Music has provided and created many forms of escape for both artists and fans, a way to remove yourself from a world that just isn’t what you need it to be in the moment. So much focus has been put into creating musical worlds to hide in that a niche market has been left for music concerning self-discovery, music that encourages you to understand and love yourself. Alternative rapper Jonny Dee is here to fill this gap in the market with his unique combination of psychedelic hip hop and rap with debut album The Human Experience. An album aptly named when it has been described by Jonny himself as being ‘all about a person getting more in touch with themselves…the act of going out and trying to understand humans.’
Based in San Diego, Jonny has been influenced and surrounded by music basically his entire life with family ties to psych-soul stars 5th Dimension in the form of his great-aunt, Marilyn McCoo, who was a member. Jonny’s own music has been influenced by a variety of genres, the most recognisable and predominant being rap but The Human Experience also contains elements of funk, jazz, soul and even video game music – which is evident in track ‘A Ways Away.’ The song is funky and free, a laid back, fun track to either dance or relax to. Whatever mood takes you, The Human Experience has something just right to go with and elevate that mood. Whether it be a need for supersonic loops or 70s soul funk in lead tracks ‘Rhythm of My Life’ and ‘The Man Who Fell from the Sky’, or even some 60s electric guitar in ‘In the Sound.’ No matter the influence behind the track, every song on The Human Experience screams Soundtrack of Summer, infused with grooving beats that take you on the easiest journey of self-discovery you will ever make.
Get just a taste of The Human Experience by listening to ‘A Ways Away’ here: https://soundcloud.com/iamjonnydee/a-ways-away-prod-claine
After spending some time being told he sounds like other artists already out there, Jonny took a step back from the music scene to re-evaluate what got him into music in the first place. Whilst being influenced by rap artists such as Chance the Rapper, Jonny has also taken music notes from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Prince, the Beatles and has managed to create his own unique sound in the form of psychedelic rap. With his album Jonny hopes his music will be ‘a guideline…to find some freedom and peace from the “everyday struggles”’ but not by becoming lost and avoiding them. Both Jonny and The Human Experience urge us to try to understand people, why we do what we do and how we can better help one another by understanding. Not only is Jonny talented but he is proving to be a true revolutionary in the music scene and after the release of The Human Experience on May 12th will no doubt go on to inspire and influence a whole new generation of musicians.
Review by Skye W. Winwood