The Silhouettes Project: East London’s musical phenomenon strikes again with volume 2, showcasing diverse talents and themes of empowerment and resilience

One of the most exciting and accessible musical initiatives to come out of East London in recent years, The Silhouettes Project was founded by Asher Korner (a.k.a Asher Kosher) and Jaden Osei-Bonsu (Eerf Evil) with the intention of creating a platform for young artists to hone their craft and expand their network within the industry. 2020 saw the release of their first compilation, which threw together artists from a variety of musical backgrounds with the aim of enhancing the collective’s overall practice.

That record would trigger a host of sold-out shows at some of London’s most esteemed venues—Jazz Café, Pickle Factory and Hackney Social, to name a few—as well as festival bookings, notably from Brainchild, Ken Fest and Glastonbury. Three years on, and in the wake of success and widespread praise, Volume 2 has arrived; it welcomes a number of new faces, as well as the return of many artists from the first compilation, whose musical and emotional growth in the interim period is noteworthy and gratifying to witness.

Shade - Elisa Imperilee & Karl Benjamin (Prod by. Purple Cloud)

The Silhouettes Project

Themes of self-empowerment, identity and hopeful resilience echo across the record’s 18 tracks, underpinned by a spirited palette of largely jazz-, hip-hop- and soul-imbued instrumentals. Singling out favourites here may be a fool’s errand, particularly as the project is founded upon “placing the collective above the individual,” but it would be criminal not to acknowledge a few stand-out moments. On “Shade,” Alabaster DePlume’s rasping saxophone weaves together beautifully with an airy vocal performance from returning artist, Elisa Imperilee. Her voice triumphs elsewhere on “Lighthouse”—a sultry, James Bond-style ballad written in collaboration with WLFY and Midnight Phunk. Kojey Radical teams up with MANIK MC in “Hocus Pocus,” sprinkling lyrical wizardry over a souped-up rhythm track, and concluding the affair with a tasteful, chipmunk soul coda. The compilation finds a lighthearted conclusion in “That’s Nice,” with Deema acknowledging the blessings and goodwill of the people around him—a “nice” end to a distinguished sophomore endeavour.