Updated: Jun 10, 2020
An interview with Jiovani.Jemndi (pronounced Jem & I) regarding his release ‘Uncut Jems’. Out now on Spotify, Apple Music and Souncloud. The music video for ‘Black Opal’ is out today on Youtube.
Why the title Uncut Jems?
The title Uncut Jems is a nod to the recent Adam Sandler film directed by the Safdie brothers. I loved the film and it’s themes, the chaos, greed, lust, loss, realness and humour resonated with me and my art. The title also worked on many levels as my real name is Jem and my songs are gems in the rough.
What does this project represent to you?
Uncut Jems is special to me, being my debut project and all. It represents the manifestation of ones true self, and that’s open to be perceived as the listeners self and as my own true self.
What is the message you most want to share?
The project is an honest and authentic experience which exposes all sides of oneself to be questioned, critiqued and sometimes celebrated.
What impact did producers have on this project?
This tape wouldn’t have been possible without all the producers who had faith in me to spill nothing but heat on their beats. Working with some of my inner circle on tracks such as ‘Lobster’ is always an organic experience. It came out of a session with Vino and Kai Kwasi and myself, we found a super jazzy bass line which I chopped. Vino then came through with the smooth keys and Kwasi played the guitar. We’ve got so many things in the pipeline so expect to hear more from us lot. Chips is also a close friend of mine who I’ve worked with many times and we also got some unreleased joints in the works at the moment. I love Sheep Heads beats, and the tunes we’ve made together, ‘blue’ on Sheep Head’s ‘Recipes’ is still one of my favourite joints to date. I heard his hidden faces beat on Spotify and asked for his blessing to use it on the project, which he granted. Michael Michaelson the goddamn catalyst came through with the fucking enzymes! This project was built off the back of his beats. The song ‘Stacks’ was written because he sent me a dumb beat which he had titled ‘trio#16stacks’ 5 minutes later the tune had written itself. He also did the tireless job of mixing and mastering all the songs on the project, putting his special signature sauce all over this shit and bringing the whole thing to life.
What’s your favourite track and why?
Favourite track, It’s a tough one but it might have to be ‘Black Opal’ the music video plus the playback ability of that track really does something for me.
How long have you been working on the project?
I unknowing started work on the EP when I dropped ‘Jewelz N Juice’ as a single late 2019. The title and about 4 of the songs weren’t written until after I had watched the movie which came out January, so not too long, which is nice. Quick flip city.
What can we expect next? Music videos? Shows?
The music video for ‘Black Opal’ comes out 23/03/20 alongside the rest of project. I had a few shows lined up, but this Covid-19 epidemic has pushed everything back but we don’t yet know how long the push back will be for. Keep an eye on the gram for updates to shows and potentially an Insta Live gig if it comes to it.
What would you want to say to people before they listen?
Before people listen to the project I would recommend bunning one, if you don’t smoke, sip one, if you don’t drink, eat one, if you don’t eat then don’t listen to this shit. Also wash your hands after listening. Extremely infectious to those with good taste.
Last but not least I wanted to give a big shout out to everyone who contributed their time and art, this project wouldn’t have be possible without Michael Michaelson, Sheep Head, Chips, Vino, Kai Kwasi, Sebastian Schaevers, Angel Cleo and my Mum.
Huge love as always.