I have a weakness for R&B. It’s my full-fat coke, my frosted cupcake (with sprinkles), it’s my caramel macchiato (with cream) and my second (large) glass of wine. The dulcet tones of artists such as Donell Jones, J. Holiday, Bobby Valentino, Avant, Trey Songz, Tyrese…the list goes on. I just don’t hear from those guys as much as I’d like to these days. There is a new wave of contemporary R&B on the scene and don’t get me wrong, that’s good too. However, there is nothing quite like the traditional style that hooks you in and makes you feel heady with the first flush of romance. Where those artists sing as if they are singing just to you. But there’s a new kid on the block and his music reminds me of those R&B maestros with his super soulful vocals, dreamy beats, and songs fuelled by love, sex, and passion.
Kojo Stone is a Brooklyn-based independent artist who started off as a poet and smoothly transitioned into a songwriter. He has collaborated with the Grammy-nominated engineer Blue and Producer Brandon Attmore on his new EP ‘Ego Trip’.
“Ego Trip was inspired by a couple of my past relationships. I came to the realization that they were lead by Ego and not love. We focus on things that only matter to our individual selves, we forgot to focus on what mattered to each other as a whole. We forgot to understand, to find a compromise, to sacrifice, to communicate. When you are lead by your ego, you have a chip on your shoulder. You place blame with no thought. You tend not to be accountable for your actions. You are always unwilling and unable. So through that, Ego Trip was created. The music gave me an opportunity to be transparent about my past relationships and find clarity.”
Find out for yourself, but here is a rundown of ‘Ego Trip’ in a nutshell:
‘Energy’ gives you a hazy, woozy feeling like one too many drinks with its dreamy ambiance and Kojo glides from breathy whispers to soaring falsettos in a fluttering heartbeat.
‘Prove That’ teases out Kojo’s seductive, syrupy vocal tricks and the hook is as entrancing as the beat.
‘iRather’ has a slick, moody driving beat and great lyrics, “I rather make your body my breakfast”. It’s a hybrid of genres, with a scintillating groove, lick of funk and a switch up of tempos.
‘Surface Love’ features harmonies which intertwine and glisten like the sweat-slicked bodies Kojo is singing about.
‘Ego Trip’ is a personal favourite. The swooning chorales and eager hooks make you want to zone out and focus on nothing but the music. I’m not sure if it’s an ego trip, but Kojo Stone will take you on a trip alright. Straight to the bedroom. Ahem.
‘Want To Be Loved’ Featuring TruthCity (who really reminds me of G-Eazy) has jazz textures and gentle instrumentals. The rap is short, but sweet and compliments Kojo’s expressive vocals. The track might be mellow but it crackles and pops with electricity.
And that ladies and gentleman is Kojo’s new EP ‘Ego Trip’ encapsulated. Yes, I have a weakness for R&B. And now I have a weakness for Kojo Stone. But you can still pass me that cupcake.