Universal Flow Records presents the banging Soca themed dance themed track, “Light Up The Place”, by Ashni and Mr.Z. The award-winning Ashni is a riveting songstress from the Netherlands. She collaborated with Canadian Dj Miss Tara on the Spotify-smashing single “Heat”. Her second single “Wanna be Close” reached the #1 spot in Poland, while her third single “W.O.W.Y”, is her version of U2’s Rock ballad “With or Without You”, produced by Brad Grobler and Mr. Z. On the strength of first single, “Booty Killer” which became a global Club Hit, Mr. Z toured Brazil, Morocco, Taiwan, Turkey, Germany and Spain. He has also toured with Hardwell as his MC, and knocked Beyoncé (Baby Boy) from her throne on THE BOX, with his chart-busting second single “Earth Angel”. Mr. Z, who received a HMA International Achievement Award, has shared stages with Kevin Lyttle, Sean Paul, Shaggy, Machel Montano, and Mohombi, among others.
Now the two dynamic, up and coming stars, Ashni and Mr.Z, combine their explosive talents and skills on the booty bouncing single, “Light Up The Place”. Rough, sexy and sweet – this is the ultimate Soca Dance combination. The rising star, Mr.Z’s rough-and-raspy vocal calls, matched with the Dutch queen, Ashni’s sweet sexiness, makes for a ravaging and rampant musical union.
This is a must-play at any Soca or Dancehall session worth its door price. First comes the pensive intro; then the drop, and a surging build which is on perpetual recycle. This is music tailored for the main stages where the pursuit of big moments, and only the punchiest, boomiest, most obviously emotive sounds are accommodated.
The sonics evoke the sound and feel of the festival experience, with low-end that threatens to overwhelm the bass cabinets and overdriven synths that run together in a kind of ooze. Braggadocio goes with the territory in Soca and dancehall, and when Mr.Z rides the rhythm and blows off lyrical steam, it’s more than just hot air.
Sprinkled with genuine brilliance at times, Ashni and Mr.Z are bringing a renewed, edgy-yet-radio-friendly version of Soca to a global stage. The moment is ripe for these two artists who show a true affinity for the genre. Flirting with the sunny, upbeat melodies and syncopated Afro-Caribbean electro riddims, “Light Up The Place” meshes Ashni’s summery pop hooks with fired up crossover electronic production.
The production work is admittedly a crucial part of why “Light Up The Place” feels so fresh, and it is an enticing showcase of the producer’s skill-set. The instrumentation is uniformly bright, simultaneously conforming to the modern electronic landscape in while still maintaining the regional bounce that Soca’s core has come to expect.
While the rest of us plays catch up to the island vibes co-opted by pop stars worldwide, Ashni and Mr.Z sprint ahead, concerned with positioning themselves as highly sought-after global names. This is certainly is one of the best European Soca-Dance releases of the year.