The semester is winding down. Midnight cram sessions and 1 a.m. runs to Insomnia Cookies are about to become a weeknight ritual. To keep your mind off impending finals, enjoy this week's installment of Push Play Monday.
1) "July" by Kris Wu
Kris Wu, born Wu Yifan in Guangdong, China, was once part of one of the biggest K-pop groups, EXO. After some contractual disputes with his label Korea, he began his solo career in China. Having spent nearly half his life in Vancouver, Canada, he speaks fluent English, Korean and Chinese, allowing his music to reach many corners of the industry market. "July" is his first full English track, and is a strong start to his American music market venture.
2) "302" by MIKNNA
Los Angeles natives Mike B. and Ken Nana comprise this new wave electro soul duo. They dropped their first single in May for their recent EP, 50/50, which fully dropped a couple of weeks ago. The French introduction to this track adds an ethereal vibe to this song.
3) "Pink Beetle" by Rejjie Snow
The Irish rapper Rejjie Snow, born Alex Anyaegbunam, moved to the United States to finish high school and attend his first year of college at Savannah College of Art and Design. He dropped out after his first semester and moved back to Ireland, where he created and released his debut album, Rejovich, in June 2013. His debut studio album is set to come out sometime next year.
4) "Right Here" by Dave B.
Rapper Dave B., from Seattle told XXL in July that as the son of a preacher, he "[grew up listening to] hella gospel music." He first got into rap as an elementary school student, freestyling with his cousins. After studying theatre and music in high school, he attended Columbia College to develop his craft. The 24-year-old's newest album, Tomorrow, just dropped and is worth a listen.
5) "Lately" by City Fidelia
It is not news that the Canadian music scene has been ruling the hip-hop realm for the last few years or so. Ottawa's City Fidelia is a new addition to the Canadian rap roster. Fidelia heads the Ensemble collective, and has already played many festival stages. His newest project, FreeDumb, is a hearty plate of soul food.
6) "Hope I Wake Up" by TYLERxCORDY
In Los Angeles in 2007, Tyler Cordy was making music with Marc Griffin as the pop band 2AM Club. The two have since embarked on solo careers, taking the names TYLERxCORDY and Marc E. Bassy. Cordy's first few solo tracks have dropped periodically throughout this past year. He has also been lending a hand in production for other artists.
7) "Busy Gyal" by Perk Pietrek feat. Rocky Rivera
Producer Perk Pietrek was born and raised in Singapore. It was there that he began DJ-ing, and even won six DJ battle championships and the title of Singapore DMC vice champion. To make this dance track, the 22-year-old teamed up with Rocky Rivera, a San Franciscan rapper whose goal in music is to break down the patriarchy within it.
8) "On Hold" by The xx
You cannot expect to go on Tumblr, Pinterest or even some clothing store websites without seeing this English indie pop band's trademark. The band, which consists of Romy Croft, Oliver Sim and well-known producer Jamie xx, first formed in London in 2005. Their first album dropped in 2009, followed by their sophomore release in 2012. Their third album, I See You, was announced over two years ago, but is set to release in January 2017.