We should have posted about this a month ago but BETTER LATE THAN NEVER, OK? Elias is a 19-year-old Swede who in one fell swoop has become someone to get very excited about. His music sits somewhere between the soul of his countryfolk like Seinabo Sey and that of huge British rising star Kwabs. His musical background consists of both punk and a gospel choir, and his inspirations vary from Jeff Buckley to FKA Twigs. Elias sings “let’s start a revolution” and you kind of feel like it might actually happen, especially when the choir kicks in and confetti pours down in your mind. You should definitely mark him down as one to watch.
Ridiculously, it’s been a year since Sabina Ddumba burst onto the scene with the wonderful Scarred For Life, yet the release of Effortless this week has felt slightly like the comeback of a star, with its official debut due to take place at Sweden’s Grammisgalan on Wednesday. Which is probably a sign of the strength of Sweden’s soul scene at the moment, with the likes of Seinabo Sey, Mapei and Snoh Aalegra all making waves at the same time. Effortless finds Sabina in a happier place than she was this time last year, as she’s all loved up with a new partner. It was produced by Michael Angelo, who’s previously worked his magic with Sam Smith, and it should fine a home in the hearts of fans of Emeli Sandé and Adele. So just a few of the biggest sellers of the last few years, then. It’s available now exclusively on Spotify (but only if you have a Swedish account), but you can also listen on Musikguiden i P3.
We fell head over heels in love when we first discovered Snoh Aalegra and her soulful There Will Be Sunshine EP, so we’ve been really excited to hear this. It doesn’t disappoint. It’s a slickly produced (by RZA), aptly-titled brassy number that can’t help but bring to mind the likes of Amy Winehouse and would sound really, really good on the radio. Snoh’s fans include Prince and Common, so mainstream success doesn’t seem entirely impossible.