Having recently hit a whopping seven million subscribers after seven years, COLORSxSTUDIOS is undoubtedly the greatest music discovery platform in the 21st century. The simplicity of a plain backdrop in a rainbow of colours and hues allowed for vocals and performance to become the focus.
COLORS has always been ahead of the curve – if you look at their earlier videos you’ll find the likes of Joyce Wrice and Jeshi just to name a couple, years before they rose to popularity. They’ve always been tapped in tastemakers and have shaped the way we discover new music.
Throughout the years, a COLORS performance has become coveted by rising artists and is seen as an opportunity for showcasing your music to millions of viewers, with the highest views on a performance being ‘idontwannabeyouanymore‘ by Billie Eilish which garnered 182 million views.
COLORS performances can be pivotal in an artist’s career and help break them into the mainstream, with a good example being Greentea Peng’s enthralling performance of ‘Downers’.
Here are our Top 10 COLORSxSTUDIOS performances:
10. James Vickery – Until Morning
The note James Vickery introduces this sultry performance with is strikingly beautiful. The way he’s able to conduct his vocals throughout the rest of the track with such ease is so impressive. His vocals are smooth yet incredibly powerful at certain moments – some of the highlights are when he belts out certain notes towards the end.
9. Mahalia – Sober
Mahalia’s smooth vocals on her iconic hit ‘Sober’ took the world by storm and definitely aided in the rest of the world opening their ears to UK R&B. Her storytelling ability lies in her movements aswell as her lyrics. She kicks it up a notch towards the end, with her vocals going full throttle. The catchiness of this song has definitely left the chorus and melody ingrained in those with good taste in R&B.
8. Koffee – Rapture
Koffee’s facial expressions and breath control made this COLORS performance a memorable introduction to her music. She mastered being expressive and calm at the same time while performing, and it’s definitely fair to say that with this performance she definitely gave Reggae a bit of a revival, especially for younger listeners.
7. Doja Cat – Juicy
The all-pink and red outfit and background, xylophone-heavy beat, airy vocals and unforgettable second verse that would sadly be cut on the version that ended up on her sophomore album Hot Pink, made Doja Cat’s COLORS performance truly iconic. The raspy tone in her voice was exclusive to this version and the way she holds eye contact with the camera at times made this a prominent COLORS performance we couldn’t leave out of the Top 10.
6. Masego – Navajo
The intro on Masego’s ‘Navajo’ in his COLORS performance is special, as his voice echoes through the blue room. His rich vocals cascade over the beat, and he even adds backing vocals in with the device. His suave nature bellows throughout his vocals and body, coming through extra strong during the rap portion of the track.
5. Oxlade – KU LO SA
Oxlade’s KU LO SA is undoubtedly the best Afrobeats COLORS performance, this version being miles ahead of the later released studio version. The way he expresses himself vocally and how he moves feels full of love and romance as the free-flowing rhythm helps him express his desire to get closer to someone.
4. EARTHGANG – Up
EARTHGANG really got to show how much of a dynamic duo they are, the cuts between the two of them as they alternated in vocals made this COLORS Performance visually exciting. Neither of them are afraid to move freely as they rap artistically with that Southern twang, straight from Atlanta with their funk-laced cadences. They’ve also got fantastic chemistry when it all comes together despite not being in the same room.
3. Unknown T – Goodums
‘Goodums’ is absolutely one of the best songs to ever come out of COLORS, proving to be one of Unknown T’s most popular songs having amassed over 13M streams. Switching things up and having a mic on a stand rather than one hanging from the ceiling while someone plays keys next to him. His slick flow is accompanied by fast-paced movements, all of which make for a really elevated performance.
2. Skepta – No Sleep
Skepta absolutely had the best visuals in a COLORS performance with the thermal heat map effect coming in right on beat, aligning with his critically acclaimed album Ignorance Is Bliss. His punchy energy and hard-hitting cadence
1. Little Simz – Venom
I trust that anyone reading this has enough taste to have seen Little Simz shell her COLORS performance way before it went viral on TikTok. Her hand movements demonstrate how her bars travel through her. As powerful as this song is outside of this performance, the way she’s executed her wicked flow here reaffirms that Little Simz is truly one of the greatest rappers alive.
Some songs are even made exclusively for COLORS performances like Ku Lo Sa by Oxlade or Goodums by Unknown T, and while studio versions get released – the COLORS performances always remain superior.
SOME OF THE GUAP TEAMS FAVOURITES:
Sometimes artists are even welcomed back for ‘A COLORS ENCORE’ which allows for a bit more creativity in the performances – they tend to play around a bit more with the shadows and mic positioning.
COLORS has really shaped the way we discover music in the last seven years and now that the performances are being uploaded more frequently, there’s an abundance of artists and music to discover. It’s become a staple in every music lovers’ diet and seen as a massive achievement for artists on the rise.
lastly, here’s some of our favourite, newer performances from the uk