Ari Pensmith & Jonah Christian Release “City Girl” Through Soulection Records

A Unique Fusion Of ‘90s Afrobeat, R&B, And Dancehall From The Two Internationally-Acclaimed Artists


Shore Fire Media

London singer-songwriter and producer Ari PenSmith and Los Angeles producer and composer Jonah Christian debut “City Girl.” The two sought after producers are already known for their crossover projects (Snoh Aalegra, Masego) and work behind the scenes – each working with KAYTRANADA, Anderson.Paak, Normani, Beyonce, and more. “City Girl” marks the beginning of their journeys as their own artists, both working together and following their own muses.

Listen to “City Girl”:

Ari and Jonah were working together in Jonah’s LA studio when Soulection Records,friends of Jonah, came to listen to some new music, including a demo called “City Girl.” The far-reaching fusion of R&B, Afrobeat & Dancehall (genres close to both of their hearts) was recorded and stored, believing that it would be passed along to another artist.

Soulection had other plans; the demo was played on Soulection’s Beats1 radio show (credited to Jonah & Ari) and Joe Kay’s Boiler Room set, instantly grabbing listeners’ attentions.Through the encouragement of Soulection, Ari and Jonah decided to officially release the track.

Ari PenSmith says:

"If I had to describe the writing on 'City Girl', I’d have to say it’s a mini fusion of the music I grew up listening to (R&B, Gospel, Reggae), my childhood surroundings (London - which is a melting pot of cultures) and my (Nigerian) heritage blended together. Throw that in a pot with all of Jonah’s influences, mix it all up for a few hours and you get a musical dish titled 'City Girl.'"

Jonah Christian says:

“'City Girl' stemmed from a pitch session with myself, Ari, and George Moore. Ari and I had worked on a lot of the same artists & projects (Snoh Aalegra, Burna Boy, etc), but never had worked together directly. I was a huge fan of his work as both a writer and vocalist, so when we finally linked up, the creative chemistry was amazing and 'City Girl' came together organically & effortlessly. It’s inspired by our life experiences & the music we love. In my case, the production was informed by growing up in a Jamaican household listening to a lot of dancehall riddims. Ari and I are also heavy into Afrobeats & R&B, so 'City Girl' is this hybrid of all of these cultures and diasporas rolled into one idea. It’s a special record."



Since 2011, Soulection has been a cornerstone of creativity for innovative musicians, crate-digging DJs, and open-minded fans from across the world. What began as an independent radio show has since blossomed into a global community of artists and audiences, united in a borderless, genre-bending, musical movement. Over the past nine years, their grassroots expansion is a model of what happens when one stays true to their roots in the constantly evolving digital age of music. From putting out independent releases with producers like Ta-ku, Sango, Dpat, and Atu on Bandcamp to being the first collective invited to play Coachella, Soulection’s growth has been organic and fruitful.

September 16, 2020 10:10am ET by Shore Fire Media  

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