A week ahead of its release on June 23rd, you can now stream Elijah Blake’s debut album, Shadows & Diamonds, below. I know I’ll find something I like on the singer’s debut especially with No I.D. and Salaam Remi amongst the producers too. DeJ Loaf, James Poyser, and more contribute as well.
One of those gems is “Bad Things”, which features a verse from Common. She shares the organic story of how that song came together to DJ Booth, in the process quelling any notion that Common was merely reciprocating a feature for Snoh’s help on Nobody’s Smiling.
The lead-single off There Will Be Sunshine was “Bad Things,” which featured a verse from Common. It’s pretty remarkable to have an emcee like Common on the lead single off your debut. How did that come about?
“That was amazing! He was recording his album with No I.D. at the same time as me, but I was in Sweden. I went to visit my family while No I.D. was working on the beat and finessing it. What I heard was Common walked in the room, heard the the beat and my lyrics and said, “I love this!” and he wanted to jump on it, right there. So it just kind of happened you know. They called me and said ‘Oh by the way, Common jumped on your song…just so you know.’ I love how it happened. A lot of people assume, that because I work with NO I.D., I would have a lot of features, but I always want them to happen organically. I don’t want to call in any favors; I don’t believe it will turn out the right way. I want to do it if the person I’m doing a feature with really wants it; then there is good chemistry.”
I just love her approach to collaborations, first and foremost. In a music industry filled with politics, I think it’s important for artists on the rise to stay true to themselves and not reach for a name-collaboration unless, like Snoh says above, the person doing the feature really wants it. The authenticity will shine through and given how much “Bad Things” has been in my rotation this month, Snoh and Common is just another example.
The interview touched on a variety of topics so the full read is worth the click. One more excerpt to reel you in is her answer about Cocaine 80s, and probably the clearest, most up-to-date description of the collective.
You also managed a feature from Cocaine 80’s. I know James and No I.D. are the faces of Cocaine 80’s, but it’s more of a collective. Can you shed some light on what exactly ‘featuring Cocaine 80’s’ means?
“Cocaine 80’s is No I.D., James Fauntleroy, and Steve Wyreman. I know Common used to be a part of it, but I’m not sure if he still is anymore. They do features with so many artists and they did a lot with Common so he was almost like a part of it. But No I.D., James and Steve, the guitarist are the core members. They are so amazing! On my song, it was those three. No I.D. on the beat, James singing and Steve playing guitar on the outro.”
Once again, There Will Be Sunshine is a must-listen and in the top-tier of projects, not only in R&B, but in all of music for me in 2014.
Swedish singer Snoh Aalegra is one of my favorite new artists of 2014, impacting in recent weeks with a variety of previews and loose tracks, her feature on Common’s Nobody’s Smiling, and culminating in the release of her debut EP this week, There Will Be Sunshine. She releases the project through her new home at Epic Records, and with No I.D. producing for her, she’s got some great, close co-signs for the start of her career.
There Will Be Sunshine is a cohesive 6-track project with nods to her Stockholm home for the definitive intro and a part 2 as the outro. “Bad Things” is the track that follows, an ear-catching single that should appeal to hip hop heads with Common on board for a slick feature verse. The video dropped yesterday and is brought back below for, perhaps, your proper audio/visual introduction to Snoh Aalegra.
I was intrigued by the 3 tracks after the previously released “Bad Things” — all first listens for me and they far from disappointed. “Paradise” is a gripping and surprisingly motivating track that I’ve found myself playing on near-repeat levels since I copped the EP on iTunes yesterday. “You Already Know” is equally as replayable and acts as Snoh’s breakup fallout record. The title track follows and is perhaps the most obvious No I.D. classic sound in the production. Though I enjoy the previous 2 records more, “There Will Be Sunshine” is perhaps the most catchy. The EP concludes with James Fauntleroy harmonizing in a seamless and cozy outro that’s at perfect length.
As a whole, the EP is at the perfect length too. A quick listen that transforms your mood and focus to the music itself with Snoh’s wonderfully grasping vocals and visual storytelling or the pleasing production acting as the base for good background music. From here, I hope for more videos, especially for a “Paradise” or “You Already Know”. Surely, there will be more sunshine for Snoh Aalegra as she kickstarts her career with this impressive EP. Get in tune and listen below!
h/t Hunger TV on the premiere + accompanying interview
Lots of Teyana Taylor in this new post as I first highlight her new song/video for “Broken Hearted Girl”. The song will feature Fabolous, but the video is a 1.5 minute preview of just Teyana’s part as she seductively sings from the bed. The red color correcting is on point and looks especially great as the bed sheets strategically move, haha.
Last night in L.A., Teyana Taylor’s VII listening party took place and brought out her G.O.O.D. Music fam, including Kanye and Kim, No I.D., and the whole crew, as well as Chris Brown & Karrueche among others. I included a few photos from the night below the album cover and tracklist. Look for VII, dropping through G.O.O.D./Def Jam, on November 4th.
1. Outta My League Interlude
2. Just Different
4. Do Not Disturb (feat. Chris Brown)
5. Broken Hearted Girl (feat. Fabolous)
6. It Could Just Be Love Interlude
7. Put Your Love On
8. Maybe (feat. Pusha T & Yo Gotti)
12. In the Air
13. Outta My League
14. It Could Just Be Love
A photo posted by TeamKanyeDaily (@teamkanyedaily) on
After last week’s impressive “Fire’s All Around You”, the Swedish singer under No I.D.‘s ARTium imprint, Snoh Aalegra has another one on her hands produced by the boss man. Oh, and Common also assists with the 3rd verse.
The most striking thing about this record is the rawness of the lyrics on the chorus. In fact, I kind of think the title of this track should be “Versions of Me” because of that. Regardless, Snoh delivers it well in addicting fashion that I couldn’t wait to run it back after. The eerie production matches everything well too with No I.D. lettin’ it ride, but never overtaking the song. In fact, it’s a similar mood to some of Eminem’s mid-2000s production and he was probably my favorite during that time. And finally, it’s refreshing to hear Common chime in as well, with the end of his verse particularly resonating with me. Needless to say, listen/download!