British-Ghanaian record producer, disc jockey, and musician, Julian Nicco-Annan, better known by his stage name Juls, recently released his new studio album “Sounds of My World”.
Juls began teasing his debut album, ‘Sounds of My World’, in May this year when he released his seductive reggae-inspired single ‘Chance’, featuring Tay Iwar and Projexx.
On ‘Chance’ Iwar sings, “I don’t want to dance, but you put me in a trance.”
On ‘Sounds of My World’, Juls provides a series of irresistible grooves, and will make you get up and dance even if you don’t want to at first. On this exciting album, the pioneer of fusing Afrobeats takes that powerful, hypnotic rhythm found on earlier tracks such as ‘Nyafu Riddim’ and refines it further, creating an unforgettable, gleaming record full of promise.
Opening track ‘Close To Me’ sees Juls join Agent Sasco (Assassin), WizKid and JAEL for a breezy start to the record, and that euphoria continues throughout.
On second track ‘Summer In The Ends’, you’ll find comfort in George The Poet’s voice as he coaches you into serenity: “Go through the motions with me / I want you to breath in and hold it for three / Breathe in / And breathe out / Let go and release / This is your moment of peace.” With Jaz Karis’ heavenly vocals and a peaceful melody, ‘Summer In The Ends’ is a slice of paradise, bringing the sunshine to the album.
‘Sounds of My World’ moves through genres: whilst final track ‘Chance’ provides a dose of reggae, ‘Mare’ introduces Kenyan Afro-pop group Sauti Sol, giving them an opportunity to shine. An exciting list of features helps guide the album through each sound: on ‘Makossa Riddim’ we hear Haile’s (of WSTRN) influence, a track which initially began as a demo featuring vocals from Congolese singer TRESOR, but blossomed into a full euphoric cut.
Mayra Andrade, originally from Cape Verde, adds silky vocals to ‘Love Language’, and Kojo Funds carries through that laidback sound to ‘M.O.O.D’. On ‘Wish You’, Bas and Mannywellz provide smooth lyrics and harmonies.
The extensive group of featured artists gives the album a sense of community, with each member working hand in hand to create a cohesive, eclectic mix of genres.
‘Sounds of My World’ is a masterful album, and an education. Each track feels like a thoughtful tribute to African music, in all its forms. Expansive in both its nature and its sound, it brings together some of the most exciting artists today.
Befitting the album’s title, Juls emulates the African diaspora beautifully and pays homage to the much-overlooked birthplace of so many of the genres we enjoy listening to today.
Listen to Sounds of My World below: