There is no better way to announce a forthcoming LP than to drop an explosive new track — a motto that Sampa The Great knows all too well. In “Never Forget”, she switches effortlessly between emotive monologues and powerful vocals, proving exactly why she has earned her namesake. Incorporating the younger artistry she was exposed to while growing up in Africa, the song is just as much of a love note to her hometown as it is a gift to our weekend playlists. “‘Never Forget’ is an ode to Zamrock music, a genre born in the 70s combining traditional Zambian music and psychedelic rock. In particular, the song focuses on kalindula music. This tribute was inspired by the band WITCH, and their lead singer Mr Jagari Chanda, who has become one of my musical mentors,” adds Sampa.
Sampa The Great and AR/CO take the lead in this week’s groove-filled playlist round-up.
Sampa The Great – “Never Forget”
AR/CO – “Call Me By My Name”
If Mumford and Sons and Calvin Harris were to have a lovechild, its noise would likely mimic the anthemic tunes of AR/CO in their new single, “Call Me By My Name”. Overwhelmingly upbeat and danceable, the track echoes the light and sparkly melodies of a festival classic — building to a compelling chorus that guarantees to have crowds jumping up and down in elated unison. Speaking on the track, the duo explain, “Call Me By My Name” was our slice of pure escapism. The reality was we were sitting around thinking how amazing it’d be to be able to get the tube, go for a Tesco run or be in a crowd again. It was us saying, ‘go tell the people you love, that you love them! Be loud, be present, loosen up and be free.’ It’s perfect timing, where we can all experience those feelings of fun and freedom in our lives again”.
néomí – “redemption”
When it comes to tune-crafting, néomí needs little else than her signature smooth vocals and heartfelt lyrics to lull her listeners into a state of tranquillity. Back with warm and wistful beats, her latest release “redemption” goes over and beyond to induce the peaceful energy our souls have been craving all week long. Reflecting on her life’s timeline, néomí pays the sweetest ode to her mother and sister — simultaneously sending us into the bliss of acoustic ecstasy.
Lagoon Wavey – “Junipee”
In need of a do-over? Well, Lagoon Wavey’s new track, “Junipee” is here to inspire. Not only does the artist hone in on the theme of new beginnings within his rhythmic verses, but his choice of title nods to the juniper plant — a universal symbol of healing. With soulful vocals melting into moving beats, Lagoon builds a space for introspection with the new release, perfect for your next chilled night in.
ATUEYII – “Passion”
Effortlessly switching up the pace, we have the hip-swaying sounds of afro-beats served up by “Passion”, the latest release from R&B artist, ATUEYII. With lyrics underpinned with infectious positivity and a breezy flow that beckons good vibes and escapism, ATUEYII just became our go-to artist for our next roofless road trip, motive or party-of-one session.
A1 x J1 feat. Mabel – “Deal Or No Deal”
When Mabel first dropped “Finders Keepers” in 2017, it is fair to say the world of R&B afro-swing was turned on its axis. Reviving the track’s unforgettable groove, A1 & J1 unleash their charismatic vocals and playful lyricism onto its sample to create “Deal Or No Deal”. Sparkling and symphonic, the track calls upon Mabel herself to deliver a verse of sensual energy — getting us all ready to dance straight into the weekend.
Lava La Rue – “Don’t Come Back”
“It’s about being in a relationship where you know that person isn’t good for you. But you can’t help but go back and forth with them. Instead of ripping off the band-aid, it’s tearing it off slowly, and scratching at the scabs.” Sound relatable? We feel you. Perhaps one of the most attractive qualities of Lava La Rue’s artistry is the way she effortlessly weaves our darkest issues into seductive melodies, allowing us to face our fears while hypnotised by her spine-tingling soundscape.