THE AGE OF LUNA

 “L.U.N.A have been focusing on bringing some groove back to hip hop, ignoring trap snares and garage beats in favour of RnB-laced hooks and dexterous lyricism.” - NOTION

“Standing above hashtag themed rap to create something more wholesome than a forgettable hook” - Noisey

 West-London group The Age of L.U.N.A launch into 2017 with the unveiling of striking video to new single Body & Soul.

Expertly shot by <//>, the cinematic montage follows the trio as they perform around London. The mix of council estates, city landscapes, and neon lights creates a stark reflection of the energy of the group and the city that has influenced them. Perfectly encapsulating the essence of 90s Hip Hop; Body & Soul features NK-OK’s grooving soundscapes that effortlessly carry Daniella’s soulful vocal hook. Rappers Butch and Kyote syncopate with provocative rhymes, demonstrating the lyrical maturity this foursome are swiftly becoming known for.

Setting media alight with their quest to forge musicality and consciousness back into mainstream rap, The Age of L.U.N.A have received support and praise from the likes of The Guardian, NOTION, DAZED, HUCK and Noisey.

Following a 2016 that saw L.U.N.A hone their captivating live set; performing an exclusive set for BBC 2 at Glastonbury Festival, supporting Anderson Paak at Obonjan and touring with Kiko Bun across the UK, L.U.N.A. launch into 2017 with a string of festival announcements.

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MISUNDERSTOOD

Graduates from the famous BRIT School of Performing Arts, Stephan Benson and Jeffrey Okyere formed in 2010 to make up the dynamic UK Pop/R&B duo Misunderstood. Since they formed, Misunderstood have toured and performed alongside the likes of DJ Fresh and Boyz II Men.

The inspiration for the name ‘Misunderstood’ comes from the boys’ personal experiences of being seen as different:

“We call ourselves Misunderstood, as we feel many people look at ‘difference’ and don’t understand it, so they automatically look at it as a bad thing.

They don’t understand that being ‘different’ is the very thing that makes you special. So we took being Misunderstood as a positive… It means you have more room to exceed people’s expectations! We say, “Be you, love who you are, and be Misunderstood.”

2017 has been a busy year for the boys so far, having released a dounle A-side single, with tracks “Sucker & Imma Do My Thang”, which marked the end of a 6-week National Tour. Both of these tracks are also being featured in the new Universal Pictures Movie  ’Bring It on 6′ (released Summer 2017), which will see Stephan in his first lead role.

Stephan and Jeffrey have just returned from their first writing trip to LA, collaborating in the studio with the likes of Will.I.Am, Keith Harris (Black Eyed Peas), HazeBanga (Beyonce), Ferras (Katy Perry) and Damon Sharpe (J-Lo, Anastasia).

Keep up to date with everything ‘Misunderstood’ on their social sites below.

@mdsofficial INSTAGRAM

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ADAM NAAS

Some voices sweep away everything in their path, sending shivers up the spine, chilling the blood and inflaming the senses.

Adam Naas may only be 24, but his soul-man voice is one such phenomenon. That fact did not escape the band AaRON, who invited him to guest at their concerts.

Right from his first song, Fading Away, he caught the attention of Les Inrocks and Clique.tv. The Frenchman’s style – a somberly romantic, contemporary dark soul that never stops posturing or excessive effects – makes a powerful impression. Adam Naas bares his soul simply, discreetly and fearlessly. Each line of his lyrics delves deeply into the most anguished and intense of feelings, and he has a tremendous capacity for honesty. Writing his music himself, he transmutes his personal experiences into universal emotions (love, fear, disquiet, hope…). So with just a few nostalgic and compelling, melancholic and radiant songs, he has defined his art: a personal, intimate, startlingly sincere soul-pop.

Yet the Parisian bears little resemblance to the formulaic ‘doomed artist’. More than anybody, he is amused by the idea. “For a while, I thought of calling myself Corbeau (Crow),” he explains ironically. In fact, a black eagle would be a far better symbol as just a moment spent watching the video of Fading Away or his live performances proves.

