Tag Archives: music

Dig of the Day: Zak Abel

This is not an April Fool!

Zak Abel has dropped his latest track “Everybody Needs Love”

Back in 2014 Zak first hit the scene with his collaboration track “Unmissable” with Gorgon City. It was his during his guest appearances on their tour that led me to fully appreciate his talent, of which  has led me to watch his solo journey develop over the last couple of years. So far he has dropped two EP’s (“Joker” and “One hand on the Future”) but today’s release is said to be the first promotional cut from his debut album, due Autumn 2016.

A gentlemen who holds his hand to few heart clenchers seems to have taken things to the next level and added some serious funk. From the title you may of expected to weep but instead he gets you on your feet.

We all need reminding sometimes ‘everyone needs love love love’ and with the crazy world we live in right now, Zak couldn’t have picked a better time to up the beat.

 

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Dig of the Day: Saya

At first glance Saya’s single art “Wet Dreams” looks like she would unfold her talents close to that of punk-pop princess Charli XCX.

Instead she’s got the subtleness of Jessie Ware combined with Swedish dreamy-pop singer Tove Lo. Pulling you in like a tidal wave of dreamy turquoise, Saya looks set to take you under before pulling back in by switching up her singing with spoken words. This track showcases versatility through confidence that you will only be exposed if you adapt the idiom “Never judge a book by its cover”. Listen now and be prepared, Saya will shock you!

 

 

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Rosie Lowe

Rosie Lowe

St Pancras Old Church,London , 15th April 2015

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A gig in a Church is not an average venue; and with Rosie Lowe as the headline act this event was anything but!

Racking your brains thinking ‘ Who’s that Girl?’ don’t worry you won’t need to ponder on that thought for too much longer as Devon-born Singer Songwriter puts herself on the radar with at intimate set Kings Cross London oldest working sites of worship in Britain, St Pancras Old Church.  A collective of 65 chairs and a holding capacity of just 120 Lowe easily had it sold out. Already drawn comparisons to the soulful Jessie Ware it is no surprise she too secured a set, back in 2013.

Formally muddled over the date of this gig which swiftly saved by the power of a Tweet, it appears I too was not alone when it comes to timings.  On the night Lowe thanked the crowd for giving up their Thursday night to share it with her, when she actually meant Wednesday.  She later joked; it says a lot about her hectic lifestyle that she forgot the day, Lowe I sympathise with you entirely.

Instantly charming, Lowe’s radiant smile and worldly howling vocals had them eating out of her palms. Although a breath-taking choice of venue, it’s clear her range was itching to be let free. Give this girl a blank canvas and I’m certain the refined ripple effect will sound similar to the gushes waves against the white cliffs of Dover, or should we say Devon!

Locking in the crowd, Lowe dropped a brand new track ‘Run Away’ as her opener.  A catchy relatable hook about trying to finding the right balance for a relationship to work, she sings;

70, 30, the balance is off. 50 50 you don’t stand a chance. We’re not meant to be i’m happiest when I’m alone.

And if that isn’t enough to connect you to the beauty of Lowe, she continues to pour of her wisdom love and purity as she explains the reason behind her tracks. One focusing on letting go off her controlled father and another about her friend Nicole which was written when she moved to live with her boyfriend which Lowe didn’t warm too. Overall her nine track set offered a solid balance of 60/40. Whilst they are just numbers on a page, she belting out 60 per cent vocally and I’m pretty certain the other 40 per cent is hiding in the debut album, due later this year.

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Lion Babe

 

Lion Babe

Studio Spaces Shoreditch, 4th Feb 2015

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Imagine just for a minute adding the sass and booty of Beyonce and multiply her hair envy, well you’d pretty much get our latest hot duo Lion Babe if you did. From the concrete Jungle of New York City this pairing consists of producer Astro Raw aka Lucas Goodman and Jillian Hervey who just happens to be Vanessa Williams’ daughter. After dropping their teaser track “Treat me like Fire” back in 2012 the duo have finally decided to hit the UK this week and perform their first headline show. In true debut style they managed to it sell out.

The venue choice, a small loft conversation in London’s much loved east end town Shoreditch,  Studio Spaces was filled to the rafters.  The hype drew in a few industry stars including Nicola Roberts from Girls Aloud, Vanessa from The Saturdays and her latest studio accomplice Joel Compass.

