When Beyoncé asks her pointed question of who runs the world? Before we’ve even been given a 50/50 option from the BB – (Boss bish) she answers her own question with a triumphant cry of “GIRLS.” So it seems Beyoncé’s got the answers as to who’s running tings in the world of music on a global scale and she’s got a point; apart from her own blend of slay and sass within the music industry we also have Adele who has broken international records and is now a global megastar, Ariana Grande has become an overnight sensation due to her kind heart and powerful R&B vocals. The holier than thou if somewhat irritating but undeniably talented Taylor Swift has the cheesy bubble gum sing-a-long chorus market covered. Closer to home and to the urban music scene we have the emotive Emeli Sande, the name on everyone’s lips – Nao, the soulful timbre of Ray Blk and to my delight the return of Grime queens Nolay, Shystie and Lioness *Begins singing Etta James ‘At Last’ in celebration of the return of these female ruff ryders!!* These ferocious females can bring it when challenged by the bwoys within the thriving Grime and UK Rap scene.
But what’s going on outside of London? Does Grime exist up North? Is there a UK rap and RnB scene beyond Birmingham’s bull ring? Errrmmmmmm does Marcel mention blazing squad all the time? Duh!! Of COURSE there is! Last year I brought you various interviews, articles and gig reviews from the Manny mandem, but it’s long overdue for the Miss Manny’s in our manors to have their time to shine. Step forward ‘angels (and devils) of the North’ …
First up we have the beast who is not from the east (Bow London) but hails from the loud and slightly nutty North. On this track ‘Beast’ Che3kz raps over a grimey instrumental and unapologetically states she’s a “Beast all day, can we drive no way, it’s only right I slay and I do it my way.” The choreography and design of her video is reminiscent of Missy Elliot and Sharaya J’s ‘Banji’ video and is one of the most eye-catching visuals I’ve seen from a Northern artist. Che3kz makes a convincing argument for us to unleash our inner beasts and let them roar to enable the listener to conquer any challenges that come our way. Che3kz lyrics hit so hard it’s impossible to turn the other Che3k in defence once her intellectual wordplay has its way with you and shakes you about until your brain rattles with her words reverberating in your mind. Be sure to check out Che3kz Grime freestyles, in particular her comedic off the cuff skit about who she voted for in the recent general election via her Facebook: facebook.com/officialche3kz and twitter: @Official_Che3kz. Take in the visuals for ‘Beast’ below.
Rockie Rae ‘The Introduction’ Freestyle
Manchester’s very own bluebird Rockie Rae, offers an in-depth and honest view into her world and spreads her unique blend of blue magic on ‘The introduction’ freestyle. She raps in a low-key yet confident flow as she lays herself bare to the listener and shares “I’m just trying to get right what I got wrong, Shit got really real but I ain’t trying to force shit, I’m just doing me I’ve been saved by the music, had so much inside I really didn’t know what to do with it.” Rockie Rae is fearless when it comes to expressing her vulnerabilities in the journey to find her soul and become comfortable with the person and artist she is. Her honesty empowers other women who have struggled with their confidence to the point they felt they were all out of strength. Rockie’s lyrics are full of life lessons and harsh truths. Looking like Manchester’s Mystique ala x-men, her car, garms and hair are a shock of electric blue and with the power contained within her lyrics it’s fitting that she’s decked out in superhero colours. Facebook: facebook.com/rockieraemusic/ Twitter: @iamrockierae
Mz. J4ZZIE‘Whip whip skrr’ / ‘Friendly’
