July 21, 2021–Today, R&B artist Sani Knightreleased his new single “Dark Place.”Sani Knight is an 18 year old Los Angeles–native, who fell in lovewith music at age 10 through influences The Weekend and Eminem. Within the last year, he’s released music for the first time, and “Dark Place” is the first of 5 tracks that make up Heaven Seems So Far Away.
Sani Knight is a self–taught pianist whose versatile sound encompasses Middle Eastern influence, R&B, rap, and electronic music. He hopes to bring Middle Eastern representation to popular music, while “speaking to anyone going through something that makes them feel stuck or misplaced.”With an organic approach to his writing, all songs capture his personal experiences and are brought to life with those he works with. He’s found a great team with producer Bosquet (1/2 of Pixel Terror) and creative director Nikoli Party(Wallows, Foster the People).
R&B singer-songwriter Miiesha returns with “Damaged”, an unabashedly vulnerable take on intergenerational trauma and grief. Miiesha has set herself apart through her storytelling songwriting ability. She is known for music that “captures the complexity of the individual Indigenous experience through universally appealing songs.”
Her latest release, “Damaged,” showcases the depth of Miiesha’s soulful vocals and ability to convey the intricacies of the human experience. It takes listeners on a deep dive into the pain and disconnect that accompanies familial loss. She shares, “‘Damaged’ is my most personal song yet and the most painful for me. It is a song about the broken relationship I have with my mother. It’s about how much I have wanted it to heal and fix it, only to find myself hurting more.”
Released alongside the single, is the stunningly cinematic visual for “Damaged”. Featuring images of Miiesha’s real family, viewers are given an intimate look into a family’s struggle as they wrestle with feelings of grief, each member doing so in their own unique way.
Check out the video for “Damaged” here!
About the Artist
A strong, proud Anangu/Torres Strait Islander woman, Miiesha released her debut collection of songs entitled Nyaaringu in 2020. Meaning ‘what happened’ in Pitjantjatjara language, Nyaaringu explores the stories and the strength Miiesha inherited from her late Grandmother, whose interludes narrate the project. Since its release, Nyaaringu has garnered countless critical acclaim. It received the 2020 ARIA for Best Soul/RnB Release, a QLD Music Award, and topped Album of the Year lists.
Through her songwriting, Miiesha hopes to offer encouragement and expand perspectives, motivating her listeners to not only be strong but also be compassionate. She shares “I hope it will bring strength and comfort to anyone who has gone through what I’ve gone through, and what I’m still going through. Black people around the world have seen so much trauma. People need to understand that, even though we might be damaged from it, it has made us strong.”
With a voice that showcases vulnerability and strength, often in one breath, Miiesha sings of her people, her community, and her story with the raw emotion of the lived experience. By weaving the personal and political together, listeners are given the opportunity to understand the young Aboriginal woman. Miiesha’s story is long overdue and her strength is powerful.
San Diego-based band of brothers, We the Commas, returns with a music video for their new single “Custom Made.” The beachy track features the soothing harmonies from brothers Cam, Jordy and Lenny Comma while combining contemporary pop elements with nostalgic jazz instrumentals and R&B melodies.
We the Commas continues to deliver a timeless sound that has the ability to touch generations. We caught up with the band to discuss their unique sound, latest single, and what it’s like working with family!
Cliché: How has quarantine been for you? Have you been making music in a different way because of it?
Band: It definitely took some adjusting, but we have figured out how to be happy and thrive in this new reality. We picked up some new hobbies, started playing hella video games again, and spending time with our family. As far as making music goes, we have continued to make a ton of music. School online has allowed us to create a ton of music together too. The recording process has changed a little bit due to social distancing so we are finding new ways to record with minimal people around. We’ve been having Zoom sessions so we don’t have to meet in person.
You’ve deemed your sound as “Surf Alternative R&B.” Can you describe what that sound is and what inspires you to make that genre of music?
BAND: “SARB” is a mixture of all of our earliest musical influences. Our parents had us listening to a wide variety of music. Everything from Stevie Wonder, Maxwell, India.Arie to Pearl Jam, Green Day, Nirvana, and The Dave Matthews Band was in constant rotation in the house. We grew up on the coast of San Diego and that beachy sound heavily influenced the music we create as well. Shout out to Young the Giant and the Last Dinosaurs too, we love you guys!
