Jeeni Blog

Helping the next generation of talent to build a global fanbase

DarkStarGraver - 'Over The Bridge & Far Away' Album Review

/ By Doug Phillips
DarkStarGraver - 'Over The Bridge & Far Away' Album Review

If you had any familiarity with this Portsmouth rapper's refreshing and inventive brand of UK hip-hop, then it should be of no surprise that his newest album is as buoyant, animated and thought-out as it is.

This is the first album DSG has released since becoming an integral part of the Jeeni mission. DarkStar has been an avid Jeenius since Summer last year and has been blessing the Jeeni database with vibrant and innovative artistry ever since. All seven tracks of this incredible project are on Jeeni right now. Jeeni is always looking to represent and uplift artists with visions as clear and focused as DarkStar.

DarkStarGraver's biggest crime here is leaving us wanting for more content because although he's cohesively expressed a giant variety of emotions, styles and influences, he took just 18 minutes to do it! He justified the choice of a shorter album on Instagram, "New album is 7 tracks in total, could’ve been more but I like that number", DSG cleverly released this record knowing he has so much more in his artistic tank for the next project. 

A clear highlight on this record is the early, consecutive killer features on ‘Running Man’ and ‘No Brainer’ from Kid Crayy and Baby Panna respectively. DSG takes the reigns on these tracks at first and allows his fellow Portsmouth MCs to embellish the final push and create a rememberable climax for these standout tracks. Kid Crayy's attacking flow is restless and constantly bops and weaves around the beat. Baby Panna, however takes his time and makes each syllable hit harder than the last. Panna also performs the ear-worm 'Ride with me' hooks just before and after his verse which just completes the track.

DarkStar made it clear that “This project is dedicated to the Portsmouth Hip Hop scene” and made a specific mention to the Portsmouth artists that predate him and thanked them for “Sparking the fire that made me want to rep my hometown as an artist”. A meaningful dedication to a blossoming music scene is a suitable sentiment for such an excellently put together and varied album. 

DSG uses his robust and adaptable voice so well on this project that at times, it sounds like extra, unlisted features. For example, a rather high-pitch singing voice for the hooks on ‘On My Way’ is then met with a deep and resonant rapped verse to finish off the short opening track. ‘Gohan’ (review) which was a single teaser for this album, features more of DarkStar’s contagious melodic rapping which is enhanced and made all the more effective with the excellent production of Zack Nailor at WRS Studios. 

The hi-hats and 808 bass in the beat for ‘Juice & Gems’ works so well with the jangly acoustic guitar sample, as though they were always meant to be heard together. In fact, the entire album makes such an effective use of samples throughout; ‘Slow Jamz’ has a romantic and theatrical strings sample which turns the rapid, trap-esque beat into a dramatic, epic cut that is just too short. DarkStar also hints at a feral, almost growling voice on this track which provides yet more evidence that DSG will never settle or stop experimenting with what his voice can achieve. 

The album ends with class and impact. ‘Over Time’ features a melodramatic female vocal sample which wails over a seductive lounge piano, sparkling under the rumbling beat. The bonus, shorter track, ‘Justice League’ is a moody album finisher containing reams of witty wordplay which flows like water. 

Once again, a feat like this album is a credit to producer, Zack Nailor as well as DarkStar himself of course for containing the talent, passion and vision to pull something like this off so seamlessly. 

How can Jeeni support artists like DarkStarGraver?  

JEENI is a multi-channel platform for original entertainment on demand. We’re a direct service between creatives and the global audience.  

• We give creatives, independent artists and performers a showcase for their talent and services. And they keep 100% of everything they make.  
• We empower our audience and reward them every step of the way.  
• We promise to treat our members ethically, fairly, honestly and with respect.  
• Access to artist liaison and a supportive marketing team. 

