Since pairing up with then-rising, now multiple Grammy award-winning singer Sam Smith for their 2012 breakout single “Latch,” Disclosure have helped turn the spotlight on their collaborators who might not be as well known this side of the Atlantic.
This ability has been most evident with the duo’s forthcoming album Caracal, which has thus far exposed mainstream audiences to the vocal prowess of jazz singer Gregory Porter in “Holding On” and Brendan Reilly in “Moving Mountains.” Their latest single, the newly shared “Willing and Able,” puts London’s Kwabs front and center.
“Willing and Able” premiered earlier today via MistaJam’s show on BBC Radio 1. Like Disclosure’s Reilly collaboration, it’s another heavy dose of soulful and syrupy electronic-R&B with understated production that allows Kwabs’ impassioned vocals to be the star. If latched onto by radio stations, this could be the track that crosses Kwabs over into America.
Though the neo-soul singer may not be a household name in the states, he’s been gaining fast traction overseas. Discovered via YouTube after his cover of Corinne Bailey Rae’s “Like A Star” went viral, Kwabs (born Kwabena Sarkodee Adjepong) released his debut EP, Wrong Or Right, on Atlantic last year, and a track on his second, “Walk,” was remixed by dance veteran Sasha. He was also shortlisted for BBC’s Sound of 2015 industry poll – previous years’ winners include singers such as Ellie Goulding, Jessie J, Adele and Sam Smith.
Kwabs’ guest feature is just one of many in Caracal‘s collaboration-rich tracklist. Sam Smith’s returned for round two, and others come from rising acts Lion Babe, Nao and Jordan Rakei; as well as established artists Miguel, Lorde and The Weeknd. The album is due out September 25 via PMR/Island Records, followed by a fall North American tour.
[Photo via Wild Life Festival]