This article was previously published on Audiomack World.
Jay Wheeler— El Amor and Yo
Almost three years ago, Jay Wheeler graced our studios as a rising star of the Latin music scene. Now with his star in peak position, Wheeler returns with his most tender work yet, El Amor and Yo. The album follows that of January From Mi Para Ti EP and sees the Puerto Rican reggaeton artist embrace even more R&B influence to make songs for the ladies, for his exes, and more. There is enormous care taken in emotionally avant-garde writing, as on “Te Quiero Así”. El Amor and Yo may make you cry, but that’s a good thing.
Portable – Zazuu Zeh
After a breakthrough appearance alongside Poco Lee and Olamide for the hit collab, “ZaZoo Zehh,” Portable delivers the Zazuu Zeh EP, his first corpus since the 2020s Wanted to. The budding Nigerian star’s sound blends Fuji and Afrobeats into a unique Afropop flavor. Distinguished by glitches, “Oro Owo” features Portable’s distorted vocals and haunting polyrhythm while “My Way” piles on Portable’s guttural deliveries. Zazuu Zeh builds on the momentum of Portable’s breakthrough single, helping him establish himself as his own artist.
Ravena — Asha’s awakening
For his last album Asha’s awakening, singer Raveena went to the high concept to tell the story of a space princess from ancient Punjab, finding healing through coming to terms with love and loss. Yes, it’s epic, and yes, it’s whimsical. Inspired by a transformative acid trip from 2017 and the conception of “Rush”, Asha’s awakening sees the artist experimenting with bigger sounds and themes to strike an emotional chord, like on the heartbreaking “Time Flies” and “Endless Summer.”
Cousin Stizz — Just for you
Hometown Boston hero Cousin Stizz is back indie and making music Just for you. The bars are crisp and Stizz’s hustling mentality is front and center. But more importantly, this album exists as a testament to how Stizz lives to motivate his fan base. “Just for you is a project for you,,” Stizz told us this week. “It’s a project to show that you can do anything and you don’t need anyone. It was one hell of a therapy session for me. Between the rowdy “Guts & Glory” and the evocative “RIP Bro”, Just for you doubles down on the accessible style that makes Cousin Stizz such an enduring performer.
Small bean — grateful forever
Lil Bean is grateful forever on his new album and follow-up to his October 2021 project CARE PACKAGE 4 THE STREETS. An alumnus of “10 Rappers You Should Know” from June 2020, the San Francisco rapper’s brand of painful music ranks the same for bangers as it does heartbreaking tunes. Jumping between songs about being his team’s rock to connect with Larry June for his hometown west coast vibes, grateful forever is one of those rare albums meant to be played anywhere that still has the cohesion to be enjoyed as a complete work.