In the space of around 18 months, West Londoner Angel has gone from virtually unknown to UK R&B’s prince-in-waiting, signed to a major record label and with a quality debut EP (that featured guest appearances from almost all of the UK’s hottest artists) already under his belt. Having signed a publishing deal with Universal alongside his songwriting and production team Parallel Music Group back in 2009, Angel dropped a mixtape called Patience Is A Virtue last year – whilst the mixtape didn’t have a substantial impact, it did begin to generate some buzz for the young singer/songwriter.
Soon after, he was signed to Island Records by A&R Benny Scars and, following a series of tour support slots he dropped the much anticipated 7 Minutes Before Time back in September (as an official commercial release no less). Prior to that, Angel released a pair of buzz singles (and accompanying videos) that signaled clearly his musical direction: “Popstar”, an anthemic, assertive statement of intent featuring Giggs, and the Sneakbo assisted “Ride Out”, a smooth summer R&B jam, tailor-made for radio with a fun and cameo-filled visual.
As a vehicle to showcase the talents of Angel and his Parallel Music team, 7 Minutes Before Time was hugely effective, demonstrating their ability to write top-notch pop songs, built around catchy melodies and emotive and anthemic hooks. Aside from the aforementioned “Popstar”, “Go In, Go Hard”, featuring man of the year Wretch 32 was another highlight with a suitably big chorus. Genuinely versatility was on display – there were club bangers and slow jams alongside the stadium built anthems, all of which were equally well crafted; ready for the mainstream but not presented on trashy Euro-pop beats or against tepid indie-lite backgrounds.
LISTEN: Angel feat. Wretch 32 – Go In, Go Hard
Having exceeded expectations with his debut EP, Angel’s next major move saw him returning a favour to Wretch 32, turning up twice on the Tottenham rapper’s first major label album Black and White. Taking his shot on one of the biggest albums of the year, Angel did what he does best, bringing a couple of big money choruses along with him and no doubt announcing his arrival to a massive mainstream audience.
An accomplished songwriter and producer, before he was one of 2012’s hottest prospects, Angel co-wrote Roll Deep‘s #1 single “Green Light”, as well as penning tracks for Pixie Lott and Alesha Dixon to name but a few. These days, everybody writes, but in a relatively short space of time, this young man has shown an extraordinary propensity for penning brilliant pop songs. With a great line in passionate and triumphant choruses, one suspects it’s just a matter of time until Angel turns up on a stadium-sized sing-a-long at the top of the charts.