DRAMA is the multicultural collaboration between producer Na’el Shehade’s chic Chicago house-infused production style, and vocalist Via Rosa whose soulful delivery is inspired by the improvisational nature of jazz and playful patterns of hip-hop and bossa nova. The duo play to the complementary dynamics of their unlikely pairing by blurring the lines between R&B and dance-pop, heartbreak and bliss. Rosa grew up in a musical household; her parents played in a reggae band and toured as a family, homeschooling Rosa into her early teens and limiting her listening primarily to Sade, oldies, Brazilian and Afrobeat music. She kept poetry journals and by high school started writing songs and making beats. After moving to Chicago in 2010, Rosa connected with THEMPeople, a collective at the center of the city’s sprawling hip-hop scene. Meanwhile, Shehade inherited a strong work ethic from his immigrant parents. Born in Chicago, he fell in love with DJ culture as a kid and took up music production and engineering; his interest eventually led to professional opportunities, including early studio work with Chance the Rapper, Kanye West, and music projects for MTV and Bravo. Since a chance meeting in 2014 lead to the creation of DRAMA, the duo has bootstrapped a subtle rise on their own terms, self-releasing several EPs and mapping multiple tours with Midwestern grit. In early jam sessions the chemistry was clear; Rosa’s soulful delivery interlocked with Shehade’s chic Chicago house-infused production style. A lovesick sound emerged over two EPs, Gallows in 2016 and Lies After Love in 2018, and continued on to their debut album Dance Without Me in January 2020.



Nothing about Porij is set in stone. The Manchester band surge from show to show, their creative energy moving from rave-infused highs through to delicate songwriting that finds them exposed and open. Patching together club tropes and indie pop elements, each song seems to exist in its own world, bound together by the gravitational pull of their mutual creativity. The 4-piece, who have carved a niche at the forefront of Queer-led dance-pop, had a massive 2022; releasing the outlines EP; selling out London’s iconic Heaven; performing a much-hyped Glastonbury set; and cementing themselves as burgeoning darlings at both press, radio and streaming. Earlier this year they supported Coldplay on a run of stadium shows including Manchester’s Etihad Arena. Porij’s new material is co-produced by the legendary David Wrench (Frank Ocean, The xx, Young Fathers). Their first release of 2023, the dancefloor-ready groove ‘You Should Know Me’, is a tantalizing taste of what to expect from the new Porij. Formed almost as a dare by four students at Manchester’s Royal Northern College of Music, the origin of the band inaugurated a journey of evolution. “The start of the band was the most haphazard thing,” explains Eggy (vocals/keys). “I feel like that’s the literal essence of Porij. We do everything last minute – but it’s so beautiful, and amazing.” One of the band’s strengths is accepting the differences in each other’s voices. Guitarist Jacob Maguire thrives on producing electronic beats, while James Middleton (bass/keys) is entranced by club culture, absorbing the lingering impact of UKG and jungle. Drummer Nathan Carroll, meanwhile, was recruited for a 6Music Festival set – and never left. “Porij feels like a big creative melting pot, where you can put your hat in the ring and suggest an idea,” he says. “It’s a beautiful space to exist in.” “It doesn’t feel defined by a single genre,” adds Jacob. “It’s about the music-making ethos, as opposed to lack of genre. If it sounds good, and it makes me want to dance, then that’s fine. Box ticked!” At its core, Porij is a vivid pop experience – immediate, direct, and pulsating, they’re driven by an urge to connect. “What we think is pop is still pretty alternative,” laughs Eggy. “There is a real stigma around pop. But if something’s popular, it’s popular for a reason. It’s connecting with a bunch of people. And I don’t think you can dismiss that lightly.” Distilling their myriad of influences down to a fine essence, Porij are slowly bringing their vision into focus. Pure, undimmed, and utterly fantastic, their rave-pop soliloquies are unlike anything else in British music today.

