The first signing to Labrinth‘s Odd Child imprint label, by this time next month, Etta Bond will almost certainly had her first taste of chart success. Her soulful voice is all over Wretch 32‘s latest single “Forgiveness”, promotional duties for which have seen her turn up in arenas as influential as BBC Radio 2 (which, given that their playlist currently includes Erasure, Status Quo, Michael Buble and Hugh Laurie, is an impressive feat). Pretty good going for a previously unknown new artist: as head starts go, this 21-year-old from Cambridge has been given a good one.
Not that she’s undeserving of the helping hand – working with Labrinth‘s brilliant penmanship on “Forgiveness,” her vocals set the tone of heartfelt confession, laying the essential groundwork on a very personal track that might otherwise have risked careering off on an unrelatable tangent. As for her own solo material, Bond has been working heavily with another of Lab’s signings, producer Raf Riley. The man behind Mz Bratt‘s latest single “Tear It All Down,” Riley’s sound is (much like his boss’) zany and eclectic, but Bond sits beautifully on a few of his more restrained efforts.
LISTEN: Etta Bond – “Ask Me To Stay”
“Ask Me To Stay” is a highlight – heavily Dubstep influenced, but not a cynical attempt to cash in on the genre’s recent popularity. “Come Over,” another Raf Riley production, is a slinky number that betrays Bond’s more soulful roots – after all, she grew up listening to the likes of D’Angelo and Jill Scott.
Material is relatively sparse – there’s a handful of tracks on her Soundcloud page, plus the Wretch collaboration, some impressive live performances and a series of lo-fi YouTube videos showing works in progress and her developing guitar skills. As a result, fans and the industry alike are eagerly waiting to hear more from this highly touted talent. Given her significant talent as well as the fact she’s got a label boss who is one of the hottest properties around, with ever-increasing clout as a star maker, I’d happily bet big on Etta Bond becoming a big deal.