Versatile rapper Mz. J4ZZIE is capable of flowing over tropical sun drenched afro beats as heard on her J hus ‘Friendly’ remix, she also tries her hand at singing as heard on the slow jam ‘leave me alone.’ J4ZZIE switches it up yet again on her latest offering “Whip whip Skrr” and has no problem matching her flow to the ominous drill instrumental on the track as she warns “You let the lion out of the cage, now it’s time for me to come for my prey, you better pray to the lord you are saved because I will not let you stand in my way.” Now that’s ‘fight music!’ D12 would be proud! The track is dark, tense and punctuated with J4ZZIE’s no nonsense bars which should make you think twice before you try it with her as this lil lady is not playing, you have been warned. Mz. J4ZZIE’s USP is that she is able to mix, match and adapt her flow and style and does not shy away from experimenting with her sound which is key to any artist hoping to attain longevity in the competitive music industry. Watch J4ZZIE’s ‘Friendly’ remix video below and click the link to hear ‘Whip Whip Skrr’ Soundcloud: Soundcloud.com/jazzy2017 Twitter: @_Jasmin3x
Shinaye ‘Shot me down’
The Angelic voiced and simply soul Shinaye is the female lead singer of Manchester’s R&B collective ‘Blvck Diamond.’ Shinaye is one of my favourite singers from Manchester due to her pure vocal and the emotion she pours into every word. Her stunning vocals have the ability to take you to the clouds and float around on the fragility of her voice. ‘Shot me down’ tells the tale of a love who expects the relationship to be kept a secret and the pain of being expected to do so when there is no logical reason as to why this needs to be the case. A listen to this track will have you in your feelings quicker than those lusty love islanders who have known each other for less than 20 seconds, as Shinaye flawlessly sings “Guns don’t really go where I am from, you shot me down with a loaded gun, love doesn’t hurt but that’s how I felt, I never knew love could hurt like that.” She sings with such sorrow, you feel the sadness within the delicately sung lyrics. Shinaye’s riffs and harmonies have maturity beyond her years and I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before she blows up with the collective ‘Blvck Diamond’ or in her own right. Soundcloud: Soundcloud.com/shinaye Twitter: @Shinaye_s
Manchester multi talent PERiiSU definitely takes the most multifaceted artist title without question. Not only a singer and a producer she is also quite the comedienne and often uploads entertaining you tube videos such as “Lets produce a track turnt and then play it back when we’re sober” give this a look as the whole thing is jokes with PERiiSU over pronouncing her words to convince us the alcohol hadn’t hit her and she wasn’t on a wave whatsoever (she was, nice try lady!) ‘Pressure’ is one of the most complex productions I’ve heard from a Manchester artist; it’s instrumental, produced solely by PERiiSU, overlaps and sounds dense with ever-growing elements. There’s a genius chopped and twisted sometimes sped up and other times slowed down sample of SWV’s ‘Rain’ as PERiiSU sings with a vocal corrector effect wrapping her vocals. As the SWV sample weaves in and out of the track PERiiSU sings as though she is casting a spell “And I’m ready for my turn to come around, I’m ready to show the world what I’m all about“ but is the world ready for her! You can also hear PERiiSU presenting alongside righteous lion on Manchester’s very own Radio show ‘Radio Diamond’ curated by Manny’s urban music platform ‘Mic Check’ Soundcloud: m.soundcloud.com/user-911779020 Twitter: @GyalikeTish
Tasmin B ‘Running’
Singer and songwriter Tasmin Bethell has had some industry experience appearing on ITV’s ‘The Voice.’ Her voice is sweet and rich in tone and carries a subdued strength and certainty. Like the caramel in the centre of a rolo (do they still sell those?) her voice oozes charm, allure and femininity, drawing you into her world of neo soul and chilled out bliss. As well as lacing her alternative soul grooves with her honey drizzled voice, Tasmin is not adverse to lending her vocals to other genre’s such as house, dubstep and drum & bass alluding to the fact she likes a challenge and isn’t afraid to meld her voice with differing tempos. On the sultry track ‘Running’ Tasmin’s voice has shades of 90’s R&B singers Nicole mixed with Toni Braxton as she sings “Yeah I keeping runnin’ and, you just keep gunning for me” the production on the track is moody and understated allowing Tasmin’s Slick R&B vocal to soar. Check the track below! Soundcloud.com/officialtasmin Facebook: official Tasmin Twitter: @TasminBsinger