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07/17/2017 12:20 PM
Max Stone ft. Ce’Cile: "Never Been Loved" Free Download: 18th July 2017

Max Stone ft. Ce'Cile:"Never Been Loved" 18th July

Never Been Loved is the new single by the uniquely talented performer and songwriter Max Stone, who you might recognise as the X-Factor finalist who was determined to only perform the music he loved. He covered Bob Marley’s No Woman No Cry  and Turn Your Lights Down Low gaining him an impressive new fanbase and recognised by The Mirror, The Sun, The Daily Mail, ITV This Morning and much more. Since X-Factor, Max been perfecting his debut album, influenced by his unstoppable love of reggae music.

Max recently performed alongside Jimmy Cliff, Ali Campbell, Ernest Ranglin, Sly and Roobie, Suggs and Dawn Penn as the only unsigned artist at “A Night of Reggae” for Save the Childen. You can hear for yourself that Max is an amazing talent, by checking out his Reload Sessionsperformance.

Last year, Max was invited to Jamaica to work with Grammy Award winning reggae producer Jazzwad. He then teamed up with D Goody and Ce'Cile who added her own middle eight on "Never Been Loved". Ce'cile (international reggae star who has worked with Sean Paul, Gavin Rossdale and Debbie Nova) has had multiple hits in the UK Single Charts. 

“Never Been Loved is a track about being enamoured with someone and wanting to share every side of yourself so they can know how it feels to be loved. Ce'Cile has added her  raw Dancehall/ Reggae talent  incorporating  her own melodies and style into the story.”

Max’s upcoming album Keep Rising shares a powerful statement about love, war and all things in between. The album is due for release later this year.

07/17/2017 11:43 AM
Matterz Interview: Yasmin Kadi

Your new single isn’t your first musical endeavour, with your debut single Earthquake charting no.1 on iTunes Ireland!
How does it feel to be back releasing music?

It feels amazing to release music again. It’s like opening up your diary and letting people read a few pages.  And since the release of my first EP I’ve never stopped creating music. I’ve been recording and writing non-stop for my upcoming album, which is also out this year September.

So onto the new track, ‘No Drama’ – clearly on the topic of relationships, where did you find inspiration for this tune?

I find inspiration from life experiences and conversations with people.
‘No Drama came from issues some of my friends were going through, both male and female. Also on one of my own past relationships where a partner was jealous beyond the realms of sanity, and It got to a point where you have to say, enough is enough, I don’t want any more drama.

The afrobeat pop sound is set to be hugely popular this summer, will you be taking the track to live venues?

Yes I’ve been taking Afrobeat to live venues for the past year and a half now, including headlining Women of The World Festival at Southbank 2016, performing at the 02 Forum alongside Paloma Faith and performing live on various BBC Radio shows.

I’ve even got Lord Alf Dubs from the House of Lords Dancing to my music when I performed live at the opening for the first Migration Museum in London. And to top that off, I got a tweet from BBC’s George Alagiah, who also attended and spoke at the event.

My next live date will actually be at a Stadium – which is a first for me, so it’s very exciting. It’s on the 5th of August at the AFC Wimbledon Stadium in Kingston.  I’ll be the supporting act for Latin Grammy Nominee Rafael Britto.

And how was it working with SOS? Must be exciting working with the same producer as the likes of Ariana Grande and Stormzy!

It was very exciting working with SOS. Great guys!
We got along really well and we just had so much fun creating feel good music and hanging together. They listened to where I was coming from and what I wanted and they were very open.
When you have a good production, the writing just flows.
Most of the songs we did were produced, written and recorded in a day.
The next day or so, we would just touch and tidied things up.

You’ve appeared alongside Usain Bolt with Virgin Media and featured in music videos with Mary J. Blige, Jay Sean and Lil Wayne. Could you see TV as a potential venture for the future alongside your music?

Absolutely, you can speak to people directly on TV and it has the power to reach an infinite amount of audience worldwide, so what better platform to showcase your art.

And finally, where next from here for Yasmin Kadi?

Alongside my single ‘No Drama’, I’m also working on a charity single – collaborating with various Sierra Leonean artists and speaking up against knife crime. Then I’m releasing another single, which would be followed by the release of my Album, also titled “No Drama” – and continue on the live circuit. Believe it or not, I am already writing songs for my second album. Creating never stops form me and I’m very grateful for that.

07/17/2017 11:30 AM
Matterz Interview: Üm.

Hello Üm! Great to catch you today for a chat, how are you doing?

Hi, I’m great thank you, and you ?

Can you tell us a bit more about the upcoming single ‘Take My Way’?

We took  a huge pleasure to work on that track with Tisha, it’s a flagship of my first EP,  It’s symbolic and full of good vibes and happiness.

