&friends bring us new hot remix of Armin Van Buuren’s ‘This Is What It Feels Like’ featuring Cameroonian and Nigerian vocalist Phina Asa via Armada Music
As the official reimagination of the iconic dance track builds, the melody swells to a powerful chorus, driven by a pounding drumbeat and Phina Asa’s soaring vocals. Frank Malloy IV is a skilled percussionist and proclaimed ‘priest of the drum’ – he lent his expertise of sound healing and the intricacies of organic drumwork to the &friends rendition of “This Is What It Feels Like”. Across the entirety of the track’s production, all organic percussion elements comprise the lifeblood of the song. Lyrically, the song sings of resilience and strength, and the sense of triumph earned from overcoming adversity. Brimming with passion and emotion, Phina Asa brings her unique energy to the cut, conveying the depth of her conviction and the power of determination.
The single catapulted the trance legend to the forefront of popular culture, setting the stage for a meteoric rise and positioning Armin Van Buuren as a permanent fixture in dance music.
Since the project’s 2022 inception, &friends has already touched every corner of the globe with Sean Thomas’ thoughtfully woven collection of musical stories from global creators. 2023 has seen the burgeoning project maintain momentum, seeing Phina Asa’s vocal introduction to the project with “Dangerous” and the year’s first single “Love Is The Way” ft. Oluwadamvic.
&friends / Sean Thomas says: “This record is about overcoming, triumphing despite all odds, bumps, bruises, and our deepest scars. It is a celebration, an honoring of how far we’ve come – at its core, this song speaks to the essential human need for connection and love. This song speaks to the power of love to transform us, to give us purpose and meaning, and to sustain us through the darkest of times. It reminds us that we are not alone in our struggles, and that even in the midst of pain and loss, there is always hope for a brighter future.”
&friends is the musical concept and brainchild of New York based Sean Thomas. Drawing the breadth of his inspiration for these musical works from the global cultures, Sean had a vision to create a project embodying tradition, culture and community culminating in the coining of &friends.
The Nitefreak Remix of “Ode Ireti’ ft. Oluwadamvic saw unprecedented, viral success. Receiving massive radio and touring support from top names in the space, the infectious chorus “o-le-le” has become a staple in the sets of many titans of dance music.
In his short time on the scene, &friends has received support by Pete Tong of BBC Radio 1, Black Coffee, Diplo, &ME, Keinemusik, Michael Bibi, Blond:ish, Francis Mercier and many more. Also catching the eye of media tastemakers, he’s earned attention from the likes of DJ Mag North America, Beatportal, LA Weekly, Wonderland Magazine, Magnetic Magazine, When We Dip, Electronic Groove, EARMILK and more.
2023 is already delivering a thoughtfully produced, artfully composed compilation of works set to make its way to listeners in the time ahead. Through a holistic, multifaceted approach, the project is set to make its way to even more dance floors around the world to unite us all.