Indian hip-hop musician Jelo fires out ‘Faces,’ a four-track EP spewing out intriguing lyrics captured with flowing hip-hop, soul-pop themes.
A native of Aizawl, Mizoram, in the northeast of India, Jelo pays homage to his family and the community that raised him in his brand new EP. Through his music, he attempts to reconcile adolescence marred by violence, regional discontent, and family losses. ‘Faces’ EP is an effort to confront the demons he had to suppress as well as the ones he had to encounter.
The opening titular single ‘Faces’ puffs out nuanced beats and easy-on-the-ear rap verses riddled with gentle piano stabs. ‘Mentally’ features next in line, which underlines his father’s absence and the conflicted feelings it evokes, dishing powerful lyrics and a solid hip-hop hook undertoned with magical work on the keys. Don’t miss the rip-roaring rap bar almost two minutes in. Jelo wrote and produced ‘Luv U Ma’ years ago as an homage to his mother, recalling the ways she would comfort him in painful times. ‘Shy’ closes out the EP as it reflects how his mental health was affected by his childhood’s loneliness.
Jelo is one of India’s fastest-rising hip-hop talents, recently besting the competition and earning ‘Best Emerging Hip-Hop Artist Of The Year’ at The Indian Music Diaries Awards 2023. His debut album ‘Back On Page’ was released in 2022 via Azadi Records. Speaking about the EP, Jelo shared with us, “The feeling that I went through writing all these songs was just full of emotions, I remember crying by myself every time I finished recording.”
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Further diving into the EP, Jelo remarked, “This EP means a lot to me. I created it over a few years and releasing it feels cathartic. The project is dedicated to my parents, they can’t see how far I’ve come but I wouldn’t have been here without them. I’m also exploring a new sound in the project, it’s a different kind of vulnerable. My community in the North East has seen me grow up and helped me fight several battles. I hope this project resonates with them too.”
The hip-hop artist concluded our conversation by touching upon the lyrical theme of each track. “Each track is dedicated to someone in my family. It took a lot of vulnerability to create this project. I hope kids my age resonate with it because they’ve faced similar mental health issues.”
EP Credits –
Written & Performed by Jelo
Mixed & Mastered by Dawngtea
Artwork Shot by Jonmizo Visuals
Artwork Edited by Ishika Somani
Music Label: Azadi Records