Fast-rising independent DIY rapper Leek Mali has returned with his brand-new EP, Summer Forever, a four-track collection of authentic and soulful hip-hop that embodies the genre’s golden era, with a fresh and modern twist. The EP is accompanied by the new arrival of a self-directed video for the project’s lead single – title track “Summer Forever”. Hailing from Prince George’s County, Maryland, Leek only burst on the scene in 2020 but already has several notable releases under his belt, such as “Party Time” and “400+ Years”, and he looks set to continue his momentum with this latest release.
Having been a music fan since discovering one of his dad’s Sugarhill CDs as a child, Leek showcases his full range of talents on Summer Forever, with the project highlighting his unique voice, varied cadence and impressive penmanship – a formidable combination that makes for a fascinating listen. The EP opens with “Summer Forever”, which sets the tone for what becomes a diverse collection of sounds throughout the project that stretch beyond typical hip-hop genre conventions and offer something unique, such as on closing track “Sent2U”, which features Baltimore trumpeter Brandon Woody playing live on the track. “Sent2U” is particularly special to Leek, as it marks the debut of The SentruEz, a new genre-bending duo formed by Leek and singer-songwriter Tadiwa.
“Summer Forever represents graduating from college and finally having the world in the palm of my hands”, says Leek about the EP. “I can now do whatever, whenever because I’m finally free from the shackles of school. I get to live in the summer forever because nothing is holding me back from accomplishing my dreams. The project was created within the last couple weeks of college before I graduated this past May. I had a euphoric feeling during this time because I felt so accomplished and was excited for what the future held for me. My team, including Jordan Ali, Tadiwa, NotEye, Nepado, and Mastered.minds and I teamed up and created tracks that fed off of how we’ve contributed to elevating each other’s artistry, which explains the features.”
Speaking on the newly released video for the project’s title track and lead single, Leek says,
“The visual purpose of ‘Summer Forever’ was to depict an ordinary day in the life of my summer imagination. I wanted to capture my life as if it were in real time, almost as if I didn’t know the camera was filming me; it’s my own ‘Truman Show’. ‘Summer Forever’ is my heart and conscious in a visual form. Visual art is just as important to me as the music. I’m an artist that cares about what’s conceptualised in the minds of my audience. This is why I’m adamant about having total creative direction of my short films. It’s not just about rapping in front of a camera but more so a combination of imagery to help better understand a concept.”
Driving in his own lane with a clear vision of how he wants to present his artistry to the world, Leek Mali is a much-welcomed addition to the hip-hop scene and is undoubtedly a talent to watch out for. And with more new content on the way, he’s showing no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Summer Forever is available to buy/stream now on all platforms: https://smarturl.it/StreamSummerForever.
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