It's official! We've had our first snow of the year here in NYC, and even though winter is technically a few weeks away, I'm gonna go ahead and call it as officially winter here. Of course I could spend pages and pages going on about all the wonderful winter time activities you could engage in, but honestly, most of them are expensive and require you to put on something other than sweatpants and go out into the -10 degree windchill, so why bother? Plus, most of the snow is melted anyways, unless you want to dig some slush out of the gutter for a fun snowball fight with the added risk of tetanus.
Instead, we've got something better for you to enjoy this week. Soulful Aussie R&B singer and multi-instrumentalist Jordan Rakei stopped by our office for a Baeble NEXT session recently, and I don't know if it was the Aussie accent or what, but it definitely didn't feel like winter with him here.
Rakei recently dropped his full-length album Wallflower, and in addition to giving us a wonderfully intimate performance of a few tracks from the album, he spent some time taking us behind the scenes of his writing and recording process. Additionally, you'll get to hear a little bit about Dan Kye, Rakei's dance and electronic alter-ego that blends dance, hip-hop and R&B influences into a funky and fresh sound.
But of course the best part of any session we do is the performance itself, and Jordan does not fail to deliver. A one-man musical venture, Rakei commands your attention with jazz-inspired instrumentation backing his achingly soulful, singer-songwriter and R&B-tinged vocal style. As he's been told, there's a little bit of D'Angelo, Radiohead, and Stevie Wonder all wrapped up into a sound that is 100 percent his own. As he plays his selection of songs, including "Goodbyes", "Nerve", Sorceress" and "Lucid", catch him jumping from instrument to instrument, flexing his talents over a range of sounds and inspirations. It's intimate and vulnerable, and a surefire way to keep warm this winter..
want to do the clap? Rakei, musician, songwriter. I'm originally from New Zealand. I grew up in Australia, living in London now, sitting in New York. Yes I was flaking on you 'Cause I was sturdy about it last night No need to take away from it You flew, I surrendered to the moment You washed away the sadness Your world had no minimum requirements So tender, hands of a sweet machine I spot the soul of a masquerade-rade Unnecessary goodbye You've taken your time Unwrestled by the moment Hung by the thread of your mind Toe deep to test the water Three inches too far and too slow I stepped right into order You've woken the subtle lover throne Ice keeps melting like rain drops, rain drops Clouds of guilt built like the nimbus I'm weak it's such a mercy Control me like a circus, the circus Unnecessary goodbye You've taken your time Unwrestled by the moment, moment Hung by the thread of your mind Unnecessary goodbye You've taken your time Unwrestled by the moment, moment Hung by the thread of your mind How can I find a reason to love you when I don't love myself? - So the whole album is about me dealing with anxiety, sort of as simple as that. And then each song is sort of, like, exploring different parts anxiety can, like, manifest in everyday life. It's not necessarily always just sitting in your room, like, being scared of the world. For this album, I started writing all the music by myself on a guitar keyboard. So that's why when we did the acoustic versions, I feel like, you know, these songs can exist in two different worlds and sort of please two different audiences. So the acoustic versions are sort of, like, where they started. You know, usually when I write, I make a beat and then sing over it. But this one, this album, I wrote everything beforehand. So, I think, yeah, this is the bare bones of the song. Once I bottled the canvas to my lover's heart But the stow was too full And that envelope had a letter And there's scarcely room Back in silence is where it all began falling apart I was always a clumsy speaker And we couldn't find one another in that scarcely room Mark my words, I say I'm guilty of no poetry I was working, I confess, I see the courage in her eyes In that scarcely room There were words of disagreement But we talked to find the answers, in a mutual disposition In that scarcely room How can I find a reason to love you when I don't love myself? Oh How can I find a reason to love you, when I don't love myself, self? How can I find a reason to love you when I don't love myself? Whoa How can I find a reason to love you when I don't love myself, self? Shout at me and there are traits of insecurity See the man had