My Top 5 Fav Artists {…right now}

It’s is TOUGH to pick your favourite top 5 artists because SO many people continue to make great music. But at this very split second here are my top 5 favourite artists and why:

BEYONCE

She rules not only with power, but throughout her history. There are so many delicious layers to this amazing woman. Firstly, she’s still here. Since 1990 Beyonce has been making music with Destiny’s Child (initially called Girl’s Tyme – a dance and hip hop group). Aside from being an integral part to the incredible commercial success the group experienced, she also survived a bunch of turmoil surrounding the group with members coming and going {and she’s survived worse than this since}. She launched her solo career, which eventually she took control of from her father (imagine firing your dad?) and now she’s managing the Yonce empire {under Parkwood Entertainment}. Her vocal and performance talent is unmatched and she has never lost any aspect of it. Her writing, albums and performances continue to amaze and surprise audiences. In the midst of that she’s married, had a child and {currently} pregnant with twins. Boom. What interests me the most are 2 aspects – 1) she’s a very successful business woman {even surprising Harvard} and 2) her work has, over time, become more and more soaked with themes and stories {and it’s done to production, visual and audible perfection}. Even if pop RnB is not your thing, watch her latest release Lemonade and let that blow your mind. The audio and visual throughout the film (and album) are incredibly unique and powerfully raw.

Favourite song: “Sorry” from Lemonade album, 2016
Favourite video clip: “Run the World (Girls)”, 2011
Website: http://www.beyonce.com

SOLANGE

So many people are unaware of Solange and it is a complete DISGRACE {sorry if that means you}. GET TO KNOW HER NOW. Solange is a rare, unique and commanding artist. She is a TRUE artist. She is Beyonce’s younger sister so of course experienced a similar family background of music and performance, often stepping in with Destiny’s Child when younger to be a dancer etc. But her path has been completely different to Beyonce’s. Solange headed into much more experimental territory and what resulted is some stunning creativity – synthetic sounds, smooth vocal layers, unexpected beats and very unique musical ideas. Her latest album, A Seat At The Table, is in a word – DECLARATIVE – of her talent and shimmering ideas. It involved stunning talent from artists (and the production wizardry of Raphael Saadiq!!!) but Solange is STILL very obviously the commanding force throughout her work and as a musician that makes me proud to be her sister in artistry. Mind you she’s so briliant I have SO much catching up to do, my goodness she makes you want to work so. much. harder.

Favourite song: “Cranes in the Sky”, from A Seat At The Table album, 2016
Favourite video clip: “Losing You”, 2012
Website: http://www.solangemusic.com

JAMIROQUAI

Jamiroquai were the band of my youth. I know all of their lyrics, beats and chord changes, regardless of the album. When I was 17 I waited 6 hours down the front of a music festival crowd to see these guys. My older brother and I had literally DEVOURED their albums year after year after year (mostly in the car when CD’s were still on repeat). We were excited beyond belief to finally see them and I have never been so physically and emotionally happy in my life seeing a band perform! They began in 1992 (!!) and have just released their latest album in 2017. How’s that for 25 years of work? Jay Kay (the lead vocalist) is a pocket-rocket of energy, funk and attraction. There is something magnetic about his performance. And the chemistry with his obviously jazz-soaked band is nothing short of pure satisfaction. A) you can’t NOT dance and B) the whole package is just so damn welcoming. From the most unlikeliest of places {the very composed Great Britain}, comes such incredible, delicious – FUNK.

Favourite song: “Travelling Without Moving”, from Travelling Without Moving, 1996
Favourite video clip: “Virtual Insanity”, 1996
Website: http://www.jamiroquai.com

JAMES BLAKE

If you want to immerse yourself in deep musical waters, listen to James Blake. I feel a special affinity with him being a keys player of the same age, but he excels FAR beyond my skill particularly in the digital. He pulls you underwater with his crisp production, arresting vocal and swirling synths. Live he is just as brilliant as his records. You don’t expect to hear what you hear in James’ recordings, and I love that – it challenges what we expect of musicians and the industry generally. Just because it’s music, doesn’t mean it should be easy to listen to. Blake’s music has a very welcome challenge for the listener and I love it. Learn to love it too. No one artist should sound like another.

Favourite song: “Give Me My Month”, from James Blake album, 2010
Favourite video clip: “The Wilhelm Scream”, 2010
Website: http://jamesblakemusic.com/

GREGORY PORTER

JOY. When I listen to and watch this guy perform nothing but joy results. There’s a simple pleasure in watching his face light up as he performs. His deep baritone tones are so mellow and tasty – you feel close and comfortable when you listen. Suddenly jazz is accessible for many who found it hard to connect. Somehow he has found a way to bring what has become a complex musical zone, become the average and everyday and it’s glorious. Follow him.

Favourite song: “Hey Laura”, from Liquid Spirit album, 2013
Favourite video clip: “Liquid Spirit”, 2013
Website: http://www.gregoryporter.com

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