Raya Max insists on empowerment with her 70s infused single ‘Starlight’

Disco, Music News, New Music, New Release, R&B, Retro, Review, Singer-Songwriter, Soul, UK Music

Dropping June 21st, ‘Starlight’ is a straight-up disco soul anthem that brings pure joy. It is the perfect platform for Raya Max to reach her goal of bringing “listeners’ inner disco divas back to life following the miserable time we’ve had recently”, and she more than delivers on that.

The song itself is a hundred per cent Raya as she not only wrote and sung the track but produced it too, which further infuses Raya’s infectious passion with the traditional soul song format. Whilst ‘Starlight’ is steeped in ‘old school’ influences (Jazz, Soul, Disco etc.), the message of liberation from stagnation in life is more relevant than ever and, along with the sleek production, grounds the single in the modern soundscape. The upbeat nature of the instrumental effortlessly blends with Raya’s rich vocals creating an experience that oozes joy and professionalism.

‘Starlight’ is an open, authentic offering to the world in the form of a dance along anthem. Not only is it a pick-me-up melody to bring listeners out of lockdown blues, but it is also an inclusive experience that lifts from “the flamboyance of London club culture”, creating a new influence for Raya in the LGBTQIA+ community.

Overall, ‘Starlight’ is a new optimistic track that exudes endless energy, showing the strengths of Raya Max and her potential in the UK disco soul scene. It is the perfect soundtrack for the upcoming summer, and people should be ready to stream this bop when it drops on June 21st repeatedly.

Check out Raya Max here:




Words by Ellen Oakley

Vintage-pop diva Jade Moss brings us sultry new single ‘Hey Babe’

female singer, Jazz, New Music, New Release, pop, Pop Music, Singer-Songwriter, UK Music

Smooth yet sharp, talented songstress Jade Moss has released her latest single ‘Hey Babe’.

The moody yet alluring track is all about finding love in a disposable age; a cutting criticism on the shallow nature of the world and a warped take on a love song.

Jade Moss‘ signature sound is a seamless blend of modern and old-school influences; taking inspiration from Jazz, Pop and Trip-Hop genres, Jade Moss has a deeply unique quality to her artistry.

‘Hey Babe’ features some gritty-good vocals, a rolling beat and catchy melodies. The track is defiant, with Jade’s lyricism packed full of wit, force and fire.

If there’s one thing that strikes you about Jade Moss it’s her attitude. Fearless and intense, Jade’s personality packs a real punch that listeners won’t forget anytime soon.

Jade’s creative talents are by no means limited to music, having made her name as an innovating entrepreneur in the world of fashion and textiles.

Just like her sound, Jade’s designs have a retro feel, combining contemporary fashions with trends of the distant past to create pieces that have landed her in huge online retailers.

Jade’s addictive melodies and defiant energy will have you feeling fearless and ready to take on the world. Creating a unique blend of genres both old and new, Jade Moss’ sound oozes quality and potential.

“The music that I write is about my experiences with love, joy, strength and the importance of self-worth.”

Jade Moss

Ready to make her mark on music, Jade Moss is set to bring us a full EP in April this year titled ‘Only You’.

With plenty more magical music in the works there’s no better time to get to know Jade Moss.


Written By: Jessica Rowe

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The Fresh Hit Radar- Music hotter than a heatwave

Acoustic, female singer, indie, News, Pop Music, R&B, Singer-Songwriter, Soul, Uncategorized

It’s our favourite part of the week and time to share some fantastic, fresh hits with you all. We’re excited to bring you the official Fresh Hit Radar playlist on Spotify, give it a follow and let us put you on some great new music.

Kicking off this week’s playlist are the talented Umbrellabirds with their acoustic single Rhododendrons. This track is true easy listening, acoustic guitars sitting perfectly over a rhythmic beat featuring effortlessly smooth vocals. The perfect addition to your Sunday playlist and a sound you won’t tire of. Check out the full project Closing Ceremony out now on all streaming platforms.

Next up some ambient jazz to soundtrack your sunny weekend. Hugo Marsh’s album Mutualism is a jazz infused, indie take on instrumentals. Each track is mellow with just enough funk, groove and rhythm creating a perfect blend of sound and style. Another easy listening project that’s a must have on any chill-out playlist.

