If you're new here, welcome to NEXXTING ⁠— a global music release round-up by Jamila Isoke.

What a f*cking month June was! What a revolutionary journey we've embarked on! The return of this newsletter from its month-long break isn't a mark of my going back to "business as usual" but part of my recommitment to elevating Black voices (and beats). I hope y'all have been taking care of yourselves and that these tracks can add some joy to your week.

Though this newsletter was on pause, the release-digging never stopped. This issue features 30 🔥 releases from the month of June. It's got the usual players ⁠— Jamaica, Nigeria, South Africa, the UK, the US⁠ — and Belgium, Morrocco, Brasil, Italy, Côte d'Ivoire, and the Netherlands are also repping.

See the "NEXXTING⁠ — 02" Spotify playlist link (sorry, Apple/Tidal users 😬), track-by-track commentary as well as YouTube/music video links below. 
PS - Shoutout to Anil, Ayanna, Camille, and Dalila for sending so much love (i.e. $$) after the last issue. If you're in a position to support di ting, buy me a coffee — Mailchimp nuh cheap.
Spotify playlist: NEXXTING — 02

from Skip Marley's "No Love"

🇯🇲 🇺🇸

1 — Let's kick this off with the legend Gargamel's June drop (and my personal BLM anthem). Check out Buju Banton's "Blessed".

— Wasn't quite keen on Gen-Z Marley (Skip Marley) when he first popped up on the scene in 2017, but it didn't take long for his latest track "No Love" to grow on me.

— "Everybody, get up! Done being down." Royal Bait, Mereba, and Smiles Davis's "Get Up" is a true BLM anthem, a reggae one at that.

— Quick story about this next artist: I met him after his 1st NYC show @ Baby's Alright and tried gassing him up, but I think I just made him really uncomfortable. "Do you know what's about to happen to your career? DO YOU UNDERSTAND HOW MUCH YOU'RE ABOUT TO BLOW UP!?" doesn't put people at ease, apparently. Anyway, enough about my auntie antics: The guy is Lucky Daye, and he dropped a 🔥 reggae remix to "Roll Some Mo" featuring Chronixx and MediSun.

from Amber Mark's "My People"

🇺🇸 🇬🇧

— One more from Lucky Daye because his track "Shoulda" featuring THE Babyface is just *chef's kiss*. I didn't even know I needed this kinda 90's R&B energy.

— Alright, enough of the man people for a sec — let's get into some #blackgirlmagic and with Ego Ella May's soulful "Give A Little" (MV) and its beautiful visuals 🤎.

— After years of only performing this Radiohead cover during live sets, Lianne La Havas's version of "Weird Fishes" finally got the studio treatment. I can't wait for her eponymous album to drop on July 15!

— This one's high-key a BLM anthem: Amber Mark's "My People" (MV) (an Eddie Kendricks cover) is a spirit-lifter for Black folks but especially Black girls/women. I'm here for all the praise-dance realness in the visuals. 


🇺🇸 🇬🇧

— Another BLM anthem as we pivot to Jazz & Hip Hop for a bit: heavy-hitters Terrace MartinKamasi Washington, Robert Glasper, and 9th Wonder (with the help of vocals from Phoelix) have teamed up for "Freeze Tag", a timely track about police brutality.

10 — Another strictly instrumental track I've been loving is saxophonist/composer Nubya Garcia's "Pace"—powerful from start to finish. 

14 — The second single to drop from this project is "Footprints", a Wayne Shorter cover (from the Bluenote Re:imagined project - "history’s finest jazz tracks reimagined by today’s finest artists in jazz") by one of my favorite UK Jazz bands Ezra Collective. I absolutely love how these guys brought the song into 2020 by infusing Hip Hop.

15 — "Rose Rouge" (a St. Germain cover and the 1st release from the aforementioned Bluenote Re:imagined project) is the best recording I've heard from Ms. Jorja Smith in a while. Go awff, sis!


from Remi Wolf's "Disco Man (Little Dragon Remix)"

🇺🇸 🇬🇧 🇳🇱

11 — Newcomer and adorable weirdo Remi Wolf was already growing on me and then this Little Dragon remix of her single "Disco Man" came along and I can never play it less than 3X back-to-back. The less-electro original (MV) is also a funky bop.