Check out DarkStarGraver’s Jeeni showcase here: https://jeeni.com/showcase/darkstargraver/ 

10
Jun

Let’s celebrate the “F” word – unlocking the power of our feminity. By Sammie Venn

By Sammie Venn Jeeni's Official Writer, Columnist and Blogger. Here at Jeeni.com we celebrate and support all musicians and performers, and poetry has its own dedicated channel for artists and performers to showcase their work and earn 100% of their sales, ticketing, merchandise and donations. Last week Jeeni returned to Crowdcube to raise more funds for helping new talent. We have been very encouraged with the positive response as we reached our target in just 6 days and now overfunding If you want to see our pitch click HERE. Today we showcase Sammie Venn as a very talented and creative writer. “For I conclude that the enemy is not lipstick, but guilt itself; we deserve lipstick, if we want it, AND free speech; we deserve to be sexual AND serious—or whatever we please. We are entitled to wear cowboy boots to our own revolution.” After reading Dr Naomi Wolfs powerful words I dug my cowboy boots out of the closet, turned the radio up and attempted to work through my own solitary revolution. I too wanted lipstick, love and liberty. I wanted to dance to my own beat and feel ecstatic about it. I have been in the retail industry for over 25 years now; understanding what women want and correlating that to how they feel, is a task both meaningful and joyful to me. It is something I continue to learn and explore daily as finding our inimitable style is part of the process of discovering our femininity; for me it is about how we show up in the world. I have never been an avid follower of fast fashion, the clothes we wear and how we choose to adorn ourselves is part of being authentically who we are. At heart I am a boho gypsy who longs to live her life in maxi dresses with no shoes, in the sunshine. This is of course not always practical but I like to kiss the earth with my toes as often as I can and working from home, especially at the moment provides me with that luxury. Celebrating our femininity should be a practice that connects both the pleasure and magic of being a woman. It’s easy to berate ourselves, finding fault in the smallest of details but it is those elements  that we should embrace and nurture more than anything; it is after all what makes us unique in this world. I had a hip replacement a couple of years ago at the age of 45. As painful and heart breaking as it was, I learnt to love the scar I see every day, as it was that very operation which allowed me to walk again. Falling in love with your body, scars and all, is about accepting everything that is wild, vulnerable and rampant about it. Listening to our intuition and feeling the emotions that accompany it, is a practice worthy of time and dedication. I have always appreciated music, the soundtrack that accompanies my life is as varied and eclectic as the decades I have lived in. Maya Angelou wrote that “ a bird does not sing because it has the answers, it sings because it has a song”. So when we write, listen or perform, we give something of our heart to a receiving audience. I have been working on a series of practices that will hopefully help to reclaim our pleasure both internally and externally. Here are a few rituals that harness the wisdom that we all carry within ourselves. Something for the mind, body and spirit. Reclaiming Pleasure. When we feel pleasure, we radiate it. Our skin glows, our eyes smile and our bodies feel more fluid and engaged with life in the moment. Finding pleasure in our daily activities is all part of a healthy sacred self-care regime. Notice what brings you joy, is it walking in nature? Dancing slowly to a rhythmic beat? Eating delicious food? Meditating? Soaking in a candlelit bath? Whatever it is, write it down and designate some time to your desires. Fulfilling our deepest needs brings us joy and harmony. Date Yourself. Have a date with yourself, be your own lover. Imagine your ideal soiree then recreate that for yourself, it can be wildly extravagant or very simple. A few years ago I took myself out for dinner, I dressed as if I were going out for the perfect first date. It was an odd experience as I had never done anything like this before. I was as nervous about being alone in a restaurant as I would have been meeting a prospective partner. But after my first glass of prosecco, I eased into the evening. I pulled out my notebook and listed everything I wanted to attract into my life; health, the feeling of safety, oneness with myself and those I loved,  a man who respected me on all levels and a career I could be proud of. I ate my dinner mindfully, observed those around me and then smiled to myself, I remember feeling happy for the first time in years. I still have the journal I wrote in that night, I see it as part of my self-healing revolution. When you commit to choosing you, that loving vibration will radiate into all areas of your life. Click HERE to visit or return to jeeni.com

03
Sep

Massive Jeeni success on Crowdcube!

Jeeni has smashed through our crowdfunder target, thanks to 160 investors who are celebrating their amazing investor rewards. Jeeni is a fast-growing entertainment company that showcases independent musicians and performers ethically and safely, and where artists keep 100% of everything they make, and we're delighted that so many investors share our vision. Our team is responsible for over 500million record sales over the last 40 years.We're backed by GRAMMY Award-winners who want to help the next generation.Global streamed music subscriptions surged by 25% to $450million in 2020.We offer our artists an ethical revenue share. Our competitors do not. With only 6 days left of our Crowdcube campaign, we invite you to own part of our business and pledge your investment today from as little as £10. Check out our pitch here: https://bit.ly/3BhEeia

