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"Local Listens" is a weekly column in which reporter DeAsia Paige highlights new releases from local artists.

With summer winding down and the fall semester about to start, it can be hard transitioning into the regular school routine. However, listening to music can often be an escape from the pressures of being a student. Here’s a list of local artists who’ll certainly take your mind off of going back to school. 

Sydny August

Latest release: "the 45"

If you’re looking to be in your feelings about a relationship, Sydny August has you covered. Her soothing, sultry vocals shine on her alternative R&B as the Chicago singer and University of Kansas senior uses her music to vent about past relationships while gushing about new ones. 

Halle Alice

Latest release:Can’t See Your Face


Although she’s a new artist, Halle Alice has the sound of a veteran singer. The Los Angeles singer has a variety of soundscapes encompassing her artistry, leaving listeners surprised after every song. Alice seems to like keeping her fans guessing, which is a bold move in an industry that’s criticized for music that sounds the same. But Alice, a KU senior, is reshaping that narrative with her genre-bending music. Her music also stands out because of its honesty. Alice’s music is often a space where the artist shares lessons she’s learned about her personal growth while being a Black woman in the United States.

Zarin Micheal

Latest release:Still White

Introspective storytelling is main highlight on Zarin Micheal’s music. With the release of every new project, the Kansas City, Missouri rapper always manages to paint a vivid picture for his listeners. Whether it be reminiscing on growing up in the hood, living with a single mom or expressing his optimism about his budding music career, Micheal makes his music a makeshift diary. Micheal’s honesty throughout his music creates an intimate connection with listeners that’s both sonically pleasing and personal. 


Latest release:I Ain’t Perfect

Hearing new music from Kansas City, Kansas rapper AyEl is a rare occasion. But when he does decide to drop a new track, he doesn’t disappoint, making it worth the long wait. AyEl's poetic cadence and witty flows make his music easily listenable.


Latest release:Lookin’

If you want to listen to something that gives you that 1990s feel, then Kansas City, Missouri's A’sean has the right music for you. His old-school, laid back flow is reminiscent of east coast hip-hop style that’ll easily make you forget about the present time. A’sean’s music certainly poses as a time capsule into hip-hop’s golden age.