ABOVE: RAHEL. PHOTO COURTESY OF LINDSAY KEYS.
These days, music truly lives online, with an infinite number of websites dedicated to hosting tunes for the laptop-wielding masses. However, the web’s bottomless pit of blogs isn’t the only place to troll for mp3 treasures—some of the newest and most exciting (Internet-friendly) artists can be sought out via Soundcloud, the online stage that allows musicians to promote and distribute their music to fans and friends across the globe. In this weekly column, expert Internet sleuth Alex Chapman goes into the depths of the music-sharing site, in hopes of shedding light on emerging acts, as well as sharing some digital diamonds in the rough.
Here at Soundclouds of the Underground, we often spread our focus across several spheres of the music world, highlighting different genres and artists within the same week. However, just as exciting as this can be the trajectory of one act as observed through the music they’ve put out on the Internet over time, each track a digital milestone in their artistic evolution. This week we look at Bronx-born vocalist (and crucial Camp and Street member) Rahel, whose musical evolution can be chronicled through a handful of key collaborations that lead to the release of her debut single “Serve,” today.
Le1f: “Air Max” ft. Rahel (produced by Matrixxman)
Who: Thanks to his sly, smart rhymes and future-forward aesthetic, rapper/producer Le1f is transitioning from indie darling to full-fledged star. He currently has a deal with Terrible Records and his newest video, “Sup,” comes from his first EP with the label.
The Song: Spearheaded by Le1f, the Camp and Street collective often collaborates on various tracks, so it’s no wonder Rahel appeared on the slick “Air Max,” a track off Le1f’s acclaimed Fly Zone mixtape. The songstress’ angelic vocals effortless weave in and out of the track, complementing Le1f’s sensual growl.Current Project: After a showstopping appearance on Letterman, Le1f has been full speed ahead with shows all over the world. Keep up via his website.
DonChristian: “Autocad” ft. Rahel (produced by Jeremiah Meece)
Who: Another member of Camp and Street whose work we’ve highlighted in past posts, DonChristian is an eclectic singer who will often spit a verse, doing both with a suave candor that helps his cosmic, R&B-inclined sound stand out.
The Song: “Remember when you said that you liked it rough?” DonChristian asks on the subtle and sexy “Autocad.” Rahel adds her magic touch to the track in its latter half, first with the two singing beautifully together and then again in a call-and-response form that showcases both of the artists’ knack for creating unflappable, unique vocal runs.
Current Project: “Autocad” is apart of DonChristian’s recently released project Renzo Piano—listen to it here.
Rahel: “Serve” (produced by Jeremiah Meece)
The Song: Rahel’s solo work in no way disappoints. The producer is Jeremiah Meece, one half Chicago duo The-Drum and someone who could be described as the Timbaland (well, circa ’90s/early 2000s era) of the current underground scene (i.e., the guy all the cool acts want to work with, and who seems to bring the best out of everyone). The track finds Rahel smoothly requesting that a love interest to take her out for some lobster. The heart wants what the heart wants, and Rahel sure knows how to make that want sound beautiful.
Current Project: Rahel will be at Glasslands this Sunday performing alongside DonChristian—for more info, click here.
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