You always have to make time to scroll through endless social media feeds, for example, and you always have to be ready to whip out Shazam faster than a shitty DJ whips out David Guetta on a Saturday night.
One of the most fruitful tactics we make use of, however, is one of the most simple there is. Whenever Annie Mac makes a recommendation – you should probably listen.
So, when he heard that the wonderful Irish DJ was bringing AMP Collected to The ICA in London – a showcase where she picks fresh talent to perform live on stage – we knew we had to get along.
It was a decision easily made, and in the end it was a decision very well made too.
Rosie Lowe, George Maple and Hawk House were the three acts on show – all diverse, all up and coming, and all extremely impressive in their own original right.
Talented electro-soul singer Rosie Lowe was up first, accompanied by a keyboard, guitar and drums.
At the key of Miss Lowe’s performance was a simplistic, bold edge that gave her simplistic performance a fierce edge. Each lyric and piece of instrumental work was rolled out with neat precision, perfectly timed to make each individual noise stand out. It’s a great way to highlight her real talent.
Rosie was not dissimilar to Jessie Ware, with a keen emphasis placed on the vocals and a less-is-more style approach.
It isn’t hard to imagine her entertaining an upscale dining set up in 1920s Paris, and yet her songs have an edge that make them raw enough and pure enough to gain huge underground acclaim.
Song To Check Out: ‘How’d You Like It’
If you keep up to date with your music, there’s a good chance you’ll have heard of Australian artist George Maple. She’s another electro-soul singer not a million miles from Rosie Lowe, but with more of an upbeat formula behind her music.
Her tune ‘Fixed’ went pretty big in the last year or so, and she’s done some brilliant work with Flume as well on ‘Bring You Down’. Her new EP showcases what she’s really about though – and to be honest, it’s her best work yet.
Maple’s performance at the ICA was based on strong, fast-moving vocals, a sexy as hell persona and an underlying, ever-pulsating electronic beat that kept the audience hooked.
Song To Check Out: ‘Talk Talk’
Much of the crowd that turned up the ICA were there specifically to see Hawk House – the experimental London hip-hop trio made up of Croyden brothers Sam and Eman and Harlesden singer Demae.
This became rather clear when they kicked off their set and a good part of the audience began to rap along, and got their phones out to record.
The group lay clever, targeted lyrics out over chilled, looping beats, tackling issues and doing it in style.
Their rhythms are perfectly balanced between the quick-spitting of the boys and the sweet vocals of Demae, and while it’s easy to get lost in the soulful beat, you’re certainly rewarded for paying attention.
Hawk House don’t feel like they’re rapping at you, they feel like they’re rapping in order to engage you. Lyrics like ‘I leave my lyrics ingrained at your brain’ describe it perfectly. Their songs are like comments and suggestions rather than mindless vocals about all the usual topics.
The group go to that extra effort to try and open up a discussion with the listener, and they manage to keep it funky while they’re at it. Big basslines keep you movie in the instrumental sections and quick wits keep you hooked on the verses.
A great performance from a group who are surely destined for bigger things.
Song To Check Out: 'My Mind Is A Weapon'