From Houston to New Orleans, musician, producer, and songwriter FKAjazz teams up with vocalist Brooke D. for their lush and meaningful single, "Meet Me Halfway."
The Grammy-nominated producer is said to have first caught an audience's attention after moving to New Orleans and performing alongside acts like Ellis Marsalis, Nicholas Payton, and the Jason Marsalis Quintet. While incorporating elements of hip-hop, jazz, and r&b into his music, FKAjazz also said that his "goal is not to just pay homage to the foundation of jazz but to all Black American Music."
Recently releasing his dreamy and conceptual single, "Meet Me Halfway," FKAjazz mentioned that the song "documents the desire we all have for equality and justice in love, as well as the persistent wondering that can occur when existing in many unknowns." FKAjazz and Brooke D. hope the song inspires listeners to "own their worth, and make choices from wholeness, rather than loneliness."
Listening to "Meet Me Halfway," the song blissfully opens with smooth jazz percussion, dreamy keyboard melodies, and haunting hints of brass. As Brooke D.'s angelic vocals appear, she and FKAjazz send us into a sonic daydream with the soft reverb effects and overall transcendent atmosphere.
We adore Brooke D.'s honest and relatable lyricism; she sings the age of tale of wondering if someone will accept her once breaking down her walls to expose who she is on the inside. As FKAjazz's mesmerizing and lush instrumentals lead us to the outro, they end the song on a note of rejuvenation and acceptance.
Heal your lingering wounds with help from FKAjazz and Brooke D.'s latest single, "Meet Me Halfway," now available on all digital streaming platforms.
We adore the lush and soothing feel of your latest single, "Meet Me Halfway." Were there any specific moments that inspired you to create this dreamy piece?
FKAjazz: I recently got married, during the middle of the pandemic, wild! For me & my wife, it was a series of conversations that led to our decision. We didn't do the cliched "down on bended knee" thing. It was a mutual agreement to become a family because we felt our love was real. But we also knew, from experience, love works when you decide it will work. That's how the title & musical landscape was initially born for "Meet Me Halfway."
Brooke D: Upon hearing the song the first time, I was immediately drawn to the instrumental track, specifically the saxophone textures and airy quality of the production. It reminded me of the ocean and of the wind, and so I did my best to match my vocals to that same essence. I also really liked the cinematic quality of the song, and how it builds up all the way to the end. I really wanted to take the opportunity to move with that momentum when I approached writing the vocal melodies and lyrics.
Who wrote the meaningful and passionate lyrical content for "Meet Me Halfway?" Did you and Brooke D. share this process?
Brooke D: FKAjazz sends me instrumental tracks with a title, and I usually challenge myself to use that title in what I write lyrically. I brainstormed for a while about what “Meet Me Halfway” meant to me, and reflected upon the many instances in my life where that wasn’t the case in relationships, and how that made me feel. The initial line in the song “show me who you are // will I believe you?” was inspired by one of my favorite poets, Maya Angelou’s famous quote “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” I was hoping to document the internal processing, the push and pull of trying to decide if you want to invest in a person or relationship when you’re receiving mixed signals. I like to surprise FKAjazz with what lyrics I choose to write and send it back hoping he will resonate with the meaning I pulled from the music/title. I am grateful he trusts me to write poetry to his songs, and that we align so much in our songwriting relationship, without having to talk much about it at all! It’s awesome to have a lot in common with someone who makes such beautiful music, and have developed an awesome friendship as well.
FKAjazz: 'nuff said, lol
Could you enlighten us on what your creative process looked like for "Meet Me Halfway?" How did you begin navigating the instrumental tone and atmosphere? FKAjazz: With all the music I produce, it starts with just sitting at the piano (well, keyboard). It's my first instrument. I started playing piano at 3yrs, then violin, then saxophone around 8 or 9yrs. It's my first love, so most of the music I create starts at the piano. From there, it's just building blocks. I don't really think too much about what it is going to be until after it's done. What I said earlier about the meaning of the track, was revealed after the music was created and I have time to digest what it is. I always know it's coming from something, some experience I've had. But I can't pinpoint it until I listen back. Before that, it's just a flow, an outpour. Brooke D: After sending FKAjazz the main vocal track, he responded and said he wanted more! He asked me to add more atmospheric vocals, layers, and textures to the arrangement. This is something I’m already very passionate about, using my voice as an instrument, and trying to give a symphonic quality to music with vocals. So, after listening a few more times, I filled in the spaces with harmonies and call/response, to add some more depth to the magic that was already there. I hoped to bolster the meaning and add drama to what I was singing about. Who else helped bring "Meet Me Halfway" to life? What was your collaborative experience like working with the team on deck? FKAjazz: The first song we collaborated on together, "From Where We Start" sparked the desire to do more in the future. But more so, it sparked a dope friendship or better yet, a family ship. That track included my drummer, Unkle Nephew, pianist Noah MacNeil, and bassist Yoshiki Yamada. But this song is literally just me & Brooke. I produced/recorded all the instruments and Brooke added her magic vocals to make it whole. It was extremely seamless which is also why I like working with Brooke. Nothing's forced and it happens when it happens if it happens. I showed her the track one day when she was at my apartment. Long story short, me & my wife went out of town, and Brooke, the amazing "dog auntie" she is, took care of our dog Buddha while we were away. When we got back I played her the track and here we are a little more than a month later. Brooke D: Even if we both worked on the track separately, in our own spaces, I always am happy to know that we both have an intuitive sense of what the other will like and resonate with. It’s a really special partnership that I value and am excited to work on more! We're also surrounded by a powerful team and musical family. It's a true joy to be connected to them all and share in this creative process.
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