Welcome all to 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿, a series of weekly reviews by Charles Connolly - an artist in his own right. Here, Charles delves into the greatest brand new singles brought to you by the best unsigned artists on our electrifying and eclectic set of 𝙉𝙚𝙬 𝘼𝙧𝙩𝙞𝙨𝙩 𝙎𝙥𝙤𝙩𝙡𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 playlists.
𝙁𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙊𝙪𝙩 - 𝙎𝙝𝙖𝙝𝙞𝙚𝙢
Charles has misplaced his marbles…
This is the official week of love. Worldwide. Well, it contains a certain lovey-dovey day, anyway. Blooms and box of chocs at the ready? Almost certainly. Sometimes things just work au naturel. Boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, girl falls for boy. And they live happily ever after. Noyce. It does happen, I must assure you. But sometimes it’s not all that easy. Very often it is one-sided to begin with. Boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, boy loses mind over girl, girl looks on, girl likes to tease, girl eventually rips heart away from boy because girl thought it would be funny. Romance at its finest! It works well in films, but in real life it is tragic. And usually in films it will end with boy getting girl, and girl seeing error in girl’s ways. In real life, boy is left with trauma, and girl moves on to another victim. This isn’t a boy vs girl piece. It could easily be the other way around, but I am simplifying things by not going the route of “boy/girl meets girl/boy” etc…. It could get pretty confusing and, frankly annoying.
Boy might meet girl, and find that girl isn’t completely and utterly horrible in return. Love is a tricky thing. It all starts with attraction of some sort, followed by hope that the other feels a similar attraction. Boy will try his utmost in full determination to charm the pants off girl. Ahem, metaphorically. Very rarely is it love at first sight, BOTH ways. One is usually wooing the other. To woo: now THERE’S a verb from the past. Always makes me think of pigeons. Oh no, that’s coo. Anyway. It’s like a game, with consequences. Boy can get really involved. Boy’s mind has let everything else slide. Boy doesn’t care about anyone else, or anyTHING else. Boy is infatuated. Boy will make this work. Somehow. And if boy fails, there’s always the sea to drown in. I hear there are plenty of fish in it. The thing is, this is how it can feel. Like without girl, boy might as well die. And that there just AREN’T plenty more fish in the sea. Of course, this is pure nonsense. But when in one’s teenage years or even in one’s twenties, it is easy to have a warped perspective of things. All boy wants is a sign that girl might be interested. That’s all it will take for boy to perk up and calm down. But girl is clever. Girl likes boy, and even boy realises girl doesn’t utterly detest boy. But things are not clear. Girl spends time with boy. Girl seemingly enjoys boy’s company. Girl is not vindictive, but girl still likes to have fun with boy, and also likes to be sure about things before girl gets too involved and realises too late that boy is a dangerous lunatic. Girl is therefore perhaps simply being cautious. But in being cautious, boy is left with so much open energy that he seems to be bursting for the lavatory/loo/toilet/John/craphole (depending on your native tongue).
It’s just almost never like the films or the adverts. The Hollywood way is always the ideal. And by definition, the ideal is rare. But not unheard of. One thing I do know though, is that love is not supposed to make you lose your mind. It is not supposed to make you fraught with agony. It is supposed to be the ultimate feeling of contentment and satisfaction, with added sparkles of magic in the air. A constant subtle tingle of excitement. The feeling of floating through life, rather than plodding. All boy wants is a sign. Or even confirmation that girl feels even slightly the same as boy. Is that so much to ASK?? Well let’s just suppose that girl does indeed feel similarly about boy, and girl plucks up the courage to tell boy… Does boy simply relax, smile and continue with life as boy left off before girl became boy’s crux (or crutch)? Nope. Boy loses mind again. Completely bowled over by this revelation that not only does boy love girl, but girl loves boy, boy spins himself into a tizz and completely freaks out! Well, I suppose that’s just the way of boy. Poor girl. That’s love, baby!