04
Aug

10 Reasons why the world needs Jeeni

My name is Mel Croucher. I'm a record producer and computer nerd. Over the years I've worked with a whole bunch of superstars like Prince, Frank Zappa and Eminem. In other words, I've been around successful musicians all my working life. A few years back I was hearing from more and more artists how unhappy they were with the big streaming services. So I polled 4,200 of them about their Top-Ten Problems with Spotify, Apple Music, Soundcloud, Deezer, and the rest. The poll result was a shocker, and I asked a bunch of the best brains in the music business to help me create an ethical alternative. It's taken us two years, and we call our alternative JEENI. Here's what the artists we polled told us, and here's our Jeeni solution to their problems. 1 - Money. Artists get paid a pittance. Platforms like YouTube pay $0.00069 per view, so even 10,000 views earn us less than the cost of a pizza per month Jeeni solution. OK, we get it. You do all the hard work, so you deserve all the rewards. How about a Jeeni deal where you keep 100% of all music sales, ticketing, and merchandise sold through our platform. 2 - Recognition. We try really hard, but streaming platforms just don't get us more fans or recognition. Jeeni solution. Right. Let's make Jeeni an artist development platform. Our founder invented viral marketing in 1994. Then he achieved the world's first million-user viral campaign. Now he's designed all the tools you need to grow your fanbase and get recognition: all part of the Jeeni service. 3 - Communication. We don't know the identity of who's streaming our stuff, so we can't get in direct contact with anyone who wants to know more about us. Jeeni solution. OK. Here's the deal. With Jeeni you get a built-in fan database to contact everyone who votes for you or likes your work, and you communicate directly with them as often as you like. Safely, legally and all opt-in. 4 - B*llsh*t. The big streaming platforms are full of it. We hate the adverts, we hate the artificial likes, we hate the paid-for recommendations, we hate the hype. Jeeni solution. The answer to this is an ethical alternative. We guarantee Jeeni will stay advert-free. We pledge our charts are the result of democratic votes by real people. And we promise that all Jeeni content comes from genuine unpaid sources. Oh yeah, we'll also pay our taxes in full, because we believe we should make a positive contribution to the society we live in. 5 - Rip-Offs. We just can't breakthrough, and even when we think we're making progress as artists we get ripped off. Jeeni solution. Yep. The entertainment business has always been full of shysters. Let's be honest here, the people behind Jeeni have all made it to the top somehow, and between us, we've made every mistake in the book. Our mission is to help you achieve success and avoid rip-offs. That's why our Jeeni Mentors, Ambassadors and Masterclasses have joined forces to do exactly that. 6 - Choice. The big streaming services all offer similar content, dominated by the same big star names. Jeeni solution. Agreed, so let's ignore the content everyone else uses and leave our competitors to fight it out! Jeeni is designed for undiscovered artists to breakthrough, based on talent alone, not ad-spend. 7 - Channels. My work doesn't fit into mainstream channels. For example, what about channels for spoken word? Jeeni solution. No problem. Jeeni already has dedicated spoken-word channels for poetry, comedy, and voice actors, plus channels for entertainment ranging from dance to videogame soundtracks. And if we don't already have a channel that suits your need ... we'll sit down and create it! 8 - Visibility. People either don't know about our work or can't find it even if they do. Jeeni solution. We've designed the smartest user interface we can. On Jeeni, you can search by name, type of channel, instrumentation, latest uploads, popularity, even by influences and heroes. But above all, our artists have complete control over publicising their own announcements to their specific Jeeni audience. 9 - Fakes. What's the difference between the Jeeni Awards and the fake results dominated by celebrity voting? Jeeni solution. Simple. Jeeni doesn't have celebrity voting. Our Awards will always be based on one member - one vote. No ifs, no buts. 10 - Live performance. I'd like to stream an event, and charge people to watch it. Can Jeeni do that? Jeeni solution. Um, not yet, but we're working on it! Come on now, we're not perfect, so we need your help. Jeeni has returned to Crowdcube to raise more funds for helping new talent. Jeeni raised 50k in the first 5 days and are working hard to get more investors on board with more investments still coming in. When we hit all our targets we can help give our new artists the recognition they deserve. If you want to see our pitch click HERE. You can invest for as little as 10 pounds and you will be directly helping independent musicians and performers take back the control.