cityboymoe is quickly becoming one of the UK’s most intriguing new talents and above all, he is a storyteller. Capturing the pulsating beat of North West London, he alchemizes new wave soul with R&B and hip-hop in a mixture of self-confessional musings, exploration of identity, and candid observations. From detailing the complex relationship with his faith in recent single “City on Fire” to painting a distinctly British picture with lyrics like “Nandos and bandos’’ in “turned out alright,” it’s the drive to stay true to himself that has carried him forwards.

“London raised me,” he explains via email. “The people, the music, the streets. It’s all an influence, it’s in my name. London allowed me to relate to people from all backgrounds and walks of life, it’s strengthened me because not everyone has your best intentions. It’s given me stories to tell.”

This mission to stay true to himself and his city is part of cityboymoe’s charm. Instead of relying on hyperbole or exaggeration, he’s earnest in the complex navigation of his journey as an artist and a person. As a result, there’s a sense of relatability as he flits between narrative and reflection. “There’s discord between what we desire and what benefits the soul,” he told Complex a few weeks back. “Our wants aren’t always beneficial.”

Writing and featuring on Mustafa’s When Smoke Rises and with his upcoming single, cityboymoe offers a glimpse into a UK scene spawning exciting subgenres whilst establishing himself as one of the most captivating emerging artists.—Rani Boyer

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