Third on our list is the talented Lisa Danaë with her track Starlet, her first single post 2 year hiatus but it is more than worth the wait. Starlet is pure pop princess greatness, a track with energy and power, driving synths and Lisa’s strikingly pure vocals. The California native oozes commercial potential with her catchy hooks and heartfelt lyricism. A true pop talent and the most promising artist we’ve seen in the genre for a long time. Lisa has true potential for pop stardom. We’ll be keeping a close eye on this one.

Our final addition is Samuel Slater’s So Far, Gone, a strong contender for our song of the summer. The track is Samuel’s debut single and is a hugely promising start for the artist. So Far, Gone is a catchy track featuring an easy beat and bright guitars, the song is pure bedroom-pop, indie genius. Grooving, warm and effortless So Far, Gone is a must have on your summer playlist and firmly establishes Samuel Slater as one to water for 2020.

Happy Listening!

Introducing Vogue’s 2018 Music Artist of the Year, Layla Kardan


2018 has been a good year for Layla Kardan, whose creativity spans both the musical and fashion worlds – looking over her achievements across the last few months you see an impressive list of names in both music and fashion lining up to feature her work…

With favourable reviews from the likes of Harper’s BazaarPop Sugar and Savoir Flair, Layla’s musical output sees her marrying her smoky soulful voice with pop, jazz, Middle Eastern and R&B rhythms and melodies.

With a keen attention to fashion and style, Layla has also collaborated with Louboutin (watch here) and Emirates Airlines, as well as having a number of high profile interviews and showcases with the likes of Vogue (click here)  and most recently she has been named Esquire Middle East’s Music Award Winner of 2018. 

The music video is perhaps, therefore, the ideal platform for her project – her latest release, Goddess, displays her impressive control of both sound and style.

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n0pu3Hd-S6k

Instagram: http://instagram.com/laylakardan

Website: www.laylakardan.com

Recognising Salena Jones’ Place in Musical History

female singer, Jazz, pop, Soul

On the 28th September at the prestigious Purcell Room, Queen Elizabeth Hall, Salena Jones will step on stage to perform a concert in celebration of her 70 years in the music industry – so today at Pop Playlister we are going to take a step back from our usual chart toppers to overview her life and times in the industry.

Born in Virginia, USA, Salena moved to New York at a young and, remarkably, by the age of 15 she had recorded as many albums as she had lived years. But following increasing racial tension in the US she moved to Europe in 1964. Throughout her career she met and worked with a number of the biggest names in jazz and beyond: Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Wes Montgomery, Chico Hamilton and Stan Getz.

She worked as a session musician, recording guide tracks for Peggy Lee, Brenda Lee and Lena Horne. Following this she became a bill-topping act herself, with her backing band, The Blues Express Orchestra. One notable member of this band was her saxophonist, King Curtis (to whom she gave his nickname). Following her first visit to Japan in 1978, she became known throughout Asia as “The Queen of Jazz and Blues.” Her repertoire ranges from standards through to covers of all kinds of pop songs from the 60s to the present day. Her skill is as an interpreter, performer and story telling.

In terms of numbers her career is staggering: she has released 43 solo albums and 22 singles to date, she holds the record for singing at Ronnie Scott`s each night for seven consecutive weeks’ (the longest run by far) and still sells out the venue multiple times a year. From singing with Louis Armstrong to performances with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra – Salena Jones has never taken a break from her impressive musical output and remains to this day an impressive vocalist:

In celebration of her career she will be performing at the Southbank in London – the city she has called home for a number of years and a fitting location for the celebration.

Friday 28th September 2018 The Purcell Room, Southbank, London SE1 8XX


Neil C. Young Brings the Jazz with Brand New ‘Encemble’ Album


by those who know the genre, Young has played all over the world, from the UK to Mexico, even Cuba, and is now ready to unveil a change of direction with new album ‘Encemble’. Having made his name as part of the Neil C. Young Trio, this album has seen Young widen his scope. Stringing together a collective of eight talented jazz musicians over the course of the album, the result is a compelling, complex but accessible brand of jazz music.

