RELEASED 26TH JULY 2019
Favourite track: Normal
All this percussion used so well will have you moving and discovering a new found love for Afrobeat
Wow I’m lucky to have come across another artist from the UK. Juls is a British Ghanian producer who is credited with being among those who are increasing the popularity and use of Afrobeat in current music. He has worked with Tyler, The Creator, Lauryn Hill and GoldLink so, for me, his new album Colour is one that I cannot wait to hear. The cover art is very creative with what seems to be an oil painted image of him with the album title and his name fragmented over the image. I mean, you definitely see the emphasis on colour here I guess.
The first track ‘Nyafu Riddim’ (featuring Worlasi) layers up many instruments like a diverse use of percussion, then some jazz brass and then vocals. It’s slow but complicated with a depth to it. I am always most inspired by artists who produce their own music. I feel like everyone who does brings a part of them in their music and it’s something I feel like Juls does as well. ‘Normal’ with Kojey Radical is more of a Grime/UK Rap song with the percussion of Afrobeat. The lyrics are good here and the rapping is gooooood. You can dance to it for sure. The melody in the background has this dangerous edge to it that’s uneasy sounding but it gives the track character. I love the beat and instruments used in ‘Like Tu Danz’ but what I love more is the female voice in this song. Ms Banks brings her own style to this and it complements Kida Kudz and Pa Salieu too. Falz and Oxlade feature on the track ‘Angelina’ which is a lot more romantic with the acoustic guitar and the melody of the singing is one of yearning and appealing to her.
‘Radar’ (featuring Big Zeeks and Sweetie Irie) incorporates audio to give the song a raw character and then introduces a powerful bass and dancy beat. The variety of percussion in the background means (yet again) it’s one you dance to. I like the clicks and upbeat bass guitar opening to ‘Cake’ featuring Mr Eazi which has this UK Rap/Afrobeat sound to it. I like the stops and starts to the backing music as he sing with harmonies and dual voice. The rhythm is catchy. I love the addition of electric guitar which gives it this holiday island feel. But the next track does that even better. ‘Slow Down’ is a song I think every girl dancing to this upbeat Afrobeat track wants to hear. It features Agent Sasco (Assassin) and I really like the summery sound to it. Sway Clarke teams up with Juls on ‘Sweetie Odo’ which has dream guitar and then fast-paced percussion which will have you moving again. The lyrics again, are directed to a lady and so, there’s definitely romance in the air here. These men will steal your heart ladies, you’ve been warned.
‘No Lie’ opens with a woman speaking about race and then rapping comes in with a background of a Hip-Hop style beat, ooohs, and jazz brass here and there. Knucks, XamVolo and Che Lingo feature on this track which looks at the idea of history, race, nature, God and women. It’s a beautiful song with powerful lyrics. The final track (featuring Tiggs Da Author and Santi) ‘Maayaa’ has that sunny Afrobeat beat again with dreamy guitar and a really nice vocal melody to it. This one I have heard before somewhere (I can’t remember where) but I remember vibing to it then and here I am again. I’m glad I re-discovered it.
Play this music in the sun, grab a drink and be transported. Oh, and you’re gonna be dancing.