Sego Press Photo


Sego’s 2nd long player Sego Sucks is woven with the changes of becoming a four-piece band. Originally Spencer Petersen and Thomas Carroll, the band added members Alyssa Davey on bass and Brandon McBride on guitars and keys in 2018. The sound became more focused, but the raucous spirit that has kept people sweating since the beginning is just as tangible and, dare I say, primal as ever.

Madi Diaz 20210210

Madi Diaz

Nashville-based ​Madi Diaz ​marks a full restart of her artistic career with ​”Man In Me,” ​her poignant debut single/video for ​ANTI-. ​It’s a first taste of how Diaz has worked at perfecting the craft of delivering a full spectrum of emotions via songs stripped to their most confrontational and raw form. This song was produced by Diaz with additional production by Andrew Sarlo​ (Big Thief, Bon Iver). Across reverberating guitar strums and light piano, Diaz’s voice is evocative as she makes frank observations about a past relationship: “​Do you imagine me differently // Cause when I met you swore that you saw me // When you think I might be someone else // Does it turn you on​.” As the track continues, Diaz’s vocals swell exponentially, only to be drawn back to a fading note.

“​’Man In Me’ was the first song I sat down to record for myself in about six years, which is the reason I thought it was so important to release first. It’s a very intimately visceral moment, a sort of play-by-play inner monologue, taking my first steps through a really hard time.​” The accompanying video, directed by ​Stephen Kinigopoulos, “​ ​emphasizes the intensity of a moment held and held and held. For me, this video is like holding a stare for so long that it hurts. It’s like knowing you should let go, but you keep holding on cause you can’t say ‘when,’ and playing with that tension lying right beneath the surface. You know something’s up, but you just can’t put your finger on it.​”

Diaz was originally raised in Lancaster, Pennsylvania surrounded by a family deeply immersed in music: her grandfather was a tenor in the Greenwich City Opera, both of her parents taught music lessons (piano, guitar and ukulele), her father played in a Zappa tribute band and her brother plays in a metal band. She moved to Philadelphia in her teens to have closer access to broader music education, before eventually enrolling in (and dropping out of) Berklee College of Music and moving to Nashville to more seriously pursue a career as a songwriter. After cutting her teeth in writers rooms in Nashville, Diaz moved to Los Angeles honing her songwriting skills and playing in numerous projects. After a very tumultuous relationship and break up, she bought a truck and moved back to Nashville where she became a go-to songwriter. As things slowed down, Diaz felt she had the time and space to fully confront everything in her life with a newfound sense of clarity. Over the next two years, she wrote over 100 songs, one of which is “Man In Me.” The songwriting expertise she had developed over the years is now championed in her own strikingly original and emotional music.

Daniel Nunnelee

Daniel Nunnelee

Back in early 2022, Daniel Nunnelee self-released a sweetly offbeat love song called “Pick and Choose” – a prime showcase for his poignant yet joyful form of folk/indie-rock. An instant viral sensation that amassed over a million streams in just ten days — and soon led to such triumphs selling out a string of dates on his first-ever headline tour — “Pick and Choose” found the Memphis-born artist facing pressure to put together a debut album delivering more of his strangely enchanting and soul-baring songwriting. But rather than rush out his first project, the Nashville-based singer/songwriter headed to a cabin in the Colorado woods and holed up in absolute solitude as he sketched a new batch of songs, tapping into the graceful musicality he first developed by playing guitar in church in his former home state of Mississippi. Newly signed to One Riot Music, Nunnelee now makes his long-awaited debut with June, Baby: a sublimely idiosyncratic album revealing both his old-soul sensibilities and wide-eyed perspective on finding your way in the world.