For an example of the new sound, check out this new video for album track ‘Bolo’:

In a change from his normal writing technique, Neil C. Young built this album around melodies to create the harmony, in turn creating layers for the unconventional line-up of a baritone saxophone, bass clarinet, bass guitar, trumpets, and two drum kits. The results are outstanding – a shining example of the much maligned jazz genre on crowd pleasing form.


So, just to make it clear – Neil C. Young, jazz musician, is ready for the September 7th release of his excellent new album ‘Encemble’.


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Neil-C-Young-Trio/173575565995294

Twitter: https://twitter.com/neilcyoung

Website: http://www.neilcyoungtrio.co.uk/

Yo Will Make You ‘Shake It’ With New Single!


Post-punk indie single set to hit on June 15th

Based in New Orleans – the birthplace of soul and jazz – Yo are a rock band not afraid to go against the grain. After travelling the globe and making homes in various corners of the USA and Europe, the music and song writing draws upon a wealth of inspirations and tales from the road.

The latest single taken from the album will be the hard hitting, punk laced track ‘Shake It’ – dripping in punchy bass-lines, quasi-spoken vocals and a distinctly trippy sensibility.

You can hear the track here:

Watch the video here:

‘Shake It’ as a track represents just one of the many facets and styles that make Yo such an interesting band. Each track is specifically influenced by the place, time and events of its conception, so pinning down a genre is something of a challenge.

CaptureThe single is taken from the album ‘Vagrancy’, an LP which demonstrates perfectly the versatile nature of Yo’s song writing. Songs such as ‘Shake It’ are seemingly built for the high energy of live performance, but other tracks on the album suit different environments. Whether chilling out at a festival, going for it on a club dance floor, jumping around at a live gig or relaxing in a local pub, there will be a song on this album which fits perfectly to every situation.

Altogether, it makes for a heady cocktail which is tough to pigeonhole, sewn together by the originality of vocalist Andre’s delivery.

Single ‘Shake It’ will be available from June 15th.






CLAUDIA MORRIS returns to the stage in ‘Secret Love’, the heart-warming musical celebrating the life & career of the incomparable Doris Day. The show returns to the UK in February 2015 for a two month tour, following the success of the UK tour in 2013.


Secret-Love-Tour-FBA stellar performer in her own right, Claudia Morris’ career has seen her take to the stage in shows such as ‘Camelot’ at The Liverpool Playhouse and ‘Guys ‘n Dolls’ at the Cheltenham Everyman Theatre. She was also in the original cast of ‘Buddy’ in London’s West End at the Victoria Palace Theatre.

After a short break to raise her family she released her debut album ‘Love And Demons’ in 2009. She went on to explore her love of jazz with her second album ‘Twelve O’Clock Tales’ in 2012. This opened up the opportunity for Claudia to create and embark on her very own passion project – the 21 date tour around the UK of ‘Secret Love’. It ran to great acclaim last autumn and now returns due to popular demand with 26 dates in total. Click on the link for all dates and times http://www.claudiamorris-music.com/concerts – book now to avoid disappointment.

Since then Claudia has been picking up plaudits from critics as well as completing a very successful BBC radio tour. On top of this Claudia has recently signed to Right Recordings.

David Landau at Right Recordings said “We are delighted to announce the signing of the outstanding jazz vocalist Claudia Morris to our label. 2015 will be a great year for Claudia with the tour and release of her album, Secret Love, to look forward to”.

What they’re saying about Claudia Morris:

“The first class musicianship and arrangements on Twelve O’clock Tales surround Claudia’s voice, but allow the high polish of her voice to shine through. Claudia is an exciting and rising star to watch.” –Nigel Williams, Jazz FM

“If this is a return album for the vocal talents of Ms Morris (whose own natural slant on ‘scat’ stands comparison with the incredible skills of Ella Fitzgerald), then I urge her management team to get its spurs on and exercise her talents in other fields. Her voice is beguiling and charming…” –Ian Robertson, Reviewed Online – The UKs No. 1 Review website

“Passion and clarity delivered with a velvet voice, Claudia lights any stage” – Sue Marchant, BBC Radio

