It’s not very often that I am physically wrestled from a chronic musical snooze.
Perhaps I’m still reeling from the lazy disappointment of Triple J’s Hottest 100 on Sunday, otherwise known as the drool on my pillow of 2018. Meh. The only real thing I got from that was the rum punch hangover on Monday.
Enter BLESSED, a musician, producer, and songwriter who combines soul-rock vibes, guitar riffs, hip hop production and pop melodies into his own sound. Named by his family for the blessing he was to them, BLESSED moved to Australia from Ghana as a child and now lives in Sydney, soaking up inspiration with his every stride, from all directions.
The#BLESSEDSUNDAYS series is a progressive sonic diary of music released every Sunday for free on YouTubeand Soundcloud. With a focus on introspection and a sense of inner balance, all of the songs appear to follow a feeling and intuition while battling outside influence. Though BLESSED describes his songs as creations without direction or purpose. He says, “Basically, whatever comes to my head I’m going to sing about.” But it really builds as a body of work, as video art, as parts of an album and a tribute to finally settling in to his artistry and being who he wants to be.
Sonically inspired by Kanye West, Kurt Cobain& Kid Cudi, and visually inspired by Jean Michel Basquiat, every song was written, recorded, and produced by Blessed Samuel Joe-Andah, with video art direction by Trav Leslie & Blessed Samuel Joe-Andah.
The fact that BLESSED names Yeezy as an influence comes as no surprise. He originated from a place where talent once thrived. Alas. Three other comparisons I draw from BLESSED’s sound, however, are a little less obvious – London’s RAT BOY is the first, one of my favourite newer artists mixing skater punk with industrial thrash guitars and hip hop, then there’s the milder, smooth enigma who is Frank Ocean, and finally, one of my musical idols Cody Chesnutt, who, way ahead of his time in 2002 (sooooo long ago) recorded a double album called The HeadphoneMasterpiece on a 4-track cassette recorder in his bedroom studio, which he dubbed The Sonic Promiseland.
Here is BLESSED’s Sunday music series so far, with the latest release at the top;