When you think of Seattle a few things pop into mind. Ok, there’s wet winters and dry summer. There’s also the Space Needle. Aside from the weather the seaport city has had some key influences on music. The jazz scene rained for 3 decades and saw the birth of a movement. It’s musical history also birthed some very awesome bands and artists.
So in 2017, it’s no surprise that an artist like J’Von, whom hails from the special seaport city, released an EP like Yellow Suit. J’Von let’s his art speak for himself. He’s an animator, instrumentalist, producer, singer, rapper, and modern day philosopher.
He’s been creating his brand of music for years. Along the way he’s gained some notoriety but his music is still by his own terms. With that being said, I’ll take a look at how his Yellow Suit project and how it’s like nothing you’ve heard of before.
The album opens with a beautiful piano piece. Where J’Von sings of his infatuation with a woman. He finds her both problematic and someone that he can’t resist. He introduces listeners to what appears to be a unrequited love. Something I believe we all can relate to. The second act of the song, he lyrical laces the truth that about modern day infatuation. Today, it’s often hard to navigate the separation of lust and love. It’s…not fun. Despite the frustration he sings/rap about it smoothly.
The second track is a progression into borderline romantic obsession. So how often have you found yourself texting someone? In hopes to get a response but still knowing that it’s futile? Along a new age RnB flavored track, J admits this is all both weird and a bit draining. He wishes her well and is still waiting on some interactions. Love can be both our source of despair and hope.
pink chino blues interlude thing
Midway into the album, the young artist sings the blues. Following the story you may think he’s sad that his love hasn’t been received. No, actually that’s the opposite. He proceeds to share his saddest thoughts with us as listeners. For example, how hypocritical are our politics, discrimination and the pains of staying honest. He then proceeds to ask what would he be without his love His sense of self would be lost. He wouldn’t be the J’Von as we know it. Considering we need relationships, how many of us wouldn’t be whom we are without those relationships?
An introvert is defined as a person predominantly concerned with their own thoughts and feelings rather than with external things. So the fourth track is dedicated entirely to that feeling. With the lyrics “I don’t want to be here, I only came for you” is again that special kind of honesty he can convey in his music. He places himself in an uncomfortable location only for his love interest and her alone. His thoughts move along to feelings of displacements in tune with a lovely guitar production. However he silences his fears and presses into these very scary spaces for that special someone. Love has us do some crazy things like conquer our demons for instance.
The fifth track is another piano medley where again J’Von is thinking about some serious subjects. The yellow suited hero speaks on the juxtaposition of his craft and “real life” Considering his world consists of animation and music, His world is abstract. It can be cruelly at odds with the real world at large. The real world arguably is fake, while the art that fills it is brutally honest. So he asks when when you are going to get it altogether. Our inspirations, goals, relationships, strangely can be enemies of one another. When will they come together if at all? He even admits maybe never.
Although I do appreciate the whole album. I do have to admit my favorite track is the sixth. Grey beanie, I feel is his best among the project. Music becomes more and more genreless as time passes on. This song is a velvety reminder of this fact. It’s both RnB and lyrical hip hop interchangeably . Of course we return to the subject at hand, love (or lust). J’Von raps about how he’s been mesmerized by this woman. He speaks of mushy of emotions and even mentions a beautiful future with this special person. You can’t blame him though, the heart does this to us. It’s what makes us human. It’s a lovely end to his story of love.
I’ve listened to the project for hours upon hours. I think the name Yellow Suit maybe an anime reference. In a number of shows, when characters turn yellow or gold, it’s a visual marker. A mark that they are now stronger and reached a new plateau. Perhaps this him recognizing that growth within himself. Then again I could be totally wrong. I mean it could just mean he’s happy too or both?
What I enjoy about listening to any project is trying to understand what the artist is trying to say. Or rather what they aren’t saying? That layer of artistic mystery is exciting.
I’m not sure what’s next for J’Von but he’s a busy artist. He’s often collaborating with other like-minded creatives. I’m sure even right now he’s working on a new song, or animation of some kind. I’ll be there for the next venture.
You’ll find Yellow Suit available for your listening pleasure across all platforms