Claudia Morris sings with flair and beauty, innocence and integrity, & with her colleagues catches appetisingly the hip, louche nature of the 1950s Sinatra-era. When the three sing together, it’s even more magical stillRODERIC DUNNETT, Musical Theatre Review

“At no stage is Secret Love Dead Wood – so Move Over Darlings, here comes Claudia Morris with her Wonderful rich and expressive voice…” – MIKE READ, BBC Radio

“Claudia Morris captures the sophistication of Day’s delivery.”THE STAGE

“Claudia adds a sophisticated jazz take on many of Doris Day’s hits with a voice that is pitch-perfect, is beautifully interpretive with flawless diction and has an unerring sense of rhythm.” DAVID GREGOR, Bolton FM

The Show: ‘Secret Love’ – A Sentimental Journey through the life & career of Doris Day.

To celebrate the 90th birthday of Hollywood legend Doris Day acclaimed jazz singer & actress Claudia Morris returns with this critically acclaimed show . Doris Day has had an extraordinary life encompassing the big band era, Hollywood stardom, financial disaster, domestic tragedy, a TV comeback and tireless campaigning for animal rights. Claudia Morris has been inspired by the voice, wisdom, courage and convictions of one of Hollywood’s best loved actresses and singers.

Now, in an intimate evening of reminiscence, Claudia explores why she’s been touched so deeply by the icon she has revered for many years. Expect plenty of laughs, a few tears and some surprises in this celebration of Day’s extraordinary music, movies and marriages.

Accompanied by a live band and  actors portraying key characters in Day’s story, Claudia Morris’ account of her idol’s journey is a unique and unmissable, heart-warming, toe-tapping show that sheds a fascinating new light on the stories behind such evergreen hits as…‘Que Sera Sera’, ‘Sentimental Journey’, ‘its Magic’ & Perhaps Perhaps’, as well as some rare, poignant songs that show the many sides of this intriguing icon.

To accompany the show, a collection of songs from the production have been captured in the studio and released as an album also entitled ‘Secret Love’. The album is due to be released in February.

For more details about Claudia, the tour, and future releases – including the ‘Secret Love’ album – visit http://www.claudiamorris-music.com

Phill Willmott – Writer/Director http://www.philwillmott.co.uk and Malcolm Edmonstone – Pianist and Musical Director http://malcolmedmonstone.com/

Mama Moonshine ready for haunting new single ‘Sisters’


New track available from January 30th 2015


A London based four piece with a love of all things soul, Mama Moonshine are a band tailor made for swaying between funk jams and blues rhythms. This is a group who take in all kinds of influences – from the dusky likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Aretha, to the funk rock stylings of the Black Keys and the Red Hot Chili Peppers – each member has their own unique sound, when moulded together creates a distinct and elevated tone.

Their brand new single ‘Sisters’ is out on January 30th, a heartfelt song about the loss and gain of true friendship. Hauntingly soulful and with smartly lyrics that unspool with a gentle power, the track is a solid example of this band’s class:

Mama Moonshine are clearly a band assured in their own sound, both in the studio and on the stage. Having sold out both The Camden Enterprise and Proud Galleries (Camden Town) they also played to a rapt crowd at the Audiofarm festival 2014, Brunswick in Brighton and Portobello Road, Notting Hill to name a few. Add to that recent radio appearances and a guest slot for vocalist Ruth with Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Band for charity last year, and this band is on the rise in the London Music Scene.

Don’t just take our word for it. There has been interest from cult hit-makers Tune-Yards and Little Dragon, who had some words of encouragement after hearing their new material:

“Had a listen to your music. You have a great voice! Keep writing songs 🙂 and have a blast in the studio!! Lots of luv Yukimi”

‘Sisters’ will be available from online stockists and more from January 30th.



Facebook: www.facebook.com/mamamoonshinemusic

Twitter: @mama_moonshine

Instagram: @mama_moonshine_ruth

Soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/mama-moonshine

Fjokra – ‘Infinite Loops’

pop, Rock

With a completely eclectic feel, this track has combined various styles to produce something that is truly diverse. ‘Infinite Loops’ is a great upbeat, rocky dance track, guaranteed to have the listener moving!




Instagram: fjokra



Love, Susie and Chanel xxx