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10 tracks to get you through lockdown

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Photo of Vanessa Maria

Vanessa Maria’s Isolation Sessions

Vanessa Maria is a DJ, Presenter and Creative, part of Youth Music's Next Gen. Here she shares her top 10 tracks to get you through lockdown. 

Music has never been more important. With about half the world's population living under social distancing, we’ve found ourselves finding comfort in our favourite songs. Whether it's for reflection, relaxation or even just a little dance around, it's fair to say that music has made staying at home a far better experience.

As a DJ, Presenter and Creative, putting together mixes, discovering new artists and sharing music has been keeping me sane. I’ve had a lot of time to reflect during this period and truthfully it's been a long-needed check in with myself.

It took a whole global pandemic for me to slow down and appreciate life for what it is. Isolation has let me take out time to know myself. I’ve learned that, in the long run, you're really only in competition with yourself, so go at your own pace.

As a DJ, when it comes to self-discovery, there's nothing better than realising that you have a new favourite genre, artist or song. I've decided to share that joy with you, so here are some of my favourite discoveries.

1. Sainte- Champagne Shots

A laid-back, mellow track with a nonchalant flow from up-coming artist Sainte. It tells a story about lifestyle, touching on everything from fashion to smart investments and cars. It’s the perfect isolation tune; offering you an escape from the mundane reality of being locked in your room. Hailing from Leicester, Sainte tells me that it's “his favourite track out at the moment” and that it’s a track that “you can listen to at any time and just flex!”- I couldn’t agree more.

2. RADA- Burn One

At just 19 years old, London artist RADA is a creative on many levels; creating visual content as well as heartfelt music. Her latest track ‘Burn One’ is no exception; it's a dreamy atmospheric song which takes you on a soulful, emotional journey. It’s my morning song, it’s beautiful, and it sets my day up in the most peaceful way.

3. KNWGD- Creepin’

Taken from KNWGD's Spring EP, ‘Creepin’ is a song for the ladies. Produced by Clonez, the song fuses hip-hop with Jazzy R&B. KNWGD tells me that it “speaks directly to women..the first line ‘women like you start all kinds of wars’ relates to how beautiful and powerful women can be…” Still relatively underground, KNWGD is not only making noise in the industry but is also soundtracking my lockdown mood.

4. Esso- D.D.E

It doesn’t come cleaner or fresher than Esso’s song, D.D.E. Light and summery, breezy and melodic, a slowed down UK garage vibe with soulful tones. Born and raised in West London, Esso displays a fluidity in sound inspired by the musical memories of his youth. He manages to mix a heartfelt message with witty wordplay and it's been on repeat since its release.

5. Chikaya- Indigo

‘Indigo’ finds Chikaya’s celestial vocals intertwined with sublime, slow jam electronic beats. Chikaya says: “ ‘Indigo’ is a deeply personal kind of song about being vulnerable and honest towards your feelings…”  This is one for the deep thinkers, heavy hearts, and emotional lovers. It’s the song you need if you're currently social distancing from your partner- strong feels.

6. G33 x SOULSTATE - Doja Cat Say So UKG Edit

Based in between Liverpool and South London, G33 is a producer and DJ with an eclectic taste in music. Known for her upbeat, rhythmic mixing, she’s making waves in the scene with her debut UKG edit “Doja Cat Say So”. G33 tells me she has a “deep love for garage” and “loves blending and experimenting with sounds.” This edit is perfect for a little dance; it's uplighting, light and warm. Be warned, it might transport you to a rooftop garden with a continuous flow of cocktails.

7. Sham Steele- You Don’t Know Remix

Birmingham native Sham Steele is a DJ, Producer and Co-Founder of collective TRPHSE. Taking influence from Soul, Jazz, RnB, UKG, and Hip Hop, Sham told me that his style is “the bridge of past and present with a UK this case [You Don’t Know Remix] it’s a taste of classic R&B with a fusion of UK Drill.” The clever blending of genres, subtle traces of baile samples, and clean high-hat hits, ultimately leave you with a heartfelt banger that still manages to pay homage to the heavy basslines found in UK drill. Jheeeeeeze!

8. Bando Ballet (prod. teddygood)

Up-coming Bristol-based artist Teddy Good has blown me away with his feel-good, melodic track ‘Bando Ballet.’ It’s a soft trap ode to Spandau Ballet’s hit ‘True’ and perfectly fuses hip- hop with synth-pop in a cheerful, carefree way. This has been getting me through all my “meh” days; it’s delicate, warm and feels like a great hug from a long lost friend.

9. Scuti- Huh

There’s been a buzz building in the UK’s underground scene around South London’s 19-year-old Scuti. Over the years, the rapper has forged a distinct sound of mellow, relaxing beats with heavy baselines. "Huh" brings the listener in with a snappy melody and Scuti’s mellow flow. It’s my go-to ‘flex’ track, whenever I need to remind myself of who I am, I whack this on.

10. Elheist- DONE TALKING

South East London’s Elheist showcases her versatility on her new track ‘Done Talking’. The percussive hard-hitting track is experimental and rhythmic. She perfectly contrasts her soulful voice with a pulsing bassline, it's a tune that truly allows you to let loose and feel free.  As a creative, I've definitely been inspired by Elheist to create my own path and as she says in her song, be “on my own wave.”