Black music is a central pillar of the music industry, and it always will be.
As we celebrate Black culture and Black music, now is the perfect time to discover and make way for new, upcoming artists. These 7 Black British artists make use of the musical legacy before them but have worked it into something they can call their own. So whether you need something empowering, or simply something new to vibe to, these are just some of the artists you need to be adding to your playlist.
BINA is an alternative RnB singer-songwriter and producer from South London. BINA freestyles when writing most of her songs, ensuring they come from a heartfelt place, showing her emotions through her mellowed and honeyed vocals. The essence of lyrical vulnerability in songs such as ‘Boundaries’ and ‘Caged Bird’ makes listening to her music a personal and ethereal experience. Her most recent single, ‘Boundaries’, was created during lockdown and she even managed to at the same time create visuals to go alongside it.
MaZz has already started to rise through the music scene and has begun to flourish pretty quickly. Based in Kent, the singer-songwriter blends her RnB beats with raw and emotive vocals. On her album Isolation, made during lockdown, MaZz experiments with a plethora of sounds, ranging from the jazzy foundations in ‘Drunken Fool Interlude’, to the playful and warming acoustics in ‘Sunrise’. She’s shown she’s a performer too recently going on Instagram live to perform her new singles as well as some covers from other artists such as Amy Winehouse and Jorja Smith.
Ojerime describes her sound as dark, melancholic RnB, with deep, mellowed tones and laid back beats. The South London singer, hailing from Brockley, explores Soul, Electro and RnB in her album B4 I Breakdown, about sexuality and genderism and is brutally honest about being an independent artist, the effects on her mental wellbeing and the brutality of the music industry. Her flair for creativity is really showcased in her innovative approach to the visuals for the smooth single, ‘Give It Up To Me’ which features on the project.
Trezzor started on SoundCloud making Drill beats before moving to songwriting and rapping on his recent EP, The Wizard. As an independent artist, Trezzor is a self-described perfectionist and takes inspiration from producers like Pharrell and Timbaland. He additionally draws on some of the more traditional sounds from his dual heritage, African and Trinidadian, which can be seen on tracks like ‘PRTTY’. Trezzor’s sound will continually evolve as he carries on exploring different techniques and sounds to push his musical boundaries.
Nics isn’t afraid to dabble in new sounds and always has creative visuals to pair with his tracks. His poetically charged flow, particularly in the catchy, ‘Summer Berries’, has even caught the attention of Wretch 32. On ‘Cosy’ featuring Manga Saint Hilare, Nics shows that rapping isn’t his only talent by providing misty melodies over the laid back Drill beat. That’s not all from Nics either. He’s additionally a DJ and has been showcasing his skills on and off the mic on live streams but you can expect to see him doing the same in the flesh as soon as he’s able to.
Lava La Rue
Hailing from Ladbroke Grove, Lava La Rue is part of NiNe8, an independent creative collective, but has broken out as a solo star beginning to reach the mainstream. Named as The Guardian’s One To Watch last year, La Rue’s music about queer self-love, politics and femme solidarity has always been one of empowerment. Her lo-fi sound and diary entry styled lyrics have had live performances of singles like ‘Widdit’ gaining over a million views when performed on COLORS. She wasn’t labelled one to watch without reason.
BaggE’s jazzy, neo-soul, 90s-esque sound is instantly captivating on her recent single ‘Round’. A North London native, BaggE has worked the London circuit performing all over the Capital at places like Peckham Levels and Sofar London. Her halo-like afro is a statement look across her 2020 cover art as well as her social media pages. On ‘Round’ BaggE is enticing, poetic and moving, which are geat signs ahead of the release of her upcoming project which will feature artists similarly in their come up phases.
Words by: Lauren Gordon