Oscar Jerome sure knows how to build up momentum. Hot on the heels of two recent singles, the glowing soulful ‘Sun for Someone’ and the politically charged ‘Your Saint’, comes a third teaser ‘Give Back What U Stole From Me’. This time around Jerome delivers some super pumped jazz funk, all clipped scat-rap, deep bass flow and raucous sax. It’s a sequel to a previously-released live-favourite which has since taken on a whole new life after Oscar and his band reimagined it through numerous live show work outs. So the new version of ‘Give Back What U Stole From Me’ is a lot more urgent and upbeat. It gets angry, it gets sweaty and it raises the temperature.
What comes across from all three tracks is the range and reach of Oscar Jerome’s music. Not surprising really for someone who was grounded in the Trinity Laban jazz hot-house and who is interwoven into the fabric of the South London nu-jazz scene. He has credentials: guitarist with the electrifying afrobeat collective KOKOROKO; collaborator with Shabaka Hutchings, Moses Boyd and Yussef Daves; and support shows for Kamasi Washington. No wonder the release of his debut solo album ‘Breathe Deep’ (via Caroline International on July 10th) is getting so many people excited. Featuring contributions from friends he says have been integral to his journey so far (from Ezra Collective, Sons of Kemet, Maisha and Steamdown) as well as the mercurial Lianne La Havas, the signs are it will be potent and ambitious.
With a string of dates in the Autumn including Electric Brixton on November 25th it feels like Oscar Jerome is about to be making some more giant waves. Be prepared to dive in.
Check out the track, and it’s accompanying video, here
Breathe Deep is out July 10th via Caroline International.