This month I wanted to take a look at an album that I have been loving, a single that is
breaking the RnB boundaries and the DJ who is the queen of RnB edits and a presenter who is at the forefront of championing new music.
Jawan a Los Angeles based artist provides us with this floaty soft pop vocal wonder, ahead of his second album release “reverie vol 1”. This will be the first full body of work he’s released since 2019. The track is an eclectic mix of soft harmonies and dulcet tones creating clarity for Jawan. Cause and effect is all about ending a toxic cycle, something that Jawan expresses personally through the track as he uses music as a healing process.
Lighter percussion notes are often heard throughout the spellbindingly beautiful song. The track dips into mellow sub-parts which give Jawan a chance to stretch his vocal lungs and dance throughout into his higher range. The response to this track has already been incredible for the contemporary RnB artist. Cause and effect has already featured on Apples New in R&B and Breaking R&B playlist. The more I listen to the track the more I fall dreamily into a sense of relaxation and bliss.
DEB NEVER – Where have all the flowers gone
A rising alt-pop queer LA-based singer-songwriter. Deb takes you on a journey through a perfect blend of samples, piano and vocals on her ep Where have all the flowers gone. I’ve collated together three of my favourite tracks which stuck out to me when listening to the album.
The first track “stupid” takes us straight into the album completely illuminating the sounds you can expect throughout the body of work. Originally starting with a voice note singing and playing the chords of the track in guitar. These hazy voice notes become a key point of structure throughout the album. Anyone can admire the technicality it takes to create a rich and complex body of work but to also keep a listener hooked throughout the whole album is a skill that is often lost on albums and eps.
Deb slows the track right down before her vocals settle over a subtle piano. Lyrics that stuck out to me were “tell me why I still chase you’re high?” The track seems to centre around falling for someone and chasing them knowing you’re being stupid and bound to get hurt. It’s that blind love we all seek and become hooked on.
The track explores why Deb constantly falls and seemingly searches for these people who become ghosts in her life. She consistently refers to feeling things in her bones and refers to skeletons almost as long lost human memories. All that’s left of these past people in her life are the memories, they’ve long gone now. Leaving Deb lost. It’s very interesting to put such a raw and sad track right at the start. But as a first EP, I always find artists are their truest and don’t want to structure for anyone else but them and the story that they are trying to tell.
The fifth track “sweet and spice” featuring Jim e stack is a perfect mix of spoken singing and pop electronic beats. Deb Never keeps a lower tone throughout the verses of the track which to me makes her feel so effortlessly unbothered almost like how you can be in a conversation. This theme of unbothered echoes the unique skateboard sample which is thrown into the track, completely changing the dynamic and feel of it. It’s now synonymous with the early 2000s and Avril Lavigne. Sweet and spice is laced with conflict. Her music video switches from a solo Deb Never in her room, to her dancing with a crowd of friends.
The track’s vocals switch from careless lower vocals to higher more direct vocals which shoot a message of a relationship constantly turning and growing in good and bad ways. Sweet and spice is an adventure. Trying to choose three tracks from this ep that are my favourite or most interesting is so hard. But “Disassociate” I find such an easy listen. I think if I was to define any of the tracks on the ep as pop it would be this one. A perfect blend of the synonymous guitar frequently used throughout the track as well as a soft beat. They’re layered together to create a perfect new age pop track. Deb never sticks to one sound or vocal style. Her elongated and softer layered vocals consistently building and dropping through the track creates this beautiful sound. Deb is truly an artist who does not sound like anyone else and is happy to take a track right up to you and make you listen and appreciate the pure talent.
Now I know I talk about albums and singles but as a DJ, I find myself constantly listening to DJ mixes from incredible DJs around the world, especially in London. Here’s two for you and some mixes you may want to check out.
Now if you want a mix that’s something vibey and recognisable you have to checkout Jordss. The queen of R&B and Radio. Regularly hosting a show on Rinse FM, the founder of girls cant DJ. Which is an amazing platform showcasing wxmen and non-binary talent. One notable mix that I still listen to now even though it was recorded in lockdown is Rinses Lockdown live 002. Featuring artists such as Ja rule, Rihanna and Destinys Child just to name a few.
Her effortless mixing between banger after banger is just pure joy. Not only that but at the start of September Jordss sat down with her mum to discuss black music culture and the tracks that inspired this incredible DJ. Filmed for BBC 1xtra as part of the decks of kin series, the seven-minute video can be found on BBC iplayer. It’s amazing to see the influence and connection between such tracks as sixth street by Louisa mark and I can’t wait by Sanchez which clearly had a profound effect on Jordss. It’s an enlightening video into how such a pivotal DJ found her inspiration and taste in music.
My second DJ to showcase is Jaguar who presents BBC Introducing Dance. She’s a formidable presenter and is hailed as the UK’s next-gen radio champion by mix mag. Her show showcases up and coming producers from across the Uk. She aims to represent and uplift POC, LGBTQIA+ , non-binary and women in the show. If you’re constantly looking for new music from rising UK producers and some DJs, then BBC Introducing on Radio 1
Dance is the show for you. Listen in every Thursday on radio 1 and every Monday and Friday on Radio 1 Dance.