Entries in R&B (20)


Keeping it real with UK R&B Singer Cherri V

Unafraid and eloquent in her ability to discuss the truths of her life and her battles, London R&B singer Cherri V is back with a brand new track keeping true to her roots. She recently released a playful love song dubbed ‘Without You’ which is a teaser to her upcoming album. The track explores the difficulty with everyday tribal issues. 

We chat to Cherri V about what ‘Without You’ is all about, her secret addiction to watching Big Brother, and her thoughts on not wanting to be boxed in. Margaret Tra writes. 

You just released ‘Without You,’ could you tell us about it?

My single 'Without you' explores the difficulty of dealing with everyday trivial issues that occur with a live in spouse, husband or wife. The main focus of the song is realising in due time that although the issues and habits are highly annoying lol living without the one you love isn't the solution. I think for the first time on a song, I was able to capture my goofy, playful side. The visual also brings that to life. I wrote the song with my brother in spirit Jermaine Riley who I've collaborated with for many years and our writing process is very natural and conversational. To be able to create in a space of authenticity and comfort is priceless.

Last time we remember you were in a duo, so you're back to being a solo artist?

Dora Martin is a separate project/entity to Cherri V. I've always been a solo artist and love to collaborate. I don't like the thought of having to box myself in. Jermaine and I have performed solo before, during and after Dora Martin projects were released. An artist is an artist in true entirety and I believe myself to be just that. There aren't limits to creativity. So yes Cherri V is back but Dora still lives (laughs). 

What was the concept behind the video?

The story board was very befitting to the lyrics. We captured my lead guy burning bread/toast, absolutely destroying the white wash with a pair of red socks and generally being a nuisance at home. The concept was centred around the lyrics in order for them to come to life! I was well pleased with the outcome.

What's next for you?

I'm planning to release a few singles before my album is released. We have just shot the video for my next single "Leave me Be" so I cannot wait to unleash that.

What was it like working with Harmony Samuels?

We have worked together so much when he was in the U.K so we are like family! So much of my growth as an artist and vocalist was experienced with him at the beginning of my journey as 'Cherri V' so it was great to connect with someone who was present from the beginning of my journey.

What is your favourite television show that you are addicted to now, and why?

I actually have a few  mostly U.S shows I watch online or one Netflix - anything juicy (laughs). I’m loving Empire, Scandal and Power! I love the writing and the plot twists and it's a great escape for me while I'm having downtime. I'm trying my hardest not to get sucked into big brother but I'm slowly failing (laughs). 

What stimulates your soul?

Love, loyalty and laughter! 


Fusing styles with MC/Producer Kolade Olamide Ayodeji

Multi-talented Kolade Olamide Ayodeji is a prolific story teller and a razor sharp producer. Everything he touches turns into a hit. He recently released a killer album dubbed ‘Hit List’ and whist hip hop is his forte, Kolade’s latest album effortlessly fuses electro, R&B, pop and hip hop. 

We sit down with Kolade and chat about what does it take to make a hit, what it’s like to produce different genres, and why his single ‘Lonely but not lonely’ was his most challenging track.

What does it take to make a hit?

I can say it depends on the song because each song has a separate tune and identity. I do not do cover song or work on other people’s song so I cannot really say this song I am producing now will be a hit, but when you get the feedback from the fans or listeners that is when one can justify but as a producer I always ensure I want to produce a hit song but this depends on the song from lyrics, structure and the tune but I have to be original and creative. I cannot sacrifice my originality and creativity under the disguise that I want to make a hit song.

What do you prefer making hip hop beats or other genres?

Hip hop beats is very easy to make because it is basically sampling and anything goes but other genres need rhythm, melody and tune so other genres are more challenging to me than hip hop.  

You just dropped your album, what was the most challenging track you made? 

“Lonely but not Lonely” was the most challenging track for me on that album because I came up with four different versions while mixing and hard to select the one that would be included in the album. It took me more than a week, mixing and coming up with multiple versions because the style was a bit different.

Who are your influences?

Michael Jackson, Bob Marley and Dr Dre 

What stimulates your soul? 

Creativity and faith in God.


Getting to know US R&B singer Gabriel Clarke 

We're always down for panty dropping music, especially when it's comes accompanied by old school beats. Emerging US R&B singer Gabriel Clarke first caught our musical tastebuds when we heard her on Soundcloud. Haling from Washington, the R&B songstress creates riffs in her vocals so raw you almost feel naughty listening to them. She just recently released a killer of a track called Fiona’s song which is a cover of Criminal by Fiona Apple. Whilst Gabriel is relatively new to the scene, she’s definitely our pick for the one to watch this year. 

We chat to Gabriel about how her musical journey started, she gives us a hint of when her next release will be and why she decided to change her name. Margaret Tra writes.  

How did your musical journey start? 

My musical journey started with my Grandma teaching me all the songs to the sound of music. But I started seriously pursuing music as more than a hobby about 2 years ago.

Why the name change? 

I decided that since I’m gonna be 22 this year I wanna transition into more of a grown woman type of artist and I feel as though using my actual name that my parents gave me is a good step towards the authentic direction I’m going for.

