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!


Some collaborations are just sonically superior – this is one of them. Soulstress Yuna is getting ready to release her new album, ‘Chapters‘ in May and has just released the second single, ‘Crush‘ which features Usher.

Sultry, soothing and addictive, click below to listen and pick up ‘Crushhere.



Singer / Songwriter / Musician Dornik has been lighting up the UK RnB scene for the past year, dropping distinctive soulful cuts such as, ‘Something About You, ‘Drive‘ and ‘Second Thoughts‘. After beginning his career as a drummer for Jessie Ware, Dornik has launched himself as a credible artist attracting fandom from the likes of Pharrell Williams and Questlove and performing at all the top festivals this summer including Wildlife and Glastonbury. He also recently joined Ronnie Herel on The BIG RnB Show on Mi Soul for his FIRST EVER radio interview!

His debut album drops this Friday, 07th August but you can stream it early via the Red Bull link below. The album has some serious talent behind it, co-produced by Grammy Winner Pop Wansel who has worked with all the biggest names in RnB and hip hop including Kendrick Lamar, Jill Scott and Mary J Blige and mixed by fellow Grammy award winner Russ Elevado who happened to mix a little album by D’Angelo called Voodoo!

The album is flawless, eclectic soul and with Dornik boasting co-writing and co-producing credits for this debut project, it’s clear that this self-entitled album is just the beginning.

Click here to listen and you can pre-order ‘Dornik’ now!


There was a time when Bad Boy Records were the hottest thing in Hip Hop and RnB with the likes of Biggie, Mase, Lil Kim, Faith Evans, Mary J Blige, 112 and of course Puffy/Diddy all dropping killer tracks that were storming the charts globally. The influence of the music that came from this collection of artists should not be underestimated and it could be argued that they created that Hip Hop / RnB bridge sound that we now know and love from the likes of Drake and Tinashe.

With the arrival of Neo-Soul in the late 90’s and the rising emphasis on the need for ‘real’ music with a more organic sound, along with a lot of personal problems in the lives of the Bad Boy artists, there was a rapid decline in hits, despite efforts to try and re-launch New Edition and re-vamp 112.

Rewind a few years later to last night and Diddy storms onto the BET Awards stage to remind everyone what they’ve been missing!! With a killer 10 minute tribute that saw 112, Mase, Faith Evans, Lil Kim, French Montana, Jadakiss and Pharrell performing with unmatchable energy and conviction the Bad Boy camp definitely grabbed the attention of everyone at home and in the audience (who were seriously hyped!)

There’s always a risk with throwback performances that artists might just end up proving that their time is over, luckily this was the complete opposite! Everyone looked good, sounded great and even Lil Kim was back in full force bursting up from nowhere and owning the stage. But this reunion wasn’t just about nostalgia, it serves as a reminder that Bad Roy Records made INCREDIBLE music that still sounds fresh and with the last track being a forthcoming one from Pharrell and Diddy, lets hope that Bad Boy Entertainment are coming back to conquer once again!

Click Here to Watch the Full Bad Boy Performance!


The soulful soulstress that is Jill Scott is back!! For all of us fans of this increcible artist it’s been a long wait of 4 years since we last heard new material, but it’s been worth the wait!

You Don’t Know‘ is the first single from Scott’s forthcoming 5th studio album (no set release date yet) and hears her doing what she does best; delivering powerful, emotionally charged vocals over a jazz/blues melody. Instrumentally it’s incredible too with ?uestlove leading on drums, check the sultry video below:


RnB family the wait is FINALLY over!!! 14 years after the release of his last album, ‘Voodoo D’Angelo has today released his new project entitled, ‘Black Messiah.

The album is a force field of Funk, Soul, Rock, Hip Hop and Neo-Soul, it’s experimental and energetic, fans of ‘Voodoo‘ won’t be disappointed and it feels like a natural step up progression from that album.

Black Messiah is charged with political and social connotations but also delves into the realms of love and sex with fluidity and finesse, collaborations on the album include Questlove, Q Tip, James Gadson and Kendra Foster who co-wrote many of the albums tracks.

Every now and again you hear an album that you know is an instant masterpiece, D’Angelo’s Black Messiah is definitely one of them! Cop it on Itunes or stream it on Spotify now!!!!!

Listen to and download first single entitled, ‘Sugah Daddyhere


Arguably one of the most highly anticipated albums of 2014 is released today, Jhene Aiko has just dropped her debut album entitled, ‘Souled Out‘.

