JOVM’s William Ruben Helms celebrates Black History Month — and pays tribute to Chaka Khan.
Donna “La Mulatta” is an emerging, underground Paris-based artist. In a freestyle accompanied by a chilled out and psych jazz-influenced production by Lille, France-based producer Fair’Son, the Parisian artist spitting bars full of mischievous wordplay with a swaggering, self-assuredness reminiscent of Rapsody and Lady of Rage. Simply put, I thought this was fire. And I’m looking forward to hearing more from the Parisian artist.
The accompanying video follows the emerging Parisian through a variety of urban settings.
Mariaa Siga (born Mariama Siga Goudiaby) is a Senegalese singer/songwriter, musician, and JOVM mainstay, who can trace the bulk of the origins of her music career to winning a local talent show, where she caught the attention of acclaimed Senegalese act Joan of Arc. Joan of Arc’s frontperson mentored the young Goudiaby, helping her refine her style and further develop her musical skills. Shortly after, Gouldiaby landed a role in Mon Réve, a film which aired on RDV.
As a singer/songwriter and musician, the Senegalese JOVM mainstay was long accustomed to the traditional rhythms of the Casamance region of Southern Senegal; but her curiosity led to her to discover and experiment with Western styles like reggae, blues and jazz, which she freely incorporates into her own work.
Back in 2016, Goudiaby was was one of the winners of the Festival des Vielles Pirogues‘ Tremplin competition. Building upon that momentum, she released two singles the following year, “Ya sama none” and “Asekaw.”
The Senegalese JOVM mainstay performed in her native Casamance for the first time with a set at 2018’s Kayissen Festival. That same year, Yoro Ndiyae featured Goudiaby on his Sunu Folk compilation. She capped that year off with a French tour that November.
Her full-length debut Askew, which translates to “Woman” in her native Diola, was released back in 2019. That year, she won Baco Records‘ One Riddim Contest, which led to sets at Morocco’s Festival MarcoFoiles, France’s Midem Festival and to an invite to play Quebec’s Festival Mondial des Femmes d’Ici et d’Ailleurs.
The JOVM mainstay begins 2023 with “Le murmure des anges.” The song features a shuffling and buoyant reggae riddim from Artikal Band, complete with a slow-burning and soulful guitar solo paired with Siga’s gorgeous and expressive delivery. “Le murmure des angels” is a song that does two things — give thanks to the enteral while reminding listeners that they should listen to the little voice inside of us, which arms us with much-needed confidence; that voice that frequently says “You know, you got this. You know you’re dope.”
Directed by Mao Sidibé, the gorgeously shot, accompanying video captures snippets of everyday Senegalese life, following a small collection of hard-working folks, trying to survive with their dignity intact. When the video’s protagonist, stumbles upon a suitcase of money that falls out of car, he’s tempted to keep the money — who wouldn’t? — but he does the right thing and winds up being rewarded.
JOVM’s William Ruben Helms celebrates Black History Month and pays tribute to Aretha Franklin.
Shannon Busch is a rising Melbourne-based singer/songwriter, best known as WILSN. Her full-length debut album, Those Days Are Over was released today through Ivy League Records/Universal Music Australia. The album sees the rising Aussie artist crafting a fusion of modern soul, pop, jazz and classic Motown paired with earnest, lived-in lyrics that draw from the songwriter’s own life, her soulful delivery and production that’s simultaneously nostalgic and contemporary.
“Soul music never goes out of fashion because it’s pure,” the rising Aussie artist says
“It’s all about a great melody, a great beat and harmony that moves you and makes you feel something. In today’s landscape of artists trying so hard to do something different often for the sake of being different, it’s nice to just engage with the human voice in an unadulterated way.”
So far album singles “Tell Me,” was featured on Spotify US’s Best Retro Songs of 2022 while “You Know Better” and “If You Wanna Love Me” received airplay from ABC, double j and triple j, and praise from the likes of NME, Under The Radar, Flood Magazine and a list of others. Album title track “Those Days Are Over” was the #1 most playlisted song by an Aussie artist last month. “Hurts So Bad,” a duet with The Teskey Brothers‘ frontman Josh Teskey was added to over 20 Spotify editorial playlists across the US, Europe and Australia — and the single was featured in KCRW’s 5 Songs to Hear This Week.
