Born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri, Brandon is an entrepreneur striving to reshape the creative space for good. Along with writing for LL, he is 1/2 Co-Founder of Project FILO - a creative hub for and by artists. If there is anything certain about Brandon, it is that he does not limit himself to one particular craft, for he aspires to achieve mastery in as many trades possible.
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Chicago’s talented retro-soul band Hollyy have released an incredible cover of Durand Jones & The Indications popular song “Morning in America.” Influenced by the thrilling vocals of Sam Cooke and Leon Bridges, as well as the indie rock stylings of Wilco and Whitney, Hollyy has emerged onto the scene with a sound as vibrant and holistic as the artists that comprise it. Gearing up to release their much anticipated first full-length project since 2018, Hollyy’s debut EP Miss the Feeling derives from a year’s worth of studio work. With the same gorgeous melody and organic instrumentation, it is respectable to declare Hollyy’s version equally impressive as the original. From a vocal and instrumental standpoint, Durand Jones & The Indication’s classic employs a bit more jazz, whereas Hollyy’s adds a slightly quicker pace with A1 tonal alteration. Both records demonstrate excellence of craft, and serve well on any day in particular for the listener. As both detail the various landscapes of America, the cover’s release is quite fitting given the recent inauguration. Aside from (unintentional or intentional) political alignment, it’s without saying that “Morning in America” is the perfect track to jumpstart one’s day. Stream Hollyy’s exceptional cover of Durand Jones & …
Stefan Mahendra returns to Lyrical Lemonade with another hit single entitled “Alright.” Shortly after the release of his track “Lovin’ You is Easy,” his new song is equally as smooth with a more gradual pace for warm expression. Ensuring that everything will be alright in the morning, Mahendra attempts to downplay any ongoing and/or previous conflict with his lover. Grasping onto heartfelt memories of the past, Stefan’s assurances are met with hopeful outcries, as he admits that he needs his lover back in his life. Produced by Edbl, Mark Perry’s surrounding horns and Sam Odiwe’s booming bass creates an appealing R&B record for Mahendra to shine on. Stream “Alright” by Stefan Mahendra below!
“FRIENDS is also about the feeling of knowing you’ll never be a kid again, but that there will always be people who make you feel like one. FRIENDS was made to appreciate my friends, your friends, and for everyone who needs a friend.” – Carliane Tamara Ponce, Puerto Rico’s Carliane Tamara is an immensely talented nineteen-year-old singer/songwriter & producer. Currently based in New York City, Carliane’s artistry revolves around Pop, R&B, and Latin music. As Tamara’s sound continues to mature, the depth of her versatility is certainly displayed in her debut single “FRIENDS.” Produced by Nick Catrambone, “FRIENDS” is a joyous celebration of youth and friendship tossed into a vast ocean of feelings. Unlike Kanye West’s notable song “Real Friends,” Carliane’s “FRIENDS” paints the picture of a healthy platonic friendship with no strings attached. Full of confidence and self-love, she opens the track with fiery expression: “Take a look at me, yeah I know I look good.” Melded with pleasing indie tones, Carliane’s pop and R&B capabilities enhance the thrilling road trip experienced in the visual. Steam Carliane Tamara’s new single “FRIENDS” and watch the accompanying music video below!
Making his Lyrical Lemonade debut, Hitori is an emerging Kansas City based artist that transmutes his soul in sound. Real name Derrick Kagwanja, he’s currently a senior-year student enrolled at Rice University, while allotting much of his free time to making music. Drawing inspiration from his favorite artists (Nav & Nessly), Hitori’s sound is heavily trap-inspired with experiential heartbreak lyricism. Speaking from experience, Hitori’s singing is often incorporated with bass-heavy trap production, which is juxtaposed by soft lovestruck melodies. Often inflecting his voice, his naturally deepened vocals are occasionally tuned for higher pitches to emphasize any strong feelings expressed. Take his song “Funeral,” for example, which serves as the intro for his newly released project II. In his words, the album “is the compilation of heartbreak and reckless regaining of self confidence through acts that [he] can only describe as wylin in the worst way.” II is jointly produced by fellow Kansas City natives Sappy and Kingshal; both of whom Hitori has known through school and friendship. On “Funeral,” one can presume that Kingshal’s 808 dominated beat thematically masks Hitori’s revelations of weakness or vulnerability. Stream “Funeral” off Hitori’s new project II below!
Ever since hearing his song “State of Mind” in 2014, New York based artist Ben Beal has remained an artist I’ve kept up with. The sheer lyricist’s bread and butter lies in hip-hop; specifically rapping over mellow lo-fi beats and 808 influenced trap. His versatility can also be demonstrated through his collaborations, having worked and/or performed with Wun Two, atlas, Sophie Meiers, FloFilz, A Boogie Wit da Hoodie, MadeinTYO, PnB Rock & more. His latest effort, “Ferris Wheel,” is a jazzy lo-fi track with co-production from SwuM and Ben Belial. Comparing life to a fluctuant carnival ride, Beal reveals how he made a name for himself while crafting bedroom beats & songs in his basement. His ability to not only rap, but also vocalize on the hook creates a silky-smooth record that produces a natural head-bobbing effect for the listener. Stream “Ferris Wheel” by Ben Beal below!
Chicago native Lucas Redding nets his first Lyrical Lemonade impression with a stunning debut single titled “Rushing In.” Despite only being eighteen years of age, Redding’s sound is professionally mature beyond his years. Incorporating a thrilling electric guitar with chilled indie-inspired vocals, “Rushing In” serves as the perfect Friday anthem that invites listeners to enjoy the leisure’s of life. Stating that he has nothing to lose, I look forward to hearing more from Lucas this year as he continues to ‘roll with the wind.’ Stream “Rushing In” by Lucas Redding below!
Fashionably Early‘s rising superstar Amaria returns to Lyrical Lemonade with a blooming new single titled “Roses.” Accompanied with a fittingly elegant music video, the visual was impressively shot by Amaria herself. Mixed by Chai, Amaria glosses her production capabilities with key/bass contributions from Rugawd and a dazzling electric guitar solo from Mitch Fountain. Holding a red rose, Amaria details a complicated relationship that involved moments of affection, conflict, and confusion. As she waits to receive more roses, Amaria asks whether the problem can be resolved, while making it clear that she still cares deeply for the highlighted individual. Watch the official music video for Amaria’s latest single “Roses” below!
“Humbled” is a song about not taking credit for things that were never really in my control. It’s about giving up a feeling of power in order to move in a better direction” – Restless Modern Shortly after releasing “Mercy,” Restless Modern is back with another excellent single titled “Humbled.” Maintaining his streak of releasing a new track every other Wednesday, Modern’s latest offering was jointly produced by himself and Nick Anthony. Openly admitting past faults of incessant drinking and “maybe” cheating, Modern finds solace in projecting his flaws and egoistic tendencies: “I don’t want the world like how I used to / And I feel convicted but I’ve never been so happy to know I’m wrong.” Despite the world’s newly acquired knowledge of his own faults, a massive weight of guilt and anxiety has been lifted off his chest, as Modern details previously relying on fading medication to repress internal confrontation. Written, performed, & engineered by Modern himself, sonically the record employs silky-smooth mellow production that bolds well with his refreshingly honest vocals. Stream “Humbled” by Restless Modern below!