stole her fire So it's her who put the flame out In that scarcely room Courted dress for the occasion, Yet not filled with glee His hands reaching for the curtain, She was quick to put the light out In that scarcely room How can I find a reason to love you when I don't love myself? Oh How can I find a reason to love you when I don't love myself, self? How can I find a reason to love you, when I don't love myself? Oh How can I find a reason to love you, when I don't love myself, self? When I don't love myself - So Dan Kye is my alter ego. He makes, I guess I make or he makes, you know, sort of Lo-fi soulful house music, which has been purely London's influence. Because I went to, like, a club night called Rhythm Section, which was the label that released the album, the EP, and, yeah, I just, you know, made some dance tunes and he was, like, "Can I release this?" And I'm, like, "Amazing. " But I don't want to release it under Jordan. Can I give it another name? You know, I always started in my laptop, you know, in my bedroom when I was, like, 14 making beats. So it just brought me back to, you know, not worrying about loads of instrumentation. I was just sitting there making beats on my laptop and then just quickly singing over it, and then that's it, not trying to overcomplicate things. Darkness growing over me silently It's creeping closer Depths try to take hold of me violently They seem to bolster Snake, I try some wizardry patiently You seem to bolster Hate towards my imagery vacantly You are the sorceress You are the sorceress, You are the sorceress You are the sorceress You are the sorceress You are the sorceress Regain all my energy Trying to submit the holder Momentary blasphemy Lying to your hope is colder Snake, I try some wizardry Patiently they seem to bolster Hate towards my imagery, vacantly You are the sorceress You are the sorceress You are the sorceress You are the sorceress You are the sorceress You are the sorceress Sorceress You are the sorceress, you are - So when I started playing live for my last album tour, I was doing a bit of different versions and we were really opening up and going into some areas which weren't on the recording. And I was like, "I want to record stuff like this. " You know, a lot on this new album, there's a lot of, like, atmospheric stuff, a lot of, like, psychedelic elements. It's, you know, it's being playing live and seeing stuff live has had a massive influence on the recording process for this album. People always seem to hear the album and they go, "Oh, it sort of sounds like D'Angelo mixed with Radiohead mixed with Bob Marley mixed with Stevie Wonder. " And it gets out of control. So I feel like I would love for, one day, for people go, "Cool, that sounds like a Jordan album. " Wake from this dream It was all something and nothing to me I'll make you believe that it was all something and nothing to me, yeah Take hold of me Always, forever a fantasy, yeah Wake from this dream It was all something and nothing to me I was scared and unaware, no Moving out of darkness I was trapped in the flesh Moving out of darkness Caught amongst the flames Now my heart's ablaze Broken down, only now I'm stranded here Oh, the light shines on me, yeah Shines on me too much Finding myself now I was all something and nothing to you Birthed to the storm clouds They were all something and nothing to you I was scared and unaware, no Moving out of darkness, yeah Darkness I was trapped in the flesh Holding on Moving out of darkness Caught amongst the flames Now my heart's ablaze Broken down And now I'm stranded here Oh, oh the light shines on me, yeah Shines on me too much Oh, the light shines on me, yeah Shines on me too much
With a fistful of highly praised releases under his belt and a soulful, jazz and hip-hop driven sound, 25 year-old multi-instrumentalist, vocalist and producer Jordan Rakei is a rare talent whose artistry transcends the confines of age. Born in a quiet town in New Zealand, Jordan moved to Australia at the age of three, spending most of his childhood in Brisbane. In 2014, his Groove Curse EP garnered strong support from North America and Europe, coaxing Jordan to make the 10,000 mile journey to live in London. He furnished a name for himself in the UK, collaborating with the likes of Tom Misch and lending vocals to Disclosures album Caracal. It was Jordans 2016 self-released debut album Cloak that proved he was an artist ready and able to make huge waves with his own unique sound though. Also in 2016 he became close with South London record label and party Rhythm Section, who encouraged him to release an EP of dancefloor driven tracks under his Dan Kye alias.