2018 Wrapped: 18 projects you should have pressed play on

2018 was a great year for music with substance. A lot of independent music was very successful and a lot of quality projects were released and streamed in high volume. Focusing on UK acts (many of whom we have supported) here is a selection of 18 projects (albums / EPs) that if you missed you can sneak a listen before midnight on 31st of this month….

Quick Note: These are in alphabetical order of artist.

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ANJELO DISONS - For The Love (EP)

Young Brit School Jazz / Soul inspired multi instrumentalist / singer dropped this incredibly soulful EP on iluvlive records with help from his extremely talented class mates which featured Kali Claire (Disturbing London), Hamzaa (Renowned) and Kaidi Akinnibini (Blue Adventure). A journey into understanding love with a jazz approach made this non filtered, beautiful extended player.

CHILDREN OF ZEUS - TRAVEL LIGHT (LP)

Children Of Zeus are a rapper and singer / rapper from Manchester Konny Kon and Tyler Daley. Many regard this as album of the year. They are hip hop soul through and through and their vibe is captivating. Travel Light is what the UK music scene was missing…

JAMILAH BARRY - Salix Babylonica (EP)

Blending hip hop soul with electronic vibes so well. Salix Babylonica is smooth and sophisticated yet unorthodox. Jamilah’s songs don’t follow formula they come across as jams, they just flow. With nods towards being inspired by Sade and Erykah Badu Ms Barry is certainly on her own cloud.

JAY PRINCE - Cherish (EP)

London’s biggest soundcloud success story has remained consistent in delivery and quality since 2014. Cherish saw Jay Prince continue to evolve and push the boundaries of his artistry. Looking forward to his full length album now.

JOY CROOKES - Influence (EP)

A classic voice and classic sound. Incredible to see such a young soul make music that could have existed decades ago. Her voice is incredible and with as much soul and emotion as it carries it still sounds fresh.

JRILEY - Life Of Riley (LP)

Clearly influenced by the likes of Tory Lanez and Drake, Mr Riley dropped this project stacked with incredibly well made melodic rap songs. Armed with some fire instrumentals J flows effortlessly with street tales and braggadocios wordplay.

KADEEM TYRELL - Feel (EP)

Kadeem’s Feel is one of the reasons a lot of people are taking UK R&B serious again. Classic R&B song writing and melodies over forward thinking production made Feel a stand out release in the R&B scene in this country.

LYLO GOLD - Heartache & Wray (LP)

Lylo is an incredibly songwriter. Couple that with a beautiful tone and effortless melodies you get a project like this. She is one of the leading ladies in the UK flying the flag for R&B and this long awaited project did not disappoint.

MAHALIA - Seasons (EP)

2018 was her breakthrough year and she marked it with this EP (among other landmarks). The Brits Critics Choice Finalist showcase great song writing with remarkable cross over R&B on this release.

NAO - Saturn (LP)

The leader of new wave R&B didn’t miss with this album even if it wasn’t as commercially successful as it should have been it was a great body of work.

OCTAVIN - SPACEMAN (LP)

The south Londoner with a defined French swag is leading the way in this melodic trap with a musical sensibility. The raspy rapper is certainly creating his own wave.

ONE ACEN - SexyOddRose (EP)

For me one of the strongest AfroSwing projects we got in 2018. One Acen is the future.

P MONEY & LITTLE DEE - Back 2 Back (EP)

Back 2 back OGz, back 2 back Grime and back 2 back bangers. Always loved these two in sets so to have a whole release acting like an structured set was long overdue. I would actually claim this is the most English release we have had this year. The yorkshire pudding of the urban releases this year.

RACHEL FOXX - Flame (EP)

Flame saw the growth of Ms Foxx in terms of song writing and instrumental selection. She also showed incredible variety in tempo’s. Ranging from disco to slow jams helped Flame become as popular as it was this year.

SCOTT XYLO - Find Us When U Get There (EP)

As experimental as a Madlib and J Dilla beat tape this EP is insane. So tribal yet soulful. Scott’s mind is a labyrinth… I dare you to take a listen and explore. This is the Alice In Wonderland of this year releases.

SUSPECT OTB - Still Loading (LP)

The emotion and delivery of Suspect is immense. He reminds me of DMX in this respect. I believe every word he raps and thats why this album is so powerful. He’s gritty, raw and uncut and so is this LP.

TOBI SUNMOLA - Good Guys Don’t Survive (EP)

Cut his teeth in Manchester but raised in Nigeria and his sound showcases this. He has a coolness that can only be found on the inner cities of a metropolis but a eclectic side that learns towards his African roots. ‘Good Guys Don’t Survive’ is the story of this EP told in a way on Tobi Sunmola can narrate.

ZILO - The Nature Of The Beast (LP)

Not much is known about Zilo, apparently she wants us to focus on her music. Not a bad call, it’s dope. Old soul vibes with a new generation’s voice. New age girl with a retro soul. I’ll let the project speak to you…