Groover Playlist 140 | Buckle Up

Take another trip around the world with a new lineup of international artists.

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Amen Viana brings the rock, Harry Zephir gets nostalgic, Stephane Fernandez contemplates eternity, Koska is alarmed and more in today’s submissions from Groover, a platform that connects artists with critics like me for a small fee. You can (and should) follow me on Spotify HERE, check out my Top 150 playlist HERE, or listen to it via the widget at the lower right of every page on this site. If you want to be in an upcoming playlist, go HERE. But first, buckle up for another fast flight around the world:

 


Amen Viana | Aguégué

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Afro-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Guitarist, singer, composer and arranger, Amen Viana knows how to create stunning sound universes, while drawing from the roots of African music. Originally from Togo, he quickly rose through the ranks of the West African music scene, before crossing the Mediterranean to settle in France. His virtuosity on the guitar is reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix, his rock energy that of Living Color, and he quickly carved out a reputation in many international events where he was invited to play alongside artists such as Black-Eyed Peas, Angélique Kidjo, and Tony Allen. He has composed and recorded six albums: Gamessou (2007), Togo to Go (2010), Funkabelik (2012), Pearls and Gold (2012) and Electric Togoland (2017) and The Afrocanalyst (2021).”


Harry Zephir | Noustalgie

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Rap.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “My music speaks about personal subjects and life experiences, transcribed in pieces of various colors and themes. My next project will be the story of a tortured soul who, over the course of the experiences she is going to live, will know how to find the light within her. Noustalgie talks about the nostalgia we feel when we think back to the different experiences we have had: Lost friendships, love, the sadness of time passing. I changed my artist name from Zefire to Harry Zephir, my real name. I’m just trying to make the listener understand the authenticity of everything I can say in my songs. So no more hide-and-seek behind a pseudonym.”


Stephane Fernandez | Eternidade

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: World.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Stephane Fernandez has studied guitar since the age of five. He has attended classes with jazz masters such as Pat Metheny, John Scofield and Mike Stern. “I compose and produce my music in different genres, which range from jazz to classical, from Brazilian music to electro,” he says. “In this title I wanted to avoid group-type formations and concentrate on a rarer form: A guitar with string quartet, inspired both by the tango and by the Cuban habanera.”


Koska | Oh My

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Dance-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “A sound engineer and composer for 15 years for different independent artists, Koska is working now as a producer of his own sounds, ready to expose his musical universe. Sometimes electro, sometimes urban, sometimes hip-hop, sometimes atypical — but always distinguished by a particular choice of sound. Let’s start this new year with a banging pop song to bring us positive energy during this difficult time.”


Gabriella Lima | Samba De L’Amour

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Samba.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Pushing the boundaries and going beyond cultural limits: If one were to define Gabriella Lima, this would be her motto. The singer-songwriter arrived in France in 2014, directly from São Paulo, her city of heart. She released her first album Bálsamo in March. It has nine tracks with lyrics of softness and diversity. Some discreetly sway to a samba rhythm. Others are more pop and soul-oriented. Inspired by her love for French culture, Gabriella closes her album with Samba de L’amour, a Franco-Brazilian track, merging two different universes.”


Symo Reyn | A Time Between Birth and Chaos

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: World.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Composer and qanun player Symo Reyn (born in Jordan) has been living and working in Paris since 2007. Playing since the age of five, he has collaborated with artists from different fields. By drawing inspiration from the techniques of other instruments, he renewed the playing and the sound of this secular zither, longly associated with a traditional genre. This approach takes shape in his solo album A Time Between Birth and Chaos, where the instrument is used in an electro-acoustic manner. The idea is to make something hybrdid and to build a feeling of newness, with the ambition to give it a new spirit.”


Alfredo Garrido | Con Todo Mi Amor

HOME BASE: Spain.
GENRE: Folk.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Alfredo arrives hitting hard with a versatile and creatived and global spirit. Inspired by many sources, from intimate dream folk or pop-rock to futuristic and new wave music, he wants to share his music to connect his purest essence with yours — without borders, with humility, passion and enthusiasm, to reconcile our being with what we always were, and sometimes lose and forget. That is his challenge.”