So how did you come into contact with Tisha for the record?

We met in Montpellier about a year ago at a friend’s house, she got plans and was working with them, with one thing and another, we learnt to know each other better, then when I started working on my EP especially “Take my Way”, I thought about her immediately, and here we are, the beginning of a great adventure.

Was the songwriting process relatively balanced with Tisha or did you have a clear idea of what sound you wanted when you began writing the tune?

No, I didn’t really have a clear idea or an accurate direction of where I wanted to go, I just knew I wanted it to be a music that makes you feel good, makes you smile.  In the first place “Take my Way” didn’t sound like it sounds today, it was quiet different, by working day by day on it, it took a different and natural turn, and I let myself go for it. Then Tisha came to push the track to an other level and here we go, it was our first collaboration together and we keep a very good memory of it.

As your third release of the year you’re clearly brimming with ideas! Has your mastery of multiple instruments and genres helped to fuel your musical output/give you constant fresh ideas?

I think that being a jack-of-all-trades allows us to capture new ways to express, in my compositions, yes, I guess that somehow it helps me, but I’ve always more or less the same process to create new songs. I play on my piano the chords then I’m looking for some ideas in the meantime, or I go directly on Ableton if I know where I’m going. But I’m still convinced that what helps me the most and what inspires me, is to listen to music over and over.

Will we be expecting to see the new track performed live in the near future? If so, where?

Yes of course, I don’t know yet, I guess I’ll be ready for the live on January 2018. Where ? you have to ask the boss ! ahah
No matter where and when, we’ll give everything we got !

And finally, can we expect any more releases in 2017?

Yes, we have several tracks that will come out on july maybe august, we take our time to be sure it’s dope, I invite you to stay tuned, a lot of amazing things are about to come !

Thank you all !

07/13/2017 10:37 AM
Yasmin Kadi - No Drama
Yasmin Kadi ‘No Drama’ 18thAug 2017
''... she’d literally blow the roof off!” Gary Crowley” BBC London
Yasmin Kadi, clearly a class act in the makingThe Stage

Yasmin Kadi’s eagerly awaited, crowdfundedsingle No Drama produced by SOS (Ariana Grande, Emeli Sande, Stormzy, Wretch 32, Tinie Tempah) is finally here! No Drama is an infectious afrobeat pop banger, perfect for the sizzling 2017 summertime. Yasmin says “relationships, especially intimate ones, can be full of complications. This track is about wanting to say - I don’t want any more drama -take it to your mama, as I'm not interested!!”
Since Yasmin Kadi's debut single Earthquake charted at #1 on iTunes Ireland,she has performed alongside Paloma Faith at London's 02 Forum, headlined the Women of the World festival in 2016 at the Southbank, toured with MOBO Award winning Hip Hop veteran Roots Manuva and appeared in music videos for the likes of Mary J. Blige, Jay Sean and Lil Wayne. Yasmin was the face and voice of Channel 4’s ‘All 4’ campaign alongside Alan Carr and John Snow and is currently starring alongside Usain Bolt in the new Virgin Media Campaign “This is Virgin Fiber”. She is even one of the lead performers in the latest Guitar Hero game! Her last single Go Down Low feat Moelogo was supported by the likes of SB:TV, Capital Xtra, Kiss Fresh, BBC Arts Hour, BBC Africa and BBC World Service.
Born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Yasmin was forced to flee to the UK with her family at a very young age, after her family home was attacked during the Sierra Leone blood diamond conflict. Amidst all that turmoil, Yasmin used music to express herself. “Growing up in Africa, you don't really have a voice, especially as a female”, Yasmin recollects. “You always had to suppress how you felt and your opinions didn't really matter to a certain extent, so I was determined naturally as I got older to just speak my mind”, and that is exactly what she has done, finding a voice through her music.

07/11/2017 11:56 AM
Üm. - Take Me Away
Üm ‘Take My Way’ ft Tisha (Impact Date 1st September)
“Slick production and a vocal hook that’ll stick on your head for days. Take My Way is destined for your summer playlist”. Matterz Mag

Take My Way ft Tisha is the new single from, the hottest producer to come out of France since Martin Solveig. Montpellier based Üm debuted his first EP in January and is on target to release his third by the time the year is out. Though he’s proudly prolific, committing all his time to crafting new productions, the quality of his music is what really sets him apart from other new electronic artists.

Üm worked with the honey-voiced Tisha to create the radio friendly pop track ‘Take My Way’. Üm says "I was looking for some more colourful and warm sounds for Take My Way. I set myself the challenge of making it part of a consistent sounding EP. I locked myself in every night and I think the hard work paid off!”

Though Üm aka Umberto is still a young producer right at the start of his career, he’s been learning music since he was just seven years old. A true multi-talent, he plays the clarinet, drums, cello and piano! His many inspirations can be heard in his productions, ranging from world music, jazz, rock and current artists including Aurora, Synapson, Bonobo, Fakear and The Avener.  Internationally renowned producer Romulus discovered Üm’s music and fell in love with it. Through him, Üm met by his manager and later signed to Pleiade Productions. His first EP was released by Pictor Music.

07/10/2017 12:43 PM
Koyza - Celebrate [Music Video]

Koyza ‘Celebrate’ out 7th July 2017

London-based Koyza is back with a song to celebrate life. ‘Celebrate’ will be released February 3th, 2017 and was mastered at the infamous Abbey Road Studios. The song represents Koyza’s life-long love of music and his unique sound.

His devotion shines through his music and soul as it is his ultimate inspiration to connect people and make realise that they’re not alone. He wants everyone to know that what they’re feeling, someone else is feeling it too.
As he puts it: “Dance music brings people together – it’s for everyone. Other kinds of music have typical fans, with their typical styles, moods and opinions, but dance music has no boundaries. And there’s nothing like the high you get from an uplifting melody over a killer beat.”

For ‘Celebrate’, Koyza worked together with WestFunk who is an established DJ, producer and remixer. He created remixes of Bruno Mars, Calvin Harris or Jason Derulo.

07/10/2017 11:19 AM
Amy Steele - Graces [Music Video]

Amy Steele ‘Graces’ Out 30th June

• “Amy is fast becoming one of the capital’s most respected new talents.” Hunger Magazine
• “Amy boasts the ethereal, haunting melodies of Lana Del Rey whilst her voice is bursting
with the kind of soul that you would normally expect from Laura Mvula.” Wonderland
• “Her music is shot through with a commitment to the smaller details. This Aesthetic
exactness gives her work an astonishing sense of depth.” Clash Magazine

Graces is the new single by Amy Steele, an exceptional singer/songwriter from London who has
already won the support of BBC R1, Clash and Wonderland. “Graces is the memory of hopefulness in
a new beginning. An exploration of the apprehension in being parted from someone, tempered with
the wistfulness of hope.” Amy Steele

Alongside developing her sound and fanbase (over 20,000 Facebook Likes and 37,000 twitter
followers and growing quickly), Amy has recently completed her doctorate in medicine, making her
Dr Steele! Amy’s first single Bury You Deep gained over a million YouTube views and included a
banging garage remix courtesy of Catch 44 aka Ras Kwame of Capital Xtra. Her follow up single The
Wolves clocked up over two million streams and received support from UKF and BBC Radio 1.
Graces is the first single from Amy’s upcoming EP entitled Memories in Watercolour, an 8-track
reflective EP with each track examining a different stage of a relationship. Each track on the EP is a
different memory, or colour, that has been slightly degraded.

‘Graces’ comes with five remixes: Truth (Dubstep) Hodge Bristol (Electronic) Icicle (DnB) Journeyman
(House) Embody (Electronic), that are each set to be released over the coming weeks.

07/10/2017 11:02 AM
Matterz Interview: Diives - Anxiety

Hi Diives, thank you for taking the time to talk to us. How are you today?

Yes, I'm great thank you – happy to take a break and have a chat… 

Can you tell us a little bit about the meaning of your name and how you came up with it? Well everyone goes through ups and downs in their life, & at the time I came up with the name, things weren't great, but my philosophy is that things will always look up, you always have to come up for air. Diving into water is almost like taking a step into the unknown, a new World, a new space. That's what the name means to me, it's about creating something positive out of the unknown darkness that we sometimes find ourselves in and when we need to, we can always head for the light and catch our breath. 

Your track “Anxiety” will be your debut single, due to be released 18th August 2017. How does it feel to release music into the world? 

It feels great, the biggest thing for me is just knowing a wider audience will hear it. There's only so much you can do yourself to get your stuff out there, but just knowing that the release will give it that huge helping hand is everything. It's all about people relating for me and if my music and lyrics can help a few people that are going through the same sort of thing, then that's job done for me. 

You prefer to let music do the talking. Do you have a favourite genre/artist? 

With me, I really don't. I know a lot of musicians say that, but if you could see the playlists I listen to, you'd understand. I can go from the most relaxed, chilled out music through to heavy metal, down to electronic pop music and land somewhere like grime. I would never want to pretend that I am one set genre because I'm not. I could release something like Anxiety and then next week I could put out a song that's simply me singing over an acoustic guitar. I don't think artists should be restrained, I bet there are so many artists out there that would love to completely switch it up sometimes.  

With your music, you want to raise awareness about mental health issues which is a topic people slowly start to talk about. Are all your songs based on personal experiences? 

