Today, following a radical twelve months of quarantine, inner turmoil & self-exploration, Melbourne based IJALE returns stronger than ever with his second body of work, a surprise mixtape aptly titled ‘OTTN (On To The Next)’. This coincides with IJALE being named October’s Apple Music Up Next spotlight artist. Notable global alumni include Billie Eilish, Juice WRLD & Megan Thee Stallion, & Sycco, Amy Shark, BENEE & Peach PRC locally.
The mixtape has already been named Album Of The Week at FBi radio as well as securing spots in coveted Spotify playlists New Music Friday AU & NZ, crush & Indie The Local List.
Setting his sights solely on creating during the lockdown era, pulling nothing & everything together as inspiration, the eighteen track mixtape, which flows more as a sonic collage than a traditional LP, showcases IJALE in his zone. What was once a lockdown experiment slowly blossomed into IJALE’s finest work yet.
On the mixtape IJALE details, “creating this body of work definitely saved me mentally and helped me figure things out. When you write a song that you like about a subject that’s been weighing on you, and that shit is fire? It’s like the whole subject or emotion around it makes more sense to you. So I was trying to make sense of my headspace through this project.”
The mixtape’s lead single ‘NO WEAPON’ has already garnered the attention of triple j Unearthed, earning IJALE a music video directed by students at Sydney’s NIDA, compliments of the station. IJALE lays down some of his most captivating bars yet, over breezy, lush soundscapes and the afrocentric percussion he is known for. Rapping about resilience in the face of adversity, IJALE delivers a salient message whilst maintaining his playful undertone.
On the single IJALE notes, “the term no weapon in particular speaks to the fact that I’m a black man, an unarmed black man, who is perceived as a threat to others for reasons I can’t change. The only weapons I have are my determination, my people, my intellect, and my ability to make my dreams a reality. So instead of mitigating those aspects of myself to be less threatening to others I’m celebrating them, despite how onlookers may feel about that.”
Guiding listeners on a journey through his psyche, ‘OTTN’ flows through IJALE’s unique perspective with vignettes acting as time stamps to how he was feeling from moment to polarising moment.
While OTTN marks IJALE’s first full-length project, he has already established himself as one of Australia’s finest up & coming names in the ever-expanding local Hip Hop scene with his 2020 debut EP Wildly Disparate Sounds & the singles that followed. From gritty tracks such as the Drill-inspired ‘SPACE’, to its more vulnerable moments in piano ballad ’SAGE’, ‘ OTTN’ invites listeners to delve into IJALE’s inner workings in his most cathartic work to date, showing us his musings on past relationships, new love, self-love, racial unrest, and patriarchal masculinity. A true artist that thrives in uncertainty, if you haven’t hopped on the IJALE train yet there’s no better time to do so.
Melbourne producer, vocalist and performer, IJALE, is a self-contained master of his sound.
A keen music fan and avid creator, he blends a myriad of afrocentric sounds and western influences that reflect his Nigerian heritage, his Australian upbringing and the multifaceted taste of an open-minded listener of the internet age. These concoctions vary in sound from piece to piece, but are usually punctuated by hints of African percussion, infectious basslines and layered electronic textures, all of which pay direct homage to the hallmark genres of black creativity including jazz, soul, r&b and hip hop.
Jerry Agbinya, aka IJALE, began releasing music in 2017 but has been busy honing and perfecting his songwriting and production skills for years. Following a brief break from his previous project Spirals, IJALE hit the ground running with support shows alongside Winston Surfshirt, Raiza Biza and Phondupe. Since then, the Melbourne based artist has been busy releasing multiple singles, including his recent track ‘Coffee Cups’ feat. Zephyrr Greene, out via French label Kitsuné Musique. In January of 2020, IJALE hosted his first show and played alongside some of Melbourne’s most promising up and comers including Jordan Dennis, Nasty Mars, Rara Zulu & more.
IJALE has a unique knack for sound design and mood, which he effortlessly encapsulates in both recordings and in his live shows. Keep your eyes on this latest Melbourne producer, as he’s about to take the next step on his eventual path to global fame. ______________________________
Praise for IJALE
“It’s clear that IJALE is destined for stardom” – Mixdown Mag
“Continuing to defy expectations with every release, you’ll want to get IJALE on your radar now” – Ticketmaster
“Some of the brainiest bars and complex beats on Unearthed” – triple j
“Sounding like the golden age of Hip Hop” – The Guardian
“IJALE continues to defy expectations with each and every move” – Purple Sneakers
“IJALE is the true definition of a hidden gem” – EARMILK
“Earnestness, vulnerability and real talk, always” – Tommy Faith (triple j Unearthed)