The California-based Singer/Songwriter, Musician, and Producer Joss Jaffe is here to sweep listeners off their feet with the sweet sounds of Reggae featured on his single, "Promises (feat. Mykal Rose)."
Joss Jaffe's music has been vastly popular within transformational festivals surrounding yoga and conscious living, as he specializes in collaborating with diverse artists across the globe to birth his authentic, mellow, and swooning sound.
Teaming up with Mykal Rose for their single "Promises (feat. Mykal Rose)," Joss Jaffe found himself executing his long studies of Indian Classical music while grooving with the glory of uplifting Reggae. What's interesting about this single is that Joss Jaffe and Mykal Rose become quite political with their lyricism, explaining that leaders' false promises must come to an end.
"Promises (feat. Mykal Rose)" begins with uplifting Reggae-inspired instrumentals through a warm brass section, short piano bursts, a plucky electric guitar, and airy percussion breakdowns. As Mykal Rose begins singing the hook with his unique vocal stylings, not only are we lost in his authentic delivery, but we're deeply engaged in his lyricism, stating lyrics like "promises are comfort for a fool."
Once Joss Jaffe begins to spill his verse, the melodies he delivers offer a natural warmth while executing his lyricism regarding the lack of leadership we've seen as we've been promised things that haven't come to fruition.
Ending the song off with bright instrumentals, "Promises (feat. Mykal Rose)" offers listeners a powerful lyrical message while pushing through with incredible Reggae instrumentals and an ode to Indian-style melisma through both Joss Jaffe and Mykal Rose's brilliant vocal abilities.
What inspired you to take on rather serious lyricism within your single, "Promises (feat. Mykal Rose)?" What did you want listeners to take away from your lyricism? The song draws inspiration from classic reggae songs that call out hypocrisy, lies, and iniquities such as Bob Marley's "Small Ax" or Bunny Wailer's "Fighting Against Conviction" and presents a vision of justice and right action where good words and deeds are in concert. The song speaks to that moment when people demand change, which is relevant in this current time and place, but also a recurring theme in human society and around the world. The message from this song is "actions speak louder than words" and in the end, enough people will see through the lies of politicians and bad leaders to force a reckoning.
Regarding the incredible vocal feature on your single, "Promises (feat. Mykal Rose)," why did you want Mykal Rose to accompany you on the single? What did his vocals provide that you felt the song needed?
Mykal Rose is a true Legend in Reggae Music. He brings a vocal style and presence that can't be duplicated and it sets the tone for the song right from the start. It was incredible to collaborate with him and he pushed me to create the highest possible quality for this unique track. Mykal also has a long history of speaking to social justice issues in his lyrics and music and it amplifies the power of a song like this. Speaking on your songwriting and lyricism again within "Promises (feat. Mykal Rose)," did the two of you share the lyric writing process, or were the lyrics written prior to your collaboration?
Mykal Rose wrote his section of the lyrics and I wrote my section. The engineer Tim Donlou, a friend and long-time collaborator, also played a part by combining our tracks in the second part of the song, where we trade off lines creating new meanings and relevancy to the lyrics as the voices mix. This is a classic technique in Dub style music where the engineer adds content by blending, fading, crossing, and manipulating the vocal tracks to create new ideas. Tim is a master at this style and has been working as a producer for over 25 years in Reggae, Dub, Electronica, Ambient and Experimental music.
Seeing as you've spent years studying Indian Classical music, what inspired you to venture into Reggae as well? How did you go about merging the two with your single, "Promises (feat. Mykal Rose)?"
That's a great question! I do have a background in classical Indian music, Indian Raga, and Tabla drums. This song is a pretty straightforward reggae song so the Indian influences are minimal in this case (Check out my Dub Mantra series of records for a more thorough "cross-pollination" of Dub and music from India!). There are a few places in the breakdown where my voice "slides" between the notes and those few places have a somewhat Indian singing quality, but it is subtle. Reggae has always been one of my favorite styles of music growing up in California where it is a consistently popular genre of music. We even have our own popular reggae acts such as Sublime, Iration, Rebelution, and many others. What can listeners expect to hear next?
Stay tuned for some super exciting new music! My next single is Titled "Sun To Shine" and features world jazz artist Dave Stringer who is also a Grammy nominated producer. The song has a dream pop feel to it and there are uplifting and spiritual themes to the lyrics. It will be accompanied by an animated music video! Following that will be a number of singles culminating in a full-length album "Sun, Mountain, Sea" in 2021! I can't wait to share it with you.