Enjoy new music from Port Harcourt-born artist Prettyboy D-O, GRAMMY-nominated singer-songwriter Cassadee Pope, and Chinese pop star LAY.
Prettyboy D-O – Love Is War ( Integral)
An activist known for championing against police brutality and music industry gatekeepers, the Nigerian artist Prettyboy D-O sits at the forefront of fashion, music, and visuals. As a dual Nigerian/US citizen, D-O was exposed to a global culture from a young age. Drawing early inspiration from artists like Craig David, Fela Kuti, Travis Scott, and Naeto C. Today, he presents his new album, Love Is War, a genre-bending tracklist that combines Afrobeats, Hip Hop, and alté sounds with gritty lyrics that take on the socio-political issues affecting young Nigerians. Prettyboy D-O has dominated the music industry since 2017, when his Afro-Caribbean single “Peter Piper” turned heads with its unfiltered lyrical themes and impressive blend of genres. Prettyboy D-O quickly became immersed in Nigeria’s rapidly expanding altê community, a band of artists who prioritize expression and embrace individuality in their approach to creating music. Love is War explores an array of moods and themes: “If you want rage, I’ve got the rage for you. If you want love, I’ve got the love for you. If you want the one that’s political, I’ve got that one for you. If you want God, I’ve got that one for you (too). You know what I’m saying? It’s a mix.” says Prettyboy D-O in a statement to DAZED.
Cassadee Pope – Thrive (Awake Music)
Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Cassadee Pope celebrates the release of her new album, Thrive, a project that authentically blends her pop-punk roots and country-inspired storytelling. Cassadee’s powerhouse vocals come alive on the album’s lead single “What The Stars See,” an intimate musical journey that describes the desire to glance into an estranged lover’s life: “Are you good, are you sad, are you missing me, are you a little bit lonely? Wherever you are, I want to be…tonight I want to see what the stars see.” In 2012, Pope first won over the hearts of millions after winning Season 3 of The Voice. Her debut solo album Frame by Frame (2013) reached No.1 on Top Country Albums, with 43,000 copies sold in its first week. Pope created Thrive during the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020, writing with other musical creatives over Zoom. She describes the creative process of creating the album’s third single, “Tomorrow Night,” telling Popculture Magazine, “I came in with the ‘Tomorrow Night’ chorus, actually… And just really leaning into the anticipation of first starting to date someone and how you just want to see them all the time and you don’t want to wait.” The harmonious collection of songs exudes happiness and confidence, reflecting Pope’s state at this stage in her life.
LAY – EAST (Zhang Yixing Studio)
Chinese pop star LAY has become a global household name, sitting at fifth place on Forbes China’s Celebrity 500 List. Today, LAY releases his latest solo EP, EAST, which follows the success of his studio album, Producer, which was released just a few months prior. LAY made his international debut in 2012 as a member of the K-pop boy group Exo, which quickly rose to international stardom, selling over one million copies with each studio album over five years. As a solo artist, LAY has stayed extremely busy: embarking on his solo music career, acting, and serving as a captain on the Youku: Street Dance of China 3. The Chinese pop star has always incorporated his culture into his music and EAST is no different. Emphasizing the importance of sharing Chinese culture with his fans, LAY told Forbes: “I just want to share Chinese culture, so I’m trying my best. Because I’m Chinese and I learn a lot from China, I think our country has a lot of good culture and good traditional instruments that maybe people don’t know.” Earlier this month, LAY released the first single from East, “Samadhi Real Fire,” a trap song featuring the up-and-coming Chinese rapper GALI.