This week, we pay tribute to late legend Al Jarreau and added some new artists who might follow in his wake, with a quartet of funky Irish contenders...
Al Jarreau – Boogie Down
The funkiest singer of all time passed away at the age of 76 last Sunday… So we couldn’t make this week’s tracklist without paying a tribute to Al, via one of his most famous tunes, Boogie Down, released in 1983. A 7-time Grammy Award winner, Jarreau’s music was a fusion of jazz, soul, pop, gospel and many other genres - to a certain generation, he’s the guy who sang the theme to TV classic Moonlighting! His good vibes are eternal, as are his signature lopsided moves! We’ll miss Al, and his kindly smile that never faded away...
Barq – Bear
Dublin’s highly touted ‘neo-agro-soul’ contenders just dropped their new video for Bear, a track originally released last November. The powerful voice of fierce singer Jess Kav, wrapped in infectious bass beats and killer drums makes this one deep and jazzy. The song talks about loss and growing up, inspired by the loss of Jess’s mother. We can feel the emotion in her voice, failing better, walking away stronger. We also love the video, shot in a kind of purple haze. They’re touring Ireland soon - catch up now.
CAZ 9 – Running
Caz 9 is an Irish electro-pop artist, and a really promising one at that. She just released her debut EP Phase II, and the standout track is Running, the perfect soundtrack for your next 5K - or Couch to 5K, we’re all about the journey. Caz’s sensual voice even brings a sweet soul touch. Disco music for modern times, from a new Irish talent with a fresh sound. What more can you ask for?
Maija Sofia – ‘Persephone’
She looks like a mythological character, and her song deals with a goddess’ tale: meet Galway singer Maija Sofia. Her enigmatic voice is perfect for this folky tune, an ethereal retelling of the Greek tale of a kidnapped goddess trapped in the mythical underworld, layered with echoes of the modern world’s political chaos. With samples from Sylvia Plath, the song is - in her words - “an ode to the many talented women throughout history who have been oppressed and overshadowed at the hands of an abuser.” Amen. Maija performs at the Crow Bar in Dublin on Feb 23rd and at Roisin Dubh of Galway on March 15th.
Jafaris - ‘Love Dies’
It’s a great week for talented Irish artists! Percy Chamburuka (AKA Jafaris) just dropped his new single Love Dies and, well, it’s pretty amazing. The jazzy intro reminds us of Erykah Badu and Guru’s Plenty - serious praise indeed. This quickly gives way to a 2000’s inspired R’N’B groove that sounds like early Alicia Keys; we’re loving the female choir and Percy’s funky rap stylings… Al Jarreau would definitely approve.