5 For Friday: Maeta, Masego, slowthai & More

What’s up good people, I’m Damola a London-based copywriter and creative, and I’ll be taking over from Ray on the weekly 5 For Friday roundup. I’m into all kinds of music. For real. So expect some distinctive sounds from a variety of places making their way onto your playlists in the coming weeks!

GBNGA – Sleep

GBNGA’s latest offering ‘Sleep’ will make you want to do anything but. Instantly reminiscent of mid-00’s garage cuts, rapper-producer-director GBNGA woozily croons over the drums, speaking both to and about his girl. ‘’Two strangers who met in the dark // I know it’s not by chance’’ GBNGA says. This was certainly in a world before COVID, but when listening you can see the imagery. We’ve all had relationships and entanglements that start in the club or at a house party.

The video brings this feeling forward too, with groups of wavy couples, exuding aligned energies, enjoying each others company. This track sounds like the end of the motive, the encore, where people are getting ready to go home, or some are preparing to make the move on somebody they’ve caught a vibe with all night. It’s fitting that this song comes at the end of summer. Though somewhat bittersweet, we’ll always have the memories. Be that in a nap, a daydream or full-blown ‘Sleep’.

slowthai – feel away ft James Blake and Mount Kimbie

After a time-out following his NME Awards controversy earlier this year, the punkish enfant terrible, slowthai is back in bizarre and brilliant fashion. His newest cut sees slowthai in a more sombre, ruminative mood. Looking back at relationships that have broken down and stepping into other people’s shoes to find a new perspective. This is a sea change for slowthai, not that he’s a stranger to introspection, but his delivery feels more mature. Aided by the fractured emotion in James Blake’s unique voice, we see a new one emerging for slowthai.

The obscure visuals are where all the intrigue lies. Like something out of the Tim Burton playbook on oddity, ‘feel away’s visuals use the high-stakes of your partner going into labour, as a metaphor to show thai’s new willingness (or maybe rueful wishes) to try and be more empathetic to the feelings of his loved ones. The video digs deeper into metaphor, alongside Mount Kimbie’s staccato piano hits, slowthai’s whole body becomes a cake, while people cut slices from it. This might be seen as people viewing thai as a meal ticket, while warning: hurt feelings can go both ways.

Masego – Passport

The soulful multi-instrumentalist is back with a new EP since his debut album ‘Lady Lady’ dropped in 2018. That album put Masego firmly on the map, landing him an RIAA Gold accreditation and half a billion streams for ’Tadow’’.

On ‘Passport’, his music is typically smooth and wavy, but with hits of the Far East in the flutes and string arrangements on the production. Masego takes this influence a step further, when he starts reciting lyrics in Japanese. Though being worldly in his artistic approach isn’t new, Masego’s musical influences tended to come from his native South Africa. So seeing him weave a wider range of sounds into his work means the upcoming traphousejazz release will surely be something special.

Maeta ft Buddy (prod by. Kaytranada) – Teen Scene 

2020 has been far from a care-free year but you wouldn’t know it from Maeta’s debut single, ‘Teen Scene’. Her sultry vocals on Kaytranada’s stellar production, with declarations of youthful rebellion, sneaking out of the house, first relationships, having fun with friends, Maeta’s voice will make having a good time top of your to-do list. With help from LA rapper Buddy, who comes in with his usual-cool self, opening with bars of self-improvement “plotting on some better living / told my momma I’m not settling’’ falling into his role of the cool uncle at the party.

The visuals feature classic LA scenes, day tripping in convertibles, goofing around in corner shops, hanging with friends in parking lots and of course features a house party with iridescent lights. Even Baby Yoda makes an appearance. All in all, the song has big Friday energy. And as we end the week with a bit of September sunshine left, Maeta is imploring us to go and enjoy it.

Saba – Mrs. Whoever

The scholarly Saba has always found a way to weave dense wordplay with a smooth melodic flow, and this new drop sees him on classic form. With a delivery that seems part-inspired by a Chicago legend, Twista, Saba bounces between elastic lyricism and wistful musings about being connected. Saba opens up with bravado ‘’Way I see it I’m top 10/I never let a motherfucker try me nah’’, before admitting his availability ‘’My phone open to you all today / Work two ways’’.

The video sees Saba walking around a massive greenhouse, armed only with a tape recorder and headphones. He’s trying to stay away from the noise. From the negativity. Even the phone in the video is an old school one. It seems Saba is on a nostalgic one. Saba’s last album ‘Care 4 Me’was a critically-acclaimed release centred on the untimely shooting of his cousin. There was a fire in his sound and bars that many hadn’t heard before. On ‘Mrs. Whoever’, some of that is still here, especially when talking about the occasional pitfalls of new-found success ‘’People be focused up on the accolades / People you call your friends get to acting up’’. Saba is warming up for a new drop, and as always, it’s going to get interesting.