Back in 2015, we told you to look out for Jay Prince, and he didn't disappoint, releasing the impressive Beautiful Mercy EP. Now, he's back with a new mixtape, Smile Good, which is out this Friday, October 21.
"Father, Father" is the first track from the new mixtape, and what an introduction it is. Starting with a soul sample and handclaps that early 2000s Kanye West would be proud of, Jay Prince uses the buoyant production as a backdrop to get deep, asking questions about doors being closed in his face, his family, and how he can improve his situation.
Like Chance The Rapper, who he is supporting on tour in Europe, Jay Prince is a razor-sharp rapper, but can also bring melody into his music with a sing-song delivery which he uses at times on "Father, Father." As far as versatile rappers go, London-based Jay Prince is at the top of his game, and we can't wait to hear the rest of the Smile Good project.
"Smile Good is about having a back-bone and growing through all of your experiences in life," Prince explains. "I really emphasize growing because there were times prior to this project being recorded that I often found myself in darkness—growing as a musician, struggling to trust people, whilst still finding the love for making music."
Listen to "Father, "Father," and read more about the Smile Good mixtape below.
Jay Prince on Smile Good:
With this mixtape I wanted to highlight the hard times in my life, my background, my upbringing, relationships I have been in, and also my religion. All the pivotal moments that have made me who I am at this moment in time.
Smile Good is about having a back-bone and growing through all of your experiences in life; I really emphasize growing because there were times prior to this project being recorded that I often found myself in darkness—growing as a musician, struggling to trust people, whilst still finding the love for making music. There were difficult moments, until I started traveling a lot to find inspiration and confidence in myself to put all of that energy in my music. I visited Asia alone for the first time, toured all over Europe and the US, and as a result I also got closer with my home
I believe that sometimes you just gotta leave and come back with a clean slate. And that's what creating this project allowed me to do. Getting closer with my friends and family allowed me to understand what truly made me happy. I got closer with my mother especially and, most importantly, got closer with myself; understanding who I am a little more and what I'm actually capable of doing with my music and making people happy as a result. I believe that this is what I'm here for, to not only make music, but to also be the voice for people—life is really real and it's too short to let things bring you down. Without sounding cliché, sometimes you just gotta smile through the bullshit.