Zack Knight & Raxstar – “Queen”

Hindi, Hip Hop, Panjabi, Pop, R&B, Rap, UK, UK Asian

Score: 6.9

The first verse by Raxstar on “Queen” proves precisely why he’s the go-to guy for sensitive rap: it’s near perfect. It’s a strange song, and you’re never entirely sure who is meant to be the lead artist here; but to all intents and purposes Raxstar simply takes the song from Zack Knight. The beat is probably the only slight letdown, as those synths don’t work as well as they could have down; it’s also a bit fussy and over-produced, with too many vocal layers. But Knight does a solid job, and the Luton MC impresses. “Queen” will certainly find its intended audience. (Reviewed by Jesal)

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Shivani – “Lion”

Pop, R&B, UK, UK Asian, Video

Score: 6.3

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)

Swami Baracus – “Way of the Dragon”

Burban, Hip Hop, Rap, UK Asian

Score: 7.9

In what appears to be the intro to his forthcoming (and long-awaited) mixtape “The Recipe,” Swami Baracus spits continuous fire for just under three minutes over a dope old-school hip hop beat. There’s not really much more to add – “Way of the Dragon” is hot, and it’s a skillful lesson in being true to yourself. (Reviewed by Jesal)

Arjun – “Same Girl” (featuring Guru)

Hindi, Pop, R&B, Tamil, UK, UK Asian

Score: 7.7

Here is the brand new, entirely original track “Same Girl” for your viewing pleasure:

Oh, I’m sorry. Easy mistake to make though… Our shiny new globetrotting star – it must be said – shamelessly delves into a track that has been done before (not just by R Kelly & Usher, either). In fairness, he “met this girl only last Saturday” – if we take that literally, Arjun could only have known her for a maximum of nine days. Why so upset? I mean nine days or less. Be cool, dude. Aside from the general neediness of modern men, this is a pleasing track. Arjun’s production is relatively sparse, with a subtly addictive guitar melody. It’s understated enough to let the focus remain on the two singers: the main man is on fine form here, and thankfully the over-compression/layering of his vocals isn’t on display here, with a more personal delivery working well on the verses. Guru is clearly letting Arjun take the lead, and plays his supporting role very well indeed. It might not be particularly original, but it’s a track that has an incredibly high replay value, which bodes well for his forthcoming album. Good stuff. (Reviewed by Rahul)

Same Girl (feat. Guru) - Single - Arjun

LYRICS

VERSE 1

ARJUN
I met this girl only last saturday
Since then I’ve been living in a fantasy
She and I fell in love instantly

GURU
Tenu mein apni baare dasdan
Hai ohde jehi sohni
Tu vekhi nhi honi
Lakk patla rang gora

ARJUN
You just gotta see her
The girl is a winner
Ain’t no competition, she holding the crown

GURU
Hai ohde kol Audi
Te paundi Armani
Dil le gayi marjaani

ARJUN
She only wears the best
She’s rocking her Chanel
It’s almost like we’re dating the same, the same girl

CHORUS

GURU
Teri akhiyan ch pyar hai mera
Tu hi te ik yaar hai mera
Tere naal dil raat rahan mein
Jiva te tere naal maran mein

ARJUN
Hate to admit it but we fell for the same girl
Can’t believe that we fell for the same girl
Don’t wanna say it but you know it’s the same girl
We’ve been loving the same girl

VERSE 2

ARJUN
Tell me more, tell me more about this girl
She seems to be a little too familiar
All the things that you’ve been saying ’bout her
Remind me of my own, of my own lover

ARJUN
She’s got the cutest little dimples
She makes it look so simple
I’m telling you she’s one of a kind

GURU
Ohdiyan vi gallan vich toye
Te ohde asi hoye
Ohde wargi na koi

ARJUN
Bro I’ve got this feeling
That you and me are dealing
With the same girl and she’s playing us both

GURU
Mainu v eho lagge
Asi jehri kudi piche
Saade naal khed di

CHORUS

GURU
Teri akhiyan ch pyar hai mera
Tu hi te ik yaar hai mera
Tere naal dil raat rahan mein
Jiva te tere naal maran mein

ARJUN
Hate to admit it but we fell for the same girl
Can’t believe that we fell for the same girl
Don’t wanna say it but you know it’s the same girl
We’ve been loving the same girl

BRIDGE

ARJUN
She’s been leading us along
We’ve been playing the same song
And it’s time we set this straight once and for all

CHORUS

GURU
Teri akhiyan ch pyar hai mera
Tu hi te ik yaar hai mera
Tere naal dil raat rahan mein
Jiva te tere naal maran mein

ARJUN AD LIBS
You’re the only one
I gave you all my love
Are you lying next to him
Are you loving the same, loving the same
I only live for you
Girl I would have died for you
Are you loving him the same?
We’ve fallen for the same, same girl

Arjun – Teri Meri Remix (Featuring Priti Menon)

Cover, Hindi, Pop, R&B, Remix, UK Asian, Video

Score: N/A

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)

Rishi – Stress (Featuring Nathan C)

Dance, Pop, R&B, UK Asian

Score: 5.9

Poor Rishi. The lad is clearly stressed. He really has stress in his life. Stress. Ohhhh stress. Stress stress stress. Yep. Stress. If we were to leave the review at that, it would qualify as approximately 98% of all you need to know about his new single, for those are pretty much the only lyrics we hear. Fortunately, the production is a dead-on replica of whatever is playing on the radio right now, with a very successful Swedish House Mafia impression assisting the singer. The addition of a rapper probably would have balanced out the song more, but it’s just too slight and reliant on the beat – a missed opportunity. Also, having a job working behind a bar is pretty stressful, so hey, just quit! #WhatRecession (Reviewed by Rahul)