Some people were destined for greatness, and some people were destined for something a little more extraordinaire. Not so much a conscious effort just life enacting somewhere between Lost In Translation and the Truman Show. Chelou, a Gemini with an unborn twin is one such character. A product of the Camden-Punk Scene his parents were native to. His Mum left home at 14 to run away with the circus, her act was to be shot out of a cannon. With that spirit Chelou adopted the ethos that life was a blank canvas for ourselves to complete however and whatever we see fit; Chelou drifted to music as his medium. Inspired by the varied music floating around his existence; Chelou taught himself to play the guitar by ear and still to this day can't read music. He also managed to complete a degree without ever owning a computer and a phone only on occasion. Emerging in 2014 after leaking his bedroom produced track, "The Quiet", Chelou has not looked back. The track went viral amongst the bloggers and garnered strong support on BBC Radio 6 from the likes of Lauren Laverne and Tom Ravenscroft. The EP that followed saw Chelou support Thurston Moore and Natalie Prass and go on tour with All We Are and make his debut festival appearances. Chelou followed The Quiet EP up 6 months later, releasing a cover of Nirvana’s "Aneurysm" which too went viral amongst the bloggers and his Mothership EP which was pressed to 12” vinyl. His sound also caught the ears of Maya Jane Coles who featured Chelou on her debut Nocturnal Sunshine album and began inviting him to her studio to work on material. The follow up EP was championed by both Annie Mac and Huw Stephens on BBC Radio 1, with online coverage at this point stretching from The Wall Street Journal to i-D Magazine. Single "Don’t Hate On Me" quickly followed and the success on both the internet and airwaves transcended to the road with performances supporting Bloc Party at their sold-out London dates, The follow up to this single "Halfway To Nowhere." This track proved to be a turning point as it gathered momentum online, radio initially shunned it showing no support. The video which was a collaboration with long time friend Polly Nor was released to rapturous reception gaining coverage from Dazed Digital to Playground to Mixmag. The video went on to reach over 5 million views on YouTube with a further 5 million streams across other streaming platforms. Chelou released a last single "Damned Eye See" in the Autumn of 2017 before featuring on Maya Jane Coles single "Darkside" taken from her album Take Flight. 2018 saw Chelou concentrate on touring and finaliZing his debut full-length record, he featured on Pote’s track "Untune," which came out in June 2018 on Benji B’s label Deviation. Chelou has performed in 18 countries to date in 50 + cities to date. Key festival appearances have included Green Man Festival, Wilderness, Sziget, Bestival, Love Saves The Day, Shambala, Eurosonic, Where’s The Music, The Great Escape, Liverpool Sound City, Zandari Festival (South Korea), FARR, Meadows In The Mountains (Bulgaria), Brainchild Festival, Antigel, One In A Million, Larmer Tree, Naked Song, Duizel In Het Park, Terra Incognito, Clap Your Hands, MaMa, Live At Leeds, Hit The North. Chelou’s been featured in the following publications, among many others: Dazed Digital, Playground Magazine, Wonderland Magazine, i-D Magazine, Wall Street Journal, Billboard, Resident Advisor, Red Bull Music, Canal +, DIY Magazine, Juxtapoz, Clash Magazine, Noctis Magazine, Notion Magazine, The Line Of Best Fit, Beat Magazine, Mixmag, Its Nice That, Boooom and The 405.
21-year-old singer/songwriter Christian French began his music career posting acoustic covers on SoundCloud in high school. Attending Indiana University, French met fellow Indiana producer Triegy, and together they self-released their first single "Fall For You" (5M streams), which charted on the United States Viral 50 chart on Spotify. Following this release, the duo released a string of four singles including "By Myself (17M streams) and "Dying Alive" (6M streams). With his growing success, French traveled to Los Angeles to work with Grammy-nominated producer Dru Decaro, together creating French's debut collection Natural Colors (15M total streams), which includes the singles "Love Ride", "Superstars", "Sweet Home", "Hearts Of Gold", and most recently "Someone New". In mid-2018, French was invited by Chelsea Cutler to be the special guest on her Sleeping With Roses Tour. The two sold out the 17-show North American tour in less than three weeks after announcement. In 2019, French is joining Quinn XCII on his 34-stop North American spring tour From Tour With Love.
