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Jan 1st 2005


Making his mark -Nate JamesNate James - Set the Tone: (One Two Records)


The new year is upon us once again and it's hard to believe that the decade is half over already (I still remember the 'computer meltdown' conspiracy supposively once the new millenium got here:) but it's another year and another batch of new music to look forward to reviewing.

Starting off this year's review is a fellow brit who's tearing up the soul scene in Europe and my native homeland of the UK. His name...Nate James and he has all the makings to be a star on both continents.

Currently unsigned to any label, Nate produced his debut album indepently and has put himself in a position to set himself up nicely if the majors come knocking. His live gigs are getting him noticed with a loyal fan base growing bigger and bigger with each set and most will testify that he really can perform on stage. The comparisons are evident currently placed in the company of Maxwell, Stevie Wonder and Lenny Kravitz but also I would think that he's in the arena of a Van Hunt or Peven Everett

It's clear the singer has developed a style all of his own with the image and the sound to match. The debut single and album name sake 'Set The Tone' has been bum rushing the british radio airways the last few months making it one of the hottest records out there right now.

The tune itself is refreshing and honest, a story of a man sticking to his guns and not giving into the demands of his relationship with his girl (in some ways hinking at those executives in the offices of the labels you might think). Production is solid all the way around a lively baseline with a hint of the string guitar and Nate's vocals the driving force throughout gives this record merit and it's clear to see why it's getting the attention it's receiving.

To date the record has claimed the No.1 spot on Choice FM's R&B chart and the A list on 1Xtra. You can also download the single on his own website www.natejames.com

The album won't be out for another 4months (some circles has it being released as late as July) but in any case if this track is any indication of what to expect on the album then it will be well worth the wait. Nate James has a bright future ahead of him and only time will tell as to how far this young man can go. One of the most promising new talents to come out of the UK in recent years that's for sure - a TY-D Pick.

Listen to Nate James - 'Set the Tone'

Sir TY






No signs of slowing down - Bobby VBobby Valentino - Slow Down (Def Jam)


Another hot new singer who's bubbling under the soul scene radar screen here on US shores is 22 year old newcomer Bobby Valentino.

Bobby is the latest signing to rapper Ludacris's record label DTP (Disturbing The Peace) and the 1st R&B singer to be released on the label as well. With some labels when getting a talent such as this they tend to hold off releasing their material a few years (one such case that comes to mind is Rell and Roc-a-Fella) so with all that going for him it seems prine for him to make his mark.

The singer clearly has talent and his influences in music tells you that he's aiming at the best. ''My biggest influence would be a Marvin Gaye or an Anita Baker or the Isley Brothers b ecause they had so much feeling into their music and you could really tell it. They wasn’t just singing what someone else wrote. They actually felt a lot off the stuff, I really could tell that, I could listen to artists and tell if they are really for real or not'' he recently said in an interview with soundslam.com.

The single Slow Down has all the right elements, excellent production, the smooth groove and bopping baseline to nod your head to, topped with the baritone vocals of Bobby, this one is a match made.

The debut CD called Gimme a Chance is out in a few months but the single has been floating around for sometime now with remixes up the wazoo in tow but even in it's original format the song itself is decent by far to say the least.

Steadily climbing the PD charts at radio stations across the country, Slow Down is primed to make a big splash in 2005 and won't slow you down in listening to it. A TY-D Pick.

Listen to Bobby Valentino - 'Slow Down'

Sir TY




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