2018 has shifted into gear pretty quickly, now that the ‘ones to watch’ lists are out of the way and the BRIT’s are on the horizon. We’ve rounded up five of the best new releases from artists who have already hit the ground running – so much for a Dry January.
Jorja Smith – Let Me Down
The Brits Critics Choice award winner and all-round UK darling Jorja Smith has premiered her first single of 2018 and it arrives in epic fashion. With a forthcoming starring role from Jennifer Lawrence in the Russian spy thriller ‘Red Sparrow’, the new visual from Jorja Smith strikes a timely hit in her role as a seductive assassin gunning for a ballet dancer. Given a one word brief that simply said – Bond – Hector Dockrill says “Jorja and I put our heads together and played with the idea of her role being a strong female lead, in an entirely fictional world.”
Due to release her as yet untitled debut album in June 2018, Jorja Smith is ready and waiting, armed with an arsenal of new songs. Till then, if ‘Let Me Down’ can do for Jorja Smith what ‘Unfaithful’ did for Rihanna, we’ll have the superstar global breakout that she’s been cued up for since her debut in January 2016 – and it’s all for the taking.
Moss Kena – Square One
Moss Kena is a man of mystery for now, but one who has a voice that will instantly have you making comparisons to the best in the game. Moss was introduced with the huge buzz around a funk-gospel reimagining of Kendrick Lamar’s ‘These Walls’, and although he’s not ready to reveal himself quite yet he more than happy to let the music do the talking. With all the words you wish you’d said, over a pulsing bass line Moss Kena is here to shake the table, and he has a new EP on the way.
Speaking about the reason behind the new EP title ‘Found You In ‘06’, Moss says “It’s basically the year in my life when I really had my musical awakening and discovered what I really liked. Through the rise of people like Amy Winehouse and the release of the ‘Back To Black’ album I really felt I had found music I connected with and music that started to shape my musical identity. “Square One” itself is about trying learn from your mistakes, although you may find yourself back at square one it’s about trying to pick yourself up.”
Louis III – Fever Thoughts
British R’n’B has rarely looked healthier. Male and female vocalists are stepping into the light from all walks of life and Croydon boy Louis III is the latest to make us sit up and listen. The new visual for his debut single ‘Fever Thoughts’ is here and this 23-year-old singer-songwriter brings effortless finesse to proceedings. Low-Fi, multicoloured and brimming with his own take on a retro analogue style, Louis III adds his own cool, renegade touches to this heated love song.
Louis says on the video, “I collaborated on the video for Fever Thoughts with my mate Jasper Cable-Alexander, who is a crazy talented director/photographer currently assisting Rankin. I tend to have a visual in my head when I write songs, and ranted my vision for the video to Jasper on a night out over a few too many beers – thankfully he was down to put his creative touch on it. He goes on to add,“Fever Thoughts came out of a session where my insomnia had kept me up the night before. I wanted the track to feel like what my head felt like at 5am.”
Mabel ft Not3s – Fine Line
Mabel premieres her brand new single, ‘Fine Line’ featuring Not3s and you can almost hear this one shutting down festival season already. Holding nothing back, Mabel is clearly gunning for a run at the charts and it seems her chemistry with Not3s might just be the right formula. Mabel features on Not3s’ top 20 single ‘My Lover’, and now he returns the favour with both tracks making a cute criss-cross commentary on this thing called love.
“Fine Line,” says Mabel, “is a playful track that I wrote about that fun phase at the beginning of a relationship when you’re trying to figure each other out. It’s about getting lost in something without losing yourself completely and how that’s exciting but also dangerous.”
Nominated for a BRIT’s Critics Choice Award, Mabel’s debut mixtape ‘Ivy To Roses’ was all about the journey so far – no doubt she’s got plenty more to say in the sequel.
SG Lewis – Aura
Part ’80’s Electro, part Disco, songwriter and producer SG Lewis today shares his new single ‘Aura’ which features another rising UK talent in the shape of J Warner. It seems SG Lewis isn’t one to do things by half as this new single ‘Aura’ has been lifted from his majorly ambitious new project ‘Dusk, Dark, Dawn’, an extravagant three-part album that is set for a rollout over the next 12 months. “Everything I do stems from club culture,” says SG Lewis of the idea behind his upcoming three-part project. “Dusk, Dark, Dawn is about taking the intentions of that music – all of those feelings, those experiences I had from the age of 17 to 19 – and placing them outside of the context of a club. Those memories of being a young person and having my mind completely blown.”
Presented across three acts, ‘Dusk, Dark, Dawn‘ will tell the story of one night out, matching genres and tempos different stages of that night, “Disco has always had the association of the start of a night for me. I spent a lot a time as a resident DJ in clubs and disco was always that magnetic genre, always brought people onto the dancefloor.” ‘Aura’ is a deft blend of SG‘s signature warm, uptempo house with disco inflections. “There’s an undeniable beauty to this part of the night. The apprehension, excitement… ‘Dusk’ is the warm-up for the heavier, darker things to come.”