In this week’s instalment of What’s Going On, I’m back with five hot new songs from five acts that are on the rise. From indie rock to country and all kinds of pop, there’s something here for everyone. Each artist has their own point of view, a fresh sound and is deserving of a spot on your personal playlists. As always, be sure to follow and support the artists and let me know which songs resonate with you the most.
Bree Runway – Bree Runway can’t be put in a box. Her new single ‘Little Nokia’ is a genre-defying high energy anthem, melding sounds that span from 2000s teen pop to crunchy nu-metal. The London-born singer, rapper & songwriter cites Missy Elliott and the legendary rock band Queen among her influences as well as the Ghanian Highlife music that she grew up on. A true creative force to be reckoned with, Bree is in charge of the writing and production of her music as well as being in charge of the music videos and styling. The music video for ‘Little Nokia’ was directed by Ali Kurr and flawlessly matches the energy of the song. On what inspired the making of ‘Little Nokia’, Bree says: “I’m all about mixing and blending genres, melodies, topics from different realms. To be speaking on hood affairs, with a pop melody on a rock-infused beat is the most Bree Runway thing ever. I remember storming into the studio being pretty much done with the dude I’m singing about and needed something AGGRESSIVE to lay my words on and it honestly came together like magic.”
Listen to Bree Runway’s new single ‘Little Nokia’ below.
Ashlie Amber – Pop singer/songwriter Ashlie Amber has released ‘Fight With You’, her new country single. Produced by Jamie Tate, the song was recorded in Nashville and written by Mary Haller, Lo and Avrim “Ave” Topel. ‘Fight With You’ is a fiery passionate tune about going through the highs and lows in a relationship but ultimately sticking with the person you love. A veteran performer, Ashlie Amber has previously been a part of American Idol, The Color Purple, Avenue Q, Pippin, and RENT as well as her own Whitney Houston tribute show I Will Always Love You. The Colorado-born singer hopes to become one of the first Black female country stars to have mainstream Top 40 success and is working with Jamie Tate to craft a full-length country album. On her hopes for ‘Fight With You’, Ashlie Amber says: “Overall, I hope my listeners love and appreciate my own unique approach to this song and to this incredible genre of music that I grew up listening to and love so much!”
Listen to Ashlie Amber’s new single ‘Fight With You’ below.
Blaise Moore – Toronto-native Blaise Moore is out with ‘Best Next Ex’ via 21 Entertainment/Universal Music Canada. The UK-based singer/songwriter worked with pop music heavy-hitters Jon Levine, Midi Jones, and Sebastian Cole to craft this moody bop. With lyrics like “I could be your best next ex ever, what are you scared of?”, ‘Best Next Ex’ is a tale of a relationship that is doomed to end but there’s still so much chemistry and passion there. The combination of the hypnotic rhythm and Moore’s vocals make ‘Best Next Ex’ an easy track to get lost in. Prior to releasing ‘Best Next Ex’, Moore had the critically acclaimed EP Laurence in 2017. Discussing ‘Best Next Ex’, Moore says: “I’m inspired again and finally without writer’s block. Going head-first into this new music with a new attitude, feeling excited and hungry I’ve ever been.”
Listen to Blaise Moore’s new single ‘Best Next Ex’ below.
Scenic Route to Alaska – Edmonton indie trio Scenic Route to Alaska have been said to sound like “The Beatles if they were from the Prairies.” The band consisting of Trevor Mann (vocals and guitar), Shea Connor (drums), and Murray Wood (bass), cites the Fab Four, classic rock & R&B, and contemporary indie music among their influences. Not afraid to tackle social issues, their new single ‘Polarized’ questions the current divisive and polarizing social climate. The band shares: “‘Polarized’ is about the ongoing division in society and the constant mania of life’s ups and downs. It’s about the need for positive change, openness and equality. Let’s start working to make the world a less polarizing place to exist. When did everything get lost? We gotta do it for the generations coming next. Enjoy the tune, feel the groove and then go do something nice for someone else.”
Listen to Scenic Route to Alaska’s new single ‘Polarized’ below.
Starrah – Prolific songwriter Starrah has dropped her new single ‘Keep Calm’ produced by James Blake. If you’re a music fan that likes to look at the credits, you’ve likely seen Starrah’s name in the songwriting credits of artists such as Rihanna, Madonna, Beyoncé, Maroon 5, Drake, and many others. Having dropped a scattering of her own singles and a collaborative EP with Diplo in the past few years, Starrah appears to be making more of a concerted effort to be recognized as an artist in her own right. ‘Keep Calm’ is a lush smooth jam that packs a punch despite clocking in at under two minutes in length. Last month, Starrah released the single ‘How It Goes’ and collaborated this summer with James Blake for his song ‘Are You Even Real?’ This flurry of new music shows that this Starrah is on the rise.
Listen to Starrah’s new single ‘Keep Calm’ below.