Djesse Vol. 4 Jacob Collier

Album info



Label: Decca (UMO)

Genre: Jazz

Subgenre: Contemporary Jazz

Artist: Jacob Collier

Album including Album cover

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  • 1100,000 Voices04:44
  • 2She Put Sunshine03:30
  • 3Little Blue04:25
  • 4WELLLL02:38
  • 5Cinnamon Crush03:47
  • 6Wherever I Go02:46
  • 7Summer Rain04:51
  • 8A Rock Somewhere05:09
  • 9Mi Corazón03:06
  • 10Witness Me03:46
  • 11Never Gonna Be Alone04:09
  • 12Bridge Over Troubled Water05:52
  • 13Over You02:53
  • 14Box Of Stars Pt. 105:16
  • 15Box Of Stars Pt. 206:12
  • 16World O World06:16
  • Total Runtime01:09:20

Info for Djesse Vol. 4

Djesse Volume 4: A celebration of past-explored and fresh musical worlds. The Djesse project finale! An album about the human voice: Audience Choir and 100,000 Thousand Voices. Alchemising the full spectrum of human emotion. A global celebration of the power of music from every corner of the world.

Five years have passed since Jacob Collier embarked on the epic musical journey of Djesse. What first began as an ambitious idea to make one massive album in 2018 soon erupted into a sprawling vision for a four-part series that encompass every genre under the sun, culminating in a grand finale that combines all the elements that came before – and so much more. Through three GRAMMY wins, six nominations including Album of the Year for 2020’s Vol. 3, dozens of collaborations and hundreds of performances, Collier’s talent and imagination have continued to exceed his own stratospheric heights and led his fans to expect the unexpected. Today he announces the highly anticipated final installment in this storied chapter of his career: Djesse Vol. 4,

Crafted in the famed studio beside his London bedroom, as well as various corners of the globe, Djesse has explored Jacob Collier’s wildest dreams, and Vol. 4 brings the series to a most dramatic and thrilling conclusion. While his music is proudly unclassifiable, Collier enters a distinct sonic universe with each volume, which he likens to the different phases of a day. With Vol. 4, the saga ends at the incandescent light of dawn, alchemising a full spectrum of emotion into a massive, joyous moment of awakening and human potential.

From sweeping orchestral arrangements to intimate folk songwriting, and fusions of R&B, rap and pop, the multitudes of Djesse Vol. 4 are all centered around an ecstatic and global celebration of the human voice. In the midst of working on Djesse, Collier started turning each of his concert audiences into sprawling, improvised choirs. While conducting the crowd at rock clubs and Lincoln Center, even festival fields like Bonnaroo and Glastonbury, droves of fans have all been united in rousing harmony, furthering his guiding belief that everyone in this world is a musician. Having recorded each of his 80+ audience choirs, roughly 150,000 different voices play a role in the story and creation of Djesse Vol. 4, and are featured as the foundation of songs like “Little Blue” and more of the tracklist.

Djesse has so far included 37 songs, welcoming a staggering list of nearly 25 featured artists, plus gospel choirs, orchestras and more into Collier’s singular world. The list of special guests includes an extraordinarily diverse range of talents, from Ty Dolla $ign, T-Pain, Jessie Reyez and Daniel Caesar to Kimbra, Chris Thile, Rapsody, Tori Kelly, JoJo, Lianne La Havas, Oumou Sangare, Laura Mvula, Steve Vai, gnawa master Hamid Kasri and Take 6.

Jacob Collier: „Five years ago, in the wake of a musical journey that had begun in solitude, I set out on an epic adventure with a big dream – a collaborative quadruple album, and by way of that – to learn music, and life, from the greatest teachers of all – my heroes.

In many ways, Djesse Vol. 4 is an album that’s taken me 30 years to make. It is, to me, a celebration of humankind – the way that I see it and hear it, built with musicians from every corner of the world. To be culminating this collaborative experiment with a 100,000 voice audience-choir, a sound that permeates the heart of this album, feels like I’ve found the heart of it. My voice is only ever as full as the voices around me. Everyone is welcome, and part of the tapestry. And most of all, creating this album has reminded me that life is full of magic, if only we can remember to look for it in each other.“

Alongside the album announcement, the Djesse Vol. 4 cover art has also been unveiled. Created by Brooklyn artist Dustin Yellin, known for his work in tableaux and glass veneer sculpture, the piece captures the essence of Djesse: thousands of tiny images and drawings that interpret the theme of the previous album covers, illustrating the idea that one is made of many, and many come together as one. Says Yellin: „Collaborating with Jacob has been an electrifying journey into the boundless realms of his musical landscape. His kaleidoscopic harmonies, sonic complexities, and intricate layers provided the perfect backdrop for my visual hallucinations. I am honored and excited to share our fusion of visual and auditory magic with the world.“

Throughout the evolution of Djesse, Jacob Collier’s career has grown to reach tremendous heights as a solo artist headlining the world’s greatest stages, as well as an in-demand collaborator. Djesse has earned Collier three GRAMMY Awards and six nominations. Overall Collier is a 5-time winner and 11-time nominee, making him the first British act in history to win four Grammys for each of his first four albums. Recent live performance highlights include his biggest headlining show to date, last week at the Hollywood Bowl with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and two nights at the Kennedy Center with the National Symphony Orchestra. In the last twelve months alone his audience choir videos have garnered hundreds of millions of views, he was the first-ever male to be featured as a Vogue Darling, he appeared on the July cover of Rolling Stone UK, and co-wrote and performed on seven tracks of Stormzy’s This Is What I Mean. He has also collaborated extensively with Coldplay and Chris Martin, performing with them on Saturday Night Live in February, as a featured guest at their Wembley Stadium shows last summer, and on their album Music of the Spheres. He has also contributed to major hits including SZA’s “Good Days” and songs by Lizzy McAlpine and Kehlani, and launched a signature line of music-making Crocs. Collier has recorded two NPR Tiny Desks, has spoken at the world-renowned TED conference, and has performed on TV shows around the world including the BBC’s Later with Jools Holland, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and more.

