The 2021 Grammy Awards is in awe with contemporary albums both from new and familiar faces. The evident shift in the musical sound of the current popular music has been a mixture of multiple past genres ranging from pop-punk to R&B. In projects such as “Sour” by Olivia Rodrigo and “Justice” by Justin Bieber. Notable artists such as Billie Eilish were nominated for the album, “Happier than Ever” and Kanye West’s “Donda”.
These results were shocking. Jon Batiste’s soul album, We Are, won the Album of the Year handed by the Grammy’s. A well-deserved feat for the versatile artist Batiste, having the cultural and revolutionary transformation of modern jazz into the current industry. Batiste’s own musical range encapsulated ballads and playful soul tracks serving as an exclamation point in representing the African-American culture.
Life of Jon
Jon Batiste started performing shows in indigent communities in the Netherlands with his band, Stay Human in 2005. With their skills as a musician, they are named the house band on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert in 2015. Batiste continuously engaged in musical direction and created projects after projects. Producing the soundtrack for the 2020 animated film, Soul, with Nine-Inch Nails vocalist, Trent Reznor, and producer, Atticus Ross. The trio won the Award for Best Original Score. As well as, Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score, accompanied by multiple nominations for the film’s musical score.
Jon’s construction of We Are engaged in exhibiting his journey as an artist and as an individual. Notable for his influences in multiple genres, Batiste composed authentic soul and jazz tracks. All while, incorporating modern-day production to break through the confinements of the genre.
We are Wildcard
Even though his win is surprising to most audiences after lining up with best-selling artists in the modern music industry. With the likes of Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish, and Kanye West. I still think the album provided the most tasteful and authentic artistry among the rest. Originality is not only mixing and matching. It is embodying your own artistry and composition.
Jon Batiste never failed to amuse me in every track. With a non-conforming rhythm section backed with big band jazz, in the song “Freedom”. His presence in most tracks is energetic and effortlessly strong. Most especially in the track “I NEED YOU”, exemplifying his vocal range and playful riffs and runs.
Individuality in sound is captured with his experience in the authentic soul sound, with groovy percussions and free-flowing accents. Batiste celebrated his heritage by culturally showcasing his African-American roots. Laying down compositions reminiscent of Stevie Wonder and bluesy rock and roll themes in Chuck Berry. The album provided Batiste’s learning curve. While proving to be his Opus in challenging his own boundaries and maximizing his chops as a musician.