Voice2it | Foolin’

HOME BASE: Netherlands.
GENRE: R&B-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Noa, Julia and Nika were looking for an internship in the entertainment industry when they met René Samuels, owner of Sam’s Studio. René was already busy with new songs for a girl group. The ambition and skills of the girls matched perfectly with his style and chemistry. The new stars were born.”


Bayass | D.C.

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Rap.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “A young Parisian rapper rooted in his time and his generation, Bayass has been bathed in music. He not only raps but also sings sometimes, mixing his personal adventures with melodies. D.C. (Djasseur Confirmé) features a drill-type instrumental on which he displays his raw talent and insolent speed.”


Lutina | Kolo Masiya

HOME BASE: Belgium.
GENRE: R&B.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Lutina is a young artist who was born in Kinshasa and lives in Brussels. He has been making music since his teenage years in the ’90s, influenced by artists such as Michael Jackson and Usher. He has since opened up to Afro influences like Burna Boy or Wizkid, while keeping an R&B vocal tint à la The Weeknd. His second single Kolo Masyia sends a message of hope in difficult times.”


Lakunée | N’Aie Pas Peur

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Synth-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “I was born two times. The second time was in 2018, a year of change. Discovery of a health problem followed by two long stays in the hospital gave me time to discover what really touched me: Music. My first EP Audace was just released. It offers a dose of optimism! My songs smile at what hurts. Tomorrow will bring hope provided you believe in yourself and love yourself.”


Tonio Vespalive | Toutes Les Femmes Sont Belles

HOME BASE: Belgium.
GENRE: Pop-Rock.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “I would like to present my new creation: My first single and video, filmed in the company of the Vespa club Bernissart in Belgium.”


Juki P2 | Mary Magdalena

HOME BASE: Switzerland.
GENRE: Soul / Gospel.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Juki P2 is the new project of Swiss songwriter and producer Pamela Méndez. Inspired by the Chicago Footwork movement, she collaborated Now York-based Producer Tim Walsh and started mixing pop songs with techniques and rhythms from club music. But Juki P2 also has a very thoughtful and calmer side. In the ballad Mary Magdalena, she asks about the conditions of our spiritual needs within a consumerist society. Personal transformation as a product. Can it work? Angels bathe in autotune and synthesizers break their waves. Life is so sweet.”


Henri Werner | Shredding My Heart

HOME BASE: Germany.
GENRE: Alt-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Hanover’s Henri Werner is a 23-year-old composer and producer of electronic music. His main influences were artists like Flume and Illenium, though he has since found his own style, pushing boundaries with unique drops and overall working within a darker vibe. Shredding My Heart is an electronic rock song with a subtle dark vibe and a flair of metal bands like Opeth and Metallica. It seamlessly merges rock verses with electronic drops, creating a powerful, coherent sonic image.”


Bawns | Hey Boy (ft. Sessy)

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Synth-Pop.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Bawns is a French producer-composer and DJ who makes “living electronic music.” Hey Boy is a call for ease. Supported by a nostalgic but dynamic atmosphere, it’s a song that traces the reflection of an ordinary woman. Obstacles prevent her from blossoming socially and expressing her desires, thus challenging the idea of an encounter with others. All these shadows leads her to change, and push herself to address a stranger.”


Neon Night | Take You Tonight

HOME BASE: United Kingdom.
GENRE: Hard Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “My name is Neon Night. I was born in the year 2185. I am a time traveller. I am the last human born before the war that changed everything. I was in the resistance, imprisoned and tortured for believing in truth, freedom and justice. After the war I was transferred to the prison city New Paradise with millions who shared the same beliefs. We were monitored and forced to take medicine that would ‘save us’ from hate, misery and pain. ‘This will end all wars,’ they told us. After five years, I finally a time machine hidden inside the vault of the central intelligence headquarters. I knew that I had to go back and search for a way to change all this. And that’s what I did. I went to every possible point in time and all my research led me to your time. So I am here to observe. I will have to find the way for our sake, for your sake.”