12 — Another remix of a fave by a fave! Jordan Rakei's remix of "What Kinda Music" by Tom Misch and Yussef Dayes. I did an ugly-faced "WOOO!" halfway through when the track switched gears; Jordan killed this.

13 — Slowing things down but keeping them groovy is "Dance Alone" by Tayla Parx. Isn't it cute?

16 — RIMON's "Downtown" is the perfect follow-up with its 'what have you done for me lately' energy. 

from Tion Wayne, Dutchavelli & Stormzy's "I Dunno"


🇳🇬 🇺🇸 🇬🇧

17 — I wish Tochi Bedford and Cruel Santino's (fka Santi) banger "Disintegrate" was longer, but I'm happy to hear sounds out of Nigeria besides AfroPop (no shade). Oh yeah, I'm no longer calling that genre "Afrobeats"the confusion with (and subsequent erasure of) Afrobeat was starting to irk me.

18 — Another low-key BLM anthem: Calez and Mick Jenkin's "First Amendment". The track dropped days before George Floyd was murdered and protests began, so I guess it's also low-key prophetic.

19 — A cousin in the UK put me on — big up yuhself Kye — to Che Lingo after Issue 01. His latest track "Spaghetti" is a fun one. If you care to explore his catalog, check out his other 2020 releases "Black Ones" ft Ghetts and especially "My Block".

20 — A little mad at myself for sleeping on this one because it is SICCKKK. UK Drill is in its bag with "I Dunno" (MV) by Tion WayneDutchavelli, and Stormzy. SN: Why do all drill music videos look the same, from Canarsie to the Chi to the ends?

from Juls & Sango's "Angele Ni Fie"


🇿🇦 🇬🇭 🇬🇧 🇧🇷 🇺🇸 🇳🇬

21 — I'm kinda cheating with this one since it's just a re-release of a year-old track, but it's from my favorite 2019 album Scorpion Kings, so I couldn't resist. DJ Maphorisa, Kabza De Small, and Tsitso's "Moropa" was the beginning of my obsession of the underground Afro-House genre AmaPiano.

22 — While South Africa was still locked down at the start of June, Red Bull Studios in Cape Town launched this cool challenge that gave 4 groups of 3 artists 72 hours to remotely create tracks. The one AmaPiano track on the resulting EP is, of course, my favorite. Check out "iSeghazini" by Moonchild Sanelly, Aymos, and Theology HD.

23 — Another killer June release from the world of Yanos (aka AmaPiano) is Mdoovar, Sir Trill, and Mhawkeys's "Chom'yam".

24 — Off of their "Fufu & Grits" EP, Juls and Sango's "Angele Ni Fie" (MV) is Afro-fusion heaven; from Afro-Jazz to AmaPiano, they weave the sounds of Africa and Afro-Latinx so deftly on this track.

25 — The original (MV) (by Master KG and Nomcebo) dropped at the end of 2019 and quickly climbed charts in South Africa, but 2020 has delivered a Burna Boy remix of the spiritual anthem "Jerusalema".   

26 — Mr. Dutch and Masterkraft's "Mamacita" must be played back-to-back at least thrice and if it doesn't make you dance, you're a sociopath, and that's that. SN: This track is Nigerian-produced, yet I hear South Africa's AmaPiano — love to see it!

from Didi B & Afro B's "Puissant"

🇨🇮 🇬🇧 🇳🇬 🇲🇦 🇧🇪

27 — Here's another Afro-Pop chune that'll compel you to move — because Team Salut productions just do that — even if you don't parle français. Check out Didi B (of Ivorian rap group Kiff No Beat) and Afro B's "Puissant" (MV).

28 — New bop from heat-maker Wande Coal! "Naughty Girl" is the kind of Afro-Pop that makes me wish outside was open. 😭

29 — Tawsen's breakout hit "Safe Salina" (MV) now has a series of international remixes. Check out the Nigerian remix featuring Oxlade and Raybekah. Other remixes: Moroccan, Italian.

30 — Rounding out this group of Afro-Pop tracks, is Joeboy's smooth "Oreke" (produced by E Kelly).

how to dance to AmaPiano (you're welcome)

If you've made it this far, I want to hear from you! Hit reply and let me know what your favorite track/music video of this week's issue is. Was the Spotify playlist helpful? How do you feel about the GIFs? Also, never hesitate to recommend a song/album/artist — I love being put on!

Copyright © 2020 NEXXTING, All rights reserved.

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