REVIEW: Shakka 'The Lost Boyz Listening Party' @ Notting Hill
At a secret listening party, held at one of Notting Hill’s renowned music venues, we were given a sneak preview of The Lost Boys, the forthcoming EP from immensely talented vocalist and all round nice guy Shakka. Set for release on 6th November, the 7 track EP is the first to be put out by Sony imprint Pitched Up.
Surrounded by industry heads and a few artists, including singer Etta Bond, we soaked up the sounds of Shakka’s glistening voice as he took us on a journey like no other EP has for a long time. Not since The Streets shared A Grand Don’t Come for Free, with Mike Skinner’s well-written and witty storytelling, have we been so engrossed by the plot of a project.
Set in Shakka’s futuristic vision of London, where ‘the suits’ suppress the creativity and free-thinking of the general public with a mind controlling serum, each track is followed by a narrative that sees Shakka and his friends question the authority that governs them with some dramatic consequences.
Shakka has already shared one track from the project, ‘Say Nada’, however the EP version doesn’t feature Boy Better Know lyricist JME. One artist who does feature on the project though is Wretch 32. After Shakka provided the vocals for Wretch’s chart hit ‘Blackout’ back in 2013, it was a nice touch for Wretch to return the favour on the emotionally charged ‘Heart Don’t Lie’.
The feel of each track keeps in fitting with what’s happening in the narrative with the upbeat and bouncy ‘You Don’t Know What You Do To Me’ and the climactic EP closer ‘Jungle’ standing out as particularly strong efforts. “Go on, go on, you own it” are some of the lyrics featured on ‘Jungle’ and they couldn’t be more accurate, because with this EP, Shakka is definitely owning it.
It’s difficult to think of an artist in the UK right who is more of an all-rounder than Shakka; he wrote, produced, recorded, mixed, mastered and performed every track on the EP barring one, which was produced by Nutty P. His voice is one of the most breathtakingly perfect voices of any artist in the scene right now and when you have the passion and dedication to your craft that Shakka has, success is almost a certainty.
If we were to describe this EP in a word, it would be epic. From the captivating storyline, to the exciting songs themselves, this release is wholly unique. The Lost Boys will surely find itself on every ‘Best of 2015’ list going at the end of the year and rightly so.
Words: Matt Tarr