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Zeeteah Massiah - ‘Bad Guy’ Single Review

/ By Doug Phillips
Zeeteah Massiah - ‘Bad Guy’ Single Review

Zeeteah’s newest release is a genius reggae reimagining of Billie Eilish’s breakthrough hit, ‘Bad Guy’. 

Jeeni ambassador and long-term supporter, Zeeteah Massiah has now provided Jeeni with 21 individual pieces of her unique brand of jazz and reggae, all of which are available at her showcase. Her husband, Paul Caplin acts as both songwriter and producer for Zeeteah and the two of them have released two albums together, ‘Juice’ and ‘Maybe Tomorrow’.  

A certain level of musical depth and understanding is needed to undergo a stylistic transformation of an existing song. To some, it’s merely a process of downgrading the intensity and presence of the piece to a slow, acoustic setting. However, in a lot of these cases, the essence and arrangement of the pieces are largely unchanged. On the other end of that spectrum of effort and passion, you’ll find artists like Zeeteah Massiah who listened to the ‘Old Town Road’ dethroner and heard a hidden stylistic potential held in Billie’s hit that she knew would effortlessly make sense to any listener. 

Zeeteah set out to not just echo Billie’s Grammy-winning hit in a slightly different accent, but instead, wanted to transpose it into a completely different musical language. The result is a rejuvenated and refreshing take on ‘Bad Guy’ that has a vivid coat of Caribbean-styled paint applied to just about every element of the source material. Where the original was dark, somber yet playful, Zeeteah’s keeps just the playfulness for her rendition. The slow, creeping tempo compliments the lyrics and performance from Zeeteah in a way that could make you think that this might actually be the original. This almost sinister embrace of the villainous title is enhanced by the harmony that dips in and out of jazzy minor chords that keep the listener in a subtle state of unsettlement, and curiosity.  

As is to be expected from Zeeteah and her artistic proclivities, bright and colourful instrumentation commands the tone of this arrangement. Being the first component heard; a classic reggae drum roll makes the genre-shift immediately apparent. This Caribbean staple is then joined by its good friends; short offbeat guitar stabs and deep, bouncy basslines. In this introduction, we also hear a brilliant alteration from Billie and Finneas’ original arrangement. The quirky, recognisable synth melody heard after Billie’s isolated ‘Duh!’ is instead taken up by a muted trumpet, heard before the vocals even enter. This is a clever embrace of the fact that Zeeteah’s choice of cover is of course a colossal hit, so there’s no sense in shying away from its most recognisable moments. That melody is also expanded on later for a phenomenal trumpet solo towards the end of the cover that acts as a sort of replacement for the sudden shift in pace, heard at the end of the original. 

Considered a part of Billie Eilish’s brand as both a performer and a person, her vocals are often intentionally sleepy and low-energy, something that Zeeteah decided not to adopt for her interpretation. The vocal performance here is mischievous and rebellious to the core as opposed to Billie’s more disinterested and indifferent approach. Zeeteah also uses next to no effects on her voice compared to the first version, which is just as well because it would be a shame to distract from the raw talent and personality held in Zeeteah’s performance on ‘Bad Guy’. 

This task of reinventing one of the biggest hits from the last 10 years was a tall order, however, unsurprisingly, Zeeteah Massiah’s ‘Bad Guy’ is nothing but a triumph. 

13
Jul

The People's Lounge, Victorious Festival - NNAOMI

NNAOMI is an R&B/Soul artist based in Portsmouth, UK and is influenced by a wide variety of us/uk artists and musicians. Having just started up her music career with her drive and passion. Recently releasing her contemporary R&B single and music video ‘Like me’, with heavy R&B and pop influences. 'Like Me' is available on all streaming platforms. And even with releasing just two singles so far, it's clear that she has a bright future in music. With more music coming soon, she can only continue to grow as an artist. Moreover, NNAOMI looks forward to growing within the music industry. She will be performing at this year's Victorious Festival with The People's Lounge on Friday 27th August. NNAOMI is a perfect example of an independent singer songwriter that Team Jeeni can support, by having a showcase on Jeeni.com. 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. Check out NNAOMI's showcase here: NNAOMI | Showcase | JEENI. As well as other showcases to add to your playlist. jeeni.com. The People's Lounge, Victorious Festival NNAOMI will be performing at the Victorious Festival Friday 27th August 20:30 – 20:45 World Music Village, The People's Lounge, presented by Baby Panna. Bringing some of the Freshest Rap, Rnb, Afrobeats and Hip hop sounds from around the World to Portsmouth from Thursday 27-29  August 2021.

