Jazz Emu // Humilis

"This really spoke to me." Greg James, BBC Radio 1


Humilis, Jazz Emu’s third record - written, recorded and mixed entirely in his bedroom over six months - infuses his signature watertight grooves and smack-you-in-the-face synth bravado with a new flavour of guitar-infused indie pop. “My main aim for this record was to take people by surprise,” says Emu, “Lyrically, musically, spiritually. If one of my songs can make someone in a coffee shop violently spit out their triple-pump-caramel almond mochaccino and go ‘What the hell am I listening to?’, my work here is done.” 

Through its nail-biting electro-funk grooves and fireside-warm Rnb jams, Humilis explores the burden of social conformity. How much do we owe it to each other to play by the rules? Taking other people into account takes effort, and empathy, and extrapersonal awareness, and other boring abstract nouns beginning with E. It’s a buzzkill. Why can’t we all just do what we want, and say what we want, all the time, with no repercussions? Jazz Emu is the only human on earth wise enough to answer this question. And he’s done it, in the space of fourteen lavish, decadent songs.


Jazz Emu is a multi-instrumentalist from the UK who writes glistening up-tempo pop for the emotionally stunted. Born and raised in South London, he soon grew tired of the tepid weather and finally decided to make the move to Miami FL, where he now definitely lives.


He burst onto the scene in 2019, with the viral release of his track Light Touch, which topped Reddit Videos and was featured in The Awesomer as “the summer jam of 2019”. Since the release of his first two albums, sic and Vulnerabilité, his music has racked up over a million streams, been featured on the official Spotify ‘Fresh Finds’ playlist and played on BBC Radio 1 Breakfast with Greg James.


At the age of six, Jazz Emu fell in love with a second hand saxophone and proudly took it to a trial lesson. Within a minute the teacher had decided that Jazz’s hands were unusually small, and his shiny brass hopes were crushed with a plastic beginner’s clarinet. Several years of funk-repressed classical training followed, with the groove bubbling pianissimo under the surface. When he finally heard the syncopated hi-hats in Bill Withers’ Use Me, there was no going back. Jazz pulled out the dusty old sax and got to work. He would stay up late at night recording shining synths and near-silent screaming sax solos (no noise after 10pm) on his mum’s BOSS BR900-CD recorder. The results were too powerful to show the general public.


Ten years later, armed with an Akai EWI-4000S, a right hand calloused by synth-glisses and a handsome selection of suits, Jazz has set out to change the world. Combining the lyrically pleonastic and musically dank, this project is an auditory experiment in high-art meets low-art. Imagine performing a Shakespearean sonnet over The Sims loading-music. Or reading Homer’s Iliad off of a toilet roll. Imagining it? Good. You’re roughly three eighths of the way to grasping the sonic mythos of Jazz Emu.

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"Too brilliant." Glass Magazine

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