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Etta Bond Sets Herself Apart As A National Treasure In R&B/Soul

When you think of UK RnB the name Etta Bond most likely comes to mind. She has been plugged in to the scene for quite some time but continues to reach new heights with every new release. Born and raised in Cambridge and inspired by the sounds of Jill Scott and Amy Winehouse, she uses her music as a vehicle to express her opinions on societal expectations and how she navigates self love. After meeting through MySpace she was then signed to Labrinth’s independent management company Oddchild Music, which is also home to rapper Avelino, producer Raf Riley and Chris Loco. Starting out in her career she had made frequent appearances on collaborative tracks with some of the most prolific artists in the industry, from the likes of Wretch 32, Oscar #Worldpeace, Skepta and SiR. Etta and longtime producer Raf Riley have been building a catalogue of music that has allowed her to experiment with her style and flow, but also define the kind of artist she is in this world. 

Words by  Blessing Borode & Rehana Harmony

Creative Direction:Derrick Odafi

Photography Diego Chacon Martinez

Hair Blessing Kambanga

Make Up Jessica Noire

Stylists Danielle Temeng

Retoucher Derrick Odafi

Visual Director Azeez BelloBrandon The Ruler

Project Manager Yasmine Haidar

Special Thanks to Listen Up Biz

Lyrically, Etta is a natural storyteller who elicits an emotional response from her listeners. Back in 2018 she released her single ‘Surface’ featuring A2, which she then turned into a challenge to champion others to express their own truths and gained over 500 replies. She also went on to record and release another version of ‘Surface’ which included the winners of the challenge. This is an artist that, through her music, explores the raw emotions of love whether it's loss, vulnerability or intimacy, in an honest and unreserved manner. Her double album release of ‘He’s mine’ ‘He’s Not Mine’  in 2019 is a testament to that. Both albums also saw the appearance of Kojey Radical, Shae Universe, A2 and US artist SiR. This is evidence of Etta's willingness to collaborate with extremely talented artists, whether they are underground or as established as her. Throughout her 10 year career, taken to new heights with the release of her debut EP 'Emergency Room', she has written songs that resonate with the everyday woman. As she has continued to carve her own lane as one of the first names on the list of UK based female vocalists, she has worked with many male figures that are legends in their own right such as, Skepta, Wretch 32 and Labrinth, who she met via MySpace.

Etta obtains an iconic presence in her live performances, bringing to life every sound and emotion felt when listening to her music, creating an atmosphere that is sexy and intimate. Etta's connection with her fans is something that she takes great pride in and it shows on her social platforms as she hardly seems to be bothered about a specific aesthetic rather than giving her listeners a piece of her and her mind, a truly expressive artist that shows all spectrums of herself as a strong woman and determined artist.

Jacket - DARIA BOGDAN @daria_bogdan_design
Pants - MATILDA ABERG @matildaaberg
Bralette - APUJAN @apujan
Shoes & Jewellery - Talent’s Own

Sequinned Strapless Dress Sebastian Nissl

Jewellery Isabel Marant Alighieri & ASOS 

Jacket - DARIA BOGDAN @daria_bogdan_design
Pants - MATILDA ABERG @matildaaberg
Bralette - APUJAN @apujan

Hat, Nicholette Bosch @nicoboschdesign

Shoes & Jewellery - Talent’s Own

Feathered Neck Piece  Handmade by Stylist

Ruffled Dress  Ana Sekularac

Jewellery  Isabel Marant & Alighieri 

Her most recent release, being a 4 track EP titled ‘2 Metres Apart’, was created during quarantine. The opening track ‘On A Beach’, which she shared a snippet of on her instagram, is a collaboration with a producer she found on Voisey, an app that allows you to freestyle over beats made by producers. With her delicate vocal tones this EP is centered around her longing to be with a loved one but not being able to due to lockdown rules. Much like all of her work, this project is heartfelt and soothing to her listeners. Etta is a well rounded artist and songwriter who has the ability to approach any subject matter from many angles to deliver detailed bodies of work. 

2 Metres Apart is a dazzling four-track body of work that conveys a message of longing and love through airy, Cali-cool guitar haunts and lofi-beats which merge sublimely with the songstress’ smoldering swoons. 

 

Upon listening, a feeling of separation becomes apparent, hence the title “2 Metres Apart”; On the project’s opener titled, “On A Beach” featuring Avelino, we hear Bond exclaim “Oh Miss Corona what have you done?” - a rhetorical question that has been at the tip of many of our tongues for multiple reasons. However, for Bond the question is sparked specifically by missing a lover she’s been away from due to current social distancing restrictions. She expresses these emotions over a downbeat, romance-tinged instrumental before being joined by her collaborator, Avelino. The rapper flows in a comfortable fondness, almost as though the verse comes from her lover by offering up a soothing and reassuring response to her concerns. 

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Etta Bond’s short compilation of soulful grooves and heartfelt ballads which are punctuated by broad strokes of sonic colour have most certainly brightened up quarantine (although that comes as no surprise). 

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Dress - DARIA BOGDAN @daria_bogdan_design
Jacket - SHOPYTE @shopyte
Jewellery - Stylist’s Own
Shoes - Talent’s Own

Next is “Break My Quarantine”, during this 2-minute effort, she urges her partner to, well... break her quarantine - in rich, sultry coo’s which adorn a mellow guitar-driven backdrop. In succession, we receive “One More Sleep”, a track that depicts the anticipation she feels the night before being reunited with her partner. Bond opted for a change in delivery on this, switching to a breezy, pitchy melody that could lull the listener into a dream-like trance. This follows “Close As I Can Get” - the fourth and final offering, which presents an atmospheric, 80’s-esque guitar moment that enriches the track and sets its tone. The singer's vocals come through sweetly and subtly this time, as they melt into the backdrop; allowing every element to work together in harmony. 

 

Etta Bond’s short compilation of soulful grooves and heartfelt ballads which are punctuated by broad strokes of sonic colour have most certainly brightened up quarantine (although that comes as no surprise). In addition, the singer's ability to cleverly tell a story - which is relevant to our current climate, will resonate with those in a similar situation and can be appreciated by others who are single - song after song is impressive and made for a thoroughly enjoyable listening experience.

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Throughout her experience of being in the music industry Etta has maintained her professionalism and often warns newcomers about the pitfalls of the industry. Her love for music is pure and constantly seeks balance to make sure her music consistently cuts through to the listener. Being very conscious about her environment she's not afraid to tell it like it is when necessary or bring people in for comfort and peace, especially through her vocal tone and musicality. Self-love is an important concept for Etta as she understands the highs and lows that come with the music industry and live as a whole. She practices such by facing fears, confronting insecurities and open conversations with those close to her. This has allowed her to understands the value of on a deeper level, seeking to protect her energy and elevating those around her.

Jacket - APUJAN @apujan
Jewellery - Stylist’s Own

Hat, Nicholette Bosch @nicoboschdesign
Shoes - Talent’s Own

Self-love is an important concept for Etta as she understands the highs and lows that come with the music industry and live as a whole.

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