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DarkStarGraver - 'Over The Bridge & Far Away' Album Review

/ By Doug Phillips
DarkStarGraver - 'Over The Bridge & Far Away' Album Review

If you had any familiarity with this Portsmouth rapper's refreshing and inventive brand of UK hip-hop, then it should be of no surprise that his newest album is as buoyant, animated and thought-out as it is.

This is the first album DSG has released since becoming an integral part of the Jeeni mission. DarkStar has been an avid Jeenius since Summer last year and has been blessing the Jeeni database with vibrant and innovative artistry ever since. All seven tracks of this incredible project are on Jeeni right now. Jeeni is always looking to represent and uplift artists with visions as clear and focused as DarkStar.

DarkStarGraver's biggest crime here is leaving us wanting for more content because although he's cohesively expressed a giant variety of emotions, styles and influences, he took just 18 minutes to do it! He justified the choice of a shorter album on Instagram, "New album is 7 tracks in total, could’ve been more but I like that number", DSG cleverly released this record knowing he has so much more in his artistic tank for the next project. 

A clear highlight on this record is the early, consecutive killer features on ‘Running Man’ and ‘No Brainer’ from Kid Crayy and Baby Panna respectively. DSG takes the reigns on these tracks at first and allows his fellow Portsmouth MCs to embellish the final push and create a rememberable climax for these standout tracks. Kid Crayy's attacking flow is restless and constantly bops and weaves around the beat. Baby Panna, however takes his time and makes each syllable hit harder than the last. Panna also performs the ear-worm 'Ride with me' hooks just before and after his verse which just completes the track.

DarkStar made it clear that “This project is dedicated to the Portsmouth Hip Hop scene” and made a specific mention to the Portsmouth artists that predate him and thanked them for “Sparking the fire that made me want to rep my hometown as an artist”. A meaningful dedication to a blossoming music scene is a suitable sentiment for such an excellently put together and varied album. 

DSG uses his robust and adaptable voice so well on this project that at times, it sounds like extra, unlisted features. For example, a rather high-pitch singing voice for the hooks on ‘On My Way’ is then met with a deep and resonant rapped verse to finish off the short opening track. ‘Gohan’ (review) which was a single teaser for this album, features more of DarkStar’s contagious melodic rapping which is enhanced and made all the more effective with the excellent production of Zack Nailor at WRS Studios. 

The hi-hats and 808 bass in the beat for ‘Juice & Gems’ works so well with the jangly acoustic guitar sample, as though they were always meant to be heard together. In fact, the entire album makes such an effective use of samples throughout; ‘Slow Jamz’ has a romantic and theatrical strings sample which turns the rapid, trap-esque beat into a dramatic, epic cut that is just too short. DarkStar also hints at a feral, almost growling voice on this track which provides yet more evidence that DSG will never settle or stop experimenting with what his voice can achieve. 

The album ends with class and impact. ‘Over Time’ features a melodramatic female vocal sample which wails over a seductive lounge piano, sparkling under the rumbling beat. The bonus, shorter track, ‘Justice League’ is a moody album finisher containing reams of witty wordplay which flows like water. 

Once again, a feat like this album is a credit to producer, Zack Nailor as well as DarkStar himself of course for containing the talent, passion and vision to pull something like this off so seamlessly. 

How can Jeeni support artists like DarkStarGraver?  

JEENI is a multi-channel platform for original entertainment on demand. We’re a direct service between creatives and the global audience.  

• We give creatives, independent artists and performers a showcase for their talent and services. And they keep 100% of everything they make.  
• We empower our audience and reward them every step of the way.  
• We promise to treat our members ethically, fairly, honestly and with respect.  
• Access to artist liaison and a supportive marketing team. 

Check out DarkStarGraver’s Jeeni showcase here: 


Top patent strategist for the Jeeni streaming revolution!

Dr Justin Hill Streaming music start-up Jeeni is determined to give new talent an ethical deal and hand over 100% of the profits to artists who do all the hard work. Jeeni is also determined to protect their artists from the pitfalls and rip-offs that traditionally beset the world of music. So Jeeni is fortunate to have Dr Justin Hill on their side. Justin is recognised as leader in the field of intellectual property, and is Head of Patent Prosecution at Dentons, one of the world’s top legal firms. Justin says, “Thank you for the opportunity to work with you. Last year, with your support, we were recommended in Legal 500 and as Leaders in Field by Chambers, as well as top-tier patent professionals.” He goes on to say that Dentons continue to support early stage businesses like Jeeni, “who we believe have world class technologies capable of disrupting existing sectors. Venture tech and accelerator programs keep us in touch with the next generation of technology titans.”


