SCRATCHTHEBLOCK PRESENTS: STAY MELLOW 12
Stay Mellow is a series designed to promote soulful and deep vibes performed by neo-soul,jazz,hip-hop and r&b artists. In November we dropped the 11th installment giving to our fans the opportunity to get familiar with talented artists such as Joy Postell,Bruce Gardner,Kenya Soulsinger,The Foundation and Zilo to name a few.
Now we’re ready to deliver a new selection filled with extra-mellow tracks and bright artists.
We start the journey with an uplifting sonic experience! Willow Smith is a constantly evolving performer and she seems to be a far cry from the pop artist of Whip My Hair,Fireball and 21st Century Girl. The EP titled 3 released in 2014 ,marked a change compared her previous works and the debut opus released last year called Ardipithecus confirmed a mature approach ,a compelling lyrical style and production skills. Today we delight your senses with a superb and amazing piece recorded when she was 12: Jimi. The neo-soul-esque song is finely produced by Los Angeles producer AzZi , who worked with Jaiden Smith,Telana and seems to be a frequent partner in crime with Willow since the EP 3 totally produced by himself. Inspired by Timbaland, 9th Wonder, Flying Lotus and Jay Dee , AzZI provides an emotional backdrop able to touch your heart.
Tre Samuels is not a new entry here on the block , infact we selected his debut wonderful r&b jam called Midnight Medusa for the r&b selection The Future Is Here alongside dope tunes by Roy Woods, Jordan Bratton, Tay Walker, SPZRKT and many others. When he is not busy with the catwalks for the likes of Dior Homme, Yeezy, Puma and Burberry , he spends the time to record music…quality music. In May he unleashed his debut work titled Lost In Translation from which we selected the centerpiece Flying Without You. The brilliant production is handled by Rachel James (mad props for the mellow and fresh music). Equipped with poised and precious vocals , Mr.Samuels is definitely an artist to keep an eye on.
Syd Da Kyd, Matt Martians, Patrick Paige II, Christopher Allan Smith, Jameel Bruner and Steve Lacy represent one of our favorite group. The Internet offers an alternative rythm’n’blues that is soft-focus and subdued. If you appreciated albums with a soulful approach like Avalanche,The Beauty Created,House Of Ballons,Channel Orange,Sept 5th then you will fall in love with The Internet sophomore album titled Feel Good. The masterpiece boasts appearances from Mac Miller, Yuna , Tay Walker,Jesse Boykins III and includes also excellent collaborations like Chad Hugo of The Neptunes. Let us serve y’all up the panty-dropper mellow shit titled Shadow Dance…..oh…God…Syd delectable voice takes you to heaven and the groovy vibe of the song is eargasmic. Last year The Internet dropped their third album titled Ego Death recruiting a fleet of well-known names such as James Fauntleroy, Janelle Monáe,Vic Mensa,Odd Future leader Tyler The Creator and boy wonder Kaytranada. The work earned positive reviews from Noisey,Rolling Stones,The Guardian,Forbes,NBC and many others media.
JMSN is not only a talented singer,a trained musician,a bright producer! JMSN is also the founder of an indipendent label based in Los Angeles called White Room Records . JMSN last effort titled It Is is probably his best body of work, he left the dark and obscure sonorities that imbued previous works like Pllaje and Priscilla to record a project that evolves around neo-soul and r&b sounds. Well, with White Room Records , JMSN offers to the audience a glimpse into his musical taste and a talent to discover interesting artists .Two years ago White Room Records invited the world to experience the buttery downtempo music of enigmatic artist that goes by the name of Pearl. The project called Open is an astonishing trip through seductive r&b sounds as you can realize listening to the amazing I Know featuring the new White Room Records signed Alcordo, who blew our mind with her appealing voice.
