Image: James Brandon King via Flickr

Elevator Pitch: WSTRN

Now the weather has turned around, the sun is out and everyone is outside, there is a calling for summer tunes. After taking the UK by storm with the release of hit single ‘In2’ in 2015, charting as high as number four and being two times platinum, hip hop group WSTRN may just be the answer to this calling. Consisting of Akelle Charles, Haile and Louis Rei, WSTRN combines their individual musical talents to create the perfect crossover between hip hop, RnB and Afrobeat. Originating from West London, Charles and Haile Rei are cousins who knew Louis Rei, a former footballer who played for Staines Town F.C.; they first entered the reggae scene due to their heritage. Following the release of the debut single ‘In2’ their infectious dancehall style was established in the UK scene, cementing their tracks as being essentials in any summer playlist. In the process of their swift uprising, WSTRN secured some impressive features for their hit songs’ remixes, such as: Chip, Kehlani, Wretch 32, Alkaline, Unknown T and many more.


Their love for music kept WSTRN together and they continued to evolve their sound.


In 2016 their debut mixtape WSTRN Season and their 2018 follow-up DOU3LE 3AK showcased their ability to put smooth melodies and memorable raps on a project that draws inspiration from their West-African musical influences and Caribbean cultures. Charles’ presence was missed at this moment due to a prison sentence however their love for music kept WSTRN together and they continued to evolve their sound.

With the release of their third mixtape in summer 2019 WSTRN Season 2, classics like ‘Medusa’ featuring Unknown T and ‘Maggie & Stardawg’ were released. These tracks held WSTRN’s place in the scene for three years until the release of their latest project in 2022: WSTRN Season 3. This project, arguably their best to date, demonstrates another twist on chill, ‘vibey’ tunes and is home to some of their biggest songs such as ‘Wonder Woman,’ ‘Professional Love,’ ‘Mama Stay,’ and ‘Never Find.’ Upon listening to these tracks you’ll be engrossed by infectious hooks, quirky lyricism and irresistible beats.

Over the three years since WSTRN Season was released WSTRN manages to keep the listeners engaged, whether creating club bangers or laid-back garden tracks they never fail to deliver. The fusion of Charles and Haile Rei’s vocal talents with Louis Rei’s rapping sets them apart, creating a dynamic sound that is niche but also accessible to a wide audience. WSTRN have proved time and time again they are not riding off of the success ‘In2’ brought them and are constantly trying to stand out in a musical landscape oversaturated with cookie-cutter sounds as a beacon of originality and creativity. If you’re looking for something fresh and exciting to listen to this summer, the irresistible sounds of WSTRN are perfect for you.

Recommended songs – ‘Never Find,’ ‘Professional Love,’ ‘Txtin (feat. Alkaline).’


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