Portland, OR’s Cassow (b. Jeremy McKinley) got into music at a young age and gravitated toward rap as an outlet for dealing with family issues and having to grow up too fast. In 2010 at only 19 he started carving out his niche with a series of mixtape releases, most notably “Mixtape Off Mars.” In the nearly decade since, he’s stormed the hip hop scene, collaborating with fellow Portland artist TYuS on the Warner Brothers release “Never Forget,” and penning his own singles, “Flashback,” “La Brea” and “Dealership.”
The spotlight stays on this independent up-and-comer with his latest release, “HEART TATTOOED” – a low-fi hip-hop track with contagious lyrics and an even-keeled few-note chorus that creates an endless looping refrain. Whether intended or not, the title ends up being very meta as we hum along with Cassow and realize the track is now tattooed on our hearts, brains and respective SoundCloud feeds for the foreseeable future.
The video for “HEART TATTOOED” is comprised of different scenes with one common denominator: they all feature water. From the opening aerial shot of a riptide, the elements gradually constrict in size – from a swimming pool, to a shower, to a fish tank casting a glow from the corner of a bedroom – that collectively, effectively depict the theme of entrapment-post-breakup.
Cassow views music like a marathon; it’s an exercise in endurance, but still a race with a finish line. And he wants to be #1. With the release of his EP, Gods of the Young, hot on the heels of touring Post Malone, it’s clear that Cassow has hit his stride and is pacing for greatness in 2019.
View the full video for “HEART TATTOOED” here and then add the track to your collection on SoundCloud.
When you hear Jae Stephens’ bluesy bass-backed tracks, it’s clear the LA singer and beat-maker is a natural born talent. If you look (click through the internet) a little bit closer, you find out that her success isn’t an overnight gift per se, but rather the byproduct of an artist working tirelessly, seizing every opportunity and breaking free of genre conformity. From grassroots beginnings on Tumblr to solid support c/o major media players like Pigeons & Planes and The Fader, it’s evident that Stephens’ reputation is gaining momentum. No doubt that her latest single “Headlights,” on the heels of mid-tempo hit, “You Like That,” will continue to redefine pop RnB and solidify her standing as a key voice of 2018.
Stephens was born in Dallas but spent most of her life in LA – a town she sings about, but tires of, and can deal with, because she’s not following the pack down the 405. She’s blazing her own trail. The competitive intensity of music-making in Hollywood brought her to the UK, a place where she could hone her sound and collaborate with the best in the production biz: Jam City (“24K”) and Bruno Major (“Every Time”). She worked on her latest offering, “You Like That,” with LA’s Jonah Christian (TDE, Anderson.Paak, SiR, Aminé, Jay Prince). With no allegiance on either side of the pond, and a tech-soul sound that pulls from multiple eras, it’s safe to say Jae Stephens doesn’t have her brake lights on.
To see the full video click here.
For more information on the SoundCloud x Noisey Singles Program click here.
Stream Jae Stephens’ latest tracks on her SoundCloud page here.