Behind the stage was some black sheeting covering which quite possibility one of the best debut backdrops I’ve seen in a while, a custom-made perspex Lion Babe sign which lit up in red.  Instantly silencing the muffle of noise Lion Babe got the fire started with an instrumental opener from Lucas before Jillian took the torch by demonstrated her dance talents dressed in a black flower print kimono jacket.  The set list showcased the entire EP as well as a brand new track Wonder Women and a mash up of Wayne Wonder’s 90s track No Letting Go.

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Whilst this set was short, it certainly got the crowd thirsty for more. The duo had exactly what they set out to achieve in 2012 teasing us and then leaving us with a burning desire for more.  Keep your eyes peeled for more Lion Babe show’s coming very soon.

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Kate Stewart

 

Kate Stewart

Notting Hill Arts Club, 3rd Dec 2014

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Notting Hill Arts Club teamed up with New Shapes to kick start the festive party season with London’s newest R&B  Singer Kate Stewart. Dressed in Christmas jumpers many crowd members seemed keen to get the festivities rolling but with no mulled wine, decorations or carols spinning on the decks maybe December 3rd was a little apprehensive!

Kate is currently showing her credentials as the live vocalist for British producers Bondax on their December tour.  But at New Shapes, she pulled out a Christmas turkey with all the trimmings when she teased the intimate crowd with her solo material. Just seven months ago KStewart released her debut single ‘Tell Me About That’. Produced by Karma Kid, the song triggers flashbacks to the 90s, in particular reminiscing to the R&B days of Destinys Child and TLC.  Slender legs as high as her vocal register, it’s safe to say KStewart can sing off any competition.  At this stage in the game it’s hard to judge who she can match up to but she’s veering on the same killer lung capacity of Jessie J.

Whilst there had to be a stocking filler cover song  in the set Kate choose wisely with a rendition of Groovy Theory  Tell Me which complimented her 90’s vibe. The penultimate track Last All Night (Koala) (ft hottest new producer of 2014 Oliver Heldens) was the real fairy on top of the tree. Written by MNEK and Becky Hill this club banger is a definite floor-filler. The finishing touches came when MNEK was spotted in the crowd showing his support to what truly was an impressive debut.

 

 

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2015 Ones to Watch

The ‘one’s to watch’ announcements have been full swing over the last few weeks.  The Brits Critic Choice Award 2015 nominations were revealed last week, closely followed by the BBC Sound of 2015 long list and the voting lines for MTV Brand New are now open. Here at Hashtag Music we wanted to give you a heads up on who we are rating as our Top 10 favourites to listen out for come 2015.

  1. Sinead Harnett

The Singer/ Songwriter blurb is pretty much a given these days but Sinead is dangling on her high wire for fresh new talent. A debut EP and an official sold out show at London’s Birthdays already under her belt, Sinead been working hard to get the wheels in motion this year. So far she has worked with the Rudimental boys and UK’s most talked about producer MNEK.  The beauty of Sinead’s work is that the trickling melodies which simmer underneath her sultry vocals will whisk you straight to paradise without realising you were being transported. Go Listen to her N.O.W EP today.

  1. Rae Morris

You guessed it… Another Singer/ Songwriter and boy is this one a grafter. At 15 Rae always knew she wanted to be a singer and although she’s 21 now, she never lost sight of who she wanted to be. Constantly gig up and down the country whilst juggling school work Rae always kept her eyes on the prize.  Over recent months Rae has dropped a series of tracks which has got everyone talking. Showcasing vulnerability lyrically and an air of strength vocally Rae proves why you should never give up on dreams. The debut album Unguarded is due out Jan 26th.

  1. Saint Raymond

Guitar finger snapping rhythm that will give Ed Sheeran a run for his money Saint Raymond’s music slips nicely into the same mix of mellow magic. Accompanied by a full band, it’s Raymond’s production which fills in the gaps Ed so beautifully keeps untouched. Whilst these two could be seen as direct competition for each other, Raymond was in fact chosen to support Ed on his Multiply Tour across the UK and Europe. If you are after a fresh new male vocalist to swoon over, Raymond is the one.

  1. Becky Hill

Larger than life Becky Hill has vocals that could tear down skyscrapers! A fiery attitude and determination to not let leaving BBC talent show The Voice affect her future, Becky has gone from strength to strength to make her mark. At the start of the year she climbed to the top of the charts with a dance feature track Overdrive, produced by Oliver Heldens. Keeping the limelight,  as she later dropped  her own demo Caution to the Wind and let’s not forget her debut single Losing. Becky is a storm in a tea cup, although her chance been a long time brewing you can beat the taste of a perfectly strong-brewed cuppa.

