Jeeni Spotlight - Mel Croucher
This week marks the start of a new blog series here at Jeeni.com, where we shine our spotlight on remarkable Jeeni people. Our first Jeeni Spotlight shines on our very own creator, Mel Croucher. Mel is an icon with a decades-long career, architect, journalist and founder of the British computer game industry, he has released countless albums and books, and has spent the last few years creating the free music platform Jeeni.com, where we have bridged the gap between fan and artist for a seamless musical experience. Mel is best known for creating Deus Ex Machina, a ground-breaking and innovative computer game that was far ahead of it’s time, bringing together music and gameplay in one effortless accomplishment. Although set in a dystopian machine-led world, the game is an allegory of Shakespeare’s Seven Ages of Man. Throughout the game, the player experiences each age from conception to the afterlife, including an old and feeble creature on the verge of death. What was especially fascinating about Deus is the way it was designed meant the music synced with each stage perfectly, something that was unique to the gaming world at the time of it’s release forty years ago. Mel wrote and performed all the music in Deus and has since had a lucrative career selling his own music, including albums Pimania and Hang Loose. Counting luminaries such as Sir Christopher Lee, Doctor Who himself, Jon Pertwee, and Steve Jobs’ mentee Kelli Richards among his collaborators, Mel has had a passion for music since he was a small child. Creating a platform for undiscovered artists to sell and share their music without being exploited by big names like Spotify and Apple Music has been a wonderfully fresh new take on the world of streaming, with Mel becoming a pioneer in music sharing as well as in the computer game industry. Jeeni is ‘a multi-channel streaming service for independent musicians and performers, providing a unique showcase to put undiscovered talent in front of a global audience’ says Jeeni’s US managing director. Mel is a force to be reckoned with and has worked with some of the biggest names in the music business such as Eminem, Prince, Frank Zappa, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd. Mel is not one to name-drop, however this Jeeni writer thinks it is important to highlight that Mel has worked with many more music industry veterans discretely, like Phil Collins and U2, as well as big names in other parts of the celebrity world such as the comedian Frankie Howard, who voiced The Defect Police in Deus. Beginning his career as an architect, Mel has gone on to create video games, written articles and in recent years has changed his focus to revamping the music industry with Jeeni.com alongside our CEO Shena Mitchell. He has faced many challenges in his glittering career, such as Deus being well ahead of its time, as well as more physical issues such as recovering from an accident that left him in a wheelchair for some time (Mel would now recommend calling a locksmith when you lock yourself out of your house, and don’t try to climb onto your own kitchen roof, leap towards your bathroom window and end up breaking yourself). As a writer, performer and creator, Mel is a genius. As an acrobat, less so. To find out more about Mel’s exploits as a video game creator, working for celebrities, and painful accidents, check out his book Deus Ex Machina: The Best Game You Never Played In Your Life or his website www.melcroucher.net. Here at Jeeni, we are so excited to welcome undiscovered artists to our platform that breaks down the barrier between fan and artist to create a unique relationship and allowing for easy interaction. How does Jeeni support artists? 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. · Join us at Jeeni.com
Martha Eve – Artist Focus
An up and coming artist like Martha is a rare gem. A young woman of 22, making waves in the acoustic scene, Martha Eve already has extensive experience in performing at festivals, including 2000 trees and Victorious Festival. Eve was a hit on the Jeeni sponsored People’s Lounge stage this year, part of the World Music Village sector of Victorious. The Arms Around The Child charity is responsible for the Village, their mission is to show love and care to children who have been diagnosed with HIV and aids. Martha’s newest outing ‘Cold’ is soulful and pure, her voice reminiscent of Scottish talent Nina Nesbitt’s earlier work. However she remains distinctly her own artist; with a heartbreaking chorus, ‘You feel cold to me, like an icy breeze, more bitter by the minute, soon you’ll be finished with me’, ‘Cold’ is a much more mature release than previous songs ‘Silly Mind’ and ‘Honeymoon