The sound of some artists is best described not by classifying them under a genre, talking about their influences, or breaking down the specific elements of their music, but rather by listing the situations to which their music is most applicable. Dom Kennedy albums encapsulate the California sunshine and West Coast styling in a manner that provides the perfect soundtrack for summertime days filled with friends and barbecues. DVSN oozes sultriness and lust and his music sets the mood for any number of hyper-romantic situations from a quiet first date to a loud one night stand. Migos is great for turning up, Daniel Caesar is great for cooling down, and Trevor Hall puts his audience in a meditative and relaxed state of self-reflection. It's not that the music of these artists is only fitting of these scenarios, but it certainly thrives within their bounds. However, there are some artists who are so unique and well rounded that their music is unbound by specific emotion or particular circumstance. It can pull us up when we're down but it can also keep us down in those times we desire to dwell in a deep well of depression. It can make us cry, make us dance, and make us fall in love. We can play it at a party, listen to it during a study session, and everything in between. It is simply and ultimately versatile.
Generally, the artists that create such versatility in their music are unbound by genre. They utilize elements from the entirety of the music spectrum and seamlessly blend them into something uniquely beautiful. A full-length project by such an artist tends to exhibit their immense range but does so in a way that cleanly transcends an array of styles. It's this transcendent range that gives their music such a versatile list of applications, and the trait that sets these artists apart from their peers.
Maryland electro-R&B duo, Abhi//Dijon has been giving the world versatile and transcendent jams since 2013 and with time, their limited canon has only become more relevant. They were trendsetters able to forecast the turn that their two preferred genres would take and can be credited for helping to birth a style - the clean blending of electronic production with R&B vocals - that is so prevalent today. Though the duo remains relatively low-key, fans of the R&B and electronic scenes have begun to take further notice as both genres have begun to become more reflective of Abhi//Dijon’s unique sound. The vocals from the group are reminiscent themselves of some of the most revered singers in R&B – boasting a similar delivery to artists like Frank Ocean and Daniel Caesar. The production is smooth as a slice of butter and enticing as the stack of pancakes upon which the butter rests. Theses key elements combine with hip-hop inspired percussive lines and occasional acoustic displays to result in some sort of dreamy, relaxed, futuristic take on Motown classics and 90’s boy band mega-hits. Truthfully, any artist in music would be fortunate to collaborate with Abhi//Dijon, but their strong waves of new age talent and deep pools of innovation would drowned just about anyone – leaving their collaborator intrusive to their sound and forgotten when it’s all said and done. A possible collaborator would have to seamlessly slide into the bizarre world of their trancey production and have an equaling uniqueness to stand toe-to-toe with their vocals. Thankfully, the music world has recently been turned onto an artist with just such a resumé.
Korea. Electronic. New York. Pop. I’m not sure a word exists for the blending of these styles and geographical locations, but assuming that it doesn’t let’s just call it Yaeji – the name of the Brooklyn-based, Korean electro-pop hip-hop fusion artist making waves in all the right ways. In the last month or two, you have probably been made aware of Yaeji by her international hits Drink I’m Sippin’ On and Raingurl which were both featured on most recent project EP2. The project, which only includes five songs running for a grand total of 18 minutes, is a mind-boggling, style-bending labyrinth consisting of all of music’s most relevant experimental sounds. It sounds like a European club anthem from 2015. It sounds like an emotional rollercoaster from a 90’s R&B legend. It sounds like the hottest thing in experimental SoundCloud hip-hop. And it all blends beautifully together in a style never heard before. Yaeji is in so many ways a paradoxical sign of the times. There is no genre anymore – just artists that utilizes pieces of the genres that used to exist. And she utilizes those pieces without flaw.
In collaboration with Abhi//Dijon, Yaeji would have no problem fitting in and also have no problem standing out – the conflicting ideals that are difficult to obtain but entirely necessary in a successful joint project. She has proven herself a talented vocalist and lyricist when working overtop mellow, dreamy production very similar to that of Abhi//Dijon. She has also proven herself as the kind of unique artist that could never be missed or overlooked when working with someone of rare, equal talent. More than anything, her vast transcendence of styles would ensure that she would in some way, blend beautifully with just about any deserving artist on the planet. And Abhi//Dijon is deserving. Their production would set a fitting backdrop for the mysterious lyricism and tantalizing vibes of the vocalists on either side of the collaboration, and their vocals would be capable of matching the unique prowess of a dynamic artist like Yaeji. The established genius of Abhi//Dijon would bode well for a young artist like Yaeji who could use a stronger foundation from which to continue the construction of her certain empire, while Abhi//Dijon would benefit from the collaboration, inspiration, and relevance of a star in the making like Yaeji.