Named after his very own dog, ‘SKALA’ marks the next chapter of the visionary ball of creativity that is Reading rapper SONGER. Deep into a whirlwind of hype and attention, ‘SKALA’ is a profound, momentary step off the gas that takes us up close and personal with SONGER, without compromising a second of the Midas touch that has got him where he is.
‘SKALA’ maintains an effortless consistency across an eclectic range of beats and soundscapes, exemplified by the opening tracks. The lyric “I’ve never seen a dog waste a day of her life / Everyday she wakes up with just love in her eyes” launches the album over a haunting, cinematic piano line. This anecdote underlines SONGER’s mission statement for ‘SKALA’: an outlook of fundamental positivity and confidence amidst the uncertainty of being a young adult in modern day Britain.
Strings and choirs of gang vocals underpin ‘Double Tops’, whilst SONGER brings back the flamboyant party atmosphere that his live shows have become notorious for in ‘That’s Money’. A heavyweight feature from grime megastar D Double E elevates ’04:59′ to the anthemic single it’s now become, showcasing SONGER’s ability to cultivate instant hits as well as a range of tracks layered with depth.
‘SKALA’ takes a more mellow turn in its centre, balancing out the record with poignant storytelling. “Friday comes and I’m letting my health down” hits home hard and true on ‘Golden (Soul Food)’ – just a sole example of the unapologetic sense of honesty that seeps from SONGER’s craft into his audience.
‘SKALA’ is a sterling effort from an essential voice in the UK rap scene, blending pertinent everyday ancedotes with an addictive, versatile energy through this rollercoaster of a record.
Words: Rishi Shah