On her debut EP Sugar & Spice, Hatchie delivered the sonic equivalent of falling deliriously in love: a sustained rush of feeling, rendered in swoony melodies and gauzy guitar tones and endlessly hypnotic layers of sound. Now, with her full-length debut Keepsake, the Australian singer/songwriter tries on countless new textures, exploring everything from industrial to new wave to dance-pop, handling each with understated elegance and pure, powerful feeling. In the making of Keepsake, the Brisbane-bred musician, otherwise known as Harriette Pilbeam, recorded in a home studio in Melbourne and worked again with John Castle -- the producer behind Sugar & Spice, a 2018 release that prompted Pitchfork to dub her the “dream-pop idol of tomorrow.” And while the album begins and ends with two massively catchy pop tracks -- the brightly defiant “Not That Kind,” the euphoric and epic “Keep” -- many songs drift into more emotionally tangled terrain, shedding light on experiences both ephemeral and life-changing. Throughout Keepsake, Hatchie’s kaleidoscopic sonic palette draws out distinct moods and tones, continually revealing her depth and imagination as a musician and songwriter. On lead single “Without a Blush,” jagged guitar riffs and woozy rhythms meet in a sprawling piece of industrial-pop, with Hatchie’s gorgeously airy voice channeling loss and longing, regret and self-doubt. Another industrial-leaning track, “Unwanted Guest” unfolds in wobbly synth lines and fantastically icy spoken-word vocals, along with lyrics about “being dragged to a party I don’t want to be at, then getting at a fight at the party, and kind of hating myself for it but hating everybody else too.” Meanwhile, on “Her Own Heart,” Hatchie presents a radiant jangle-pop gem that puts a singular twist on the post-breakup narrative. “I’d seen people in my life go through breakups and end up with no idea what to do with themselves,” she says. “I wrote that song from the point of view of a girl who winds up on her own and embraces having to figure out who she is, who doesn’t let her life get turned upside-down like that.” Elsewhere on Keepsake, Hatchie brings an unlikely transcendence to the most tender of moments. With its softly pulsing beats and slow-building intensity, “Secret” spins a heartrending anthem from what she describes as “confiding to a friend about your mental health struggles, the things you can’t work out on your own.” On “Kiss the Stars,” Hatchie’s cascading guitar work and mesmeric vocals meet with lyrics capturing a precise form of melancholy. “With that song, I wanted to recreate the feeling of a Sunday afternoon when the sun is setting and you don’t want the day to be over -- that awful end-of-weekend feeling,” she says. And on “Stay With Me,” Hatchie offers up Keepsake’s most utterly rhapsodic track, all incandescent synth and unstoppable rhythm. “At first I thought I could never put that on my album -- it felt too dancey and pop, and I figured it could really shine on someone else’s record,” she says. “But then I realized: I’m the one dictating what my sound is; what I put on my album is up to me.” That self-possessed spirit infuses all of Keepsake, which ultimately serves as a document of a particularly kinetic moment in Hatchie’s life. “I’m not much of a nostalgic person when it comes to memories, but I do have a tendency to hold on to certain things, like tickets from the first time I went someplace on holiday,” says Hatchie in reflecting on the album’s title. “It made sense to me to call the record that, at a time when I’m going to probably end up with a lot of keepsakes -- and in a way, this whole album is almost like a keepsake in itself.”
