Josh Kumra performs Helicopters & Planes for Bands in Transit

As grime’s first wave imploded under the weight of its own beefs, UK urban artists adopted new tactics to make their assault on the charts. One route in was to have a stadium-anthem figure in the mould of Coldplay’s Chris Martin to sing the chorus – Wretch 32 used this trick with Don’t Go, which featured Josh Kumra delivering the melancholic lead line. Kumra is now releasing his own material and his voice is huskily plaintive à la James Morrison: sanded down with a fine grade of paper to leave attractive rasping in his top range and rich colour in his deeper moments. He’s strong when let off the leash and given the freedom to soulfully roam around the notes, but his songs also have clean melodic lines on which to hang this style.

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