Track of the Week “Diamond” by Freestyles263 comes all the way from Harare, Zimbabwe. A refreshingly hip-swaying serenade, this week's track sports the buoyant beats the dancehall genre is known for. “Diamond” is an easy-going 3-minute tribute to a fresh-faced natural beauty who has managed to capture the attention of an unsuspecting young man. The beauty of this track lies in its well-proportioned production – the catchy and smooth hook interspersed with a full spectrum of textured vocals from English raps to pidgin phrases creates a great balance that will have you hard-pressed to get this earworm out of your head.
With a name that alludes to their desire to dabble in as many genres as they can muster, Freestyles263 consists of founding member and lead MC Elisha Mubaiwa (Mr E), Matthew Marima (Slangkop) and various other session artists. Their sound is a mix of urban down-tempo dancehall, with a touch of romantic late-night synth grooves and smatterings of ragga, hip hop and R&B.
Evident in its first single, entitled “Jah Knows” released in 2006, Freestyles takes advantage of the dancehall scene's revolving-door tendencies and explores the different ways in which traditional sounds can be cut and buffed into shiny new gems. Having hit the ground running with artists such as Aleko, Lumino, Bobby Crissis, Lisa Lu and KB, its first album is set for release in early 2015, promising sounds that are easy on the ear and easy on the soul.