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Local Crafts: Southern New England in music, January 2019

Alright, officially we say “Happy New Year!” As is customary with the end of every month since May 2018, we’ve given you Local Crafts, a roundup of music and music news from Southern New England. We’re trying to give you new content more often, but are happy we can provide this consistently in the least bit.  Anyone who is interested in writing, be sure to shoot us an email (using the contact page or any social media).

Legend: 💿Album/EP/Mixtape  |  📰News  |  🎵Single  |  🎥Video

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Don’t forget about the playlist!!

Fresh:   Jefe Replay, Lord Felix, Luke Bar$ x Jiles, Raiche, Wattz
Retired: Al Tree, Arkh Zeus, Martin JR, Nino (“Vibes”)

Click the artwork below to go to the official Spotify-exclusive Local Crafts playlist. Be sure to follow the playlist and check back every month for new updates. The songs are hand-picked and the playlist was created to be listened front to back. but shuffle is ok. Also, for the best listening experience, go to your settings and add a 7-10 second crossfade. You’re welcome.


DJ/Producers | Hip-hop | Indie/Rock/AlternativeR&B  | World 


DJ/Producers

AWOL MM — “One Kiss (AWOL Remix)”  /  “Let You Down Gently (AWOL Remix)”  /   “Difference (AWOL remix)”  🎵 |  (Providence)

AWOL MM isn’t new to Local Crafts. We last featured the producer when he released a Bad Bunny remix with Wattz. This month, we have three new tracks from AWOL, part of his 24 hour remix series where he takes a song and remixes it from scratch in…24 hours. We have AWOL remixes to songs from Calvin Harris and Dua Lipa, La Roux and XXXTENTACION.

щ∆╫≥ — Don’t Fall In Love It’s A Trap  /  Mercy  💿|  (Providence)

The mysterious Wattz went on a run in 2018 and if you thought he was going to shut it down for 2019 you’re wrong. What we saw from Wattz in 2018 was DJ sets and streams of remixes to songs from Romeo Santos, 6lack, Jorja Smith, Bad Bunny, Ricky Martin and more. The one thing we didn’t see him release was a project of his own. Enter 2019. 

Wattz dropped his first project, which has been years in the making.  “I’ve held myself back from releasing music on a large scale due to how personally attached i feel to this work…blood, sweat, and more tears than i’d probably like to admit,” he wrote on Instagram. “you can like/share/save but most of all i just want you all to listen…and FEEL 🖤.”

Not only did we get a new Wattz project, he also surprised us with Mercy. Sonically different than what we heard on DFILIAT. Where DFILIAT has a slower tempo, Mercy is a little bit more upbeat. 

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Hip-hop

Dee Gomes — “Troops” 🎥|  (Rhode Island)

Dee Gomes dropped his highly anticipated new album True Colors last month and came out the 2019 gate ready. The 13-track album features King OSF, Lil Santana, Lily Rayne, Shyfi and Rasandra with production from INJDWETRUST, Cam Bells and more. Gomes and longtime collaborator/friend King OSF linked up on “Troops” all the while we get a new video. Don’t like the regular version? Peep the acoustic version below 😂. Might need a recorded acoustic version though..

GMD Jets — “Fact” feat. BTG Buckz  🎵 |  (New Bedford, Massachusetts)

We last featured GMD Jets in last month’s Local Crafts with his “42 BARS” freestyle and added his “One Day” to the Local Crafts playlist on Spotify. This time around, Jets drops a traditional single, produced by Ray Beats and featuring BTG Buckz. Both Jets and Buckz are from New Bedford and are part of a wave of artists who have been pushing for more recognition based on where they’re from

J Cinatra — “RNS” 🎥|  (Hyde Park, Massachusetts)

Man, the production on this and the flow J Cinatra has is so damn catchy. The Hyde Park artist drops a new video for a track he just released. I’ve listened to it more times than I want to admit and y’all should too. Check out the vibes in this one. Yo J we need a whole tape like this and get this on Spotify ASAP. Check out the Tony Royal and Young Mane Beats-produced track in the Ben Pu-directed video.

Jefe Replay — “Foreign Exchange” 🎵  |  (Roxbury, Massachusetts)

This track is HARDDDDD. We’ve been waiting for a Jefe Replay track since we first heard about him after where’s nasty dropped an unreleased track during his set on Sway in the Morning. January brought us a new one from the Roxbury native, who’s due to drop his upcoming project Proper Finessments on February 1. The Tee-WaTT-produced track has Jefe dropping nothing but bars. His energy throughout is auspicious and you can hear the hunger of him wanting to releasing his new music. 

Jon Hope — Work In Progress  💿|  (Providence) 

While this isn’t exactly brand new Jon Hope, it is a new release — a rerelease of his album Work In Progress. Hope first announced the rerelease at the beginning of January and later in the month, we got the official drop. The 15-track “A Work in Progress” first released in 2012 and featured cuts like “Cashews,” “The Bottle (Still Drinkin’),” “Charge it to the Game” and “Rhode Less Traveled.” If the latter title sounds familiar, it could be due to the Walu-directed video that premiered on BET’s 106 & Park. 

