Hello people of the world, who clearly have good taste. You all like Michael Jackson right???
Ha, I love making jokes at my own expense. *cries into pillow*
Today I would like to discuss Jai Paul with you and the pitfalls of being hyped up to the fucking maximum. A lot of shit went down over the last few days with Jai Paul actually finally making a statement on his own behalf on a twitter account which has been active for some time but he has never tweeted on.
Let’s discuss this mysterious musician’s story. In 2007 he released the unbelievably amazing R n B sci-fi extravaganza that was BTSTU. Now this song put him among the major players in the industry with Beyonce and Drake sampling it for their own extremely poor takes on the song. Everything went quiet from his point of view, a couple of remixes here and there but nothing. He then signed with XL Recordings and suddenly came the demo of Jasmine, which was soulful and desolate while retaining his near underwater sounding beats. That was two years ago and the anticipation has been bubbling under the surface as to when a new Jai Paul album would be released. His record label boss tended to veer on the side of saying Jai was unique (in other words weird and hard to work with) and that he will release things in his own time. A lot of rumours persisted that he had retired and that the anticipation would dissipate into a sense of loss for someone who was of a genius persuasion. I, personally, would have felt as though there was something I could have really connected to that I could never hear but as humans we are fickle and just move onto something different, it is the throwaway culture we live in.
Something AMAZING happened, an album appeared as if by magic. With all the usual Jai Paul anonymity, on a website called Bandcamp, without any track names but that did not matter. People were salivating at the prospect of something so treasurable from someone so elusive. I was included in this list and decided to listen to the album in it’s entirety while tweeting about it like a giddy school girl who has just seen Robert Pattinson glitter while looking all vampire like. The songs, oh man the songs. One by one my ears filtered through the sweet noises while my brain tried to digest something so sweet. Was it tangible to think that someone from Earth could be this so good yet this is his first album. It was everything I wanted it to be and more. Indian samples, booming bass, drum beats that made me instantly want to get up and dance while contemplate life’s finer moments. It reminded me of the first moment I heard Daft Punk’s Discovery but it was something more personable about it. It sounded like something from the future or even sent from some God, who had decided that the meaning of life wasn’t worth explaining, instead he just said “here, have some Jai Paul, you don’t need anything else”. I was in heaven.
Whilst my brain was still digesting the legal high it just had, news of the release started to filter around the world and so did the authenticity. Nothing from XL apart from the words surprise, so everyone assumed it was actually the man himself that had released it. Then came the Twitter statement and my heart sank. Jai Paul had his laptop stolen and someone else had posted these demos online without his say so. I felt like I had committed a crime myself by listening to this huge example of talent that we were all desperate to get a glimpse of. The crime has been committed by our hunger to create “the next big thing”. People were getting assy about the lack of material by Jai Paul but that is the way he wants it to be. People felt that they for some reason had a right to be privy to his talent just because they gave him a platform. To steal someone’s laptop is one thing but to release something they have potentially been working years on is a wicked act that has become all too familiar in the current climate. This could have repercussions as deep as Jai deciding to give up on music all together, which would be a crime in itself. Almost as if Joseph Gordon Levitt were to say that he wants to retire before we even got to know his art or before he could develop a legacy embedded in sheer stunning talent. An album could now be another two years away because people will have heard all of these songs before and not want to purchase an album that they may have heard for two years.
Could Jai Paul’s crime be that he is the one musical talent that the world is clinging onto to change music? It shouldn’t be but this fan’s pessimism is telling me that it will be. Never before have I had a feeling that a musician could bring my own ambitions to the fore the way his has but that could all be stolen away from me by one person’s decision to play prison guard and knock our knuckles for wanting to embrace a talent’s right to release music the way they want to. I would hope that Jai decides to continue to make music but does it when he feels that the time is right and not when we say it is right. Life needs a musician of his creative thinking, driving the rest of the group around him to create something worthy of our time and our heralding. Life does not need geniuses to be driven to the ditch by unhinged cravings for beauty.
The “release” has inspired me to get back into making music and the results are good so far. I am taking my time with stuff and will release an EP in the future but only when I think it is fit for human consumption. I am guarding myself against thinking that I am actually good at something when realistically I am not. So I will bed myself in with making music and become better with practice while retaining a sense of modesty regarding anything I make before I release it.
In terms of my zombie film, I have gotten onto rewriting it and finally discovered what was missing and now feel that the protagonist has an actual goal behind him. I have learnt a lot in the past week, I have learnt more about the art of film making than in any other time in my life. I know what makes me tick and I know what I want to see on the screen and that is what I want to make. I know the reason why I want to make films and I think that was something that was missing from me before.