Bursting onto the scene in 2017 with her debut album ‘OMW’, Auckland singer/rapper Tei has returned with yet another infectious EP. In many ways, this six-track EP release carries on from her debut release, a fusion of RnB and hip hop, although stylistically ‘The Alone One’ tends to draw more on the RnB side, in particular conjuring up comparisons with artists such as Aliyah, or more recently, Jorja Smith.
Having proven her ability as a rapper with ‘OMW’, Tei explores her singing voice more on this project, showing plenty of musical growth. Her vocal chops are an absolute standout with silky smooth spoken/sung vocals dominating across the six tracks.
The vocals flow in and out of the downtempo instrumentation brilliantly, especially on the tracks False Illusions and Manipulation. At times she experiments with a slightly breathy tone and falsetto, elements which suit the overall mood of the EP, a mood I would describe as being rather dark, but in a good way.
In what is fast becoming a crowded local RnB and rap scene for women with the likes of Bailey Wiley, JessB and others, Tei is making a mark.
Her debut was strong, but in many ways ‘The Alone One’ feels even better as a project, more delicate, more introspective, more engaging. Tei has shown development as an artist on here, and at only 22 years, Louise Burling has set herself up for a bright future within a local hip hop scene that’s sounding as good as ever.