My acronym for the word music is Motivating Us to Share Intimate Conversation. I believe that music is a continuous soundtrack that reflects culture and traditions (old and new), and serves as a series of reference points for future generations to read about and learn from. It never ends. From the time I can remember, music has become a foundational pillar to how I move through life. As the Founder of Boston Art & Music Soul (BAMS) Fest, I am constantly researching new music from local, national and international artists, who deliver a different style of lyricism, messaging, melody, character and humility. Below is a short list of artists that I believe folks should watch out for in 2020 and beyond.
D Smoke | Inglewood, California
Daniel Anthony Farris, better known as D Smoke is not only a rapper and songwriter, but also a former Spanish and music theory school teacher at Inglewood High School. He gained attention after winning the first season of the Netflix music competition show, Rhythm & Flow in 2019.
The following year, he independently released his debut album Black Habits. He comes from a family of strong musical influences, including his brother SiR, who is signed to Top Dawg Entertainment and was featured on Anderson .Paak's album Venice (2014); his mother, Jackie Gouche who was a background singer for greats like Michael Jackson and Anita Baker; his uncle Andrew Gouche, who was a bassist for Prince, and his cousin Tiffany Gouché, who wrote songs for Ginuwine and The Pussycat Dolls.
D Smoke ft. Jackie Gouché - Black Habits
Conscious, effortless and humble are the best three words to describe his lyrics, music videos, delivery and character. When he speaks on his lived experiences and the journey of black people in America, I feel like I am learning something new and real. I feel like I am held accountable to make the future better. When I listen to him, I am almost reminded of the early days of Warren G, The Roots, Common, and Bone Thugs ‘N’ Harmony.
Follow on IG: @dsmoke7
Lance Jackson | Boston, Massachusetts
Hailing from Randlph, Mass Lance Jackson is a newcomer to the music scene and has piqued my interest given his lyrics, beats and dreamy-like vibes. Deeming himself as a storyteller, his music emphasizes the jazz and soul elements of Hip-Hop.
Lance Jackson - Strolling
This song and video felt like a Sunday drive. While the original Roberta Flack song focuses on black love, Lance presents a very different perspective about being young, life decisions, rumors, and stereotypes. I am excited to hear more from Lance in the years to come.
Follow on FB: @imlancejackson
MirandaRae | Boston, Massachusetts
MirandaRae is and R&B singer and songwriter with powerhouse vocals that penetrate the soul. She is heavily inspired by female vocalists including Adele, India Arie, Lauryn Hill, and Erykah Badu. MirandaRae got her start at open mics at the House of Blues in Florida and then connected with the producers behind DNA|AO to create her 2016 debut EP, Defying Love. Ever since she returned back to Boston, she has released her sophomore EP Excuse My Baggage, was featured on $ean Wire’s Internal Dialect, sang backup vocals for Oompa’s Cleo release show and Najee Janey’s set at the Boston Music Awards. All I can say is that R&B is not dead in Boston, thank you MirandaRae.
MirandaRae - Invitation For Love
For the past two years, I have secretly kept my eye on this amazing singer/songwriter. So when her video “Invitation For Love” came out, I was thrown back to the days of Brownstone, Aaliyah, 702, Zhane and Jade. I admire Miranda’s vocal range and laid back personality. In my opinion, she is an artist to watch out for.
Follow on IG: @mirandarae_music