North London-based, alternative soul artist, Namugga has emerged back into the music scene with a unique debut EP that deserves our attention. After the release of Temporary Love in 2018 where Namugga introduced us to a stripped-back single that carried elements of soft R&B, steady light beats, and beautiful caresses of vocal nuisances that mounted to over 1.7k Spotify streams. Following in 2020, City Fox – the first single released from the 2022 EP that bears the same name – arrived to solidify Namugga as an artist to be noted and someone to relish your time with. Slow, steady with an unmasked power that shows off Namugga’s voice brilliantly, relying on her talent at moments to give the song a poignant weight but unafraid to use additional backing voices to give the track extra finesse when it counts.
The EP is described as Namugga inviting us into “the intimate space of emotional release, leading you through some traumatic events through melodies cries, and authentic storytelling”. With themes revolving around Namugga’s early life, living in an estate, where she addresses the strenuous relationship between young black men and the police, alongside the detrimental impact of knife crime; it is an impactful EP that demonstrates strength within vulnerability, especially in Escapism when her voice echoes the phrase “We can get through this if we let those things go. I can’t run from here.” And following with “love a fantasy, but the reality is what I need.” There is honesty in her lyrics that resonates through each track, capturing our attention with delicacy and resilience.
This project draws on many genre influences including Gospel, Soul, Classical with a hint of R&B. Mixed well in a batch of musical expressions, Namugga has combined elements of these genres to shape these powerful narratives whilst supporting the listener as they hear the experiences with well-crafted production value, vocals you melt into and an unmatched energy. We see the anger and frustration the artist is feeling not necessarily in her tone but in her technical choices. For example, the repetition of the phrase “No more” at the end of Blood On The Streets has a persistency that demonstrates these feelings without being forceful or aggressive towards the listener. City Fox Interlude, the third track on the EP is an interesting combination of a subtle captivating vocal performance after utilising spoken word to gather the listener’s attention, undercut with graceful piano. These choices are reflective of Namugga’s talent to craft an effective narrative through song, demonstrating the importance of music like this that allows the listener to hear untold stories, that establishes a place of solidarity and healing for a community.