Before I get too far into this article: Tomorrow at noon, a new recording company called “The just noticeably different,” or “The jnd,” is releasing a free album. I’ll throw you the links ASAP. You will all go download it, and you will love it. Now read on to find out why.
When I was in college, one of my roommates was a musician. Yes, I’m referring to singer-songwriter Julie Slonecki, who is writing the song for my new book series. My friendship with Julie meant a few things: I got to listen to a lot of new, excellent music before anyone else. My basement was turned into band-practice central, which was either incredibly awesome or highly irritating, depending on the time of day and proximity to final exams. The biggest perk? I got to meet a lot of really cool, extremely talented people.
Washington and Lee University, home to baby politicians and aspiring businessmen, lawyers, and lobbyists, isn’t exactly known for its music and arts departments. It really should be. I was constantly amazed at the level of talent in that school- talent which often congregated in my basement (not in a creepy way. We weren’t burying bodies down there. Well, not many). These guys weren’t just talented musicians; they took their art to a higher level. Their circle included a highly skilled rapper/remixer, a talented bassist with a looping machine that could make intense, complex music entirely on his own, lyricists with amazing skill, artists, poets, marketers, writers…together they formed bands, took music recitals to new heights, and came up with some of the most inventive music I’ve ever heard.
Now they’ve all graduated. But they certainly haven’t stopped.
You know that I go on about how cool the modern world is- how the internet and the communities found online have given us all these tools to bring together different mediums, and make art that is so much bigger than ourselves. These W&L graduates are a shining example of just that. They’ve come together in the year since graduation to form “The jnd”- “The just noticeably different.” Here’s their “mission statement”:
“We met at Washington and Lee University and have collaborated in different combinations and under different group names over the past four years. Now we have brought the music all together under one name.
Our diverse music stems from our influences in hip-hop, electronica, and blues. Combine that with our appreciation for the visual arts and we’re…
Just noticeably different.”
How freaking cool is that?
I’ve been lucky enough to preview some of their music, and let me tell you- it is wonderful. Inventive, upbeat, yet indescribably chill at the same time. It’s the kind of stuff you want as a soundtrack for your daily life. It’s also inspirational; you can see how you could take these tracks, add some lyrics, mix in your own beats, and let the songs continue to evolve into something new. That’s the beauty of “The jnd.”
“Our current goal is to share our music, and then collaborate with other rappers and songwriters to help develop our beats further. It is also meant for DJs or whomever to remix, or include in their own beats.”
They are taking the idea of artist collaboration and running with it. Their goal is truly to make the best music/art that they possibly can. And they don’t stop at music- I’ve seen their line up. There are about ten or eleven people involved with the project. Their numbers include:
- Several producers
- Song writers
- Guitarists, bassists, drummers
- A DJ
- Film Makers
In addition to releasing music, they plan to have a weekly video release. They also stress the importance of the visual arts. In the words of one of their members, “The visual arts are definitely something we want to keep in the forefront of our project: we are multifaceted and diverse.”
Their endgame is to take “The jnd” and make it into “jnd Studios”- providing artists, including those involved with the project, with the necessary tools and connections needed to be successful. It’s a real life example of “All for one, and one for all.”
Tomorrow (Saturday the 28th) at noon “The jnd” is releasing their first album- for free. You bloody well better download it. You’ve got nothing to loose, and everything to gain. And trust me- it’s good. The tracks I got to listen to- “Off the Clock” and “Give Yourself” were fantastic. I’ve been re-listening to them as I write this. I may or may not be dancing in my chair.
I’ll provide links to the downloads as soon as I get them. Watch out for more information on Twitter and Facebook. And for god’s sake, go follow these innovative people:
Now. I’m off to go have an awesome freaking day. Peace out.