Uniting for one of the most exciting collaborations of the year, DJ Fresh and Think Tonk enlist soulful wordsmith Liam Bailey and fresh face Jamie McCool for crossover D&B anthem Rivers via DJ Fresh’s Breakbeat Kaos label.

Buy/Stream ‘Rivers’ here

Established D&B project Think Tonk was immediately entranced by the power ballads busker Jamie McCool performed on the streets of Manchester when he happened to be walking by last summer. Imagining a bassline behind the singer’s jaw-dropping vocals, Think Tonk insisted they work together whilst passing on the news to an enthusiastic Liam Bailey who then alerted an eager DJ Fresh. The newfound powerhouse team then hopped in the studio to refine what quickly became highly anticipated anthem Rivers, adding a live brass section, gospel choir, and adlibs from Liam Bailey.

Mancunian project Think Tonk is a respected tastemaker on the scene who channels a love for UK, West Indian, and US dance floor music and culture into productions that have seen heavy support from the likes of John Peele, Slipmatt, Grooverider, Annie Nightingale, Toddla T, DJ Target, Bryan Gee, Tony Colman, Annie Mac, and more whilst landing support from BBC Radio 1, BBC1XTRA, and KISS FM.

With a background rooted in the jungle rave scene, Think Tonk boasts collaborations with popular MCs and vocalists such as Inja, DRS, Fox, Collete Warrne, Rago Loco, and producers like Benny Page, Lynx, L-Side, Riddim Punks, Kemikal, and Command Strange, with releases on Rampage, Hospital Records, Spearhead Records, V Recordings, and more. Performances across festivals like Glastonbury Festival, Boomtown, Hospitality on the Beach and venues like London’s Fabric and Bristol’s Motion to name a few, have honed fiery and high-energy live skills.

Uniting with one of the most legendary names in D&B, DJ Fresh adds a magic touch to Rivers that has failed to diminish since he achieved the genre’s first UK no.1 Hot Right Now and dubstep no.1 Louder. Known for high-energy bass music and timeless hooks, the producer first cut his teeth in infamous outfit Bad Company before dropping his own BRIT certified x2 Platinum banger Gold Dust and UK no.1 Hot Right Now. The titleholder of numerous Official UK Top 40 entries and ten Top 10 singles, DJ Fresh has spent the past 20 years constructing his mad scientist production status, collaborating with the likes of Diplo, Rita Ora, Ella Eyre, Dizzee Rascal, Ellie Goulding, and more.

Recently re-launching his Breakbeat Kaos label last year, the imprint is home to signings from the likes of Pendulum, Chase & Status, Nero, Brookes Brothers, and Sigma to name a few. This past year saw a Gold Dust 10-year anniversary remix package from the likes of Skepsis, Fox Stevenson, Marten Hørger, Krafty Kuts, Dutty Moonshine Big Band, and Bou & Used, which landed a Beatport no.1 and BBC Radio’s Hottest Record from Charlie Hedges. The heavyweight followed up the remix success with Higher (feat. Nikki Ambers), which saw promising support from BBC Radio 1 and KISS FM, demonstrating an exciting return for the imprint as it continues to grow in 2023.

Also contributing to Rivers is soul, reggae, and blues master Liam Bailey, who has become a sought-after vocalist spanning several genres since attracting the attention of the late Amy Winehouse and subsequently signing to her Lioness Records in 2010. Compared to the likes of, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Bill Withers, Bob Marley, and Dennis Brown, the wordsmith’s blend of 70s-80s funk with authentic electronic sounds has captured the attention of the entire industry for years, supporting Ellie Goulding on her UK tour, co-producing and contributing vocals to Chase & Status’ smash hit Blind Faith whilst joining them for live performances, and releasing on major labels like Polydor Records, Flying Buddha/Sony and Digital Soundboy.

Meanwhile, newcomer Jamie McCool’s powerful covers have attracted attention across Instagram and TikTok, amassing thousands of likes and comments singing praise for the singer’s awe-inspiring voice. A video the singer-songwriter posted on his socials of a stripped down acoustic version of Rivers gathered over 118K views on TikTok and huge support in the comments, even attracting the attention of established, chart-topping artists Maverick Sabre and Professor Green, who commented on Instagram “In the feels, all the feels. Gorgeous”.

Hailing from County Armagh, Northern Ireland and moving to Manchester when he was 10 years old, Jamie McCool initially earned credits back in 2017 writing Counting performed by Aloe Blacc and produced by Purple Disco Machine and Aeroplanbe. Meanwhile, his debut solo release You My Friend with BtheLick went viral, amassing over 4M Spotify streams, hitting the no.1 spot in Germany on the Spotify Viral Charts and went as high as no.12 in the Spotify Global Charts.

Four standout artists in their own right now unite, formed of a rare chance encounter with the combined star power of seasoned industry talent with a secret weapon on the cusp of infamy makes Rivers a standout release packing huge potential. An emotional and rousing ballad backboned by killer bass lines from D&B’s finest, the earworm melodies and catchy lyrics from newcomer Jamie MCool paired with full-throttle breakdowns and powerful drops set up the poignant juggernaut to be a promising success across airwaves and dance floors alike.

Think Tonk vs. DJ Fresh – Rivers (feat. Jamie McCool & Liam Bailey) is out on 24th March via Breakbeat Kaos.

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