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Lila Iké

AUGUST 2019 ISSUE

 

A sneaky peek of just some of what is in the August 2019 issue – OUT NOW!

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Lila Iké

Lila Iké has risen slowly through the ranks over the past two years, but it’s her time to shine now, with latest single Where I’m Coming Fromfollowing her cameo appearance alongside Protoje and Agent Sasco on Not Another Word. The 25-year-old Jamaican singer has followed Koffee into many reggae fans’ affections, thanks to her astute choice of songs, quivering vocal tremor and alert, serious and assured demeanour. The soul in her voice is unmistakable, yet any Erykah Badu comparisons seem wide of the mark – mainly because Lila is steeped in the reggae and dancehall music of Jamaica and draws deeply from that tradition when in the studio with Protoje, who had the good sense to sign her before anyone else did.
In the lyrics of Where I’m Coming Fromshe describes leaving Christiana for Kingston with her mother’s warning not to mix with “dutty bungle” ringing in her ears. Yet amidst the hardships of living alone in the city she met people who were on an altogether different and more inspiring path…

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Raphael Saadiq

“Shall we do one more?” Raphael Saadiq asks in a hushed tone off-mic, talking to the only other player sharing the small stage with him. In an intimate setting such as this – the private Annabel’s nightclub in London’s Berkeley Square, a venue hired exclusively by Sony/Columbia Records to showcase Saadiq’s long-awaited new album Jimmy Lee– the entranced, invite-only audience is close enough to hear every whisper.
As side-man Charlie Bereal begins to strum the sombre chords to The World Is Drunk, an unplanned encore to a three-song set that began with the first two singles, Something Keeps Callingand Glory To The Veins, and ended with the lively So Ready, the energy in the room shifts. With his own guitar resting on his lap, Saadiq cradles the mic to focus purely on delivering the words.
“He’s always in three places, spaces undefined/Heart is always racing, for something he will never find… ” Raphael sings with verve, as the crowd zooms in even closer on their smart phones…

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Brand New Heavies

Any new Brand New Heavies album would be a cause for lively discussion – and ordinarily celebration – within these pages. But TBNH, released by Acid Jazz Records on September 6, has way more riding on it than most. For it’s the band’s first freshly recorded material since Andrew Levy and Simon Bartholomew split with co-founder member and childhood friend Jan Kincaid just over three years ago.
In the meantime the latter’s new venture, MF Robots, for which Kincaid has teamed up with former Heavies vocalist Dawn Joseph, has been making its own determined strides, resulting in a strong debut album and an ongoing string of live dates. Now, at last, the question we’ve all been asking ourselves since – ‘What about The Heavies? – has finally been answered. Yes, they’ve been playing live shows too, but it was always going to be the quality of The Heavies’ ‘comeback’ album that proved whether or not Messrs Levy and Bartholomew still had the heart for the fight. We’re very happy to tell you they have.
TBNHis undoubtedly as strong a Brand New Heavies album as you might have hoped for…

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Ashley Henry

Chance meetings. Many musicians who have pursued a career with any great intent usually refer to an encounter with a particular – mostly older – player as a turning point in their development. Ashley Henry’s father was a major influence in his life insofar as it was this non-professional musician who played Beethoven and Bach in the family home and arranged for lessons when he saw that the sound of the keyboard had caught his young son’s ear. This early classical training took effect, but there was an unforeseen introduction at school that led Henry down the path to the jazz tradition. He and a classmate swapped mixtapes, one of which had a version of the Gershwin classic Summertimeby the highly respected British pianist Jason Rebello.
“It turned out that another friend who was in my class happened to be Jason’s niece!” Henry explains with a beaming smile. “After discovering that I was like, ‘Why didn’t you tell me Jason was your uncle?’ She didn’t really see it as a big thing because he’s just a family member who happens to be an amazing musician. She took me to a gig he was doing at Ronnie’s, we managed to connect and I started to study with him.”

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