After reviewing thousands of global applications, NTS Radio has announced its selection for the 2020 iteration of their artist development programme NTS Work In Progress. The project aims to support musicians from all backgrounds and across all genres and take these following eight artists to the next steps of the musical careers over the coming year. Read more about each of the featured artists below, and stay tuned for new WIP material over the course of this year.
Funded by NTS WIP’s headline partners Arts Council England and Carhartt WIP, each selected artist or band receives a bespoke package of support based on their individual needs. This ranges from paid live performances across the globe to professional press photos, mentoring sessions from industry experts, and free audio equipment and software provided by our partners: AI Music, Audio-Technica, Native Instruments and Pioneer DJ. All WIP applicants will receive broadcasting opportunities on NTS Radio and access to professional recording studios, both in-house at and supporting partner studios Real World and Ten87.
Forged around a friendship between Nancy Andersen and Jamie Travis, Babeheaven are a London-based group with a soulful approach to songwriting. After several single releases, Babeheaven are currently writing their debut album. Their sound matches hypnotic trip-hop rhythms with confessional lyrics about “friendships, family, losing touch, finding touch and about working out where you stand with people.”
Jaxxon D. Silva
Jaxxon D. Silva has fast established himself as a promising new artist to watch, building on the release of his intoxicating Open to Closure album last year through supporting Skepta on several of his recent European tour dates. Silva’s sound reflects his background (born in LA, now based in London) with a signature style that blends strained grungy vocals, rap sensibilities and melancholic guitar loops.
Luka Productions is the solo project of Malian producer and vocalist Luka Guindo. Started as an outlet to create West African new age music, his production methods fuse the production techniques of contemporary rap with dynamics borrowed from the rich cultural heritage of Manding music. His latest album is titled Falaw (released via Sahel Sounds), which translates literally as ‘Orphans’, and is created out of the confluence of electronic experimentation and folk tradition.
A composer, producer and musician based in London, Nala Sinephro is currently preparing her debut album for release in 2020. Backed by a small ensemble, the Caribbean-Belgian musician plays a pedal harp through modular and analogue synths to beguiling effect. Nala Sinephro’s profile has risen in recent months following performances as part of the celebrated jazz night Steam Down, and an appearance in The Guardian’s artists to watch in 2020.
Nazar is a 26-year-old producer who grew up in Belgium, before returning to native Angola in his late teens, after the civil war. Now based in Manchester, Nazar categorises his music as ‘rough kuduro’, a wild reimagination of Angolan dance music weaponised for the 21st century. Both his 2018 EP, Enclave, and forthcoming album released via Hyperdub, twist the typically upbeat style of kuduro to expose the uglier side of Nazar’s experiences.
Hailing from Port Athur in Texas, Paris Aden is a vital rap producer with talent seemingly well beyond her 19 years. Her charismatic and low-end heavy instrumentals have seen Paris work with rappers from Lil Pump to Bbymutha, whilst her solo productions show a refreshing dose of experimentalism. She began a radio show on NTS in late 2019 that she has used to showcase some of her own forays into rapping, as well as snapping 8-bit productions and pop edits.
Slauson Malone is a multi-disciplinary artist whose works explore the intersections of popular music and visual art. Having worked in NY jazz/rap ensemble Standing on the Corner in its early days, he released his debut solo album A Quiet Farwell, 2016–2018 last year. Malone’s work approaches sampling like the art of collage, assembling disparate sources of varied origins and fidelities into a meditative audio commentary.
VIOLENCE is the solo project of visual artist and multi-instrumentalist Olin Caprison, originally from Baltimore, Maryland. With releases on NON Worldwide, Total Freedom’s Blasting Voice compilation and Mykki Blanco’s Dogfood Music Group, VIOLENCE’s releases are known for dissecting genres, with elements of metal, juke, goth, grime and industrial working together to untangle themes of political violence, hypermasculinity and archetypal memory.