Pardon the hiatus, but Fresh Picks is back and better than ever. As the weather cools and the leaves turn, we’re keeping things warm and cozy with the latest and greatest from budding artists and those on the cusp of stardom alike. Look out for our Freshest Find at the top of the list, highlighting the pick of the week we’ll have on repeat all month.
Get back into the swing of things with mellow sounds to help usher in the new season. From Khamari, and Mavi to the Spanish sounds of Paolo Londro and YOVNGCHIMI, there’s bound to be something for everyone.
Catch our Fresh Picks roundup every Monday, and don’t forget to share the wealth with our Spotify playlist, linked below.
Freshest Find: Ayra Starr, “Rush”
Spotify RADAR Global artist Ayra Starr is set to take the world by storm. The Nigerian songstress’ tenor tones shine on “Rush,” an uplifting Afropop anthem released ahead of the deluxe edition of her studio debut, 19 & Dangerous. “Me no getty time for the hate and the bad energy/ Got mi mind on my money,” Starr declares.
Eem Triplin, “Just Friends?”
On “Just Friends?,” Eem Triplin is tired of his lover’s indecisiveness. Co-produced by Triplin with Charlie Myles, the 21-year-old rapper-producer considers the type of relationship he wants to have with the person he is entangled with. “I got one question for you baby/ Is your love money motivated?/ Would you like me if I didn’t make it?/ Would you like me if I wasn’t famous?,” he raps. “Cause you said I was just your friend and now you wanna be my girlfriend/ All cause a n—a flourishing/ Feel good when the tables turning/ I’m flexed up in my Birkin.”
Amindi & Kenny Mason, “Centipede”
The second single from her recently released two-pack C Both Sides, “Centipede” is the mysterious follow-up to Amindi’s previous single “Cyclops.” This time around, the Inglewood artist taps Kenny Mason for a subtle duet about the pressures of succeeding and pushing through the bulls–t. “I’m real short on patience with the tendencies/ N—as acting sweet, and they pretending to be friends to me/ I guess they know better than to send for me/ My reputation still precedes my entity,” Amindi sings.
Naomi Wild feat. Tempest, “How U Feelin’”
Naomi Wild and Tempest are a dynamic duo. Fresh off the release of their most recent collab “So Gone,” the two are back for a pop-infused alt-R&B ballad centered on the unknown of a relationship that’s headed south. “And if I could talk, I would tell you that I’m tired of you/ Taking it personal/ Look at what we’ve become, ooh,” Wild sings. In a Twitter thread explaining the song, Wild recalls creating the sample with her late friend Keith a few years back and building the song with Tempest last year at a writing camp. “[Tempest and I] came back from Florida and I sent the song to Keith,” she tweeted. “He flipped when he heard it, like, f–kin’ loved it. Last year, Keith unexpectedly passed. So with that being said, this song is for Keith.”
Khamari needs a shot of dopamine. On his new single “Drifting,” the Boston native weaves chopped-up vocals of Nina Simone with a more contemporary R&B beat as he sings about escapism. “I was trying to find a different way to express that headspace I was in, a way away from monotony and overwhelming emotion,” he says in a press release. “Originally we started from the piano and the drums, but I wanted to elevate it. To me, the irony in sampling a song about a woman singing about how she’s found euphoria, over a song about my struggle of being locked into a search for it, was a dope way to tell that story.”
Mavi, “Baking Soda”
On “Baking Soda,” Mavi is immortal. “I been gave my soul away to the drum, I’ma live forever,” he raps on the new Monte Booker-produced track. Wise beyond his years, the 22-year-old musician contemplates obstacles and opportunities that line the walls of his life. “Baking Soda” is the first single off his upcoming album Laughing So Hard It Hurts, which is slated to release on October 14. “It was a really loving experience to put together this album,” he said in a press release. “This isn’t the first album I made since [Let The Sun Talk] dropped — I made two albums since the last one was released, so this album coming out still feels a little imaginary… I don’t know when it’s gonna feel real quite yet, but I’m happy.“
Jessie Reyez, “ONLY ONE”
After two years, Toronto singer-songwriter Jessie Reyez returns with her second studio album, Yessie. “Only One” is a hip-hop-infused R&B cut, carrying elements of ’90s percussion and melodies, and a tinge of nostalgia amidst modern production and songwriting — the Colombian artist doubling down on her desire for commitment.
Kiana Ledé, “Irresponsible”
Kiana Ledé is back with a smooth R&B offering, just in time for the fall season. The Arizonian vocalist delivers searing lines to a former flame, declaring what many a woman have felt before: “If this ain’t where you wanted to be / You should’ve at least manned up and just let me be.”
Paulo Londra feat. Duki, “Party en el Barrio”
Argentine rapper Paulo Londra is having a hot streak. After a near two-year hiatus following contract battles, Londra is making up for lost time, releasing a string of ten singles this year alone. On “Party en el Barrio,” he’s joined by fellow Argentina-bred MC Duki, the pair delivering motivated bars and varied flows, as the beat switching gears to a menacing synth loop upon the start of Duki’s verse.
YOVNGCHIMI & Hydro, “Baby Glock”
YOVNGCHIMI is having his moment. The burgeoning rapper gained steam with “Glizzy Walk 2.5” alongside Eladio Carrion and Hydro, and “Baby Glock” presents itself as a worthwhile solo follow up. The bouncy offering features production fitting a Moneybagg Yo track, complemented perfectly by the newcomer’s Puerto Rican Spanish flow.