Monday, 28 April 2014

#MusicMonday's 'Flashing Lights' Winner: Kehlani - The Tsunami That F’s WU…(WARNING: INCLUDES EXPLICIT LANGUAGE)

Musical draws are as individual to us as our fingerprints - what works for one, may not necessarily work for another. Take Yours Truly for example. I'm a sucker for a mean, singalong vocal hook, that stays with you LONG after the song has ended.

That's how I came across this week's #FlashingLights competition winner. Some months ago, she delivered a beautiful chorus for a collaborator that a few (dozen million) people may've heard of, with the precision of a fresh-faced, vocal Olympian. She didn’t overpower the artist on lead (which is probably only part of the reason that he was gracious enough to sit back and let her shine), when it came to her time in front of the mic.

Fast forward to last week, when the most unbelievable case of 6 degrees brought me back full circle to that same, ridonculously talented young lady. Only 4 days prior, I learned her name was Kehlani. Some of you may be familiar with her, if you watched the US of A version of one of our Simon's many talent shows. Thanks to a switched on friend over 3000 miles away, that information came to my attention along with a crucial bit more - that Kehlani's new single, boldly entitled ‘FWU’, was set for release last Thursday. Opportunity had knocked; to not have answered the door would simply have been rude.

Now this explicitly-named single, for want of a better description is a bomb. Not the nuclear demolition machine that it would have been, without the most annoying hype man on the planet doing his darndest to ruin it (during the bridge in particular) – but it is C4 nonetheless. You don't come out of battle with this newly 19-year-old singer unscathed; in fact, you barely survive her domination at all. At first listen the initial assault is in the acoustic guitar intro that is something like a honeytrap. It's enticing, sexy, and it stops you in the centre of the blast zone with enough of a flirtation, that you don't see the aerial plane dropping until it's too late. The next thing to hit you is a horn section that reminds you of something that you can't quite put your finger on…Right away. By the time the Missy Elliott's SupaDupaFly comes to mind, you've joined the winning side (because you're too scared not to). Somewhere along the way, you're imagining yourself standing in a desert jeep, speeding through sand clouds in a very Tina Turner in a Mad Max-like battle ensemble, ready to take anybody out the game for even looking at you funny. It's entirely possible that last part may just have been me, but you get the ideasong, battlecry, soldiers in battle, that sort of thing... Don't question it, just go with the visualtrust me.

Download your free copy of 'FWU' from KehlaniMusic on Soundcloud

It may not seem like it initially, but 'FWU’ is nothing, if not a fight song. It masquerades with a sweet serenity, courtesy of harmonious vocals so smooth and liquid buttery, that it clogs your arteries (and every orifice), in a disturbingly pleasant way (you should probably see a Healthcare Specialist about that last part. Especially if you like it). Anywhoo... those horns add a regal touch to this 'Ride or Die' anthem. A Queen is pledging her never-ending devotion to her King, if he promises her the same in return. Only this royal couple rule the streets, and the neighbourhood is their court. Because Kehlani's natural sound is so soothing, you overlook the fact that her words are as menacing as her effect on your diet. The 'tell it like it is' lyrics are ballsy, and make it clear that this Chica is no trifle to be messed with – the sweetness turns a tad sour, when she lets you know that she'll defend you to her last breath, but she'll also end you, and take yours if you don't tow the line...

And that my mealbreak friends, is why you need to cop yourselfFWUwithout a moment’s hesitation – because it’s for the good of your health.

In addition to this ESPspotlight Review, Kehlani also wins the monthly prize of an electronic press kit (EPK) for professional use. Don't forget to enter next month, my darling buds, when you'll get four chances to win £90 worth of graphic cover art with custom front and back covers for your next musical release - don’t miss out!

I need a snack now…until the next!
ES ;)