Up until recently, London-based singer, songwriter and producer Ari PenSmith and LA-based producer Jonah Christian have worked in the background, crafting hits with and on behalf of some of the biggest stars in pop, hip-hop and R&B. Over the years they've collaborated with the likes of Beyoncé, Lil Wayne, Kaytranada, Burna Boy and Mahalia, but now they've got a hit of their own.
Their new single "City Girl" was, they thought, originally intended as another session piece to be handed over to another artist. However, when the Soulection crew heard Ari and Jonah's blend of '90s Afrobeats, reggae, and dancehall, it was decided they'd already nailed it themselves.
"I remember this session like it was yesterday," Ari explained to Complex. "I was stuck in standstill LA traffic for an hour and I turned up late, but as soon I linked up with Jonah and George Moore, it was instant vibes. I was a big fan of their work; they worked together on one of my favourite Snoh Aalegra songs, 'Find Someone Like You'. I remember them pressing play on the beat they'd been working on before I got there, and the first verse just started flowing and I ran to the mic."
Press play exclusively above.