Mr Jukes & Barney Artist are excited to share their new single “Check The Pulse” featuring Kofi Stone – stream here. Their new album “The Locket” will now be released on 6th August.
“Check The Pulse” sees Jukes and Barney call on Birmingham rap prodigy Kofi Stone for a high energy track, cranking up the tempo from their recent laidback summer anthems “Vibrate” and “Blowin Steam (Open Up Your Mind)”. The track is reminiscent of a classic rap battle, as Barney and Kofi’s whip-smart bars bounce seamlessly off one another against Jukes’ trademark soulful production.
Speaking about the track, Barney says: “One of our dreams for the album was to have a Cypher style song! We knew Kofi would be the perfect fit and boy did he deliver on this one. It’s guaranteed to make you bop your head, especially the end section where we go head to head..”
Kofi says: “It was a pleasure to link up with my brother Barney and go back to back with him, also Mr Jukes is a wizard on production. This one’s got a real nice bounce to it, looking forward to playing it live.”
The Locket features ten tracks cut from sessions that span over eighteen months. It’s sunshine-dappled, psych-tinged, hip-hop flavoured, leftfield pop. Beats, bars and a unique sort of retro futurism that zips from sepia-tinged to full technicolour almost as fast as Barney’s flow. Its title track refers to memories of happier times: “we fill a locket with memories we protect, and don’t forget to keep it round your neck.” It’s a reminder to focus on positivity in the face of adversity. A collaborative project designed to be enjoyed together. A celebration of music, unity and looking ahead. “The aim is to bring hope to people after the maddest year,” Barney says. It couldn’t have come at a better time.
During a period of prolonged inactivity, Jack Steadman scratched an itch to do something new. He went by the moniker of Mr Jukes and released an album, God First, in 2017. We say ‘by himself’ but it was very much an open-door policy, resulting in a collaborative record that brought contributions by legends such as Charles Bradley, De La Soul, Horace Andy, Lianne La Havas, BJ The Chicago Kid and Lalah Hathaway. The project also features a contribution from Barney Artist, who Jack had quite simply stumbled upon on a Spotify playlist and never forgotten.
Barney’s music takes the vibrance of jazz infused hip hop but with a London feel. Growing up in Forest Gate, East London, Barney touches on conscious themes by way of lively, dynamic delivery to create something instantly likeable, like the artist. He’s a larger than life presence, fun to be around and a searing, peerless talent too. A collaborator by nature, Barney grew up around Tiana Major9 and Jay Prince and has made music with Tom Misch, Alfa Mist and Jordan Rakei.
Barney’s contribution to God First, “From Golden Stars Comes Silver Dew” (also featuring Lalah Hathaway) proved to be a standout. Bonded by a mutual love of the ever-changing landscape of modern hip-hop, the two artists instantly fell into step with one another. There was no clear plan or brief to fulfil for a full-length Jukes X Barney project, but both artists instinctively knew that it would be a waste not to explore the potential they’d uncovered. They were right, clearly.
Mr Jukes and Barney Artist will play the below live dates. Tickets available here.
2nd August Nottingham, Rescue Rooms
3rd August Birmingham, Institute 2
4th August Manchester, Gorilla
5th August Bristol, Thekla
6th August Brighton, Chalk
7th August London, Lafayette