Friday, September 30, 2022

Greentea Peng's ‘Greenzone 10’ Gets the Green Light

South London-born neo-soul singer and songwriter Greentea Peng graces us with more entheastic music, having just released her mixtape 'Greenzone 108'. 

Like fractals in a greater geometric figure, different genres like RnB and Ska combine as one sound. 

The album consists of 10 satiating songs. From a sense of self to politics and divinity, the artist gets to grips with many topics.

It starts off with some high energy. The very first song on the tracklist, 'Feint', has high-paced and conscious hip-hop energy. The electric guitar is the backbone of the track, with drums giving it some edge. She says, "create my own constraints / I am rendered feint". Being feint speaks to unpredictability, like mock attacks delivered in the Gypsy King fight, which she attended and was seated in the green zone. That also explains why she sings "left, right, forward, back / protect the psyche under attack". One also comes to think of feint and margin, upon hearing "hope this ink don't forsake me".


'Stuck In The Middle', like 'Look to Him' was released as a single prior to making it to this mixtape. It's a smooth, jazzy hip-hop ode to balance. An easy, deep piano key melody gives it an underground cypher aura. Its production is exemplary – MJ Cole and Swindle deserve kudos for the infectious tune. The artist documents growth and all the tensions one experiences in one's journey. You get pushed and pulled and that's where the challenge of "tryna stay aligned", as the song goes, comes in. 


'Look to Him' culminates into a swaggy but inspirational piece. By the time the trumpets come bumping in, you've already been swallowed in by this street hymn. And yes, with lines like "I ain't gonna rush / gonna push / let the big man do His thing", divinity is involved. She even gets ontological with “and I own nothing / not even soul I bring".


Another one of the tracks worthy of mention, 'My Love', really brings out the smoothness in her voice. The instrumental is relaxing though you can still nod your head to it. She sings "the world is burning / but I got my love". This labour of love champions the enduring nature of true affection. 


Greentea Peng truly brought a higher level of depth and musicality to this album. She was able to bring out her versatile style while addressing an assortment of matters. You can tell it's a mixtape by just how varied it is, but her personality is the common denominator. 


The entire tape is the result of collaboration between several people. Honourable mentions include Janet Jackson, Swindle, and St Francis Hotel. There's even an act of goodwill connected to the project. Proceeds from the song 'Your Mind’ all go to a youth mental health organisation called YoungMinds. 


'Greenzone 108' will raise your level of consciousness while making you feel grateful that good music still exists.


Gavin Mndawe


@Gavin Mndawe


Image: 'Greenzone 108' Official Album Cover


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