Finding enjoyable music is a great feeling, especially if it’s from someone you’ve never listened to before. It’s like stumbling onto a favorite meal at a restaurant or a brilliant TV show on Netflix – unexpected, but fully appreciated. That is exactly how I feel about the latest work from the independent, Afro-American singer-songwriter, movie director and author, Jogbevy out of Toledo, Ohio. While I’ve never previously listened to a project from the artist, I absolutely loved the songs included on his playlist, leading up to his forthcoming album, “Eyes Who Saw Dream”, ready to drop on the 29th of May.
Jogbevy’s brand of creative urban music sits in a very interesting space today, as he is doing interesting things in his very own lane. The artist simply sounds soulfully provoking on the mic, something few rappers or singers can have as a genuine strength; this is music to play, as you deeply ponder the intricate themes of life and love. Inspired by prominent basslines, hard-hitting drums, and quirky synths playing in support of cinematic arrangements, Jogbevy effortlessly flips between singing and rapping.
“Eyes Who Saw Dream” is cerebral, innovative and musically outstanding. It’s fair to say that this musical tour de force is his most mature and most accomplished body of work to date. Jogbevy has the ability to create a beautiful, vivid mood with atmospheric melodies drifting along on a throbbing beat. Check out the swinging, insistent and infectious “The Eyes of Dream” if you need evidence. It’s a million miles away from much of the genre’s bland output.
These songs present a cerebral form of hip-hop, one that stretches way beyond the stereotype. Indeed, it is entirely at home dovetailing into a number of enticing flavors, which is hardly surprising given Jogbevy’s bold musical strategy.
“My Love” ventures into R&B, Soul and even alternative territories. It comes with an enchanting melody line and powerful spoken word verses. Immediately, you are struck by his distinctive, pristine style, with annunciation as clear as a mountain spring.
“Betrayed Me” rides on a thumping drumbeat and a twisting synth line, which underscores Jogbevy’s hybrid vocal delivery. It certainly feels more experimental and more imaginative, as though the artist has decided to really push the boundaries.
In doing this, he fulfils his potential. It starts off conventionally enough, but as it progresses, it transforms itself into a free-form workout. Though musically stripped down, it’s an incredibly ambitious composition, and it’s one that Jogbevy carries off magnificently.
The rumbling basslines and slapping beat, brings yet another dimension to “We Are Kings”, reinforcing Jogbevy’s position as one of the most imaginative hip-hop artists around today. The beat holds steadfast on “Did I Tell You”, as Jogbevy unfolds an intoxicating melody and conscious, introspective lyricism. This for me, is the stellar track among the bunch. There is so much to love about this project. Jogbevy is at the very top of his game throughout and the standard of the production and songwriting is quite incredible.
There is a depth and texture to the majority of these songs, which results in them bringing ever-increasing pleasure with each listen. And, of course, there is the sheer innovation and creativity that Jogbevy brings to the table.