“Everything I was is now haunting / My soul is desperately wanting / Clean my feet and breathe / on me, honey / Where are you?”
These lines from the first verse of Abi Ocia’s “Where Are You?” perfectly capture the tone of her music: ethereal, soulful, and introspective. Ocia is an up and coming alternative R&B singer from West London. She made waves in 2016 with her single “Running,” produced by British producer Draper.
Spirituality, sexuality and Americana don’t usually go hand in hand. The terms can at first seem contradictory, but American musician Sufjan Stevens combines them as his influences, along with folk and indie rock, to create a wholly unique sound that not even he can replicate from album to album. The Musician is perhaps best known for his soundtrack for the 2017 film, “Call Me By Your Name,” where his song “Mystery of Love” was later performed at the Oscars, but Stevens has been around for decades, making critically acclaimed music that speaks on deeply personal topics, despite Stevens being a private person outside of his music. As Stevens stated in a 2015 interview with the London-based magazine Uncut, “You have to cast out your demons and rebel against your traditions, but you always have to crawl back to the motherland.” Stevens’ music pushes and pulls from his surroundings, but he is always tied to his own histories and traditions.
In most recent years, the conversation on social media has been heavily focused on women empowerment. Naturally, this comes into the music scene. Most young women know the empowering anthems “New Rules” and “Don’t Start Now” by Dua Lipa to help get them over breakups and exes. Popular female artist Dua Lipa lets women let it all out through her songs.
Hip-hop since it’s birth was viewed as a counterculture or a subculture. However, within its community, it was perceived as so much more. It was a way in which the youth used multiple platforms to be expressive. Its growth into becoming one of the most influential art forms across the globe has been incredible to watch. Nowadays you have hip-hop influences within nearly every genre of music there is. You also have hip-hop artists across the water having a similar impact both in their home country as well as some success here in the U.S., which isn’t easy to do. London rapper, DC, is steadily growing into the next big thing from the U.K. rap scene.