Jeeni Blog

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Zed, The Dreamer – ‘I died too’ Single Review

/ By Doug Phillips
Zed, The Dreamer – ‘I died too’ Single Review

Charming, layered and dreamy, the latest single from this starry-eyed balladeer might be his most impactful yet. 

With a rich roster of influential artists like Bon Iver, Michael Kiwanuka and Matt Corby, Zed, The Dreamer has a wide and varied well from which he draws inspiration and these influences reveal themselves quite clearly across Zed's young, bright discography. The style of the previously mentioned muses can essentially be reduced to an initial representation of the broad genre of folk music, however, they all individually decide to expand beyond that folk core by enriching it with their own individual styles, experiences and personalities. This is a skill that Zed has adopted in full-effect.

A notable element of Zed’s style is his subtle embrace of lo-fi aesthetics. Before, this has materalised as some unfiltered-out background fuzz in tracks like ‘Comfort (Not Love)’, but Zed's latest track takes this raw, casual sentiment to a further level as he uses it to almost reinforce the heart aching messages that he displays in ‘i died too’. The track whirs to life like a tape machine accelerating to the right speed, instantly giving off a warm, analogue tone to the track. The sudden click to silence after just a second of guitar also contributes to a feeling that this is an impromptu recording, straight from the heart, to the microphone. 

As more elements are introduced, this nonchalant façade crumbles and Zed’s ballad blossoms into a polished and astonishing chorus of love. Intricate and symbolic lyrics aren't needed for the confessional “Baby, I love you” chorus, because the verse has already provided poetic details into the relationship. 

Interestingly, after the first chorus, Zed doesn’t use its natural momentum to maintain the energy, but instead, he brings the composition back down to where we began with an interlude of radio-effect conversational samples and background ambience that replaces the full, lush textures that we just heard over the chorus. Once back down to the ground, Zed’s forlorn vocals begin to slowly levitate the piece once more with the next verse. The second verse consists of simple guitar-tapped percussion, rumbling bass and shimmering chords, all ornamenting Zed’s gentle acoustic guitar and crooning vocals which creates the folk centre of the piece.

The second verse much more seamlessly feeds into the second chorus which now professes the title of the piece, “I died too” in replace of “I love you”. This heartbreaking variation to the chorus is such a clever story-telling device. It’s not often that a chorus is altered to reveal an entirely different side to an emotive narrative, it adds a stunning amount of weight behind an already compelling single. The piece winds down one final time as a more distant and mournful "Baby, I love you" is heard underneath auto-tuned vocalisations and a self-comforting "It's alright, now" repetition. This extended ending at almost a minute long is a beautiful finish to an already unorthodox song structure. A final, pensive guitar chord rings out to finish the piece with one last poignant resignation.

Zed, The Dreamer will be performing at Victorious festival this August (26th-28th) so be sure to check him out if you have tickets!

12
Mar

Jeeni - 'Coming Into Focus'

Friday 22 January saw the first of a month long project for Jeeni, as they work to connect directly with their members. 'Coming Into Focus' is a collection of Zoom meetings, set up for Friday afternoons at 2pm, giving performers, artists, writers and fans the chance to relay their user experiences and chat directly to the directors of the business. With music platforms under increasing scrutiny from government committees, as well as their users, now seems the perfect time to meet the feedback face to face. Jeeni's ethos of 'Ethical, Honest, Fair' means they aren't afraid to hear what many are choosing to ignore. The directors' believe their platform can offer a better way for the music industry to operate and have been striving for this for the past 3 years. From an online 'open' invite, the whole of social media was invited to register for the meeting and for a first outing, the take up was good. There was also a quick questionnaire to complete, to give an outline of usage of the platform. Once into the Zoom arena, guests were personally greeted by CEO Shena Mitchell, who gave a short briefing on the company, the reasons for starting the focus group project and it's plans going forward. The attendees were then given the 'floor' to discuss their experiences. 'Coming Into Focus' - Jeeni meeting The group was an international mix of musicians, songwriters and music fans, with their feedback being extremely positive. All were amazed musicians, artists and performers were going to be earning 100% of the income generated by their postings, merchandise and tickets. This was seen as a huge positive against other platform competitors. There were some great ideas coming from the group, which Jeeni is interested in developing further. One of the attendants, a recent graduate of The Songwriting Academy was keen to understand the process of uploading his work, and generating an income from this. Another participant, recently arrived from the Southern Hemisphere to the UK, wants to use the site and the Jeeni network to connect with fellow musicians and music fans. Shena was also told, fans want easy access to new and diverse music, rather than the constant stream of similar tracks which follow your previous choices on other platforms. The next 'Coming Into Focus' meeting is scheduled for Friday 29 January at 2pm. To receive your invite, follow the link and register your details, http://focusgroupjeeni.eventbrite.co.uk/. There is even a rumour Roger Watson, an industry legend and Jeeni ambassador, who has sold over 500-million albums in his incredible career, may join the call! www.jeeni.com

10
Jun

Spotify Billionaire CEO Daniel Ek is out of touch with reality.