Along with the release of the album, the rising Aussie artist announced a headlining 10-date Australia tour, fresh off touring with Allen Stone. And to give fans in her homeland — and hopefully elsewhere — a taste of what to expect of her life show, Busch shares live footage of album single “Every Day and Every Night,” a classic Motown/classic Daptone-inspired single rooted in tight, infectious grooves and Busch’s soulful delivery.
If there’s one thing the footage at The Meat Market proves, it’s this: you’re looking at a superstar in the making.
JOVM’s William Ruben Helms celebrates Black History Month — and pays tribute to Janet Jackson.
JOVM’s William Ruben Helms celebrates Black History Month — and pays tribute to John Lee Hooker.
Donnie Doolittle is a Charlotte-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. Although Doolittle studied piano and guitar as a child, he cut his teeth fronting a series of popular local bands in the early 2000s, including garage pop act Stone Figs, doom rock outfit Little Bull Lee and dark, psychedelic solo project Dreamy D.
Back in 2018, Doolittle recorded the first version of upbeat psuedo-lovesong “When a Woman,” a song inspired by 1970s Aussie thrilled Wake in Fright, while visiting his friend, producer Jesse Clasen in New York. Originally conceived as a Dreamy D, the collaboration marked a shift in his songwriting and creative process, and later became the first single under his own name. “That song just felt different: I was evolving, and I wanted to start fresh, releasing tracks under my own name,” he says. “The new music feels more true to who I am as an artist and as a person.”
As a solo artist, Doolittle crafts moody, synth driven material that hover between dark, retro-pop and melancholy rock that blends bright, pop-leaning melodies into ominous and cinematic soundscapes. Described as “Southern New Wave,” to “Goth Americana” by the press, his genre-bending sound has frequently been compared to Orville Peck, Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, and Iggy Pop. He pairs each release with carefully-honed imagery and thematic narrative videos, meant to engage a range of senses. “I want to provide a full experience—to use my resources to create a palpable ambiance,” Doolittle says.
Doolittle’s Jesse Clasen-produced self-titled, full-length debut is slated for an April 7, 2023 release. The 12-song album reportedly features arrangements that weave together modern and vintage synths (most notably, the Mellotron and 80s-era Roland Juno 106) with electric guitar, bass and drums to create songs that drift mood-wise between vibrant and gloomy. Informed by Doolittle’s love of the work of Leonard Cohen, Tom Waits and Lee Hazlewood, the album’s cinematic arrangements help to draw listeners into multifaceted sonic worlds, laced with sharp, narrative lyrics that touch upon religion, gender, pop culture and sexuality with a light, subtly ironic touch. “I like to play around with religion and sex,” says Doolittle. “Feeling jaded about God and the world, but also firmly attached to both. I think that’s a big part of Southern culture, and who I am as an artist…for better or worse.”
Along with the album announcement, Doolittle shared the album’s latest single, the slow-burning and broodingly cinematic “Resurrect Me.” Featuring twangy and reverb-drenched guitars, glistening and atmospheric synths paired with Doolittle’s baritone paired with big hooks and a buzzing guitar solo, “Resurrect Me” manages to sound a bit like a synthesis of the Twin Peaks soundtrack, Bruce Springsteen‘s “Tunnel of Love” and Orville Peck, while rooted in a bittersweet heartache.
“I started writing this song after learning about so-called ‘resurrection men,’ body snatchers in the 18th and 19th centuries that would exhume corpses from graveyards and sell them to medical schools for research and teaching purposes,” Doolittle explains. “I was interested in the idea of someone seeing value in these buried and abandoned vessels, and putting in the work to give them a second chance at showing their worth above ground. I related to the dead people in this scenario.”
Directed by North Carolina-based producer and director Josh Rob Thomas, the accompanying video is a darkly hilarious visual that follows Doolittle’s corpse on a wild adventure as its passed along a rotation cast of odd companions. “As heavy as the inspiration was, I thought we could lighten the mood with the video. Influenced by absurd films like Weekend at Bernie’s (which didn’t age too well) and Swiss Army Man, we took my corpse on an adventure with a rotating cast of companions,” Doolittle explains. “Fun was had with most of them, but only one character cared enough to put me to rest. I’ve assembled a very talented production team and we stepped up our game for this one. I hope you enjoy it.”
JOVM’s William Ruben Helms celebrates Black History Month — and the 75th anniversary of Rick James’ birth.
JOVM’s William Ruben Helms celebrates Black History Month — and pays tribute to Patti LaBelle.