EP Review: Skin Real Gone | JP.Kazadi
‘Cause it’s the weekeeend, nothing’s going on. Yes it’s the weekeeend, I swear there’s nothing wrong’ says Kovacs in her 2018 ‘It's the Weekend’ anthem. Well, actually something is going on on this Saturday, May 7th, and it’s the reason of this post. Coming across the latest EP ‘Skin Real Gone’ by London-based JP.Kazadi made me think, feel and ache, all in ten minutes. Let’s press play and see what it’s all about.
The opening ‘Skin’ is one of those tracks that puts humanity to shame and acts as a wake-up-call, pushing all our guilt buttons: ‘If you want change don’t you look away, look yourself in the mirror and BE the change’. For if change doesn’t come from each man's personal fights, it’s only temporary and half-hearted. The instrumental approach here is minimal, using only a melancholic guitar line and a huge, echoing kick-snare that fits the overall dramatic flavor, enhancing the important message of 'Skin'. I’m personally feeling the absence of a climax which would skyrocket this whole thing up and could even bring tears to my eyes. Nevertheless, Kazadi’s heart-rending performance manages to show off 100% of his lyrics’ essence through an emotional spectrum of pain, fragility and determination for a better future: ‘Let’s fill our world with kindness, Mercy and love, mercy and love’.
Next up, we get a lighter piece titled ‘Real’ where the chords are significantly less dark, exploring more playful, jazzy territories. Kazadi’s voice has transformed from vulnerable to sensual, offering a soulful performance followed by a slow-burning beat and magical keys gleaming here and there. It’s interesting how, even though this is the ideal track to offer our lover, a drop of sorrow is still expressed in the track’s bridge: ‘In a world full of haters and mockers and liars…’ subtly connecting it to ‘Skin’. Either way, the chorus here is addictive enough to have you mumbling ‘You’re the real thing, the real thing, the real thing…’ all day long and the track is a great example of a successful pop-soul-R&B hybrid.
The moment we are presented with the depressive keys of ‘Gone’, the walls are closing in and our headspace starts bleeding.‘What you see is what you get, nothing to hide, it is what it is’. ‘Gone’ is a dark ballad about love turning into obsession, getting contaminated with egotism. A beautifully mournful closure that marks every time we’ve felt the pressure of other’s expectations weighing us down like cement. The piano is so deeply emotional and rich by itself, that the instrumental simplicity works like a charm here. Not to mention Kazadi’s vocals overflowing with hurt and longing, making ‘Gone’ the undeniable highlight of this EP.
In Skin Real Gone we witness a powerful vocalist testing himself in three completely different moods: The awakening ‘Skin’, the erotic ‘Real’ and the suffering ‘Gone’. The outcome is a comprehensive EP that victoriously exhibits the artist’s ability to adapt to every emotional state demanded by a song. His smoothness reminded me of Serpentwithfeet or even Moses sometimes, even though JP.Kazadi is a far more earthly persona. In any case, Skin Real Gone is a great cross section of the artist’s vision and the Sanctum can’t wait to host the next full-length album! Cheers!
Enjoy Skin Real Gone here: