In an a constantly changing musical landscape, it’s becoming difficult for smaller record companies to discover new talent. All too often, artists with even a modicum of potential are signed by major labels, usually on a 360 deal. They hope they’ve just unearthed the next million-selling artist and Christmas has indeed come early. At the other end of the spectrum, many artists are using and exploiting the infinite possibilities thrown up by the internet to release their own music. After all, they can record, produce and release their own music via the internet. Not only that, but they can even build a following via the internet, using social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to create a buzz about their music. It seems the only time they need leave their house is to tour or cash their royalty checks. However, what alternatives are there for an artist not wanting to sign for a major or release their own music? That’s where smaller, independent labels come in. One smaller, independent label is Offering Recordings, who’ve recently released an eight-track sampler Offering Recordings Ade Sampler 2012. For anyone new to Offering Recordings, then this is the perfect introduction to an innovative label who searches the world for new talent.

For smaller, independent record labels, finding new and talented artists isn’t easy. Spotting artists with potential isn’t easy. Indeed, you got to kiss a few musical frogs before finding your musical Prince. One record company that spent more time and effort searching for new artists is Offering Recordings. Since Boddhi Satva founded Offering Recordings in 2008, the label has constantly sought out the best in future soul, and has given new and talented artists a platform to have their music heard. Offering Recordings’ search for new artists has taken them far and wide. Indeed, this search has seen Offering Recordings head to the four corners of the globe.

During 2012, it seemed Offering Recordings were determined to search further and wider than ever before. One of the places they headed to was Mail. In Mali, they met Idrissa Sissoko, who after playing Boddhi Satva just a few songs, was signed on the spot. Then there’s Ade Alafia Adio, who was born in America to Nigerian parents, but moved to Nigeria when he was studying architecture and civil engineering. In Nigeria, Ade decided to follow his heart and become a singer, poet and musician. When Boddhi Satva heard of Ade, he tracked him down to the Netherlands, where he now lived. Like Idrissa, Ade was signed to Offering Recordings, and released his three-track E.P. O.R.G.A.S.M. recently. There are other stories where Offering Recordings have searched far and wide, but these two stories demonstrate Offering’s determination when seeking, signing and releasing music. This year has been particularly busy for Offering Recordings. 

Apart from Idrissa Sissoko and Ade Alafia Adio, Offering Recordings have released albums like Sage Monk’s beautiful and spiritual Heartache Allegory, plus music by Mammy Wata, Punk, Delany Duval, Sons of Arhat and Paul Randolph. Tracks by each of these artists feature on Offering Recordings Ade Sampler 2012. Truly, 2012 has been something of a vintage year for Offering Recordings. While other labels talk the talk, Offering Recordings really have walked the walk. For newcomers to Offering Recordings’ music, Offering Recordings Ade Sampler 2012 will give you a flavor of their music. So for newcomers to Offering Recordings’ music, I’ll tell you about the music on Offering Recordings Ade Sampler 2012.

Opening Offering Recordings Ade Sampler 2012 is Paul Randolph’s Soldier. Just a lone acoustic guitar opens the track, before drums and percussion enter, giving the track an African Roots sound. Then Paul throws a curveball. His tender vocal is accompanied by pounding drums. Now the track head in the direction of the dance-floor. Synths, keyboards and backing vocalists join the percussion and acoustic guitar as African Roots meets deep house. Paul teases and tantalizes the listener, dropping the tempo before building the track back up. This results in a track that’s compelling, catchy and beautiful oh and very dance-floor friendly.

Sons of Arhat’s Situation is a track that instantly, grabs your attention. It’s a fusion of styles and sounds, where drama and passion omnipresent. Synths join percussion and drums giving the track an African Roots feel. Soon, thunderous drums drive the track along, while moody synths, percussion and a vocal that’s impassioned and heartfelt combine. This is another dance track, but one where African and Western music unite as one. Synths create a broody, dramatic backdrop, while drums create the track’s pulsating heartbeat. Percussion and a vocal that’s full of emotion give the track an authentic African sound. For nearly eight minutes, two continents unite through music, resulting in a track that’s dramatic, spiritual and thanks to the vocal, totally heartfelt.

Thunderous drums test the tolerance of your speakers as Delany Duval’s Mukulie begins. Drums drive the track along, while synths, keyboards and drum machines join percussion in teasing you. You’re wondering where the track is heading. Still Delany teases and toys with you. Keyboards repeat the same part, as if building up the drama. Then, against a pounding beat, punchy, joyous vocals sweep in and out. As they drop out, the keyboards take charge, as drums crack and pound. When the vocals return, they’re breathy, celebratory and joyful. They set the tone for the track, and with a myriad of drums and keyboards, for company, create a track that’s not only full of drama and contrasts, but celebratory.