As Nunnelee points out, the title to June, Baby nods to his birthday month and to the duality he embodies as a quintessential Gemini. “There’s a lot of opposing ideals within these songs, where one moment I’m singing about just wanting an ordinary life with someone I love and the next I’m talking about wanting the freedom to be totally spontaneous,” he says. Produced by Gabe Goodman (a producer/songwriter/musician who’s also worked with Maggie Rogers and Del Water Gap), the album sets Nunnelee’s nuanced self-reflection to a one-of-a-kind sound matching the unbridled energy of his live show with a decidedly homespun charm (an element partly inspired by his longtime love of Paul and Linda McCartney’s 1971 classic Ram). With its steady abundance of unexpected details — e.g., Nunnelee’s contributions on trombone, a sample of his grandmother singing a Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson song — June, Baby brings an undeniably playful spirit to his existential questioning and, in turn, gently leads the listener toward a brighter state of mind.

Mainly recorded at Heavy Duty Studios in L.A., June, Baby came to life in a series of free-flowing sessions featuring his close friend Noah Pope on drums and Goodman on bass, with Nunnelee handling everything from guitar to piano to Mellotron. For the album’s opening track, he selected a heart-on-sleeve song called “Deer Trails” – a quietly enthralling reverie that first emerged at the Colorado cabin. “It was this beautiful spot that’s completely isolated with no running water, so you have to bathe in the stream and get water from the well every day,” says Nunnelee, an inveterate nature lover who also wrote much of June, Baby at his favorite park in Nashville and at another remote cabin in Mississippi. “I went there after my first headline tour and tried to process everything that was happening in my life, and ended up writing ‘Deer Trails’ about a daydream where I work a normal job at a coffee shop and I’m sneaking off to the breakroom to call my partner.”

True to the album’s ever-shifting emotional current, June, Baby next launches into “Do You?” and its wildly anthemic plea to break away from the mundane. In a shining example of Nunnelee’s singular narrative voice, the raw and restless track opens on a lyric merging brilliantly warped humor and unguarded sincerity (“I kinda wanna get arrested for a victimless crime/Get caught doing something stupid/Sleep in jail for the night/Just to call so you can bail me out/And give me a hard time”). “It’s a song about wanting to live in the moment and let crazy things happen, but being with someone who’s very structured and needs to plan everything out,” he explains.

A truly gifted vocalist who brings a soulful naturalism to every song, Nunnelee slips into a spellbinding tenderness on “ily ily ily.” In composing the sprawling and dreamlike slow-burner, he mined inspiration from his fascination with Brazilian artists like Tim Bernardes, Gal Costa, and Caetano Veloso and included a lyric penned in Portuguese. “It’s about the experience of being away from home all the time and how that affects your relationship — how you can end up constantly grieving the time you’re not spending together, instead of enjoying the time that you do have,” he says. “After I wrote it I went over to Noah’s house and we tracked it live right away, so what you hear is him figuring out the drum part in real time. We tried recording it again, but that first version had some kind of magic to it that we could never replicate.”

One of the most unforgettably lovely moments on June, Baby, “Pick and Choose” finds singer/songwriter Katie Pruitt joining in for an updated and more expansive version of Nunnelee’s breakout hit, featuring a lush string arrangement from composer Julian McClanahan (Wallows, Remi Wolf). “That song came from being so infatuated with someone in the early stages of dating them, which is what inspired that opening line: ‘Swear you could break my arm/And it’d probably make my day,'” says Nunnelee. “In the end it’s about how you don’t get to pick and choose who stays in your life and who you end up losing.” Elsewhere on the album, Nunnelee explores such emotionally heavy matters as anticipatory grief (on “I Wanna Die Before You Die,” a gloriously frenetic 40-second outburst) and the stifling effects of anxiety (on “Kick Down That Door,” graced with a galvanizing guitar solo and Nunnelee’s spirited performance on trombone). And on “Are You Proud of Me?,” June, Baby closes out with an exquisitely stark piece of autobiography that opens on a clip of his grandmother singing the classic country tune “It’s My Lazy Day.” “We did a version at the studio on grand piano, but it sounded forced so I decided to record it on my own at home,” he says. “It’s about recognizing that I’m not exactly what my parents wanted me to be, and asking if they’re proud of me anyway. The audio of my grandmother was recorded before we lost her to cancer a few years ago, and I wanted to include it on the record as a way to honor her and my mother.”

