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  • Writer's pictureSaachi Sen

Dark and Dazzling – moody singer-songwriter / pop / soul by exceptional artists of colour

New music calls for a new playlist!

As you may have seen on my socials, I’m releasing a brand new single on October 11th. The song is called ‘Dark’. In a world plagued by the Trump and the ‘B’ word (you know what, I’m just going to say it. BREXIT. There, I said it.) this song feels more relevant than it did when I wrote it way back in 2015. When the world is telling minorities that we’re not wanted, that we’re worse than others, lesser than others, bad, evil, well, ‘dark’, it’s easy for us to start even hating ourselves. I think there’s a moment in almost every diaspora child’s life when they have this errant thought – “why am I not white?” – and it’s awful, because we don’t control what ethnicity we are, in the same way we don’t control our birth-assigned genders or our sexuality. But beyond merely coming to terms with the fact that we’re not a) white b) male c) straight, or any other of the multitude of traits that make us unique, we need to be able to love that fact, in the same way that anyone who is a) white b) male c) straight should feel free to love who they are as well. We shouldn’t need to settle into stereotypes that the world sets for us.

But that’s enough rambling from me. I’ll let the song do the talking once it comes out! In the meanwhile, I put together a playlist of some beyond awesome artists of colour (they turned out to be mostly women lol idk why) who are breaking barriers everyday. Several are ones I’ve had the pleasure to meet or even work with. True to the name, ‘Dark and Dazzling’ generally reflects the moody side of singer-songwriting, pop and soul (with the slight exception of my song ‘Tethered’ which I’ve vaguely shoved in there, please excuse the chirpy vocals and folky guitar, it’s a placeholder for ‘Dark’ which is way more up this playlist’s production street.) As with my Pride playlist, it progresses from chill to – well, still chill, but more, like, aggressive chill – and I’ve talked about a few of the tracks below.

Please FOLLOW THE PLAYLIST, FOLLOW ME ON SPOTIFY, FOLLOW THAT CAR oh wait no not that last one soz

A rundown of my picks

Dee Ajayi – Finishing Touches. I met Dee when I was 13 (*cries*) doing a Disney Channel competition and can I say never has someone been more robbed of getting to a final (her I mean, not me). Her honey smooth voice shines so beautifully on this chilled out love song.

Celine Love – Rose Coloured. Celine is a fellow Roundhouse Resident Artist and released this song earlier in 2019. I especially love the guitar right at the start of this track and the layered vocals, that become almost synth-like in their perfection in the chorus.

Sans Soucis – Unchain. Sans Soucis has a whole collection of experimental, melodic, jazzy songs on her profile. Live she’s extremely soothing to watch, and I just adore the routes she travels with her vocals on each song. Spotify clearly does too, she’s on a few pretty great playlists!

Amahla – Have Mercy. I’ve always loved Amahla and her latest release Have Mercy is one of my favourites. There is a dark, groovy bassline in this one, and her voice is as easy to sink into as ever. She’s headlining the Lexington in November, would thoroughly recommend the live set.

Janethan – Bad Karma. Janethan is a wonderful person on top of a ready-made pop star. Bad Karma is full of righteous ex-lover disdain, with a infectious pop production and the voice to back it up.

Shunaji – Not Lookin’. I fell in love with this when she played it live at her EP launch earlier this year, right before she started playing it because of the story she told – inspired by a nature doc where a female bird passes over a male despite his best efforts, with the narrator commenting “suppose she’s just not looking”. LOL. Or something to that effect. But yeah – epic track.

Ouraa – What do you want. The whole vibe on this song is fantastic. It’s Ouraa’s only release at the time of writing but it’s an immediately catchy, likeable track (with a fab orange theme going on in all the artwork.) worth a follow!

That’s about all I can write about, because it’s 2am and I have work tomorrow :( But there are several more gems on the playlist, including RAY BLK (whose song 'Mama' is perfect and makes me think of my own), Mahalia ( I aspire to the level of chill in 'I wish I missed my ex’), Ishani (bbc introducing, dark dreamy pop), Michael Kiwanuka (whom I’ve always adored) and Luke Sital-Singh (channeling those singer songwriter vibez). Oh, did I say I wouldn’t write anything more? Damn.

Thanks for reading! Please follow everything in sight and shaaarrree!! - Saachi :)

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