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.
Some days, I recall the original video that Jus Reign references and just start repeating to myself “BBCAsianNetworkBBCAsianNetworkinnit”. True story. That shit was the funniest takedown of UK bhangra I had ever seen. And yes, a lot of artists didn’t like it (probably because it struck a bit too close to home). Anyway, Jus is back and this time he’s made good on his promise: this is a fully-formed parody song/video and features cameos aplenty. Clearly he’s spent a bit of money here, but it does show how easy it is to deliver a formulaic bhangra track. Even if we did the “Available on iTunes” gag here first, you should still bow to the Canadian master. (Reviewed by Jesal)
An interesting new one from Raxstar. Detailing an argument with his missus, the Bearded One flows well over a DJ Harpz beat that has clearly been inspired by Diplo and Skrillex. The breakdown works particularly well, and although the instrumental could have been a touch more well-rounded, it’s certainly a bit different from the norm. “Poison” is definitely worth your time. (Reviewed by Rahul)
Produced by PKCthefirst, featuring subtly effective contributions from Beatboxer Ekko himself and Rita Morar, this is predominantly an opportunity to view the alternate side of Raxstar. Sometimes it is easy to forget – whether speaking as a fan or reviewer – that the Luton MC doesn’t just deliver tracks for the ladies. That may be because Raxstar’s currently in the midst of a genuinely productive era in his career – he is practically on the cusp of featuring in one brand new video every month, whether solo for dolo or as a guest. He’s firmly in the groove, and while the next step is releasing a genuinely solid album, his star is still rising. “Never Be Enough” is almost like that recent episode of “How I Met Your Mother” – the one called “The Over-Correction” where the characters go so hard the other way, it is both crazy and productive. Thus, we find our rapper almost snarling at the microphone throughout, and it most certainly works (the polar opposite of “Cold World”). Beatboxer Ekko has overseen a great record, here, and should really be putting it on iTunes – but it’s a free download. Generous chap. (Reviewed by Jesal)
This is a strange one. Without a doubt, there is much to admire about Shivani. She’s still a teenager, but quite advanced in the dark arts of how to look/act like a modern day pop/R&B star. She looks the part, has a brilliantly sequenced song, a pretty high budget video (great job, Joshua Best) and – it would be remiss to omit this – she’s probably quite attractive to her target audience. So yes, she’s a wunderkind in certain respects. However, Shiv is in no way a naturally talented singer. Obviously she can sing a bit, but she needs a lot more vocal training and she’s not one of these “talent show 15 year old” girls who come on stage and blow you away. In other words, yes she’s young but there is a lot of hard work ahead if she genuinely wants to achieve something (e.g. make it big, get signed, have a hit etc). We are rooting for her to do it, though, as she ticks a lot of boxes. The song itself is pretty catchy, although the pre-chorus is arguably stronger than the real hook, and the production is thoroughly professional. As a side note, it seems that she used Radar Music Videos to find her director – this is a great avenue for aspiring artists (Jesal himself pointedly told me that he was one of the very first people to use their services when they initially started up). Anyway, don’t get it twisted – a 6.3 score for a teenage girl is a damn good starting point. It’s just that now Shivani must endeavour to put the hard yards in – god, that sounds like such a UCAS statement thing to write. You go, girl. (Reviewed by Raman)
By now, you should know All About Arjun. He’s one of those special talents that succeeds at pretty much everything he does, and we’ve charted his progress over the last few years. Here is another Bollywood remix where he duets with a Hindi-singing female whilst he gives the original an R&B twist. He plays his 28 instruments, sings beautifully, has girls swooning – no news there. But Priti Menon does a superb job, and addresses our criticism of Arjun’s previous effort “Kabhi Kabhi” (where we felt the two female singers didn’t contribute enough). Here, that is most certainly not the case – when I first heard Priti’s version of Rihanna’s track “Unfaithful” I couldn’t get it out of my head for 2 days straight. Not the song, her voice. It’s incredibly warm and addictive; it trades in subtleties that only a a chosen few can deal with; it has dynamic range but complete control. Watch out for her. (Reviewed by Jesal)
Seeing as Arjun’s remix of “Why This Kolaveri Di” has become a career-defining moment for him, it’s only appropriate we post a reminder and a heartfelt congratulations on reaching 5 million YouTube views. Stunning. (Posted by Jesal)