#7: AZEKEL

When compiling Top of the Tips last year we tore our collective hair out trying to bring down our long list to just ten artists. One artist who really had us tossing and turning at night was Azekel, and now we’re proud to include him in this year’s Top of the Tips.

In March 2013 we first picked up on the London artist via his track “That Feeling”. There was, and still is, something so powerful about his video for the track. It’s simplistic and allows us to get up close and personal with what’s going on in Azekel’s head. He’s drawn comparisons from Frank Ocean, The Weeknd and Miguel but there’s something he has unique to those artists. He might be the UK’s first new soul superstar.

Before the end of the year he already had an EP out on Generator/Thunderlightning records called ‘Circa’, and dubs it as a collection of memories circa 2003-2013. It’s a must own, five track new-soul memory bank from which opening track ‘In The Zone’ appeared in our long list for last year.

That’s the past though. Azekel has had an even bigger 2014. We already knew he could sing, and his production on the Circa EP was impressive, but what was about to drop was out of this world. In June, Azekel released ‘New Romance/Holy Matrimony’, two completely different but equally groundbreaking pieces. ‘Holy Matrimony’ is a ghost story wrapped in cracked, dark bass and ghostly vocals and harmonies. A guitar lingers in the background too before it takes centre stage, completely unhinged.

On the other hand ‘New Romance’ is a straight up raw hip hop beat that you could mistake for a J.Dilla or De La Soul number. It’s the perfect showcase for Azekel as a producer and as a singer as his falsetto decimates. There are flickers of trumpets too, and the synth in the chorus adds a seriously cool sound to the mix. As a completed song, ‘New Romance’ is the track where Azekel feels like a superstar.

Just before the end of November we were treated to a new track called ‘Chronophobia’. It’s a Jazzy R&B number cleverly written about time. Chronophobia is the fear of time, and the theme is echoed through-out with vocal tick tocks adding to the beat. Time’s something Azekel shouldn’t fear though.

It’s easy to become smitten by Azekel and with new material planned for 2015, the rest of the country will no doubt find their new favourite voice too.

Words by Scott Hastie 

Azekel was first tipped back in 2013 with words by Ben Blackburn .

Since then Generator have supported Azekel with the releases ‘Holy Matrimony’, ‘New Romance’ & ‘No Ordinary Love’

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