From the very first notes, the majestic bird takes wing… Adam Naas soars, borne up by the winds of soul, folk, pop and indie rock. Those genres fill him with energy as he makes each one his own, turning from an upbeat number (the exhilarating Downtown) to a gospel invocation (the very personal You Should Know). His deep, sensual voice caresses the skin; carnal, it lasciviously plunges deep into the body. His world is a black hole of sensations and sentiments, as attractive as they are disturbing.

His love affair with music was not predestined. “I didn’t start singing before I could walk,” he smiles, “and there were no musicians in my family. But I was raised on Nina Simone – my mother listened to her a lot – and the music my elder brother played.” Adam Naas was a great fan of Sister Act II and its young singer Lauryn Hill – in fact, he grew up with her cult album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. He also enjoyed singing backing vocals to Destiny’s Child tracks. A self-taught artist, he felt the music before he analyzed it. When he first heard A Change Is Gonna Come – Sam Cooke’s breathtaking 1964 anthem to civil rights – it was a revelation. “I realized that if I were going to make music, it would have to be just as intense and honest.” He was equally impressed by the electronic productions of The XX and James Blake, whose coherency fascinated him. Very soon, music became his means of communication and self-expression. Today, the curious young man (he graduated from high school in sciences and studied economics to “understand the world better”) freely embraces his lucid romanticism. The shy boy has become a superb crooner, projecting a charm and appeal of which only he seems unaware.

His first EP will be released this fall on Virgin/Mercury.

CATHERINE MCGRATH

For a genre whose epicentre is unquestionably Nashville, country music is shaking off its old preconceptions as it develops a significant following among fresh, young audiences in the UK and Eire. James Bay and Ed Sheeran have both spent extended periods in Music City USA soaking up its unique musical heritage, while Taylor Swift’s background in the genre has heightened its profile all over the globe. Some 4000 miles from its honorary capital, its growth is demonstrated by the annual Country 2 Country festival which sees its biggest stars and most exciting young talents descend on London to play to 20,000 passionate fans.

Despite such progress, it still feels like a surprise that country’s newest non-domestic talent hails from the rural outskirts of Belfast. Nineteen-year-old Catherine McGrath’s passion for the sound was piqued far before recent events extended its audience. Initially won over by Taylor Swift’s self-titled pre-pop album, McGrath delved deeper into the genre’s new era of talent in the shape of Kacey Musgraves, Dan + Shay and Maddie & Tae.

“That music wasn’t played where I was from, so you had to go and discover yourself,” she says, recalling how she’d try to encourage her pop-loving friends to follow her changing tastes. “The reason I love country so much is because there’s such of range of things you can sing about. It’s so honest – the songs start as just a story or an emotion and the music follows on from there.”

Coming from a music loving family, McGrath first took up the guitar as an accompaniment for her voice. Her grandmother taught her how to play ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’ and she developed her playing further by observing her father performing and by following YouTube tutorials.

Soon enough, McGrath started writing songs which blended her unique UK perspective on country alongside pop influences such as George Ezra and Ed Sheeran. Northern Irish traditional music (“Everybody joyfully singing along down the local pub!”) also provided an important touch point – and especially so as McGrath has regularly performed at her parents’ spirited Fiddler’s Green festival which attracts musicians from as far afield as North America and Germany.

Eager to gauge a wider reaction to her talent, McGrath began to upload her inimitable country inspired performances of massive pop hits to YouTube.

“I decided to post covers to see what strangers thought, and I remember the first comment being ‘This is really good. Please put up more!’ So I kept on doing it, more and more people would listen, and I found more people who liked country music. I realised that there was this wider community who, just like me, really loved country and wanted more of it.”

Through her YouTube content McGrath was spotted by Instrumental, the London and NYC-based business who specialise in discovering and developing music talent emerging on social media. They invited her to test the waters with some writing and studio sessions. “A few weeks later they called me and asked, ‘How would you feel about moving over here, writing more songs and talking to labels?’ and then ‘How soon can you move over?’”

After six months in London honing her songwriting skills, things suddenly moved at a lightning pace. Her first of two visits to Nashville was a revelation (“I dreamed of seeing country music at all the little bars and it was exactly what I’d pictured!”) and she also signed with Warner Bros. Records in the summer of 2016.

With her forthcoming acoustic debut EP ‘One’, McGrath wants to present something that “fits all of the different parts of my personality.” It’s a snapshot of songs which demonstrates how McGrath uses the country tradition to explore stories of love, romance and hurt which will resonate with people of her age.

