Swet Shop Boys
Swet Shop Boys (SSB) have arrived with Cashmere, the debut from Queens, New York's Heems (Himanshu Suri, ex-Das Racist) and NW London's Riz MC (Riz Ahmed). Both are prolific artists, actors and activists in their own right, now bringing their creative experience and the riches of their working class immigrant roots together. Rounding out the trio is British producer Redinho, providing the soundtrack for songs like their first single 'T5', where the emcees lament the discrimination they face as they amass frequent flyer miles while traveling the world for work.
Cashmere seems timely in a world where the US and UK look across the pond for different reasons: Trump and Brexit, trap and grime. From Heems poignant debut Eat, Pray Thug, to Riz's acclaimed mixtape Englistan, the Trans-Atlantic, Indo-Pak duo have proudly fused their worlds together here. Musically, the palette draws from a gumbo of Qawwali hand claps, hype harmonium, Bollywood string drama, spiralling sitars, Western synths, and an arsenal of drums - from 808's to tablas and tars, dholaks and doumbeks.
Production on the record from Redinho provides the heat for their melting pot. His debut solo album earned praise from Mark Ronson, Jessie Ware, and Hudson Mohawke who brought him out on tour in the last year. Heems started his career with Das Racist, and has kept busy since with his label Greedhead, a series of university lectures, and rapping from Macau to Malaysia. Riz MC's debut 'Post-9/11 Blues' was banned from UK radio, and his music since has maintained that sharp social commentary as well as his acting career, which includes projects like Four Lions, Nightcrawler, HBO's The Night Of and the new Stars Wars film. Cashmere is set for release on 14th October via their own new imprint, Customs.
The 25 -year-old L.A.-based rapper GAVLYN is fresh off her 6th international tour sharing stages with the likes of Wutang Clan, Schoolboy Q, Big Sean, Steve Aoki and many more. She’s signed to indie label Broken Complex which supports artists on an international scale and aims to give Hip Hop music a fresh, poetic and timeless touch. GAVLYN’s music is inspired by Old School, 70’s Funk and 60’s music. Yet, despite her devotion to Hip Hop, it’s not her only source of inspiration. Cit: “It’s important for the music to be open-minded and not to limit oneself “.. GAVLYN is one-of-a-kind. Even if her Beats sound fresh from the 90’s, with modern accents, her unique voice, her authentic vibe, and direct air make her a rare artist on the scene. She’s released 4 albums with Broken Complex and her track What I Do has been played 7 million times on YouTube.