Orange County, California native Jarell Perry, 27, is carving his own niche in the R&B game. With a voice as refreshing as Miguel paired magically with sounds as hypnotic and euphoric as Bastille, Perry’s modern twist on classic R&B sets him apart as the rising star of alternative R&B in 2014. While he released his well received LP “Simple Things” in 2012, which gained him a spot as one of MTV’s Buzzworthy artist’s, Perry was already on the radar of some of the biggest names in music. He scored writing creds on Fat Joe and Chris Brown’s hit “Another Round.” As he prepares to launch his sophomore EP “White” Perry continues to expand his artistic vision singing candidly about love, honesty, and his insecurities.
How long have you been in the music industry?
It depends on what you define as the industry, but I was featured on my first recording when I was 16. I really started writing and performing when I got to UCLA.
Fans may not know you are a scholar as well. Did you graduate from University of California, Los Angeles?
Yea, at UCLA I double majored, so I actually ended up with two bachelors of arts. One in political science and the other in communications. Education was always important to my family. Plus, school was the only other thing I was really good at growing up.
You were busy, when did you decide to pursue a career in the arts more specifically as a singer?
It’s a constant process, I made the decision when I was in college that I was going to follow it with a passion.
As an “indie” artist can you tell me a little bit about how the independent route has influenced your sound and creativity?
Having complete control of the creative process is the most important thing. Since I’m not bound by an external machine or record label I can move a lot faster and do exactly what I feel like doing musically. If I can’t do what I want, there’s no point. Music and artistry is a passion-fueled career – without loving it I don’t think you can survive.
When did your first EP Simple Things come out?
Simple Things was released in March 2013. It was my first full-length project with producer HSVN. HSVN is a like a brother to me, we’ve grown artistically together over the last couple years and we both have an understanding of where we want to go with the music. It really helps keep the project focused when you have a small team. We even tour together (he DJs) so everything comes full circle.
Listen to Jarell’s Perry’s electronic, indie, pop influenced debut LP Simple Things
Do you write your own music?
I write all of my own music. It’s a blessing and curse, but there’s no way I could do this without writing my own stuff.
So the new EP is called White; you described it as “a blank page. wide. open. Spaces.” Why did you need a blank page or a fresh start? What was the concept behind this one?
As an artist it’s really important to reinvent yourself
and learn how to do so in an authentic way. The White EP is really just my way of saying, yesterday doesn’t have to define tomorrow. I’m taking a lot more risks now.
What type of risks? A year later what is different?
While Simple Things was more of a journey and a sampler, this project is a destination. On White the sound and the lyrics are matured, and sonically it’s just a lot more refined. I like to describe it as bathtub music you can sit and soak in.
I like the bathtub analogy. “Braindead” is the latest single off of the new joint “White.” I love this song. It’s emotional, honest, and rather catchy.
I’ve always had communication issues in my relationships, and this song just sums up all of those feelings. It’s a perfect representation of that push and pull.
Listen to Jarell Perry’s “Braindead”
You worked with HSVN on “White” as well?
On the production side I’ve kept things really simple by working almost exclusively with HVSN. We share the same musical trajectory, a lot of the same influences, and its been super dope to see the growth together.
What or who were your musical inspirations for “White?”
I listened to a lot of atmospheric and ’80’s inspired music these days. Twin Shadow, M83 and Classixx.
In total, how many tracks are on “White?”
Carving it down to six or seven really amazing tracks.
When can we expect the full EP?
“White’s” coming out early this year. There are some finishing touches we’re still working on and don’t want to rush it. There are three songs from White that have been released so far: “Braindead,” “Eleven” ft. Chuck Inglish, and “Truth Told.” The video for “Braindead” will be ready soon and the rest will come soon after.
If you liked “Braindead” check out “Truth Told,” the next single off his sophomore LP White
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