With tastemaker sites such as Complex, Clash and Line of Best Fit all shouting about previous releases and picking up support across BBC 1Xtra and BBC Introducing, Hackney born singer songwriter J APPIAH returns with ‘Breathe’, out today (October 15th) via his own label 19fifty7.
Already staking out his corner of the industry as a highly sought-after vocalist working with the likes of Jess Glynne, Madonna, Michael Kiwanuka, Footsie and Stormzy, J Appiah continues on his genre-defying path, proving himself as a musician in his own right. Genre hopping, and constantly remaking himself artistically, all his work is the sense of an artist true to himself and his feelings. Melancholic and stoic in tone and inspired by an eclectic range of artists, from Bill Withers to Blur, Grime to Soul, Appiah’s music conveys to us what it is to feel alive and human in the world.
Eerie beautiful strings foreshadow the dark bass hook, ‘Breathe’ is minimalist – claustrophobic even – but driven along by its fierce tunnelling groove. J’s stacked vocals give the song much of its atmosphere, recalling the playful vocal production style of Kanye West’s work in its demonstration that the best instrument is the human voice. Lyrically, ‘Breathe’ outlines the struggle not to not fragment under the multitude of stresses that life brings. Through its slick writing and the raw emotiveness of J’s performance, ‘Breathe’ is Appiah pushing his singer/songwriter skillset.
Ever more timely at this stage in the pandemic, a track we can all find a connection too – a reminder to take a minute and Breathe. Check it out below…