The REHAB staff had quite the memorable night this past week as we witnessed Snoh Aalegra and JMSN perform lyrical magic on stage. The Swedish songstress and ARTium records signee set the night off with smoky coos and textured soul pop beats. She had the crowd entirely transfixed throughout her set as she she exuded playful femininity at times and evocative sexuality at others. Her lyrics, sullen yet soulful and comforting, had us in the throes of a heated love affair with the likes of a James Bond (Idris Elba?!) at the top of the Empire State Building.
The petite brunette with an Amy Winehouse air released her sophomore EP Don’t Explain earlier this Spring and continues to be hard at work with notable producer No I.D. She is undoubtedly a femme fatale to keep an eye on.
JMSN, the ethereal R&B crooner, followed next and had us all eating our hearts out. Is it possible for someone to embody Marvin Gaye perhaps even Al Green, D’Angelo, an amalgam of all three, so naturally and undisturbed in 2016? The answer is yes. The Detroit native set foot on stage wearing a distressed white-tee and faux fur coat accompanied by a four-piece band of equally interesting fellows, and conquered the rest of the evening with honeyed falsettos and uniquely gracious dance moves. Promoting his latest album It Is, JMSN sang his heart out to main hits “Hypnotized” “Power” and “Funk Outta Here”. Oldies but goodies were also played like “Addicted” from his Blue Album and “Do U Remember the Time” from his debut Priscilla.
Alike some of his contemporaries, JMSN too delves into darker emotional themes in his lyrics, all inspired by the struggles in his own personal life. However, it is his evocative voice and presence, both so raw and visceral, that allows his audience to feel what he feels throughout his performance. Perhaps JMSN is able to let go so fluidly because there’s no one to respond to. With no major label backing but his own White Room Records, the soul savant can perform freely, heart in hand, dancing to the beat of his own drum.