Singer Damoyee Janai delivers her most stunning performance to date in the all-new single “Independent,” and though she’s been steadily gaining more and more momentum in the underground these last few years, this track sees the young singer and songwriter coming into her own in an unquestionably commanding fashion. “Independent” amalgamates jazz, pop, R&B and even shades of rock n’ roll relentlessness, and while it’s not the easiest song to categorize, its crossover appeal is perhaps what makes it such a unique find this August. Janai is playing for keeps in this single, and sounding like the brilliant melody-maker that she was always born to be.
Everything in this composition is built around our singer’s incredible voice, which creates an additional layer of emotive tension inside of an instrumental web that is equally as brooding and evocative. She lays into the chorus with a tenacious bite, rivaling the bassline with her physicality and raw aggression, but Janai is also careful to avoid overindulgence as she toes the line between jazz conservatism and rock-influenced panache. I must say that she’s struck quite the intriguing balance between the two in this piece, and is definitely raising the bar for her contemporaries in and outside of the United States.
“Independent” was mixed as to accentuate all of the color in these angelic vocal harmonies, and while there’s no denying the indie credibility that the track has, it’s got a polish that some – myself included – would go as far as to describe as Grammy-caliber in nature. Janai is a thought-provoking lyricist, but beyond her poetic skillset, she’s got the kind of voice that melts hearts on the spot. She doesn’t have to be particularly highbrow in her verses to get a really cutting narrative across to us; if anything, it’s just an added bonus that she’s got such an awesome way with words.
Damoyee Janai has never come across to me as unprepared or unrehearsed in any of the material that she’s released (her sophomore album, 2016’s From the Bottom of My Heart, is about as complete a second LP as they come), but she sounds noticeably more confident in this most recent offering. Her swaggering execution doesn’t just set the tone for the track; it defines the very mood of the music, and makes every verse that she sings all the more tangible to us as listeners. She’s maturing in the best possible way here and proving herself to be a worthy player ready to enter 2020 on a high note.
If you thought that you had already heard the best of Damoyee Janai, you’d better think again and prepare yourself for the tour de force that is “Independent.” This song has enough swing to make those special summer nights last all the longer, and despite its compositional complexities, it’s without a doubt among the more streamlined and sharply arranged singles that I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing this month. Janai is emerging as a genuine star in this release, and I would tell any serious music enthusiast to take note of her impending professional ascent.
The music of DAMOYEE JANAI has been heard all over the world due to the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Records. Learn more – https://musikandfilm.com
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