British soul siren Espa is a star on the rise, in possession of a voice that smoulders and smokes so wonderfully that the uninitiated listener would be forgiven for mistaking her for Mary J. Blige, to put forth a bold comparison. She’s been touted by many as the next big thing, collaborating with some pretty big names in the industry, including Craig David, Flatbush Zombies and even Goldie (now there’s a blast from the past).
She landed with her debut EP LG60 earlier this year to stacks of critical acclaim. Espa isn’t slacking between releases though, this week dropping a brand new track, Swan Song.
She’s once again linked up with producer Erick Arc Elliot (of the aforementioned Flatbush Zombies duties), who she collaborated with previously to subsequent great success on LG60 cuts Pray For Me and Rodney, so the two work undeniably cohesively together. She’s also drafted the veteran rhyming talents of Giggs, a name whispered with reverence in the UK hip hop scene.
Swan Song is an absolutely gorgeous firestorm of a track. Espa’s voice is of the duskiest caliber of RnB, straight from the top shelf of the vintage era of the 90s. She croons over the top of what is almost a low-key G-funk beat from Erick Arc Elliot, a bit of jazz flute and a bassline that struts in time to Espa’s absolutely stunning vocals. I can’t stress that enough, the range on those pipes is breathtaking.
Giggs makes his presence felt first around the halfway mark, his molten baritone flow stoking the song’s embers until Espa floats back in to finish it off in style. She’s an educated musician, having studied at the Purcell School of Music and the Royal Academy of Music, and every shred of her talents, both learned and instinctive, are laid bare on Swan Song.
A true talent with big things in her immediate future, her traffic-stopping voice coupled with astute production decisions and a whole lot of well-deserved support from some veterans of the industry will all but assure that. Somebody get this girl the next Bond theme.