Nihal’s “Burban in the Booth” – Sam Kay & Mz Bratt

Bhangra, Burban, Freestyle, Hip Hop, Rap, UK, UK Asian

Score: N/A

The inaugural “Burban in the Booth” from Nihal’s Radio 1 show. First up, Sam Kay and Mz Bratt (going over the “Jaaniye” beat by Bikram Singh & PropheC). Arson.

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Shizzio – “Pakis In Paris (Part Deux)” (Featuring Outlandish)

Burban, Rap, Remix

Score: N/A

Much better than Part One. Hiring in Outlandish was a good move from Shizzio (his own verse remains the same).

Preeya Kalidas – “Love Between Us”

Classic, Hindi, R&B, Soul, UK, UK Asian

Score: 8.8

If you can ignore the pointless low-budget video – and we suggest you do just that – try to focus on this stunning new number from Preeya Kalidas, collaborating with Davinche to devastating effect. It feels strange to say out loud, but bizarrely enough it wouldn’t be hyperbole to suggest that this is reminiscent of that glorious Aaliyah/Missy/Timbaland triumvirate. The airy vocals from Kalidas are perfectly understated; the production from Davinche is incredible; the melodies will infiltrate your brain; and it is all delivered with just the right balance.  Well done, Preeya. (Reviewed by Jesal)

Shizzio – “Pakis In Paris” (Featuring Desi Boome)

Burban, Freestyle, Hip Hop, Rap, UK Asian

SCORE: N/A

A new freestyle video from Shizzio, this time going over Jay and Ye’s “Niggas in Paris” beat. Aside from the fact that it has already been done so many times – and it must be said, more innovatively – Shizzio certainly does a good job, spitting his venomous and humorous lyrics with aplomb (there are a couple of cracking punchlines). However, the inclusion of Desi Boome was a mistake: the chorus is sinfully lame (“BONJOUR! AU REVOIR! PAKIS IN PARIS!!!” – yes, seriously); his flow is all over the shop; his voice is years away from maturation; most crucially, you just don’t believe in him. A brief aside: it took me a while to understand the point of the song, until it was explained to me over Twitter that “Niggas In Paris” really is a big deal for most black people in the US – Paris is an abstract dream of a city, especially when 40% of Americans don’t even have passports. For us, we just hop on the Eurostar for £90. The immigrants dream. (Reviewed by Jesal)

Shena – “Stuck in the Middle”

Pop, R&B, Soul, UK Asian

Score: 7.1

Shena is an artist that we’ve kept an eye on for a long time now, waiting for her to make a move. Here is her debut single, and whilst it doesn’t come with a video, it’s still worth bringing attention to. She has an excellent and incredibly pure voice – you can tell this because there’s a distinct lack of studio trickery in the verses – and she also knows not to overdo the melisma. That says a lot in this landscape, and Ramzi’s production on “Stuck in the Middle” is quite excellent, and relatively understated. It is somewhat lacking in oomph (this seems mostly down to the mixing/mastering) and it wouldn’t really work on the dancefloor without that extra kick. The punchline at the end of the chorus is somewhat obscured, too – though as a whole, the song works well, especially as a debut. It’s certainly a pleasant listen, hinting at a very promising future, and Shena should be proud, not to mention emboldened to move forward much more quickly now. The first step is the hardest, and it’s out of the way – there is nothing to fear.