Effortlessly blending together personal anecdotes with ancient mythology and more recent historic events, Denise Chaila’s It’s a Mixtape sees the Limerick rapper, singer, and poet flex her lyrical skills across five genre-hopping tracks that show the breadth of her artistic range.
Named after the Limerick area code, “061” is a rapid-fire grime track set to a backdrop of Irish flute, while “Might Be” weaves together the Greek god of wine-making, Dionysus, with Queen Medb, a warrior queen in Irish mythology, before making a playful nod to Muhammad Ali’s 1974 ‘Rumble in the Jungle’ with George Foreman. “Energy”, in contrast, reveals a softer side to Chaila recites a spoken word that pays homage to Toni Morrison, Maya Angelou, James Baldwin, and “everyone who has ever taken a risk for their righteousness”, while “Return to the King” is a high-energy hype track in which Chaila compares herself to Kanye. Already having proven herself with 2019’s Duel Citizenship and 2020’s Go Bravely, It’s a Mixtape solidifies Chaila’s reputation as one of the most exciting voices to emerge from the Irish music scene.
Elsewhere, Ama Lou drops a soulful EP, ohxy pairs up with Ecco2k and Felix Lee on a frenetic release, and FKA twigs collaborator Wess Seven shares his spellbinding debut.