Phase’. Eve states that ‘Cold’ is her most relatable song and that it is her ‘most honest and sad song’ to date. Born in South East London, Martha grew up in the countryside of nearby Kent, and can usually be found playing live shows in and around Brighton, honing her craft and winning over new fans all the time, with her calm yet sultry vocals that are not dissimilar to Jack Johnson. Martha is what’s becoming known as a ‘lockdown artist’, a creative person who has made the most of the recent pandemic by exploring their craft, and coming out the other end with a host of new ideas. In Martha’s case, although she couldn’t perform as she wanted, she wrote songs instead and is now ready to get releasing her wealth of creativity. Martha says she wrote ‘Cold’ about a lockdown romance, and didn’t expect it to become her first single, but at Jeeni, we’re sure our members will love her soulful and breathy vocals on the ballad. Listen to it HERE. Martha is releasing new music all the time, so make sure you keep an eye on Jeeni.com for an upcoming Jeeni exclusive interview with Martha Eve, where she will tell us all about her latest releases and future gigs. Here at Jeeni, we are so excited to welcome undiscovered artists just like Martha. Our platform breaks down the barrier between fan and artist to create a unique relationship and allows easy interaction. How does Jeeni support artists like Martha Eve? 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. · Join us at Jeeni.com
Jeeni supports Escape to the Farm
Jeeni supports Arms Around the Child’s Escape to the Farm Looking for a family day out that supports children in third world countries? Presenting Arms Around The Child’s Escape to the Farm! Located at the idyllic Rushmere Farm in Hambledon, in Southern England's fabulous South Downs National Park, Escape to the Farm is a yoga retreat come summer camp where there is something for everyone. Explore food workshops and pizza making, poetry, eco talks and much more. There’s something for everyone to explore! Need some relaxing after a long six weeks holiday? Try one of the yoga, tai chi or meditation groups, guaranteed to help you take some breathing space and let go of all your worries. With live acoustic performances, storytelling and sound healing, there’s plenty of noise to block out the hustle and bustle of everyday life at Escape to the Farm. Are you a budding art enthusiast? Try your hand at life and nature drawing and learn a new skill. Come evening time you can gather around a roaring campfire before heading to bed in a beautiful yurt or tent of your own. Day Ticket £20 Day Ticket + Lunch & Dinner £35 Camping Per Night £10 Enquire for Accommodation Options Luxury Accommodation Yurts & Camping Escape to the Farm is a fundraiser for the Arms Around The Child charity who are raising money to build a school in Ghana for underprivileged children. Jeeni supports Arms Around The Child, who provide generously for children living in extreme adversity globally. To donate directly to Arms Around The Child you can go to their website www.armsaroundthechild.org/. Arms Around The Child seek to provide sanctuary, community, warmth protection, education, healthcare, safety, family, equality, love, hope and respect. Contact Jeeni Ambassador Ellie Milner for more details and get yourselves down to Escape to the Farm for a day of fun that will leave you fulfilled in all the best ways. Ellie: +447801292553 email@example.com www.armsaroundthechild.org/
Bradley Jago - A Brilliant Artist Exploring Queer Identity
When you first listen to Bradley Jago, right away, you are overpowered by the sheer force of his voice. It takes centre in what feels to be an intimate stage, one that exists outside of space and time, where you and only you become privy to not only the beauty of Jago’s soulful voice, but also the profoundness of his lyrics. Rain is a song that is full of feeling, full of something rare in music - accountability. Jago tells me that the song is about change, letting the rain wash over you and forgetting the mistakes that you’ve made. He asks if we can hear the rain pour, and we can. Behind the beat, there is the unmistakable pitter patter of gentle rain sounds. But this question conceals another. When talking to Jago about the intention of the song, he told me: “I was… looking back at everyone I dated and I was like “Oh damn, there’s some people that I’ve actually fucked over a little bit.” … And Rain is an apology to those people, to say I’ve changed now, and even though I have caused you pain, I hope we can move forward after. [It] is a metaphor for the pain I have caused them.” The song itself has smooth jazzy influences. Jago’s clear voice overlaps itself in a layered harmony with a gentle underscored bass, Jago seemingly having a quiet moment of reflection to himself, as he sings to “let it rain”. The song’s intimacies are intentional. According to Jago “It’s kind of like a quiet moment to yourself. You’re at the gig with me in this intimate venue.” Then, the drums kick in. There is a desperation to the song emphasised by the changed tempo - the emotion becomes fevered as he sings “let it rain” - the words repeating, creating a heightened emotional effect - it feels as if he is begging, bargaining, hoping. There is no longer just a sweetness and a softness and a sadness. There is a frenzy, a fury to be understood. And that’s what love, remorse, and pain is like. There’s also important depth to be acknowledged within Jago’s music. Jago himself is a queer artist, who writes from the queer perspective. Why is this important to be acknowledged? Because in a song that is this intimate and honest, you need to understand why it is also brave. Queer identity comes with an enormous amount of negatives - it’s a terrifying thing to out oneself, and make yourself inherently vulnerable to the disdain of others, and also yourself. Jago is changing the game by bringing this honesty to his music, in a world where queer people still find themselves being judged, discriminated against, the context of one love song can change from being a sweet romantic piece to a dramatic profession of bravery. Jago is interested in analysing both sides of the spectrum of queer experience. “I think I’d want to write about the negatives [of queer identity]. Being queer is celebrated a lot (as it bloody well should be). But also there are negatives that people aren’t talking about.” It’s important to note that queer art, music and writing should not be made distinct by its queerness. Of course it adds depth and context to the art itself, but it is important to acknowledge the art as full of feeling, and therefore, universality. As Jago himself points out: “If I can relate to a straight song, a straight person can relate to my queer song.” So what’s in store for Jago for the future? He is doing festivals Victorious, and The People’s Lounge - “Because the music is so honest, I don’t want to do too much to the music. I want it to be really raw and still sound great - but very authentic and sound like it’s coming from my soul.” He also tells me: “I’m writing a track at the moment called ‘New Gay Sadness’ (there’s a little snippet available on Jago’s instagram) - it’s about the gay yuppies in London who are living their life but cannot find love. There’s a lot of pressure… ‘okay, we’re getting to a place of equality, still a long way to go… it’s like ‘oh you should be happy now’ but you have all these other life pressures of why aren’t you in a relationship. Why haven’t you achieved this yet?’” You can catch Bradley at the Victorious festival on the People's Lounge stage at 5:10pm on the 27th of August. Listen to his amazing track RAIN here Here
Ready for Victorious 2022! by Holly Tarrant
This Bank Holiday weekend is the hotly anticipated Victorious Festival, a staple of the summer festival season that has only grown in size since it’s humble beginnings. And here at Jeeni, we're all ready, willing and able. Starting out in 2011, Victorious has grown to great heights, and has made Portsmouth a beacon for music-lovers during the summer. During the 3 days of the festival, ticket holders get exclusive access to Southsea Castle, Southsea Skatepark, the D-Day Museum to name just a few. With huge headline artists like Stereophonics, Paolo Nutini and Sam Fender, Victorious caters for all, and for those who prefer undiscovered musical talents such as those found at Jeeni.com, head down to the Jeeni sponsored People’s Lounge stage where acts such as local talent Portsmouth Radar, Nayana, Martha Eve, Beatroot, Creature. and Zed, The Dreamer will be performing the gig of their lives. Prefer something a little more child-friendly? CBeebies’ very own YolanDa’s Band Jam will be joining the festival in the Victorious Kids Arena, alongside the Go Jetters, Fireman Sam, Octonaughts, and Baby Shark. There are many fun activities to occupy little ones with bouncy castles, the colouring tent, the Southsea Skatepark Mini Wheelers and Pop Kids, as well as a full size circus to name a few. Victorious is proud to donate a percentage of ticket sales to many charities including Jeeni ambassador Ellie Milner’s foundation Arms Around The Children, a wonderful charity dedicated to providing children who have been diagnosed with HIV and aids with the love, care and support they so desperately need. Victorious festival will run on 26/27/28 August 2022. Buy tickets for Victorious at www.victoriousfestival.co.uk/.
