Listen: Roy Wood$ – EXIS

OVO Sound’s newest member, Roy Wood$, drops his first EP – EXIS.

Ever since the release of ‘All of You’ on his SoundCloud back in April, Roy Wood$ has been drawing comparisons to Michael Jackson. With a distinct blend of smooth rapping skill and intense singing ability, it’s not hard to see why Drake and the rest of the OVO crew took notice and quickly signed Wood$.

Wood$’ debut came thanks to Drake’s partnership with Apple and the OVO Sound radio show on Beats 1. Showcasing the label’s emerging talent alongside new music from more established artists, it was used as a launchpad for Wood$’ latest project, EXIS. With the release of ‘Drama’, featuring label founder and all-round hit maker Drake, Wood$ suddenly has the internet paying close attention to every release – the Drake effect.

Throughout EXIS, Wood$ utilises the almost signature Toronto sound, leaning on the use of distorted samples and ambient soundscapes pioneered by Noah “40”  Shebib. The heavy, melodic R&B is reminiscent of labelmate PARTYNEXTDOOR, and genre trailblazer The Weeknd – both Toronto natives and OVO affiliates.

The opening half of Wood$’ mixtape is a definite platform for his rapping skills with both ‘Innocence’ and ‘Unleashed’ adding a more raw and aggressive vibe to the overall sound. The latter half of the EP showcases Wood$’ vocal ability, with stand outs like ‘Get You Good’, Wood$ delivers an impassioned and soulful vocal performance drawing comparisons to Michael Jackson.

With the release of EXIS, Wood$ talent is unmistakable. He can only be expected to improve under the tutelage of Drake and the OVO Sound team, and further cement Toronto’s position as one of the hottest cities in music right now. The only question is can he carve out enough of a niche in a hit-packed roster to create his own star within OVO.

Stream EXIS above, or head over to iTunes to purchase.

Ellis Anton

Having worked in marketing for various brands, Ellis now works in the fashion industry with an independent London designer. At The Daily Street, Ellis voices his opinion across a variety of subjects, in particular, music and fashion.

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