Spotify’s economic model has been widely condemned by musicians and songwriters for years, with critics claiming that the service pays out paltry royalties and gives major-label artists an unfair advantage via playlist placement and other promotional avenues. But according to CEO Daniel Ek, the problem is not Spotify, it’s those lazy musicians! The response among musicians and performers on social media has been extremely negative with many paying subscribers boycotting Spotify because of how badly it treats musicians. In 2020 more than any other year since Spotify launched, there’s been a surge of musicians talking publicly about their streaming royalties not being enough to live on – including a campaign in the UK (#BrokenRecord) that has trained its sights not just on streaming services, but on labels and the wider industry structures. Tom Gray who started #BrokneRecord campaign states: "This has been problematic for such a long time, and that’s why I call it ‘Broken Record’ because there’s nothing new about this. I’m just saying basically the same things that you’ve heard a million times. But the context has completely changed.” Many artists and fans believe there are no alternatives or options when it comes to music streaming. Being told by a billionaire to work harder and faster, isn’t likely to be the best artistic motivator, either. According to Ek, musicians need to get with the times and keep up a steady stream of content: “There is a narrative fallacy here, combined with the fact that, obviously, some artists that used to do well in the past may not do well in this future landscape, where you can’t record music once every three to four years and think that’s going to be enough. The artists today that are making it realize that it’s about creating a continuous engagement with their fans. It is about putting the work in, about the storytelling around the album, and about keeping a continuous dialogue with your fans.” He concluded, “I feel, really, that the ones that aren’t doing well in streaming are predominantly people who want to release music the way it used to be released.” Jeeni is the newest offering in this, the fastest growing media sector. Created by Mel Coucher, a digital guru who wants the musicians and performers to take 100% of the money they earn - yes, you did read that correctly! Currently in the last 5 days of its 3rd crowd funding event, Jeeni smashed its £100k target in the first 6 days! Find out more at www.crowdcube.com/jeeni but you’ll need to be quick to invest, only 5 days left! If you’re an artist or performer, or just a follower of music who is wanting a better system, which offers everyone a service based on ethics, honesty and fairness then come and see how we do it, at www.jeeni.com Or, you can just stick with what you know and keep filling the pockets of billionaires? Click HERE to visit or return to jeeni.com

03
Mar

Jeeni proudly announces that Sammie Venn has joined Team Jeeni as Official Writer, Columnist and Blogger.

Sammie is an award-winning entrepreneur, a writer, columnist and blogger. We caught up with Sammie this afternoon and she told us about her Soul Warrior journey. "I began the Soul Warrior path after writing a series of poems based on my journey of self-discovery. Some were just late-night musings, others more conscious truths, but in essence they encompass the search for the strength that lies within ourselves. I love developing memorable stories and experiences through the emotional connection of words and images, and find writing a wonderful way to capture those inspiring moments and joyful experiences life has to offer. Preferring wild spaces that feel spirited and untamed, I’ve always aimed to be part of nature’s green army. I grew up in the countryside and have finally wound my way back home after decades of living in a densely populated city and feeling almost a stranger to the natural environment. Mindful of the future, we are providing for our children and generations to come, I have strived to turn my business “Soul Warriors” into an eco-friendly company: one that has an holistic approach to life, embracing support, learning, growth and inspiration by taking an alternative path to a traditional business plan. The “Business Garden” needs to be planted, nourished, weeded and watered, given air to breathe, sunshine to blossom and have roots strong enough to endure adversity. I believe that nature, love and adventure connect the mind, body and soul, the balance of each dependent on the other. Soul Warriors nurtures trust on both a personal and professional level, where positive and transparent ethics are key to its success. The vision embodies joyful soulful-entrepreneurship where positivity and emotional clarity are as important as the bottom line. I began making jewellery years ago and have loved the mindful dedication it takes to develop a bespoke product. Each collection is based on the poetry and stories I write and the collection of ethical treasures have been described as modern-day heirlooms that people can cherish, share and adore. Having been in the retail industry for over 25 years and winning the Business Woman of Excellence Award 2019 in Sussex, I endeavour to work with other award-winning partners who embody fair trade and eco-friendly standards, like Jeeni. In September 2019 I was invited to be part of Gok Wan’s Dream 8 retailers for his UK roadshow, a fun and vibrant event that has led to some interesting collaborations. From the moment I learnt to put pen to paper as a child, writing became a passion. My Grandmother was also a writer, I have many fond memories of typing her work on a battered Olivetti in her drawing room. My Grandfather was an accomplished saxophonist, so music has always been an central part of my life from a young age. My writing journey has been an integral part of my emotional well-being: it’s freeing, mindful and allows me to explore unique, exuberant and imaginative worlds. Storytelling is the skeleton of all my work, both in product development and the poetry, articles and blogs I write. My work has been published in the US literary journal The Starlight Emporium, which explores wonder-filled ideas relating to art, music, travel, storytelling, and all manner of things creative. I am also taking on the role of columnist with Town and County magazine, later this year. Blogging for Soulful Life Club, a company I founded with my business partner Sharron Goodyear 18 months ago, has been a springboard for my work, in creating a wellness community for women. Now my entrepreneurial journey has found a new niche." Welcome on board Sammie we are very excited to be working with you and know you will be a great asset to Team Jeeni. If you would like to find out more about Sammie please check out her website: www.soulwarriors.co.uk. Sammie Venn Click HERE to visit or return to jeeni.com