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Sound Check's Blog (3,032)

SZA's honesty about her insecurities on 'Ctrl' is a powerful lesson on vulnerability

Since SZA's debut studio album Ctrl dropped last week, I haven't stopped listening to it. My roommate has warned me I'm going to wear the damn thing out, and I know it's true, but what can I say? Ctrl speaks to me, and speaks aloud so much of what I may have been afraid to say myself. With each listen, I find myself unraveling within a new layer of love, loss and longing that I'm not quite sure I have reckoned with, but that I am happy to be compelled…

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Added by Sound Check on June 15, 2017 at 1:00pm — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: Samba-soul singer Charlotte Dos Santos crafts a perfect summer jam with “Good Sign” #SoundCheck


The magic of Charlotte Dos Santos' “Good Sign” isn't so much that her vocals are positively rapturous. It's that the detuned accompaniment behind it somehow just makes it even smoother. The guitars and keyboards melt away beneath her vocals like an old 45 left out on a car seat in the middle of the summer. There's something timeless about it. It's a lost classic, except that the album it's from isn't dropping until the fall. Check it out below.…



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Added by Sound Check on June 14, 2017 at 6:36pm — No Comments

VIDEO PREMIERE: British soul singer Bianca Rose tackles the "Hidden" mental health struggles of men in powerful video

Following the release of her debut album No Fear Here in January, British/Jamaican/Nigerian soul singer and songwriter Bianca Rose unveils the powerful music video for her second single 'Hidden'. The video revolves a man who struggles with explaining what he is going through, though it has become a weight on his relationship. As anyone struggling with mental health issues can attest to, this far too common story highlights just how difficult it is to share these…

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Added by Sound Check on June 14, 2017 at 11:30am — No Comments

Sibling pop-rockers The Sledge Grits Band promote female empowerment with an infectious, high-energy sound

Loving the music of SoCal-based teenage rock band The Sledge Grits Band. Formed by sisters Keiko (guitarist/songwriter) 22, Ella (bassist) 20, Mimi (lead vocals) 17, and bo-Pah (drummer) 15 and armed with the first official band endorsement Daisy Rock Guitars has ever made, the Florida-born siblings are using their talent and shared love of pop-rock music to express messages of sisterhood and female empowerment in a male-dominated genre. “My sisters and I luckily are very…

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Added by Sound Check on June 13, 2017 at 2:44pm — No Comments

VIDEO PREMIERE: UK soul singer Decosta Boyce throws his cares away in joyful video for "Places I've Made"

Born in Stevenage and brought up by his music-loving single mum, soul singer Decosta Boyce was raised on a diet of music greats such as Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and Marvin Gaye. These influences are especially evident in the artist's music today, with hints of Prince, Parliament, Sly & The Family Stone and D’Angelo fleshing out his distinctive style.



Currently touring with the British-American soul band Heatwave, the singer is now set to release his…

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Added by Sound Check on June 13, 2017 at 11:54am — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: Brazilian rock band The Baggios holds nothing back while tackling social crises in 'Brutown' #SoundCheck

Based out of São Cristóvão in Brazil, the guitar-and-drums duo of Julio Andrade and Gabriel Perninha has been making music as The Baggios since 2004. Though their line-up is stripped down, their sound is anything but, as they prove on the massive "Brutown". It's an album focused on social upheaval and the reality of everyday life in Brazil that's rich with gut shaking riffs and massive hooks.



By Nathan Leigh*, AFROPUNK…

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Added by Sound Check on June 12, 2017 at 1:30pm — 1 Comment

NOW STREAMING: AFROPUNK Mixtape #030: Underdogs and Misfits

NOW STREAMING—AFROPUNK Mixtape #030: Underdogs and Misfits, a collection of songs about resistance by the unheard and marginalized voices of artists who refuse to let the bastards get them down, despite the power of inequality that’s working against us. AFROPUNK Mixtape #030: Underdog and Misfits features powerful music by Benjamin Booker, Downtown Boys, Rukhsana Merrise, Kwaye, Ho99o9, Junior Astronomers, Blame The Youth, and more. With special interludes by…

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Added by Sound Check on June 12, 2017 at 10:30am — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: SZA reveals long-awaited debut studio album 'Ctrl' at AFROPUNK hosted release party–with mermaids!

