5 For Friday: Kali Uchis, Barney Artist, Solis & More

We’ve got a bunch of songs to get you through the Christmas clutter of cheesy records and relentless hymns. This week features a selection of artists doing something exemplary with their music, whether it’s sonically or lyrically. There’s going to be something that will resonate deeply with you. Innanet James fires up a visual and reveals how reckless money can make a man, while Solis welcomes us into her frequency with ‘Can’t Breathe’. Get ready to update your playlist with some new vibes.

Innanet James – Hunnids

‘Timeless music can’t be rushed,” according to Innanet James. The young DMV rapper maintains quality control with his raps and amiable melodies and a couple jokes trigger a chuckle in the opening sequence of the video with James and his manager. Can you imagine dropping your wallet at the strip club and turning strippers off because you’re too broke.

‘Hunnids’ is an exemplary track which happens to be fun and proverbial at once. Light keyboard tones usher in a bouncy soundscape, offset by disjointed 808s as he raps about splurging his money on Fendi slippers with blissful ignorance. You can only hope he’s got his rent covered, or he would be screwed. James happy-go-luck rap flow confirms the latter, but the dulcet beams may suggest otherwise. Note to self: a couple hundreds is alright money, but it’s just not enough to splurge, unlike our young spitta who blows his cash on a stripper he spots on TV, eventually coming to the realisation that it’s all gone.

Barney Artist – Brighton

Barney Artist is in it for the long run, from the heydays of ‘BAEP’ to the spacey Hip-Hop depths  burrowed in ‘Bikes Are Bikes.’ The theory of evolution takes life in the sonic footprints of the Forest Gate rapper whose latest mixtape, ‘Bars Are Bars,’ comes wrapped up as gift commemorating his UK tour.

“Stitched braille to my tongue, so they feel what I spray,” Barney utters in slick motion over CorYaYo’s bombap instrumental. ‘Brighton’ clocks in just under 1:30 mins and Barney Artist manages to craft rhymes with punchy lyricism to the subtle bumps and grooves of bass drums.
The geographical locations are more than random titles, but tags which link the track to the place it was created. Light, shallow tones fly forth like a golden bullet out of gun, cutting through the dancing piano notes as ‘Brighton’ comes through the school of Q-Tip and Barney proves he is a diligent student of the game.

Solis – Can’t Breathe

Lagos is the breeding ground for a unique bunch of artists, and it’s home to multiple expressions of music that live in and outside of the native soundscape. Diverging from afrobeats and paddling into murky waters is Solis, a singer-songwriter building up her ethereal sound from the ground up although you might have noticed her name as a feature on ‘hectic’ in Odunsi’s ‘rare.’ album.

Solis unveils a new sound from her pocket with ‘Can’t Breathe,’ a song that bears a wispy vocal fighting to be heard on KD’s cloudy production. A foggy sample centred on a conversation features a voice ranting about our perception of time. Some of us have a lot to spare, while others cling to the bare minimum they can afford because time is honestly a luxury. The poetic songstress tries to make sense of it, lofting the weary chorus in falsetto, giving each note her best breath, but helplessly pushing against the angst. It can feel like life is choking you at times, but as Solis discovers on ‘Can’t Breathe’ you can dance through the chaos and take your time.

Kali Uchis – Solita

‘Solita’ could possibly be the advent to a new project from the Colombian singer who delves into her roots through the this sober score. Her last offering ‘Isolation,’ received high acclaim from critics for its vibrant showcasing and flashy collaborators including the likes of Tyler, the Creator, Bootsy Collins and Jorja Smith.

The beat barks up a fusion of sounds masked under reggaeton, which houses Uchis distress where she would rather be alone than with a selfish lover. The exhaustion that comes with being locked in an uncomfortable situation is heard through Uchis dramatic warbles. Our songstress morphs from a showgirl attracting the voyeuristic gaze of men stuck in a trance, to scenes where she saunters across a sunset valley. ‘Solita’ extracts mariachi rhythms through seductive guitars strums and intertwines it with hums lined up along protracted synths.

Abisha – Love Like This

Grand piano keys open up this vulnerable outfit by upcoming singer Abisha who takes up the task of spilling her story over sonics. Hailing from London, she’s been described as an ‘alt-R&B’ singer using her music to convey bold messages that speak on behalf of the LGBTQIA community.

Expand your thoughts and take a walk in Abisha’s shoe though this cordial composition as ‘Love Like This’ follows Abisha and her lover around town, underground and in a taxi ride. Her vocals leap out cordially over a soft-pop beat with a blend of acoustic guitar strums and gummy 808s as the young singer defies the archaic homophobic notions with sincerity.