5 For Friday: Jvck James, Ama Lou, Mustard & More

Welcome to October. This week’s 5 for Friday introduces you to the freshest sounds on the circuit, which includes an overwhelming London presence in our selection. We bring you an empowering ode to Black women from Jamilah Barry and mark the arrival of JVCK JAMES, a fellow R&B upstart, whose candid lyricism is sure to leave a lasting imprint along with his newly-released EP ‘Detour’. Go ahead and unlock some new songs to enjoy for the weekend ahead courtesy of your Nation of Billions plugs.

Jamilah Barry – Sunblock 

Opening up the entree this week is the London/Leeds bred singer Jamilah Barry, who charges into October with her brand new single ‘Sunblock’. On the record she documents the hopes and hardships faced by Black women on a twofold experimental R&B headbanger.

A stark change from the soulful and classic aesthetic of her debut album, ‘Salix Babylonica’, Jamilah shifts through warm tones and honey-coloured keys, which fade into a dark, ghastly trap infusion cooked up by the nimble-fingered producer Midnight Phunk. Echoing vocals, hi-hats and 808s form the basis of the song, but the subversive lyricism encourages Black women to continue to shine in spite of the negativity.


East London crooner JVCK JAMES treats us to a delightful vocal display on ‘4AM’. The R&B singer shares his long-awaited EP ‘Detour’, which includes the ‘4AM’, and a dreamlike visual to accompany the release.

JVCK JAMES bills up a solemn vibration and flows with ease on this string-led, minimal production. He constructs a kindred tale with his pure vocals which echo the intimacy that unravels upon a sweet connection. In this short visual, directed by Ray Fiasco, JVCK JAMES traverses through a fantasy world with his sweetheart in his attempts to savour the finer moments in life.

Ama Lou – Northside

Ama Lou’s reach is global, but her heart remains attached to her stomping ground. She comes through with the official music video for ‘Northside’, which is a declaration of her love to her roots in Stoke Newington.

Hopping onto a percussive beat produced by Frank Dukes and Murda Beatz, Ama Lou’s organic croons ooze a hazy RnB essence onto spruce drum patterns and blended vocals. Her playful persona comes out in the motion picture where she’s backed by a few guests, some of which include Odd Future’s Taco & A$AP Nast. Shot by her own sister, Mahalia, ‘Northside’ displays a North London pride from her aesthetic all the way down to finer details in her sonic.

Mustard – Ballin feat. Roddy Ricch

West Coast whizz Mustard and Compton’s own Roddy Ricch return with a visual for their collaboration ‘Ballin’, taken from Mustard’s ‘Perfect Ten’. It’s been a rather successful year for the duo who make a toast en route their journey the top.

You can’t cheat the grind and Mustard, alongside Roddy Ricch, pack that essence into this inspiring track. Ricch’s auto-tuned melodic lines find him rap about the paper chase, unearthing the good, bad and ugly part of the journey. Mustard musters up a joyful atmosphere with ceremonial keys and marries old 90s’ era RnB with adorned vocals. The visual beautifully cuts through clips of a young Mustard and Roddy Ricch which contrasts to their self-made personas.

Rema – Rewind

Rema seeks to eclipse his summer breakthrough with his brand new project; ‘Bad Commando’, which follows up from his self-titled debut ‘Rema’. The young Nigerian artist kicks up a new groove on ‘Rewind’, a euphoric Afropop offering with a fitting Latin jazz production.

‘Rewind’ feels like a flashback to summer and sounds like a dazzling euphony with it’s sun-drenched production. Rema slings pidgin-laced rhymes and weaves in stunning croons into this carefree banger produced by OVO’s Oliver El Khatib and 1mind. Rema strings together the perfect remedy to balance out the low moments in life by instructing listeners to dance their stress away.