Aberdeen hip-hop producer Vagrant Real Estate has teamed up with influential dark pop singer/songwriter Misty Galactic to record a single.
The beguiling Holy Places is set for release on all download platforms on July 23.
Working with Edinburgh-based singer Misty Galactic is the latest successful collaboration for Vagrant Real Estate, aka Nick Cronin.
Evoking artists such as Lana Del Rey, BANKS and The Weeknd, the single highlights the boundless ambition and scope of two of the hottest voices in the Scottish music scene.
Recorded remotely during the isolation of lockdown Nick believes it is one of his strongest tracks to date.
Nick said: “I had wanted to work with singers for a while but hadn’t found the right person to match what I was doing. I really liked the material that Misty was producing as there are dark elements of pop and r n’ b to her music.
“With some of the hip-hop drums there is also a cross-over in Misty’s music. Artists like BANKS and The Weeknd blur that line so it was an opportunity for us to bring both of our styles together.
“In September last year I reached out to Misty and asked if she would be keen to work. Misty liked what I was doing so I sent some of my demos through and we built it up by sending material back and forth.
“The track grew organically and was quite a quick process because we both knew where we wanted to go with it. I think Misty already had lyrics she was looking for a home for and they worked perfectly with the sound I brought.
“I am really pleased with how it has come out and it is one of the strongest musical pieces I have done to date. Her performance is fantastic on the record.”
Two rising Scottish talents combine
Originally from Dundee Misty Galactic has released a series of stunning melancholic pop singles including I’m Done, The Worst, Issues and Lucifer which beautifully merges her unique voice with hip-hop beats and soundscapes.
Nick said: “As the track was recorded during lockdown we couldn’t meet up. Working through the Internet you send your work away and when it comes back it is always exciting as you don’t know where the artist has potentially taken it.
“I was confident Misty would be able to deliver… and she did.”
Vagrant Real Estate’s single with Misty Galaxy is the latest collaboration from the producer who has previously worked with acclaimed New York rapper Y.N.X716, Nolay, Mayday, Blay Vision, Remtrex and Ransom FA as well as overseas MC’s Eyesayge (Florida) and Reno KOQ (New York).
Misty Galactic’s lyrics focus on obsession
Misty Galactic, aka Sophie Craik, has previously collaborated with Dundee hardcore act To Kill Achilles, visual artist Marc Sharp and Mark Tindal of Open Eyes Productions.
Misty said: ” It was awesome to get to work with Vagrant Real Estate on this release.
“The lyrics are all about being so obsessed with someone and having such intense feelings, it all starts to feel like a religious experience. I’d been playing around with them for quite a while, and when he sent me the initial idea for a track, everything just seemed to fit together perfectly.
“I’m super proud of what we’ve created.”
Impact of the coronavirus lockdown
All music venues were shut down due to lockdown rules when the coronavirus pandemic hit last year and Nick admits it has been difficult for musicians.
That vital connection with other artists and fans was taken away.
Nick is confident the hip-hop and rap scene will remain strong.
He said: “There are so many things going on at the moment such as supporters being back at the football but they are still not able to put on club nights.
“There are a lot of people struggling at the moment, definitely.
“It has been particularly difficult for musicians who focus on the live aspect.
“There is a conference, HANG being put on in Glasgow this month which is the first networking event for Hip-Hop and Grime in Scotland and will showcase Scottish talent.
“The winner of the Scottish Album of the Year award was a female rapper (Nova) who was the first from that genre to win it. There is so much more of a focus being put on it.
“Once things start to open back up the scene will maybe take a little time to find its feet again and get working, be it pilot events or whatever.
“When we do get back to normal I think the scene will go from strength to strength.”
A shift happening in the music industry
Vagrant Real Estate’s collaboration with Misty Galaxy is proof of the unifying power of the Internet and home recording which has produced a much needed revolution in the music industry.
Nick said: “There is definitely a shift happening where the tools are back with the musicians because you can independently release material. It is about what a label can bring to you rather than you having to convince them of your worth.
“There are always options regarding working with labels where they can potentially be a help on the marketing side or push it out, then that can work.
“People can release music to the world on all the streaming services from their bedroom so it is definitely a much more even playing field.”
A follow up to Glass Half Full this year
Nick has plans to release a follow up album to the acclaimed Glass Half Full.
Glass Half Full is the latest full length album from Vagrant Real Estate following 2019’s year’s ground-breaking instrumental release SWEETHEARTGRIPS.
He said: “I am hoping that if everything falls into place I will have another album by the end of the year.
“The idea is to have one project at the end of the year and I have a couple of other pieces with other MC’s I am lining up for the second half of the year as well.”