Interview with Musician, Writer, Poet and Creative Artist - Baby Panna

EJ Salako got the chance to speak to Baby Panna at Victorious Festival 2021, where he discussed his music, poetry, creative process and future goals. What sort of music do you make? I do all sorts, to be honest, I do a bit of hip hop, but it's more alternative, more experimental. I write poetry as well and I’m working on some indie rock music as well. So, it’s everywhere, a bit of everything. What influences you to make music, and what influenced you to get into music? My main influence was Kendrick Lamar I was like 12 on YouTube and I found Good Kid Maad City on an upload, I heard it and the poetic nature of it, the interludes,  it opened my mind up to new ways to make music and I was in love with from there. My biggest influence is Kendrick, Kanye, Frank Ocean, the versatility, and the artistry that they show is something I want to emulate. When you’re writing your own music, what is your creative process? For me I think my process changed a lot during the lockdown, at first, I would be like “I want to make a banger so I can make peace” so I’d structure it like that you know. But now I just try and whatever I feel goes on the paper and I try and edit it as little as I can, try and keep the original beat, because I want to keep it as raw and as me as possible. So that’s me right now. Which one of your songs is your personal favourite? Right now, I’ve got one for life and one for listening, I think right now “Murder She Wrote Live” I really enjoy doing that, it gets the crowd going. But personally T1GR355, one of my most recent releases, it’s really close to poetry, and I focus on poetry a lot right now, so I love that. Future goals, where do you see yourself in the next 3-5 years, do you have an end goal? 3-5 years I think right now I’ve got a lot of rap music, I’m working on a poetry mix, and an indie rock tape and in 3 years that will all be out there. I think that’s when I will be able to confidently say people know who I am as an artist. I’m just trying to show I can do all these things, so that’s where I want to be in 3 years’ time just have people kind of get a feel for me as an artist and I wouldn’t say I have an end goal I think for me it’s just finding a way to have my creativity fund itself, that’s my goal. Watch the video interview here: Baby Panna Inside Story Interview at Victorious Festival 2021 Check out Baby Panna's showcase here: Baby Panna Jeeni Showcase


Waiting for the Harvest in Business

By Kelli Richards, Managing Director, Jeeni USA As an entrepreneur and/or a self-employed professional, have you ever been in a situation where a game-changing opportunity presented itself to you in business? Something that could “overnight” propel you to a different level of success and financial freedom? Only to find that the brass ring was further away than you thought? And while the opportunity seemed to be realistic and close at hand, it remained elusive for a long period of time; sometimes years at times? I’ve been in such a situation with not one but several ‘big deal’ business opportunities over the past few years. I won’t lie; it has been a trying experience, ranging from being annoying, frustrating and even gut-wrenching — waiting for the dominos to fall and for the scales of justice to be balanced in my favor. Holding my breath and waiting to exhale. Friends and colleagues have expressed concern and wonder if I’ve lost my mind holding out hope that one or several of these deals will come to fruition. But I know in my heart of hearts that these opportunities are real — and I need to ride the wave and exercise every ounce of patience and trust that I have. Lately, I’ve felt the life force of these opportunities building in strength, and I see light at the end of very long and dark tunnel — it genuinely appears as though the time is growing nearer for them to manifest at last. I look forward to that happening with great zeal and anticipation, knowing my patience will be rewarded and that I’ll experience great relief on the other side. As I was taking my morning hike the other day in the forest surrounded by trees, I experienced an Ah-Ha! insight that took me aback… I grew up surrounded by fruit orchards. When you plant a fruit tree, you don’t expect it to bear fruit for a few years — but once it starts doing so, it typically delivers wonderful fruit for many years to follow; it’s an investment in patience and trust. Duh!  It occurred to me that each of these ‘big deals’ I’ve been waiting on has been like one of these trees — each one has had to come to maturity at its own time, when it was ready, and not a moment before. As they do, my colleagues and I stand to benefit from their rewards for many years to come. If you’ve been in a similar situation, take heart and keep the faith; I hope this dose of perspective serves you and will give you strength to stay the course. Though many of us are rabbits in practice (and sometimes deals do come together at a faster clip), the tortoise knows that “slow and steady” wins the race. A good reminder for us all! Kelli Richards Consultant – Super-Connector Trusted Advisor – Celebrity Wrangler Creating Powerful Connections Across Music, Entertainment and Technology With a unique talent for connecting thought leaders and disrupters from technology with innovators from entertainment, CEO Kelli Richards guides her clients to create big visions, make big connections and achieve big results. Prior to establishing The All Access Group, Kelli made waves in senior-level positions at Fortune 100 entertainment and technology companies including EMI Music, Silicon Graphics (SGI)– and Apple Inc., where she launched Apple’s earliest focus on music & entertainment, driving initiatives in that space during her 12 years with the company. Over the course of the last 25 years, Kelli has been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work and collaborate with many people that have been instrumental in defining their respective fields—some have even become iconic. Steve Jobs, Mark Cuban, Sheryl Sandberg, Stewart Copeland, Nancy Duarte, Todd Rundgren, Alan Cohen to name a few, have all been personal mentors, colleagues, or clients. Click HERE to visit or return to