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Five on it: Tinashe is doing things on her own terms and we’re here for it

22 Nov 2019

Photography: Tinashe ‘Songs For You’ album artwork

Honestly, election season is draining me, and there is still so long to go. But we must stay replenished and alert and ready to fight for our rights – “constant vigilance” as a character from a children’s book series that already has far too much sway over everyone’s lives might say.

Anyway, the Grammy nominations this week were largely a reminder that awards shows are really not it – Solange not being nominated at all and Tyler only being nominated for “Best Rap Album” for IGOR is, at best, a lol. Unsurprisingly, mainstream, white institutions are not the places to look to for validation.

But let’s not dwell on that stuff – there’s so much good music being created that we can celebrate in our own spaces instead, and that’s better than any dusty, institutionally racist award anyway. Here’s five on it.

Tinashe – Songs For You

The journey of Tinashe has been such a jarring insight into how the music industry actually works, but here she is with an album that’s seemingly on her own terms at last. We haven’t had time to sink into the full thing yet, but so far this oozes confidence, rawness, joy and strength – and we’re so here for it. [Listen to the full album here]

Wavy the Creator – ‘3’ ft. Flohio

Two Nigerian dons unite! Flohio is the SE16 MC who spits quickfire bars with jolting energy; Wavy The Creator is a big name from the alté scene who self-describes as an alien. This is a lush collaboration that begs you to do a little two-step bop.

Delilah Holliday – ‘Rise of the Phoenix’

This is smoky and sparkly like drinking cocktails at a dive bar on a late summer night in the ‘60s (I’m genuinely not sure where this image came from). One half of punk sibling duo Skinny Girl Diet, this is very different from that group’s caustic energy – instead this is a dreamy, meandering and slinky delight.

Jessie Reyez – ‘Crazy’

A smooth elixir of a cover song (originally it’s country singer Patsy Cline’s), this is darkly beguiling from the rising Toronto artist with the gorgeously powerful voice. This video just dropped and it’s kind of twisted – CW, it features domestic violence.

Davido – A Good Time

One of the kings of Afrobeats is here with a glimmering album of sunny jams that pushes into new sonic spheres and features everyone from Summer Walker and Popcaan to Naira Marley (though, admittedly, minus points for the inclusion of Chris Brown). This is a great antidote to all the bleak seasonal affective disorder vibes here in the UK.

You can follow the Five on it playlist here: