Jarreau Vandal (NL)
Artist & Speaker - 2019
Jarreau Vandal is somewhat of a household name for those that have been binging on Soulection for the past few years. Be it Masego, IAMNOBODI or Monte Booker, the international network, friendships and collaborations Vandal has amassed through the collective have proven to be invaluable. However, his musical adventures pre-dating Soulection years are not as well known. Born in Maastricht, Vandal has been producing since the age of 16. Practice makes perfect, and, a decade later, the 26-year old is enjoying a cult following in Europe, North America and Asia. Yet, there is more to Vandal than sold-out shows at venues such as KOKO, Village Underground, and Warehouse Project alongside his labelmates. The Amsterdam resident has soundtracked commercials for brands such as Tommy Hilfiger and Vodafone and boasts sustained support from the likes of Beats 1, BBC 1Xtra, Rinse, and Boiler Room. This year, playing on his strengths, the artist is preparing to take a step in a new direction, unveiling significant moments from his past and foreshadowing the future. While managing his personal merchandise line, performing alongside the likes of SG Lewis and IAMDDB, running a monthly show on NTS, and touring as part of the highly successful Vandalized tour, Jarreau has been crafting a new extended project. The Dutch beatsmith, multi-instrumentalist and, as of the forthcoming project, vocalist, is channeling his inspirations and travels into a new sound that is part an extension of Suburb Superhero, part an amalgamation of his childhood influences, the likes of Jamiroquai, A Tribe Called Quest and Red Hot Chili Peppers, with a contemporary twist. The result is set to be a project that speaks volumes about the versatility of his character. Today, the drafts of voice notes, melodies and lyrics have become multilayered productions with live instrumentation and revered vocalists from across the globe, including names such as Zak Abel, Shakka, Last Night In Paris, Olivia Nelson, and Jelani Blackman. Inadvertently, Vandal’s admirable work ethic has reflected on the scale of the project- a fourteen-track mixtape titled Anthology. Conceptually, the artist views the release as an opportunity to “look at life from distance” and uses it as as a “motivational force to keep working”. Yet it does not stop there. True to the title, the mixtape seeks to pinpoint the most crucial moments in the life of the veteran member of Soulection as well as serves as a platform to showcase the versatility of his talent. “People still don't know who I am and what I’m about,” notes Vandal when outlining the idea behind the project. Thus, Anthology strives to serve as a further refinement of the existing discography, offering a glimpse into Vandal’s creative evolution and vision for the future. What stands out as a particularly fresh iteration is Jarreau’s reluctance to rely on sampling and bedroom production. Instead, he uses live musicians as well as his own voice to paint a sonic picture that feels more personal than ever.