Ways of finding music over the last few years have changed drastically. With the coming of ever more streaming services and YouTube’s independent artist scene growing rapidly, we can often rely on what’s recommended through services such as those for what’s new and good, leaving old-style sources such as music magazines, blogs and reviews in the past. Though with streaming services recommending music based on what you listen to, your favourite artists, etc., it can be hard to ever branch out into new territories, or finding that something different.
Searching for new music is something that genuinely excites me. I absolutely love stumbling across an artist, album or song that I connect with on a personal level. There’s quite a few platforms that exist in the format that I usually seek, but one of my absolute favourites is ‘Colors‘.
Described as a genre-free music studio, Colors is a YouTube platform in which artists from around the world are invited to give a rendition of one of their tracks. There’s no fuss or nonsense whatsoever. You have an artist or collective, a microphone, instruments or a beat, and that’s it. The only thing that is noticeable in the studio besides the music, is the changing colour backdrop.
Various artists have not only delivered phenomenal performances on the platform, but have also used to the platform to project themselves onto huge things.
Daniel OG – 411
Daniel OG is a Hackney residing MC who is known and loved for his retro Boom Bap style of rapping. Giving a cover of his ‘411’, Daniel OG attacks the beat with his confident lyrics and laid-back smooth demeanour.
Che Lingo – Zuko
The wizard with the pen, Che Lingo, gave Colors an incredibly strong performance of his track ‘Zuko’, in which he goes at the beat with speed and bravado. Che always offers up something unique, diverse, and punchy in his music. Zuko not only delivers all of those things and more, it showcases his lyrical ability in front of a microphone, and also his ear and mind for creating incredibly dynamic, diverse hip-hop.
Alxndr London – April
It’d be too easy to try and make assumptions about Alxndr London based on initial appearances. Dressed like he hails directly from the House of Flying Daggers, Alxndr London oozes soulful R&B over the top of a beautifully chilled beat which is layered perfectly. when I first came across this, I was instantly reminded of Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange tape. A super mellow vibe which still holds punch and vigour.
Little Simz – Backseat
Let’s be honest, Little Simz is pretty much unstoppable; a complete lyrical tour de force, so it’s not surprise that I’m going to feature her Colors appearance here. Giving a performance of her track ‘Backseat’, Simz puts her full energy, emotion and heart into the performance. Using her lyrics as a vessel for stellar storytelling, Backseat proves that Simz isn’t just ‘good for a female rapper’, she’s one of the best rappers… end of.
Ray BLK – My Hood
To put it plain and simply, Ray BLK’s ‘My Hood’ sounds like London. There’s not many other ways to describe it. A track that has before featured Stormzy, Ray BLK gives Colors a solo rendition of the incredible track, featuring nothing other than beautifully strong vocals and lyricism that paint a picture of inner-city London life.
Shakka – Heart the Weekend
Shakka continuously goes from strength to strength and never fails to impress with his music. Known often for his collaborative efforts with various Grime artists, Shakka is also more than able to hold his ground whilst performing solo. Boasting incredible vocals, ‘Heart the Weekend’ follows in the fashion of other Shakka songs in that it’s such an incredibly catchy song with nothing but good, fun vibes.
What do you think of my top picks? Think I got it right? Perhaps you think you’ve got a better lineup? Drop a comment below letting me know your thoughts, or shout at me on Twitter for missing your favourite artist: @AlexPotton_