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Global Artists Spotlight: Dakota Ryley, Valencia, School of X And More

Hear new tunes by musicians from across the world

This week's Global Artists Spotlight features musicians (from left) Dakota Ryley, Valencia, School of X and more. Photos: Courtesy of the artists

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Valencia – “So Sober”

Los Angeles-based electro-pop duo Valencia, comprising California’s Jadeyn Madsen and Indo-British Lou Courts present us with a silky new single titled “So Sober.” Both artists combine their airy voices to create lush harmonies while a foot-tapping beat carries the song. Talking about the song, the pair said, “It is about working through the hardship; coming back from the low points in life and when you’re trying to drown it all out, you find someone or something that makes you want to keep going.”

Miiesha – “Damaged”

Last month, Indigenous-Australian R&B and neo-soul artist Miiesha dropped a powerful new single titled “Damaged.” Filled with clever vocal runs backed with complex instrumentation and profound lyrics, the track definitely ticks a lot of boxes. Miiesha has also released a compelling video to go with the song. The singer says, “Black people around the world have seen so much trauma that people need to understand that, even though we might be damaged from it, it has made us strong. Respect our stories, and try to understand.”

Dakota Ryley – “Good For You”

New York-bred and Nashville-based singer-songwriter Dakota Ryley recently released her upbeat and light-hearted track “Good For You.” While the lyrics cover the butterfly of emotions that come with a new crush, sonically Ryley explores pop and country elements as her charming voice is at its peak throughout the song. “It’s so tough in your teens and 20’s; you’re not only finding yourself but finding out what you like and how to communicate. I wanted to write a fun, flirty song about what it’s like to work through that, in pursuing a love interest,” she says about the song.

F/L/P – “Kiss That”

Norwegian singer-songwriter Philip Dementiev aka F/L/P depicts a strong love obsession that becomes dangerously addictive with his latest single “Kiss That.” The track includes indulgent production with plenty of twists and turns that complements the lyrics. The artist says, “The song reflects deep melancholy, sadness and obsession. Being in love can go both ways because the aspects of love are so strong and powerful, it’s fascinating how much it has caused both happiness and problems for people.”

Johnny Ashby – “Wild”

British-bred and L.A.-based singer-songwriter Johnny Ashby gets quite magical and somber on his latest single “Wild.” Accompanied with ambient sounds as well as delicate acoustic guitar plucking, the track picks up pace towards its climax to make for a magical crescendo. Ashby shares, “Every time I’ve traveled to a new place I’ve noticed how it’s changed me and pushed me to grow spiritually in some way. When I write “follow me into the wild” it’s like I’m back home after that adventure and I’m saying ‘now what?’”

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Raina Sokolov-Gonzalez – If They’re Mine

New York-based jazz artist Raina Sokolov-Gonzalez delivers an introspective and fantastically arranged seven-track album If They’re Mine. There’s dynamic and mellifluous vocal melodies running across the record while the singer’s brother, Jake Sokolov-Gonzalez, has helped produce the LP that’s filled with hypnotic instrumentation as well as staple jazz movements. Speaking about the record, the vocalist said, “My intention is to honor the music as it comes, to craft it to the best of my ability and to be true to my creative voice.”

School of X – “Feel of It”

Copenhagen-based indie-pop artist Rasmus Littauer aka School of X dropped the first glimpse to his forthcoming sophomore album Dancing Through The Void in the shape of the energetic “Feel of It.” The track features an indie-rock vibe with gritty guitars and pop beats while a sweltering keyboard solo and the musician’s groovy voice add to the thrill. Speaking about the song, the artist Danish artist says, “It’s about the desire to break out of daily routines and boredom, craving for headspace, excitement and bigger emotions. It’s a desire that seduces me and haunts me and sometimes comes with a cost. Sometimes you end up all alone because you’ve been blinded by the light.”

Elliot Lee – “Rubies”

Brooklyn-based alt-pop artist Elliot Lee presents the first single from her upcoming EP Queen of Nothing with the genre-bending “Rubies.” The track explores Queendom and recounts Elliot’s struggles to fit in and the feeling of being “othered.” The angsty offering is layered with wild electronic melodies and vocals that command attention. There’s also an edgy video to go with the jittery track.

Emmit Fenn – Far From Here

California singer-songwriter Emmit Fenn – who previously helmed production duties for Billie Eilish’s “bitches broken hearts” – recently released a beautifully crafted 10-track album titled Far From Here. The record channels escapism as Fenn’s haunting vocals guides you to another world. The production across the album is also meticulously done and captures the mood for each song to the tee.

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Nazanin – “Dangerous”

New York City-based singer Nazanin comes out all guns blazing with her new anthemic single “Dangerous.” Filled with fiery pop production, the song oozes with perseverance and determination as well as Nazanin soaring vocals. The artist says, “I was inspired to write the song due to my ex, he was insecure and always tried to belittle me, my goals, my aspirations, and control me. He was a master in manipulation and gaslighting and while he had a lot of great qualities and treated me like a ‘princess’ in the end he was an asshole.”  

Lamorn – “Physical Layer”

Signed to seasoned EDM star Deadmau5’s label mau5trap and hailed as his protégé, American producer Lamorn makes his first impression count with “Physical Layer.” A seemingly electro-house track that digs into rubbery synths and funky rhythms, the track is the 18-year-old’s first release on mau5trap, even getting on stage to support Deadmau5 at a show in Phoenix last earlier this month.

Martin Jensen, Rompasso, Faulhaber, Jonasu – “Make My Mind Go”

It’s a four-way collaboration between songwriters and producers Martin Jensen, Russia’s Rompasso and Faulhaber and Jonasu (both from Holland). The resultant track is a can’t-fail electronic-pop tune called “Make My Mind Go,” which also features a co-write from Yoshi Breen, who has worked with Martin Garrix, Lost Frequencies and more. The heavyweight sonic partnership follows Jensen’s previous releases including “2019,” “I’m Just Feelin” and most famously, his 2016 release “Solo Dance.”

We Demand Parachutes – “Lost Her Mind” ft Olivia Castriota

On their first release of the year, Boston indie rockers We Demand Parachutes team up with powerhouse vocalist Olivia Castriota for a shimmering, spacey song called “Lost Her Mind.” Seemingly inspired by bands like Angels & Airwaves, there’s a visceral sound enveloped within layers of dreamy guitar melodies on “Lost Her Mind.”

The Blips – “Inside Out”

Albama punk band The Blips combine the twangy guitar noodling of Southern rock and amp things up on their latest release “Inside Out.” Reminiscent of bands like Dinosaur Jr. Taken from their self-titled debut album (out via Cornelius Chapel Records), The Blips provide earnest, emotive songwriting as well as spirited stories to go with it.

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