Drowning out the voices with gritty guitar riffs, dirty drum patterns, and electric pop-indie rock vocals, The Engagement breaks boundaries with their highly anticipated head-banging track, The Enemy.
The energy is upbeat, zapping like a lightning strike, and the lyrical content shows up with an opacity that snuffs out any glimmer of light from the bolt. A positive and negative charge lingers as The Enemy drills below the surface and explores the darkness of the mind and one’s perceived reality when facing obstacles in the music industry. You can expect a package full of aggression, anticipation, gentle profanity, a steep build, and an instant audible drop that completes the listening experience.
The Engagement isn’t afraid to blend, blur, and break the rules, and The Enemy represents that both sonically and visually! It’s adrenaline-fueled and powered by past pain, cerebral tension, and an electrifying emotional release.
“The Enemy is about our internal struggles and frustration as I confront the challenges and obstacles that arise throughout the band’s journey. The profound lyric 'I’m my own worst enemy, and no one cares' aptly depicts these emotions, offering a poignant depiction of my experience.” - David Di Cristoforo
The Enemy pulsates with raw emotions; it's instrumentally infused with a shouting shimmer and a steady spark that carries throughout the whole track. Stu Watts dabbled in his magic with his hands in the production, and Zak Knight of Earthside Studios took charge of the mixing, bringing it all together.
The Engagement has a treat for fans this March; get your calendars and pen out for their upcoming show alongside Valerie Hex, which will take place at The Penny Black in Brunswick, Melbourne. The evening will be nothing less than high energy, fun entertainment, and a great experience, AND it's free!
In the meantime, hit our Spotify-curated playlist below to immerse yourself in The Engagement's energy and listen to The Enemy!
NORTH VANCOUVER, CANADA
Crushing on her appearance, but the dopest part is her spirit is just one of the many memorable bars Aaro lays down on his track Moments.
Just in time for Valentine's Day, Moments pulls up to pick on guitar heart strings. Aaro alternates from tones to flows and melodies to rhymes as he sets the mood and pace for this week, and it's all in the name of love. Moments delivers an audible kiss and breathes out vulnerable inner thoughts and feelings of adoration. This is that no matter how much time is spent, it never feels like it's enough type of vibe; it's that in this lifetime, some energies are just meant to align, even if just for a moment.
"Moments was inspired by a recent breakup after a short-lived engagement. I wrote it from the perspective and hope of being able to rekindle the relationship; unfortunately, we had a falling out that there's likely no coming back from." - Aaro
Moments re-introduces a classic structure that took the world by storm previously (think 2000's R&B era). You've got rhythm heaven on the chorus, which then two steps over to verses birthed on Venus (the planet of love). The meshing of different frequencies provides equilibrium, and the production honours less is more with penetrating guitar chords, warm melodies, and light percussion.
"My homie Skoob (@darealskoobi) purchased the beat from our friend David Linhof (@davidlinhof) and felt it was a perfect fit for my situation. He sent over the beat, and I wrote the whole song in my car, sitting in the gym parking lot. @DavidLinhof made a killer beat, and to be honest, the whole thing wrote itself." - Aaro
Aaro will be over in Detroit this week chopping it up with other creatives, and you can be sure he'll be back in his bag with creations for 2024. With that being said, he has another scheduled release dropping for Valentine's Day.
Tap in with Aaro, peep our Spotify-curated playlist below, and hit the replay button for the newest addition to our playlist!
This week we’re covering a heavy spitting throwback, one where the flows are miraculous, the bars are battling, and the variety is vicious.
Who Wan Test rips through like a tornado, hitting all the hot spots and knocking out any surrounding under-skilled lights as N’fa Jones and Deceptikonz lay it down on this classic collaboration.
You should expect nothing less than great when N’fa Jones is involved. Who Wan Test is bussing with diamond-certified deliveries, infectious confidence, charismatic flexing, and a warning to avoid testing. If you’re feeling cerebrally subdued, then N’fa and Deceptikonz provide the stimulation to shake up the vibe and wash away the blues with an undeniable replay-valued hit. Whether you’re familiar with this hidden gem or not, this is your cue to give it a spin.
