Upon hearing the term ‘singer-songwriter’, you probably picture a shaggy-haired acoustic-guitar playing folk artist. Or perhaps a middle-aged crooner sat at a piano belting out ballads. An image that will fail to cross the minds of the vast majority is that of the Liverpool-based Satin Beige, a young R&B singer whose chosen instrument is the cello. And in keeping with her detachment from tradition, Satin forgoes the de rigueur bowing technique for a more contemporary sounding finger-style, complete with percussive tapping on her instrument’s body.
‘All of this rule-breaking and expectation confounding is all well and good, but what does it actually sound like?’, you may ask. Well on Satin’s new single ‘Addicted’, she achieves a sultry, groovy, laid-back hip-hop sound that comes across as a lot more conventional than the sum of its parts. Opening with record-scratching over a drum-beat that will have you nodding along in no time, Satin’s cello sound falls perfectly into place, her live playing providing a welcome change from the sample-laden, overproduced drivel saturating the charts at present. At times her vocals aren’t quite perfect, but this only serves to add to the overall raw effect, and again scores her points in my book over her auto-tune reliant contemporaries.
Satin Beige’s music is rooted in R&B and hip-hop, and her signature cello sound adds a unique element to the mix. ‘Addicted’ is a very strong single, and will almost certainly earn her a lot of attention and respect as a legitimate musician and songwriter within the genre. Satin will be touring with her band later in the year, and hopefully we can expect to see her hitting our shores in the not too distant future.