Just like the cover art, Jean-Mikhael has stripped down his debut affair ‘The Deal’ (which hit #8 on the iTunes R&B/Soul chart, by the way) and my God! We are in for a treat, ladies, gentlemen and every being in between. Jean-Mikhael sent us a bouquet of touching and telling renditions revealing a different type of intimacy and skillset only three months after appearing on the IMDiscovers: 10 Artists That Should Be On Your Radar This November List with a lyric video for his introductory single Deal.
Speaking of which, the London-based artistgets the acoustic, lounge-style performance ball rolling with Deal – an expressive preface to a taleof woe & growth where he taps into that oh-so-familiar haze in between adorationand commitment – the waiting game – making the friend-zone look unpleasant at best.
Nightly feelings of attachment and loneliness trigger impatience at anyrate, boiling down to one question which he has so aptly put: “Tell me, what’s the deal?”
Insecurity is an affliction which leads to the downfall of any mission, thought process and/or relationship. Much as insecurity may be a nuisance, it’s very real and as we come of age, it must be addressed as it is in Every Little Thing. We’re encouraged to extract ourselves from the life of nit-picking and completely take ownership of decision-making emotions as robust vocal tones sail into a charming, falsetto ad-lib riffs.
In a project loaded with questions, Why You So Mad is one of the important ones! With a mature and pragmatic look at the consequences of self-sabotage and pouring salt into one’s own wounds, JM boldly explains his worth in one sentence: “I’m more than you will know.” With masterful guitar-work and impassioned lyrics, I felt like there was a spotlight placed on the girl in the audience to whom he was singing his truth.
He then tenderly panders to the inner guilty party in 2 Time Thing where he elaborates on the reasoning behind springing in and out of a monogamous romance, disclosing of his wrong-doings without negating the importance and appreciation of his mate. With a pinch of Maxwell’s R&B influence in my favourite of all the songs on this acoustic set, he so considerately (and kinda sensually) lays the events of this relationship down. Definitely one to close the curtains, dim the lights and spark some candles up to.
Put the glass down and swing your way tothe floor as the Salsa dance party jam Señorita punches in! Ardent and charismatic, this heat-caster will surly have youpartnered up in no time. The slight reverberation in his voice transports usinto a festive backyard vibe beneath stars and rope lights – friends and family dressed in the brightest of colours with fedoras completing the sultry look.
Flamenco-style claps and chants definitely seal the deal and Jean-Mikhael, sir, I’d formally like to say: you know that I’m down for more!
Such unfiltered talent and maturity can never go unnoticed. There’s still a plethora of unreleased music yet to come from this handsome man while he goes on a 5 week school tour promoting his new work which we anticipate will be incredible, but in the meantime, regarding this baby, JM goes on to say
“Making listeners really hear what I’m saying with a raw emotion coming through, Lauryn Hill was my main inspiration behind the acoustic EP. She has an unplugged album of her performing to an intimate crowd and that’s what I wanted people to feel. Like I was performing to them individually, hearing the background sounds like the studio door, the guitar strings just ending. All these small, intricate bits that make it a little bit more inviting and special. It just shows another side of me”
which is quite accurately what it does – grant perspective.
The complete ‘The Deal (Acoustic)’ masterpiece is due for release on March 1st and if your hands aren’t on it ASAP, best get your sangria wine and get in line!