Song Premiere: Hear Isabelle Brown's 'What U Waiting 4' : World Cafe The True Panther artist will release a new EP, 03, in February.
NPR logo Song Premiere: Hear Isabelle Brown's 'What U Waiting 4'

Song Premiere: Hear Isabelle Brown's 'What U Waiting 4'

Isabelle Brown sounds wise beyond her years. Just 15 years old, the singer and songwriter from Brighton, U.K., released her debut mixtape, Only Having A Laugh, in 2018. But what's more impressive is that it was written and recorded when Brown was 12. It's clear that she possesses an uncanny musical confidence and maturity.

Brown's songs are reminiscent of some of the neo-soul sounds of the late 1980s and early '90s. Artists like Soul II Soul, Lauryn Hill, Erykah Badu and Brand New Heavies get filtered through Brown's hip-hop lens.

Last November, Brown revealed a glimpse of her forthcoming EP, 03, with "Places." Today, World Cafe debuts her latest single, "What U Waiting 4." Brown's harmonies float over a swaying groove, while flourishes of saxophone and an undulating string arrangement speak to a refined attention to detail. If Brown sounds this good at the age of 15, one can only imagine what the future will bring.


03 is out Feb. 7 on True Panther.