Finally! Gearing up for her AFROPUNK Brooklyn 2017 performance this August, singer/songwriter SZA has at long last dropped her first studio album Ctrl, and you can stream it below now! Initially slated for February, the much-delayed project features collaborations with Kendrick Lamar, Travis Scott (on her sexy hit single "Love Galore"), James Fauntleroy and Isaiah Rashad.



The St. Louis…

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Added by Sound Check on June 9, 2017 at 11:00am — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: Future-Soul singer Rob Milton creates an ode to self-care in Georgia Anne Muldrow-produced release, 'Healer' #SoundCheck

“There's never been a time when we didn't need each other,” Rob Milton sings on his reinterpretation of “Young, Gifted & Black.” On this EP length ode to self-care in a fucked up world, Milton enlists frequent collaborator Georgia Anne Muldrow in the producer chair. Muldrow's arpeggiated future-soul production and Milton's sublime falsetto prove to be a potent match over 4 songs and 2 interludes. Milton wears his love for Nina Simone and Georgia Anne Muldrow…

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Added by Sound Check on June 8, 2017 at 4:22pm — No Comments

Brooklyn hip-hop artist Latasha Alcindor gives a tribute to the experiences of Black girls in energetic new album "Teen Nite at Empire"

Latasha Alcindor aka L.A. is the epitome of Brooklyn attitude. The witty Afro-Latina's latest album Teen Nite at Empire is a lyrical story of Black girlhood in the borough, boldly tackling issues such as struggles with depression, identity and coming into womanhood. The core of the project follows Alcindor’s childhood memories at Brooklyn's Empire Skating Rink, which closed down in 2007 due to gentrification, and whose infamous "Teen Nite" is where she was…

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Added by Sound Check on June 8, 2017 at 3:00pm — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: New York rock band Living Colour gives a thunderous return on rousing new single, "Come On"

Eight years after their last album The Chair In The Doorway, Living Colour is back and ready to release, Shade, their sixth studio album out September 8th. To gear fans up, the New York quartet just dropped the lead single from the blues-inspired offering, the uptempo "Come On", and it sounds like they haven't missed a beat. A thumping, energetic anthem, "Come On" is a direct response to these tense and charged times.



"It's the times more than…

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Added by Sound Check on June 8, 2017 at 2:16pm — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: Philly-based soul singer Son Little makes magic from the blues in the uplifting "Blue Magic"

Grammy winner and AFROPUNK Brooklyn 2017 performer Son Little's music truly defies genres. Fusing influences from rock and roll, blues, hip-hop, pop, classic soul and gospel, the musician's second full-length album New Magic is an accomplishment in modernizing music. Evoking contemporaries like Anderson. Paak and Leon Bridges, the lead single “Blue Magic” re-imagines Philadelphia soul for an uplifting anthem complete with chiming glockenspiel bells. …



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Added by Sound Check on June 7, 2017 at 1:30pm — No Comments

PREMIERE: Electro-Soul duo KAMI AWORI drop vibrant cover of Wizkid's “Ojuelegba“

Start your morning off right with KAMI AWORI’s ambient soul track, “Ojuelegba”. Inspired by some of the acts heard at AFROPUNK BATTLE OF THE BANDS, Pianist-turned-producer, Karami and singer-songwriter Awori decided to put their unique Afro-Carribean spin on a Wizkid track by the same name. Speaking of names, “Ojuelegba” refers to a busy suburb of Lagos and the word is translated to mean "the eyes of Legba". Legba being a Yoruba deity who,… Continue