“I had met the DECEPTIKONZ crew at a NZ Big Day Out tour with 1200 Techniques way back around 2002. We clicked immediately, and I would always link with the fellas when they came to Melbourne for shows off the back of their own deserved success. The beat was produced by a then-16-year-old Styalz Fuego, whom I had met at a youth center in Byron Bay about a year or so later when on tour with Motion Man and Kut Masta Kurt. Styalz was a cool kid with a CD full of bangers. I wrote Blessings and Who Wan Test from two instro's on that CD. These releases would become Styalz's first official release (Styalz is now an ARIA Award-winning, Grammy-nominated producer!!! real Fuego there). The beat gave me a feeling of suspense and power, and my melodic mind started singing to me, 'Who wan test, who wanna get knocked now? Who wan test the champion?' Once I had a hook in mind, the lyrics began to form, and I thought, I gotta get a DKONZ collabo on this!" - N'fa Jones
The tone switches between N’fa Jones, Savage, Devolo, Alphrisk, and Mareko shine on the backboard of the instrumentally abundant beat. The mix is layered with a synergy of artistic chemistry, and the fade in and out of aggressively upbeat keys adds to the energetically dominant caution.
“Styalz put the beat together. I did some rearranging so the verses and chorus could sit in their own space and create an arc, and I made sure we got the mix as fat as we could. I wanted something that would get the people feeling pumped. In hindsight, a couple of my bars could've been better regarding choice of words and wordplay, but it is what it is, and it felt good at the time. It's also dope that it's an early OZ/NZ collab featuring Polynesian MC's and an African Australian MC connecting and vibing over a fire beat.” - N’fa Jones
While the collaborations have simmered down, there is nothing stopping them from opening up that bag again and revitalising the music scene with more future classics. Consider this a seed planted, waiting to be fertilised!
N’fa Jones closed out 2023 with a bang of shows, including Cool Out Sun and Afro Future, and continues to move swiftly into 2024 with more. You can catch him on February 10th at the Waterfront Festival, which will be held in Frankston (Melbourne,VIC) this Saturday.
Hit our playlist to spin Who Wan Test and show love to N’fa Jones. If you're in Burn City, pull up this weekend!!!
HOUSTON, TEXAS, USA
Taking it to the sky, saying goodbye to the lows, and putting it on for their city, H-Town is throwing it down with an aural golden triangle made up of The Aspiring Me, Fat Tony, and STOPPA on their release, Satellite City.
This trio teams up for a Texas touchdown, and you can guarantee it’s a catchy classic that drips with the deep, audible heartbeat of Houston. The flows are gritty, the guitar loop is gorgeously grimy, and it’s giving Southern flair straight from the lair. We’ve got a SLAB right here: Slow, Loud, And BANGIN’.
There ain’t no limit when it comes to interconnecting the textured tones of The Aspiring Me, Fat Tony, and STOPPA; they all play their part in delivering the sound of the South, curating a visual of blinking lights and celebrating their home with baritone-layered vocals and distorted echoes. The vocal depth is a signature style from the South, and they’ve spread it all throughout Satellite City.
“Satellite City was influenced by the legacy and current climate of the City of Houston, home of NASA. Also, Satellite City has ties to the traditional sense of suburbs being called satellite cities. The small suburb I grew up in, Missouri City (or as we call it, The Mo), on the southwest outskirts of inner Houston served as our local satellite city that oozes this slow creep but energetic vibe.” - The Aspiring Me
The Aspiring Me and JD Martinez production is heavy with bass and light with harp strokes that seep throughout the whole track!
“I look at production and beat-making as the same and different things. The producer sees the song through from inception to market. I worked with JD Martinez on the melody, and drums are handled by the A&R work, session time, and management of the completion of the song; all things I consider a producer to be.” - The Aspiring Me
Satellite City was recently aired on Drake's Sound 42 SiriusXM station, and with the momentum building, The Aspiring Me isn’t stopping. His album TAME 4: Love & Art is available on all streaming platforms, and new music is on the way this month. Tap in with The Aspiring Me, and keep Satellite City spinning on your rotation.