With ‘Love’s Last Chance,’ his brilliant new studio album and first solo release in five years, Taylor McFerrin has emerged as the “complete artist” he’s always dreamed of becoming, writing and singing his own lyrics and vocals on top of his dazzling instrumental and production work for the very first time. Recorded in his recently adopted hometown of Los Angeles, the collection finds McFerrin working with more freedom and spontaneity than ever before, tapping into the moment with captivating performances that blur the lines between old-school R&B, classic funk, experimental electronic music, and progressive jazz. Vintage synthesizers and keyboards dominate the sonic landscape, propelled at every turn by hypnotic percussion grooves and breezy melodies, and an adventurous sense of improvisation infuses the songwriting with an air of infinite possibility. It’s McFerrin’s voice that steals the show here, though, warm and tender with a gentle confidence. His vocals convey both deep intimacy and unsparing self-reflection, and their very presence on the album signals the start of a brand new chapter in an already-impressive career. “Something deeper happens when you sing, something that lets listeners feel like they’re truly getting to know you,” McFerrin explains. “Singing brings me closer than ever to being able to share everything that’s going on inside of me.” When McFerrin released ‘Early Riser,’ his 2014 debut for Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder label, he largely focused on instrumentals, relegating the occasional vocal part to special guests (including his father, the ten-time GRAMMY Award-winner Bobby McFerrin). The collection—which also featured appearances by Hiatus Kaiyote frontwoman Nai Palm, bass/production wizard Thundercat, and R&B titan Robert Glasper among others—earned praise on both sides of the pond, with Pitchfork hailing it as “an album built for slow weekend mornings spent in bed with a loved one” and The Line Of Best Fit calling it “superb.” Tracks from the album racked up nearly 20 million streams on Spotify alone, and McFerrin landed festival dates everywhere from Glastonbury to Central Park Summerstage. In addition to discovering the power of his voice on the new album, McFerrin also discovered a new approach to recording thanks to his work with the jazz fusion supergroup R+R=Now, which found him teaming up with Glasper, trumpeter Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah, bassist Derrick Hodge, drummer Justin Tyson, and synth/vocoder player Terrace Martin, who’s produced Kendrick Lamar and Talib Kweli among others. Cut in just five days, the album offered up a masterclass in letting go and surrendering to the moment, in valuing emotional authenticity over technical perfectionism. It was an experience that reminded McFerrin of his father—best known for the timeless mega-hit “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”—who was a born improviser that gleefully shared his passion with his children at home and on the road. “Our father was always just making music and singing, always down to jump onstage with anybody,” says McFerrin, whose sister Madison is also a critically acclaimed artist in her own right. “He was fearless and excited about the unknown, and watching him perform taught us that the purest way to express yourself was to just be totally open and genuine and free.” ‘Love’s Last Chance’ is precisely that, a heartrending snapshot of love, faith, anxiety, and endurance, all delivered with honesty, empathy, and, virtuosity. “I called this album ‘Love's Last Chance’ because in life, you don’t get a million opportunities to get love right,” McFerrin concludes. “Sometimes, with both your art and your relationships, you realize that it's now or never. For my first time writing and singing my own lyrics, I didn’t want to be messing around with make believe and fantasy. This record is real life.”
Awarded "Best Country Singer" in the LA Weekly's 2018 Best Of, you can feel Leslie Stevens' voice reach the nails in the doorframe. She spins a high craft, with songs about donkeys and drinking and driving in heaven -- and just when you thought she might light your living room on fire with a giggle, she'll blast you through the skylight into outer space. The LA Times calls her "one of the city's best" and Chris Ziegler (LA Record) explains that Leslie has "the kind of voice you'll realize you've been waiting to hear since forever." She's sung on records by Jim James, Father John Misty, Jonathan Wilson, and live with Joe Walsh, Jackson Browne, and John Fogerty, as well as other musicians not beginning with the letter "J." Brave lyrically and vulnerable in spirit: Leslie never shies away from laying down what's what, if only to leave a mark on the most golden part of your soul.
