Album Reviews O.T.R.

Je’Melody Talks ‘Jaded’ EP and Staying True to Yourself

Je'Melody talks to us about her latest EP 'Jaded' and the turning point that inspired this collection.

Je’Melody’s potency comes from an eloquent mix of R&B and cathartic songwriting. Originally hailing from North Carolina, Je’Melody’s life and motivation have taken the artist throughout the East Coast, which very well fuels her craft.

With a string of hit singles under her belt, such as “Blah Blah” and “Speedin’,” Je’Melody embarks on a conceptualized feeling for her first proper EP, Jaded, produced by Gotti Rocksolid and Bobby Keyz.

Je’Melody explores pain and the self-worth of a woman on the 5-track project. Not one to dismiss her blunt honesty as a form of weakness, Jaded is just that. The dissertation of choosing to walk away and stepping back in one’s power.

The artist’s pristine vocals, which vary from a rebellious attitude to pain, are the true clutch pearls on each track. Je’Melody embodies a very modern R&B sound that lounges in electronic-pop, moody tones, to playful vocal runs that bounces from the artist’s unfiltered storytelling abilities.

Jaded’s introduction is justly met on the two-minute opener “Blame.” The tone and narration immediately sets a personal tone — down to the sarcastic closing line. “The Departed” sulks in the ache of betrayal and questions loyalty with a commercialized-pop production — flaunting the artist’s range. Whereas “Vitamin D” embarks on a lustful temptation for an upbeat summer fling anthem.

Personal favorites are heard where Je’Melody not only picks apart the production, but matches it stride for stride. Songs such as “Frankie Lyin” that are backed by plucks of a guitar demonstrate a softer touch. The smooth and enthralling melody becomes a dreamy nod at classic love.

Then there’s the confident execution of “The Bag/Mans World” where Je’Melody’s switch-ups are at her best. She can maneuver each word and state of mind with ease, all while boasting her assets. This track very well alludes that the artist can interject her style into a variety of different genres.

“I find inspiration in so many different types of music and I think that ultimately my sound is accredited to my experience with music,” shares Je’Melody.

And to celebrate the release of Jaded, GUM had an opportunity to catch-up with the artist and discuss her latest EP and the inspiration behind it.

JeMelody
Courtesy of the artist

Hope you’re staying safe and well during this quarantine. I saw on your Instagram that you decided to learn guitar. How is that going?

Yes I am staying as safe as possible practicing social distancing and good hygiene habits of course.

Of course with learning anything new comes its own challenges so I’m currently just learning the basics and music theory. My goal is to at least be able to play an acoustic version of my songs by early fall.

As an artist who thrives on live performances, how are you adapting with the idea of live streams? I know you’re set to have your release party on Zoom, April 15, [which already passed].

I think what all of this is teaching us is that anything can change at the drop of a dime. You can wake up and your whole life can change just like that. We must learn how to adapt and accept change. I’m pretty good at adapting so it was really only a shift in mindset for me. I don’t allow obstacles or adversity to take me off course I just try to approach things from a different angle.

So with the live stream I plan to do everything I would normally do at a listening party, interact, perform, laugh, have fun, e-hand shake/hug LOL! I’m going to dress up and have the participants dress up, have their drinks ready, etc.

And this is all to celebrate your debut EP, Jaded. Congratulations! There’s an obvious, intense amount of heartbreak on this EP. While to an extent most can relate to this, you make it known (be it with tags on SoundCloud) that it is by a woman scorned. What do you want to get out there, or better yet, what do you want to see more of, revolving around the pain women endure/how it’s presented?

Thank you! This project is very personal to me and each song, verse, and lyric tells my story. I believe that as an artist it’s important to have that element of raw candor present in your art. For me this project was therapy. I’m just getting out of a 3 year relationship that ultimately led me to writing the music for this project. I want to put out there that it’s ok to be open about your pain. Pain doesn’t equal weakness; it actually symbolizes strength. I want to see more people in general accepting and owning their pain so hopefully we can do the work we need to do to heal ourselves so we don’t continue this pattern of hurting every person we love.

JeMelody
Courtesy of the artist

Was there a turning point that created Jaded?

Yes. I had decided I was finally fed up, at my breaking point in my relationship and left New York migrating to Atlanta. Mentally I was done and for the past few years I had not been working on my music which was missing for me. It took a lot for me to leave because I was committing myself to essentially raising my daughter alone (she’ll be two in August). It’s what was best and as soon as I got here I started back recording. The title “JADED” was fitting, it’s what I felt…Tired, bored, lacking enthusiasm after having had too much of something…That something being that relationship.

A personal favorite is “Frankie Lyin” which is a great nod to Lymon’s ‘56 classic, only with more of a realistic tone. Going into the song, did you always have this idea to play on the “fools” falling in love concept, or did this come at a different point during the songwriting process?

First off, I fell in love with the original record from the self titled movie “Why do fools fall in love” since I clearly wasn’t around in the 50’s LOL. I have a notebook where I write down song ideas, inspiration, movies I love, quotes etc. all for the purpose of including them in my writing. When I first started writing the record it wasn’t the plan but when I came up with the
concept it was a no brainer.

You’re also very motivational on the ‘gram, which of course wisdom only comes from experience. Now seeing your debut EP come to full fruition, would there be any sage lines to pass along to other aspiring artists?

I would tell all aspiring artists to remain true to yourself. There are a lot of opinions out there and so many people who will try to destroy your dreams instead of encouraging you but as long as you know who you are and truly “believe” in yourself everything else is just background noise. Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself. Work at your craft everyday and constantly better your best. Your true fans will likely not be your friends and family, they will be complete strangers and those are the people who will help get your name out there. Try not to take it personally just keep going.

What’s next for Je’Melody?

My goal is to tour by fall and gear up for another EP/Album by the winter. I’ve been staying busy doing as many interviews, live streams, etc. as possible to continue building my brand. I look forward to touring. I can’t wait to see my fans and build with them.


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