Toronto based, (via Kenya & Rwanda) artist Jozem returns with the hauntingly exquisite, chill-inducing new single and video ‘Youth’. The true definition of alternative RnB, Jozem continues to explore and develop his unique artistic musical blend with threads of neo-soul and layers of Lo-fi haziness throughout, all completely self produced.
‘Youth’ begins with a field recording taken from Jozem’s primary school assembly back in Nairobi, as is the artwork, upon his first returning visit since he left as a teenager. Soft beats, gorgeously light harmonics and a rich, yet delicate, atmospheric vocal coat the track brought to life by a visual of momentous beauty and grace.
Our pasts play such an integral part of each and every one of our journeys. Therefore it’s important for our growth and when piecing together our ever-evolving identities that we look back, albeit at times uncomfortable or painful.
As Jozem uncovers, “I have felt like an outsider my entire life, whether it was because of my introversion, being a refugee/foreign, at times because of my blackness or my queerness or any combination thereof. Along the way, I’ve met kindred spirits that live unapologetically, showing you that it is ok to be who you are without compromise and to be proud of the things that make you different.”
It can be invaluable to dive into our thoughts, feelings and experiences in order to see how far we have come. Despite being unchangeable, there can still be so much to learn hidden deep within the pages of our stories. More often than not sometimes we just need a reminder that we are not our pasts, or our thoughts and we have the power to decide on how we let them continue to impact us in order to discover what needs to be let go, uncovered, embraced and loved.
Jozem intuitively shares, “Youth is about walking in one’s own truth, a celebration of being different, of marching to the beat of your own drum in a world that oftentimes will not acknowledge or understand you. It is about struggling to, but ultimately finding one’s voice and choosing to use it whether it falls on deaf ears or not. It is in honor of all those kindred souls who helped mold us, some who we have unfortunately lost along the way.”
Overflowing with thoughtful, poetic and introspective lyricism, each release Jozem reveals is intrinsically tied to his core being, representing a tiny insight to not only who he is as an artist but also uncovering direct details of his unique human experience. Every offering an opportunity, which Jozem grasps with both hands as he undeniably shares a little piece of his soul with his audience, marking a truly rare and inspiring gift.
Filmed back in Kenya and directed by Mbithi Masya, Jozem further reveals, “When I wrote ‘Youth’ I immediately knew that I wanted to have the visuals shot in Kenya where I grew up.”
“Fast forward to earlier this year, he sent me a film by Maceo Frost of some Kenyan children who were attending a ballet school in the middle of the slum in Kibera, minutes away from where I grew up in Nairobi. These kids were learning a completely foreign art form in an environment that did not encourage or facilitate it to say the least, but watching them persevere and make the best out of their circumstance literally brought me to tears. It resonated strongly with me, that feeling of being different but learning to march in my own truth. I immediately knew that I wanted to have some of the dancers from the school featured in the video.”
“The actors/dancers in the ‘Youth’ video are graduates from this ballet school and the video is an homage to the kindred spirits we’ve lost along the way, those who taught us and allowed us to be ourselves in a world that did not understand us.”
SOURCE: Official Bio
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