• Thu, Sep 28, 2023

Chennai Singer-Songwriter STEVIE Gives Hip-Hop A Spin

Feb 26, 01:53pm

‘Cul-de-sac’ incorporates drill and trends that the UK has been exporting to the rap world of late

STEVIE has been around for a pretty long time if you’re familiar with his indie releases and so on. He’s done his singer-songwriter stuff for a few years (and been at the front of the band Nobody) and generally been around the block as far as doing one’s time in the south Indian indie scene is concerned. His new single ‘Cul-de-sac’ is a foray into hip-hop; more accurately the grime and drill music that has been relatively low-key until the last couple of years. You can see it gaining steam right in front of your eyes. The hottest young music in New York is drill, the UK scene is going global faster than ever, and of course, Drake is co-opting it now (it might be his MO to take movements and ride their wave, but the results show he’s got a good ear). STEVIE’s attempt is a respectable one, and if you are unaware of the genre’s sound, it’s all there.

What sounds? Skittering drums, really inventive 808 patterns (one of the reasons why the genre has its idiosyncratic bounce) and generally murky and brooding samples. STEVIE does all of these things with some proficiency; ‘Cul-de-sac’ is worth the price of admission for its instrumental alone. His vocal delivery is also in the flowing and generally confident style the genre ‘demands’ (whether you like his put-on accent or not depending on your personal taste, the attitude is pretty much there). So if you want a relatively non-intrusive introduction to the ideas that are taking over some pockets of the English-speaking popular Western music world, ‘Cul-de-sac’ is an appreciable effort.


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