"Is Christone "Kingfish" Ingram the future of the blues? The blues savior is one of the most exciting young guitarists in years, with a sound that encompasses B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix and Prince." - ROLLING STONE "A rising blues prodigy... A torchbearer." - NPR MUSIC "Kingfish is the next explosion of the blues." - BUDDY GUY Once a generation, a blues artist comes along who not only reminds mainstream audiences how deeply satisfying and emotionally moving the best blues music can be, but shakes the genre to its core. With both eyes on the future and the blues in his blood, 20-year-old guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Christone "King sh" Ingram is set to take the music world by storm with the long-awaited release of his debut album, KINGFISH, on Alligator Records. Sprung from the same earth as so many of the Delta blues masters, King sh comes bursting out of Clarksdale, Mississippi, just ten miles from the legendary crossroads of Highways 61 and 49. A student of the Delta's musical history, he is acutely aware of the musicians and the music that emerged from his corner of the world. "I do think I have an old soul, that I've been here before," he says. "I'm moving forward with one foot in the past." "You don't see too many kids into blues music," says the nascent star. "In my town, every kid wants to be a rapper -- I wanted to do something no one else was doing." And although he grew up near the crossroads where Robert Johnson allegedly cut a deal with the devil, King sh insists he didn't do any of that to make his guitar howl the blues. "I just practice all the time," he says, "that's the only deal I made, and it's with myself." Recorded in Nashville and produced by two-time Grammy winner Tom Hambridge (Buddy Guy, Susan Tedeschi, Joe Louis Walker), KINGFISH showcases Ingram's blistering, raw and inspired guitar playing, soulful, deep vocals and songwriting. He tells stories with his solos, channeling the spirits of all the past masters while the music he makes is his own. He co-wrote eight of the album's 12 tracks. "A lot of folks know me for my covers," he says. "That's why it's important for me to release original music." The rst radio single, Outside Of This Town, is a erce statement of purpose -- both musically and lyrically -- from this rising star. The songs range from autobiographical (Been Here Before, Before I'm Old) to humorous (Trouble), and from white hot (It Ain't Right) to slow and searing (Love Ain't My Favorite Thing). His friend and mentor, Buddy Guy, adds vocals and guitar on Fresh Out while another friend, Keb Mo, brings his warm, conversational voice to Listen, and adds his rhythm and resonator guitars to six tracks. Alligator Records president Bruce Iglauer considers King sh a natural t for the blues and roots label. "At the age of 20, King sh is one of the most exciting and passionate young artists I've seen in many years. He's creating new music that feels like blues but doesn't copy what's already been done. His roots are rmly in the Mississippi Delta, and you can hear that raw Delta honesty in his playing and singing. His guitar work is technically dazzling, but it's all about the emotions of the song and moving the audience. He's perfectly capable of crowd- pleasing shredding, but his music is remarkably mature. He knows which are the important notes, the notes that tell the story and grab the audience, and he leaves out the extraneous ones. He sings with the intensity and directness of a seasoned blues artist. He venerates the blues masters of the past and present but is eagerly making his own statement, inspired by the music they created. I'm watching him become a young, visionary blues giant. He has an amazing future ahead of him, and I'm proud that he's joined the Alligator family." King sh is equally thrilled to have his debut album come out on Alligator, "I never thought this would happen. I've been waiting to release my rst record for such a long time. To have it come out on Alligator is a really great thing." Born to a musical family near Clarksdale, Mississippi on January 19, 1999, Christone Ingram fell in love with music as a small child. There was always music playing around the house. His family sang (and continues to sing) at their family church. His mother, Princess Pride, is rst cousin to country music legend Charley Pride. Christone starting hitting drums at age six and at nine he picked up the bass. Around this time his mother enrolled him in a program at the Delta Blues Museum. At age 11, he got his rst guitar and quickly mastered it. The young prodigy soaked up music from Robert Johnson to Lightnin' Hopkins, from B.B. King to Muddy Waters, from Jimi Hendrix to Prince. Before long he could play like them all, but all the while he kept developing his own sound and style. Christone rst stepped on stage at the age of 11 at Clarksdale's famous Ground Zero Club, playing behind one of his mentors, Mississippi blues icon Bill "Howl-N-Madd" Perry. Perry gifted the young musician with a new stage name, King sh. The young bluesman performed at the White House for Michelle Obama in 2014 as part of a delegation of young blues musicians from the Delta Blues Museum. By age 16 he was turning heads and winning awards, including the 2015 Rising Star Award, presented by The Rhythm & Blues Foundation. Funk music superstar Bootsy Collins began sharing King sh's YouTube videos -- some with millions of views each -- telling his followers "this is how a child can in uence others." Rapper The Game did the same. Christone's appeal beyond blues