Marianic | Alice’s Room

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Alt-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Alice’s Room is a turning point for me, returning to my first love: English rock and punk. I write the lyrics alone and we all participate in the composition of the music. We plan to release a rock album (exclusively in English) in 2022. Three other tracks are already ready. They will be released as singles every two months.”


Perfume Sound | Epopia

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Synth-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Epopia is the first track from Perfume Sound. When smells allow you to travel and revive your memory in space and time, Perfume Sound invites you on a journey thanks to its emanations of inspiring and vibrant sounds. Perfume Sound is made up of two complementary songwriters. Our sound is a combination of electronic music and classical cello.”


Vakesso | As De Trèfle

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Rap.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “I am an independent artist. As de Trèfle (from my EP Carré D’As) it is a piece composed of three instrumentals.”


Tradition Man Wolo | Back Again

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Reggae.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “I am an avid student of reggae music and founding stars Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer and Jimmy Cliff. Born and raised in Ghana, I have been living in Seattle for over a decade. I am gearing up to release my first full length studio album. The project’s lead single is a beautiful but powerful tune titled Back Again. The song was inspired by recent events in the United States — racial injustice and the real possibility of the reinstatement of Jim Crow laws if people do not consciously reject segregational politics.”


Martin Ruby | Sisyphus

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Alt-Folk.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Martin Ruby are an alt-folk band led by singer and multi-instrumentalist Marco North. Born in Brooklyn, he has been living in Moscow for the past 13 years. Laying his demons bare, North pulls on characters like a series of strange coats. His first album Heaven Get Behind Me was written on a 100-year-old guitar, and recorded in a Soviet-era living room on a collection of vintage instruments, including a 1887 banjola. “I tracked down this odd instrument after hearing Dave Eugene Edwards playing one in 16 Horsepower,” North says. “It has such a haunting sound — that collision of blues and Americana and gospel — and it is the heart of this track.”


Sherry Finzer | Greatest Blessings

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: New Age.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Sherry Finzer believes that music can heal. Her musical journey has taken her from classical to jazz, pop, world, and flamenco to today. She feels her music does the best work by helping to soothe and bring people to a state where they can heal through her New Age music.”


Lync Maníaco | Inmortal

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: World.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “I am a singer-songwriter, composer, producer, and interpreter. Inmortal is dedicated to a loved one. It’s my attempt to paint a certain feeling through music: The feeling of yearning for the illusion of inmortality and a state of pre-existence. If I can transmit that feeling to you, through this track, I have done my job.”


E-Lico | Fait Péter La Coco

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Pop-Rock.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Faced with the urgency of breathing and conquering new spaces of freedom, E-Lico takes you to unusual places. 2021: While theaters close to the public, the trio is working in residence and composing around 20 titles. Our first clip, shot on a boat in Nantes, was released on Jan. 1, like a song of freedom and hope! Our zesty lyrics come to life in electric and wacky musical compositions.”


Toumak | Gazous Gazelles

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Originally from Africa, I present my music in different cabarets in Paris and the provinces, and collaborate with eclectic composers and arrangers.”


Le Douze | Fruits Of My Life

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Reggae-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Fresh to the scene with a hot summer single, French-American rockers Le Douze formed out of a need for creativity and collaboration during quarantine in France. Their first single Fruits of My Life is a reggae jam in the vein of The Police. Drummer David Boutherre doubles as lead vocalist, while keyboardist Frédéric Scamps and guitarist/producer Maxine Lebidois fill out the rich bed of chill sonic lushness that transports listeners to the tropics. “Fruits of My Life is the story of someone who’s been away from home for a very, very long time,” David says, “someone who comes back to their homeland to take care of the ones they love the most and to be taken care of by them as well.” A first EP is due in April, with an album next September.”


