Artist Highlight: Slyboy619

Article by: Justyn Brodsky

Artist highlights on our platform have been a great opportunity to grasp onto artists on the rise that are making their way into the industry and destined to leave their mark. The artists that have genuine ambitions, are willing to endure the legwork and base their careers on the passion of creating music.

One of those artists is South Maryland’s Slyboy, a young up-and-comer that started out dabbling in music during his high school freshmen year, and manifested into something more serious by the time his senior year came around. And since then he has diligently built his craft, became acquainted with producers, has collaborated with other artists and has put together a handful of tracks that are noteworthy, melodic and multifaceted.

Slyboy describes his music as Hip Hop/Sly, something he considers his identity and represents his artistic merit as well as persona behind the mic. And after taking a listen to some of his tracks, it turns out that his style is a very versatile one. And is thoroughly enjoyable.

His track “Tonight” is insatiably melodic and has an atmospheric tone that really gives this song great pacing and structure. Utilizing more of a modern sing-songy R&B style, we get a swift blend of vocal melodies and clever lyrical punchlines that really delve into a narrative that tells a story very effectively. The track is very captivating and has impressive vocal arrangements that really tie the key signatures together.

His next number “Therapy Cypher” stays in its ambient aura of atmosphere, and has a plethora of feature artists from different cities and locations. Comprised of catchy vocal harmonies and well-placed shared verses, this emotional rollercoaster dives into the world of self medicating and the anguish that creates the cause and effect. It’s a cautionary tale that has amazing collaborative efforts, and leaves you with a visceral listening experience.

Then jumping over to “I Rock Hard”, a self-awareness track about the trials and tribulations of dealing with a bad breakup. It’s a very ambient beat structure and gives Slyboy room to showcase different angles of his vocal range, and gives this song a very ethereal touch with its ominous lyrical content. But the resolution of the song makes this one all the more worth it – when you realize that no matter how down you are on yourself, you still rock. And Slyboy really drives this point home with this track.

The most beneficial part to Slyboy‘s career as of right now is his ability to sustain the legwork and focus, be it songwriting, collaborations, promotion and anything DIY. It’s the type of work that has an immense payoff, and each track you hear from Slyboy‘s beginnings til now demonstrates that he gets better every time he hits the vocal booth. At the pace he’s going, Slyboy will be a pivotal and vital voice in Hip Hop before he knows it. He’s come a long way in a short time and has great promise lined up for his future prospects.

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    Artist Review: Xcedera Twins – “Like Ur Dyin” Single/Video

    Review by: Justyn Brodsky

    One of the paradoxes we as a human race have endured is the fact that if you wanna have peace you must prepare for war. And that is just one of the issues at hand that is expressed in the powerful and politically supercharged anthem “Like Ur Dyin”, the newest creation by Hip Hop/R&B dynamic duo Xcedera Twins.

    One of the most inspiring facets of a truly groundbreaking song is the fact that it’s all real. A song that you can resonate with, relate to, and really feel the true spirit of the message to your very core. And that’s the realm of feeling we get with “Like Ur Dyin”, a powerful message about our society and government, and the message to love one another the best we can while also doing our best to come together to make positive change – no matter what race, religion, ethnicity, gender or age you are.

    Accompanied by a very climactic and cinematic music video that parallels beautifully with the song’s lyrical content, “Like Ur Dyin” is a melodically crafted track with catchy hooks and an anthemic chorus, and sustains top of the line production value. The track has a masterful blend of rhythmic .progressions and melodic key signatures that really implement the lead vocals. There are diligent vocal melodies, a powerful Hip Hop flavor, and an atmospheric tone that really puts the Xcedera Twins‘ collective talents right out in the forefront. This track is strong, brilliantly executed and an absolute gem when it comes to showcasing the duo effectively.

    The video is another component to the resonating factors – there are very thought provoking transitions that hold nothing back when it comes to getting its message across, and the cinematography flows with the track’s theme and overall aura when you pay close attention. If you were to hear the song first, then this video definitely comes to mind. But when seeing it in its entirety, you begin to notice that your expectations have been massively exceeded. It’s something you have to see to believe.

