Metropolitan Digital

  • Written by Tom Estey

With the April 3 release of his stylistically eclectic and hard-hitting debut album Cruelty, emerging artist Allocai is not merely sharing the often-harsh truths of his life experiences and his journey from darkness and pain to hope and light.

With his no-hold barred 11-track collection, the Jamaican-born, Los Angeles based singer-songwriter is also paving the way and making it safe for indie musicians to dig deeper within themselves, own and embrace and own their feelings (no matter how painful) and find fearlessness in their vulnerability and authenticity.

With a pop driven flow that heavily incorporates a wide range of influences – rock, hip-hop, R&B, reggae, dancehall, soul, blues and classical music - Cruelty chronicles a powerful, life altering ordeal Allocai went through with his father by empathizing the experience to the audience through emotions rather than words, with each song representing a particular feeling he experienced on his harrowing but ultimately triumphant road to recovery.

He laid the foundation for the album’s drop with three lead singles – “Hush,” “Be My Main” and his breakthrough hit “Cloud9,” which has over 1M streams on Spotify and whose video has scored over 1.5M YouTube views since its release in October 2019. The track is one of Allocai’s darkest, most trippy and intense, representing his lowest state, when “nightlife stopped working and I needed a stronger distraction. A cocktail of different drugs was my personal remedy for an even deeper escape from reality.”  

Allocai started singing and writing music professionally five years ago after a life changing event nearly drove him to suicide. His father got romantically involved with Allocai’s girlfriend, kicked him out of the house and family company – and shortly thereafter she got pregnant and they married. “A few months passed, during which I barely hung on to my sanity but my depression got worse, especially with the academic pressures of being a medical student,” he says.

“At my lowest point, my grandmother, whom I was living with at the time, encouraged me to go back to my roots and find a way to express the emotions I was keeping to myself. Her words led me to rediscover my voice and talent to find a deeper purpose for it all. I used it as a form of emotional therapy to express feelings that I couldn't express in a conversation with a therapist.”

After months of training and developing his craft, Allocai made the bold decision in 2017 to drop out of med school and venture to LA to pursue a career in the arts. Once settled in, he found a record label, Tree4ort Records, and a great co-producer (Austin Leech) to collaborate with as he developed the songs for Cruelty. He also discovered a newfound freedom that had otherwise been foreign to him. Away from the homophobia of Jamaica, he was free to express another side of my sexuality that he had to keep buried deep. He started having romantic relationships with men, which eventually led him to more openly display his sexuality.

Cruelty artfully and impactfully catalogs the timeline of Allocai’s ordeal, starting from when he met his ex-girlfriend up until his suicide attempt. Without giving away too many personal details, he penned each song with the idea that though the lyrics may not speak directly to the storyline, they should evoke the same emotional reaction he felt while going through that phase of his journey.

The focus singles include the haunting ballad “Heartache,” inspired by the singer’s desire to stay in a relationship with the woman despite their mutual depleting attraction; the fiery and dramatic hip-hop jam “Drop That Shit,” written from the perspective of his father, to express his blithe narcissism; the reggaeton flavored romp “Feelings,” whose playful dance groove contrasts with his expression of pain and the fake happiness that comes from fruitless distractions; and the scorching rock/soul ballad “Fault,” which chronicles his suicide attempt via sleeping pills and carbon monoxide poisoning, complete with a medical resuscitation element.

Reflecting on his decision to title the album Cruelty (when there is no song with that name), Allocai says, “While going through the ordeal with my father a lot of people who I confided in always used the word ‘cruel’ to describe the situation and so I thought that ‘cruelty’ would be a fitting title to for the LP seeing that the album chronicles this. My personal experiences have led me to understand the word as inflicting pain on another person without any form of empathy, remorse or regret and that's what happened with my father. I wondered if he didn't realize that I was gradually deteriorating as a person. The way the album progresses captures my mental breakdown and instability from enduring the pain of another person's cruelty.”

Allocai attributes his courage to make his first splash as an indie artist with such a personal album to the influence of his grandmother, who made him realize that his liberation out of this personal crisis and self-destruction was through music and creativity. “When you’re able to take your pain and create something that others can empathize with and enjoy, you're also taking back your own power away from the source of your hurt,” he says. “Being brutally honest on Cruelty was an essential way for me to take back power from my father and my ex-girlfriend (now my stepmother) so they no longer had the ability to stop me from healing.”

Entertainment News

How to Create a Melody on the Piano

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be able to write a song? Maybe you’ve wondered how anybody goes about writing a song? Once you understand how music works, you can use building blocks to create your own melody, or even a whole s...

News Company - avatar News Company


In the midst of the devastating COVID-19 pandemic, the release of “In the Morning” on Pure Mission Entertainment – the label he partners on with Aaron Emig - follows on the heels of the global success Willie J had with “We Love You Puerto Rico”...

