What is happening in England in the Brexit era? London, Birmingham, Liverpool and Norwich are the hot spots for a new generation of artists working on the margins of pop, rap and electronic music.
Since the dawn of rock and roll, the British have amused the whole world with outstanding musicians; from The Beatles, Ozzy, Eric Clapton, U2, Led Zeppelin, Ramones, boy we could be naming great performers in almost any genre of music. But what’s going on nowadays? Let’s meet the four new queens of the British deck of music.
Queen of Hearts; Shura
This young artist from London has borrowed several things from some of the 80’s emblems such as Janet Jackson and The Cure (who last year made it to the Hall of Fame), Shura paints scenes of modern queer love with a delicate R & B style. The 25-year-old singer, songwriter and producer attracted international attention with the video of her single “Touch”.
In 2014 her single amassed over 26 million views on YouTube and was then remixed by Four Tet, Delorean and Talib Kweli. She then composed her imminent album ‘Nothing’s Real’ with the support of Greg Kurstin, a collaborator of Sia and Adele.
Queen of Spades; Lady Leshurr
After Lady Leshurr came into the light back in 2011 with her devastating freestyle on Chris Brown’s “Look at Me Now,” Atlantic offered the Birmingham rapper a big juicy contract, suggesting she pitched a song against Nicki Minaj. The artist, born Melesha O’Garro, said no, and agreed to Take the long road to success, on her own terms.
Although Leshurr refused to criticize another artist, she made insult a high art form in her series “Queen’s Speech”, in which she professes insults to pop culture: “I’m going to Beyonce these girls”, she mocks in “Queens Speech”.
In October 2017, she released “1 Million Views” after “QS4”, her brilliant one-shot video, reached one million views in a week. Now it has over 29 million views and she has just signed a major contract with BMG.
Queen of Diamonds; Låpsley
In Long Way Home, her first album, this young singer-songwriter built a minimalist synth-pop with an extra emotional base provided by her voice, which is rich and lugubrious. She started posting her music on SoundCloud and soon caught the attention of XL Recordings, company that has huge stars like Adele and Holly Miranda among their ranks.
Queen of Clubs; Phoenix Martins
Dive like Jason Momoa’s Aquaman into the ‘ether’ of the mystical Phoenix Martins, a Nigerian singer who has established in Hackney. Inspired by Brian Eno’s ‘sounding landscapes’, she began acting for hospital patients as part of the Roundhouse Choir.
Their debut EP, Get This, received a boost from producers Nick Carter and Joe Fields, who worked with a variety of artists, from Diplo to the Neptunes. The latest release of Martins, a neat new EP entitled 47, is a series of undulating ambient meditations with blues tints, triggered by encounters with the divinity.