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Five on it: Normani’s throwing it back to the old school

16 Aug 2019

Screenshot via RCA / YouTube | Normani

In the music industry it’s often said that this is a quiet time for releases. Sure, you’ll have your handful of songs of the summer, but that’s kind of meant to be it. But if that’s true, why is “five on it” so hard? There are, like, ten things at least which I think people should hear this week, but I have arbitrarily limited myself to my constructed list of “five” only.

To cheat a little bit, I’d also like to shout out the Alxndr London video for ‘Talking Drum’ / his new mixtape – both dropped last week, and as ever with his work they are beautiful and magical. 

Normani – ‘Motivation’

This is so full of joy! Take me back to the late 90s / early 00s era of pop and R&B and let me dance in the rain like this. Co-written with Ariana and channelling Ciara, Janet, Beyoncé and more, this is Normani’s debut solo track, and it tells you everything about why she’s being touted as pop’s next queen.

Tkay Maidza ft. JPEGMAFIA – ‘Awake’

A huge, blistering return from the Australian rapper with whirring production, guest bars from upcoming king JPEGMAFIA and a banging chorus about the overwhelming, never-switched-off feeling of insomnia. Also gonna give another shout to Peggy here, whose weird and excellent track ‘Jesus Forgive Me, I Am A Thot’ dropped this week (let’s be real, it gets best song title of the year).

Elheist – ‘TEASR’

The new track from one of our 2019 ones to watch only proves our tastemaking credentials, to be honest. Speedy, staccato delivery over glitchy but fluid beats from the south-east Londoner make for sometimes entrancing listening.

RAYE – ‘Love Me Again’

The London artist’s latest is a soaring, lithe bop, and this accompanying new video is gorgeous. After recently writing for Beyoncé’s Lion King soundtrack, RAYE’s back channelling her own golden goddess vibes.


The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa is one of the sexiest sculptures – she’s getting visited by an angel and having an “ecstasy” that basically looks like she’s having an orgasm? Anyway, I’m not sure this qualifies as orgasm-related in an obvious way, but object blue is so cool, this is strange, beautiful deconstructed dance music, and we’re so excited for more.

You can follow the Five on it playlist on Spotify: