The last time I wrote one of these articles about new music from Milwaukee artists, I commented on how I felt like the music industry as a whole has been off to a super slow start in 2021. Since I wrote that, fortunately, it seems like the industry has kicked into gear and the amount of music being released and announced has definitely sped up. Now that artists are able to announce tours that they will be going on late this year and early next year, they are becoming more willing to release more music, as they want new stuff to perform when they go on these tours. As the rest of the industry has started to slowly put out more content, the music scene in Milwaukee has continued to be on the roll that it has been on all year. Recently, a lot of eyes have gravitated toward the Milwaukee music scene because of the success of Lakeyah’s new mixtape In Due Time. Lakeyah has recently been signed to Quality Control Music(home to artists like Migos, Lil Baby, Lil Yachty, and The City Girls), and she has seen herself start to blow up in a major way in 2021. Because of Lakeyah, many music listeners have been starting to see what kind of other artists are making music in Milwaukee; the music coming out of Milwaukee right now is so eclectic and diverse, it is great to know that people around the country are starting to notice all of the great musicians in this city. The Milwaukee music scene is as vibrant, popular, and unique as it has ever been, and I can not wait to see it continue to grow in 2021. With that being said, here is a list of some of my favorite new songs from some great Milwaukee artists. Please let me know in the comments if you like any of these songs as well, and also comment on any songs or artists from Milwaukee that I should check out or write about in the future.
GRACE WEBER – PLAYED YOURSELF
‘Played Yourself’ is the newest single from Grace Weber’s upcoming debut album coming out later this year. Grace Weber originally gained traction from getting a writing credit on Chance the Rapper and Kanye West’s song ‘All We Got’ from the Grammy-winning album Coloring Book. This connection gained her access to Chance the Rapper’s band The Social Experiment, who is executive producing her upcoming album. As with the first two singles released by Grace Weber in 2021, ‘Played Yourself’ has a similar production style and sound to the music from Coloring Book. The instrumental for this song has a Gospel Music and old school Soul song that is reminiscent of some of Chance’s music also produced by the Social Experiment; besides when it is from either of these two artists, this sound is definitely very strange to hear in 2021. Grace Weber’s vocals and overall energy fit this Gospel and Soul sound perfectly, though. She has such a powerful voice, and it brings out the emotion of this kind of instrumental in a way that a lot of other people can’t. On ‘Played Yourself,’ Grace Weber is letting her ex know that they screwed up by hurting her and letting her go. If you are looking for an emotional song you can belt out while trying to get over an ex that made you feel like crap, ‘Played Yourself’ is a song you need to download.
TROY TYLER – WAY WE RIDE
Troy Tyler has this classic R&B sound to his music that 90s and early 2000s music fans should appreciate. He has a voice that is so reminiscent of artists like Usher, Omarion, Ginuwine, and Mario, and he picks instrumentals that highlight his voice and remind me of the music from the time period these artists were famous. His newest song, ‘Way We Ride,’ has a melody and sound that sounds like it came right out of the mid-2000s. It does have a Trap R&B beat that matches up with the kind of R&B music that is popular today, but the overall sound of the song is so old school. Honestly, it is the perfect R&B song to attract new music listeners and old music listeners, as it has qualities that will attract fans of pretty much any style of R&B music. ‘Way We Ride’ is a sweet love song where Troy Tyler is explaining exactly what he and his girl do when they get in private. ‘Way We Ride’ is the perfect baby-making song; it is the kind of track you would put on when you are trying to get the mood right after coming home from a great date. If you are into smooth and sensual R&B music, ‘Way We Ride’ is a song for you.
WAVE CHAPELLE – MIDNIGHT BLUE
Wave Chapelle has been one of the most prolific rappers of 2021 so far. He has dropped 4 singles every month in 2021 as part of his Color Pack series, and he has vowed to release 52 tracks in total by the end of this year(one for every week). It takes an incredible amount of work to pull off something like this, especially when all of the songs have such high quality. The latest color in his series is Midnight Blue, which also happens to be the name of the first song from this month. The song ‘Midnight Blue’ definitely has a very fitting title, as the feeling and sound of this song are very moody and dark. The melody of this track almost has a New Wave/Synth Pop-Trap feeling to it which gives it a very gloomy tone. I love the vocals on this track. In the chorus, Wave Chapelle sounds very distorted and distant-sounding; the way he sings and the way the auto-tuned is used goes so well with the moody tone of the instrumental. In the verses, Wave Chapelle raps with almost a frantic energy, almost as if he is trying to convince himself of the lyrics as much as he is trying to convince a significant other. On this track, Wave Chapelle is addressing flaws that he knows he has and how his significant other should see past these issues because she should want him for him. I like seeing this vulnerable side of Wave Chapelle, as it gives the listener a different view of him than he usually shows us and it proves how much of a layered and complex individual he is.
