Here’s four songs that deserve more attention right now. I hope to make this a regular segment. – Chris (@108seraph)
uglyboy – Paranoid
One of the coolest discoveries that I made in 2020 was uglyboy, a soulful voice adrift in a sea of self-loathing, isolated hedonism. ‘Paranoid’ displays the full extent of this talent for the first time ever, capitalising on the sheer power of the singer-songwriter’s vocals to create a stirring ballad. Thanks to a melancholic Cocteau Twins sample, this is also one of uglyboy’s finest productions to date. Highly recommended listening, especially if you’re new to the artist and want a taste of his uniquely sombre brand of pop music.
Nari & 8485 – Do U Hear Me?
Back with another exhilarating single, genre-blurring rapper Nari has this time teamed up with Helix Tears legend 8585 for its (Nari’s) latest offering. ‘Do U Hear Me?’ reigns in some of the chaos found in 2020 singles like ‘Kuromi Face Tat’, preferring lighter but no less beautiful production from o9sereN1ty and Yung Leo and offering equally gorgeous vocals from the two artists. 8485’s cameo is short-lived, but her shrill siren call of a verse is a perfect accompaniment to Nari’s menacing android commands. Yet another groundbreaking piece of music from one of the most promising artists in the scene. Go show it (both the song and Nari) some love.
Nicolas Grey & OG Kemi – Parasite
Woefully underrated UK rapper Nicolas Grey is off to a flying start in 2021 thanks to this massive new track. I’m excited to finally be writing about Grey on the blog, as his previous proiect Stigma was a quality collection of melodic trap songs well worthy of any rap fan’s time. But here Grey has stepped his game up, providing listeners with a smoothly produced R&B cut featuring an extremely emotive vocal performance from the man himself. Guest artist OG Kemi’s contribution to the song is equally important, his charismatic verse calling back to ‘Devil In a New Dress’ (a brilliant choice for a song so centred on heartbreak, lovesickness and idolisation) while being layered in tasteful autotune. These guys deserve to go places this year, and with both artists sounding very much in their prime I have few doubts about the likelihood of that happening.
80 & Fela.Mi – Takeover
A colossal banger, 80 aka 80 Tha Philosopha’s newest track is a motivational number and a superb start to what I’m sure will be another great year for the London-based rapper. Teaming up another rising star in Fela.Mi, 80 has delivered a quality product in both this high-octane track and its accompanying music video. ‘Baby don’t you know I’ve been trying to change my ways, really trying to find a way to heaven’s gate’, he raps on the song’s first verse, solidifying ‘Takeover’ as an anthem for the flawed, for the ones trying to better themselves each and every day. With great chemistry between the two rappers and a quality beat in tow, this is as good as it gets when it comes to 2021 debuts.