DJ Q, Shola Ama & Hans Glader – I Can’t Stay

The transatlantic connections between the UK and US underground music have blossomed in recent years, with a number of collaborations, crews, and labels cropping up as audiences have expanded. DJ Q, Shola Ama, and Hans Glader‘s latest charts a strange course, starting in Huddersfield, England (DJ Q), stopping in London (Shola Ama) before flying stateside to link up with one of San Francisco’s (Hans Glader) finest beatsmiths.

“I Can’t Stay” is a glittery, unapologetic ode to the sunnier side of UK garage, enjoying a smooth instrumental replete with pizzicato string plucks, shiny keys, and, of course, the glue of a warm bassline tying the whole thing together. DJ Q’s penchant for vocal work alongside his recent affinity for UKG productions marries perfectly with Hans Glader’s inspired, off-kilter approach to songwriting, a winning partnership previously established on the garage house banger “Thief in the Night”. Shola Ama’s legendary vocals ride the instrumental effortlessly, exhibiting all the usual hallmarks that made her a celebrated presence in UKG and beyond. The vocal delivery is breathy and evocative throughout without losing any of its richness, proving a natural fit for the skippy musical stylings of Glader and Q. As the track finally winds down, Hans Glader leaves his ambient stamp with swirling synths, rain samples, and delay-soaked pings.

“I Can’t Stay” is a testament to the merits of international collaboration, as well as the growing trend of allowing a wide range of eclectic, musical influences into the genre. DJ Q and Shola Ama’s combined experience provide the necessary guiding touches for Hans Glader’s creative explorations, culminating in a quirky and ultimately quality entry for all three artists.