Those late 80s R&B sounds that fizzled away along with spandex, glitter and big hair, might not be as far away as you thought with contemporary singer/songwriter Aleksandra Denton aka Shura bringing them back to the musical forefront. But don’t worry, there’s no spandex and instead the BBC Sound of 2015 longlister is fusing the pop sounds of the past with sharp and modern dance beats similar to those of Disclosure. Her latest release, White Light, calls upon these influences to create a track that’s edgy and urban whilst also heralding a pleasant sense of nostalgia.
Opening with airy drones and a transcendent guitar riff, influences of her brother’s DJ career clearly comes through on White Light as the track is suddenly chopped up by the neatly programmed drum machine. From here on Denton truly establishes the track as one of dance and R&B with a dynamic tempo and snappy rhythms. It’s littered with carefully placed white noise and faders which lead into ethereal synth melodies and Denton’s dream like vocals, all of which give the track an almost extra-terrestrial ambiance. Judging by the track’s artwork, the image of a satellite orbiting the moon probably suggests this too. White Light provides a nice contrast to lots of today’s dance music which can seem overly produced or have a bass so loud that your speakers are at risk of blowing, so the decision to revive these inert electro pop sounds sets Shura aside from such artists. Her take on the style is fresh and innovative making her one of the most standout R&B artists to recently emerge.
Taking up quite a large percentage of BBC Radio 1’s air time, Shura already has some of the most influential DJ’s behind herself and her music, with Nick Grimshaw regularly proclaiming his adoration of her work. So don’t be surprised to hear tracks like 2Shy or Indecision on the Breakfast Show and maybe even the contemporary sounds of White Light will be making their way into the playlist. But in the mean time, the track is available to stream above on Soundcloud.
Words by William Castile