5 For Friday: Smino, Jai Paul, GoldLink & More

Last week London witnessed the birth of a new festival with The Ends hosting a variety of music acts from the UK and beyond. On the trail of it, we bring you another weekly serving of new artists, music and visuals to marvel at. This week saw the return of an old champion Jai Paul share new music, Sampa The Great shares her a royal vision with ‘Final Form’ and a long-awaited collaboration between GoldLink, Tyler the Creator and Jay Prince is bundled in our tasteful selection. Make sure you’ve got some space on your phone because you’re going to want to have these songs on your playlist.

Jai Paul – Do You Love Her Now

Jai Paul surprisingly returned online, following a six year hiatus, with two brand new singles ‘Do You Love Her Now’ and ‘He.’ The former is a weird, dissected R&B cut smoothed over by pop-rock sensibilities and plays like a highly anticipated homecoming.

‘Do You Love Her Now’ is built up with slow grooves and slinky croons which morph from a brooding theme into an experimental sonic. Jai’s falsetto warbles trickle down a shifty terrain of electric guitar waves, skippy drum strokes and airborne vocals. His disdain for love is washed over by Fabiana Palladino’s interjection of hopeful lines that downplay the severity of love and usher in comfort in a vulnerable space. Jai Paul is as skilful as ever in shaping moods and the sonic make-up of his latest single is a testament to his ear for the finest sounds.

JB Scofield – Stretch It

Dubbed as the Fresh Prince of Leicester City, JB Scofield joins a crop of talent emerging from the Midlands music sphere. His latest song ‘Stretch It’ finds him line up a summer banger alongside a music visual with a snazzy dance routine.

JB Scofield kicks it all off with a catchy chorus and stirs his dextrous flow over rapid spell guitar strums. Sporting a flashy outfit with a vintage pair of frames, JB and his band of friends gather together and show out on the street corner and gleefully dance to the upbeat medley. At no point does he falter on the high-octane score which houses his playful lines. “Haven’t had a trophy in a long time, must have thought I play for the gunners,” he raps with precision, he fits a mouthful of lines in catchy sequence and outwits the plethora of claps, skippy hi-hats and bouncy bass pumps. ‘Stretch It’ might just end up creeping its way into a large number of devices and being played all over this summer.

Sampa The Great – Final Form

In recent times we’ve seen much of a renaissance wash over the African continent. Sampa The Great’s home base may be in Australia, but the child of the soil remains rooted in her brand new release ‘Final Form’.

Sampa The Great charts across a classy ensemble anchored by linear trumpet blasts and rock steady drum beats. She retraces her steps back to Zambia and parades her national pride with a multitude of snapshots that showcase the pillars of her culture alongside Zambians of all shapes and sizes. The production gives us a flavour of 70s soul music which could fittingly sit on a showing American blaxploitation flick such as Shaft. Her rap voice is powerful and truly distinctive even in the abundance of brass and percussion orchestrated by Rhythm Section’s Silentjay. Sampa admittedly enters an important stage of her career and in spite of the pursuit for perfection she chooses to level up. The end goal is clear and that is to keep pushing boundaries above anything else.

Smino – Klink

Zero Fatigue representative Smino follows up with the visual to ‘Klink’ from his last album ‘Noir’. The St. Louis rapper fills the abstract composition and unpacks his unorthodox rap style; shifting any archaic rap archetype.

Smino unveils deep layers under his musical shell and unfolds depths to his wide spectrum. His vocal delivery churns charismatic ad libs and high pitched lines over a speedy percussive set up. In the visual, he flashes off a diamond encrusted set of items which range from a flip phone, bottle of Remy Martin and Air Forces in an infomercial directed visual. Smino tackles a trot of clattering percussion and hi-hats recoiling in an endless sequence that exhibits a flavour of the Soulection sound.

GoldLink – U Say feat. Tyler The Creator & Jay Prince

GoldLink has left a sporadic footprint across the music sphere with his recent succession of singles from his upcoming album; ‘Diaspora’. His new sound finds him expand his palette and edge towards an afro-pop angle on a beat created by Ghanaian-British producer Juls.

‘U Say’ enlists British rapper Jay Prince alongside Tyler The Creator who keeps his rhymes in check following his previous outing on ‘IGOR’. Drums boom enchanting beats and major scale keys hover in soothing portions. GoldLink bounces to the ebb and flow rapping with his elastic cadence, and Jay Prince inputs robotic utterances that lean with urgency on a mid-tempo blend of shakers and deep-toned guitar licks. The trio are in tune and display chemistry on ‘U Say’ that is strangely seamless despite it being their first collaboration.