I would say 99% of my songs are yes. People are starting to talk about these issues finally and I can admit, I have been so afraid to in the past, but one of my coping mechanisms now, has been to throw myself in at the deep end with activities that I would normally find difficult due to anxiety. So I thought, well the biggest task would be to talk about it to people, & there's no bigger scale than putting it in a song. A similar song of mine had reached someone on the other side of the World who was suffering with mental health problems, they told me that my song had saved their life, it meant a lot to me, so obviously talking about it helps and that has completely changed my view on speaking up.   

If you could collaborate with an artist this very minute, who would you choose?

It would have to be Chino Moreno. As a singer, I think he's second to none and his songwriting is up there with the best for me. Deftones have always evolved through each album and I've enjoyed every part of it. I don't know what sort of music we'd make, but it would be good to find out.  

Do you have any plans to go on tour so fans can see you live?

Yes we are putting together the live plans at the minute. It will be interesting for people to see.  We have so many different things going on musically and I can't wait to share it. The focus has been so much on recording lately that I'm just itching to get on the road and get the music out there to a wider audience. 

Where can people find you online if they want to follow you? 

Twitter: http://twitter.com/diivesmusic1

Instagram: http://instagram.com/diivesmusic01

Facebook: http://facebook.com/diivesmusic

YouTube: https://goo.gl/zkVKjO

SoundCloud: http://soundcloud.com/diives

Website: http://diivesmusic.com 

Again, thank you for taking the time! Stay awesome.

A pleasure - thank you for having me! Diives

07/10/2017 10:58 AM
Anita Nicole - Unfamous
Anita Nicole ‘Unfamous’ 21th July
Private Vimeo Link | pw: Unfamous

Anita Nicole from North West London is a young singer/songwriter and producer. Her musical inspirations are no one else than Tracy Chapman or Ed Sheeran. Her journey started when she was only 7 years old by mesmerizing the likes of Michael Jackson. On the other hand, whenever Busta Rhyme’s “Gimme Some More”, she preferred to hide and cry behind the sofa.

To follow her dream of becoming a professional musician, she enrolled in Sylvia Young theatre school on the weekends. Afterwards, she enrolled at The BRIT School where she recently graduated. She says about her upcoming song Unfamous: “It is about my generations obsession with fame and people longing to be famous just for fames sake.”

Written and produced was the song in 20 minutes during mental health awareness week a few weeks ago. Anita is aware of the impact of and around social media due to constant comparisons to look famous, while all she wants is people to know that it is okay to be “Unfamous”.
The music video for “Unfamous” was filmed on her own Android, using social media favourites GIF’s and memes.

07/07/2017 12:22 PM
The Ironweed Project - The Blues Is Alive
The Ironweed Project ‘The Blues Is Alive’ impact date 1st September
“Always excited to hear his next club banger!!” MistaJam BBC 1Xtra
If there ever was a definitive fusion between blues and trap, this track has to be cited as a seminal moment.” Matterz Magazine

The Blues Is Alive is the first single off the brand-new album of the same name by The Ironweed Project.  The Ironweed Project started in 2003 as a project of passion by Aniff Akinola (Universal). The Ironweed Project is a fresh new melting pot of blues, drum’n’bass, electronica and hip hop, described as Rag N Bone Man meets Seasick Steve with added political angst.  Aniff compares the new Ironweed’s album to a “love of singing blues mournfully without worrying about the notes.”

One of the most known Ironweed Project songs is Get A Little Dirty which was used as the theme song to the TV Drama Rescue Special OPS in Australia on Channel 9 and in the UK and Europe on Sky. The Ironweed Projectsongs have appeared in How To Lose Friends And Alienate People as part of Sony Ericsson European launches. In total, the band has recorded 3 albums and have toured for 3 years. You might have heard tracks from current album The Blues is Alive as they have been used across TV and film, including "Strangeways Here We Come" a dark northern comedy film starring Michelle Keegan. Current club/radio hot act Icarus (currently playlisted with ‘Kong Kong’) used Ironweed Project’s "Down To My Grave" in their hit ‘Ride This Train’.

The Ironweed Project is a natural extension to Aniff’s first band Chapter and the Verse who had a hit with Black Whip. Aniff Akinola was signed by Caroline Elleray (Universal Publishing) who went on to sign Coldplay & Adele. Aniff Akinola has had chart hits and club classics spanning decades including A Guy Called Gerald ‘Voodoo Ray’, Urban Cookie Collective ‘The Key, The Secret’, right up to 2017 with Icarus ‘Ride This Train’ supported across BBC R1.