  1. Chloe Howl

Chloe Howl’s boisterous, free flowing lyrics shows this teen will not let things faze her.   Production similar to that of 2011’s craze Foster the Peeps and her distinctive growl Chloe’s material is like the recipe to marmite. Whilst I am not too sure if Chloe is a marmite lover I do know she loves to indulge in Pizza. Having had the privilege of seeing her live at her own show in Sept and on tour supporting Ellie Goulding Chloe is certainly not shy when it comes to busting out some moves. Believe the rumor on this girl, you wont be disappointed.

  1. Jess Glynne

At the start of 2014, Jess Glynne was an artist no one had heard off. Never once had her name come up in polls like this but when Clean Bandit dropped their chart-topping single Rather Be Jess had everyone’s attention. Two collaborations later and a few tracks of her own floating around Jess appearsto fast tracked herself to right where she needs to be. In the business getting your name out there can be a tough thing but when a feature track blows up as well as this one has Jess couldn’t have got herself in a stronger position for debut album release.

  1. All about She

This dance music trio had my attention right from the get go.  The trio are record producers James Tadgell, Jon Clare snd singer Vanya Taylor. Vanya provided the vocals for Tinie Tempah’s hit single Simply Unstoppable as well as been a backing singer for Jessie J. After witnessing their successful debut show at Birthdays earlier this year this little trio has got everything needed to make a chart-topping anthem.

  1. Liv Songs

Whispering vocals, edgy R&B drizzled in pop gold, Liv is a creative gem. Aged just 20 this girl’s distinctive sound could easily become a mainstream favourite before her reaching the big two one. Currently Liv has only released one of her own tracks this year called Come a Littler closer but if you are a fan of Gorgon City you will see she has scored a couple of feature tracks which are also worth a listen.

  1. Joel Compass

Buttery vocals and the dream boy look nailed Joel Compass has the power to win over any lady .. Even the lovely Ex Cheryl Cole. At the start of the year Joel released his own material, Forgive Me and Girlfriends. But what’s drawn people’s attention is the stunning duet Coming up for Air which is featured on Cheryl’s latest album Only Human.

  1. Shura

Shura falls into futuristic pop. Influenced heavily by the 80’s, Shura has infused this into her work, giving you a sense of familiarity. Once into this web of comfort she spins it around with a sprinkling of funky groove synths. Mastering the art of a memorable chorus in key, having already nailed it so well she’s picked up radio play with BBCR1 this girl wont be under the radar for long. Be warned Shura will be hitting the A list soon.

 

 

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Sinead Harnett

 

Sinead Harnett

Birthdays, Dalston, 21st Oct 2014

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With just one EP under her belt and a sneaky collaboration with Disclosure in 2013, Sinead Harnett is one artist you need to pop on your iPod today. Having been selective in all the right ways in securing herself a loyal and dedicated following, she’s no household name just yet. Delicate, sultry and a younger spin on all those loving on the new Jessie Ware album ‘Tough Love’, Miss Harnett’s music is eargasmic pleasure you can’t help but love.

Glued to her glossy tones, her pretty ‘girl next door’ features and immaculate outfit choice of sheer black trousers and added silver sparkle, Sinead has all the qualities of a ready made star.

From the stunning collection of ten songs played, it’s hard to pick the stand out track. Showcasing new material, ‘I’ll remain‘ is a heartfelt ballad and with her Disclosure feature track ‘Boiling‘, the vibes were on point. Sinead O’Clock was a touching 40 minute set, allowing her to shine on her first ever headline show. Whilst she claimed she wished it was a rehearsal, she pulled it out the bag despite some nerves. Admittedly open of her downfall, Sinead’s potential could lead her to being the next UK’s biggest export.

If a debut isn’t a cause for celebration, she whipped up an exclusive with UK’s producer Man of the moment, MNEK. Baby was a fantastic contribution of her headline and to many that got to share that moment, it was an honour.

Download N.O.W now! After all, there’s no other way than taking the high wire to paradise right? Sinead is gearing up for her tour with Gorgon City in just a couple of weeks. Make sure you get your tickets N.O.W

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All About She

All About She

Birthdays, Dalston, 8th Oct 2014

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I’ll take you there with just one touch’ was the promise made by All About She at Birthdays, Dalston. Low key and an undiscovered act for many, All About She are a London based Trio consisting of two record producers (James Tadgell and Jon Clare), and making the ‘She’ of the group, Vanya Taylor.  Signed to Disturbing London, their relationship bloomed in the making of Tinie Tempah’s debut album Discovery. Taylor also worked alongside roster artist Jessie J as a backing singer, and created an ‘It’s My Party’ remix for the deluxe edition of Alive. But it’s the big news of Calvin Harris snapping them up for a feature on his next album Motion which proves this three-piece’s destiny will be huge.

