JAEL ‘Half as Much’ album review

Multi-talented JAEL is an all-round artist from the Netherlands, combining a plethora of genres to create soulful and authentic music. R&B lovers we have one for the team!

JAEL ‘Half as Much’ album review

Giovanni Jano, better known as JAEL, is a 28-year-old Moluccan musician, producer, DJ and singer from The Netherlands. I came across this artist on Instagram, and followed instantly after binging his D'Angelo covers, with hits like Send it On, How Does It Feel and Really Love being remastered in a contemporary R&B way. From that moment, I never looked back and eagerly awaited his teased album Half as Much.

The album comprises 11 tracks released 9 April, combining his sound of fused nostalgic 90s R&B with soulful vocals and heavy bass, creating this listening experience that feels both familiar and unique. JAEL described Half as Much as an “album about lovers who are not yet ready to open up and commit to each other”, based on themes from his own experiences, friends, films and life.

Now I’m a sucker for R&B but don't just because that’s the genre description, I will not succumb to an automatic positive review and acceptance of any artist that describes themselves in that way. 

However, while saying that, Half as Much is certainly more than enough as songs like Red Dots, Comfortable and Usually I Don't Do This are silky smooth to the ear and beyond the great vocals, act as perfect examples of how musicianship stands alone when done right. 

JAEL’s passion for music shows through this project as he incorporates various genres including Soul/Funk, Moluccan Gospel & Japanese Funk, all sounds reminiscent of his childhood. 

Unworthy, definitely stands out to me, as it has a Justin Timberlake 20/20 Experience feel – limited vocals but excellently produced with variants of synths, bass and drums. Simple on the ear but honestly so effective, as you hear all the layers, which allows you to appreciate the song in a deeper way. 

Another aspect that deserves to be acknowledged are the features. There are a lot of unfamiliar names, but all suited to the tracks they performed on. This list includes Alex Isley, The Kount, Latanya Alberto, Foolie $urfin and Jayla Darden. 

When asked in a recent interview with Raydar Magazine JAEL said: “I really love all [the] features on this project, and they have been a big inspiration to me for quite a hot minute!”

“Creating the songs with the features [was] amazing! So much fun and so inspiring. The level of talent and soul that they all have is super unique. I’m genuinely grateful to have worked with them.”

It's clear that JAEL is a multifaceted creative as he wrote, produced and played on all tracks, uncommon in the music industry as ghost writers are rife, and has done this on every project even in his first EP.

He has recently become an official member of the LA based label and community Soulection releasing his debut EP Time in 2018 on Studio KOTO. 

Now if I had any criticism of Half as Much, I would have loved to see JAEL’s D’Angelo covers on the album introduced as interludes. It would have broken up the phases of the album and brought some familiarity into the piece. Although I admit it's not the conventional thing to do, it was these viral 1-2 minute videos that introduced followers to him, and it would have been a great ode to the supporters.

The next step for The Hauge’s finest is to perform this album in his own headlining show. He stated that: “I’m working on the show right now, I’m waiting for the venues to open up and finally showcase the album plus more, live, for all of you. I cannot wait to be with all of you, in one venue, and sing.”

So, if R&B is your flavour and you want to explore new artists that are creating wholesome music then JAEL is one to look out for. Soulful, talented and authentic you couldn't ask for anymore.

For more information, check out his page https://orcd.co/preorderhalfasmuch

Header Image Credit: John Li


De-Mornae Clarke

De-Mornae Clarke Kickstart Team

De-mornae is a Kickstart Journalist for Voice. Music, interviews and pop culture are her preferred topics of interest but is often pushing her own creative boundaries to prove that anyone can have an opinion regardless of their background, education or class.

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