Talk about “Custom Made.” What was the process behind creating this single?
BAND: “Custom Made” was inspired by a real conversation at our favorite look out point. One of our homies was showing off his new custom made stetson wide brim hat. There was something that hit hard about those words “Custom Made” that immediately inspired the chorus. Out of nowhere Cam started singing “I’m custom made for your love” over guitar. The boys all went crazy in the car because it felt like a dope chorus. Cam came home and showed Len and he wrote his verse and Jordy wrote his verse shortly after.
Tell me about the vision behind the “Custom Made” music video?
BAND: The video for “Custom Made” is about the journey of finding the right fit. It can be anything in life – a partner, a motorcycle, a board, an outfit. You just realize when something or someone fits you so well, it’s just gotta be custom made. We played around with the concept of us as a band trying to find a visual outfit, whether it be because of others preconceived notions or just trial and error. In the end, what fits us is what we naturally wear anyway. But we did like all the outfits in the video though!
Watch the video for “Custom Made” here!
As a band of brothers, what is your general collaborative music process like? Are there certain aspects of music that each of you like to focus on individually?
BAND: Typically, one of us will come up with an idea and it inspires us to write about it from our own perspective. We add harmonies accordingly, and if it’s lit, the song sticks. Then we bring the song to our producer and he is able to execute our vision adding that ‘Chris Rosa spice’ as we like to call it.
Who are some of your musical inspirations?
BAND: Frank Ocean, India.Arie, Young the Giant, Justin Bieber, Fleet Foxes, Santos and Johnny, The 1975, Daniel Caesar, The Ink Spots, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, The Last Dinosaurs, Chance the Rapper, Superduperkyle, Anderson Paak, Mac Miller, Norah Jones, Colbie Callait, The Jonas Brothers, Counting Crows, Playboi Carti, Logic, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West, Juice Wrld, Neil Young, James Taylor, John Legend, Sergio Mendes, Robert Glasper, Jacob Collier, Al Green, Black Eyed Peas, Jai Waetford, Ryan O’Shaughnessy, Childish Gambino, Pierre Bourne, Drake, Tobi Lou, and Summer walker to name a FEW…
What’s next for you as a band?
BAND: We’re close to finishing recording our first album so technically what’s next is recording our next album! Haha. We actually have another single after this and then the release of our first EP. Then we hope to drop the full album!
We the Commas journey began in their family living room. The soundtrack to their childhood includes the likes of Stevie Wonder and the Jackson 5. As they grew older and developed their love and talent for music, they harvested their inspirations from their roots. Lenny, Jordy and Cam have been deliberate with each lyric they’ve penned. As brothers, they recognize that the music they deliver is a representation of the values they embody. With each release they are being given an opportunity to present an honest illustration of the men they were raised to be. By relying on each other, their loved ones and their SoCal roots to guide them through their musical journey, the sky’s the limit for We the Commas!
On August 16th, Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul passed away at 76. Franklin was born in Memphis, Tennessee on March 25, 1942. We can thank her father, Rev. C. L. Franklin, for exposing Aretha to the world of gospel music. She began singing in her father’s Detroit Baptist church, undoubtedly where she began to polish her soulful singing style.
I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You
Columbia Records was the first to sign the singer in 1960. However, it was not until her contract with Atlantic and the release of her 1967 album, I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You, that Franklin became a household name with a gold album under her belt. Franklin’s single, “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You),” was her first pop hit, scoring a spot in the Top 10 list and number one spot for R&B.
It was neither my intention nor my plan, but some were saying that in my voice they heard the sound of confidence and self-assurance.
Following Aretha Franklin’s Passing, Her Music Sales Have Soared
The Queen of Soul’s passing is a loss of a music legend. Countless artists who followed in Soul, R&B, and Pop were influenced by the songstress. In her lifetime, Franklin had 73 songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 and 100 songs on Billboard’s R&B singles list. She released 17 songs that placed on the Top 10 chart, as well as 21 songs that landed the number one spot for R&B singles.