    “Like Ur Dyin” is definitely a centerpiece when it comes to putting out a message on behalf of real life events. But even more so when it comes to encouraging a solution. If you can mix talent and authenticity on this level with the boldness of a song with this kind of impact, then it no longer becomes a song – it’s an anthem. Something we can all hear and take in with face value – and identify with its aspect while listening to something unwaveringly catchy and captivating. If this song is the first you’ve heard from the Xcedera Twins, then it definitely won’t be your last. “Like Ur Dyin” is bound to leave an everlasting impression on you.

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  • Artist Review: Ozi – “Louder Than Words” EP

    Review by: Justyn Brodsky

    With a strong lyrical flow and dynamic rhyming techniques, we get a powerfully versatile listening experience from LA-based rapper Ozi‘s Louder Than Words EP.

    And I believe that should be the first honorable mention about this record – the versatility. Each beat delivers up something different but has that tendency to really explore the facets of classic genres including Jazz, R&B and the eclectic nature of each track. All which gives Ozi the breathing room to show off different angles of his skills behind the mic and his ability to put a signature touch on every song. That in and of itself is next-level all on its own.

    Louder Than Words also passes the torch between subtle feel-good chill tracks and the visceral energy of straight up bangers. Ozi diligently adds his craft to what is most appropriate and what is also most effective. And when listening to these tracks, you can tell he knows the distinction perfectly. He gathers the vibe and aura of each beat structure and utilizes a technique that makes each song a well dressed outfit; and realizes that sometimes it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. And it reflects his artistic merit beautifully.

    Ozi displays an array of likability factors and never fails to keep you focused and on your feet. And if you’re sitting, it’ll be at the edge of your seat. The facets of Louder Than Words is really showcased by the overall presence that Ozi gives each song as a whole. Otherwise – it’s just a beat. But with Ozi at the forefront of these beats, they become anthems. And these actions definitely speak – louder than words.

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  • Artist Review: Sam C-B – “I Know What It’s Like To Be Loved” Single/Video

    Article by: Justyn Brodsky

    Funky, fun and inspirational to the modern day teen pessimist, Sam C-B gives us a reality check of what matters most in his new single “I Know What It’s Like To Be Loved”.

    Accompanied by a colorfully clever music video shot exclusively with a cell phone, Sam‘s craft is definitely an absolute original and ahead of his time. Writing and recording under a genre he calls “Indie Rop” (a balanced blend of Indie Rock and Rap), the teen artist conveys a message that no matter what adversities you face while growing up in your teenage years, everything is okay when you realize that you know what it’s like to be loved (as the title suggests).

    This is a brilliant song though, and is actually a stroke of genius if you take a close enough listen. Sam‘s style is definitely versatile and appealing, combining eclectic elements of a Pop-infused Indie sound with lyrical techniques that fit the realm of old school Hip Hop with the occasional melody or hook to give it a flavorful topping. His vocal style is charismatic, witty, relatable and undeniably catchy with every rhyming scheme he pieces together. He has a vast array of likability factors and his sporty/edgy image parallels perfectly.

    This track, which utilizes a lot of instrumental textures in its production value, also expresses more of a story-telling narrative rather than a collection of convoluted measures – which is a breath of fresh. It has an old school approach yet still has a hybrid sound for the modern era that keeps it relevant. But what’s most intriguing is the perspective of the song from the artist himself, and he definitely delivers up an in-depth explanation of what the song’s overall theme means in a way that you can take a walk a mile in his shoes.

    ‘I Know What It’s Like To Be Loved’ is about the teenage experience and how I’m dealing with it. Probably, like most teenagers, I occasionally get on a bit of a downer and sometimes I’m a bit confused. However, when it gets like that, I’ve learnt to give myself a reality check and remind myself that I am so lucky because I do know what it’s like to be loved. Even when life seems crap, I make myself aware that, compared to most people in the world, I’m incredibly lucky…” -Sam C-B

    For an artist this young and talented, “I Know What It’s Like To Be Loved’ is a song that showcases Sam most effectively and really leaves an everlasting impression of his versatility, diversity, originality and him as a person and persona equally. You’ll feel like you’re getting to know him on a personal level as well as a prospective musical one. We can’t recommend him highly enough!

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  • Artist Review: What After This? – “Wish I Could” EP

    Article by: Justyn Brodsky

    Dark, ominous and hauntingly beautiful, the visceral aura of What After This? conveys in the new EP ‘Wish I Could’ is a soundtrack-worthy rollercoaster of climactic emotions and musical landscapes.

