X Ambassadors – Sam Nelson Harris, Casey Harris and Adam Levin – made their full-length debut with VHS, a 2015 release that saw the band transition from Ithaca alt-rockers and Brooklyn-indie-scene outsiders to Billboard stalwarts. Certified platinum, VHS provided an intimate look at Sam and his brother Casey’s youth, delivering the genre-defying, multi-platinum hits “Unsteady” and “Renegades” and leading to a three-year global touring odyssey as well as a string of high-profile festival performances. VHS was followed by X Ambassadors’ 2019 sophomore album ORION, which the band supported with an extensive headline tour of the U.S. A project inspired by ’60s and ’70s soul and R&B, the band’s Belong EP ,arrived in March 2020.
2021 saw the band release (Eg), a multi-part series featuring collaborations with an eclectic mix of emerging artists. Featuring up-and-coming artists Terrell Hines, Jensen McRae and Earl St. Clair, (Eg) was conceived as an outlet for X Ambassadors’ more free-flowing and left-of-center impulses. The project was a natural progression for the hyper-creative and highly collaborative band, whose output includes producing and writing for global superstars like Rihanna and working extensively with Lizzo on her massively successful 2019 album Cuz I Love You (including co-writing and producing tracks like “Jerome,” winner of Best Traditional R&B Performance at the 62nd Annual GRAMMY® Awards).
X Ambassadors shared their new single, the darkly cinematic “My Own Monster,” Released via KIDinaKORNER/Interscope Records on June 11, 2021, “My Own Monster” is a moody psychodrama in the form of a groove-heavy pop song and marks the start of a compelling new lyrical direction for X Ambassadors as they gear up to release their third studio album.
The last year has seen waves upon waves of well-deserved attention being heaped upon HOKO. Having shared numerous singles over the past year, the group’s profile has been continuously rising, with their songs scoring major sync deals in the US, and finding a rapidly-growing fanbase. Recently, HOKO released their debut EP, HEATHEN, a product of almost two years of continuous work spanning New York and Los Angeles. “HEATHEN is the first half of a project we’ve spent almost two years conceptualizing,” explained HOKO. “Our aim was to create a body of work that sounded big, but was also sonically interesting, with songs that are accessible, but also have layers and complexity. Visually we wanted to pay homage to the artistic direction of artists like David Bowie & Queen who created beautiful images that stand on their own as art, not only as an accompaniment to the music.” Seemingly seamlessly, the New York-based band have woven together supreme production with indie influences. Heathen is eight tracks of richly decorated soundscapes that range from breakup anthems to delicate summery soothers.