J∆YLIEN (a.k.a. Jaylien Wesley) is an LA-based artist originally from St. Louis, Missouri. Early in his career as a way to support his daughter, he worked behind-the-scenes, songwriting and producing for major artists like Akon, LL Cool J, and Chris Brown. Given the opportunity, however, he always wanted to start his own thing. In 2013, he partnered with director Stephen Garnett to create the imprint BlessAndSee and actually developed recent G.O.O.D. Music signee Kacy Hill. Finally last year, Wesley kicked off his solo career and scored looks from major music publications.
I first heard J∆YLIEN’s music in February of this year. I really liked “We Fcuk” and “Little Bit of You” (posted below), but his most recent single “All My Friends” pushed me over the edge. Maybe it’s because the track reminds me of Nostalgia, ULTRA-era Frank Ocean. Or maybe I can just relate to the annual FOMO felt during Coachella — especially this year when A$AP Rocky brought out Kanye as mentioned in the song. Either way with three solid solo tracks under his belt, J∆YLIEN is an artist to watch in 2016.
All my friends are at Coachella and I wish that I was there too
We’ve all been there before — on Facebook, Google+, or maybe (god forbid) even myspace. We’re there, staring at the “favorite music” section, scheming about what artists we should write in to portray our true musical identity. Or perhaps our not-so-true musical identity. Pshh, no one needs to know about that Christina Aguilera album I listen to everyday when I work out. Or maybe Pshh, so what if I only have one Dr. Dre song, I swear he’s one of my favorite artists. Yeah, I’m talking to you.
I can’t lie, I’ve been there done that. Topping my guilty pleasure top three list is probably 1. True Blood, 2. Girl Scout Thin Mints, and 3. Akon. Love me some good Akon. Still, even if it’s true, I probably wouldn’t tell people that on any sort of social media (wait…fuck). Anyways, to be honest, I’ve always found it too treacherous to fill those “favorite music” sections out, and anytime I do end up writing something, I delete it eventually. It never seems to quite convey the musical identity I want it to…or maybe it’s that it makes me feel toolish. I don’t know. But what if Facebook automatically plugged in the favorite music section by connecting to your iTunes/iPod and adding the top 10 played artists/songs? What would it show? For me, Andrew Bird would sit at number one, by a disgusting and beautifully vast lead. Yet mingled in there, though, are songs I would never dare admit I listen to (*cough* Justin Bieber *cough*). C’mon, judge me. Fuck you.
MP3: “Sunny Day” – Akon
I’m squirming at the idea of posting this on Sunset. But it could’ve been JB, so count your blessings. Listen for Wyclef’s mediocre verse, but awesome voice somewhere around 1:45.
MP3: “The Happy Birthday Song” – Andrew Bird
But back on track, a question this poses is what is one’s true musical identity? Is it what one listens to the most? Or is it something else, like artists one listens to less frequently but finds more meaningful? Maybe artists or songs that have influenced your life in some way. It’s hard to say what it is, but one thing I’m convinced is true is that one’s musical identity is strongly intertwined with one’s identity identity. You’re sitting there filling in your favorite music section, and whether consciously or not, you’re filling it in not to let people know what music you listen to, but to let them know what type of person you are. I’m a gourmet blend of Andrew Bird and Jack Johnson, with some Outkast swirls and a heavy dusting of the finest Jay Z and Eminem. And some after notes of Coconut Records. And I get better with age.
MP3: “Microphone” – Coconut Records.
Coconut Records is Jason Schwartzmann. You know, Darjeeling Limited, Rushmore. Jason Schwartzmann. Check out the wacky but great music video to the song:
And also this amazingly ridiculous iPad advertisement:
Sorry, that must’ve been distracting. Again, anyways, perhaps more indicative of the type of person you are isn’t actually the music you listen to, but the music you want people to think you listen to. I think that might be why I feel uncomfortable filling out “favorites” sections…a part of my brain knows that I’m trying to give off a certain vibe, and another part of my brain is calling that first part a douche. I guess I don’t feel genuine. Does that make sense?
But nevertheless, in terms of accurately portraying the type of person one is, I think that musical identities really are like vibes; they aren’t always accurate, but sometimes they hit the nail on the goddamned head. I remember reading a FML a while back that went something like this: “I’ve been crushing hard on this girl for months, and last night we finally became friends on Facebook. When I went to her page, I saw she was a republican and liked Nickleback. FML.”
My freshman year of college, we all had to fill out a roommate selection form that had fill-in-the-bubble scales of things like how late you stay up, how early you get up, socialness, cleanliness, and a bunch of other things. There was one place to write in your favorite music. Finally, you could choose one of the items on the form to give the most weight to when it came to assigning you a roommate, and I obviously chose music. Not because I cared so much about what he listened to, but because I thought I’d get along best with someone who shared the same musical tastes as I did. Our music tastes weren’t so similar, but he was an awesome roommate nonetheless. I know amazing people who love terrible music. And I also know people who hate my music but don’t think I’m so bad either (I hope).
MP3: “It’s the Chemicals (feat. Scarub)” – Inspired Flight . This song is amazing.
Well, that’s it for another edition Not-So-Throwback Thursday, see you guys next week!
PS: This made me laugh so hard: Every time I smell old milk to see if it’s still ok:
To everyone’s surprise, Akon released a new free project called Koncrete. I haven’t had a minute to check it out yet, but I have checked out this “Still A Survivor” track which has been getting attention from blogs. I’m assuming this is a follow up to his classic with Jeezy, “Soul Survivor.” It definitely has that old Akon feel, as its an awesome song. Bump this soulful tune! Enjoy!
His next album, Stadium, is due out sometime never (eventually will drop).