- 20 Feb 20
From urban music platform Trust It Entertainment’s new online channel, to a Donegal folk duo’s remarkable European success, there are loads more exciting developments in Irish music this fortnight.
2020 is set to be a historic year for Irish hip-hop, trap, drill, soul, Afroswing and R&B, with exciting new collectives and organisations cropping up across the country in support of the abundance of emerging homegrown talent. Trust It Entertainment, a talent centre for Irish urban music, are positioning themselves at the forefront of the movement. They’ve just released Dublin singer-songwriter’s KAE’s video for ‘No Love’ on their own online channel.
Trust have already enjoyed YouTube success with Offica – a Drogheda drill prodigy who has clocked up 1.7 million views for his ‘Naruto Drillings’ video, plus a further 2.3 million YouTube views on the track’s remix, which features a guest verse from one of the UK’s most popular YouTubers, KSI. Here at Hot Press, we were among the first to feature Offica back in July 2019. Now, we’re watching to see can Trust It turn those streaming figures transform into globe-dominating success. Also with Trust It is one of our ‘Hot For 2019’ acts, Evans Junior, as well as rapidly rising star BOYW1DR – both of whom have secured highly coveted spots on Spotify’s playlists.
Trust It has its roots in Dearfach Records, founded in 2015 by CEO Prod Solo, aka Nigerian-born Ennis-raised producer Solomon Adesiyan. Dearfach was renowned for championing a distinctly Irish drill sound – as featured on the acclaimed Noisey (VICE) documentary Irish Drill Won’t Be Stopped. Trust It also released the genre-defying OBVIOUSLY: The Mixtape in January...
YOUNG GUN GOES FOR IT
That tireless rock ‘n’ roll activist, Hazel Lake, has picked up Jess Young, an Irish singer based in London whose ‘Champagne & Caviar’ single is out here on Valentine’s Day.
Written whilst Jess was living in a women’s refuge, having escaped an abusive relationship, the song illustrates exactly why Black Sabbath and Judas Priest producer Tom Allom, and Peaky Blinders and Downtown Abbey sound engineer, Nigel Heath, have both taken a real shine to the young pop singer.
“Jess has a mad amount of followers from working on other things in the UK, so I think this will get into the iTunes chart,” Hazel predicts. Hazel is also looking after Mutant Vinyl, AKA Edwin Pope, who’s been bigged up by both Tom Robinson and Sir Paul McCartney and has a new single, ‘Faux Rodeo’, out this week which has a ‘90s Massive Attack/Portishead feel.
Blessed with a magnificent quiff, Mutant Vinyl is signed to Klee Music, a Merseyside label, which is also home to ace Scouse songstress Esme Bridie.
A SUIR THING
There’s also a hip-hop revolution underway in the Sunny South-East – with independent Waterford collective Anomaly leading the charge. Following its premiere on hotpress.com, ‘Let Loose’, a track by Anomaly members Pat Lagoon and Evan Miles, has hit the 100,000 streams landmark on Spotify. One of our impressive army of ‘Hot For 2020’ acts, Lagoon has also made a splash internationally, with his collaboration with Coolock rapper RikShaw, ‘Shining’, which has featured on American tastemaker Anthony Fantano’s hugely influential YouTube channel. Lagoon and Miles are in good company, with Anomaly crewmate Alex Gough fast becoming one of the most hotly sought-after artists in the country.
One to watch, for Suir…
STRUM AS YOU ARE
Thumper frontman, Oisín Leahy Furlong, has taken an unexpected turn away from the Dublin-based band’s post-melodic, sonic wall of death approach, with a new solo project, Anamoe Drive. ‘Goodbye & Goodluck’, his debut single under the new moniker, was a Hot Press ‘Track Of The Day’ in January, and sees Furlong embracing intimate songwriting, with an impresively sensitive, melodic style. Produced by Brendan McGlynn and Thumper guitarist Alan Dooley, the musical shift is a gamble, but we say it pays off in spades.
Although the project is in its infancy, Furlong is already taking Anamoe Drive international, with a performance at San Francisco’s iconic Bottom Of The Hill venue, supporting acclaimed American singer-songwriter Elizabeth Moen. The gig isn’t the only thing that brings him Stateside – Furlong, Dooley and Wyvern Lingo’s Caoi De Barra have all been spotted in the recording studio with Moen. The Iowa City folk-rock artist is clearly a fan, having previously worked with the Irish trio on her single ‘Headgear’, recorded with Gavin Glass at Hellfire Studio, Dublin, in 2018. We can’t wait to hear what they’re cooking up next…
MORE BETTER BLUES
Letterkenny blues-folk duo Blackbird & Crow have been garnering attention overseas, with their album, Ailm, rising rapidly through the European charts. Originally discovered by Clannad legend Moya Brennan, the duo of Maighread Ní Ghrásta and Stephen Doohan are signed to German label MIG Music. Ailm, released on January 24, is currently at No. 7 in the iTunes Singer-Songwriter chart in Germany; No. 14 in the iTunes Rock chart in Switzerland; No. 16 in the iTunes Rock chart in France; and No. 15 in the overall iTunes chart in Belgium. The follow-up to their 2017 debut Shock Shatter Convince, Ailm was produced by Tommy McLaughlin, lauded for his work with Villagers, SOAK and Lisa O’Neill, and mastered by Brian Masterson, whose fingerprints can be found on records by The Chieftains, Van Morrison and Elvis Costello. Eager scouts can catch them in The Grand Social, Dublin on April 10...
SQUEAD ALL ABOUT IT
Spotify’s US and UK playlists, which have a combined following of over 420 million, were graced last week by Hare Squead’s ‘Minor Gangsters (Guilty)’. Inspired by their 2019 encounter with then Tory leadership hopeful Rory Stewart, it’s part of a new EP which the Dublin-born, London-based duo will be plugging with gigs this month in Paris (22); Berlin (25); Amsterdam (27); London (28); and Dublin (29) where a ‘secret location’ awaits...Tony Konstone and Lilo Blues’ most streamed track is ‘Herside Story’, which has just broken through the 67 million barrier on Spotify...