This month’s roundup of Next Rated interviews features a dancehall/reggae artiste, a promising Afrobeats act and two female indie pop singers. Here they are:
In today’s overcrowded music landscape where individuality is dwindling, Lagos-based dancehall/reggae artiste Jahblend is worth noticing. On SoundCloud, where he’s uploaded dancehall covers for Dave’s Burna Boy-featured Location and YCee’s Juice with Maleek Berry, was an interesting exercise in artistry and showmanship. Although dancehall/reggae music has been around for some time, Jahblend is looking to be no one other than himself.
His debut single Black on Black, released last year, focused on the landscape of youth oppression by the police and echoed the frustration of being a victim himself. The video came out in 2021, dedicated to the lives lost in the #ENDSARS protests.
Discover Jahblend here.
Navigating the music industry as an emerging artiste can be difficult, more so when they are breaking away from popular sounds. For 21-year-old Moshfire whose debut EP Pyrokinesis Vol. 1 arrived early this month, she’s up for the challenge.
PyrokinesisVol. 1 is a lo-fi, slowcore project smouldering between dream pop and chillwave. Listeners are going to be transported into Moshfire’s neon, hazy soundscape, where synths peak and dissolve with vaporous beauty.
Read more about Moshfire here.
The new wave of bedroom pop is popular with emerging Gen-Z artistes and refreshingly antithetical to the current establishment, where music production is clinical, refined, and can’t afford to spiral into unpredictable sonic directions. SOLIS fits right into this spectrum of bedroom pop, embracing the unpredictability and imperfections and blending them into a new kind of aesthetic.
Discover SOLIS here.
KØKØ’s debut EP Akira may have slipped through the cracks when it was released back in January, but it’s still an impressive project from the young, Lagos-based Afrobeat artiste. It’s also worth returning to, especially the replay worthiness of tracks like Monalisa with its majestic Yoruba interludes and sprightly, sublime production.
At nineteen, KØKØ is well into the age of navigating the landscape of romance and roped into teenage misadventures, and music becomes the canvas to convey these experiences.
Discover KØKØ here.
When Bernard Dayo isn’t writing about pop culture, he’s watching horror movies and reading comics and trying to pretend his addiction to Netflix isn’t a serious condition.