Not content to make do with tired retreads, music listeners in 2013 demand innovation regardless of the genre or context. Nowhere is this more apparent arguably, than in the domain of contemporary RnB. Production at all levels of the genre is invariably diverse and challenging, whether it be on the likes of Usher’s ‘Climax’ ( one of the most pleasant mainstream surprises of recent years ) or on the downcast Indie flavoured wailings of The Weeknd, as a genre it is never allowed to stagnate. With good contemporary RnB to be found high and low around the world, it would not be churlish to suggest that the genre is enjoying a return to the Timberland/Timberlake inspired glory days reached in the early noughties.
A welcome addition to the swelling ranks of quality RnB voices is 21 year old West Londoner Jordan James. His self released debut ‘Love Waves’ EP, out today, shows off his smoothed vox over a range of consistently intriguing beats from James himself and a several collaborators. ‘Regina’s Interlude’ sees him harmonising effectively with himself over a full sub and rattling percussion, generating a beguiling stoned ambience. Inspired Craig David rework ‘Fill Me In’, flips its source material on its head, pairing James’ sweet delivery with ethereal Mount Kimbie esque treated vox and flourishes of trappy bass. ‘Loving In Sin’ begin as a slow jam with electronic production but finishes in a blissfully fucked up haze, the beats moving along as if submerged in a gallon of Robitussin. ‘Cruising’, arguably the funkiest cut on the EP, keeps it sexy with James channeling neo-soulfulness through his endearingly British voice.
As big fans of the EP, we caught up with James, who was kind of enough to hook us up with a remix ( available at the bottom of the page ) to give to you for your free downloading pleasure….
Hey Jordan, how are you? Congratulations on a strong debut ep, a word about how it all came together and the process behind it?
Hey Hyponik, ‘Love Waves’ was an idea I put together a year ago, when i was on this musical journey finding my sound. I wanted to create a sound which was alternative but can be still accepted by mainstream heads.
What were you listening to when you made the EP?
When it came to listening to music while making ‘Love Waves’ I was heavily influenced by alot of Timbaland and early Justin Timberlake material, (the days of JT’s ‘Justified’ album). I just loved the element of mixing really unique instrumentals and melodic vocals.
Singing has never been my main thing, I was a producer before I started singing, so trying to find my own voice was hard for me.
i had to go back and listen to artists that I grew up on as a kid. like Prince, PM Dawn and D’Angelo.
What aspirations have you got for the rest of the year, musically and personally? Will we see another release?
The aspirations I have for this year are to release my first solo video and continue the ‘Love Waves’ saga. So ‘Love Waves 2’ is already in the works of recording. I just want people to appreciate good music again and that’s what this EP Delivers.
You’ve roped in three different producers for each of the EP’s tracks, how did you come in to contact with them and is this a method you’re looking to continue with in the future?
The original plan was to produce this EP my own but I didn’t want to fall into the trap of every song sounding the same. So when it came to working with these three other producers I was looking for something different.
When it came to writing and recording were done on the same day, never touching a piece of paper to write down my lyrics, every lyric I put together was written in my head. It was the only way I felt free to write things without any boundaries.
Lets touch on the remix, from Jet Axel, how did that come together and what do you think he added to the track?
Yeah working with Jet Axel came unexpectedly actually, my good friend Jordan Troy (Photographer for Headless Flywear) showed me his work on Soundcloud and it was really impressive, I’d never heard anything like this before. The ‘Loving In Sin’ remix he put together is so dope. You can tell he’s out of box with putting his production together. I hope the world enjoys what I’m about to show them. Blaow!!!
Words: Christian Murphy
Photography: Jordan Troy