Premiere: “LA” by Leah Kate

A pop-powered invitation to the Southern California city in the singer's debut music video

A debut song—and music video—can act as a mission statement for a young artist. The work sings out:, “This is what you can expect from me and I am proud of it.” For Leah Kate (aka Leah Kalmenson), her first-ever music video “LA” follows in the tradition of artists attracted to alluring cities—and yet Kalmenson diverges in that her pop prowess and active invitation are …

Alessia: Here

“Here” is an excellent debut single from newcomer Alessia (aka Ontario-based Alessia Caracciolo) who is currently signed to Def Jam. The song is one that will truly speak to anybody who has felt alone in the middle of a crowd. The 18-year-old artist sings, “Truly I ain’t got no business here / but since my friends are here, I just came to kick it / …

Marques Toliver: Land of CanAan

A classically trained violinist's path to a soulful R&B release

A debut album set in motion by busking from New York to Belgium, many factors play into the soulful joy of Marques Toliver‘s Land of CanAan. Chance, talent, a voice and a violin have mingled, coalescing into a new sub-genre of rhythm and blues and an album that celebrates its roots and their flexibility. Toliver has gracefully introduced Motown-inflected contemporary R&B to classical violin and, …