Ivy Eye – On My Mind - Single Review
Electronic duo, Ivy Eye makes a formidable case for the wellbeing of disco with their latest revival effort, ‘On My Mind’ In just a short period of electronic anthem creation, UK electronic act, Ivy Eye have steadily been building more and more traction with their disco revival endeavor. Joining the likes of Jessies Ware, Midnight Generation and Róisín Murphy, in the electronic rejuvenation of disco, Ivy Eye have an even more on-the-nose appreciation of the 70s club music. And ‘On My Mind’ is no exception. Consisting of Matthew Benham and Rory Sheppard, Ivy Eye continue to raise the bar of their dance/disco quality with their newest single. A swirling crescendo opens the track which is met with short, sharp strings, a four-to-the-floor kick-clap beat and a host of synth pads, all joined together as a glittery, shimmering entrance into this electric single. The introductory instrumental takes a rest as the vocals enter for the first verse. A restless synth bass bounces all over the simple, dependable dance beat as various guitar parts stab into the off-beats. Every component of Ivy Eye’s instrumental feels like it’s bursting with energy and personality, almost as though they’re all desperate to be a part of the fun. After a classic dance riser to elevate the impact and excitement, the first chorus erupts but only for a moment. Almost acting as a teaser for the true chorus, which the twosome still has up their sleeve. This half-chorus is a great way of whetting the listener’s appetite before the main course of funk-dance-disco. After another verse, the chorus enters in a similar way, except now, most of the instrumental leaves to let the vocals shine to begin with, a classic disco feature. Once the rest of the instruments join in with the celebration, Ivy Eye takes the brave step in picking up where Daft Punk left off with a little help from the vocoder. An iconic sound, made famous by the likes of Stevie Wonder, Peter Frampton and of course, Daft Punk, the vocoder (or similar device, talkbox) manipulates instruments with the help of the performer’s mouth to give the instrument a voice-like quality. This unique and undeniably funky effect is perfect for a song like ‘On My Mind’ The full chorus pay-off delivers in full as the track celebrates in the journey it’s had in the last three minutes. Hinting at the chorus earlier on the track instead of having two main choruses was a stroke of genius and really eases the listen of this disco banger. This perfectly produced track is a promising and exciting sign from an act like Ivy Eye who are so young in their path as artists. This single acts almost as a love letter to a whole group of styles and eras and Ivy Eye should be applauded for this celebratory triumph of a composition. Ivy Eye will be performing at Victorious festival this August (26th-28th) get your tickets now and check them out! How can Jeeni support artists like Ivy Eye? 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.
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!
Artist Focus: Eden James
Devoted to bringing depth, grit and sophistication to his alt-rock sound, Eden’s success has been steadily building momentum since 2002. Hailing from Australia and currently residing in New York, Eden has been grinding and innovating for years, always striving for greatness in his craft. Eden joined Jeeni after being initially impressed with the marketing team and the brand established which at the time was led by Ella Venvell, “The first thing I noticed and liked about Jeeni is the quality of the visual design of the whole Jeeni brand and how it brands each artist’s posts. It’s slick and contemporary which is absolutely necessary if your content is going to stand out.” Jeeni are honored to be uplifting and supporting an artist of Eden’s caliber and it seems as though both us at Jeeni and Eden himself are excited to see what we can do for each other next. Eden's style is in a lot of ways a romantic call back to the most iconic days of rock music. Eden is directly inspired by acts such as Leonard Cohen, Iggy Pop, The Strokes and a good many others. With such a lineup of rock icons to look up to, it’s no surprise that Eden’s own work is so varied, layered and mould-breaking. His voice is certainly reminiscent of the great Nobel Literature winning Bob Dylan, another one of his legendary influences. Full of character and swagger, Eden’s voice is no mere copy of Dylan’s however; Eden brings an unplaceable uniqueness and charismatic tone that is entirely his own. It's strangely refreshing to hear someone single-handedly bring back the golden years of rock with such fresh and exciting projects and performances. If rockstars bothered carrying around resumés, Eden James’ CV would make for quite the read. Having a career lasting over two decades and contributing with the bands of Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen and David Bowie, Eden has made a giant splash in the world of indie rock, “The last 6 months have been a huge success for me, winning 35 music and video awards from ceremonies around the globe, gaining chart entries on itunes and Amazon Music, and receiving a slew of reviews and interviews from some of the biggest music magazines out there, including