Bronzville native Fatimah Warner better known by the stage name NoName Gypsy gained international attention when she decided to switch from poetry/spoken word to rap, appearing on Chance The Rapper acclaimed mixtape Acid Rap . Since then NoName made a name for herself, dropping a compelling project tiled Telefone collaborating with some of the interesting names from the Chi-Town scene like The O’My’s , Mick Jenkins,Via Rosa among others. Personally we think NoName represents one of the more true artist that international underground hip-hop scene has to offer alongside other names such as Rapsody,Boog Brown,Vainsmith,Gifted Gab. Four months ago NoName dropped a dope cut, All I Need recruiting Georgia multi genre singer SPZRKT (now known as Xavier Omär). The joint was finely crafted by Tahj Chandler aka SABA(a prolific rapper and producer from Chicago) , Phoelix and the collective THEMpeople (consisting of L Boog,Dough,Zigg and Michael Anthony). NoName and SABA appeared on Chance The Rapper last effort Coloring Book.
Danish singer Nanna Bjerregaard Hansen known by the moniker Nanna.B is one of the most interesting exponent of the thriving Scandinavian modern soul scene. Until now we spotlighted a lot of talented artist from North Europe: Snoh Alegra , Neoholics , Oaklyn , Marie Dahlstrom , Philip Owusu , Kissey Asplund , Bernhoft ,Natalie Gardner and OKAT. With a musical background deep-rooted in neo-soul and hip-hop the songstress mesmerised us with ther compelling work titled Vitaphone released in 2012 via danish label Green Shades Music.Taste the soft bomb produced by Damp titled Keep On Moving a real neo-soul extra-groovy gem that exudes infinite class. In January Nanna recorded a collaborative 7-inch single with eclectic producer MNDSGN titled Akasha released via Stones Throw Records
Backed by a plethora of phenomenal artists , Canadian r&b music scene is in the midst of a renaissance!Artists like Allie,Rochelle Jordan,dvsn,Roy Woods,Shay Lia,Majid Jordan represent the avant-garde of futuristic and alternative r&b movement. Brampton born Kashief Hanson aka K.Forest is another interesting exponent to keep an eye on. Recently we stumbled upon his music and we had the pleasure to discover a bright multitasking talent: singer,rapper,songwriter as well as producer , K.Forest draws inspiration from 2Pac, Freddie Gibbs,Disclosure, SWV, Charlie Wilson and Rochelle Jordan. Nine months ago , Kashief released the debut EP titled Introversion entirely produced by Ontario producer and audio engineer Darren Fraser aka DF. The fruitful collabo alongside DF gave us a kind of music that sounds so captivating and alluring, evoking the OVO signature luscious sound and confirming the bonafide artistry of both artists . Three months ago K.Forest and DF joined their prowess to record a new project called Forest Fire from which we selected the amazing nut titled Wifey.
Back in 2010 to resume a nice work by Amsterdam based singer,songwriter and musician Joya Mooi,which delighted us with Hard Melk. Despite her jazz background (she studied jazz at Artez conservatory) she is a kind of performer who refuses to be pigeonholed and confined to a particular style…..and..well…. the brilliant Hard Melk reflects the talent of an artist with an attitude to experiment different genres,encompassing jazz,electronica, dub step, disco pop and neo-soul sonorities. We recommend to listen to the top-tier Full Crate-produced song titled My Day featuring another brilliant dutch singer Mar. During these years , Full Crate has become a respected exponent of the Amsterdam electronic scene but honestly we have to admit we prefer the soulful/neo-soul-esque side of his previous productions for example the masterpieces alongside vocalist Mar Conversations With Her and Seeing Her Naked.
R&B renowned singer Jeremih seduces your senses with an ergasmic downtempo r&b piece titled Woosah. To record the song Jeremih enlists veteran hip-hop rapper Twista and Three Six Mafia former member Juicy J…….and…..damn….they add mo’ quality, mo’ urban flava with their remarkable hot bars. The supa-sexy production is handled by hitmaker Kenneth Charles Coby aka SoundZ (the genius behind hot r&b songs for the likes of Usher,Rihanna,Trey Songz,Cassie,LL Cool J). Woosah is included on Jeremih third album Late Nights which hosts J.Cole,Big Sean,YG,TY$ among others and it’s produced by Vinylz,Cardiak and London On Da Track to name a few!
….and for the last one, we hit it big with a intoxicating song performed by Washington singer James Tillman. The unadulterated artist released in 2014 the lil masterpiece titled Shangri La flaunting an original and remarkable musical approach that spans brazilian sonorities, jazz and soul wisely merged together. The final result is a relaxing and dreamy sonic experience that sets the mood of the listener. We chose the elegant song called Loved