    The ‘Wish I Could‘ EP is the musical outcome of some nothing short of remarkably unsuccessful endeavors, of the realization that you are not what you hoped to be, of constant guilt, shame and remorse, of the ever present appalling self-pity. Nevertheless it is a somewhat naive but utterly sincere effort to express these sentiments through the music.

    And that is exactly what’s at play here – expression. Where the music can also create a visual aspect, as well as emotional. Driven by melodically ambient piano progressions, suspenseful keyboard string synthesizers and rhythmic tempos, ‘Wish I Could’ brings us on a journey of expression and perspective with very thought provoking tracks that tie together several angles of emotional conflicts. It’s a record that you feel to the core and the compositions are an absolute stroke of genius whether you listen inside or outside the box.

    The presence of the 5-track EP is extremely strong, cinematic and has production value that really delves into pivotal detail. Each track is an anthem in its own right, and really provides parallels between what we hear and feel. It’s the type of record that is most effective when you sit back, clear your mind and close your eyes to let this music guide you to your inner emotions. What will you feel when you hear it? What will you see? What message will these songs convey to you? That’s the part that makes ‘Wish I Could’ the gem that it really is. These songs, though portrayed by the creator, could have different meanings to those who listen. But is often better knowing the songs and their origination – and seeing how you relate to it directly.

    These tracks could easily be a modern film score for today’s film industry, and this project has all the right elements in place that could make stunning visuals just from the moods that are crafted. You’ll be absolutely blown away by the effectiveness that ‘Wish I Could’ sustains.

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    Career Highlights: Karra Mane

    Article by: Justyn Brodsky

    Artists can be dime-a-dozen, but there is only one quinti-lingual Karra Mane.

    Emerging from the elite Los Angeles music scene in California, Pop recording artist Karra Mane began hitting the ground running in the music realm since her childhood years and started writing songs at the age of ten. Since then, she has manifested into a versatile and multifaceted artist with her own signature sound and stylization.

    Known for her darker Pop approach and ambient vocal melodies, Karra’s music resonates with a style that touches on equal parts originality and familiarity, giving her audience a taste of something fresh yet

    still identifiable. Her music is also reminiscent of her artist influences including Whitney Houston, among many others over the years. She’s also one of those rare recording artists that holds a science degree. Since gracing the stage, Karra garnered her experience from being cast in prominent plays and musicals. She got to perform in front of a crowd of over 6,000 people in Kremlin (Russia) and also a crowd of over 55,000 people in Los Angeles.

    After years of developing her craft and piecing together her artistic merit, she is ready to unleash her first catalogue of tracks in her debut EP. Comprised of 5 fresh songs with a melodically dark Pop sound, the EP masterfully showcases Karra’s vocal range and songwriting skills with additives of post production flavors, and could draw comparisons to today’s superstars like Lorde, Adele and Lana Del Rey. The EP is slated for release on 11/18/18 and will be available on all digital music retailers and streaming platforms.

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    Artist Review: KF Greatness – “September 29 2” LP

    Review by: Justyn Brodsky

    With witty rhymes and bars combined with a signature sing-songy style at the forefront, KF Greatness continues to shoot for greatness with his latest 12-song record September 29 2.

    This album has an overall atmosphere that is very easy to resonate with. It’s likable, stylistic and never fails to grab your attention. There are great melody placements and distinctive switching between the rapping and singing to the point where both components are combined, and it gives amazing flavor to the overall execution of KF‘s style and artistic merit.

    There’s also an ethereal feel that takes place with each song’s approach, sharing a versatile blend between laid back feel-good tracks and straight up bangers, all which have a flavorful R&B additive in the mix to give the tracks a noticeable edge.

    But one thing that really makes this album a standout is its range of tempos and rhythms – the different beats give KF ample opportunity to deliver up a unique lyrical flow in each song, and it’s a great way to hear several angles of his talent as well as different sides to his depth as a lyricist and writer of melodies. It’s definitely diversified, but you still hear the consistency that lets you know that KF‘s still at the heart of the project.

    September 29 2 is a very relevant record and a great addition to both the mainstream and underground sides of the spectrum. It’s currently available on all digital music retailers and streaming platforms. You’ll dig every track from start to finish, and really delve into the artist that is KF Greatness.

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