I always love a good request for a music review or song review, especially when I get to preview a track before its release date. It’s like Christmas and such an honor to be trusted with unreleased music. This month, I had the honor of listening to and reviewing new music from Umraan Syed and Zacc P and I was not disappointed. When I tell you that this, right here, is something you’ve never heard before, it’s not just lip service. Something different is on its way from an unlikely musical duo featuring artists who have been blasting through music industry norms as standard operating procedure.
New Music from Umraan Syed
Umraan Syed, a rapper, producer, and multi-instrumentalist, is an artist that you have to check out. It’s hard to label Umraan’s sound because of the unique nature of every project he touches, crossing genre lines and intermingling audio concepts with a seeming disregard for unspoken musical law. The Chicago-based artist has a self-described sub-genre, which he refers to as Progressive Hip-Hop, blending classic hip hop elements, rap, spoken word, dreamy sound, instrumentalism, and rock and pop elements. For more on Umraan and his sound, check out past interviews from the Friday Night Frequency series of the Photobombshell Radio Show.
Want to hear more? Check out his last project, House in the Vines, which highlights exactly how the progressive hip hop sound translates from paper to sound. The project is, to this point, Umraan Syed’s magnum opus, a collection of work and personal experiences reflecting the peaks and valleys of his career and life to date. The 14-track album runs just under an hour, capturing a lifetime of consciousness in 58 minutes and 17 seconds. In ‘House in the Vines,’ you’ll hear rap, spoken word prose, groovy jazz undertones, and surprise vocals reminiscent of 1960s pop in one moment. In the next moment, you’ll soak in a sound bath of darker, ominous, and eerie melodies ringing out underneath a bevy of meticulously laid lyrics that build tension with each line. Why stop there? Umraan never stops creating, and his next project is equally surprising as his last.
As far as what comes next, Umraan Syed is working closely with independent Orlando-based artist Zacc P on an upcoming project poised to be a radio-ready hit entitled ‘D I F F E R E N T (feat. Zacc P),’ the other half of this unlikely duo, is an artist and songwriter with a prolific catalog and impressive digital and visual streaming record. With literally millions of streams garnered since 2019, Zacc P is an unstoppable musical force of nature. The pairing previously worked together on “No Pain,” unleashing the genre-melding melodic rap/hip hop/R&B smash in August of 2020.
What Listeners Can Expect
Listeners can expect an entirely new feel from the duo with ‘D I F F E R E N T.’ Right away, listeners will recognize the vocal styles of Zacc P and Umraan Syed, distinct and complimentary throughout the track. The sound is brighter, lending to the late spring release, just in time for the summer vibes that align with the project. The song lands itself firmly in a genre between pop and R&B, sexy enough for the nighttime, bright enough for the afternoon. The lyrics are refreshing, celebrating male vulnerability in love, individuality, and being completely authentic. “I know that you love me because I’m different” is a stand-out lyric that seems simple but will resonate with anyone looking for someone who breaks the mold and those men who pride themselves on their individualism and selfhood.
‘D I F F E R E N T’ is one of those songs that I can, and have, listened to repeatedly and not get tired of the vibe. At slightly over 3 minutes, the track is a standard length but so jam-packed with lyrics, instrumentals, sound layers, and that flawless hook that you are ready to listen to again as soon as it fades out. I feel like I pick up more from the piece every time I hear it. For those who love my Photobombshell playlist, ‘D I F F E R E N T’ (feat Zacc P)’ is a perfect fit for that collection and will find a home there upon its release.
If you are looking for something different, stay tuned for the release of Umraan Syed’s ‘D I F F E R E N T’ featuring Zacc P on June 8, 2022.
Umran Syed’s ‘D I F F E R E N T’ featuring Zacc P is now available everywhere you stream your music. Listen here on Youtube, courtesy of DistroKid.