Added by Sound Check on June 7, 2017 at 10:00am — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: Experimental MC Mickey Lightfoot daydreams about escaping the cycles of poverty in “600 K” #SoundCheck

London based MC Mikey Lightfoot is one of those rare artists who never puts out a track that's less than captivating. His latest “600 K” is a daydream about escaping the cycles of poverty. “I'm trying to raise capital to get out of capital,” he opens before his trademark distorted bass is joined by the most haunting production of his career. It's an anthem for everyone who's ever fantasized about picking up and leaving all the bullshit behind. The track comes from Mickey…

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Added by Sound Check on June 6, 2017 at 4:13pm — No Comments

Chaka Khan, Ursula Rucker & more featured on anti-war music project 'Home Ground'

'Home Ground' is a new, international music project that’s been inspired by a classic collection of canonized soul. A quite time and relevant project by Dutch composer/arranger/musician Stephen Emmer, 'Home Ground'’s aim is to raise anti-war awareness and promote global compassion told through orchestral composition and conscious lyricism by legends such as Queen Chaka…

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Added by Sound Check on June 6, 2017 at 3:00pm — No Comments

VIDEO PREMIERE: Texas-based indie band Fort Never tumbles down the rabbit hole in surreal video for "Paradigm"

Fort Never is an indie rock band consisting of Texas-based producer and songwriter, Timothy Ruch, singer Chantell Moody and drummer Deano Cotè. Their latest video, "Paradigm", is a magical piece of experimental visuals, finding the trio in a wonderland-like world filled with people with giant white balls and television sets for heads. Here, "there ain't no place to run / there ain't no place to hide," as Moody's soft but powerful voice reminds us, but rather than fight the… Continue

Added by Sound Check on June 6, 2017 at 12:30pm — No Comments

Soweto Black metal band Demogoroth Satanum defies cultural stereotypes in South Africa

Demogoroth Satanum is a Soweto, South Africa metal band that’s breaking down barriers in the SA music scene with their bombastic, but controversial sound. In Soweto, hardcore and metal are still seen as negative, black locals associate the harshness of the sound and visceral imagery with Satanism, while white folks in the musician scene are less than enthusiastic about welcoming a Black metal band. Apartheid had so many devastating…

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Added by Sound Check on June 6, 2017 at 11:07am — No Comments

R&B/Soul singersongwriter T.Wong talks us through his smoldering sophomore album, ‘The Upside Down’

Ohio artist T.Wong recently released his sophomore album, The Upside Down. A 14-track body of work, The Upside Down was penned entirely by T.Wong and co-produced alongside Ohio producer/writer Parker Louis, lead vocalist for Forest and The Evergreens. Throughout the album, the pair push the r&b envelope as they pull from several different genres to create one, cohesive, super-chilled album.



T.Wong sat down with AFROPUNK to…

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Added by Sound Check on June 5, 2017 at 3:50pm — No Comments

NEW MUSIC: New York-based soul singer Kiah Victoria is full of attitude in self-love anthem "Treat Me"

Berlin-born, New York-based Kiah Victoria's career has been one hell of a ride. After playing young Nala on Broadway and winning the prestigious Desmond Child Anthem Award at New York University Tisch Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, the singer-songwriter gave a passionate performance of Michael Jackson's “Who’s Loving You" for Jay Z, which he then recorded for the short film for “Picasso Baby”. Now, the New Music Seminar’s “Artist on the Verge” and…

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Added by Sound Check on June 5, 2017 at 1:58pm — No Comments

Chaka Khan will reportedly release songs she recorded with Prince!

Blessed be! Another 2017 collabo we didn’t know we need, Chaka Kahn is reportedly poised to release several songs she recorded with the late legend, Prince. Chaka, a friend and collaborator of Prince’s, spoke to the DailyStar about an album the two had recorded before his death last year. “I own half…

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Added by Sound Check on June 5, 2017 at 11:42am — No Comments

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