119 is the emergency telephone number in parts of Asia and in Jamaica. I figured its about time that we (minorities) have a number to call as well.
1-1-9 is a track that calls out musically before you even get to consider the depth of the underlying concept. The vibe is on point, the production is creative and crisp, there’s a minimalist feel to it in some ways but every element involved undoubtedly works to build upon the inherent uniqueness of the soundscape. In addition, the opening vocal melody adds a level of soul, this section has a higher end to it and the contrast works beautifully alongside of the smooth and modern sound of the music.
Then you get the lyrics, the intrigue begins to grow – your interest in the ideas and their provocative nature grows with it. The piece draws you in by means of a smooth, hypnotic sense of movement, and it keeps you there with the lyrics, the passion, the thoughtfulness. Songs like this work to open the mind, and fortunately here that comes through not at the cost of high quality music – far from it. The track hits with impact in a subtle but certain way.
The second time your hear this those opening bars of music have an immediate familiarity. The space and the chords and the tripped up, distant and industrial lightness of the beat – all of this has so much personality in itself. Then you get the melodic vocal, the gentle introduction, an entrancing progression, followed by the much higher, more intense vocal, and those same lyrics echoing around you again and again. This whole thing happens once more with a third vocal part that repeats the process but adds a little more detail and a further dynamic. The set-up is mesmerising yet consistently simple, so your interest is held, and there’s value in the concept and in the fact that the artist felt so strongly the need to create something to draw attention to this issue.
1-1-9 is a brilliant track that grows more enjoyable every time you hear it. In the same instance, with each new listen you’re reminded of the struggle so many face. Jay Jai is using his voice and his creative professionalism to say things worth listening to, and he’s doing it in a stylish yet genuine way. Well worth exploring.