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JJ Slater Sends Us Into Tranquility With His Recent Single, "Rupi"

The New England-born-and-bred artist and singer-songwriter JJ Slater team up with fellow creative Dan Bisson to release their uplifting folk single, "Rupi."

Known to have a sound for every season, JJ Slater offers blankets of wintery whispers just as much as hypnotic summer grooves. With instrumentalist Dan Bisson, the two have set sail into greatness through their magnetic live performances and deep-pocket guitar explorations, making for deftly crafted folk tunes.

Highlighting their recent single, "Rupi," we hear JJ Slater take on a passionate lyrical message while offering the song incredibly uplifting and charismatic approaches. Not to mention Dan Bisson's added harmonies and deep basslines, the two creatives bring listeners into a luminous folk-atmosphere with help from each rich and radiant detail.

Jumping into "Rupi," the song opens with layered and soulful acoustic guitars, harmonizing with vibrant melodic flairs while paving the way for JJ Slater's warm vocals to enter. Once JJ Slater begins brightly singing his poetic lyricism surrounding a rather spiteful and sarcastic lyrical message, we start our venture into the shimmering hook.

Once the instrumentals begin to expand through Dan Bisson's groovy bassline and accompanying guitars and mid-tempo drum patterns, the two artists truly transport us into brighter and more relaxed days through the entirety of this toe-tapping single. Continuing towards the outro, JJ Slater and Dan Bisson push immense passion through each sonic/lyrical aspect and keep us hooked throughout the entire experience.

Catch the delicious sounds of JJ Slater and Dan Bisson on their recent single, "Rupi," and remind yourself of better days with each uplifting and luminous instrumental element.

We're excited to chat with you about your recent uplifting single, "Rupi." What inspired the concept and feel of this single?

I wrote it a while back, so it’s hard to remember my exact headspace, but I think I really wanted to write it as a post-breakup song. Not necessarily about a relationship (although you can interpret it as such) but more generally- not holding on to things or ideas, and just honoring the time you had with them. I wanted that funky, relaxed feel, along with a zen-like drone that sort of filters over the whole tune, and really grows at the end.

What did you want to get across to listeners through your lyricism within "Rupi"?

I definitely wanted the choruses of the tune to have a mantra-like quality, and though I don’t want to get preachy with the message, I’m just trying to highlight a mindset that’s helped me through life- it’s about blessing the memory without necessarily giving more time or trouble to something in the past. I suppose all that answers your first two questions.

What was your collaboration like with Dan Bisson when creating "Rupi"? How did the two of you divide the creative process?

I wrote the song before I started playing with Dan, it may actually have been the first one I showed him. We basically grooved on each part until they came together. His playing definitely lent a cool tone that was both persistent rhythmically and relaxed and warm tonally. A nice juxtaposition! He’d also started this percussive style, so we split the downbeats (me playing bass drum) and the backbeat (him slapping the strings).

We've heard that you plan on creating more acoustic and electric folk songs in 2021. Could you take us through what we should expect from the more electronically-inclined folk songs?

I like the use of warm acoustics (acoustic guitar, upright bass) with electronic, washing tones. This first EP is gonna be pretty much almost all acoustic, the second EP is fairly acoustic as well but I went to town with the studio MOOG and overdubbed some electric guitars and other little things.

What's next for you?

I’m slowly releasing a bunch of this roots-oriented music, as well as some jazz-funk covers with a local trio Organ Transplant, and even some stoner rock with Dan in another project. As JJSlater, I tend to focus on the folk side- I never really even intended to go “full electric” with it, but so much time has gone by since gigs I’m definitely ready to open things up. My recent batch of songs (I’m currently demoing) was written on piano (while tuning them in peoples’ homes), so I’m probably going to do some cool trio arrangements. Psych-folk-Peanuts-Christmas-music? Maybe that could be the vibe.

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