Wednesday, 24 May 2017



''Ipswich-based UK Hip-Hop star in the making Piers James is continuing to separate himself from the pack. With Hip-Hop such a fervent battle ground for young MCs Piers is back to take his place with These Nights a laid back boom-bap ode to friendship, family and future good times. The piano-led break, although originally composed by Piers, sounds like it's straight off an early Nas record, cut with heavy drums and Piers’ laid back delivery to evoke his influences (Tribe Called Quest and The Neptunes) perfectly.

 Piers says of the release: “When I started producing ‘These Nights’, the chords I put down on the piano gave me an uplifting feel, so I wanted to make this track something special and from the heart, not just raps over a beat. It had a nostalgic feel, reminding me of previous good times spent with friends, family and even looking forward to future memories that we'll share. I think sometimes in life we focus too much on the negative side of things so wanted to bring some positivity within the lyrics and vibe of the song.”

To back this up, Piers is giving as much back to his local community as possible and will be performing talks at Ipswich Academy, in May. James explains: “I want to wanted to express the importance of nurturing the creative talent of our youth and to let them know that life is full of potential whatever it throws at you. We should be supporting the younger generation with knowledge and more enabling environments in music where they can develop their potential to the fullest while meeting other creatives along the way.”
Following on from last year’s critically acclaimed Vibes and Tribulations EP, ‘These Nights is the new single from the follow-up Vibes and Tribulations II coming later in the year.''

Ipswich Academy is part of the Paradigm trust, for more info please check out ipswichacademy.paradigmtrust.o rg

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

EP Review: Iyanya - Signature

''Iyanya'' as we know is the foremost winner of the median edition of ''Project Fame West Africa''  who was recently signed to ''Mavin Records'' and he has kicked off his campaign as one of the new member of the label by the release of his new EP titled ''Signature'' on the (28th March, 2017). ''Signature'' was released and consist of twelve (8) tracks.

Odeyewu: is a track that delivered heavy production/vocal assistance by none other than the don himself ''Don Jazzy''  with some inspirational influence of gospel and a groovy vibe that can easily get your attention, as well as put you in the mood in thanking God for the gift of ''Odeyewu.'' Lol.  This is certainly a good way for ''Iyanya'' to kick off this EP ''Signature.'' This track certainly deserves a humorous visual or something...

Hold On: Can be seen as a fusion of r&b, highlife, and afrobeat, with a modern touch that is accompanied by the alluring vibe of the electric guitar and superb harmonies. This track depicts a scenario of suckers for love who may have gone through their fair share of bad relationships and finally meet someone they really dig but there's a need to take it nice and slow not to get it wrong this time... ''Hold On'' is a brilliant mid -tempo love song that deserves a well thought out music video to bring the track to life. 

Baby Answer: This is a track that seem to have all the right elements of a hit from the; production to the lyrics and  to the vibe but ''Baby Answer'' sounds and feels cliche, like something a ''P- Square'' would have done on their album but hey! i guess its equally an appropriate track for this project.

Not Forgotten Feat. Poe: This is a heartfelt number by ''Iyanya'' citing life experiences from the loss of loved ones and success that follows after a period of strive. We see '' Iyanya'' display his vocal prowess with the aid of a rap performance by the talented rap act ''Poe'' who adds weight of quality to this brilliant ballad and an amazing production effort by ''Altims'' This is certainly my best record off ''Signature.''

Celebrate: As the name implies ''Celebrate'' is a feel good track that celebrates the success of hard work against all odds. ''Iyanya'' shows off his fun side on this track that could easily become a club favorite if well promoted, most especially in this era of recession and knowing how resilient Nigerians can be, this would be a nice track to cool off with.

Nobody Has to Know: Is a sensual number with a modern/old school twist  that reminds you of elements from the likes of; ''Drake'' ''Rihanna'' to ''Boyz II Men.'' ''Nobody Has to Know'' shows off ''Iyanya'' versatility but i'did rather have it as an interlude on the project and not an actual song. 

Bow For You: Laced by the beautiful strings of the bass guitar ''Iyanya'' puts out a love track that can be a favorite at weddings and events in Nigeria, as we enjoy the great chemistry between him and super talented producer  ''Don Jazzy.''

Bonus: Up To Something Feat. Don Jazzy & Dr Sid: This is the lead/ bonus track off ''Signature'' and ''Up To Something'' is a well thought out song that I didn't enjoy from my first listen however, it grew on me and its indeed a good way for ''Don Jazzy'' to introduce ''Iyanya'' to the world and having ''Dr Sid'' add some ''Mavin Records'' touch. ''Up To Something'' has been ruling the airwaves since its release and I would love to more single of the EP promoted.

 Here are my final thoughts on the extended play review for  ''Signature'' I enjoyed listening to the project and it certainly brings listeners back to the era ''Iyanya'' when he gave us the pure essence of R&B, maybe the reason he tilted this project ''Signature.'' This is a GOOD project considering the quality of work put into the project and how if reflects some of ''Iyanya'' past/ present experiences and with production /sound engineering skills from the likes of ace producers ''Don Jazzy'' '' Dj Coublon'' ''Altims'' ''Seanstain'' and ''Bigfoot'' to new comer producers like; ''Altims'' and ''Baby Fresh.'' He also had two of his label mates on features in the persons of; ''Poe'' and ''Dr Sid'', who both added great value to the tape and didn't make it seem like he was trying to hard to pull an audience to peep the EP with a line up of features on it. Therefore based on my conclusion I would rate ''Signature'' a 7/10.
I look forward to more material from ''Iyanya'' under the Mavins crew in 2017 and beyond.

In case you haven't listened or downloaded Iyanya - Signature EP please download it here: