London's Dan Josiah is just about to present his debut album, Josiah, and it's been a long time in the making. Ever since he was seven years old, he's been developing his skills as a rapper, producer and engineer, all of it gearing up to this moment.
The influences for this project come from two worlds. On one side, you've got his mutual love for rap from both sides of the Atlantic and on the other, classic soul like Bill Withers, Otis Redding and Stevie Wonder. Produced in collaboration with Most Alive (with assists from Ken Rich, Yung Dza, and The Martianz on tracks 4, 5 and 6 respectively), the mid-to-late '90s influence seeps through every moment of this album, weaving in moments of conscious lyricism, smokey calmness and hints of both East and West Coast hip-hop.
However, above all of that sits Josiah's proud UK identity. By no means completely beholden to his US influences, his flow is uncompromisingly UK and it's clear he has a deep understanding of our homegrown rap history, combining the best of both worlds.
Ahead of the official release tomorrow (May 21), via Bandcamp and all streaming services, hit play on the album below.