R&B/ Lo-Fi/ Chill hop duo Cravism x Maya Diegel have announced two new singles – ‘Ladies’ Night’ and ‘Caryatid’ – to be released via UK-French label Komplex Recordings on September 10. Heavily inspired by D’Angelo and Erykah Badu, these tracks preview their sophomore project ‘Caryatid EP’, which entails a series of songs and films from the Singaporean-French duo. ‘Ladies Night’ is a dark, chilled and sexy track, while ‘Caryatid’ is comfortable, relaxing and groovy.
“Cravis and I wrote ‘Caryatid’ at the beginning of 2020 in Taïwan and in Singapore. The day I heard it, I knew that I would want it to become the title track of our EP. In this series I try to transcribe experiences of different women that I’ve met and my own. ‘Caryatid’ is an evocative song that brings a warm cup of tea into the hands of its listener with its gentle neo-soul tones. Seductively haunting, ‘Ladies’ Night’ sits the listener on a velvet couch lit by low, lusty lighting. Sonically inspired by Eryka Badu and from being a woman, we wanted the track to be chill, sexy and also provocative, questioning feminine stereotypes and asking – ‘is this what you wanted’?”, says Maya Diegel. “With the videos we wanted to challenge the viewer with something a bit more direct than the songs themselves. We wrote the tracks to be chill and sexy, but the films bring out the critical side of our work. For me, part of being a performer is unavoidably being a female performer. Being looked at and having my appearance judged is something I have always been aware of, I think all women are. The film for Caryatid is meant to ask, ‘Is this what a woman is? Really?` and then the video for Ladies Night` answers the question.”
The two singles are presented in a stunning video mix blending the two delectable tracks, created by Arthur Etienne and Thibaut Vega. Several weeks ago, the duo released the first single ‘It’s Okay’ with soulful and jazzy textures laid over lush mellow jazz hip hop beats, transporting the listener into a chilled relaxing realm.
“Recorded in 2020 amidst the global pandemic from the comfort of our respective locations in Singapore and Paris, ‘Caryatid’ and ‘Ladies’ Night’ were made in the basement studio of my university (LaSalle College of the Arts). It was honestly made out of procrastination. I was meant to finish my dissertation but I kept on procrastinating, making beats. I had a chord progression voicing stuck in my head for the longest time; I finally then decided to lay it out with a beat. The two songs create a nice juxtaposition, which is why we decided to drop these two together,” says Cravism.
Their new EP was mixed by Thomas “Mister T.” Gloor at AKA-Studios in Switzerland and mastered by Stefan Hegar (D’ Angelo, KRS-One, Cody Chestnutt) at Fisheye Music in the USA.
Hailing from Paris and initially trained as a jazz singer, Maya Diegel’s trajectory would take a big turn upon meeting Singaporean producer Cravism several years ago in Cornwall after his performance at the local university, Maya fell in love with Cravism’s set and sought to collaborate. Impressed by Maya’s capacity for writing high level melodies, harmonies and lyrics, their fateful meeting ultimately brought the 2019 release of their first collaborative album ‘Vibes, vol. 2’, which resulted in ample playlisting and radio interviews and ultimately secured them a record deal with Komplex Recordings.
Having released two instrumental albums before meeting Diegel and touring the UK and Singapore, Cravism has always been immersed in hip-hop culture. Besides being a professional b-boy, Cravism began playing the piano and trumpet early on, which progressed into recording and producing his own music. His music has been featured in Berlin, Hong Kong, London, Mexico City, Milan, Moscow, Paris, and Seoul for the Adidas Originals Flagship Store. It has also been used in many documentary videos, including ‘The Cuppa Depresso’, ‘Elevate the Streets’, ‘Dead was the Body’ and others. Cravism was also the opening act for legendary Hip-hop trio Slum Village during “Dilla Week” in Falmouth 2019.
Maya Diegel explores different altitudes with her voice, drawing influences from Hip-Hop, RnB, Neo-soul, Jazz hop and funk. After graduating with a music bachelor in the UK in 2019, she has launched her music career, in addition to pursuing a career in the cooking world, her other great love. A born singer-songwriter, Diegel’s style and delivery conjures emotions and atmosphere that make for an incredible experience.
As of September 10, ‘Caryatid’ and ‘Ladies’ Night’ will be available across online stores, such as Apple Music and streaming sites like Spotify. Out in full on October 22, the ‘Caryatid EP’ project entails a staggered release of a track every three weeks with accompanying films, in addition to a series of online live performances of these compositions.
Written and performed by Cravism and Maya Diegel
Lyrics by Maya Diegel Produced and arranged by Cravism
Mixed by Thomas “Mister T.” Gloor at A.K.A Studio (Lausanne, Switzerland)
Mixing Assistant – Marco Ballerini
Mastered by Hegar at Fisheye Music (Germany/USA)
Cover Artwork Jérôme Boccia (France)
‘Caryatid’ and ‘Ladies’ Night’ videos by Arthur Etienne and Thibaut Vega
Photos by Malcolm Soh
HIGH VIOLET PR