A week ago, 234jaydaa, the up-and-coming singer who stole the show on Odunsi The Engine’s acclaimed debut album, rare., gifted us with her first body of work, the crescent moon collection — a stunning ten-minute showcase.
Wishing for listeners to attach and create our own personal experiences and moments to her songs, 234jaydaa mostly avoids adding explicit meaning to her music. She explains:
“If you already attach something to it, then you’re just going to be feeling or expressing to the song what you’re already prescribed, as opposed to interpreting it in the way that you should for yourself.”
However, her intentions through every track are incredibly conscious and deliberate, so we at Konbini decided to dive into the colourful world of 234jaydaa, asking her to guide us through her process behind the making of the crescent moon collection.
“Tuscan Sun” is the EP’s phenomenal opener, upon which 234jaydaa’s sensual vocals transport listeners to her utopia: A sandy paradise, coloured in the burnt orange hue. 234jaydaa outlines her intentions:
“I want everyone to feel like you’re on the beach. That’s actually just the vibe of that song. It was bliss recording it, creating it”
Produced by Moye, who also produced “Tuscan Sun” and “Absinthe”, Bordeaux boasts a plethora of different samples: Dorothy Ashby’s “September in the Rain”, “Unknown Mortal Orhestra’s “Hunnybee”, Incognito Five’s “More Than Yesterday” and Rare Earth’s “Dreamer”.
Named after the colour that pays homage to 234Jaydaa’s favourite drink, red wine, “Bordeaux” sees one of our favourite rappers, DAP The Contract, dominate the mellow beat.
“I let him speak what he needed to say on the track. I felt like there was so much room for him to do that, and when my part comes on, I just feel like I’m just echoing what he’s saying to a certain extent, because we are feeling that same thing.”
234jaydaa embarked upon “Nila’s Interlude” at her friend’s request that she create a song speaking to one’s loss of self. With Lady Donli seeking a collaboration, 234Jaydaa invited her Northern sister to reiterate her words of comfort to Nila.
“I feel we could relate so much to what she was saying — there was an element of us telling our own stories about how we feel, about our experiences with ourselves around people.
In Donli’s verse, I feel like you [can] hear more of that in a literal sense because she talks about it in more of an open sense. I like to hide everything in my words, I like wordplay — I write poetry so it won’t translate as literally as it should.”
To end “Nila’s Interlude” 234jaydaa observes the absence of noise, with 33 seconds of silence paying respect to the souls that have been lost to violence, abuse and self-harm. The significance of the time kept relates back to 234jaydaa’s deep spirituality, she explains to Konbini:
“I gave it 33 seconds because during prayer you have to say these 3 things, alhamdulillah subhanallah and allahu akbar, and you say each of them 33 times… so I incorporated that into my thinking of how long the seconds will be because each second matters, each second is a moment.”
The EP’s final track, “Absinthe” flaunts the power of 234Jaydaa’s voice, as she beautifully bellows to her lover tortured lyrics from his confused ex. 234Jaydaa’s broken emotional state resonates through Moye’s ensorcelling production and Jaydaa’s mesmeric vocal performance.
Commenting on the emotional track that follows the meditative 33-second breather that signs off “Nila’s Interlude”, 234jaydaa tells Konbini:
“Absinthe is the most emotional song for me. It was very hard recording that, it took the longest about of time for me to record because I was crying the entire time.”
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