was immediate. He appeared on The Rachael Ray Show as well as The Steve Harvey Show. He was cast in season two of the Net ix program Luke Cage after the series lead producer saw one of his videos. Two of his cover songs appear on the show's soundtrack album, which immediately introduced him to a young audience who had never heard the blues before. King sh recently performed in an NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert with rap legend Rakim, who also appeared in Luke Cage. King sh has shared stages with Buddy Guy, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Robert Randolph, Guitar Shorty, Eric Gales and many others. He has befriended rock stars from Nikki Sixx to Dave Grohl. Since graduating high school, King sh has continued his life on the road. He has performed at festivals around the country, including stops at the Chicago Blues Festival, the Beale Street Music Festival in Memphis, the Bonita Blues Festival in Florida, The Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland, on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, at Austin's Antone's and at San Francisco's famed Biscuits & Blues. He's performed in Europe multiple times, including appearances at the Moulin Blues Festival in the Netherlands and the Blues Heaven Festival in Denmark. In addition to making music and touring the world, King sh donates his time and talent to two causes important to him. Through his work with various local Blues In The Schools programs, he visits with students around the country while he's on tour. "It's important to teach kids about blues and music and give them another forum to express themselves." He's also an of cial ambassador for United By Music North America, a program helping people with developmental challenges, such as autism, to express themselves through music. "Treat everybody right and anybody can do anything," says King sh. With the release of KINGFISH and a major tour in the works (featuring dates with both Vampire Weekend and Buddy Guy), Christone "King sh" Ingram is ready to blaze a trail with the blues torch that's been passed to him. With his eye-popping guitar playing and his reach-out-and-grab-you-by-the-collar vocals, King sh delivers each song with unmatched passion and precision. Steeped in the rich, vivid history of the blues, he's driven by his burning desire to create contemporary music that speaks to his generation and beyond. King sh is a real life 21st century bluesman who is inspired by the music of Robert Johnson, but dreams of one day collaborating with Kendrick Lamar and soul-funk bassist Thundercat. "My core is blues," he says, "but it's important for me to create a sound and style that is uniquely my own. I have a lot to say, so please stay tuned."
Faye Webster isn't afraid to tell you how she feels. Rooted in a familial lineage of folk, 21-year-old songwriter Webster's forthright, exposed lyricism pays homage to the great Americana traditions of songwriting while drawing from Webster's own experiences immersed in Atlanta's hip-hop scene. Her carefully-cultivated sound organically mingles that inherited country and folk with her time immersed in rap collective Awful Records, injecting the traditional with a clandestine jolt. A decorated photographer as well as a musician, Webster's artistic mediums don't intertwine, instead running parallel to one another. The through-line is her exceptional knack for direction, an assured confidence in her own point of view. "Kingston," the first new song since her 2017's sophomore self-titled LP, is quintessential Faye Webster. Awash in the haze of a humid Georgia summer, all lovestruck and dewy, "Kingston" glimmers with a hushed glitz: a mellowed punctuation of brass, the twang of pedal-steel, feather-light vocals unfurling like a sigh, and slinking hues of R&B. In the accompanying self-directed video for "Kingston," we move through a blushing tangle of flamingos and lush palm trees, the sheen of red silk, a glimmering ice-rink. At the center of it all stands Faye Webster, in focus, gazing directly into the camera with a wide-eyed, unflinching gaze: the sharp, confident conductor in control of a dreamy haze.
Mating Ritual is an independent pop duo based in Los Angeles, CA. Previously known as Pacific Air, Ryan Marshall Lawhon founded Mating Ritual in 2014 when his brother Taylor decided to go back to school. Though initially a solo project, Mating Ritual became increasingly more collaborative leading up to his debut album, 2017’s How You Gonna Stop It?, released on Ryan’s own label, Smooth Jaws. Working heavily with other LA songwriters and artists, including ascending pop singer Lizzy Land, the brothers realized they missed creating music as a duo and immediately began work on Mating Rituals sophomore album, Light Myself On Fire. Blending Taylor’s love of 80’s synth pop with Ryan’s post punk infatuation, Light Myself On Fire is a darker, grittier record that shows the brothers refining their individual talents from a much grander and more unified statement. Written entirely after midnight (with the exception of one noticeably sunny tune), these 9 songs talk about maturation and commitment. “Committing to anything long term can be difficult,” says Ryan “Boredom and complacency set in, and while change can be a good thing, using it as a crutch will just bring you back to the same place, feeling emptier than before. This album is about learning that the grass is not always greener, that the next fleeting dopamine rush won’t solve everything. In a weird way, I think this my better-late-than –never coming of age record”