We love fresh talent and with a smug face we’re going to say boldly that 19- year old Arlissa is one to watch out for. Her first single ‘Hard to love somebody’ follows the formula of one soft British singer and one big deal American rapper. We’ve seen Dido and Eminem, Lily Allen with T-pain (but to be fair she’s not as soft if you get on the wrong side of her), and now we have the delight of Arlissa and wait for it…. Nas! If the formula aint broke, don’t fix it we say! It’s a pretty big deal when it just so happens the teen that grew up in Crystal Palace, London, was approached by the rapper through word of mouth. The hype of this track spread from her producer, to a publisher and then into Nas’s lap.
The video is crisp too, nothing too over- zealous but simplistic, documenting Arlissa’s journey from London to the studio where Nas basically free-styles his lyrics in a small Los Angeles studio. You can see the singer’s genuine excitement as she boards a tube and walks around the streets of L.A; well you can’t blame her can you? Arlissa doesn’t hide the fact that she’s a huge fan of Nas, who has sold over 13 million records and that’s just in America, saying “F**k, I just did a track with Nas.” We’d be the same love!
‘Hard to love somebody’ is as infectious as it is daunting, with Arlissa’s soft tone bringing a vulnerability that may have ceased to exist had Nas simply used her track but left Arlissa out in the cold. If Nas see’s potential, your ears should be pricking up. There are some memorable lines in there too with Nas spitting ‘lick you off my lips like salt and vinegar chips,’ and Arlissa’s girlier approach to the subject, ‘you took away my sunshine, now rain is all there is.’ You’ll be captivated and nodding in agreement throughout the chorus and after one click of the video, we’ve got an inkling this up and coming UK singer will stuck in your mind.
The underlying story is that whilst most of Arlissa’s friend’s were moving onto the next stage of life- boyfriend’s and University, Arlissa decided to give music a go, at the same time breaking up with her boyfriend. His loss and music’s gain really! It’s a poignant message to many of our amazingly talented and unsigned artists that anything can happen. ‘It’s hard to love somebody’ is released 30th September and you can follow the rest of Arlissa’s journey here:
Written by Vanessa Carby