Mr Jukes & Barney Artist are excited to share their new single “Gratitude” – stream here. They have also shared an intimate live performance of the track featuring Deep Throat Choir. Their new album “The Locket” will be released on 6th August – pre-order here.
“Gratitude” brings “The Locket” to a close with an uplifting sense of hope, consolidating the album’s running themes of positivity and togetherness. “Faith works in mysterious ways / This music is a source of strength, hope you relate / Feel it in your soul and your spirit / Play it extra loud so the neighbours will hear it,” Barney raps over Jukes’ breezy, laid back hip-hop beat between samples of Pastor T. L. Barrett, a preacher from Chicago’s South Side who was known for recording soul-infused gospel throughout the 70s.
Speaking about the track, Mr Jukes says: “It was quite fitting that we recorded this song – which samples a wonderful gospel singer called Pastor T. L. Barrett – in my old bedroom which overlooked an old church. Barney was looking for the right words and I suggested he take a walk around the churchyard. He came back with the whole second verse.”
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.
“The Locket” will be released on 6th August, including the below tracks. Pre-order here.