asian, Video

Score: 8.1

Maya is back in full effect with this stunning (kinda) new video. Comprising of banging new song “Swords”, then morphing into a genial album track “Warriors” (taken from her 2013 album “Matangi”), it’s fascinating when melded with the visuals. She’s the embodiment of female empowerment, and the anticipation for her new album is building. Partnering with *Apple Music is an interesting strategy that seems to be reaping dividends for Drake, so let’s just hope that Maya’s “Matahdatah” comes soon. (Reviewed by Jesal)

*FYI this was originally released in July but was an Apple Music exclusive.

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Panjabi Hit Squad – “Dil Mera” (Featuring Rahat Fateh Ali Khan)

Bashment, Burban, DJ, Panjabi, R&B, UK Asian

SCORE: 6.4

It’s truly heartening to see that, after all these years, Panjabi Hit Squad can still take a perfectly good song and rip it off. In this case, it’s “Mamacita” but it could just as easily have been “Turn Me On” or “Tempted To Touch” (you get the idea). Despite the chronic lack of originality, “Dil Mera” is still a very catchy song, with excellent vocals from Rahat Fateh Ali Khan. Is it original? No. Will it sound good in clubs and make you want to dance? Yes. Pretty much that simple, really. (Reviewed by Sohail)

Dil Mera (feat. Rahat Fateh Ali Khan) - Single - Panjabi Hit Squad

Kaution – “Feeling You” (Featuring Trouble)

Bashment, Bhangra, Hip Hop, R&B, Rap, UK Asian

Score: 4.3

Kaution, hailing from Leicester, has been kicking around a good little while now. Whilst we appreciate the effort he’s clearly put into “Feeling You” it’s just not enough to save it from being a near car-crash of a song. Whilst there are positives – the chorus, language-switching and sequencing are all interesting – the lyrics are the primary downfall, where things are repeated too frequently, the lines don’t even rhyme and he honestly sounds worse than he did two years ago. Trying to cross over is harder than it seems: people think that “keeping it real” is tough and “commercial tracks” are easy, but there is a definite art to making radio-friendly tracks that is easy to imitate poorly, and incredibly difficult to master. The beat doesn’t work in harmony, and the Auto Tune is Out-of-Tune (doesn’t that negate the whole point?). This could have been a lot better if Kaution had asked for genuine feedback and assessment – unfortunately it ends up sounding like a solid idea that leaves the oven half-baked, raw and a bit soggy in the middle.

Mumzy Stranger – “Fly With Me”

Bashment, R&B

Score: 6.7

Mumzy Stranger is, indeed, extremely strange. He sings in a similar manner to Jay Sean (though if you’ve heard Mumzy live, sans backing beat, you’ll know he is a quite excellent singer). Then, like a Jamaican Tourettes patient, he suddenly morphs into Sean Paul. It’s a real head-scratcher. Signed to Rishi Rich, you expect a big-budget video and it doesn’t disappoint. The song itself is a bit too understated to be truly great, but it’s nice enough, even if it is undermined by a slightly weak beat. Fly With Me (Radio Edit) - Fly With Me (Bonus Version) - EP

Raxstar – “Name On The Poster”

Bashment, Hip Hop, Pop, R&B, Rap, UK Asian

Score: 5.1

It’s alright to try different things. It’s even ok for more thoughtful rappers to use Auto Tune. However, you’ve got to do it well, and it should make sense. Almost nothing here on “Name On The Poster” feels right, and subsequently whilst it attempts to come across as a fun summer ditty, it falls flat. Even Raxstar’s lyrics aren’t on point (which is a genuine rarity) and whilst the video is fun, the music, chorus, rhymes and vocal effects all contribute to make this a forgettable track. Independent observers would look at a track like this and know instantly why there are still so few recommendable Asian MC’s, so Raxstar needs to plot his next move carefully.