07/07/2017 12:09 PM
Diives - Anxiety

Debut single ‘Anxiety’ (impact date Aug 18th)
“Powerful lyrics and an intriguing act! Anxiety is a game changer.” Matterz Mag

Anxiety is the debut single from Diives, an act with plenty to say and plenty of new ways to say it. Hailing from an area with little or no opportunities for the young people that live there, Anxiety is a reflection of Diives’spassion for expression and belief that music can bring hope and change.
“People are finally talking about anxiety, depression and other mental health problems and this track was written to share some personal experiences on the subject. The song has a raging undercurrent because when anxiety takes control it is unbelievably frustrating! The line ‘When the night’s bleed into a long old year or so…’ was in relation to waking up one day and realising that a big chunk of life was missing because of anxiety. You can feel a lot of guilt for not making any positive moves when you’re feeling anxious, but people should feel good that they’re reaching out to people, getting the help they need and looking after themselves. All the other stuff can come later.”

To define is to limit and Diives prefers to let the music do the talking. But if you want an idea of what to expect from Anxiety and other tracks due for release in 2017, think contemporary grime passing through angsty indie and occasionally landing in urban balladry. This is truly music set to change the urban landscape forever.

07/05/2017 01:21 PM
WATCH: Kojo Rigault Live Acoustic with "Loved Up"

Kojo Rigault: Live Acoustic Video of "Loved Up" 

Kojo himself was not interested in releasing Loved Up or any new music until SynLingerie entrepreneur Tony Ram stumbled upon the song and begged Kojo to release it. Kojo was born in Trinidad and started his singing career as a child in his hometown St. Anns. Together with his friends, they formed a boy band called New Creation and became an overnight sensation. After moving to London, Kojo worked as A&R scout for Craig David’s producer Mark Hill at his Stoosh Records imprint.

The remix of the song is a collaboration between Kojo and Dot Inc who are not like their production peers. Their approach is slightly different by bringing different genre’s as Caribbean Dancehall, electronic music and old “skool” Garage together. They already remixed names like Shakira, Sean Paul and David Guetta.
Kojo secured a label deal with Spin Up so make sure to follow him on all his social media as the future will be Reggae.

07/05/2017 01:03 PM
Serena Kern featuring Ms Banks

Multi-talented songstress, Serena Kern, is taking her singing career in a totally new direction with an increasingly urban sound, marrying grime beats with sweet R&B infused vocals, which have resulted in a collaboration with Ms. Banks to form the infectious new single ‘Drop Top’.

Wanting to explore and take inspiration from her Indian roots, Serena has made a name for herself in the Asian music scene, working with notable producers such as Rishi Rich (Jay Sean, Teddy Riley), Kenny Jones (The Smiths, Robbie Williams) and Andy Whitmore (Elton John, Terence Trent D’arby) to form her catalogue of critically acclaimed records including, Sui GenerisGorgeous and Dream.

Now, Serena is moving away from her musical roots towards an increasingly urban soundthat borrows elements from grime beats, trap and R&B. Couple this with Serena’s sweet and seductive vocals and you have a potent combination with a super-contemporary sound.

The new single, ‘Drop Top’, produced by Ayo Beatz, also employs the talents of underground rapper Ms Banks, a frequent collaborator with big artists such as Tinie Tempah and JME, who put her stamp on the rap scene after appearing on Radio 1Xtra’s ‘Fire in the Booth’ show with Charlie Sloth. The video for ‘Drop Top’ also features a cameo from independent artist and founder of State of Mind Records, Loick Essien.
Serena was keen to note that ‘The track is very different from what I've done before. Chris, from Music Matters, played the beat of Drop Top to me and said it would sound amazing with my vocals. We recorded the track and everything just clicked. Ms Banks then decided to jump on it too, adding an extra edge!’ 

Taking inspiration from the likes of Rihanna, Sia and Clean Bandit, Serena’s music appeals to a wide audience due to its encapsulating crossover style. Although she has taken a new direction with her music, her fans certainly won’t be alienated by the new urban sound, which still features Serena’s signature vocals and sultry style.

07/04/2017 02:58 PM
Leo Napier: Lyric Video for "Before I Go Away"
Leo Napier with lyric video
for "Before I Go Away"

Before I Go Away is the debut single from Coachella performing, neo-soul talent Leo Napier. Born in the US but now a proud London Ladbroke Grove resident, you’ll recognise the versatile songwriter’s crisp vocals as featuring alongside Wu-Tang Clan’s Raekwon on Gramatik’s most successful single to date, Native Son. Chart topping dance act GRiZ’s electro-funk take on 'Before I Go Away' was released by the DJ last year and has garnered millions of streams to date. This follows from their previous collaboration A Fine Way To Die which also has streams in the millions.

