“Nothing At All, just had to call,” the almost inaudible lyrics sung through FKAjazz’s vocoder synth throughout the 3-part extended single, ring prudent of the times we face.
The extended single release by FKAjazz features an ethereal, melancholy vibe with poignant Hip Hop lyrics by Leo Coltrane. New to the FKAjazz roster, Leo Coltrane is a native Brooklynite named after jazz icon John Coltrane & French singer/composer Léo Ferré, lyrically masterful with a smooth flow reminiscent of MC’s like Ishmael “Butterfly” Butler of Digable Planets or rap group Souls of Mischief.
The song also features Justin Swiney newly aliased by the named “Unkle Nephew” on drums as well as Noah MacNeil on piano; 2 of the mainstay musicians in the Trew Culture Collective.
Through the lens of these Black American Music artists, we get a poignant story not often discussed. As FKAjazz explained, “the lyrics that I started off with are the basis of a story I wanted to tell. “Nothing at all, just had to call,” exemplifies the vulnerability but also the strength it takes to reach out to a friend or family member when you’re not feeling mentally well. It’s often a conversation like this would start off with those exact words. And behind them mean so much more.”
Leo Coltrane tapped right into that feeling, connecting the dots with his voiceover & lyrics. “The lyrics are snapshots of heavy times full of self doubt that followed me home after my first 2 tours. One friend called it the “man on the moon syndrome.” The anticlimax. After the high of performing overseas and people laying out welcome mats for a Brooklyn artist – I had to quickly readjust.”
The underlying message FKAjazz says is extremely reflective of the times. “As a Black touring artist there’s an internal battle we’re always faced with; not on tour but when we land back home. We leave the country and 9 times out of 10 we are treated really well; with respect and a sense of equality that we don’t necessarily experience here in America.
In America, we have to put up these invisible guards to combat the micro-aggressions we face on a day to day because of the color of our skin and the stereotypes that come with that. Outside of the U.S. it seems we are celebrated for our differences.
I’m sure that has a lot to do with the position we’re in when touring and the experiences of Black people that live in the areas we are visiting are dealing with some of the same struggles. But for those short moments, it feels good to not deal with the struggles that have been put on us because of a lack of understanding. It’s definitely an underlying emotion that adds to the depression of coming home many musicians & artists can relate to. But also a reflection on some of the things that need to change in America. A conversation to be discussed…
“Nothing At All” follows 2 previous 2020 releases from the producer/saxophonist, FKAjazz, “Lineage” (March 2020) and “Understood” (May 2020).
Jayden Brown is a dedicated Hip-Hop writer and music lover, he updates 8o8wave daily and also manages the other writers and contributors. He oversees site content.