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Release Date: 9/18/15
Candice Pillay is a South African R&B singer/songwriter who has written hits for artists like Rita Ora, Tinie Tempah, and Christina Aguilera. She has recently been making waves as a featured voice on two singles from the Compton soundtrack, including “Medicine Man” which also features Eminem. The High is her latest EP.
Pillay has a really interesting sound. Her songs move slowly but they are very sure footed and, unlike many of her contemporaries, she doesn’t over sing her parts. Her vocal restraint keeps the door wide open for the producers and beatmakers to put their unique stamp on it as well, which is how pop music seems to work these days.
The hauntingly beautiful “Lies” with its club underpinnings is the EP’s most important note in my opinion. The vocal and drum loops really stick in your brain and when Pillay sings a verse it sounds important. The way the beats are laid make the vocals sound important, it makes you want to pay attention, even if the lyrics aren’t offering anything particularly important. “Drinking of You,” has a bit of a Prince vibe to it that is very digable as well. This is probably Pillay’s best vocal performance of the EP, it’s soft eighties flare and pop funk suit her much better than the more club-oriented songs.
Overall, this is an enjoyable EP. It doesn’t rattle the Earth but it does show off Pillay’s talents, leading you to believe that she’s capable of being much more than a bit player when she gets the center stage.
Reviewed by Mark Fisher