Photo: Robert Adam Mayer
Gifted young emcee on the rise, JSWISS, has had a very good and impressive year. The New York native released the EP, NO MUSIC – his most ambitious, successful and acclaimed project to date – with a packed out show this summer at the legendary Bitter End in New York City and an already healthy buzz and activity got “turnt up” a couple of notches and a growing number of radars, lit up. The impressive project, which features production and performances from a cast of talented and accomplished artists – multi-instrumentalist/producer, Brady Watt, keyboard extraordinaire, Nick Rolfe, multi-award winning, powerhouse vocalist, Maya Azucena and members of the very talented and burgeoning jazz/funk/fusion squad, Phantom Pop of which, JSWISS is also the resident emcee – drew praise from leading hip-hop tastemakers including, The SOURCE, who wrote, “Simply put, No Music is an incredible introduction to an artist determined to rise higher than where he was yesterday and is achieving his goals one well-executed project at a time.” Accolades like that fueled a steady schedule of performances, including a recent multi-city, double bill with Phantom Pop, an appearance in Brooklyn’s noted Northside Festival, guest spots with standout guitar ace, Marcus Machado, and the amazing hip-hop infused, PitchBlak Brass Band, and an opportunity to open for legendary hip-hop duo EPMD, where the “green-eyed bandit” himself, emcee/producer Eric Sermon, proclaimed, JSWISS is “what hip-hop needs!”
JSWISS’ growing rep as a top- notch lyricist with a dexterous flow has also encouraged some hot collaborations in keeping with his penchant for a creative, eclectic, and musical canvas on which to drop insightful bars. This includes his work on the self-titled project from, Brooklyn-based, mod soul/jazz clique, The Love Experiment (recently released in Japan and scheduled for a U.S. drop soon) and on this new jewel, dropping today, with talented hip hop/jazz unit out of North Carolina, Temple 5, called. “I Wish.”
JSWISS met members of the 7- piece collective while attending UNC-Chapel Hill and in the midst of establishing his rep as well as honing his skills in the NC area. After working with some members on some of his previous projects they decided to collaborate on a full-length project with “I Wish” being the first track from it.
On this super-cool, clever track, JSWISS displays strongly, yet again, why he should be a talent to not only watch, but to desire on the hip-hop scene as a much needed foil to the over-prevalent sameness of the commercial fare – a young hip hop artist who’s part of a growing fraction creatively pushing the boundaries of the genre, infusing their brand with a mix of jazz, soul, R&B and more, as a backdrop for substantive, thought-provoking words a la Chance the Rapper, and Kendrick Lamar.
In the song, JSWISS “rubs the magic lamp” clean with a delivery that seemingly and simultaneously houses both a melancholy and optimistic lilt, churning out a varied dream list of desires that go from playful to the crucial worries of our society, likely to light all buttons of your emotions and represent shared sentiment. In the opening lines alone the astute wordsmith proclaims, “I wish the Giants win the Super Bowl/I wish a crystal bowl can show me what the future holds/scratch that, lets just keep it a surprise for the time now/I wish I live long enough to find out/I wish we can do away with murder or at least never had guns/ so if you want to kill someone you had to earn it/I wish, if there was one murder in a week/It would be world news and not a hundred everyday occurrence.”
When asked, JSWISS described the impetus for “I Wish” this way:
“I feel like “I Wish” is the perfect medicine for a world that has collectively had a rough 2016. We actually wrote the music and the lyrics more than a year ago and recorded it in the early part of 2016, but it sounds like it could’ve been put together just in the past few weeks. It just feels that relevant.
I’ve been performing the song for basically the entire year. I’ve had the chance to perform for it for crowds in several different cities, and whether it was longtime fans of mine or people just hearing me for the first time, “I Wish” really connects with people every time.
So I’m excited to finally release it because I’ve been performing it for so long and it’s done so well live, and because it feels like it couldn’t come at a more perfect time. I was able to write it more than a year ago because some of the issues and emotions will probably always exist, but some of the specific lyrics really do feel like they were just written in November or something. 2016 represented loss and tragedy for a lot of people and this song coming at the end of the year recognizes that, but gives the feeling of hope for the future that also comes with resetting and starting a new year.”
So here’s what you do. Close your eyes and open them. Click on the link below and listen. If your wish was to hear one of the brightest young talents on the hip hop landscape, its likely JSWISS has granted this one for you.
For more about JSWISS go to JSWISS music.com