French producer FKJ released a new EP two weeks ago, titled Ylang Ylang. The electronic producer plays primarily nu jazz and French house, and includes hip-hop beats and calm vocals. One of the most impressive things about him is the live instrumentals that he brings out on shows.
FKJ plays live loops of a drum machine, synthesizer, saxophone, bass guitar, and piano on tracks seamlessly. Since his early EP Time for a Change, he has played these groovy loops to win us over. Performing a 2 hour-live set at the world’s largest salt flat in Bolivia in February featuring all of these instruments testifies to that.
Following this performance, FKJ has quietly worked on his new Ylang Ylang EP for months before releasing it November 12. The 6-track collection features melodic piano segments, soft vocals, and entirely easy-to-listen-to guitar in the background.
The only single dropped off the album was a collaboration with the rapper Bas, called Risk. An unexpected collaboration, the single served as a beautiful introduction to the remainder of the EP. The rap over the lyrics was recorded in only one take.
Meaning behind the lyrics
In addition to the album, over the past week FKJ has posted individual stories about each of the tracks’ meanings and production. Notable entries include Earthquake, a poem written by his manager at the time after being in Taiwan during the 2016 earthquake that killed 117 people.
The EP concept comes from the Ylang Ylang room that he and his wife stayed in while giving birth to their daughter. After a complication, their daughter tragically did not survive birth and this is where ultimately the idea for the EP stemmed from. These 6 tracks tie together themes of life, loss, and the importance of relationships between people.
Ylang Ylang ties together these stories and themes, using beautifully layered instruments and beats. Listen to the full EP here.
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