By Johnathan Ramsay
As 2017 draws to a close, I’m going to take a look back at my five favourite tracks to come out of the North East of England this year. Living in the North East, I’ve had the delight of seeing so many amazing artists from the region live, and for whatever reason these five tracks have stuck in my head ever since I first heard them.
Despite the North East not being the most famed place in the UK for it’s music scene, in comparison to cities like Manchester, Liverpool and London, these tracks more than prove that the region has a music scene on the up, a scene that will surely only grow as we move into 2018.
In no particular order…
The Pale White – Reaction
This indie-rock trio are flying the flag for the North East music scene, having played shows and festivals across the the UK in 2017 – including Glastonbury.
Reali-T Ft. Sutherland – That Block
Originally from London, Hackney, and now representing Sunderland, this rapper is one example of the vibrant hip-hop scene bubbling in the North East. Reali-T’s style is reminicesnt of the golden age of hip-hop; it’s clean, it’s clever and it has a message. ‘T creates his own rules when it comes to what’s ‘hip-hop’, seemingly disregarding if people think what he’s making is ‘cool’ or not – in my opinion that’s hip-hop as f**k.
Sam Fender – Play God
Sam is quickly making a name for himself with his incredibly simple yet catchy acoustic-pop style, raspy vocals and authentically northern sound – Sam has something special and 2018 could well be his year.
Rex Regis – Married To The Game
Rex is somewhat a veteran of the North East’s hip-hop scene, not only due to his longevity, but due to his consistency and skill. If someone were to ask me ‘what does North East hip-hop sound like?’ I’d point them to Rex; with his music, he proudly embodies the raw and gritty reality of what life is like in the region.
Kay Greyson – Up
No, she’s not American and No, she doesn’t speak in that accent. But why does that even matter? She sounds incredible! Skill-wise, I truly believe Kay could rock with the best of them – whether the wider hip-hop community will ever accept her is a different discussion. Regardless, Kay is one of the most prolific performers in the region, gracing the stage of the O2 Academy more than once in 2017.
This track is yet to be released but has been performed live numerous times this year and hopefully will feature on Kay’s next album, expected in 2018.