Kwabena Adjepong "Getaway" & Jacob Banks "Stay (Don't Kill My Vibe)"


It's been almost a year since I first mentioned Kwabena Adjepong, and from what I hear (still relatively little) he is in the process of writing and recording some original material. I can only imagine having to be objective when confronted with such an obscenely beautiful voice - he could quite literally sing the phone book and move me to tears. The song above is the most recent of a couple now up on his Youtube channel, and it certainly sounds as though he's aiming himself firmly at beautiful.

It's hard not to anticipate the almost inevitable part-compliment, part- music journo withering insult "throwback soul" being thrown in Kwabs' direction (unless Disclosure produce him, which would be depressing, have you heard Sam Smith singing "Latch" accompanied by strings and piano?? At least 20,000 of those views were me, legs crossed à la Urban Hang Suite. ).

The exciting thing is that this slightly snide description seems to have done very little harm to Lianne La Havas and Michael Kiwanuka, and there is an ever growing interest in (let's face it), black singer songwriters with that rich, stirring and yes, soulful tone to their voices that was so deeply uncool for so many years in this country. I have high hopes that frustrating argument *it's ok for Adele and Amy but not [insert person with significantly more melanin here]* may be peacefully laid to rest by the end of 2013 - for how long, who knows.


Another burgeoning singer songwriter with a beautiful, soulful tone I've been listening to of late is Jacob Banks. It's perhaps a little unfair to combine his music in the same post as Kwabs because it may lead to comparison, when really the point is how spoiled we are to have voices like these emerging in the UK and being heard. Banks has just released "The Monologue" EP on Soundcloud, and I get the impression that much like Laura Mvula, his music will be more resonant live than recorded. This cover is genuinely lovely, especially considering the sea of slightly desperate, almost mandatory "quirky cover" Youtube fodder my inbox is drowning in presently.