On the day of her death, Aretha’s album sales skyrocketed to an astounding 19,000 copies in a single day. The day prior, her album sales were around 1,000 copies. According to Nielsen Music and The Hollywood Reporter, combined with digital song downloads, August 16th saw 134,000 copies of Franklin’s albums and tracks sold.
“Respect” and Women’s Empowerment
1967 Aretha Franklin studio portrait. Photo Credit: Gilles Petard/Redferns
One of the best ways to honor the music legend is to continue to share her music. Franklin left an indelible mark on the music industry with her talents, as well as on the world with her strong presence and influence in racial issues and women’s rights. Much of her music was geared toward the empowerment of women, most notably her rendition of Otis Redding’s song, “Respect.” Redding’s version from a male perspective was a representation of a man’s world. But when Franklin reimagined the song, she had something else in mind. She took “Respect” and utterly transformed the entire meaning. It was—and continues to be—a woman’s anthem and a reminder that as women, we need to demand respect.
Music Stars’ React to Franklin’s Death: Crafting “the Soundtrack to the Lives of Many”
Many musicians took to Twitter yesterday to express their love and the loss of Aretha. Singers like Elton John, Patti LaBelle, and Diana Ross have truly embodied the impact that Franklin made on the world.
The loss of @ArethaFranklin is a blow for everybody who loves real music: Music from the heart, the soul and the Church. Her voice was unique, her piano playing underrated – she was one of my favourite pianists. pic.twitter.com/ug5oZYywAz
Here at Cliché, we love to highlight new musicians that provide enjoyable content on the most accessible platforms. I owe many of my nights scouring for more material to add to my current music library to platforms like Bandcamp or even Pandora in its early days, recommending new artists and new sounds to my ears. Think of this as an ongoing mixtape series, from a person who wants the absolute best for you: good music and a great, growing collection. Read on for some indie artists you should know about.
His stage name, a play on words, references extensive journey or travel, from the Homer work “The Odyssey” and Odysseus’ decade-long post-war trek. This artist seems to do the same within his own lyrics in “Things.” The track brings memories of a car with suede or leather seats on a bright sunny day cruising through the neighborhood. How often do so many of us fall into the trap, believing that no one understands what we’re going through during our trek in this life? The rapper speaks of the common habit, but in the end, we’re going through the same ‘things.’ (So I’m holding onto pressure like it’s all mine/That ain’t sweat, it’s just the way I keep the floor shined/Everybody queued up in the long grind/Thinking that we next in the short line) The beat and pacing may be a bit off for us all, but sometimes the lyrics, the show, or presentation, may read the same. Intro Track: “Things” New Listen: “Like Really”
Consider the difference between Mumford & Sons’ and Kendrick Lamar’s second album. The arena folk rock act came in hot with with Babel, its highly commercialized, chart topping album that made them the household name they are today. Lamar was expected to do the same this year but instead delivered the masterful political and cultural art album that is To Pimp A Butterfly. Both strategies worked in those cases, but only because the artists fully committed to that line of attack. Gary Clark Jr. had the opportunity to make that sort of impact with his sophomore album The Story of Sonny Boy Slim, but winds up somewhere in the middle of innovation and wide-reaching success. The virtuosic blues guitar player has turned heads ever since his 2010 performance at Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival, and his debut album Blak And Blu cemented this young musician as a major mover and shaper in the blues rock scene.
Sonny Boy was the name Clark’s mother would call him and his friends called him Slim, making this album his story. It’s about finding salvation from the dark world we live in through music. How Clark has bettered his life and how he can help others through his music. That can be a powerful message, however, Clark is just too vague about what those problems are to make it as powerful as some of the other self-empowerment albums of the year — namely Chance the Rapper’s work on Surf by Donnie Trumpet And The Social Experiment and D’Angelo’s masterful return on Black Messiah. Those albums had targeted and in many ways similar messages about black culture in America, while taking drastically different musical, stylistic and lyrical approaches to the topic. When I saw the album cover depicting a young Clark Jr. looking up at a school bus as if overwhelmed about the world he was about to encounter, I got excited. Perhaps the Texas born guitarist could bring yet another fresh take on the topic that has swept our political and cultural landscape for the past year.
