Los Angeles based composer and multi-instrumentalist Jay James has been focused on translating emotions into cinematic and serene compositions. Since graduating college, he had the opportunity to produce Lonr and B.K Habermehl’s “Right On Time” alongside Grammy-nominated producer Jeff Gitty and Payton Long which was featured on a new episode of Issa Rae’s HBO show Insecure.
Following two projects, It’s Beautiful and When All Is Said and Done, the Ghanian producer is currently crafting a third upcoming album — titled GLORY, which is set to release later this year. Today, Jay released its first video under the same name featuring themes of growth and maturity.
“Glory” is an ethereal blend of soulful jazzy instrumentation. Violins grace listeners’ ears as light high-hats transcend us into ethereal, hypnotic space. A pulsing metronome serves as a heartbeat bracing for what’s next. He builds on this energy with rippling bass-lines against melancholic keys to create harboring resentment. His production concludes with with vibrant electric guitar and crisp reverb.
He has also released a visual for the track directed by Noah Kentis.
Visually, the 22-year-old undergoes his own personal cathartic resurrection. Jay is found in a somber-lit room. There is a point of curiosity with a hole in the wall: how it got there and what caused it. Nonetheless, a dark figure possess the mind and space as an ominus incubus. He confronts this demon in a suffocated space.
Glory is about pushing past “the darkness” and inevitable harsh realities of life and allowing oneself to see and appreciate the light and “glory” in it.Jay James
This album will include inspiring elements of soul, jazz, and hip hop. Like his other bodies of work, listeners can expect GLORY to be versatile and inviting.
Phoenix raised producer Mitch built his lane through crafting sounds that define ambiance. His industry catalog includes pen and vocals on YG’s 2016 Red Friday track “I Know” and production credits from 2013 sinister cut “IDGAF“. Now days, he is actively expanding his skillset through singing and songwriting after moving to Los Angeles.
Mitch recently released his spring single “Like This” featuring Southside Chicago’s R&B darling Ann Marie. The accompanying visual, directed by Brilliant Garcia, revisits their unspoken bond in a lap of luxury.
DJ Switch’s tantalizing production allows him is quick to set the tone that satisfaction is a priority. The chemistry may be undeniable between the pair, but one thing is clear: he can’t be compared.
Ann Marie’s verse balances Mitch’s grit with glossy expression. She passionately sings: “When we in that bedroom, boy, I’m right up in my element.. Stop playin’ these games, you know I own it like a resident”. Both artists match energy.
“I wrote the record about a girl I was dealing with at the time. We had recently broke up, and it inspired me to write “Like This”. I used it as an outlet to let her know she would never find another love like this. And speaking on his collaboration with Ann Marie, Mitch elaborates: “I was on tour with Dani Leigh in Chicago last year and my homegirl put me on to Ann Marie. I thought she was talented and had a real genuine appeal about her. And thoought she was the perfect fit for the female perspective.”— MITCH
“Like This” is a glimpse of what Mitch has in store this summer: an upcoming project titled Better For You. Ty Dolla $ign, Yung Pinch, Waves and Ilham will make their appearances. His creative message will focus on “being your best for the one you love”.
Nigerian singer and songwriter Tamaraebi combines velvety vocals with electrifying production to craft geniuine messages of the human experience. His sound is inspired by Nina Simone, Prince and Bob Dylan. His project Heaven’s Gate, conceptualizes philosphical themes of vice, virtue and human punishment told through a realist lens.
Both videos for singles “Hey Hey Hey” and “Heaven’s Gate” bring these themes to light while serving as an introduction to the R&B torchbearer. Yo! That Slaps had the opportunity to interview Tamaraebi to see how his nomadic upbringing shaped the sound and thought process behind this EP. Check out the interview and videos below!
Where were you born in Nigeria? Discuss some details of your upbringing.
I was born in a town in East Nigeria called Owerri, my parents were working there at the time. And then we moved to a city called Calabar in the south and then Lagos the commercial capital. So it was a lot of moving. My upbringing in Nigeria was exciting. There’s a unique buzz of life I’ve never experienced anywhere else.
As a fellow Nigerian, I have to ask: what’s your favorite Nigerian dish and aspect of Nigerian culture?
My favourite food has to be party jollof rice.
And my favourite aspect of Nigerian culture is the sense of community. Everyone is your cousin or aunty so weddings and birthdays are huge events.
How has your childhood experience of living in various places like Nairobi, India and Sudan shaped your worldview? Do you think it has had a profound effect and influence on your music?
Neither my parents are from where I was born so from birth we’ve kinda been a nomadic family. Living in different countries made me open to different sounds so languages /music, fashion, mindsets, cultures, food and people. I’ve always kinda been an outsider so I observe a lot and it’s made my music and personality quite free flowing.
As an artist, where do you think your biggest improvement has been musically?
My writing is something I started consciously working on a few years ago and it’s improved loads.
What was it like being scouted by Tinie Tempah and how do you think this has impacted your approach to music?
Still doesn’t even seem real! It was at a perfect moment as well. It’s really helped with exposing me to a lot of different creatives and musicians which only makes for more productive sessions.
“Heaven’s Gate” is a track centered around human dichotomy of vice and virtue with heaven as the focal point. Why did you decide to center the track around sin, redemption and the concept of heaven?
Wow you literally summarised the song nicely. I feel like every one is fighting some kind of battle and we all want to make something out of our lives and be someone or be loved by someone but more time nothing makes sense or goes as planned. So when I get to heaven’s gate I just have bare questions for God.
Your most recent release, “Hey Hey Hey” on the other hand, brings robust vocals and a realist approach to understanding that the world is less forgiving and motivated by personal gain. What was the creative process behind this song?
Yeah you’re right. Not every day tears, sometimes gangsta vibes. The creative process was quite simple. The producer played the beat and it reminded me of early 90s, big drums, old school hip hop Rick Rubin ‘Against the system vibes’ and we just went with the feeling.
Both “Heaven’s Gate” and “Hey Hey Hey” incorporate electrifying production and genuine messages of the human experience. What can listeners expect from your EP “Heaven’s Gate”? Thank you! Heaven’s Gate is an introduction to parts of me as an artist and I just wanted to be as honest as I could, exploring sounds and concepts I was into at the time.
Follow Tamaraebi on Instagram and Twitter @IamTamaraebi and check out his most recent single Innocence.