“Can’t Stop The Feeling” – Justin Timberlake
Now if you’ve been waiting for the next Can’t Feel My Face, I can bet my last dollar JT has dropped just that with his new single. Released as a song off the Trolls movie soundtrack last week, “Can’t stop the feeling” already looks like the next big pop song out of the U.S and definitely has everyone buzzing!
This time JT got Max Martin to co-write & produce the song which kind of comes as no surprise to me given his amazing track record. For those who may not know, Max Martin has been behind pop gems like Ariana Grande’s ‘Problem’, Taylor Swift’s ‘Blank Space’, Adele’s latest single ‘Send My Love (To Your New Love)’ and of course The Weeknd‘s ‘Can’t Feel My Face’. As expected, Can’t stop the feeling is a groovy, bass-line driven up-tempo track and really embraces the phrase “feel-good-music”. It’s a song made to make the people dance and let’s just say I tried.. but I couldn’t resist!
Watch the first listen video featuring Justin with the cast from the Trolls movie and let me know what you think!
“Kontrolla” (Remix) – Kapital K
The homie Kapital K has been relatively quiet on the music side since the Diddy standing ovation last year, but he has slowly started dropping some new music to keep us guessing in 16′.
Earlier in the year Kap dropped “Diaspora” which was the first track from him since the RMC conference. Diaspora was the first time I’d ever heard Kapital K rap in Shona (one of Zimbabwe’s official languages) and it seemed to mark the beginning of a different direction for him as an artist. Of course at the time, everyone wanted to know if he’d been signed and what Diddy said after his stunt, but there hadn’t been any official word on that. However, Kap recently came out to clear the air with a statement:
“Now, I had my whole Diddy stunt last year and yes great things came out of that which I will disclose in due time but don’t be naive to assume just because I did that I got a deal and now I’m on! Not yet. Who said I wanted to be signed to Badboy anyway?”
See full post on Kapital K’s Facebook page
This was followed with the release of “Kontrola”, a remix of Drake & Popcaan’s hit single. Although his remix is relatively short, it has been very well received and showcased his versatility as an artist. There seems to be a conscious effort to move beyond rap and evolve as an artist which I think is a positive move for him.
It’ll be interesting to see where Kapital K goes from here but for now stream “Kontrolla” via Soundcloud above and tell me what you think.
“All My Friends” ft. Tinashe & Chance The Rapper – Snakehips
London production-duo Snakehips recently made their first ever Coachella festival appearance which coincided with their “All My Friends” EP release. Pretty big deal for them no doubt, but the EP itself also lived up to expectations. Of the four tracks they featured on the EP, “All My Friends” was naturally the lead single and was released late October last year. As seems to be the norm these days, I got on to this song relatively late but then again, there’s just so much music being released nowadays, who can keep up anyway?
Surprisingly, they managed to get both Chance the Rapper & Tinashe on the track for a pretty perfect sounding collaboration. According to Teen Vogue, they had to send the track back and forth just because they were so busy and everyone was in different parts of the world. Hardly sounds like it, but it is 2016 after all! “All My Friends” is all about a night out with friends going wrong which I for one can relate to. Let’s just say sometimes things unnecessarily go way overboard when people go out clubbing with their friends! The beat is infectious and the hook is super catchy too. Check out the Director’s cut for “All My Friends” above.
“One Time” – AKA
Famous South African rapper AKA known for hits like “Congratulate” and “All Eyes On Me” is back with a brand new single titled “One Time”. The song was debuted during a live performance on SABC 1’s Live Amp music show earlier in March and set social media alight with comments & reactions. “One Time” is warm, celebratory and was (according to him) inspired by Kanye West’s “Highlights” sparking a nostalgic feel. It’s the kind of song you’d expect to hear from the late-great Brenda Fassie if anything, which makes this a standout for an African rap artist like AKA.
True to form, AKA didn’t disappoint with the live performance, bringing out his full band and dropping a few interesting quotables like “what I gotta do for a queen like Sophie Ndaba”. Sophie Ndaba, for those who don’t know, is a famous South African actress known for acting in popular TV soap Generations for 20 years (With rap you never know how serious of a line that is). But quotables aside, I predict this to be another hit single for AKA and I hope this means there’s a new album on the way..
Checkout the live performance of “One Time” above.
Update: AKA has officially released “One Time” on iTunes! Go cop that NOW!
