swet shop boys.
Cashmere is one of my favourite records of the last year though it's taken a bit of time to find it. "Tiger Hologram" should've been song of the summer. So much respect to Riz and Heems for bringing a necessary perspective to hip hop as well as some of my favourite production I've ever heard.
kero kero bonito.
KKB are probably the most underrated band out of London right now. I dig the PC Music schtick, though I'll leave most of it to my terror twin. I usually find a hard time connecting to their ethos entirely. KKB have the perfect sweet spot of satire and authenticity, mainly because of Sarah's Japanese heritage, which works itself so often into their music. I love me some Korean and Japanese pop (guys, Charli has a song with Kyary coming out and I'm not ready), yet what I love about KKB is how they fit that sound into the mould of growing up in England. It's a unique mix.
Donald is easily my favourite new class rapper in the game. He has such an interesting twist with lyrics and flow, and I truly wasn't prepared for how incredible his last record was. All I need is for one of you to get him on my new record. Ship him to LDN. Thx.
Audri Nix is the coolest chick I've found lately. I love her Goth Boricua vibe. I really hope she crosses over soon. Reminds me of a cartoon in a way (truly the highest compliment I can pay someone).
bat for lashes.
When I was sorting through how to translate what I wanted to do for FROOT, I listened to a lot of records from my contemporaries. I've been a massive fan of Natasha's work since Fur & Gold so she was heavily in my rotation during this period. My label first put me with a producer who wasn't understanding my vision, and they asked me what was the type of person I was looking for. I revisited a lot of what I'd been listening to, Natasha's music being some of the most influential in helping me make a decision towards how I wanted to approach my record. Her first three records were produced by one man - David Kosten - and that's the name I gave to my label. The first time I met David, I felt I met my kindred spirit.
I've yet to meet Natasha formally, though I feel I owe her a gift basket a week for the indirect way she helped me make the most important record of my career. I think it's amazing when woman can influence each other in this business to embrace our own voices and find the people who help celebrate those stories. David is still one of my best mates to this day. I applaud Natasha for always releasing incredible music that pushes boundaries and expectations for musicians, regardless of background or identification.
Anyone who knows me is aware I'm a psychotic Twin Shadow fan. He makes the best midnight pop out there. If his next record doesn't absolutely smash, I absolutely give up on humanity.
Lizzo is on my new record so her presence is necessary. I've never met a more self-assured artist to the point she's my beacon of inspiration. Her rapping is pure fire, and I can't wait to share the song we recorded together with all of you.
I've already recently screamed over Mitski's talents, though I feel like they're impossible to overstate. She's my favourite songwriter right now due to the distinctness of her writing voice. She produces some of the best lyrics that remind me a lot of my personal heroes, such as Daniel Johnston. I also am horrified she keeps getting bottom billing at all of these festivals. She's a force.
I never view myself as having this exclusive access as an icon, especially to younger musicians right now - not because I still think I'm the hottest shit but because I feel all my music is so immensely personal. I dunno how anything I do penetrates a bubble, especially a musical one. A few years ago, I was sent Shamir's music by my best mate and fell in love with his songs. I reached out to him, and I won't forget his excitement to this day. He told me he knew he could write songs because of my music and other personal things that will remain between me and him. I dunno if I'll ever get used to it or really comprehend I'm someone who's capable of a reach like that, but if my only impact is helping Shamir bring his music to the world, I feel like I've done us all a favour.
I met Chloe thanks to Charli, and it was a very similar experience to when I first met Shamir. Chloe's one of the most promising musicians I've ever met in the industry. Her EP last year had songs that were so beyond her years - "Church" should've been on a Pretty in Pink reimagining. I can't wait for her new record and what it'll sound like.
This one is the most emotional to write for a multitude of reasons so I'll try and tell a story. I first found out about Charli when she was a teenager releasing mixtapes that didn't sound like what anyone else was making in London. My ex-boyfriend was thinking about managing her. This was in the midst of me having released my first album and planning my second. My boyfriend at the time loved her music and and encouraged me to reach out to her about collaborating. We broke up a few months after that, but I watched her very closely as True Romance was released and we started to share the same management. Long story short, she ended up opening for me and with me for an extended period of time. We wrote a song together in that time, and I found the first person who I felt was my sister in the music industry. To this day, I can tell you I haven't forged a bond so deep with anyone else - both for good and bad reasons. My favourite pasttime we used to do when we were on tour was talk about her mother's culture; she'd show me all these photos from her childhood, and I loved it. I felt like I had a little sister for a year, especially given the amount of times we stole Chris Martin's food and pranked him. She is the future of music - there is no conditional to that - and I can't wait for her new mixtape so she can further scalp everyone else in the game.
Dev is a dear friend of mine, someone who helped me hone a lot of my voice when I was starting out. We never worked together formally, though I'm sure we both wished that were different. Each time he releases something, I don't understand where this reservoir of creativity comes from. He's helped shaped pop music right now, most obvious with Carly Rae Jepsen, Solange, and other women, and he still hasn't started taking over the world. Though I'm a massive Blood Orange fan, his Lightspeed Champion records are still some of the best folk music anyone has ever made. Period.