I think my taste in music can be viewed in two different ways: either very broad or very specific. Some people may think my music taste is very broad because I listen to almost every single genre (if you know me, you know that the one genre I'm leaving out is country music, I refuse to listen to any of it) but I like to think otherwise. Although I love listening to new sounds and different genre's, I look for unique talents within each one. My favorite type of genre I would have to say would be hip-hop and it has been for awhile now but that doesn't mean I listen to all rap music. I am very much all about the lyrics within the music and whether or not I believe those lyrics are meaningful. I love listening to a story being told as I'm listening to a song, a struggle that was overcome or even about their everyday life (whatever that may be, even the stereotypical "partying every night, getting 'women', at least they're being honest). I also like to pay attention to how much effort they put into actually making the song with music chords, different instruments, how many people are on the song/who's on the song, etc. I refuse to enjoy the garbage that some people listen to these days because I think as we have grown so much with technology, we have also grown with music, therefore we should be setting high expectations for future artists to bring even more to the table and once again break the musical boundaries like some of the greats before them (refer to my music industry article).
The artist I want to talk about is JMSN. He grew up in Michigan and taught himself how to play the guitar and write music by the age of twelve, which sparked his creative jump start. Now, he plays multiple instruments and not only can he write music, but he is also a music engineer, mixer, videographer, and more. This man is the true definition of a multi-talented individual. I first heard of him from my boyfriend about a year ago, he showed me one of his more popular songs, called "Street Sweeper". This song is about a woman trying to make it in the world and a metaphor for the simple fact that not everyone is perfect and everyone is trying to make their way in the world somehow. His sound, from the very moment I heard it, was irresistible to me. He voice had such a unique tone, I wanted to listen to more of his music. The second song I heard by him was "Addicted," still one of my favorites by him I think to this day. The song illustrates his addiction towards someone's love, which I think many people can relate to in some way or another. The chords as well as the chorus itself illustrate the vibe he is trying to give and fit with the lyrics perfectly. The notes within the song are even addicting, making you want to replay the song over and over again. Definitely a song for the "in the feels" type of mood. For awhile, I was all over his music, listening to all his previous songs, but eventually I latched onto other types of music and neglected JMSN a little.
Then, when he announced that his new album, "It Is.," was coming out I began to draw my attention towards him again. When he dropped a single from it called, "Cruel Intentions", it was obvious that the rest of the album was going to be a musical masterpiece, which I expect nothing less from a creative mind like himself. When the album came out, my boyfriend and I listened to it on the way to the city one day, but unfortunately we didn't give it the listen it deserved because we had a lot of other things on our mind at the time. I kept telling myself I was going to give it another honest listen but I never got the time to do so, that is until about a week before his concert in the city. My boyfriend decided to get us tickets for his show at Double Door last Thursday, extremely last minute, and when he did I decided that I needed to set aside time to listen to his new album. It was all I listened to the last three days before the concert and every single time I listened to it felt like a new experience every time. Doing this made me ten times more excited to see what he had in store for us on Thursday.
The day of the concert came and I drove down to the city around 4:30 p.m., running into the obnoxiously slow traffic due to the construction taking place in Chicago (like there wasn't already enough traffic in the first place). I arrived in the city an hour before the concert and my friend decided to last minute come with us as well and buy a ticket at the door. I've been to Double Door once before to see Lido in concert last November and I must say I enjoy the smaller, more personal atmosphere that this venue provides over a huge, jam packed venue.
We got to the venue at 9 p.m., where Tiffany Gouche had just gotten on. I had never heard of her before, but of course sharing the same name with her obviously drew my attention and after listening to her live I would definitely recommend her to anyone. JMSN did a great job in picking her to go on tour with because she creates the same kind of vibe and impression that JMSN hopes to create with his performance for the audience. It was definitely the perfect build up before he came on. When she got off, JMSN's band came on and set up. Then, the crowd started chanting JMSN, eager and excited for the main performance. Pleasing the crowd, he came out shortly after the chanting started and the intimate crowd roared with hype.
The first song he started with right off the bat was "Hypnotized", from his new album where he used a tambourine while singing. He played a mixture of songs throughout his set, both from his newest album and from his older albums. In the middle, he went back and forth between the "It Is." album and the "Blue" album. Then, towards, the end, he started playing all of his old songs that were his old album "Priscilla". His whole performance from beginning to end was a story being told. Not once did he lose my attention while he was on stage. His stage performance was incredible, but not in the way that most would think. He's not the type of guy to be bouncing all over stage all bubbly, but instead he grooved with the music along with the audience. Every now and then when there was a gap where it was just music and not him singing, he would sway and rock with some slight dance moves, such as a hip roll, where the crowd went crazy. I could tell by the way he moved with the music how passionate he was about it and also how he wanted the audience to feel while listening to his music as well. The audience felt what he was giving off and soon enough the audience started swaying. He also let the audience sing multiple parts of his song, another perfect way for an artist to connect with their fans. He even joked about having too much of a "dad bod" when he wouldn't take his shirt off all the way for the chanting crowd in the front. Not only does he vibe with his music, but even goes so far as to genuinely appreciate the musicality behind it. I think it's a very honorable moment when the artist mentions his band multiple times within the performance. I think he actually called them out one by one about ten different times. After each name and instrument he would call, that person would do a solo with their instrument and he would close his eyes and smile. I had never seen an artist be so proud of his band before in my entire life, I mean I have seen artists mention the other musicians towards the end of their set, but only once. JMSN gave them multiple mentions and not only that but gave them solo play time during HIS moment. The fact that he was willing to share his moment with the people that bring his songs to life was just that much more touching, in my opinion. He also had a couple of solos himself where he would bring out his guitar and rock out for a good two or three minutes. By the end of the performance, he played, "Cruel Intentions", where he had a long, epic guitar solo and then walked off stage with his band. As the crowed screamed his name again, him and the band came back on stage where they played a couple more songs and ended with "Bout it", a song on the "Blue" album, where everyone sang and danced like there was no tomorrow. I had never seen so much love and appreciation in one room for a whole hour like I did that night. After his set, he even meet and greeted everyone who wanted to meet him, which I thought was more than sincere, just another way you could tell how special of an individual he is and how much he genuinely cares about each and every one of his fans.
To me, the performance couldn't have been more perfect. You could tell by the songs he picked and when he played them that he planned every song out precisely when it was to play to ensure the most vivid and musically enhanced performance for the audience. If you think this man is good on his recordings, you've heard nothing until you see him live. His voice is 100 times more angelic and soothing in person. Bravo, JMSN, next time you are in Chicago I will definitely be attending because that would be a concert I'd be more than happy to attend again. And for those who didn't attend, you've got to catch his next concert because it is 110 percent worth it.