Classic Rock magazine and American Songwriter magazine.” Driven purely by a passion for music, Eden began his career as a musician in the early 2000s. Music has been Eden's ultimate goal since he was a young boy, “I have always been spellbound by music. I started playing the drums when I was 8 years old and around that time began listening closely to songs and how they were put together. I started writing songs in my teens so I’ve been making music a long time. I was, (and still am) very independent so I taught myself a few other instruments and began recording the songs I was writing. I released something very early on as an electronic artist, then realized my true passion was in the rock genre so began to focus on writing in that genre. I scraped together funds for the recording of my debut album and went ahead and recorded it and co-produced it in Brisbane Australia. The album was picked up by a large indie label called Collision Records Australia and the first singles were released in 2002 with the debut album to follow in 2003. Since then, I’ve never stopped releasing and producing albums.” Eden’s dedication to the rock genre and the industry as a whole is nothing short of astonishing and it's that kind of dedication that is essentially what keeps music alive and well. If Eden wasn’t already a giant asset to Jeeni and its mission, He’s provided an exciting and busy list of Eden James projects that fans can look forward to this year: 1. Album release of "All the Good Blank Are Taken" Alternative Mix 2022 (with new artwork) OUT NOW! 2. Video Album Release of a concert: Eden James Live at Baby's All Right, NYC. Alongside album release on streaming platforms, too. (Potential Jeeni Exclusive, later this year!) 3. A limited edition vinyl record release of the 2021 album "All the Good Blank Are Taken" - August/September 2022. 4. Live shows in the summer with my New York-based band. Eden also hopes to tour all around Europe in addition to US shows. 5. Studio album number five (As yet untitled) - July to December 2022 Jeeni are honored to be uplifting and supporting an artist of Eden’s caliber and it seems as though both us at Jeeni and Eden himself are excited to see what we can do for each other next. How can Jeeni support artists like Eden James? 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.
Alice Milburn - ‘Not Yours’ Single Review
Alice Milburn continues to perfect her innovative blend of glossy jazz chords with empowering upbeat pop with the new and improved version of 2019’s ‘Not Yours’. Alice has only just begun to expand on a variety of Jeeni’s channels, including but not limited to: jazz, pop, indie and lounge. Fresh, new talent is what powers Jeeni and with artists such as Alice, Jeeni couldn’t wish for much better fuel for our mission of uplifting and supporting unrepresented artists. Check out Alice’s young and expanding showcase on Jeeni here. On this redesign of ‘Not Yours’, Alice displays her flexible and adaptable comprehension of musicality clearer than ever. The willingness to broaden both the understanding of jazz and pop whilst also incorporating rock elements without resulting in a confusing mess of a composition is an absolute feat. Alice’s attitude to music is totally refreshing and it’s more often the attitude and approach to creation that separates the greats from the rest, not just superb musicianship. Immediately, this re-telling of Alice’s popular 2019 single holds more atmosphere and impact than its predecessor. The guitar cuts through so much cleaner thanks to less muddy settings on both the amp and after effects during the mixing process. And this fresher, more attentive approach isn’t limited to just the guitar parts; the bass guides the harmony much more seamlessly, the drums snap harder and as a result of these perfected parts, Alice’s soulful, impassioned vocals sit in this new arrangement so much nicer. Her voice is never drowned out, overshadowed or squashed, although the guitar solo certainly takes its fair portion of the limelight, and rightly so. Another key improvement can be found in the addition of the horn parts. Tasteful trumpets can be heard reinforcing the chords in the choruses and do so well to glimmer and shine up the composition’s instrumentation. The key difference between the 2019 version and the new 2022 version is the brightness and rejuvenation in the tone of the track and not much brightens up a mix as well as horns. A live performance where the horn parts get their own moment to solo and shine would surely be breathtaking. It could possibly be argued that a song about a romantic betrayal shouldn’t be so bright and that maybe the first, slightly darker version is more apt for heartbreak, however this song is more empowering than it is hopeless. The title itself, ‘Not Yours’ is a triumphant announcement that Alice can’t be owned or manipulated, especially not anymore. It’s not always easy to perhaps acknowledge that a previously released track could be realised and finished in a more polished way, however Alice is the type of artist to take that brave step in improving her sound and raising the standard of her craft up another notch. Check out more of Alice Milburn’s fantastic work here.
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.
