Celebrate the last week of November with new releases from Latin trap star Anuel AA, Norwegian rapper Ash Olsen, and emerging neo-soul artist SYRA.
Anuel AA – La Leyendas Nunca Mueren (Real Hasta La Muerte)
Considered one of the pioneers of Latin trap, Anuel AA continues to stun fans with La Leyendas Nunca Mueren, his third solo album since his chart-topping collaboration with Ozuna, Los Dioses. The first single off his latest album, “Dictadura,” features Myke Towers and Jhay Cortez, and perfectly balances romantic lyrics with dance floor production. Reversing course on the tempo but increasing the emotional honesty, “Pin” showcases a maturity that helps make Las Leyendas Nunca Mueren his one of his best album to date. Throughout the album’s 16-song tracklist, Anuel rekindles with his O.G trapero roots, with new anthems that are bound to satisfy not only reggaetón and Spanish-language pop fans, but all fans alike. According to Rolling Stone, the multi-Latin GRAMMY award winner “takes a well-earned victory lap on ‘Las Leyendas Nunca Mueren,’” a project that showcases Anuel’s “full of on-brand swagger while also displaying a new maturity.”
Ash Olsen – ASHY (EZ Money)
This year’s P3 Gull Newcomer of the Year nominee Ash Olsen presents her debut EP ASHY. The 20-year old artist’s unique upbringing is only one thing that separates her from other emerging rappers. Growing up on a farm, Olsen spent her days spinning hypnotic rhymes about the day-to-day of her life in rural Norway as well as her imagined life as an American street rapper. Her soul-baring lyrics are often inspired by her passion about street culture growing up, even if that meant being far removed from her family’s farm. Olsen also stands out with her uniquely low tone of voice, making it difficult for listeners to determine her gender. This ambiguity, she explains, appeals to her—she embraces the fact that as a Norwegian female, she is not the typical rapper. However, Olsen doesn’t allow being different to get in her way, explaining, “I remember thinking about releasing stuff and that was when those thoughts came to mind; you know, like, Can I do this? Is this for me, or am I gonna get slaughtered? But yeah, I just realised that, you know, what I’m going to do it either way, f*ck it.” She got to it, making the music that she wanted to listen to herself without letting anything stand in her way.
SYRA – Pill (Free Hand Records)
23-year-old Parisian artist SYRA’s unique take on neo-soul shines through her newest EP, Pill. The up-and-coming musician describes the inspiration behind her project’s title in a statement to COMPLEX: “I want [my] songs to feel like a pill,” says SYRA. “You close your eyes and go somewhere magical for three minutes. I like to switch it up! I guess it’s easier for people to relate to your music when you show your weaknesses; I deliberately write my music loosely so that anyone can tap into the emotion.” Filled with introspective masterpieces, the EP’s tracklist serves as the perfect heartbreak cure, with its emotional lyrics and emphasis on self-love. When it comes to inspiration, SYRA’s tone clearly resembles new-age Baduizm and also echoes the stripped back soul-searching of Frank Ocean’s Endless. One of the EP’s stand-out singles, “Sandman,” clearly showcases SYRA’s impressive songwriting abilities, as she so honestly describes her genre fluidity and faith that she will end up somewhere special, no matter the obstacles.