‘Before I Go Away’ is the first instalment from Leo’s debut EP ‘Mind Up’ (out Autumn 2017) which will slowly unravel itself throughout the course of the year. The EP is a collection of urban tales, a mix of classic funk/soul with hard hitting electronic rhythms produced by eclectic worldwide talents. The songs are gritty urban tales with a cast of colourful characters peppered with Leo's signature brand of dark humour.

Leo has just released the lyric video for the track, with more to come from the rest of the EP.

“I never planned to stick the 5 tunes together and call it an EP. But somehow these songs feel cohesive. It’s a controlled chaos. A web of funky anecdotes served up, not exactly on a silver platter, but more of a greasy plate, with a whole lot of hot sauce.” Leo Napier

06/26/2017 02:20 PM
Matterz Interview: Leo Napier

Hi Leo! Thank you for speaking to us today, how are you doing?
I'm in fine form, thanks. 

You recently performed at Coachella! How did you find performing at such an internationally acclaimed festival?
It was a hell of a rush. Not at all nerve racking. Just pure fun. 

Your music comes across as an exciting blend of genres, combining R&B, hip-hop and neo-soul (to name a few). Who have been your main musical influences as you’ve developed your sound?
Ray Charles
The Beatles
JImmy Cliff
Taj Mahal
Joe Cocker 
Just to name a few! 

Would you say that the move from the US to the UK has also helped you develop this sound?
No, but it's confirmed what I've always believed to be true. Soul music is the greatest music in the world. And no matter where you go, it touches everyone the same way. But the Brits seem to value the genre more. 

So you’ve previously featured on Gramatik’s tune “Native Son”, their most successful single to date. How did the experience shape your own musical output?
It's allowed me to realize that electronic and classic R&B/Funk can be blended successfully. Digital and organic symbiosis is where we're all headed. Gotta embrace it or get left behind. 

You’ve just released “Before I Go Away”, and there’s an EP not far behind it. Can we expect more of the same funky vibes or will there be some surprises in the ‘controlled chaos’ of the EP?
Yea lots of funky vibes on the EP. Plenty of soul. It's a fun record. If you don't like funk and soul then don't bother listening to it. Also, don't bother talking to me, cuz we probably won't get along. ;)

And finally, can we expect to see this EP performed live in the near future?
I'm still working on translating the record to the stage. I might have to get a DJ on stage with me at some point to make it really work. I'm still figuring that out. 
But yes, eventually I'll be able to deliver all 5 tracks in a live setting, ideally with some panache. 

06/19/2017 11:51 AM
Leo Napier ‘Before I Go Away’ Single Release June 16th and EP announcement
Leo Napier ‘Before I Go Away’ Single Release June 16th and EP announcement

  • ·       "Leo Napier has acquired a well-earned reputation among us GRiZ/Gramatik fans for his vocal serenading" Stereofox
  • ·       "We were lucky enough to have Leo perform at #SONEGx1883 last month where he blew away the crowd with his raspy vocal twist on traditional R&B/Soul." 1883 Magazine
  • ·       “the soulful vocals of frequent collaborator Leo Napier, it encapsulates all the elements that have endeared GRiZ to his legions of fans.” Dancing Astronaut

Before I Go Away is the debut single from Coachella performing, neo-soul talent Leo Napier. Born in the US but now a proud London Ladbroke Grove resident, you’ll recognise the versatile songwriter’s crisp vocals as featuring alongside Wu-Tang Clan’s Raekwon on Gramatik’s most successful single to date, Native Son. Chart topping dance act GRiZ’s electro-funk take on Before I Go Away was released by the DJ last year and has garnered millions of streams to date. This follows from their previous collaboration A Fine Way To Die  which also has streams in the millions.

‘Before I Go Away’ is the first instalment from Leo’s debut EP ‘Mind Up’ (out Autumn 2017)which will slowly unravel itself throughout the course of the year.  The EP is a collection of urban tales, a mix of classic funk/soul with hard hitting electronic rhythms produced by eclectic worldwide talents. The songs are gritty urban tales with a cast of colourful characters peppered with Leo's signature brand of dark humour. 

“I never planned to stick the 5 tunes together and call it an EP. But somehow these songs feel cohesive. It’s a controlled chaos. A web of funky anecdotes served up, not exactly on a silver platter, but more of a greasy plate, with a whole lot of hot sauce.”  Leo Napier

06/15/2017 11:35 AM
Matterz Interview: Illusion

Hi Illusion! Thank you for taking the time to talk to us. How are you today?

 I'm well, thank you.

You’re a triple threat in the music industry, you write, produce and rap. Which of
these skills was the hardest for you to master and why?

 It's hard to say because all the skills mentioned are progressive. So far I'm very concentrated on writing songs so if i had to pick one l would pick writing.

