Raised on an early diet of whatever records he stumbled across in his estranged father’s vinyl collection, J Appiah decided from childhood that music would be his outlet. Learning his musical chops at a local Saturday music school, his eclectic tastes were given a fertile environment to grow. The sonic poetry of Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, D’Angelo and James Blake converged here, and later, the cultural environment of Hackney and the UK rap scene sculpted him into the mature artist he is today.
‘BLINDING,’ the brand new single from the East London singer, is a frank examination of Appiah’s interior anxieties with his developing career. In an industry that has a history of commodifying artists, it is both a cautionary tale and a creative expression of the mental labyrinths an artist passes through just trying to stay human in an industry that peddles idols and products.
Speaking about the inspiration behind ‘Blinding’, J Appiah says, “this new track ‘Blinding’ is about my desire to be well known as an artist, but also my apprehension with regards to the pitfalls of it. It’s about people judging you for who they think you are before they’ve even met you.”
J Appiah’s pointed observational songwriting stems from a lifelong fascination with people on both microscopic and macroscopic levels. Having finished a degree in Social Anthropology, observation is something that has always informed and given shape to his creative and interior life. According to Appiah, “people bring color to life and life is at the heart of everything.”
Musically, Appiah finds kinship with his listeners. The act of creating music for J Appiah is the art of finding and conveying possibilities, in lyrics and in music, to feel human and alive in a metropolitan environment that can often seem cruel, disorientating, and larger than us. Music is our common escape, and from the moment the listener presses play, Appiah lets us know that we are not alone.