A near-lifelong musician, Nunnelee lived in Memphis until age six and took up guitar at ten, in his then-hometown of Senatobia, Mississippi. By age 12 he’d begun performing in church, thanks to the encouragement of a youth pastor who’d given him guitar lessons. “Even though I don’t go to church anymore, that was a very formative time in my life,” he says. “I didn’t know how to tune a guitar yet and I’m sure it sounded terrible, but it was such a safe and supportive place for a 12-year-old to start out.” Toward the end of high school, Nunnelee began playing covers and the occasional original song at the only bar in town, then continued honing his chops at open-mic nights at the campus coffeehouse while studying at Middle Tennessee State University. During his time at MTSU, he released his debut single “Put Me in the Ground” – a subtly powerful track that gained major traction online after premiering in September 2017. After dropping out of school in 2019, Nunnelee moved to Nashville and worked a food-delivery job while playing guitar for other artists and building up his own body of work, then struck gold with the arrival of “Pick and Choose.” Along with supporting artists like Madi Diaz and Shakey Graves on tour, he soon started bringing his high-energy live show to headlining dates all across the country. “My bandmates are my best friends, so we always go crazy and have a lot of fun onstage,” he says. “I think it helps give the crowd permission to enjoy themselves too, which is important to me — I want people to feel like they can let go and dance, but also allow themselves those moments of sadness in the softer songs.”

In the past few years alone, Nunnelee has cultivated an extraordinarily close connection with his audience — a natural outcome of the warmhearted vulnerability of his lyrics. “When I talk to people at shows they’ll tell me how a song helped them deal with a breakup or the loss of someone they love,” he says. “There was even a couple who told me that ‘Put Me in the Ground’ helped them realize they were stuck living the same day over and over, so they sold their house to live out of their van and travel all over. It just shows that you can never predict how you’ll affect someone.” And with the release of June, Baby, Nunnelee hopes that listeners might take whatever they need from his songs, whether it’s a deeper communion with the natural world that endlessly inspires his music or a monumental shift in their outlook on life. “In a lot of these songs I’m talking about being scared, but I hope people come away with a new feeling of freedom to do whatever they want,” he says. “I feel like I just started to unlock that freedom in the past year, and hopefully the songs will be some kind of reminder to everyone that this is their life and they’re the only ones who can live it.”

Club Coma

Club Coma

C L U B C O M A, New Austin based experimental group comprised of Scott Martin, Aaron Perez and Geoff Earle pulls together an exciting, genre-bending sound that lives somewhere between Rock n Roll, Experimental Pop, and mid-aughts French touch. “This Austin supergroup-of-sorts builds bops that hop around retro French flourishes, all things rock n roll, and experimental pop. An early recording of that killer combo piqued the interest of Spoon’s Jim Eno, who eventually decided to apply his Midas touch production to CC’s self-titled debut album, and boy is it a beaut.” -KUTX 98.9FM


St. Terrible

St. Terrible is a musician and performance artist based out of Boise, Idaho. Ranging from the beautiful to the bizarre, his work is eclectic and ever changing in it’s sound, form and presentation.

The Gospel of Nothingness was created by St. Terrible in 2015. Working in collaboration with a large cast of artists specializing in everything from music to dance to set design, The Gospel of Nothingness is an immersive experience that incorporates elements from a wide range of arts and music to create a unique and expansive world that is always changing and endless in it’s stories.

“St. Terrible, a Boise, Idaho-based self-dubbed “freak folk” artist, has been, knowingly or not, spreading his own Gospel of Nothingness that not only taps into these Buddhist themes, but celebrates them with a jubilance. Mixing the joyfulness of a sermon, religious iconography, and a transgressive approach to performance itself which seeks too subvert the performer vs. audience dynamic, St. Terrible and the Gospel of Nothingness have created an expansive and embracing experience that is vital and vibrant.” – Lex Voight, LA Music Blog