Jhene Aiko is no stranger to the RnB scene, having started out in the industry in 2002, aged 12 performing backing vocals on B2K tracks. She stormed into the spotlight last year when she featured on Drake’s album, ‘Nothing Was The Same’ and released her acclaimed EP ‘Sail Out‘ later in the year.

This debut album showcases Jhene Aiko’s impressive songwriting skills, with writing credits on all 14 tracks, she also boasts a production credit along with several others including No I.D and Fisticuffs both of whom worked on ‘Sail Out’.

Souled Out stays true to Jhene Aiko’s distinctive style, exploring a more ‘indie’ side to RnB, similar to the sounds of Miguel and SZA. She keeps her hip hop vibe alive on track, ‘Pretty Bird‘ which features Common, she opens up about her personal life with ‘Promises‘, which is dedicated to and features her 5 year old daughter, while the rest of the album flows between the dark and haunting style of previous single, ‘The Worst‘, uplifting melodies and laid back, soulful vibes.

If you are a fan of any of Jhene Aiko’s previous work the album will not dissapoint, if you’re yet to get familiar with this ecletic soulstress go cop the album for a refreshingly unique and soulful experience!

Carly – ann (@CarlyMond)

Jhene Aiko – ‘Spotless Mind’ featured on the album ‘Souled Out’




The music industry is tough right now, with the landscape of how artists create music and market themselves changing almost daily. Talented artists with proven longevity are rare, independent artists with longevity are even more rare which is why independent singer, songwriter and producer Eric Roberson should be especially proud of the release this week of his 10th studio album ‘The Box.

Eric Roberson boasts a music career spanning 15 years, he has an established sound and a dedicated fan base which brings with it high expectations from new album ‘The Box‘ and he does not disappoint. For anyone out there looking for ‘real’ music with soul, instrumental exploration and impeccable songwriting, Erro’sBox‘ contains all of this and more!

Upon first listen two things struck me about the album, the first being how incredible the variation of live instruments on many of the tracks is, so much care has been taken over the production and ‘sound’ of each song with talented musicians blending with Erro’s vocals, each track feels really alive, like they could burst out of your speakers! There has been a lot of criticism of late that music has become too over-produced with an absence of instrumental emphasis, this album fills that void. A great acheivement in production, credit must be given to producers Brett “Bdubb” Baker, Aaron Hardin, Jeff Murrell, Erro himself and more who have created the flawless sound of the album.

The second realisation (as I tried to listen to ‘The Box‘ at work) is that this is not an album for passive listening, Eric Roberson is a storyteller and as much as you might try to use music for ‘background’, his deeply personal and evolving lyrics will steal your attention and embrace you back into the songs. Erro himself describes the album as ‘grown’ and his lyrics are just that with songs like, ‘Lust for Love’ and ‘Im Not Trying To Keep Score No More‘ exploring the rarely talked about challenges of long term relationships. The motivational ‘Don’t Hide Your Wings‘ boasts the knowledge of a man who understands the pressures that women face and the battles many have with self esteem, ‘The Pill‘ explores fears of commitment whilst ‘Do The Same For Me‘ expresses the contentment of a happily married family man (if you reach the end of this track without shedding a tear check your pulse!).

The Box ebbs and flows across different musical styles, from the hip hop vibe of ‘The Cycle‘ which features Pharoahe Monch, to the infectious swing sound of ‘Pill‘, ‘Haunted‘ has a classic jazz flava then Erro brings the funk with help from Dave Hollister on ‘The Box‘. One of the most distinctive tracks on the album is ‘Just Imagine‘ which touches on a more indie style of RnB and features the hauntingly beautiful guest vocals of ‘King‘.

The range of styles on this album could divide fans, but whether or not you think that this is Erro’s best album it is undoubtedly his most confident, it is bold and experimental whilst keeping within the genre which his audiences know and love him for. His vocals are stronger than ever on The Box, we hear him demonstrate a lower range as well as exploring a raspier, funk style to his voice on tracks such as ‘Pill‘.

The Box is bursting with soul and variety, more than an album it is a musical journey through RnB styles and Eric Roberson’s life, it will make you sing, laugh, dance, and cry and have you reaching for ‘repeat’ to experience it all over again! If you’re a Music Fan First you need to get yourself a copy of The Box – it will not disappoint!

Carly – ann (@CarlyMond)

Check out Eric Roberson’s first single from ‘The Box’ – Mark on Me




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