Do you favour one over the other two or do you like them equally?

 I would say the production aspect ties a project together. So I favour that over the other two because it's the one of the three skills that forces me to listen to the music from a different perspective and make adjustments where they are needed.

You also supported Sneakbo whilst he was on tour. How was that experienced for you, was it what you expected touring to be like?

Performing is the part where you finally get the chance to share what you've been creating. Being anywhere where there are individuals who have more experience it's always a good idea to pay attention and learn. Just watching how he performs and the energy taught me a lot and surpassed my expectations.

What things did you learn from that experience that your grateful for?

Mostly it was how he took control of the room and changed the energy It was a great experience.

You also performed on BBC Introducing, how was that experience for you?

 Anything to do with huge platforms like that I'm always great-full. Just like any other time I'm on stage I just let go and have fun and try and give people he best presentation I can give.

You used to listen to soul, funk and rhythm & blues do you find it easy to incorporate these elements in hip-hop?

 For me, because i've listened to all of these genres since i was younger I tend to find that they are not that different. The only thing that changes is the how the instrumentals are built. Overall it gives me the same feeling.

Can we expect an album release soon?
I'm releasing a project in the later stages of this year called R.O.M.E with a few songs and then after I'll see what comes after. 

06/05/2017 12:59 PM
Matterz Interview: Metaxas
Hi Metaxas! Thank you so much for talking to us. How are you today?

Hi. I'm doing great thanks

What draw you to the folk/downtempo genre?

Well it's quite interesting that I am equally drawn to folk and electronic music. Coming from a guitar and vocal background, I'm used to crafting songs in a folk container. But I've been so into many electronic acts that the influence was inevitable So I started experimenting with my own music

You graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston, do you see a big difference with the music scene in the UK compared to that of the USA?

It's not so much the scene as much as it was a change of environment for me. In Boston I felt like there was a saturation of musicians trying to "make it". Berklee alone has upwards of 5000 students so the area is always full of young aspiring musicians; which is great because the scene is buzzing from talent. But ultimately I had to remove myself from that place to really find my voice and free myself of constant distractions.
You were a supporting act for Ronan Keating. How has that experience shaped you now as an artist?

It was the most positive touring experience I have ever had. It really showed me how someone with such a strong star power can be a normal great guy, that values family, friendship and being a good person. It was humbling. Everyone was extremely kind and supportive. Fam

As a songwriter you write most if not all of your own material, do you ever suffer from writer’s block and how do you deal with it?

I do actually. There are major dry spells that I go through but I have learned not to force anything. If I'm blocked, it usually means some other piece of my existence is lacking so I just focus on living for a while and experiencing different things. That usually gets me back in the studio all fired up
What kind of experiences most influence your writing?

 Anything and everything. My mind never stops. Always thinking about a plethora of stuff so there's an abundance of material to draw from. Triggers are all around us so we just have to pay attention, and thats what I try to do
Can we expect an album by the end of 2017?

Probably not this year but definitely in 2018

05/30/2017 02:59 PM
Matterz Interview: Kojo

Hi Kojo, Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us. 
You didn’t want to release any music until Tony Ram convinced you, what was his selling point in getting you to release new music again? And what was your reason for not wanting to release any new music?

Not many people know this but i was once part of a boy band in the caribbean called New Creation.We were successful to gain the attention of Superstar ‘Eddy Grant’ and record an album at his studios in Barbados.We received awards for being the BEST R&B Group in the Caribbean and toured with Uk Artists at the time Ant and Dec. Not many bands have evolved since from the caribbean and that was still many years ago.However that all ended with a terrible car accident taking the life of one of our dear members and that dream was over.I’ve never got over that.Thus being successful in music is an idea i struggle with a lot as the idea of what you can lose totally scares me,The last time i reached for it resulted in the death of a friend so i’ve never wanted to release any music.

However i’ve never lost my love for recording, performing,singing and writing but i just got accustomed to doing it in the shadows  whilst working in A&R or just as a music exec whenever i could.I was doing  social media work for Tony Ram and his lingerie company ‘Syn Lingerie’ at the time and he mentioned to me he used to be a musician so we related well on things like former musicians do.The mistake i made was i let hear him some of the music i wrote, as writers do but when he heard ‘Loved Up’ He went nuts behind the song and he said ‘Whatever it takes’ i had to release it. I Stressed to him this was not an easy task.

He didn't care.’Whatever it takes’ he said and he was dead serious. It’s been the only song he plays in his car ever since then.He convinced me the song had at least a fighting chance of getting to the top.I’ve never seen someone more obsessed about something i wrote. He said he heard a lot of number 1 singles and this was a number 1 as far he was concerned. It needed to at least get a chance.And he was going to give it that chance. Up to that point he didn't yet know my co writer on ‘Loved Up’  Winston Sela had at least 8 NUMBER 1’s to his credit.Which could help.

