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blackwave. is a hip-hop duo consisting of rapper Jay Atohoun and singer-producer Willen Ardui. Releasing music at a steady pace since 2017, blackwave. have set themselves apart with an open minded approach to hip hop, blending in different influences like soul, jazz and pop. ARE WE STILL DREAMING?features artists and producers from around the globe, including Benny Sings (NL); Winston Surfshirt (AUS); Wesley Franklin (USA); David Ngyah (BE); Caleborate (USA); Pell (USA); K1D (BE); Konteks (USA) and many more… blackwave. started touring ARE WE STILL DREAMING? early 2019, playing shows around Europe, UK and continue to perform into early 2020.
As they explain about the upcoming album: “The album has transformed over the past two years. We’ve been on the verge of releasing it many times, but at the last moment we always decided to keep working on it. Adding and discarding tracks from the track list became second nature. There are tracks that are two years old, but there’s even more that we made and added a few weeks before the deadline. We didn’t finalize the track list until minutes before we had to send it to the cd-press. We recorded the album in a variety of different studios in cities like Antwerp, Brussels, Berlin, Amsterdam, Los Angeles and London… You would imagine it to be a mixed bag of songs, but surprisingly (even for us) the album flows like it’s written as one piece. ‘ARE WE STILL DREAMING?’ started out as a concept album. We played around with the idea of us escaping earth and discovering new worlds in space and learning about ourselves in the process. The track list was a journey through outer space, with every song revolving around this theme with a clear chronological story. Gradually it shifted from being a story-based album to a more personal, mosaic representation of our lives as a whole. We still played around with space-themed sounds and lyrical images, but as the album grew more into a self-portrait of two young adults searching for themselves in an ever changing world, the space journey slowly became more of a secondary, aesthetic choice. As we both went through a lot over the past two years, trying to keep a balance between our growing music career and everyday life, themes of love, regret, being lost, anger… naturally found their way into the lyrics. The title can be interpreted in two ways. It can depict a sense of disbelieve of what is happening around us and the success that we experience feels like a dream. We love what we do and being able to do it on a professional level with people all around the world listening to our music is one of the greatest feelings there is. We’re so grateful for everything, as we realize we’re extremely lucky to be in this position. “Is this the life we dreamt about, or does it take more than ‘success’ to be happy and satisfied? If ‘Mic Check EP’ was the jump, ‘ARE WE STILL DREAMING?’ is the free fall.”
blackwave. have recently been nominated for the 2019 MTV Europe Music Awards in the ‘Best Belgian Act’ category, and earlier this year won the Music Moves Europe Talent Award for Best Hip Hop/Rap Artist 2019. The duo announced their debut album release date on the main stage at the PukkelpopMusic Festival after performing to 30,000 people.
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