The EP leads with two new originals: ‘Hell Would Have To Freeze Over’ is a sassy strut with a confident and defiant attitude, while the plaintively performed ‘Cinderella’ (co-written with Taylor Swift collaborator Liz Rose) tells a fairytale story which McGrath compares to a big moment in a Disney movie. ‘One’ is completed with McGrath’s stripped-back take on Jessie Ware’s ‘Say You Love Me’ which was chosen to reflect both her interest in pop as well country’s appreciation of well-crafted songs.

It’s a wonderful introduction to an artist who looks poised to take country to fresh new audiences. “If there was more awareness of what country music really is compared to what people think it is, lots more people would love it,” she professes with evident passion. “I’m writing music that I genuinely love and I care about the message that I’m sending out.”

SUPERGLU

“Bands don’t come more instantly infectious than SuperGlu” – DIY
“Punk with a pop flourish. Matching askew melodies to some wry, acerbic lyrics, the whole package is shot-through with a punk energy” – Clash

“Fusing together raw rock sounds and honey-sweet soaring harmonies, SuperGlu have created an instant hit; an energy-filled offering that will leave you ready for the weekend”. – Gig Slutz

“A band everybody will be talking about by the end of this year.” – BBC Introducing

Since forming in Manningtree, Britain’s smallest town just two years ago, the punk- pop group have built a reputation as one of the UK’s best emerging live acts of recent years, with a gift for hooks and harmonies. Unsigned, their self-released music has achieved over 150k streams and their Spotify profile attracts more than 20k monthly listeners (peaking at 46k on single release). Consistently supported by Radio 1’s Huw Stephens, the DJ and presenter helped confirm the band as headliners of the BBC Introducing stages at 2016’s Reading & Leeds Festivals. Subsequently their performance and interview from Reading went out on his Radio 1 show and the live version of single ‘Dreams’ was BBC Music’s Thursday Tip on YouTube in November 2016.

The music, often fast and furious, is informed by the couldn’t-give-a-shit attitude of punk, but at the same time never shies away from seriously generous dollops of pop catchiness, although never with the interesting knots and gnarly bits smoothed down or ironed out. The spikiness of The Pixies combined with the ocean fresh four part harmonies of the Beach Boys is how one reviewer saw it, and although that’s surely only part of the story, it’s a decent starting point.

Conversely part of the SuperGlu’s appeal is witnessing the forces of four very different characters working in relative harmony. Drummer and houseboat inhabitant Ben Ward acts as a more serious counter-weight to the manic energy and unruliness of Ben Brown – you can even hear him on the band’s ‘Horse’ EP admonishing him for some mid-recording messing about (possibly a sea lion impression if his memory is correct). Alex Brown, Ben’s brother, is quieter but not short of a barbed comment when it’s required, or least expected. Krista, meanwhile, takes centre stage live, a mass of airborne hair, channeling her childhood disco dancing competition successes to help her with “letting go” on stage. “You can’t simply just play some songs you’ve made up,” she says, “You have to give everything.”

With the increased confidence that their tireless live schedule has, the band have developed their song writing from an initial modus operandi of Ben Bown’s ideas knocked into shape by him and Ward, to a completely collective effort.

VIANNI

Self taught musician Vianni hails from Croydon, South London. He describes his unique sound as a feeling; Vianni incorporates R&B, dancehall and afrobeats sounds into his music with captivating lyrics to entice his listeners.

AUTUMN SHARIF

Autumn Sharif is a singer/songwriter with gripping abilities to captivate an audience with her emotions. Born in the Netherlands and raised in London, she is a rare representation of her Somali community, as well as her Islamic heritage, making Autumn’s writing inspirations both unusual and remarkable. Autumn’s music reveals a raw personal insight of her journey, having spent the last 8 years working, writing and developing. Those who have experienced her recent live performances have described Autumn as a hypnotic storyteller – she is one that arouses great excitement for her future in Music.

HOST: Mark Sutherland (Editor of Music Week)

Location: UNDER THE BRIDGE, STAMFORD BRIDGE, FULHAM ROAD. LONDON SW6 1HS

Tickets – Early Bird: £6 | Early Advance: £8 | Advance: £10 | On The Door: £15