What was your inspiration behind the song?
I love great R&B chords and Producer K Warren really nailed it when he played the track to me because i just fell in love with the track and it just felt so romantic which is what i kind of love working with .The chorus just spoke to me and i naturally just wrote it.I kind of have to be in a nice place in my relationship to write great songs so i can thank my woman for that as she’s sometimes behind the romantic stuff i come up with. Winston Sela was a pal at the time so i asked him to come hear the demo i made with K Warren and let me know what he thought.He loved the track and offered to help me make it great.We re wrote it at least twice before we got it to where was then we said ‘this is it!’

You also worked as an A&R scout Mark Hill. Did working in A&R change your perspective in music?
It did, no discredit to Mark though but as a scout and then A&R Manager i had to discover artist’s, then gain their trust and guide them towards the label as i looked after both interests,the label and the artist. My perspective changed as i saw the efforts i made to get a team of people to all work together cohesively to make a record with an artist they all believed in,watch the dream fall apart as the recordings never came out. I loved A&R but if i didn't have to power to fight for the the artist to get to the end goal then i felt like i wasted the teams,the artists and my time if the record we all fought to make, never got out. That was disappointing. Adding to my perspective of not wanting to release any music.

You’re from Trinidad, how important is it for you to incorporate elements of your home town into your music and why?
I love soca and calypso music which is the sound of my home country Trinidad, it makes you so happy and upbeat,however they don’t do romance quite well as the chords are so far away from R&B and it was very rare that you get a track like Kevin Lyttle’s TURN ME ON, Rupee’s TEMPTED TO TOUCH or Drake’s ONE DANCE to do the things that i wanted to express in music.I found myself very at home with reggae which was Caribbean but more soulful which i had to realise that is who i am.Caribbean and Soulful. Soul and R&B is what makes me write the best songs and where i express what i feel best.Unlike my little Brother Kambon Rigault who is very successful writer in Soca music.I tried many times to write a soca song and it just doesn't work for me as it does when i attempt write to an R&B or a reggae track.However my sound is just one big experiment with caribbean elements and R&B Ideas so i’ll keep trying. Maybe i'll get the mix right one day. As they say,never give up right?

You’ve had success in remixing certain artist such as Shikira, Sean Paul and David Guetta. Is there anyone you haven’t worked with that you would like to and why?
Me Remix Shakira,Sean Paul and Guetta? Wish i did, that would be my Remixers on ‘Loved Up’ Dot inc. They’re young, hot on the scene being signed to Sony/ATV publishing at the moment and just working with about everything that’s GRIME related but i never expected them understand my reggae vibe and do a hot remix on it. I can thank my co hort Winston Sela for that.He was working with various producers at the time and recommended them to me for remixing the track.Me on the other hand i’ve produced tracks but I’m just a fledgling producer at the moment no hits yet i’m afraid and none of my production will be on my upcoming album as my skills can’t match the team of producers i’m going to be working with. I haven't worked with anyone yet but Who i’d love to work with, Nicki Minaj,Rihanna, Shakira and Alicia Keys would be my top artists,then on the boys team Sean Paul, Busta rhymes and Boyz 2 Men and Bruno Mars.

Can we expect more summer jams this year?
That you can.Tony Ram will see to that as he’s already chose my next Single. Summers gonna be hot.
Thank you so much again. Any last words to the readers?
If you got as far as this point then i have to thank you for being interested enough to read about my journey through music. Lot of lessons learnt, lot of people burnt. Life goes on, keep loving what you do,love as hard as you can as life is short and precious and don’t stop believing in yourself. It’s never the end until you say it is and thanks for your support. Love you all!

05/19/2017 01:27 PM
METAXAS ‘Sirens’ 5th May 2017

“This is a song that reminisces about the passage of time, devotion to a person/cause, and the difficulties in avoiding temptation. It is a melancholic journey that laments th notion of believing in ones choices.” - Metaxas

Metaxas is an artist you will not forget. His folk and downtempo music will carve itself into your psyche. If you would ask him what he wants to do in his life, he will simply answer with “I want to tour the world, sell records, but most of all; I want my music to speak for itself…”

Metaxas now calls London his home, but you might remember him as the support act of
Ronan Keating. Metaxas’s determination and love of music was rewarded by a place at the internationally recognized Berklee College of Music in Boston where he honed his skills.
With musical influences such as Jeff Buckley, Bon Iver andBonobo it is no surprise that Nik has mastered a writing style that is honest, sensitive and moving. His raw, expressive lyrics and his graveled, warm voice have a powerful effect.