Holly Rey’s new EP 3AM Part 1 is a scintillating Afro-house release

Off the back of her second consecutive win of the Basadi in Music Pop Artist of The Year, local trailblazer Holly Rey just released 3AM Part 1 – a return to her Afro-house roots, and bred for that late night dancefloor. 

It comes as a shift back to House beats after a brief departure for her stripped back EP Unconditional last year, and is perhaps her most punchy yet. It was also, for the most part, written at 3am, which feels appropriate. 

The whole EP is hinged on heady bass and infectious momentum – the sort that carries you into the early hours. Opener “Ngiyazifela” flaunts a vibrant percussive Afro-house trajectory, with Rey’s vocals coming in smooth and scintillating, slipping between English and isiZulu. Then “25 To Life” kicks it up a notch, channeling a darker, faintly industrial sound as Blinky Bill drops a verse here and there for kicks. 

Lyser synth and cutting beats drive “Inhliziyo” which remains richly evocative within its simplicity, as Rey’s thematic thread of relationships lived, lost and lingering pulls through strongly. The only drawback to the whole thing is the runtime of “Crazy In Love”, whose looped chorus becomes a little tedious come the five minute mark. But then “Time” wraps things up with silvery liquidity, proving that Rey’s dexterously considered Afro-House-fusion is every bit worth the hype.

Feature pic supplied by artist