SALFORD, UK > MELBOURNE, AU
Inspiration is when a bright, glimmering light is still shining despite being suffocated by a blanket of darkness. The ability to gather your pain, crunch it into a solid ball of lyricism, and then deliver every shred with love is what Motley does; it’s safe to say he’s an alchemist, turning the dust from the streets into sonical gold on his track Inspiring.
When Motley creates, it’s with pure authenticity and a higher purpose in mind. If you want animated tones, strong cadence, poetically honest verses, or a strikingly throaty individual flow with all the highs and lows, Inspiring serves as a full platter of musical savoryness and sweetness.
“I was listening to the instrumental beat that I had made and was contemplating, ‘What inspires me to keep making music after so many years?’. I had been asked earlier in my music career, ‘How do you keep coming up with new ideas for new songs?’. I thought about my earliest recordings and how I thought I had accomplished everything with my first album, separated at birth, which I had made 10 years earlier. I had put so much of myself, my time, and my creative ideas into that album, and when I finished working on that album, I thought, What else will I write about? And then I came back to the present moment and realised that the inspiration to make separated at birth was linked to the time that I made it. In the early 2000s, I could only write about what I had experienced up until that point in my life. So in 2015, I experienced much more, including a near-death experience that completely changed my outlook. So I got the idea that it is life itself that inspires my writing. Which leads to the first line, "I learned math on the street because a Q is $70; that's about 7 g." After I got the first line, the rest of it seemed to pour out, as it usually does with my creative process. Before I knew it, I had written the first verse, and I knew I was on to something special.” - Motley
The instrumentals gently dance around Motley's voice, wrapping around his hushful verses. It feels as though the beat is encouraging a session of deep pondering to the point of no return. There is an element of cosmic curiosity that lingers after every key stroke, the song name speaks for itself - its inspiring.
“The production started with a sample of a piano. I played with some filters and started getting goosebumps; that's when I knew I was on the verge of something special. After I laid the drums and bass, it was over! I couldn't stop listening to that beat. Music comes easily to me; lyrics come fast too, but I am more prolific with beats. I always want to make sure I'm saying what I mean, so that's why you might hear more feature verses than whole songs these days. On the other hand, I've got so many beats in my vault that I could release a new one every day for a year or two!
It’s an exciting time for dedicated and new fans of Motley, as he has new material that he’s promised to share with us all. To ensure you don’t miss a Motley beat, tap in with his socials (@motley_uk) and WATCH THIS SPACE.
Dixie, ALABAMA, USA
Art on a pedestal, Swigg’s got all the measurables—for greatness—with his distinctive vocal style, timeless flow, and rhythmic verses on his Jae Franklin-featured track, For the Art.
We have a triple-layered classic, one that audibly time-travels to multiple musical eras. From the Anita Baker 'Angel' sample to the instrumentals that embody flavours from A Tribe Called Quest, the track title speaks for itself, and Swigg pays respect to a time when quality was the hottest craft in the game.
For the Art collides the worlds of cool cat percussion jazz, momentum-building bassline Hip Hop and Jae Franklin’s star-infused melody. Swigg brings laid-back vibes balanced with conscious lyricism.
“The main source of inspiration was the Anita Baker beat. My mom used to frequently listen to Anita Baker when I was a kid, and I was instantly drawn to the familiarity in the sample. I wanted to add a real Hip Hop throwback element to the song, and when I wrote the hook, I knew I needed a female vocalist to make it pop. That’s where Jae came in and laid down her flavour on the hook.” - Swigg
It’s easy to identify a bop from the first bpm round; the fingers get to naturally clicking, and the head starts swaying. The Talen Ted-produced instrumentals are enticing, encouraging body engagement to the beat, which is easily another indication of how infectious For the Art is.
“Talen Ted, out of Ontario, Canada, is a young producer that I found scrolling on BeatStars.com. I listened to a couple of his beats, but this one really stuck out because of the sample.” - Swigg
Creme De La Creme, Pt. 3, is Swigg’s latest album release; however, he has divulged that he has two new albums on the way. Keep an eye out for The Bae Tape and Ramen Noodle Weekend, coming to a streaming platform near you soon.