Hip hop from Angel Haze, sad pop from Mikky Ekko and Solange goes indie


You’ll most certainly have heard of Beyoncé Knowles – established and respected pop-singer, Jay-Z‘s wife and basically the one pop star everyone likes. What you probably don’t know, however, is that the pop diva has a younger sister called Solange who looks just as fly as big sis Queen B, with a voice to match. Up until now she has released two albums and a handful of singles, none of which have lead to much success (particularly compared to Beyoncé), but all that’s about to change with the release of her forthcoming 7-track EP True, aimed at a completely new market: the ‘indie kids’. She’s paired up with producer/singer-songwriter Dev Hynes, better known as Blood Orange, and label Terrible Records (the label found by Chris Taylor from Grizzly Bear), and has garnered quite a bit of blog-success already. First single “Losing You” hints at a playful, post-R&B production, has great pop-lyrics (“tell me the truth boy, am I losing you for good / we used to kiss all night but now it’s just no use”) and an equally fun video. Last week another song was unveiled, the catchy “Lovers In The Parking Lot”, to heighten the anticipation some more. SPIN think all pop is going to sound like this in the future, and we certainly hope it does.


Mikky Ekko

Pop music is slowing down a notch and indulging in a more-depressed-than-ever atmosphere, according to a recent study by NME. Mikky Ekko, a star-in-the-making who fits this study’s findings well, has a rather sad and slow take on pop – but a very good one. He’s been singing and writing for some years, yet it took the world until now to recognise his talent and reward him with a major record deal. He’s currently tucked away in the studio with some well-knowns like Paul Epworth (Adele, Florence and the Machine), Elof (Niki and the Dove), John Hill (M.I.A., Santigold), Clams Casino (The Weeknd, A$AP Rocky) and Dave Sitek (TV On The Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs). Rihanna loves him too – Mikky is featured on Stay, a song taken from her new record that is a lot more down-tempo than anything else she put out. We can also add songwriter Justin Parker (known for his work with Lana Del Rey and Laura by Bat For Lashes) to his list of collaborations, a songwriter who’s proven himself in the past and will most definitely being doing so in the future.


Angel Haze

Another month, another MC. Literally lost count of female MC’s that stepped up in 2012, but Angel Haze is one that deserves all the attention she’s been getting. Pitchfork say hip-hop needs her because of “the ease with which she can pull poetry out of its darkest corners and challenge its most enduring taboos” and call her “one of greatest and most progressive hopes” for hip-hop. Big words, but not uttered lightly nor without reason. Angel Haze has put out a handful of mixtapes: Reservation and Classick being the most recent and most solid ones to date. She spits out thoughtful, well-written rhymes over borrowed beats (often great hits, like Missy Elliott‘s Gossip Folks or Lupe Fiasco‘s Bitch Bad) and is not afraid to rap about sensitive things (like a series of rapes she had to endure, starting at age 7). She’s a honest, straight-forward girl that know what she wants and takes her craft seriously – and she’s here to stay.