When a local unsigned artist manages to bag a recording slot in one of the most famous studios in the world, Abbey Road, you know she is doing something right. Short but infectious, Shoa Osbourne’s eight-track EP Soul Food – her second album since 2015 – takes us a journey of life lessons from relationships, black experience and identity.

Singing over a series of throbbing basslines and distorted tracks, the first song Soul Food sets the scene perfectly and ensures you continue listening to the rest of the album.

Unleashing Lauryn Hill influences over hip hop percussion, Shoa draws on racial themes – mostly notably on the track Thunder  – ‘‘Fix up a world that hates black girls’’.

With so many versions of Soul and R&B music today, this album feels like a breakout for the 24-year-old from Manchester, who puts her own spin on the genres. S

hoa not only artistically incorporates poetry, but is also sure to stamp her Caribbean roots within her lyrics. Occasionally singing her verses in Jamaican patois on tracks such as I’m Da One (‘‘Run the bloodclart riddim/ bun the bloodclart system’’), Shoa not only makes Soul Food a unique album but she’s also carved out an interesting position for herself that sets her apart from other soul/R&B singer-songwriters.

Record Label: C4 Entertainment

Daphine Bikaba

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