Joyner Lucas — “Just Let Go” (feat. Chris Brown)  🎥 |  (Worcester, Massachusetts)

Having been nominated for Grammys or doesn’t change where you come from. Joyner Lucas connects again with Chris Brown for the simultaneous single and video release of “Just Let Go.” In the video, Lucas and Brown are played by two kids at a talent show at Lucas’ former high school South High in Worcester; a school Lucas wrote he was expelled from in 2007. When you see Brown’s involved, you know there’s choreography. Peep: 

Knellz — “Talk Facts”  🎥|  (Providence)

We featured Knellz (kay-nehlz) last month as he released his debut album Magnificent. The debut 8-track album has tales of heartbreak, struggles and more of what he’s experienced. This month he released the first set of visuals — “Talk Facts,” directed by Larren Witter.

Lord Felix — “Nothing” 🎥|  (Brockton, Massachusetts)

The always mysterious, faceless Lord Felix dropped the video to his track “Nothing,” which originally released in September. The Daymian Mejia-directed video places Felix in a car with cuts to different friends joining him on the ride, similar to what we saw with That 70s Show. The bouncy  Donato-produced track looks to be a cut off of his debut album In Bloom, Forever.

Luke Bar$ x Jiles — 2 Sides  💿|  (Brockton, Massachusetts)

Just found out about Luke Bar$ a couple of days ago and, conveniently enough, we have a new project from the Brockton artist. The five-song release with Jiles2 Sides, comes on the very last day of the month closing what was a busy month for Southern New England. The juxtaposition of their voices works. Where Luke’s voice has a rapid oscillation, Jiles comes in with a slower one — known formally as being a lower pitch. Favorite cut right now is the closing track “Sometimes.”

Mesori Grey — “Couldn’t Tell” / “Spacewatch” 🎵 |  (Providence)

Mesori Grey, from Providence, dropped a new track “Halo Prince” featuring Sokin, which we featured last month. In January, he brings us two more tracks, “Couldn’t Tell” and “Spacewatch.” The former is produced by Dvtchie and the latter by Sahara Beats.

 $wifty — Realest Out   💿|  (Providence)

Just dropped is the newest from $wifty. The five-track EP is executively produced by Guccy Dior. The project is pure $wifty as you have him and only him spittin.

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Indie/Alternative/Rock/

Heather Rose In Clover — “Go Back to Ohio” 🎵|  (Providence)

Providence has more than just Hip hop and R&B in its graces. This submission comes by way of the band Heather Rose In Clover. Their first single off of their upcoming album Canyons, is called “Go Back To Ohio” and tells the true account of being “hardcore ghosted by the one you live, in a city too small to hide in.” Sounds a lot like something true to Providence. This track gives some 90s rock and alternative vibes. Check it out.

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R&B/Alternative R&B

Cam Bells — “Swervin'” (Wattz Remix)  🎵 |  (Rhode Island)

Cam Bells‘ “Swervin'” originally dropped in early 2018, but just before the release of his upcoming EP CBPVD, we get a Wattz remix. This remix blends sounds some of our readers might be familiar with such as those by Soulection or Sango. Here Wattz brings a bounce to the record that can only be explained by listening to it. Check it out below and look out for CBPVD in February. Don’t forget to catch Cam live on February 14 with Mya.

KREW$ — “ghost” 🎵|  

KREW$‘ sound is unique and eerily comforting. Produced by KREW$ himself, “ghost” comes as the newest release in a couple months from the artist. The song comes in under two minutes but so much emotion is packed into it. Purely speculating, but the song could be dedicated to his late father or merely about life and losing someone physically or emotionally.  I may be biased because I thought that empty hour‘s (KREW$ x Tyler Palmer) Shades was in the top 5 of albums last year. 

Melissa Mills — “Victories”  /  “Grudgeless Mind” 🎥|  (Boston)

Here we have two new live music videos from Boston singer Melissa Mills. Both original songs of Mills, the Stephen Cwiok-shot and edited videos gives us Mills where an artist finds themselves most vulnerable — without a background track and only their voice to get them through. The two videos, “Victories” and “Grudgeless Mind” premiered at different points of January, giving listeners two opportunities to hear the artist.

“Grudgeless Mind,” she wrote, “is a song about making mistakes and trying to stop being hard on yourself. Life is fleeting and love is powerful, so don’t be afraid to start back at square one.”

Raiche — “Complicated” 🎥|  (Pittsfield, Massachusetts)

Though she has since relocated from Pittsfield, singer Raiche has been setting the scene ablaze and still reppin where she’s from. The Atlantic Records signee released “Complicated,” which follows her previous release “Money Pies.” The song, as Raiche mentioned, has a nostalgic feel that highlights self love. “You have to love yourself before you can love another,” she wrote. If you want to see her live, you can catch her at The Strand with Jacquees. 

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World

Oreoluwa — “For You” (feat. Ólu) 🎵|  (Rhode Island)

More Afrobeats and I’m not mad about it. If Ólu‘s name looks familiar, and you’ve been following Local Crafts, then you would have seen him last month with his “One 4 Me” featuring Israel Wusu.  We just got hip to Oreoluwa, but it looks like he’s getting his start in music so we’re not too far behind.


That’s it for January 2019. Hope the new year brings you all nothing but success.

Also we’re looking for writers, just shoot an email to us. Any genre let’s do it.

-45s and 40s

Hensley Carrasco
Hensley graduated from the University of Rhode Island where he was the editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, the Good 5 Cent Cigar. He founded the site with hopes to add to the ever-growing digital music newsroom. Hensley generally writes about Hip-Hop, but other genres are not out of his writing spectrum. On the side, Hensley is a photographer, specializing in concert photography.

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