It’s black history month in the UK and fittingly, this month’s On The Wave playlist update celebrates 5 standout projects by black British women that blessed our ears in September. Get into why the projects from Layfullstop, Mahalia, Hamzaa, Ego Ella May and Zilo are must-spins down below.
Layfullstop - Cherries
Amalgamations of Jazz, Soul & Hip-Hop are all on display from blossoming Manchester-based artist, Layfullstop. The follow-up to her stellar Colour Reaction Mixtape released last year, Cherries, opens us up to us a different side of the singer-rapper. An artist with a clear identity and the ability to mesh sounds and still make them her own, Layfullstop is only going from strength to strength.
Mahalia - Love and Compromise
Mahalia’s rise has been timely, steady and thrilling to watch. Since signing her first deal aged 13, the talent was always plain to see. Her debut album not only exemplifies her progression as an artist but also gives a clear idea of things she has encountered in the ups and downs of love.
Sonically, the album is brilliant R&B at its roots, yet offers a variety of eclectic production, which blends things fantastically well all around. Themes delve into all aspects of love and everything it entails, however, it is Mahalia’s clearcut ability to translate this lyrically which really stands out. Currently in the midst of her North America, with European dates to follow, Mahalia is waving the R&B/Soul flag brilliantly well.
Watch the amazing visual of What You Did the single featuring another R&B queen Ella Mai and give Love & Compromise a spin.
Mahalia also recently returned to COLORS for a performance of Hide Out, the opening track on the album, reminiscent of her standout Sober performance 2 years later.
Hamzaa - Phases
An artist that oozes soul from the moment sound leaves her lips, Hamzaa released her second project of 2019, Phases. The follow up to her wonderfully executed First Signs of Me does not disappoint at all. A fresh, upbeat furnish with Hamzaa’s sweet-strong vocals and honest songwriting that cleverly brings together the best of contemporary pop & Soul. Hamzaa, is another artist breaking waves in the new cusp of R&B talent and is an artist that you should be getting familiar with.
Ego Ella May - So Far
South London neo-jazz gem, Ego Ella May, released her debut LP this month and this one moves your core from the jump. Eclectic yet genuinely soulful production, angelic vocals alongside the lyrical ability to pertinently paint vivid pictures are just some of the key ingredients that we are blessed with on So Far. Fusions of Neo-Soul and Jazz, are wonderfully sprinkled across all 10 tracks making for an undoubtedly unforgettable listening experience. Simply put, Ego Ella May is an artist full of substance and here for the long-run.
Check out one of the standouts on the project titled Tea & Symphony below
Zilo - Gorgeous
After dropping easily one of the standout R&B albums of 2018, The Nature of The Beast, Zilo is back with her sophomore album Gorgeous. Sonically, Zilo continues in her bag of eclectic, experimental R&B. However, things are a lot more funky in places such as on the intro track Sweet Like. Lyrically, things also sway much more to the relationship side of love. 10 tracks of angelic vocals and persistent head bobbing Gorgeous is a brilliant project and only cements Zilo’s place in the current R&B spectrum.