Artist You Should Know: Silent Jay x Jace XL
This month’s artists you should know are bringing back the tasteful elements of 90s R&B, with modern production features. Producer Silent Jay and singer Jace XL have formed a unique sound that’s starting to beg the attention of more people outside of their local fan base in Melbourne, Australia. The duo has mastered a compelling influence of ’90s R&B, funk, soul, and hip-hop. They have already greatly impacted the music scene in Australia, creating their multi-category soulful music. Silent Jay and Jace XL are artists dedicated to mastering their craft — they accomplish this by creating music that is its very own genre.
Silent Jay began his musical journey studying jazz improvisation at the Victorian College of Arts. The futuristic artist plays the saxophone, piano, keyboard, drums and flute. Jay was inspired to produce his own music after his former DJ uncle gave him his vintage collection of records. The record collection included legendary hip-hop, soul, funk and more. Following this gift, Silent Jay bought a sampler and began to use his great ear for music, as a means to integrate his own talents as a musician.
Silent Jay created his own signature, genre-less style that would mix beautifully with several other artists. The first label who picked up on his specialties was Los Angeles’ Flying Lotus, who took the artist under their wing into the newly opened label 'Brainfeeder.' Brainfeeder went on two national tours with Jay all throughout Australia. However, Brainfeeder was just one of many to recognize the unique producer. The London based Boiler Room co-founder and Rhythm Section Director Bradley Zero, took a liking to Jay’s producing abilities as well as his frequent collaborator Jace XL. As a result, Zero facilitated the release of their debut album, ‘Sacrifice,’ through his own label known as Rhythm Section International.
Sacrifice, Jay's first studio album, was co-written with Jace XL. The duo gained a huge following after the pre-release of songs that sold out on Bandcamp. The pre-released songs sold out in just under a week. Bandcamp is designed to introduce new music while the money actually goes to the artists who create the magic. Silent Jay and Jace XL have been building a strong fan base in Australia; touring and preforming, writing and creating new music often. Both artists have released a great variety of music from collaborations to solo Soundcloud singles.
Their mini album, Sacrifice, includes five impressive tracks. The intro of the album titled ‘INTRODUCTION,’ delivers a powerful speech about being a 90s kid. “Growing up a 90s kid we all know the most important thing, is to live life the way you want to live it. With no fear. Love the way you want to be loved with no reservations and most importantly, just vibe.” There is such great appeal to this duo; they are truly a humble pair, and remain true to who they are. They are not catering to any genre of music that is popular in the industry today, they are simply just vibin’ and making the music they wish to create.
‘Just Waking Up,’ is a dynamic mixture of 90s R&B vocals, integrated with strategic producing and prominent rhythm. ‘Sacrifice’ includes horn instruments, with a groovy feel and touch. The song is a foot tapper, while remaining incredibly chill. ‘Rockabye’ is one of my favorites from the album. The song and music video are incredibly intimate. The video perfectly illustrates the lyrics about falling in love and feeling lucky to love this other person. The lyrics are sung in alteration between fast and slow paced vocals.
Silent Jay and Jace XL occupy their set at the Boiler Room in Melbourne with romantic, harmonic vocals. The two master a soulful R&B style of singing over a calming beat including implementation of the keyboard and DJ board. Jace XL sings, thanking his fans that went to their first show, as well as the fans and people who came out to see them here, at the Boiler Room. At 16 minutes in, the duo plays a new song called ‘For Eternity.’ This track is more upbeat, and still distinct to their sound. The fans visibly love their different, relieving ambiance. The two are so talented in their own rhythm section, with relatable and meaningful lyrics to top it all off.
In their live performance of ‘Vibrate,’ Jay incorporates the keyboard in addition to the soundboard. Jace XL replaces silence in production with his beautiful voice and ability to transition to his falsetto. Jay harmonizes with Jace almost as though the two voices were meant to be together. This connection makes them a force to watch.