East London Singer AZEKEL Mixes Lush Vocals with Social Commentary on “Raw, Vol. 2”

East London crooner and rising artist AZEKEL is one to watch throughout the next year. The multi-talented singer and producer recently shared a new EP by the name of “Raw, Vol. 2“, the second and final offering of his “Raw” series before he prepares for a new album. Inspired by Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye, AZEKEL uses his project to touch on observations of how his friends interact with the city, providing social commentary and soft vocals along the way. Similar to Gaye’s aesthetic, AZEKEL uses his rich and lush vocal performances to create a soothing delivery for lyrics about trying times. The project may begin with the romantic single “Linger”, but by the time you arrive at “The War Inside”, the singer’s versatility and sharp sense of his surroundings shines through. From the self-produced piano enthused “Stuck”, to the poetic narrative of displacement and social injustice on “England Is A…”, the second volume of Raw sets AZEKEL a part from the rest.

Enjoy Raw, Vol. 2 and read our short interview with AZEKEL below.

REHAB: Tell us a bit about yourself. When did you start singing?
AZEKEL: I’m a singer/songwriter & producer, from east london. I started singing properly in my teens.

What’s the concept behind your Raw series?
All the songs are made in my living room, produced recorded and mixed by myself — sonically I’ve tried to make something that sounds raw, and deals with raw emotions.

Is there any particular reason you’re ending the series at 2 volumes?
I’m working on an album and feel a need to expand into new styles and sounds.

“Linger” boast such an intimate and great vocal performance, not to mention the lyrics are just as addictive. What was the inspiration behind this song?
Thanks, its about a spiritual relationship and sensing a presence without seeing it.

How has East London influenced you?
It’s helped inform how I think about and see the world… there are such an amalgamation of races, cultures and styles of music.

What are a few non-musical things that end up directly inspiring your music?
Social issues and my faith.

What themes do you find most prevalent in your music?
Relationships are a recurring theme.

What can we expect from AZEKEL the rest of this year?
Some live shows, and more music and possibly some collaborations of some sort.

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REHAB Staff

Rehab Online Magazine is the alternative millennial guide to emerging music and culture.