Taken from his self-produced EP, ‘El Paradiso’ JEZTLS‘ latest single , ‘Affair’ sees the producer take the spotlight, providing his own vocals for the first time in his career. The lyrics tackle his experience of sexual assault whilst studying abroad in France.
In just over two minutes, the track deals with the trauma head-on, he glides through vocal styles of singing and rapping, taking influence from the alternative R&B world of James Blake and the grime music he encountered growing up in England.
Speaking on the track he says: “Affair to me is such a representative song. I dealt with so much hurt after being assaulted, I spent two weeks stuck in a tiny room in student accommodation in a foreign country. I was so stunned after it happened, it felt like it took a lifetime to fully process – so when I finally got out of bed and pulled up this beat I’d made for another artist’s session, the truth all fell out.
I’d previously planned to release a collaboration album, it was all set for the end of April, but after the assault it just fell apart and I realised I was the only person that could speak my own truth. It’s funny producing and writing for other people all your life, then one day something clicked and I realised as much as I hate my own voice – singing these songs myself is the most courageous and honest thing I can do as an artist. The structure of Affair fully allowed me to channel the different notions I went through: Denial, Pain and Anger. I’m not a rapper but I knew that I had so much to address in the final verse – it just came out like that.“
Watch the official video for ‘Affair’, directed by Luc Chief of Sprayfilms.