Up-and-coming Brighton hip-hop and jazz artist Jarki Monno, who takes influences from the likes of Mura Masa, Loyle Carner, Zach Said and Easy Life has just released his rawest single to date titled 'Wet Shave'. The track was spun on Phil Taggart's BBC Radio 1 show on Sunday 8th March.
Wet Shave is a song about loss of a parent at a young age. It is a coming of age song. Its words are poetic reflections of the absence of a father figure. To call it a song seems strange when it at times feels like a spoken recital, or even a confession.
The delivery is unmistakably musical, with articulation and control that is easy to wrap your ears around. The production is simple but considered - at times the song could have drifted into a 'Streets' style matter-of-fact chorus or hook, but masterfully doesn't. For hook laden, good-time songs, listen to Jarki Monno's other works. Wet Shave is another beast entirely. This artist has range, you'd better believe it.
The words are honest, feelings are not concealed. Not so much raw as introspective. At times the delivery is so casual, it feels like a person laying bare their soul to a friend or a loved one. And yet the song is so sincere that you would find it hard to imagine someone saying this aloud, to anyone, ever - except in a recording like this!
I think that's what draws me (and the 23 thousand others who have streamed this on Spotify) in to 'Wet Shave'. The very fact that this piece was written, recorded and released says so much about Jarki Monno. It takes maturity as an artist to tackle a subject so deeply personal in a studio. It takes conviction. I don't know anything about him, but I know I like him already.
I imagine recording this must have been a cathartic experience. Purity of expression is what makes the best recordings, this has it in spades. As a producer and former musician, I admire everything about this song.