MIXTAPE: Shakk | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Words: Shakk

I’m Shakk, a rapper from Middlesbrough and the presenter of the BBC Music Introducing show on BBC Radio Tees. Through the power of music I’ve been blessed enough to meet and work with the best artists, promoters and organisations from our region. As an avid listener of music from the North East I wanted to select some of my stand out tracks for this Mixtape, specifically from Teesside, County Durham and North Yorkshire, to celebrate the diverse mix of talent we have in this area right now. 

Trunky Juno – Oxford English Dictionary 

Trunky has become well known for being fun, witty and creative and this is a prime example of how good he really is. The song is so catchy, light and uplifting but also sees Trunky exploring what seems to be a tricky situation with empathy and optimism. It’s one you find yourself singing when you wake up and then playing on repeat. 

Common Courtesy – Getting Younger 

Here is an emerging band with an incredibly bright future. I love the way Common Courtesy are able to blend genres seamlessly. Every track of theirs is different but well executed. Clever, catchy, and conscious lyrics accompanied by great instrumentation, and who doesn’t love a little sax? 

SISI – Simmer Down 

Having already performed at Reading & Leeds, headlining the first ever BBC Music Introducing Live event in Teesside and being awarded accolades like Songwriter of the Year at just 17, Sisi is trail blazing the way for young artists and showing them that anything is possible if you want it bad enough. Simmer Down is an absolute summer anthem; if you’re not a Sisi fan after listening to this one then me and you can’t be friends.

Luke Royalty – I Do

This track by Darlington’s favourite home town boy showcases his cheeky, honest, laid back style and also how he isn’t afraid to show a little vulnerability through his music. Trust me this one is a banger! 

Jodie Nicholson – Move 

Jodie has the ability to completely take you into a different world when you listen to her music and Move is a prime example of that. I love the way she’s able to delicately flow across the track whilst not being afraid to let the beat breathe when it needs to.

Eyeconic – Mpath 

This year Eyeconic was selected to perform on the BBC 1Xtra rap cypher at Maida Vale. Mpath sums up perfectly who Eyeconic is as an artist. He is bold, unapologetic and unafraid to take risks. This track was a statement. 

Benefits – Empire 

I have to take my hat off to Benefits (I never take my hat off) because they go against everything that the mainstream music scene stands for and have amassed a cult following of supporting fans doing so. Isn’t that the type of thing most artists can only wish for? They’re loud, brash and emphatic; if you haven’t heard of Benefits, now is your chance. 

Eve Conway – Crucified by Hurricanes 

Eve is as good as they come and you don’t need to look any further than this song to understand what I mean. She is truly an exceptional artist and every time I listen to this track I find new meanings within her lyrics and gain new understandings, which is a testament to Eve’s detailed, nuanced and powerful songwriting capabilities.

Sarah Proctor – Paradise 

A lovely reminder to appreciate and live in the moment with the ones you love the most. What a beautiful message. It doesn’t matter where you are as long as you are with the people/person you love the most.

Amelia Coburn – Oh Captain! Guide Me Home 

Amelia proves time and time again why she is one of the most booked artists from our region with songs like this taken from her EP The Ebb And The Flow. Amelia has the ability to uplift you even when exploring deeper, darker subjects like mortality through her poetic lyricism and delivery. 

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