You've released Fiona's song, can you tell us about that? 

It’s a cover of Criminal by Fiona Apple, who is an artist I really like. I knew I wanted to cover the song when my friend/fellow producer found the beat I heard it and I just went right through it. 

What's next for you? 

I’m dropping a new project in February so I’m pretty excited. I’m definitely going to be doing more shows as well. 

What's one thing you wish people knew about you?

Just like everybody else on the planet I am very complicated and unique. 

I have a lot of different experiences and I think that’s why I’m able to make music that a lot of people can relate to. 

What's song is on repeat on your phone at the moment?

The Bird by Anderson Paak 

What stimulates your soul?  

What stimulates my soul is love. The love for my family, my friends, my life and my music. 

Follow her on her Facebook.


An Audio Journey with London MC Ember Phoenix

Off the back of his impressive 2015 release ‘The Cold City,’ multi-talented London rapper slash singer Ember Phoenix is continuing to make waves with his new single ‘Jodeci.’ The track, produced by ‘Beat Beast’ (the man behind Jidenna’s classic man and many other hits) invokes a mid 90’s R&B sound true to the track’s title. 

We chat to Ember Phoenix about his background in music, what it as like working with ‘Beat Beast’ and upcoming projects, Victor McMillan writes.

How do you think growing up in West London has shaped you as a person?

I'm originally from North West London, I was 16/17 when I moved to West London. It was around the time of the "post code wars" which I was oblivious to at the time because I had been quite shut off till then.  I found out quickly believe you me.

Did you always consider yourself both a rapper and a singer or did one precede the other?

I began singing in Church when I was very young maybe 4 or 5.  I started MC'ing around the time of Oxide and Neutrino and So Solid.  I only really got into rapping much later on around the time of S.A.S. And Sway who were major influences for me to transition from Grime to Hip Hop.

Your new single Jodeci references the legendary 90’s R&B group of the same name, was the mid 90’s your favourite era of R&B music?

I wouldn't say my favourite. That's a hard choice because every era has it's greats... Jodeci was definitely a stand out group to me though.

The executive producer of your 2015 release ‘The Cold City’ was Beat Beast, the producer behind Jidenna’s ‘Classic Man’, when did you first start working with him and what is it about his production that you are drawn to? 

I think we were introduced by mutual friend and producer Nyce in 2015 officially.  I had worked with him via email up until that point.  When we're in studio we just click, he respects my artistry and I respect his.  His chord progressions are some of the dopest in the game!

You recently revealed that you and Beast are set to release a joint project entitled ‘Levels’, how in your mind, will this project sound in comparison to ‘The Cold City’? 

'The Cold City' was solely my journey this far in life.  'Levels' is Beast and I challenging each other to get the dopest sounding tracks in a project without no set story line.  An audio journey of love and positivity.

What Stimulates Your Soul?



Twitter: @realember

Instagram: @realember 


Facebook:  realembermusic


Bringing back smooth R&B with UK artist Mark Asari


London R&B singer Mark Asari is exactly what the R&B scene has been waiting for. His journey has seen him work with the likes of Luv Bug and Tinie Tempah & just recently with Giggs on his latest track ‘Good One.’ The track is a banger that got Giggs intrigued from the very beginning and that’s how it all came about. While he’s originally been popping up in collaborations with artists’ Mark Asari is gearing up to fly solo with an upcoming EP due to release early next year.

We chat to Mark Asari about bringing back smooth R&B, why he credits MySpace and how Tinie Tempah taught him how being humble goes a long way. Margaret Tra writes. 

You teamed up with Giggs, what was that like?

Teaming up with Giggs was cool man, you follow him for years and think he's one way but you meet him and see that he's a proper cool guy and very funny. Got a lot of love and respect for Giggs.

I read that you are what UK R&B scene needs, how does it feel to know that people are saying that?

It feels good to read that, it's great to know there’s a need for it which I agree and I definitely plan to help move the R&B scene forward.

How did your musical journey start?

I was always obsessed with music, I would always sing in private but started off producing for local artists around me in secondary school, then as I got older and more confident I started singing out more and I progressed from there. MySpace helped me a lot.

Your latest track ‘Good One’ gives listeners the good smooth R&B days we’ve been missing, how did the track come about?

The Producer Greatness Jones played me the beat at his house and I was very gassed, it made me want to buy a cigar and light it. (Laughs) I wrote to it when I got home and had my manager send it to a mutual friend of Giggs and when he heard it he called it a 'banger' and jumped on it. That’s how it all happened. 

You’ve worked alongside some pretty great artists,’ is there one artist that you took something away with?

Yeah I think working with Tinie Tempah taught me that being humble goes a long way. He is a very humble person even with all the success he has. Plus I was awarded my first ever plaque for the work I done on his ‘Discovery’ album.

What’s next for you?

I plan to release an EP early part of next year plus more music, more videos, more shows and more collaborations. My aim for next year is to grow as an artist and brand.

What stimulates your soul? 

I'd say what stimulates my soul is seeing myself as well as people around me grow and progress in whatever they're doing, that makes me happy.


‘Good One’ is out on iTunes 5th December here
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