Drink Me | Leaf Shield

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Folk-Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “We are a folk-pop group. Our music takes an uncompromising view of the world and we advocate a return to a simplicity that our world so lacks. Whether in joy, rhythm, or melancholy, our music is deep and true.”


Posthumanbigbang | Vajrasattva

HOME BASE: Switzerland
GENRE: Metal.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “The Swiss collective Posthumanbigbang and mastermind Remo Häberli enter the new decade with a mix of post metal, progressive rock, atmospheric synths and world music. It’s a melting pot of fragile melodies, hard-hitting tunes, honest lyrics, versatile vocals and full-steam drumming. After three years in the making, their sophomore album Jungle Eyes is ready to see the light of day. These songs tell you his story about coping with a crisis in life and pushing through. Supported by all original members plus seven great guest musicians, Jungle Eyes will show its audience a gripping journey of life.”


Rise In Vein | Lunacy

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Hard Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Canadian hard rock band Rise In Veins fly over the whole heavy rock spectrum with their powerful and melodic delivery. When guitarist and bassist brothers Francois and Stephan Lefebvre join singer-songwriter and guitarist Stephane Aube in 2019, they immediately started to write their own original songs with one goal in mind: To be at the forefront of rock community. The band, augmented by drummer Luke Middleton, deiver their crushingly heavy single Lunacy. Co-written with producer Evan McKeever (VRSTY, Orchards) the song is filled with catchy hooks. Rise In Vein will release six singles in the next six months, all supported by music videos.”


Julius Rut | 2%

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Rap.
THE TRANSLATED & EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “I am a beatmaker, rapper and singer. My music mixes sarcasm, melancholy and storytelling on productions ranging from bangers to organic instrumentals. Greatly influenced by American rap, my sound crosses Notorious B.I.G. and Anderson .Paak on productions where Niska would be comfortable. 2% is a powerful banger with electronic sounds sprinkled with glitches highlighted by sharp punchlines. This is my first single before a seven-track EP scheduled for March.”


Johnny Longlegs | Summer Lovin’

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Yacht Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “I fell in love with music at the age of 10 and started learning to play guitar. Fast forward nine years: After two EPs with two different bands and many concerts, I settle in Berlin. FF five more years: After touring internationally with seven bands and producing many others, I decided to move to Paris in 2020. Since then I’ve been working on my solo carreer under the alias Johnny Longlegs.”


Clara and the Sky | Dive

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Indie-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Originally from Paris, Caroline met Richard when she arrived in Montreal in 2005. It was the beginning of a long collaboration between two music lovers. They founded Clara and the Sky in 2013, played in many cafes / bars / venues in the region and released a first album, Blind Faith, in 2014, which allowed them to refine the band’s sound identity: Atmospheric sounds, heady melodies, heavy guitars and researched textures, synthesizers pushed to the limit and committed lyrics. They come back with Land! and Terre!, two albums where they explore what the world is but also what it could be.”


Brooks The Boy | Crying On My Birthday

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Pop-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Pop-rock, singer-songwriter and producer Brooks Barry (Brooks The Boy) is a hopeless romantic. His writing is known for its passion and honesty. He is starting 2022 off with a bang, releasing his first of many singles, Crying On My Birthday. Brooks engages his listeners with raspy, yet smooth vocal, tasty melodies, and a tone in his voice that reaches the depths of your soul, expressing those feelings of vulnerability we can all relate to. Yet his songs make us hopeful as they move us closer to where we want to be. Like a good friend, they lift us through our hard times encouraging us to believe that a fulfilling relationship awaits. Over a year in the making, Crying On My Birthday is a pop-punk anthem pondering the emotions we tend to have on our birthday. “I would have conversations with my friends how the most lonely time in life for them was their birthday,” he says. “They would be surrounded by many people that loved them, however all they could think of is how that one person wasn’t there. I also have felt this way and wanted to create something we all can relate to.”