Alas, I’m left a little disappointed. The album’s subject matter is vague enough to make it relatable but to the extent that it feels impersonal. In that way the album is very much a stepping stone for an artist who has endless potential. The two opening tracks — “Healing” and “Grinder” — will appeal most to fans of the southern-tinged Eric Clapton blues that launched Clark Jr.’s career on Blak and Blu. They have that catchy guitar riff that gets in your head on the first listen, and they are the songs he’ll play most often live because they’re made to open up for some manic guitar solos. Afterwards, he begins to experiment and get funky. He’s playing more with R&B soul grooves, layering in horns and multiple guitar lines that are meant to support the song as a whole rather than soar in overtop a thin foundation. Songs such as “Our Love” and “Cold Blooded” are also showing off the guitarist’s high falsetto more than ever before. Those killer guitar solos of old are still very much present on the album. “Hold On” and the album’s closing track “Down To Ride” in particular show off those skills in new ways. If the beginning of this review sounds like I’m disappointed, it’s because I am. Blak and Blu was my soundtrack for so long that I had high expectations for his second release. The Story of Sonny Boy Slim is a good album you should listen to as soon as you get a chance, but it feels like Gary Clark Jr. is only scratching the surface with this one, and I can’t wait to see what happens when he masters that sound he’s looking for.
Read more music articles on ClicheMag.com Album Review: Gary Clark Jr. ‘The Story of Sonny Boy Slim’ Image courtesy of garyclarkjr.com
Today I stumbled across some very exciting news. One of my all time favorite R&B singers is returning to the music world after a three and a half year hiatus. Ms. Jazmine Sullivan is back and better than ever, and she took to the stage at the KOKO Theater in London this weekend, where she performed tracks from her first two albums, 2008’s Fearless and 2010’s Love Me Back, and her own rendition of “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk and Pharrell Williams. Her powerhouse vocals and commanding stage presence were greatly missed, and the news has social media sites buzzing with excitement. The 26 year old soul singer announced that her third studio project will drop later this year.
Back in 2011 when Sullivan departed from the music industry she stated in a tweet “I’m making an official announcement that I am taking a break from music. I’m trying to figure out who i am… w/out a mike, paper or pen, I promised myself that when it wasn’t fun anymore I wouldn’t do it. And here I am. I’m not saying I won’t ever sing again in my life becuz I don’t believe that. But in this moment… rt now… I got some things to figure out.” But during the concert she revealed to the crowd that insecurities and an abusive relationship were also part of the reason she took a break from the spotlight. She also assured her fans that she’s now fully confident and ready to finish what she started.
A big congrats goes out to Jazmine Sullivan on having the courage to return to doing what she loves despite the problems she faced in the past. I’m sure all my fellow R&B junkies out there can agree that the music world has missed her, and can’t wait to see what tunes she blesses our ears with in the near future.
Here is some of the footage from the London performance: Bust Your WindowsLions, Tigers, and BearsNeed U BadGet Lucky
If you’ve never witnessed the excitement of music, movies, television shows and fashion statements all at once, then you’ve probably never tuned in to the network, BET. Each year BET celebrates its success by having award shows. The show that “Anything can happen”, according to this year’s host, Chris Tucker. The 2013 BET awards was memorable because of its talented guests and performers in the entertainment industry.
I’ve been anticipating the exciting event all summer when it finally aired on Sunday June 30th. I was anxious to see what some of my favorite celebrities were wearing, who looked “Hot or Not”, and the most memorable performances. The most important event of the show consist of entertainers earning awards. Some of the categories included “Best new artist, best collaboration, best video, viewers choice”, and much more.
One of my favorite performances was by R&B legend R Kelly. His music has been around for generations and his talent has impacted new artists of the future. When he performed, his name was a trending topic on twitter, meaning millions of people were mentioning him in their tweets. He performed some of his most classic hits and the crowd went wild! Most of the guests in the audiences were singing along word for word.
Singer Chris Brown had a great opening performance and his dances were full of energy. He has always been a great performer and known for his talented skills. The BET awards gets better and better each year because there is always going to be something new for us to see. These performers plan and practice all year around, knowing that the performances are a huge deal to the guests and viewers at home watching.
The exciting genres of music such as hip hop, R&B, jazz, pop and reggae are celebrated with memorable performances. I am always thrilled to see will happen on next year’s show!