A Year In Provence - ‘Bleeding’ Single Review
The latest of just two electric singles from this emerging Kent rock force, ‘Bleeding’ shows a passion and level of musicianship that can’t be faked. As is a recurring development for blossoming artists, the pandemic produced the current, streamlined ‘A Year In Provence’ line-up. All hailing from Kent, AYIP currently consists of: Matt Porter controlling the melodies with his powerful vocals, the bass, handled assertively by Adam Bacon, James Ferner providing groove-essential rhythm guitar and backing vocals, Dan Wing for the commanding lead guitar and Jack Smith’s drumming, rhythmically guiding the entire ensemble through their rock-pop callbacks. Brand new to Jeeni, AYIP have contributed both of their excellent tracks to their Jeeni showcase, adding even more substance to the rock channel. Check out their young, yet exhilarating showcase here: https://jeeni.com/showcase/a-year-in-provence/. ‘Bleeding’ takes its time, structurally, and interestingly doesn’t typically call back to previous sections, at least not in their initial forms. This single opens with full, proud classic pop-rock guitar chords that ring out mostly in the offbeats, certainly in lieu of Weezer’s ‘Say It Ain’t So’ albeit with a more present energy in the verses. As the other parts join, the attention and care taken to the mix is made obvious. Crystal clear vocals show no sign of struggling to be heard over the washy cymbals, or three layers of guitar, not an easy feat for a band so early in their discography. No parts eat into other areas and are individually made clear and present. This single is constantly moving and progresses organically much like a live performance, as you can hear the members grow in energy; the alternative to which is to harvest previously recorded parts and use identical pieces of audio in several, different places which, although is sometimes a logistical necessity in a studio, often results in an unplaceable feeling of “sameyness” and a lack of effort, something that cannot be heard at all in ‘Bleeding’. As is also a theme with Jeeni’s budding new artists, A Year In Provence have made certain promises with their singles, and something about the five-piece inspires hope about fulfilling such promises. Check out their showcase here: https://jeeni.com/showcase/a-year-in-provence/. How can Jeeni support artists like A Year In Provence? 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.
Ariana May - ‘First Love’ Album Review
Ariana May’s first instrumental album is a delicate and stirring collection of piano excellence. Ariana May has been a vital Jeeni member for a while now and has developed an incredibly in-depth and fascinating showcase full of art-pop and remarkable talent. Recently, she has uploaded the entirety of her new instrumental album, ‘First Love’ on to Jeeni. Listen now via Ariana’s showcase available here: https://jeeni.com/showcase/arianamay/. As sweet and melodic her voice is, Ariana’s choice of expressing her compositions purely through her piano means that the structures are much more freeing and aren’t constricted to modern pop’s verse, chorus, verse, chorus, chorus forms. Her musicianship flows almost spontaneously; tempo decreases and increases as Ariana sees fit and phrases are fluid in length and timbre. The titles are excellent tonal suggestions as they act as a sort of starting point of picturing the imagery that Ariana clearly has in mind during both composing and performing these dramatic and theatrical pieces. Ariana May shows a real knack for cinematographic songwriting as it’s not difficult at all to imagine any one of these pieces as a perfect accompaniment for a location-setting scene in cinema. The final track, ‘Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow’ is exceptional, especially considering the tonal balance Ariana creates. A moody left hand mostly mumbles in a depressed, constant rotation of dark notes; meanwhile, the right is desperately trying to sound uplifting and optimistic through bright, ascending melodies and phrases. The two parts feel like two characters that are trying to influence the other to behave more like them at different moments of the piece, showing a vivid internal conflict, hence the ‘Sweet Sorrow’ in the title. The changes between these mindsets are sudden and frantic, a perfect representation of a troubled mind. What’s special about these types of projects is that a breakdown or analysis of these compositions could easily be miles from what Ariana had envisioned when writing it, but the freedom given to the listener with a vague title and complete absence of lyrics allows your imagination to fill in gaps and colour in the compositions with meaning and intention that makes most sense to you; it becomes personal. Throughout 'First Love', Ariana constantly shows an unprecedented level of emotion and control in her playing through her soft and poignant broken chords and melodies. Check out the entirety of this enchanting record on Jeeni: https://jeeni.com/showcase/arianamay/