Maxwell fans are being spoilt right now! Not only has the legendary singer broken his 7 year musical silence with the release of ‘Lake By the Ocean‘ but he has also been opening up about his personal life to the hosts of US radio show, ‘The Breakfast Club‘.

As any Maxwell fan knows, press appearances for him are not that common. Refreshingly this 30 minute interview gives us a real insight to the man behind the music as he discusses his anxiety about coming back with new music, how he keeps himself grounded, handling female attention and heartbreak, how D’Angelo helped pave the way for him, what to expect from the new album, his desire to work with Jay Z and he even shares a marketing idea about selling a very personal product to fans!

Currently celebrating 20 years since his first album release, ‘Maxwell’s Urban Hang Suite‘ and enjoying a continued relationship with Columbia Records ever since, Maxwell proves with the interview below that hard work, humility and a sense of humour are the key to a long lasting music career!


Over the past two weeks not one but TWO incredible EP’s have dropped in the world of RnB! Raleigh Ritchie who has been blowing up the UK RnB seen over the past year, has collaborated with American Neo-Soul group The Internet on a new EP entitled, ‘Black and Blue Point 2‘. The EP features hot remixes of tracks from Ritchie’s previous EP as well as a new song, ‘Chased‘ showing his lyrics and vocals are as on point as ever. This is a great collaboration and another fantastic EP for Raleigh Ritchie fans to add to their collection – lets hope to hear more from this team in the future! You can buy ‘Black and Blue Point 2’ now on Itunes.

The second EP comes from unsigned American artist Gallant entitled ‘Zebra’. Gallant has teamed up with producers Felix Snow and Maths Time Joy to release this incredibly unique EP, at first listen I became an instant fan – the style lies somewhere between RnB, Neo-Soul and this new electronica soul coming from artists like Sampha and SZA. Gallant’s vocals are stunningly distinctive and at times haunting (in a good way!). His lyrics are rich and emotive and scream wisdom years beyond his young age of 21, if the music industry has any sense this guy won’t stay unsigned for long! If you are a fan of Maxwell and Frank Ocean or just want to hear something enticingly unique you can buy ‘Zebra‘ from Itunes.

With this level of talent being brought at the start of their careers I can’t wait to hear what Raleigh Ritchie and Gallant will be bringing in the future – these two are definitely ones to watch!!

Carly – ann (@CarlyMond)

Gallant – Jupiter Grayscale





In honour of National Record Store Day, I look back at one of the most innovative Soul Records…

Artist Terence Trent D’Arby released his debut album ‘Introducing the Hardline’ In July 1987; a power force which stormed through the UK charts spending nine weeks at the number one album chart spot. The album produced four top 20 singles and earned Terence Trent D’Arby a Grammy for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and a Brit Award.

The success of The Hardline was hugely influential to the UK RnB scene, as the album was released whilst D’Arby lived in the UK we adopted him as out own! UK RnB whilst thriving in the 1960s and enjoying some success in the 1970’s was struggling in the 1980’s to gain pace above the underground scene with the exception of Sade. Terence Trent D’Arby was the full package, he had a strong iconic image with long dreadlocks, an undefinable golden skin tone, a sultry pout and of course huge shouderpads! He had almost complete artistic control over the album, writing seven out of the eleven tracks and producing the project; a rare amount of artistic licensing for a debut album. Terence Trent D’Arby was making a statement – he was not just a singer, he was an artist.

The album oozed influences from every area of urban music from reggae, blues, the funk of ‘Dance Little Sister’ to the stripped back soul of ‘Sign Your Name’ to the Motown nod in his rendition of ‘Who’s Loving You’. The production of the album is flawless, mature and at times boldly experimental; boasting layered and complex instrumentals on every track and the vocal range that D’Arby demonstrates is second to none.

The Hardline paved the way for many UK soul artists as it grabbed international attention, the couple of years that followed in the UK soul scene saw the arrival of Omar, Soul II Soul and many of the ‘acid jazz’ groups. Influences of this album also became apparent in the 1990’s during the arrival of the ‘Neo – Soul’ movement in the US, when artists such as D’Angelo, Maxwell and Erykah Badu appeared sporting similar sounds, experimental production and even styles as Terence Trent D’Arby.

Most importantly , Introducing the Hardline has retained its credibility and relevance. Dust off your old copy,or listen for the first time, it still sounds innovative and fresh and is in my opinion, a milestone soul album.

Carly – ann (@CarlyMond)

Terence Trent D’Arby – Sign Your Name





I just had to write about everything that’s been going on in music this week! For RnB fans, especially those of us that love the 90’s vibe this week has been colossal in the world of music. So if you’ve slept all week or been working too hard to take note, here’s what you’ve missed:

The week began with the return of Babyface and Toni Braxton on their collaboration album, ‘Love, Marriage & Divorce’. No doubt people will have misconceptions that an album by these 2 artists will be full of ballads but don’t be mislead the album is Fresh! Babyface and Toni’s voices have never sounded stronger and the vibe of the album is slick, sophisticated soul; ‘Sweat’ and ‘Heart Attack’ in particular are great up tempo tracks.

Then came the Timbaland leak during an online fan chat that he is in talks with Devante about working on the new Jodeci album!!! It’s been 18 years since the RnB sensation released a new single and the music world is so hyped about the return it even made a feature in the Guardian newspaper! Maxwell teased and excited fans with the news that he has finished recording the second installment of his ‘Blacksummer’s Night’ trilogy tweeting, ‘#Summers #recording #finish‘. Jermaine Dupri has also been tweeting from the studio this week, he’s been reunited with Mariah Carey, P. Diddy and Trey Songz and promised us all he’s working on ‘#somuchnewmusic’

As if that wasn’t enough Eric Roberson dropped his new album, ‘B-Sides, Features and Heartache’s’, Miguel released an incredible new track, ‘Simple Things’ and in hip hop Nas announced that he will be releasing a 20th Anniversary 2-disc special edition of ‘Illmatic’, entitled ‘Illmatix XX‘ expected to drop on the 15th of April.

The hottest track of the week for me has been ‘Take It’ by Amp Fiddler feat Rapheal Saadiq from his latest EP ‘Basementality 2’ and if you’re a Raphael Saadiq fan you can catch him live with Tony Toni Tone, Blackstreet, En Vogue, Mint Condtion, Total, Silk and Kut Klose at Wembley Arena on the 15th of February for the ‘RnB Superstars Valentines Special.

How will the world of RnB top this? Looking forward to next week………….

Carly – ann (@CarlyMond)

Amp Fiddler feat Raphael Saadiq – Take it




I went to Ampt at Sound in Leicester Square a few weeks ago and saw Daley perform his version of Maxwell – Pretty Wings. His voice is amazing! This is one of those songs that has the original artists stamp all over it but Daley has made this his own.

Daleys voice = sicka.

M x