The young producer has been forging his own sound over time, notable behind the boards, producing vibes for a variety of MC’s (most recently Phaze What – Neva Dat), though he’s proving more than able behind the mic also, and with Skepta broadening the parameters of Grime, Blay is one of the up and coming acts to utilise the freedom. His 2017 release Turner Ave might be one of the top Grime projects of the year (amongst the likes of Manga St Hilaire’s Outbursts From The Outskirts).
It’s clear from the get go with These Guys, as an assured Blay lays out the mindset and his intentions,
and the project backs that sentiment, as though you can hear certain influences, overall it really stands alone from whatever else is out at the moment. Track 2, Fully Involved, one of my favourite productions this year, and I’m glad that he attempts to have substance, as if he’s aware of what the production provides, allowing him to structure more thoughtfully, and from a humble perspective of an up and coming act, so the content fits well. I find myself separating the production at times, but in all honesty, I can hear he’s more seasoned as a producer, but the flows are impressive, more so the stories he weaves and the lessons he attempts to stitch together, it’s really well crafted. I really like how the project flows, he most definitely thought about performances, as tracks like the hype Skeen, will undoubtedly get the crowd jumping, and through the raw delivery, there’s lines to take in, “I know man that’ll marry your mum, come to the country and dun your clart”, that’s a reload right there!
[I recognise good ol’ Southampton, after I spent the last couple years there]
Around track 7, there’s a minimal shift, but if you’ve come this far, you’re certainly hearing the rest of the project less critically, like the vibezy My G’s, with it’s catchy hook and satisfyingly piercing synths,
I’m proud of his evolution thus far, from the early sounds of his I have on my old laptop, a more refined sound, and it continues with the JME featured Gone Mad,
he’s back at it right after with Free Mo, which is more him flexing his MC abilities, switching up the flow, and it’s a more musical approach, as it’s another well structured effort that I can see working well live. I like tracklists that aren’t predictable, and as he begins to show his versatility, this is just that, an array of tempos and styles, one minute your just nodding your head to Amnesia,
the next you’re tuned in, relating to the introspective and open Normal, “Anxiety got me thinking a madness, I just wanna be normal”.
Such records really highlight his abilities, beyond a talented producer, crafting quality songs, whilst still being able to give you the more performance based bangers like 99 Pace
and the final track on the project, Violent, which gives you a more confident Blay, it’s as if you’ve travelled on a journey through the project, and that’s what you want, from an artist’s perspective and listeners alike. It takes a lot of effort to put together a project, let alone visuals and without the support of masses it can be a hit or miss, so props to him as he carves out a moment for himself with Turner Ave, an array of sounds and flows, all rolled up into a dope project.