Jacob Collier

Jacob Collier
series of viral YouTube videos are what first made him a star, and caught the attention of Quincy Jones. On 2016’s In My Room, which won 2 GRAMMYs and a Jazz FM Award, Collier sang, played, and produced everything himself. And he made it all in his childhood bedroom. In My Room led to collaborations with Herbie Hancock and Hans Zimmer, performances with the likes of Pharrell, a TED Talk, a BBC Proms concert and much more. After releasing that astonishing gambit, he decided he wanted to open the process up to the world, to allow the music and musicians that had influenced him to participate in the very songs he wrote.

On January 1, 2018, Jacob woke up in London and began something bold: He sat down and started composing for an orchestra for the first time, giving himself just four weeks to finish an entire album before flying to The Netherlands to record the songs with the Metropole Orkest. That was only the first day and first act of a year of new musical adventures for the British singer, multi-instrumentalist, and production wunderkind—the dawn of a profound period of musical dialogue and discovery that is now poised to dazzle the world.

That morning, Collier started making Djesse, a four-album cycle composed entirely during 2018 and featuring contributions from a global cast of his musical inspirations. It is one of the most audacious recording projects to emerge this decade from someone who has already established himself as one of music’s most brazen and electrifying new minds. Djesse is a universal wonder.

“I never planned to record a four-album project, but it occurred to me that there was so much music I wanted to write at this point that I might as well just write it all,” explains Collier, laughing. “I’ve always been a huge fan of going to the deepest waters of something I don’t truly understand and making something happen. It’s amazing to see how oftentimes when you just jump in and do the thing, something magical will happen.”

Take, for instance, “Everlasting Motion,” the ecstatic rhythmic centerpiece of Djesse’s first volume. For years, the musically omnivorous Collier had studied gnawa, a spiritual and relentlessly percussive ancient sound rooted in Northern Africa. He loved its hypnotic rhythms and the way its vocals seemed to unfurl in endless ribbons. Collier wanted to collaborate with Hamid El Kasri, a modern Moroccan master of the form. He asked around, eventually obtained an email address, and sent a note explaining his backstory and project. Nearly three months passed. Collier had essentially given up on El Kasri, assuming that either the email address he had found was outdated or that one of Morocco’s living legends simply had no interest in such a nebulous project.

But suddenly, an enthusiastic answer arrived: Come to Morocco, and make music. Collier booked a flight to and studio time in Casablanca, where he spent 24 hours recording with El Kasri and asking one of gnawa’s current wellsprings about the history of the genre itself. He left with new information and a radiant piece of polyglot pop, where strings and horns and funky bass dance in jubilation. It is a magnificent moment of ignored borders and a positive affirmation of Collier’s central vision for Djesse.

In one story and one song, this is the spirit of Djesse. (Pronounced “Jesse,” the album’s name is an extrapolation of Collier’s initials, though he’s not the character at the center of this epic.) In these four albums, all written and engineered and produced by Collier, he has taken the singular approach to arrangement and harmony that have earned him acclaim since he was a teenager on YouTube and paired it with the artists he treasures. In the process, he has traveled from Los Angeles to New York, Tokyo to Casablanca, Nashville to Abbey Road with a compact version of his home studio in tow. Documenting a year in Collier’s life and of his musical loves, Djesse is a monumental testament to creative exploration and collaboration.

On the first volume, his key partner is the Metropole Orkest, the 70-year-old Dutch ensemble that programs and performs with the aplomb and energy of youth. Led by conductor Jules Buckley, the Metropole continues to reimagine how modern symphonies can sound and how they should play. Alongside Collier, they animate the voices of El Kasri, stunning a cappella group Take 6, and the rapturous soul singer Laura Mvula. You hear Collier wink awake through a gorgeous vocal aubade, then assert his distinctive voice as an arranger and orchestrator, where the ensemble becomes new limbs with which to create motion and harmony. “Keep in motion/Stay unspoken,” he sings again and again. “If I’m broken/Keep me open.” There are sweeping ballads, classical beauties, electric R&B tunes, and a cover of “All Night Long” that swings from South America to the American South in seven minutes that rush past in an instant.

And that’s just the start. As the volumes are revealed, different textures and themes and sounds will be explored in equally astonishing ways. Jacob imagined Djesse as a grand journey through space and time, and the volumes follow his path. In addition, across the quartiles nearly two-dozen collaborators will be featured, from pop stars and folk songwriters to guitar wizards and soul singers. Collier stands bravely at the center of it all, the writer, producer, arranger, and singer putting himself in conversation with the musical world at large.

“I’m treating it as this great big puzzle. Piece by piece, it comes together,” he says. “An idea like this can’t come without obsession on every single plane ride, every single day, every single night, staying up to think about how it all fits together. Rather than being my four walls, this time my room is the Planet Earth. I have been able to call many rooms my room.”

In times of political turmoil, the assumption is that the artistic response should be one of bile and vitriol, the raised fist of barbed punk or plaintive folk or urgent hip-hop instructing us how best to broadcast our anger and how best to organize it. Djesse isn’t a disavowal of that idea so much as an alternative that stares into a darkness with an irrepressible light, a universal ecstasy. During these four volumes, Jacob Collier doesn’t merely embrace globalism or give it the deference of lip service. He lives it, sings it, arranges for it through songs that fight for something—music and its power to remind us of the connections we all share, the joy, and pain and humanity of being alive at all.

This album contains no booklet.

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