Best of Britain is a monthly column highlighting the best new songs from rising UK artists on Audiomack. Listen to and favorite our UK RAP and UK R&B playlists, which include these selections and more.
NSG — “After OT Bop” feat. BackRoad Gee
Afrobashment trailblazers NSG followed up the smooth “DRUNK GUITAR” with “After OT Bop,” the spiritual successor to their 2019 breakout. Set to a sinister groove from in-house producers 4Play, the Hackney collective trades sharp-witted bars with the pyrotechnic BackRoad Gee.
James Vickery — “Come to Me” feat. Musiq Soulchild
James Vickery pays homage to the brothers Gibb in his smoothed-out R&B collaboration with neo-soul doyen Musiq Soulchild. Wielding a Main Course Bee Gees falsetto with amorous intent, the South Londoner quavers beside Musiq’s trademark tenor, evoking the Saturday night fever of “More Than a Woman” ahead of his debut EP, Overture.
Genesis Elijah — “Mad One” feat. Jammz and Scotty Stacks
When grime godfather Wiley failed to deliver upon his promise to convene all-new grime releases on January 1, 2020, Genesis Elijah likewise shelved his foray into the genre. Resurrecting his Vision in 2021 with a series of weekly singles, “Mad One” is the pick of the 140 bpm bunch. A hallmark grime banger, Shapes’ furious riddim incites an opening salvo from the Brixton native, inspiring Jammz and Scotty Stacks to round off the barrage.
Lord Apex — “Like You Know”
Lord Apex brings the bounce to his UK shit for his first single of 2021, the victory lap riddim “Like You Know.” Flexing his self-possessed flow over a post-Dipset trap production, the White City native ramps up the volume on the Angus Luke production.
Ayanna — “Alone”
Ayanna pleads for some personal space in her relationship with her rousing new R&B single, “Alone.” The London-based singer-songwriter fastens her resonant vocal to a mellow vibraphone-infused backdrop in a polished appeal to her love interest’s self-esteem, imploring them to not take her need for alone time personally.
Hakkz — “Pandemic”
Dagenham’s Hakkz claims to be “pandemic proof” in his buoyant new single “Pandemic.” Manifesting a plan to survive a global economic recession, the East Londoner saunters over the rumbling bass, congratulating himself for turning 2020 into a “bandemic.”
Levaud — “Oh My” feat. Reekado Banks
East London’s Levaud reunited with Nigerian Afropop star Reekado Banks for her sultry new release “Oh My.” Propelled by a plucked bass riddim, the British-Mauritian singer flutters between English and French, uttering her enchantment with a love interest in a seductive afro-fusion.
Tobes44 — “PSG”
London-born, Atlanta-based Tobes44 turns an acoustic drill riddim into a mellow backdrop for his polished new release “PSG.” Navigated by an infectious vocal loop, the Peckham native rides the sub-bass, flexing his persuasive flow on a freestyle titled after his FIFA team of choice.
Meron Addis — “So Long”
Meron Addis continues her string of 2000s-inspired R&B cuts with her latest release, “So Long.” Rejoicing in finally finding someone special, the Ethiopian-British songstress catches a summer vibe on the breezy, acoustic production, lilting her excitement in finding peace of mind in a relationship.
ySo? — “Westside 17”
Northwest London’s ySo?’s first release of the year, “Westside 17,” is a two-minute rhymefest, set to three different self-produced beats. Evoking the spirit of a Warm Up J. Cole, ySo? declares conviction in his craft and takes square aim at those who didn’t believe him.