new music: azekel’s ‘raw vol 2 ep’ is smart, heartbreaking, and irresistible #soundcheck

August 16, 2016

On Azekel’s followup to last year’s Raw, Vol.1 EP, the singer / producer takes his irresistibly smooth London R&B and sets his perennially broken hearts’ sights on the city itself. The immaculately constructed lovelorn jams that adorned Vol. 1 are replaced instead with songs about structural inequality and racism in London. “The War Inside” rides a driving minimalist bass line to show the emotional impact of the “war outside that no race is safe from.” The intersectional struggles of race, class, and immigration that he breaks down from a larger view in “England Is A…” are internalized and dissected emotionally in “The War Inside.” From sound to performance to scope of ideas, Vol 2 takes everything that worked about Raw Vol. 1 and grows in compelling directions. It’s enough to leave you anxious for Vol 3.

By Nathan Leigh, AFROPUNK