23
Jun

The Majestic at The Queens Hotel Southsea

COMPETITION TIME WIN FREE ACCESS FOR A GROUP OF 6  The Queens Hotel Southsea Sunday 13th June 2021. The Majestic is a Roots Rock Reggae band hailing from London. Taking some of the liveliest parts of reggae, from an eclectic set of influences, and with a diversity of origin comes an infectious blend of British and Jamaican music. Formed in the early 1980s by band leader Baba Ras, with its initial success leading to a tour supporting Misty in Roots, and culminating in the Stonehenge Festival of ‘83 alongside Hawkwind. The band then went on hiatus until 2011, when they returned to the UK scene for a second time, racking up an impressive three hundred-plus shows in their first three years. Bit by bit, a gradual change in line up culminated in the six-piece performing today. With a traditional riddim section mixed with rocky guitar leads and saxophone hooks, the Majestic promise a wild spectacle. Whilst a regular at Boomtown and Falmouth Reggae Festival, the band are a familiar face on the wider UK festival circuit, and is intimate with venues such as Brixton’s Hootananny, Brixton Jamm and The Fox And Firkin, frequently playing reggae hotbeds in London and beyond. Currently, the final touches on the band’s second album, Roots and Reality, are being made, being released for summer 2020. The Majestic can now usually be found touring the length and breadth of the UK and further, sharing its own diverse brand of reggae and bringing party vibes everywhere they go. Love, peace and a message of compassion and unity is what The Majestic spread! Uniting their fellow humans through music is an absolute must! Additionally, The Majestic will be performing at the Summer Garden Party hosted at The Queens Hotel Southsea along with Emiliyah and the MightyZ Allstars, Sunday 13th June 2021. How to win: All you have to do is like and share this blog post and we will enter you into the draw to be announced Saturday Night 12 June 2021 at 8pm.  Full Details of event can be found at: https://book.events/queensgardenparty/2021-06-13/30015 #funky #upbeat #uplifting #themajestic #blogs #reggaemusic #band #livemusic #jamacianmusic #guitar #saxophone

07
Dec

Streaming Revenues - a tipping point?

At Jeeni, this is a subject we are following closely, being a platform set up to address this very subject. The balance of revenue on most platforms, is tipped far too heavily away from the artists, performers and writers, in favour of the suits and pen-pushers. Quite frankly, it's a disgrace! Jeeni's ethos is to ensure any performing members receive 100% of the revenue they generate. Should all streaming services work the same way? Journalist Dylan Smith, from Digital Music News has written the article below, updating how far the DCMS Committee has got with their fact finding and the issues to be presented on 11 December. Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee Chair Julian Knight. Photo Credit: David Woolfall British lawmakers have stated that artists are hesitant to participate in the ongoing investigation into streaming royalties “because they fear action may be taken against them” if they do so. The House of Commons’ Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee (DCMS Committee) announced the high-profile probe of streaming royalties last month. The comprehensive analysis aims to identify streaming’s impact on all relevant stakeholders, including labels and artists, as well as its long-term effects concerning “the sustainability of the wider music industry.” Last week, singer-songwriter Nadine Shah, Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien, and Elbow frontman Guy Garvey spoke before the DCMS Committee to address the contemporary music landscape. Of particular note was Shah’s statement that she doesn’t “make enough money from streaming” to cover her rent, despite having north of 100,000 monthly listeners on Spotify. Possibly in response to the abundance of information that the investigation has turned up thus far, the DCMS Committee also announced last week that it had extended the window for artists and others to submit written testimonials regarding royalties. From the original deadline of Monday, November 16th, members of the music industry now have until Friday, December 11th, to express their opinions. The probe’s upcoming oral testimony, for its part, is slated to take place next Tuesday, December 8th, with Maria Forte Music Services’ namesake owner, Ferocious Talent owner Kwame Kwaten, and José Luis Sevillano, director general at Spain’s AIE, set to participate via livestream. Ahead of the formal sitdown, DCMS Committee Chair Julian Knight has relayed that many would-be witnesses are opting not to come forward due to their fear of the potential professional consequences associated with speaking out against streaming royalties. “We have been told from many different sources that some of the people interested in speaking to us, in relation to this inquiry, have become reluctant to do so because they fear action may be taken against them if they speak in public,” said the Solihull MP, who became the DCMS Committee’s chair in January of this year. “I would like to say on behalf of the Committee that we would take a very dim view indeed if we had any evidence of anyone interfering with witnesses to one of our inquiries. … This Committee will brook no such interference and will not hesitate to name and shame anyone proven to be involved in such activity,” continued Knight. And in concluding his statement on the matter, the lawmaker emphasized that others who reach out to the DCMS Committee with information or insight pertaining to streaming royalties “will be treated in confidence.”