Music Monday, 12/12: Aminé, Kehlani, Masego and Austra
Oooh-weeeee! This Music Monday playlist is on FIRE! It’s danceable, dark and diverse — just the way we like it. We’re excited to introduce TONS of new stuff from some familiar artists and some that you absolutely should know!
Gothic art pop artist Austra, the undeniably dancey and cheeky D.R.A.M., multi-talented jazzy hip-hopper Masego, Oakland-favorite femme rapper Kehlani, the wonderfully vulnerable Kid Cudi, the incredibly problematic but undeniably talented Childish Gambino, Kanye West’s chamberpop protege Kacy Hill, British hipster pop Metronomy and ethereal songstress Bat For Lashes all have new singles out and they’re all on this #MusicMonday playlist.
Portland’s 22-year-old rapper Aminé got his start in a rather bizarre way: writing dis tracks about rival high schools. It wasn’t until he graduated that he realized he missed it and decided that it was something he wanted to pursue more seriously.
He is the son of Ethiopian immigrants; his parents listened from everything from indigenous African music to John Mayer. Aminé’s mixtapes have been described as “world music for the Soundcloud generation,” and the world is clearly embracing the incredibly listenable “Caroline.” You can hear the influences of his Ethiopian roots throughout Calling Brio.
Check out Amine’s collaboration with Kid Karma on this week’s playlist, and check out his self-directed video for “Caroline,” which debuted on the Billboard charts at number 14. Not too shabby for a career that literally started out as a joke.
Named after the Latvian goddess of light, these dreamy darkwave sounds are anything but. Led by Katie Stelmanis, this Canadian synthpop band has won the hearts of many diverse fans, finding their way into the record collections of hip-hop, folk, and goth fans alike.
After three and a half long years, Austra is finally back with a new album. Future Politics will be available next month, but you can hear the title track, which serves as the second single, in the playlist — and check out both singles, “Utopia” and “Future Politics,” right here.
Oakland’s own Kehlani is back with “Advice,” a poppy ballad of failed love. “I was just out of a really bad relationship with someone who I really thought who was going to be like the one person for me and ended up showing me so many times that they weren’t,” Kehlani explained to Zane at Apple Music regarding the song’s backstory. “I realized there’s a bunch of girls who are going through the same thing and they needed to hear from somebody. … It was really, like, a healing thing rather than us just making a song,” she added.
“You can expect a lot of really fun vibes. It’s a lot bigger, I think,” Kehlani said of her forthcoming album SweetSexySavage. “I’m really proud of the growth that it’s taken. It’s a lot of fun. It’s a lot of inspiration. It’s a lot of making you feel good about yourself. A lot of self-acceptance. So that’s really the basis of this album.”
While the video for “Advice” has yet to be released, you can hear the new song on our Spotify playlist. Check out the videos for “Distraction” and “CRZY” right here.
Masego oozes talent. His retro swag is heard in electronica punctuated by jazzy ’90s New Jack-style horns. Described as “trap house jazz,” the young musician’s work blends beats with jazz and playful humor to create something simultaneously new yet familiar, earning him comparisons to one of the original jazz performers, Cab Calloway. The results is amazingly fun and dance-worthy with a bit of Southern gospel flavor, courtesy of his Virginia upbringing.
“I think my foundation came from listening to old-school gospel. I grew up listening to Kirk Franklin when he had hair, Don Peachey. I mean, both my parents are pastors, so growing up I had to listen to gospel music initially,” Masego told XXL magazine. “I think, as I got older, I started discovering big-band type of jazz and it was pretty much all that. Fun fact, I’m just now figuring out all the hip-hop history. … I started playing sax when I was fourteen because I’m like a real competitive person … there was this girl that I really wanted the attention of and I found out she really liked jazz. I was like “Aight, let me look up jazz,” saxophone popped up I was like, “Aight, cool.” And at the time I had to choose for like, the art time of the day so I picked the saxophone and then every Sunday I would just listen for the jazz station on the radio and just try to learn and become dope so I could impress her.”