Rising West London rapper and singer Jelani Blackman today unveils his new single ‘Tricky’, out now via 18 Records / eOne Music. Debuted by Annie Mac on her BBC Radio 1 show, the track follows his recent collaboration with fellow Ladbroke Grove native Big Zuu: ‘P2P’.
Arguably his most personal offering to date, ‘Tricky’ delves into Jelani’s experiences growing up in London and the different ways in which people experience life. Produced by multi-platinum selling producer and one half of Blonde Jacob Manson (Craig David, Rudimental), its soulful instrumentation and textured backing vocals point to Jelani’s RnB influences and make a poignant accompaniment to his trademark lyrical depth and inimitable vocal style.
“It’s tricky to live in a world that you understand differently to other people. I hope one day more people understand the world in the same way. Even if we don’t agree, if we at least understand, we can progress. I saw myself and the world clearer when I put these lyrics down, I would like it if other people felt the same when they hear them,” 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 Abra Cadabra. Having picked up a lofty list of supporters for 2019’s Average Joe EP, including the likes of Annie Mac, DJ Target, Rickie and Melvin, Maya Jama, The Fader, Complex, Dummy, Nick Grimshaw and The Line of Best Fit, ‘Tricky’ marks an intriguing new chapter for one of the most exciting and distinctive voices in the UK scene.