Austin’s Jony Shelby and Mad Nice collaborate to become DRK Sharlo this year. Their breakout single is Changes, one that brings through a melodic brightness and a simultaneously mellow vibe – not unlike the recent sound of the mainstream, but done in a fairly emotional and personal manner.
Changes is a track that seems to follow a certain pattern initially – a simple melody, RnB-like in nature but effected in a contemporary hip hop fashion. As the track progresses though, there’s far more to the journey than the first few moments imply. This goes for both the instrumentation and the performances within. The track intensifies musically, not so much so that it takes away from the central energy and vibe, but enough so to keep an audience interested and to remind them of the character and heart at the core of the music.
DRK Sharlo prove that collaboration can often be the key in finding something that brings out the best in more than just a single artist. This release has weight to it in a subtle manner – the melody is mildly addictive, enjoyable and quite refreshingly complex when compared to the bulk of rap-pop crossovers of recent years. Furthermore, there’s undoubtedly a musical superiority to the setup – the soundscape is beautiful, crisp and colorful, multilayered.
There’s also plenty being said lyrically – the story-line is focused on the individual experience, so you feel connected to the vocalists. Having said that, there’s plenty within the lines that reaches out in a more accessible manner. The overall concept is easy to follow and relate to, so you get a good balance between individual truth and widespread reality. Changes is a smooth and admittedly interesting, likable track. Hopefully there’s plenty more creativity to come.