Following his collaboration with Gorillaz on the title track of their new EP Meanwhile, Jelani Blackman continues his busy summer today by unveiling the video for his latest single ‘Bubblin’, out now. The London rapper and singer has been lighting up festival crowds recently at All Points East, Love Saves The Day and Boardmasters, and is now preparing for a sold-out hometown headline show at Bush Hall on the 22nd October.
Written and recorded in the space of one wavy night home alone during the first lockdown, ‘Bubblin’ is a lively release of pent-up energy and this is reflected in the Louis Lincoln-Bottcher-directed video. As with his 2020 anthem ‘Hello’, Jelani recorded it in one take, and you can feel that raw positivity shining through his electrifying vocals over a playful, classical guitar-sampling beat. “I was actually Bubblin when I recorded this tune. Was in lockdown and had to record in my studio at home. The next day there was a letter through the door with a noise complaint ‘cos I was on such a wave. That‘s the whole mood of the song for me,” Jelani explains.
Heavily influenced by r&b and soul, yet coming up at a time when Grime was everywhere, Jelani’s sound swerves stereotypes, blending the hard with the soft, the dark with the light; reflected in an impressively diverse rollcall of collaborators that spans from Brian Eno to Burna Boy and Wolf Alice to Big Zuu. 2020 was a breakthrough year that saw inclusions in Radio 1’s Next Wave, DIY’s Class of 2021 and Notion’s Ones To Watch followed a collab with Ghetts and Fraser T Smith, a 1Xtra TOTW, as well as what was widely recognised as one of COLORS Studios’ best sessions. One of the most exciting, versatile and distinctive voices in the UK scene, 2021 is fast becoming Jelani Blackman’s year.