With over 200,000 listeners (and growing), edbl is the next artist you need to know. He produces a relaxing house or pop sound informed by genres like hip hop, R&B, soul, and jazz. With vocals from a variety of notable and upcoming artists, edbl produces more than new music. He gives his audience a new sound that refuses clean categorization.
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The Man Behind the Mask: Ed Black
While singer-songwriter and guitarist Ed Black has reduced himself to the alias edbl, his full creative self goes into the music-making mastery that edbl produces.
This London-based artist settled down in Brixton after receiving a degree from the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts in 2003. During his studies, edbl’s fascination with creating beats grew. He experimented with R&B, hip hop, and soul sounds while adding his own personal touch to every note. This collection of beats served as the foundation for edbl’s growing collection of music.
Edbl began changing the music scene when he released the first of his experimental singles in 2019. Each single features a different artist, including Isaac Waddington, Kofi Stone, Tilly Valentine, and Jay Alexzander. With titles like “The Way Things Were” and “Table for Two,” the groovy reminiscent feel of edbl’s first beats come as no surprise. With soft vocals that entrance the listener, edbl has captured his audience from the very beginning.
It is clear that edbl’s work would not be what it is today without the collaboration of many talented artists. His growth and maturity as an artist himself are also clearly evident to those who listen through his entire collection, which features over 30 songs released in chronological order.
Album Highlight: Boys & Girls Mixtape
Edbl’s most recent project opens with a smooth and intriguing intro that instantly captivates and soothes listeners. Then, Boys & Girls Mixtape quickly shifts gears with the funky vocals and titillating audio of “Charmaine (feat. Zach Said).”
The many voices that lend themselves to edbl’s album provide cohesion and variety at once to a sound that could be described as modern house jazz. With pop and R&B influences, edbl resists being put into a box in terms of genre, and Boys & Girls Mixtape is no exception.
Over 13 songs produce 41 minutes of exquisite sounds that delight and surprise the listener. While the most popular songs from edbl’s 2020 album include “Symmetry (feat. Tilly Valentine)” and “Cigars (feat. Alfie Neale & Jarki Monmo),” the closing song that appears after the outro is a must-listen from Boys & Girls Mixtape.
The twelfth track might fool you into thinking the album is over. After all, it is titled “Boys & Girls (Outro).” Edbl continues to surprise with a bonus track that tests what an album should be, and it doesn’t leave any loose ends.
Song Highlight: “Head Over Heels / twentyninteen (feat. Jed Holland)”
The thirteenth and final track of edbl’s Boys & Girls Mixtape is perhaps the perfect song to bridge the gap between an outro and an end. Featuring the charming and decadent vocals of Jed Holland over a piano riff that could be mistaken for a sample from a gentle Christmas song, “Head Over Heels / twentyninteen (feat. Jed Holland)” seems to quantify the captivating feeling of change.
With a marvelous guitar, funky bass, and upbeat hi-hat, edbl’s careful selection of instruments creates a beat that impresses.
Listen to the full song on YouTube with a loop of edbl’s trippy visuals.
For more edbl, listen on on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, Pandora, or wherever you get your music. And if you want to stay up to date with the latest edbl news, follow Ed Black on Instagram.