When thinking of England as a musical landscape, Dancehall may not be the first genre that pops to mind for people not in the know, but it’s there, under the surface of the streets, the thump of the drum and pop of the bass reverberating into walls, and spilling out under the doorways from dub clubs and roots bars. One of the current underground stars of the UK’s indie circuit is probably Jay Felicite (pronounced; Fay-Lee-See-Tay) is a Saint Lucian born and raised singer, songwriter, sound engineer. The resilient firebrand is making a big noise with the release of his new EP “758 Stories 2”. At its heart the EP is a Dancehall record, but by weaving in elements of edgy urban, R&B and trap, Felicite has crafted something uniquely versatile within the simple sounding rhythms and pulsating bass.
The recording features killer hooks and irresistible melodies and are both reinforced by lyrics of such acute storytelling, they’re guaranteed to be a bright spot in your day. Right from the opening track, “Let Em Know” [Prod. Edeez] the spindly melodies balance on driving percussive frames, the kicks and ride cymbal hits positioned for maximum hip-swaying effect. The synths are sent through tight delays for that extra rubbery sheen, while Jay Felicite’s vocals whoosh overhead in waves.
The cadence of the beat, the shimmering keyboard pattern, the bass drum thump, vocal tone and lyrics on “Partner In Crime” (Feat. Lucciano), combine to successfully give the song the intended celebratory, reflective and mood lifting vibe. This track stands as a firm testament of Jay Felicite’s development, growth, versatility and maturity as an artist.
“March Dem Down” is a really energetic tune – delivered in an insistent, yet melodic way. Felicite’s composed delivery has a very ominous air due to the excellent use of tone, the low pass filter being used to great effect and the venomous lyrics that he spits throughout the song.
“Do Road” [Prod. HitsByJude] is a more relaxed song where Felicite’s style of delivery, lyrics, and melodic chorus reveal a clear intention for it to be a hit single. “Champion (Overcome)” [Prod. Reddman Bangaz] is another great track I would call an album song.
The song starts off with an absolutely beautiful piano driven intro that sounds very familiar. The artist is in an intimate and inspirational mood, while the song is a revealing track giving us a better grasp of this enigmatic performer.
This is one of my favorite tracks on the EP. “Hot Steppa Remix” (Feat. So Dee, Lil G, OD, Krazy K & BowcieTT) captivates Felicite’s influential songwriting perfectly alongside the rest of the crew.
The pulsating drumming that stays steady throughout the song, and the string chugging makes the song what it is: catchy and captivating. The satisfying synths and harmony combinations makes the lead vocals and rapping seem highlighted, and the lyrics clearer to the ear.
Overall “758 Stories 2”, is a singular statement from a singular artist that is moving his game up a level. This scruple is easily overlooked though when well placed, interesting instrumentals and deep grooves take hold, encouraging us to let go of the need to understand and simply enjoy through the expression of dance.