Artists in Key Minor Featuring Moses Sumney

Written by on January 25, 2019

This is a new segment called Artists in Key Minor, where I highlight minority artists with major talent and talk about why you should be adding them to your next playlists. The first person up for introduction is, Moses Sumney. 

Moses Sumney has his roots in two places – Ghana and California’s Los Angeles. Although the goth style icon doesn’t make direct references to his heritage and birthplace through his music, it is evident and subtly spread throughout interviews. So by now, you may be wondering, what does this guy actually sound like? Well, Sumney has a raw sound that makes it easy to feel and go along for the ride of whatever story he is telling. In terms of style of music, Sumney is one of those amazing artists that are hard to pin down into any one category. He is consistently serving soul with a side of R&B, Electronic, and Indie. The singer allures you in with his hypnotic falsetto voice. And he keeps you locked in with his superb voice control and play. Sumney constantly meets the listener with unexpected twists and turns, whatever direction you think he’s going in, he will end up going the opposite way and still takes it up a notch.

This can be seen with his debut album Aromanticism. Whereas many artists write about love, in a way that they describe how they have it or they lost it, or how they hope to find it, Sumney challenges this. Instead he writes about the complete and total absence of love. This idea of a concept for an album summarizes Sumney perfectly, he musically does what you least expect him to do.

Check out his amazing performance at NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert.

After the success of Aromanticism last year, the vocalist continued to produce hits with the release of the three-song project Black in Deep Red, 2014.  For two out of the three, Sumney released two visual music videos with the central focus on tiny toy green soldiers against a blood red background. The pieces don’t seem to lack a single smidge of his signature falsetto and as you listen to the song you can continue to hear him show off that range that normal people just don’t possess. (sorry for my tenors out there). One of the songs is titled “Rank & File,” and he also released a live version of the piece where you can watch him compose and perform the hauntingly catchy song.

And while it’s never a bad time to reflect on some old goodies, I’m itching to hear new material from Sumney. Thankfully, he was featured on a track from James Blake‘s newest album Assume Form, and Blake and Sumney grace on top of a trap-esque style beat provided by Metro Boomin himself.

Hopefully, this will be enough to hold us over until the singer’s new LP. Huh? You haven’t heard? Right before the last year ended, on his twitter, Sumney himself stated that his next LP will drop sometime this year. So I will be patiently (okay maybe not so patiently) waiting for its release.

Sumney has continuously proved himself as a great artist and visionary and that is why he gets the title of our first Artist in Key Minor. He still has a lot more to contribute and until then, I’m going to keep streaming with my favorite performance of his song “Plastic.” Sit back, grab some tea, meditate or something, listen and enjoy.


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