And as if THAT wasn’t exhausting enough, we will move on to music. Luckily this music is FAR more steady, pleasing and satisfying than the way of most relationships. This week is the week that Shahiem finally gets his time in the spotlight. A much earned review for a superb pop act simply waiting impatiently to hit the Billboard charts. Here’s Shahiem with his brand new single, Freaking Out. Towards the latter end of last year, this South African’s name was floating around the New Artist Spotlight a bit. I thought it was the start of things to come. Like a fresh year would encourage conversation and obsession with one’s new favourite NAS artist… I thought his time had come, and that January would see the community go wild and lose its mind for this chap. Especially as he released a 5 track EP in the middle of December… But sadly, this mania has not happened. Not yet. And I can only assume it is because he is still not known enough. I believe most people are not yet familiar with the music of Shahiem, or the artist himself. With music as quality as his own, I feel it my duty to spread the word and perhaps make February a fashionably late January.
Shahiem is very much in fashion, you see. He is tightly woven into the sound of what hits big these days. Think The Weeknd. Think Years & Years. Think Justin Bieber at his best (yes, I know: to many of you this is an oxymoron). These are not small acts. Quite the opposite, in fact. And with good reason. They are kings of modern pop. Shahiem is literally indistinguishable from mainstream pop. And I mean that in the best way possible. Although chart pop gets a bad rap these days, especially from the indie boys and girls (I too am occasionally guilty of this), they are big for a reason. So does it not make sense to go this route? Without the huge label behind him, this is evidently the music he wants to make, and therefore genuine. So why NOT?? This is JUST the kind of pop that playlisters (and the big labels) are looking for. It ticks every box, and is so unbelievably catchy. You all know how much I love pop. But it is inherently difficult to get that slickness in sound without the help of backing from a major label. Their endless team of pros. Basically, this level of slickness usually demands a lot of money. But we indies don’t gotta lotta money!! Shahiem has managed though. Proving that whether he hits the big time or not, we don’t necessarily need the big labels and their teams in order to create great music. We need well produced, well mixed, well written, well sung and well played pop. Or whatever other genre you wish to make! The point is, if your goal is to be as popular as possible and for your song to be heard by as many people as possible, there is no point in throwing hundreds or even thousands into promotion (or simply crossing your fingers), if the actual music isn’t as good as it can be. Within reason, of course. Shahiem evidently has something we don’t, however. And it will remain a mystery.
I spoke of how we often slag off the mainstream… Bloody Ed Sheeran, for example. Can you imagine how much we would praise him if he was unsigned and part of the NAS community? He would probably be one of the most popular artists of all! That loveable unassuming English rogue with his sweet mop of ginger hair. And yet we go, “Bloody Ed Sheeran. Ugly and stupid. Can’t write, can’t sing. Pile of crap”. I think what this means is, we are lying to ourselves, and perhaps even a little bit jealous. I personally still genuinely can’t stand him and do believe he is a lucky little shit with a decent voice. The rest to me, is monetary backing and boredom. And Shahiem is simply FAR superior to this. He also looks cooler. And is younger - sadly, this is as important as ever. I believe this young chap is just 22, and yet is already making what I would consider modern pop classics. Up there with all the Grammy winners of last week. Having heard and gone for every single one of his releases so far, Freaking Out is I think my favourite (hard to say for definite). Something about the chords, the sound, the structure and the melody. It all just works as though each piece has been made simultaneously by the most precise 3D printer (I still want one of these). Where once finished, the whole piece is flawless, with no assembly required!
There is really no point me going into the ins and outs of the song. Just press play and jive to the beat and the vibe. Wonder at his flawlessness and his stunning voice. Gawp at his precisely satisfying melodies. If modern pop is yo thang, your only excuse for thinking nothing of Freaking Out, would be for you to have gone deaf overnight. In which case, I am so very, very sorry. Sign language is coming back in music though, or so I hear.
Girl meets boy, girl likes boy, boy doesn’t notice girl because boy is just finishing this song. Priorities. That’s love, baby!
Listen to 𝙁𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙊𝙪𝙩 on the 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿 Spotify playlist HERE!
Listen to 𝙁𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙊𝙪𝙩 on the 𝗖𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗼𝗹𝗹𝘆’𝘀 𝗖𝗼𝗿𝗻𝗲𝗿 Apple Music playlist HERE!
Watch 𝙁𝙧𝙚𝙖𝙠𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙊𝙪𝙩 on YouTube HERE!
Follow 𝙎𝙝𝙖𝙝𝙞𝙚𝙢 on Instagram HERE!
Follow 𝙎𝙝𝙖𝙝𝙞𝙚𝙢 on TwiX HERE!
Please share this post and let me know your thoughts in the comments below