“Run Wild” – Jon Bellion
I can’t say this enough, but Jon Bellion is one guy you will want to keep a very close eye on if you happen to love good music. Behind hits such as Zedd’s ‘True Colors’ & Jason Derulo’s ‘Talk Dirty’, Jon Bellion is definitely not a rookie in the game and his solo career is starting to really take off. I became a believer when I heard his 2014 project titled “The Definition” which I play repeatedly to this day. His rise has been relatively slow but steady with a string of impressive singles including “All Time Low” and “Woodstock” following the album last year.
To kick-start 2016, Jon decided to treat the fans to some live, 1-take acoustic’s of some of the best songs from the album as well as some singles. The acoustic cuts recorded at MSR Studios in NYC were seemingly effortless but so well executed, in what I can only describe as a fun, creative & relaxed environment. As a fan, these acoustic cuts are priceless collectables and really showcase the level of creativity this dude is operating on. You can check out the acoustic performance of “Run Wild” above, along with the rest of the acoustic versions here.
“Knickers” – Jidenna
Every now and again we get new artists who break into the scene with a chart-topping hit song and the whole star image but fail to stand the test of time. Artists like MIMS, Cassidy, Jibbs and most recently O.T Genasis come to mind when it comes to hip-hop. I have to be honest, I had my doubts about Jidenna (and the jury is still out) on how long he could keep up the ‘classic man’ buzz. He is by no means safe from the ‘one-hit-wonder’ label after all, but after hearing his follow-up single titled “Knickers” around Christmas late last year, I was and still am optimistic about his chances.
The visual treatment for “knickers” has helped the single to gain momentum in 2016 as Jidenna takes us back to the 20’s and performs backed by a live jazz band & dancers. If his debut album sounds anything like the two singles out, Jidenna might just be around much longer than many may expect. I for one am backing him to prove any doubters wrong! Only time will tell I guess..
“Ocean Drive” – Duke Dumont
The first time I heard of Duke Dumont was when he made “I Got U” which sampled Whitney Houston and was a big hit at the time. Admittedly, I never followed up or heard much of him after that until now. I actually came across his single “Ocean Drive” by mistake whilst driving with a friend courtesy of the Apple music shuffle feature. Released in September last year, the video already has over 79 million views on Youtube which is crazy unless you’re Taylor Swift or something! Duke is from the UK and is a renowned international DJ and deep house producer. The single ‘Ocean Drive’ appears on his latest EP titled “Blase Boys Club Part 1” also released late last year topping off a very successful 2015 for him. The EP sounds more disco than house to me but I’m not complaining! You can check out the EP stream here.
“Pro-G’s Best of 2015 Year End Mix”
To put a lid on one heck of a 2015 in music, I decided to put together a dj mix celebrating some of the best tracks as well as artists, producers, and genres that topped the charts this year! This is by no means an exhaustive or definitive list of songs that were hot in 2015 but this mix represents a pretty good marker of what was on point over the course of the year.
You can expect to hear everything from Drake, Riky Rick, Wande Coal, Justin Bieber to the likes of Wizkid, Janelle Monae, Beyonce, Coldplay and so much more! Go ahead and stream the entire mix from my Soundcloud above.
“What do you mean?” – Justin Bieber with The Roots
I’ve often been judged by many friends, family, trolls and social media experts alike for my love of Justin Bieber’s music. However, over the years I haven’t let the “haters” sway me from what I deem to be good music – in this case, great music! The Biebs is back after a long absence with a new single titled “What do you mean?”. It’s really what you’d expect from him and the single is already topping the Billboard charts. There’s an official video for it but I’ve chosen to link you up with an intimate performance he did on The Jimmy Fallon Show with The Roots! Let me know what you think, Yay or Nay?
“The Making of” (Behind The Scenes) – Jon Bellion
Jon Bellion is probably one of the most gifted contemporary hip-hop/pop artists you’ve never heard of. Hailing form U.S, just last year he released his third and most recent mixtape titled, “The Definition” and that’s when I discovered his music through a producer friend. Ever since downloading his mixtape, I have become a huge fan and he hasn’t given me a reason to ever change my mind!
Earlier this year he released 3 new singles which he featured in the documentary above. Here he takes us behind the scenes to see the whole production process. And apart from getting to see how the music is made, there is a segment where he speaks about his own personal thoughts on fame and family. He gives a very honest take on how he views his music career and where he wants to go with it and it gives his fans an opportunity to connect with him in a real way. You can checkout the documentary above and stream his music via Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/jonbellion