IN RETROSPECT: The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill – 20th Anniversary

It’s hard to believe that an album can turn 20, when it sounds as fresh as the day it was born.

On this day, 25th August 1998, Ms. Lauryn Hill released her debut and thus far only solo studio album, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (Ruffhouse/Columbia Records).

Following her years with hip-hop group Fugees (also featuring Wyclef Jean and Pras Michel), Hill, born and raised in New Jersey, used every ounce of her creative intelligence to curate something that would not only go on to win Grammys, or receive acclaim from critics and peers alike, but would serve as an educative tool for (but not limited to) her people – hip-hop in its truest sense, and at its most important.

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IN RETROSPECT: Gwen Stefani – Love. Angel. Music. Baby.

The 2000s was an important time in popular music. There was so much quality and so much of it to choose from. Pop music could be anything, anything at all. And by anyone at all. Competition within the industry definitely existed, but overall, there was a lot more variety across the board, an abundance of artistic individuality, all combined with original, well-crafted compositions.

At that time, there was also ‘just a girl’ who exemplified the aforementioned characteristics. She also happened to be the lead singer of an already established ska/punk/rock band. If you know anything about me, you’ll know I was a huge fan while I was growing up. Yes, we’re talking about Gwen Stefani.

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NEW MUSIC: Ellis Aaron – “Me & You (Remix)”

Ellis Aaron is a singer, songwriter and musician from Bristol who is slowly making a name for himself on both the Bristol and worldwide music scenes. Having had his music played on local and international radio stations and received a lot of positive feedback from his fans and peers alike for his soulful and high-calibre productions, Aaron has released a new follow-up remix to his most recent single.

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FEATURED EP: Oscar Jerome

London-based musician and singer-songwriter Oscar Jerome released his eponymous debut EP last week. After spending years grafting in the music scene and refining his talent, the young artist unveils a work consisting of four weighty tracks that are certainly a testament to that.

It’s hard to define Jerome’s sound as it’s a peculiar mixture. The influences of jazz, hip-hop and soul are clear, but it’s more aptly described as alternative. With contemplative and obscure lyrics, and arrangements that have carefully been thought out, he creates something original and mysterious that captures your attention from start to finish.

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