Wave Chapelle’s newest song, which is called ‘Right Away,’ has a similarly dark and moody tone as the first song from the Midnight Blue Color Pack had. I appreciate that this song is sticking with a similar theme and style to the one that preceded it, as I enjoyed ‘Midnight Blue’ and I think Wave Chapelle can really excel and thrive at this kind of music. ‘Right Away’ has an alternative Emo-Trap sound that reminds me a lot of artists like Lil Peep or Juice Wrld. He even sings on the melody the same way that those two rappers would. He does not sing the verses, however, and I think this creates a very nice contrast with the singing in the chorus. This track is a sweet love song where Wave Chapelle is describing how great his girl is and is describing the feelings that he has for her. It is cool to see this more emotional and vulnerable side of Wave Chapelle, as it provides a contrast with his more tough and confident demeanor on most of her other songs. ‘Right Away’ is just another example of how talented Wave Chapelle is, and I can not wait to hear what he does next.
MEECHLO – DIRTY DANCING
As I have said in the past when writing about Meechlo, one thing I love about his music is the good feeling it gives the listener. Every time I have heard Meechlo, his music makes me feel upbeat and happy. Meechlo is the kind of artist whose music will typically make you want to dance and have a good time. His newest track, ‘Dirty Dancing,’ is the perfect summer jam. I can see this song being played at all of the Milwaukee clubs constantly over the next few months, as it is bound to get the dance floor jumping whenever it comes on. ‘Dirty Dancing’ has a Caribbean feeling to it that reminds me of partying it up on some island in the Caribbean. The instrumental has a distinct Calypso and Electro-Caribbean Pop sound to it, with the melody sounding like it is being provided by someone playing the steel drums. Meechlo’s voice matches up with this kind of melody so well. Meechlo truly immerses himself in this Caribbean sound on ‘Dirty Dancing’ in a major way. He sounds like such a natural on this kind of melody and beat, and I would love to hear him make more music like this. Until then, ‘Dirty Dancing’ will be one of my favorite summer tracks, as it just puts me in such a good mood every time I hear it.
MIKE SHAMMO – ANOTHER POINT OF VIEW
Mike Shammo is an up-and-coming Milwaukee artist who has a sound and style that is unlike anyone else making music in the city right now. His music has a new and fresh feeling to it compared to most other music being made right now in general. Mike draws influence from a variety of music artists, old and new. Some of the artists that inspire Mike Shammo include Tame Impala, Michael Jackson, and The Weeknd. Listening to Mike Shammo’s music, I can honestly say I do hear the influence from all of these artists. Mike Shammo has an EP coming out very soon that I have been excited to hear(and will be writing about on this blog), and his single ‘Another Point of View’ is the first release from this project. The best way that I can describe this song is that it is so vibrant and colorful. The melody for ‘Another Point of View’ is so bright and fun, and it produces such good energy. The instrumental of this song has such nice textures to it; the guitar, piano, and drums mesh so well with each other. Mike Shammo’s vocals on this song are very pleasant to listen to as well; his tone is very satisfying and his vocals are so clear. In ‘Another Point of View,’ Mike Shammo is acknowledging that he sees the world differently from others and recognizes that most people can not see things from a perspective that is not their own. Mike prefers to see the world from a positive light, and this is what gets him through anything bad that happens. ‘Another Point of View’ is an excellent lead single for Mike Shammo’s approaching EP, and it makes me very excited to hear the rest of it.
‘Battle Scars’ is the second single from Mike Shammo’s EP he will release shortly. ‘Battle Scars’ has a lot deeper and emotional tone to it than the first single from the EP. It still does have a very colorful sound that at moments feels very bright, but the tone of this track has a bit a darker and sentimental feeling. With that being said, this track still has nice, layered textures and an overall warm feeling. I love the build-up of the instrumental; as the song progresses, it feels like this song keeps getting more hearty and grand. Once again, Mike Shammo shows off his vocals on this track. Mike Shammo has such a nice voice to listen to; it is powerful enough to deliver the lyrics with vigor but soft enough to make his songs still feel sweet and welcoming. I love how he pushes his range on this song, and his vocals runs are very smooth as well. On ‘Battle Scars,’ Mike Shammo is singing about a breakup that shook him to his core. The way that his significant other left him and hurt him at the end of the relationship has him questioning if anything about the relationship was real. He wants to know how someone can say they loved another person then hurt them in the way he got hurt. ‘Battle Scars’ is an extremely relatable song that shows a vulnerable side to Mike Shammo which is nice to see. This is the kind of song that can draw in listeners from every demographic because it is so catchy and because so many people relate to the feelings he’s singing about. If the rest of the project is as good as its first two singles, Mike Shammo’s upcoming EP is going to be excellent.