5 For Friday: Nick Hakim, Tiana Blake, Che Lingo & More

As the days begin to fold into each other, it feels as if we’re stuck in a endless loop. We return with a new bunch of sounds to help pick through the clutter of content racing across the internet. Returning back with a brand new single, Tiana Blake polishes her pen and impresses us with her soothing R&B outing ‘Monday,’ while newcomer Wesley Joseph presents us with an interesting debut that deserves to be spun. However, we’ll have to let you be the judge of that and the rest of the sounds featured on our 5 for Friday.

Tiana Blake – Monday

The dreaded Monday blues leaves no victims in its wake on the weekend, and on “Monday,” the second release from the blossoming songstress Tiana Blake, she flirts with the decision to avoid going into work. This feeling is all too relatable especially at the moment you reach your weekend high, the dreary thought of being back at work is as intrusive as a grey cloud on a summer’s day.

Tiana Blake goes two-for-two, following her nostalgic R&B debut ‘Cut Ties’, and inhabits the shoes of a frustrated employee and acts as a motivational force with her velvety vocals, injecting a glossy layer to the sonic. Singing in a gentle motion over a blend of glossy chords and the pitter patter of claps, Tiana Blake conjures a chorus which speaks for many, “I’m not looking forward to Monday. I think I might call in sick, I’m done with this sh*t,” she sings heedlessly. Her pen remains sharp as ever, with an empathetic verse that echoes the woes of the masses and the bitter need for survival through labour. En route to a powerful close, a bunch of isolated vocals illustrate the shared feeling of work under capitalism, and leave us on a sentimental reminder to strive for better.

Nick Hakim – Qadir

Getting caught up in the daily affairs of life can remove us from our family and friends. We often end up neglecting what matters the most and on ‘Qadir,’ a touching obituary titled after Nick Hakim’s friend, he comes to grips with how fleeting each moment can be. The singer resorts to immortalising his friend on a grovelling drum led composition lined with cosmic synths and a myriad of instrumental contributions.

Nick Hakim simultaneously opens his wounds and seals it on a slow blend of instrumentations. Bringing together a multitude of voices — from Oyinda, Maassai, KeiyaA and Pink Siifu — while Nick Hakim’s contemplative words succeed in fulfilling it’s purpose. On his second verse, he sings: “hemos sido esclavos,” which translates to we have become slaves. But rather than lose hope with this foresight, Nick Hakim uses it as a moment of redemption. It’s never too late to rewrite the script of your life, even in the hopeless moments there is always a way out.

Che Lingo – Black Ones feat. Ghetts

Avid anime follower and outspoken rapper Che Lingo is distinguished by his vision. With his last single ‘My Block,’ he captures the scepticism of a metropolis as the spokesperson for the inner city dwellers. On 2019s Badman, Che Lingo packed the guitar heavy beat with lyrical punch reflecting on a savage cycle. ‘Black Ones,’ marks his incoming debut album, The Worst Generation, which doubles down on “his life and his ends” using cautionary tales to offer a raw, vivid picture with hopes of exposing a true reality.

The curtain falls upon the sinister strumming guitar strings, then dissolves from a slow beep to heavy piano play. “Injecting fast money trying to numb how that famine feels,” he says, as drums fuse with sky-high notes. Just as your ears get accustomed to the ebb and flow of the harrowing vibrations, Che breaks out in the midst of a frenzy of electric riffs and hi-hats. Ghetts contribution to the song is cutting, with a verse that looks into crime, life decisions and the pressures of fatherhood within a snapshot.

Eric IV – True Colours

North London’s Eric IV is no stranger to music, heading down a musical path with a piano before broadening out as singer-rapper. ‘On True Colours’ the upcoming talent shifts the tones as we change seasons with a buoyant string-led sonic fusing sunny strums and snazzy bass instrumentation.

Building up on his catalogue of sound, ‘True Colours’ receives a snazzy treatment courtesy of Dan Kabz. The production features a bright burst of sounds made up of reverberant strings which accompany Eric IV’s silky melodies in which he plots his way to the top of the ladder. He exudes with confidence and undeniable faith in his sound, the sonic tops up on the warm vibrations as the production swivels into a funky spiral.

Wesley Joseph – Imaginary Friends

Wesley Joseph steps onto the podium and debuts his first single ‘Imaginary Friends,’ a choppy introductory cut earmarked with a smooth transition that invites you deeper into his own world. Dabbling in the art of film, Joseph translates snapshots from his life onto a sonic riddled with rapid fire lyricism.

Picking out slots from an emotional spectrum, Wesley Joseph burst into a stream of consciousness with words spluttering out of his dome. He manoeuvres through the dark score characterised by fractured keys and rough drum strokes, in search of a remedial elixir for his soul. The self-produced score shuffles into a slow groove as Joseph reflects on the lone nights that serve as his source of inspiration. “Lone nights and short days, time beneath the grey skies spilling thoughts across the page”, he recites spiritlessly into the mic. Treating our ears to a numbing close scored by isolated tones slithering across the backboard.