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WPGM Commentary: JERUB Is Processing Pain And Hurt On His Debut EP ‘Feel It’

Hey, I’m JERUB, singer-songwriter and artist from Nottingham, England. My debut EP Feel It is a 5-track assembly of songs written and produced over the past couple of years.

I wrote most of these during the UK national lockdown in 2020. A year that held many surprises for so many and many of the themes from the EP stem from my feelings and reflections from the pandemic.

The title Feel It comes from the title track of the EP but really reflects the heart of every song from the EP. The song was originated from my personal processing of the Black Lives Matter resurgence in 2020. For me and for many others, the death of George Floyd was incredibly difficult to process. I sat down with a friend to chat, and this topic was what spilled out in my attempt to process.

When processing, I realised that as a black man living in the UK, I couldn’t turn a blind eye to the killing of someone like me in a different country, it would be more comfortable to do so.

As a society we often chose our comfort over the discomfort of feeling the pain and hurt that we need to feel and that others feel. My realisation was that we don’t have to understand it, but we can decide not to ignore it and choose comfort but choose to ‘Feel It’.

When penning it down, I wanted the dramatic and emotional nature of the topic to be reflected lyrically and musically. The song begins with a moody piano riff paving way for the rest of the song. The processing of producing the song was one that took longer than I expected.

Myself and my friend worked together to place it in the right mood tempo and feel, a task that took a lot of digging deep. As a new artist, the term ‘discovering my sound’ although cliché, can prove to be true. So, we had to be intentional in breaking down what elements of my previous singles made it what it was.

What instruments, sounds and drum samples felt right. In all aspects of my music, the aim is to connect with people’s hearts, therefore we needed to graft to work towards this. But this was really the first song we worked on from the project and set the musical blueprint for the rest of the songs.

Perhaps the most poignant song from the project is “No Good Alone”. Simply put, it’s about the idea that I’m not good on my own. I’m that guy who can easily go in on himself and be isolated, but I’m learning that it is not always the best place to be.

I think everyone can relate with the 18 months we have just had with lockdown and isolation. People have been forced into a place where they have to be alone, and I think we are all realising that we need people. We need each other. Anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues are on the rise and isolation is a killer. We need to do life with each other.

“Trade It All” is another song from the project. I wrote it shortly after a conversation with a friend about his first Christmas without his dad, who had passed away the year before. He told me how strange it felt without him there and how he didn’t know how to behave, and I just felt so much empathy for him.

Shortly after, I heard the news that Kobe Bryant and his daughter had died in the helicopter crash and I remember feeling floored by such a deep tragedy. I was also thinking about the last 18 months we’ve just had and all the people who have lost parents, grandparents, siblings and so on. So, this song is really about the love you have for a loved one who may have passed away and remembering that love and the impact that they had on you.

Another song I wrote in Lockdown was “High”. I think for many people, there’s no denying that there were many low moments at that time and there are many low moments in life. “High” is a song I wrote about that person, the place or that thing that lifts you up, takes you high when you feel low.

Whoever, wherever or whatever it is, it has that ability to change your mood. What I love about the song is that it has a more major and positive tone than some of the other songs on the project. We wanted to create a sound which felt epic and anthemic.

The lyrics move from “walking around in lonely places” to “you take me high” when the chorus kicks in, so we felt that the music should reflect the contrast of loneliness becoming more hopeful. Once we changed the chord sequence in the chorus to a major progression it really opened up the song to have a positive feel, and for the feel of the drums we wanted something that had a bigger vibe to it.

These songs are very much about real life, real stories. I love the ability music has to connect with people on so many levels. I hope my music continues to do so.

Listen to my EP Feel It below and stream it everywhere else here.

Words by JERUB // Follow her on Facebook + Instagram

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