In response to a recent interview question regarding his weight loss, Jay Prince replied: “Rah man … you wanna tell me I lost weight but you didn’t wanna say nothin’ when man was a bit biggums.” A rapper, producer and instrumentalist, the Londoner preaches authenticity and honesty. Still just as prolific as ever (a project every year), he reflects on the significance of his breakthroughs: “I been contemplatin’, ‘will I ever sign a deal?’”

Paradoxically, it has probably been this lack of support in the music industry that has guaranteed Jay Prince’s independence as well as a significant role in the production of his tracks. But on Wonder, the artist’s stamp has been diluted by a mixture of very contemporary, if not conventional, sounds. As a matter of fact – the effectiveness of “Beamlight” owes more to the rapper’s flow than to Sango’s minimal production. The album’s eponymous track, for its part, is soft and soulful and runs in the same line as Jay’s previous, more beautiful, offerings.

The Londoner’s quest for recognition shouldn’t continue at the expense of his musical vision. Both Tom Misch and Jordan Rakei, two of Jay’s former collaborators, have emerged from anonymity by capitalizing on their own style. We can only encourage Jay to follow the same path.

Jay Prince – Wonder (DRMCBL Records)

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Centre national du cinéma et de l'image animée | With the support of the Creative Europe programme of the European Union With the support of the Creative Europe programme of the European Union