Midnight was a great hour for R&B fans as two of our favorite vocalists, Twelve’Len and Hello O’shay dropped new singles. The pair share similarities, pushing the genre forward with soul and grit, and experimenting with instrumentals that suit their mood. Also, Better for Twelve and No Pressure for O’shay are respectively the artist’s first official releases of 2022.
While parallels exist, both artists bring distinction and class to their take on modern soul. From Twelve’Len’s lucid, haunting vocals to O’shay’s rich and glossy melodies, each single eclipses aesthetics through moving lyricism.
Better exemplifies the numerous qualities that make Twelve’Len a must-follow artist. The instrumental selection is superb, as haunting, spacious melodies and heavy hitting drums create perfect pockets for Twelve to explore with incisive vocals.
The vocal performance is tremendous, with Twelve’Len showcasing dynamic range. While the technical aspects are impressive, Twelve separates himself with the emotion he generates behind the mic. Better ranges from nostalgic, to bitter, to hopeful in sentiment, and Twelve’Len is able to portray those palpable feelings with a rawness most artists can’t come near.
And perhaps just as importantly, the lyricism matches that emotion. The Carol City native touches on topics such as a collapsed romantic relationship, the urges to run away from his city, and the power of his connection with his son. He links these subjects with a truly heartfelt hook. “It feel like Sunday service, sunshine through curtains./I’ve been working. To make it all better. Cause when I oh./I was hurtin’, they was all sleeping, I kept working. To make it all better.”
Better is an exceptional new offering, showcasing the many facets that contribute to Twelve’s limitless potential.
South Florida recording artist Twelve’Len seamlessly blends elements of soul, rock and R&B to create a sound that is intimate yet impassioned. His genre-bending talents have led him to aptly define his sound as rock & soul.
Twelve’Len’s emerged as one of Miami’s most exciting artists. He’s performed at music festivals and venues across the country. His most recent successes include a song placement on Issa Rae’s acclaimed series Rap Sh!t, and a performance appearance alongside Denzel Curry to perform the tandem’s hit single BLACK BALLOONS. Twelve’Len has upcoming live performances in New York City at Bowery Electric (September 16th & 18th) and Baby’s Alright (September 17th).
No Pressure is another superb offering from Bed-Stuy’s Hello O’shay. Backed by a bouncy instrumental, O’shay creates true vibes while exploring a meaningful topic. With immaculate vocal layering, and precise, soulful singing, No Pressure is home to vibes one can’t help but move to.
While sonically, it would be easy to fall into the mentality that No Pressure is an easy listening joint, O’shay’s reveals storytelling with a much higher purpose. The track dives into the complex nuances in a love triangle where there is definitely a spark, but no commitment. “No use in denying the feelings that you feel./could just be wrong timing, we both need to heal./Guess I understand that, your heart beats forward still./Ain’t no judgment darling, let’s just keep it real.”
O’shay speaks to those of us who have met the right person, at the wrong time. Who have felt the pull of someone special, where complications are caused by a third person. And most importantly, he shows an understanding that the worst thing one can do in that situation is apply pressure.
Brooklyn singer-songwriter Hello O’shay couples soulful vocals with intricate flow and experimental production to create a sound that’s unique, yet familiar. A student of classical music, O’shay learned Violin, Piano and guitar at Brooklyn H.S. of the Arts. He studied mixing under Solange’s engineer Mikaelin “Blue” BlueSpruce.
A frequent collaborator with Kota the Friend, O’shay has stepped into the spotlight as a solo performer. His talents have opened doors for live performance, including shows at Milk River, The Delancey, The Paper Box and Sony Music Hall. Hello O’Shay will be playing live tonight (9/14/22) at Purgatory, Brooklyn.