The set comprised of their debut EP Go Slow, shavings of new material and a cover of the notorious Clean Bandit track ‘Rather Be’ to gather hype.  A thick haze obscured their arrival to the stage, but the array of multi-colour LED lights quickly lifted the smog to reveal Taylor’s dazzling entrance of a turquoise custom made two piece. Elegantly dressed Taylor still gave a touch of her Alan Carr ‘Dutty Wine’ rendition when she grabbed her microphone stand to perform some body-grinding shapes.

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Ground-shaking garage with brakes locked in soul-funk, All About She’s vibes are upbeat and playful with a slither of familiarity. Speaking of familiarity, a debut show always attracts other artists – this time it was Girls Aloud member Nicola Roberts and Roc Nation’s pop-princess Alexa Goddard who came down to show their support. Let’s not forget the appearance of smooth soul man Jacob Banks joining the stage for ‘I Can’t Wait’. No encore needed, they kept the vibe rolling as they let off a perfectly timed confetti cannon during their most known track ‘Higher’ which peaked at No.5 on the UK Dance Charts. All About She certainly lived up to the promise. This is music we trust!

 

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Ella Eyre

 

Ella Eyre

The Institute, Birmingham, 1st Oct 2014

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“I go by the name Ella Eyre!” A girl who was under the radar before her ‘Waiting All Night’ smash hit feature with London’s awesome foursome Rudimental. This drum and Bass collective snapped her up as their support act, closely followed by another slot with record producer/ singer songwriter Naughty Boy. About to take the reins with her own headline show, Ella prove she’s no novice when it comes to tour life. Whether it a support slot or her own show this girl gives is 110% on stage.

 

Fuelled with adrenaline from the get go, Eyre’s monstrous vocals and high-flying body confidence got the crowd riled. Taking stage in a feather winged jacket and figure hugging body suit was a stellar combination which was later removed when she exposed her toned abs mid set in a Nike sports bra. Please note, no RedBull was used in the making of her set but she would certainly be great for a campaign advertisement.

 

Reception from the crowd resonated in this 500 capacity venue as soon as the doors opened. Both support acts Joel Baker and Kimberley Ann received a warm welcome despite a few teething problems. Evident changes have been made since her debut show at XOYO London with new additions including latest single ‘Comeback’ and b-side ‘Bullet For You’. A cheeky switch from her renowned Basement Jaxx cover Good Luck to Jermaine Stewart hit ‘We Don’t Have To Take Our Clothes Off’ was another refreshing change.

 

This tour was originally organised to coincide with the release of her debut album ‘Feline’ but following new touring commitments with Bastille in the states has been pushed back until early 2015.

 

There are currently a few tickets left for this twelve date UK tour, so make sure you grab a ticket today. This show is one  not to be missed in especially such an intimate setting.

http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/Ella-Eyre-tickets/artist/1943033

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Chloe Howl

 

Chloe Howl

Scala, London, 25th Sept 2014

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‘Get in the Queue before 6:30pm for a delicious treat from YoursTruly’ was the memo from Chloe Howl broadcasted on her Twitter feed prior to her headline show at London, Scala. Prompt to the venue an hour before doors Chloe greeted fans with slices of pizza before posing for some all-important selfies. When asked about the purpose of a pizza parade ,she explained she loved to indulge but once she ate so much before a show she couldn’t do up her shorts.  Wardrobe malfunctions aside, tonight Howl rocked it as a pop vixen in fish nets underneath her little black thrill shorts teamed with a crop top.

Whilst sounding and looking confident, Howl’s erratic moves may come across a little distracting (especially if you’re first timer to one of her shows) but it’s this endearing quirkiness you will find yourself buying into. (Let’s not forget the Ellie Goulding wiggle of 2010) So. … If you are after that money shot for your instagram think again!

Howl gave a solid 45 minute set featuring EP tracks Paper Heart, No Strings and Disappointed as well as her brassy pop banger Girls and Boys which is set to feature on her debut album due later next year. A little ambitious with the venue made it hard for the crowd’s atmosphere to ignite the room but sealing the deal with a stunning encore of a Justin Timberlake cover and her EP track Rumour had the crowd fully engaged as they bopped and tapped along.  Even Ella Eyre and Saint Raymond were among the crowd getting their boogie on. The potential gap industry for an artist like this is strong but needs to be a lot of promotion if she is to get her just deserves.  Chloe Howl should not be a name that stays under the radar for much longer.

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