Tom Estey - avatar Tom Estey

Expert Advice: Indie Record Producing and Engineering

My career as an independent artist evolved out of my career as an entrepreneur and restaurant owner. I moved to from my hometown of Boston Atlanta in 2013 and opened my soul food restaurant Soul Delicious Grill and Buffet in Morrow, GA. I hired t...

Darrell Kelley - avatar Darrell Kelley

Weight of The World

When the calm of the world is at stake, and every message of hope is crucial to our collective peace of mind and the endurance of the human spirit, it’s not only possible, but essential to present any form of love. Summoning courage and compassion in...

Tom Estey - avatar Tom Estey

DARRELL KELLEY “The Coronavirus”

Even though I have been releasing tracks and albums since 2018, I never considered myself an artist until I started getting responses from people telling me that my songs were resonating with them. To this day, I still think of myself more as a per...



During these tumultuous times, people are feeling a loss that is akin to grieving.  Grieving for their former lives and ways and it is unclear when things will return to “normal.”  Grieving for the “certainty” they tell themselves they had prior ...

Stephanie Hochman of My Luv Notes - avatar Stephanie Hochman of My Luv Notes

Music During the COVID 19

On Saturday, March 7th, the first throngs of bikers began rumbling their way toward Daytona Beach for another year of its infamous annual event – Bike Week. During the week, the endless growl of their engines seems to suffocate all other sounds out...

Hannah Summer of GREYE - avatar Hannah Summer of GREYE

Stephen Wrench “Life’s a Sham” Album

On April 14th the single “Life’s a Sham” will be released. Some songs take months and even years to write but “Life’s a Sham” was written in 15 minutes. After writing the lyrics I picked up my guitar and the first music that I played I knew that ...

Stephen Wrench - avatar Stephen Wrench

Darrell Kelley perfectly meets our unique, challenging moment in history with “The Coronavirus”

“The Coronavirus”   With the release of his powerful, no holds barred song “The Coronavirus,” Darrell Kelley perfectly meets our unique, challenging moment in history by addressing our strange new day to day reality and its attendant fears and s...

Tom Estey - avatar Tom Estey

ALLOCAI - Cruelty

With the April 3 release of his stylistically eclectic and hard-hitting debut album Cruelty, emerging artist Allocai is not merely sharing the often-harsh truths of his life experiences and his journey from darkness and pain to hope and light. ...

Tom Estey - avatar Tom Estey

My musical journey or how I began to sing on a dare

Bonjour,  je m’appelle Chloé Perrier. I am a French Jazz singer/Chanteuse based in NYC for the past 6 1/2 years. When you love it, every half counts. I was born in Myans, a very small village in the French alps. My house was in the middle of a ...

Chloé Perrier - avatar Chloé Perrier

ALLOCAI The Process

As a songwriter, I can personally vow that one of the most fulfilling moments in creating music is when you complete a killer song that you genuinely enjoy but sometimes this fulfillment and joy comes at a price. The frustration, indecisiveness and...


Destiny Malibu : My Musical Journey

I still remember the day, at the age of five, I put some black headphones over my hair that were nearly as big as my head, and stood in front of a microphone for the first time. The studio was already a warm and familiar place.  But this was new.    ...

Destiny Malibu - avatar Destiny Malibu

DARRELL KELLEY First Person Musical Journey

I grew up in Boston surrounded by music. I give full credit for cultivating my talents to the inspiration and encouragement of my uncle, William Baskin, who was a performer, choreographer and artist manager, my aunt Donna DeRosa and my mother Sandr...

Darrell Kelley - avatar Darrell Kelley

Stephen Wrench my musical journey

I always loved music. I grew up in Syracuse, New York. My mother’s family was from Tampa,Florida. Every year we used to drive down to Florida to visit. I remember when I was 5 years old, we stopped at a diner to eat. The jukebox was playing. I go...

Stephen Wrench - avatar Stephen Wrench



Are you planning to go on a trip? Possibly, you do not know what things are most necessary on a trip. In this article, we will guide you through some important tips. These tips help you to...

News Company - avatar News Company

New Baggage Regulations to Help Aussie Parents Travel with Infants

Travelling around the globe has never been easy, especially when infants tag along for the trip. One of the main issues that parents often have to deal with is the need to bring extra item...

News Company - avatar News Company

Maya Beach Opens to Tourists

Despite recent reports that Southern Thailand's famous Maya Beach will close for three months this year, in fact no decision to this effect has been made by Thai authorities. Phi Phi Nati...

Maevadi Rosenfeldt - avatar Maevadi Rosenfeldt


Breaking News & Opinion