Dijon's Solo Debut Sci Fi 1 is Indefinable Spirit-Lifting Perfection
Evan Dale // Mar 2, 2019
Sometimes – perhaps oftentimes – the most influential and era-encompassing artists are not those who get the most mainstream recognition. Perhaps the statement is obvious, but what seems equally obvious yet equally important to say is that Dijon’s influence over modern music – over R&B, over mellow pop, over acoustic, and over their middle ground coalescence – is edging on absolute. And, with the release his first piece of his debut solo project, Sci Fi 1, it’s obvious as to why his impact is being so widely felt and his music so widely acclaimed.
What’s most interesting is from whom that acclaim is coming: his fellow artists. Just a few looks into who on SoundCloud has followed the path to Sci Fi 1 yields such interesting and telling collection of musicians. Maxwell Young: the youngster from New Zealand whose music isn’t only ahead of his own years, but ahead of bedroom pop culture’s pace. Soft Glas: the Brooklyn acoustic experimentalist fond of summertime melodies and sunshiny thematic discourse. Mulherin: the LA via Memphis boybandish R&B duo reinventing the boundaries of the modern babymaker. Billy Lemos: the emerging mellow pop star fond of making nothing that sounds like anything else – even his prior releases. Still Woozy: the emergent DIY behemoth of relatable cool and calming creative nuances. Grady: the hyper talented producer fond of low-fidelity beats and high-intensity lyricists. It’s as if, from far and wide, fans and followers of Dijon and his music come for an indefinable set of reasons. They come for the stroke of his wholesome, acoustic guitar strings, for the relatability in his storytelling, and for the emotion in his voice. They don’t come because his music appeals to a particular crowd. These artists are proof enough that he doesn’t. Instead, he may very well appeal to anyone that comes across his music because his music is simply that good and that genuine.
Sci Fi 1 is seven tracks and 17 minutes long, but it feels in every way possible like the keystone full-length project of an established solo artist’s career. In spite of all the singles that Dijon craftily assembled en route to its release, Sci Fi 1 only hosts two of them – Cannonball and Drunk – which though definitely standouts, don’t escape the fact that each and every track on the project (and not on the project) are standouts of their own. And they all owe their uniqueness and ability to stand on their own to Dijon’s immense – immense – emotional breadth. Not sure if it’s cliché or just cheesy, but Dijon’s music speaks to the soul in a way that only the most relatable, honest, genuine, and creative artists have ever been able to do. He so seamlessly purveys pain, love, wanting, and drunkenness that it’s hard whether to decide the true genius in his music is driven by the pen writing it or the voice speaking it. Both are perfect in their imperfections – scarred by life like all of us and turning it into the sweet music that all of us wish we could do for ourselves.
But, artists like Dijon bless us for that reason, and his music is so relatable and form-fitting to the everyday nuances and difficulties of life that it feels like the music we’d make if we could. That is his appeal. That’s his appeal to other vocalists, to other guitarists, to other producers, and other storytellers – to us. He’s one of us, and his music comes from the place in all of us where the best music comes from.
That ability is changing music. From his SoundCloud page, he’s reaching an audience – like many DIY artists of our era – much larger than he probably thought he ever would. And a huge portion of that audience are other artists looking for inspiration, or maybe simply looking for something to relate to themselves. He’s an inspiration and a force creating his art from a place so pure and so genuine that those who come to listen cannot be defined other than by their appreciation for his craft.
A humble, soft-spoken musician, Dijon isn’t one to accept or appreciate such acclaim, but the music that is sure to follow in the wake of his releases and rise will be proof enough that everything he has done and continues to do is influential at a level only the most defining and redefining artists are capable of.
What’s most exciting is that Sci Fi 1, as is described on his Spotify page, is only “a few songs for [us] while [he] finishes [his] album.”