Caro MM | Sans Toi

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Pop-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Caro MM, whose real name is Caroline Morlat Mialaret, is a writer. She loves music and sounds fill her daily life almost permanently. Her only guide is beauty in words — the ones she seeks, the ones she finds, the ones that surprises her, the ones she discovers while writing. “I started my productions with a form of slam poetry,” she says. “My friends in the studio pushed me to try singing. I have 100 of them in stock but if I had to sing only one in my whole life it would have to be this one, written after my father’s death five years ago.”


Red Skies Mourning | Lost Without You

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Pop-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Red Skies Mourning blend the iconic music of The Legend Of Zelda with modern alt-pop and a Weeknd/Post Malone vibe. Lost Without You was the first of seven songs in the project. Each song will have its own vibe and a touch of each genre, plus lyrics with meaning.”


Midnight Mights | Sourdough Filet Mignon

HOME BASE: Canada.
GENRE: Rap.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “I am an independent artist from Canada. I make rap and alternative hip-hop.”


Sonny Lobo | Here And Now

HOME BASE: Switzerland.
GENRE: Soul / R&B.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “Swiss-born Sonny Lobo is a refreshingly unique electronic talent with a striking take on sound creation. His nomadic past is often apparent in his creations, where his rich cultural roots come out to play in several creative ways. Fascinated by modern technology and its application in today’s music world, Sonny’s approach to music production features an impressively varied depth of analogue and digital constructions. A lover of music at ground level, his passion for experiencing music is replicated tenfold in his work and is driven by an emphasis on rhythm and groove, as well as intricate melodic factors.”


Ciao Lucifer | Trip

HOME BASE: Netherlands.
GENRE: Pop.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Trip has an upbeat, sunny, dancing-in-your-living-room vibe. It’s a song about living in the moment and letting your happy hormones do their work instead of worrying about how you come accros. Produced by us, mastered by Patricia Sullivan and mixed by Iwen Legro, this is the first of five singles leading up to our album in August.”


Jake Huffman | Just A Little More

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: Indie-Rock.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “At the age of 14, Jake Huffman began his musical journey while traveling up and down the east coast with his rock ’n’ roll band McLovins, sharing the stage with Blink-182, Jack White and Flaming Lips. Jake has also been a composer and lyricist for Sesame Street and written songs for Ed Sheeran and Leon Bridges. He also did a stint leading the house band on ESPN2’s Sports Nation for a season. With years of experience under his belt and an ability to masterfully handle multiple instruments, Jake has created a sound that pulls deep from his rock roots and reaches far into what can only be described as the sound of the ’20s — a sound with the uniqueness of Arcade Fire, the drive of Tom Petty and the honesty of Death Cab For Cutie.”


Alice Wondering | Égotisme

HOME BASE: France.
GENRE: Soul / R&B.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:Alice Wondering is a classically trained cellist who became heavily involved in the underground landscape. Égotisme is a fluid and sensual blend of contemporary R&B, hip-hop and electro-pop. An inescapably exciting sound that feels true to her experiences, taking the listener from an atmospheric ego-romantic cry for help, to a darker cinematic ride between Paris and London. Her EP is a collaboration with U.K. producer Ellis Moss. Now back in Paris, Alice Wondering is preparing a second EP.”


Swtrwthr | Switch

HOME BASE: United States.
GENRE: EDM.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE: “We are John and Nela from Orlando. We began working together in 2018 and it didn’t take long for us to realize the magic we were creating. John has a background in future bass music and Nela has genre-bending skills. The combination produces beats that hit you right in the feels. Switch is a fun, bouncy, electronic track.”


Quinn Soular | My All

HOME BASE: Belgium
GENRE: R&B / Soul.
THE EDITED BIO & PRESS RELEASE:My All, written and produced by Quinn Soular, is a blend of R&B, soul, dancehall, Afrobeat, jazz and electropop. This mid-tempo record is the backdrop to a story of meeting someone who changes a casual night into a lifetime journey. My All is filled with jangly guitars, lovely marimba sounds, twee melodies, and turns of phrases like “All I wanted was an evening, you turned around to be my every everything.” With his unassuming yet earnest delivery, Quinn Soular tugs at your emotional heartstrings while making you move your body.”


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