Updated: Nov 18, 2021
Our elders teach us that the unfortunate part of being a healer is that healers can't heal themselves, and it is wiser to consult with another healer. For decades this ethos has become law in the ubiquity of healing.
Creatives nestled in the bedrock of rebellion have a knack for breaking the rules and challenging the status quo, and one might fancy Jay Johnson as a classically trained music maverick who understands the fabric of the rules and how to break them with charm, grace, and wit.
Serenading in a vocal register that is reminiscent of "Just the Two of Us" by Grover Washington Jr., the multifaced, critically acclaimed, award-winning musician celebrates his 3rd release following "Medication," which follows his conscious and candid release "The Same."
The conscious ballad unpacks the complexities of racial profiling and stereotypes, which draw out surprise reactions in environments where he is expected to behave in an abrasive manner yet displays humility and politeness. Kindness and subtlety in mannerism.
While these qualities in the utopian ethos of humility built in the psyche of all humans should be a norm, Jay acknowledges his history, environment, and socialization as the reasons as to how the stereotypes formed in the first place.
The prospect of constantly policing his black body is twice as hard to maintain where the unattainable norm is the exception to the rule.
Johnson's ultimate resolve is in the self-healing medium of music, going against the grain of the statutes of limitations in healing, shedding light on the importance of self-care, and releasing one's tensions through creative outlets. He spoke on the inspiration of the song.
"I wrote "Medication" after a realization I had, which was that I often overload myself with tasks and work that I do for my business or when developing other businesses. At times these tasks result in a lot of mental fatigue, which always clears up whenever I'm making music."
Well Versed in his reference catalog from his early teens, influences ranging from Bob Dylan, Paolo Nutini, and Ben Howard simmer into the melting pot the filters the cadence, tone, musicality, and production that influence the form and arrangement of “Medication” culminating the nostalgic unwind that may inspire a salsa Saturday every once in a blue moon.
"Whenever I sit down to write and produce, it feels like I've taken a pill which has cleared all the mental fatigue that's built up from the last stretch of work I've been doing. It also goes a bit deeper because a lot of the time, when I've had enough of the world and navigating various social situations, making music tends to be the natural, habitual remedy I fall into to escape from the world."
Complimenting his conscious lyricism induced in a Hip-Hop pocket, Jay Johnson has modeled for prestigious brands including Gibson Guitars and shoe and apparel retailer Vans making his palatability undeniable.
While the English idiom says, "curiosity killed the cat," Jay Johnson's expression says, “Curiosity curated my skillset." An NPR Tiny Desk-worthy act, self-taught guitarist, and classically trained connoisseur, Jay Johnson's "Medication" is an uplifting boost, a perfect ingredient to breakfast, and maybe, just maybe the vibe that can make chores all the more sweeter.
Medication is available on all streaming platforms. Listen/buy here
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