Welcome to the first instalment of Unsung! The feature that exposes our readers to a collective of highly-talented singers from across the nation. Leaving no stone unturned we’ll bring you the best upcoming artist’s who dabble in and bounce between; R&B, Soul, Jazz, Pop and all sub-genres surrounding.
Today, we shine our light on five songstresses: Akemi Fox a rising alt r&b singer from Manchester, Safiyyah a genre-bending artist from West London and Birmingham’s very own Recovering Lover – Jaydonclover. In addition to Feltham-raised Svetlana, a neo-soul newcomer and last but certainly not least Enny, South-East London’s melodic storyteller!
Introducing Akemi Fox [pronounced:A-kay-me], the 21-year-old, Mancunian singer and songwriter. Influenced by the soulful sonics of 90’s neo-soulstresses, like Erykah Badu and Jill Scott. None the wiser to the path she was paving, Fox started penning her deepest thoughts into notebooks from a young age. Borrowing slight elements from the legends she listened to growing up, the singer began sowing seeds with her first track entitled “Weightless” featuring Matthew Baines in 2018. Since then, Fox’s musical identity has really blossomed with each release. Describing her sound as “Alternative R&B” her most recent release “Lemon Tea” embodies it’s genre ten folds, flirting with it’s subtle soulful ambience, Fox coats the instrumentation-driven backdrop with her velvety vocals which, coupled with her charming lyricism has created an undeniable example of the extent of her brilliance. Fast forwarding to the present day, the songstress boasts an impressive 35,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. With many miles of her journey ahead, she plans on taking her talented producer Teo along for the ride.
Together the pair are working on a debut project, so watch this space.
Artist’s choice: Fallin’
Flexing a soulful timbre which infuses a potent blend of Neo-Soul, lo-fi beats, R&B and contemporary jazz with additional nods to DnB; the 22-year-old, Portuguese-Moroccan soulstress uses her music to transport listeners into a trance-like state subsequently leaving them mesmerised with the way she effortlessly conveys themes of spirituality, nostalgia, culture, relationships and independence. Which comes as no surprise since the singer cites the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Erykah Badu and Prince as her musical influences; all of which who have embodied similar sentiments in their own unique and very distinctive ways.
Having freshly released her debut EP entitled the “Third Eye” – a short but sweet, five-track glimpse into the sonics of Safiyyah. Each one brimming with a nuanced instrumental intricacy, woven with breezy guitar grooves and twinkling lofi-beats that shimmer and pop beneath her heartfelt vocals. Elaborating on the lyrical direction of the project, Safiyyah shares: “My debut EP show’s people the different sides to my world. I wanted to give an insight to who I am as a person. The title Third Eye, comes from my spiritual journey and it represents knowledge and enlightenment. I want to enlighten people into my world. Love, hate, life experiences, and express this through my sound and versatility.”
Searching for a musical refuge? Well Birmingham’s Jaydonclover runs a (musical) Heartbreak Hotel for recovering lovers, so look no future.
Immersing herself into music from a young age, Jaydon began showcasing her talents on YouTube by releasing a string of covers. Inspired by a diverse range of legends such as Aaliyah, Erykah Badu, Frank Sinatra and modern day songstresses such as Etta Bond and Jhené Aiko. Soon Jaydon would realise it was time to carve her own legacy, releasing her first track titled “Night Shift” in 2018. After this she took a year to hone in on her craft, once she had solidified her signature sound Jaydon unveiled two tracks: ‘Goodthing’ featuring Dudley-based artist KayFaraway and ‘I Wish You’ (below). In response to their success, she delivered her dazzling debut EP, titled “Recovering Lover”. The project gives a candid peak into the mind of the songstress; during she exhibits true artistic eloquence, from her heavenly vocal calibre, to her candid (and super relatable) hopeless romantic perspective. Once you listen you’ll understand just how bright her future is.
Artist’s choice: I wish
MM’s pick: Literally the whole of her EP: Recovering Lover.
Possessing the gift of literacy from an early age, Feltham-raised singer, Svetlana grew up with an innate ability to communicate. Often praised for this, the singer would frequently spend her time between; writing short stories, poetry and studying. Harbouring a rich, melodious voice and a love for music, she began steering her pen into a different direction. Writing lyrics, verses and choruses, she started inking excerpts from her life. Svetlana used her new found outlet to express all things love, loss and life lessons. Adding another achievement to her repertoire, she also to taught herself to play the guitar. Now, after years of preparation, recording demos and playing live, Svetlana is ready to reap the fruits of her labour. Already sitting on two hypnotising tracks released this year: “Myself” and “Tally Man” both differing in approach, “Myself” – a soulful and empowering track filled with sultry instrumentation (that really makes you appreciate yourself.) The second – “Tally Man”, a stripped back acoustic-sounding ode to her lover that details the trails and tribulations of their relationship. We’ve been left waiting on what the songstress drops next and we’re sure you’ll feel the same after listening.
Artist’s choice: Tally Man
MM’s pick: Myself
Rapper, singer, script-writer, director and “He’s Not Into You” hitmaker – Enny is a talented, multidisciplinary welding artist with a flair for conveying relatable and engaging narratives through her music and freestyles. Drawing inspiration from some of the finest storytellers in the industry such as Ms. Lauryn Hill and Nas to more recently, J. Cole. She released her first freestyle in 2018, which was met with an encouraging response. Dropping off gems alike, over the two year period Enny created a looming anticipation for the arrival of her debut offering. Then on April 24th, the artist released “He’s Not Into You” – a frank, spoken word-styled offering that shines it’s light on those brief (or in some cases lingering) spells of unrequited infatuation. Throughout she raps over a rich, feel-good instrumental that twinkles and snaps beneath her honest poetics and soothing melodic hook as she tries to come to grips with a crush that just ain’t that into her.
Although she has already showcased a facet of herself to the public, there is much more behind the artistry of Enny.
Artist choice: “He’s Not Into You”