Happy New Year!  First ‘Essential’ post of 2012.  Sorry it took so long.

The short version: through the ‘Essential UK Gospel Tracklist’ series I’ll point you in the direction of UK gospel tracks I think are worth further exploration.  Read the full background here.

In the meantime, the music for 2012 is looking rather good.  Here – in no particular order – are a few you definitely need to check out.

I’ll add a few more before the month runs out:

The Essential UK Gospel Tracklist – March 2012

Name: Kyle Burgz (follow on Twitter)
Track: Nikes on My Feet
Availability: (taken from the forthcoming mixtape ‘The Beautiful Struggle’)  – watch the video

Genre: Hip-hop

Comment: Love the aggressive drum programming on this, and Burgz does a very decent job of using the rhythm to great effect.

Any questions you have about the connection between the gospel and a major sportswear brand should be answered if you hold back on prejudging until you hear the song. Also includes a few clever one-liners…

Name: Happy
Track: Solar Power
Availability: click for free download | Click here for video

Genre: Electro Hip-hop

Comment: a Victizzle-mixed and mastered track, Solar Power is a competent, infectious and hooky mix of Electro-infused Hip-hop and a bold declarative about the source and sustenance of the Christian’s faith.

Name: Troy Anthony (like on Facebook) ft Ram 1 (follow on Twitter)
Track: I Don’t Deserve
Availability: Get it on CD Baby.com

Genre: Reggae

Comment: I LOVE this song! Easily one of my favourites of 2012 so far, and rapidly becoming one of my fave UK gospel tunes ever!

Its hard-edged production and programming totally compliment Troy Anthony‘s excellent DJ toasting, and Ram 1‘s ever-smooth vocals on the hook/chorus is an absolute joy.  Highly recommended.

Name: Victizzle (follow on Twitter)
Track: ‘Free Style, Me Style’
Availability: Get it on iTunes:

Genre: Hip-hop/Street Music

Comment: To quote Phil Mayers, a good producer friend of mine: ‘Victizzle has found his sound’.

I can’t think of a better way to describe this, the lead single from his current EP, ‘MisFit’.  At this stage of his musical evolution, the Victizzle sound is becoming even more surefooted .  As with the rest of MisFit, ‘Free Style, Me Style’ is progressive, and a sonically different proposition to his debut album, ‘Welcome to My World’.

A more personal (and subtly aggressive) song, fans of his massive international Afrobeat hit ‘iSing’ are either going to be hugely impressed with his creative bravery or puzzled by the introspective nature of this.  I’ve said this elsewhere, so I’ll end this in the same way – for the record: iLike!

More updates soon in the next 48 hours…

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