Since 2008, National Public Radio have hosted an online live music series called ‘Tiny Desk Concerts’. Featuring artists from all genres, the show has starred musicians such as Chance The Rapper, Sampha and Cigarettes After Sex, to name a few. The format continues to routinely deliver, allowing artists to perform a few of their favourite tracks in an intimate office enviroment. After watching Jorja Smith‘s mesmerising performance in her latest Tiny Desk Concert, I decided to pick out five of my favourite sets from recent months.
Kanye West & Kid Cudi – Kids See Ghosts
Whatever your opinion of Kanye West is, you can’t deny that he has made some great music. The enigmatic figure, love him or hate him, loathe his manipulation of the media and outspoken personality, his relationship with Kim Kardashian, he’s an artist who has consistently released good music, whilst pushing boundaries and often changing perspectives. On ‘Kids See Ghosts’ he is joined by long-term collaborator Kid Cudi, who like Kanye is returning to music after battling depression. The album feeds off the two oposing personalities, the impulsive brashness of Kanye, as he raps “I love all your shit talking, you ain’t got nothing better to do with yourself” and the melancholy tones of Cudi, who croons his way through the album, ocassionally breaking out into verses reminding us as to why so many have been inspired by him.
I saw these guys whilst at All Points East festival in London last weekend and fell in love with them straight away. Their infectous grooves are undeniably influenced by the great Bee Gees and electronic duo Daft Punk, who they have recently worked with on their single ‘Overnight’. Originaly from Byron Bay in Australia, they’re now based in Berlin.
For fans of: Daft Punk, Nile Rodgers & Chic, Bee Gees
Mad Cool Festival presented the first of their ‘London Sessions’ events on Tuesday evening at the iconic Koko in Camden, and I was delighted to be in attendance. Fresh from announcing that Queens of the Stone Age will be the first headliner at Mad Cool 2018 (taking place between the 12-14 July in Madrid), the festival got to work to spread the word with the first ‘London Sessions’, a potential series of events to showcase what Mad Cool is about. The event was free with invitation from the Mad Cool website, and it was a great way to kick off proceedings. Featuring American artist Haux and London-based duo Monarchy, it was a night full of smoky electronic synths and eerie atmsopheric vocals.
A little over two years ago I had the pleasure of interviewing Rag ‘n’ Bone Man at The Joiners in Southampton. He was touring his latest EP, ‘Disfigured’, and was preparing for another sold out show.
As I walked to the venue I remember being very nervous, it was my first ever face-to-face interview and I was unsure what to expect. The interview time was arranged a few hours before the opening of the doors, so my first task was to figure out how to get in… After a few trial and errors I found a fire escape round the back and to the side, this was my opening. Rory and his team were in a meeting, discussing various subjects about the night ahead. After an awkward hello and a brief explanation of what the hell I was doing there, it was established that an interview had been scheduled… Rory abruptly came over with a beaming smile and introduced himself. All the nerves and built up tension that I had been feeling slowly eased away, as we entered into deep coversations about his roots in the hip-hop scene in Brighton with Rum Committee, attending open mics at Slipjam B and forming friendships with local MCs and DJs. Speaking fondly of his time in Brighton, he explained how he quickly became embedded in the hip-hop community.