With the Grime and UK Rap flourishing and attracting attention to the urban music scene, a genre that has been struggling to get a foothold in recent years has been long overdue a refresh.
Soul and R&B has a rich history in the UK. Artists such as Beverly Knight, Mica Paris, Omar and the late Lynden David Hall have all provided us with British music to be proud of. Coming back to recent times, singer songwriter Ray Blk has taken the genre and put her own spin on it. At her show in London last year, one particular support act captured my attention and resulted in me clicking her subscribe button on Soundcloud.
I first saw Tiana Major9 performing her song ‘Altitude’ with her brother on the guitar. I was so impressed that I dedicated a paragraph to her performance in my review of Ray Blk’s headline show. Since then, it seems she has been in creative mode and has resurfaced with a song that proves she is a talent to pay attention to.
This is the part, where I try my hardest not, to cry but I still end up, with sore eyes
Songs are amazing mediums to get out your emotions. As Tiana sings on ‘Merry Go’, her intentions to make a song about issues happening in the world that are perceived more important are foiled by her feelings due to a turbulent relationship. Instead of going against her state of mind, she’s chosen to do what artists do best. Express herself.
With great songwriting from Ari Pensmith & New Gen’s J Warner, Tiana has used her voice to explore a varied tonal range to carry lyrics that tell a story of holding on to something for fear of letting go. The metaphors used in this songs are fitting and there isn’t a syllable that is not placed without thought and relevance. All of this is on top of jazzy instrumentation produced by P2j. The piano led sounds that ends the song gets you into a groove that has you pressing the rewind button as the song draws to a conclusion.
This is like a Merry-Go / Move so fast I can’t let go
With this level of musicality coming from Tiana Major9, one can only be hopeful of the R&B and Soul genre in the UK. There are talented young individuals that are doing a great job of bringing good music to the forefront and it demonstrates the vitality that exists in the urban underground music scene.