I Can’t Wait is a track from Punk, which features Magic Soul’s vocal talents. It’s a track with a real contemporary sound. If you think house with a healthy sprinkling of percussion, a twist of African Roots and plenty of drama you’re getting close. Here, drums equal drama, while the stabs of keyboards give the track a warmth. When the drums, percussion and keyboards unite with the joyous and heartfelt vocals, the track heads in the direction of house. Percussion gives the track a jazzy or Latin house feel. What makes this one of the highlights of Offering Recordings Ade Sampler 2012 are they vocals. They’re joyous and heartfelt cascading above the percussive heavy arrangement and are crucial to the track’s sound and success. 

Pounding drums reverberate dramatically as Sage Monk’s Would You Walk Away begins. Keyboards and percussion are added, providing a contrast. Then comes the moody, broody vocal. It’s full of anguish and hurt, as it asks “Would You Walk Away?” When the vocal drops out, the keyboards take over, but you await the anguished, probing vocal. You feel and share the pain, you worry about the answer and the effects of that answer. You’re caught up in the drama, anguish and hurt. That’s how powerful the music is, that it can move and change your emotions. 

When Mamy Wata’s Regardez Moi begins, you realize that this is a vocal that’s sung with feeling and sincerity. Saying it’s sung with passion and emotion is almost an understatement. This isn’t just soul music, it’s music for your heart and mind. Just an acoustic guitar that accompanies Mamy, as she delivers a vocal that’s heartfelt and full of emotion. Although percussion and drums accompany Mamy, it’s her vocal that you focus on. You can’t help it. You’re drawn to it. That mixture of power and passion, comes from the heart and is deeply moving, beautiful and uplifting.

Earlier this year, Idrissa Sissoko released his debut album Lopilopilo. It’s a deeply moving, beautiful and spiritual album. Yiri is a track from Lopilopilo, and as the track unfolds, Idrissa Sissoko, plays with a power and intensity. It’s as if he has so much to say and share, and so little time to do so. He’s so keen to get his message across that this comes out in his playing. His vocal is wholehearted and fervid, with the lyrics delivered, quickly with an urgency and intensity. This is what makes this track such a compelling and powerful one, one that’s heartfelt and soulful.

Closing Offering Recordings Ade Sampler 2012 is Fulfillment, one of the three tracks on Ade Alafia Adio’s E.P. O.R.G.A.S.M. It was arranged and produced by Thane Wright, who cowrote the track with Bob Mabaje. Drums, percussion and keyboards combine with Ade’s impassioned vocal. His vocal is heartfelt, full of emotion, as if every word he sings means something. It’s as if he’s undergone a voyage of discovery and enlightenment. Percussion and drums accompany him, creating a dramatic backdrop for his vocal. Adding to the drama and emotion is a spoken vocal, which weaves its way through the arrangement. The focus of you’re attention is firmly on Ade’s emotive, heartfelt and his intelligent, meaningful lyrics. 

The eight tracks on Offering Recordings Ade Sampler 2012 are the perfect introduction to the music of Offering Recordings. This is just a flavor of the music released by Offering Recordings during 2012. Over the past ten months, they’ve surpassed themselves, releasing so much great music. From Sage Monk’s Heartache Allegory, to Idrissa Sissoko’s Lopilopilo and more recently Ade Alafia Adio’s E.P. O.R.G.A.S.M. Offering Recordings it seems they can do know wrong. Much of their success is down to hard work and determination. It’s Offering Recordings’ A&R Department, who are responsible for discovering all this new talent. It seems Boddhi Satva and everyone at Offering Recordings will travel further afield than most labels, on the of chance that they’ll discover another talented artist. These artists are nurtured and given the opportunity to have their music heard by a much wider audience. 

Much of the music Offering Recordings releases might not be commercial enough for major labels. Nowadays, major labels only want to release really commercial music. They don’t want to take any chances or nurture artists for the long-term. So instead of innovative, imaginative music, major labels release throwaway, populist music, which quite fittingly, is sold in supermarkets next to other equally throwaway, disposable items. Instead, releasing innovative, imaginative music is left to smaller, independent labels, labels like Offering Recordings. Indeed, the eight tracks that feature on Offering Recordings Ade Sampler 2012 aren’t just innovative and imaginative, but uplifting, joyous, emotive, heartfelt and deeply soulful. It seems, where the majors fear to tread, Offering Recordings walk bravely, in pursuit of soul music and everyone who loves music should be grateful for that. Standout Tracks: Paul Randolph Soldier, I Can’t Wait Punk featuring Magic Soul, Sage Monk Would You Walk Away and Ade Alafia Adio Fulfillment.





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