FKJ Soundtracks a Perfect Period of His Life in ‘Ylang Ylang’

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Photo: Jack McKain

FKJ has been living and working amongst the trees and alongside the water. Today, he’s emerged from the wilderness and brought with him his most beloved project to date. Titled, Ylang Ylang, the EP is named after the SE Asian jungle town where he lived for six months this past year. FKJ wanted to accomplish something he hadn’t done before with his work–score his own adventure. Ylang Ylang without a doubt fulfills that goal. 

Before his debut self titled album, FKJ was something made for the warm sunsets and fashion show runways. But with the release of Ylang Ylang, FKJ takes his talents in a slightly different, more delicate direction. There are still plenty of nuances that make this project uniquely FKJ’s: swirly loops, lofty slides, and soft piano arrangements. 

Yet, this body of work has a much more cinematic, even symphonic quality to it. He hasn’t just made songs here; he’s brought newfound life to his intricate, evolving soundscapes. FKJ spoke further on his new project, sharing, 

It’s called Ylang, it’s the name of the place I stayed isolated for months in the jungle. It’s not a single; I want to present it a more like a conceptual one, like a film scoring of that time and place. Last year I spent about six months in a very remote tropical place where I setup a studio. There is almost no one there. No electricity. I was making music out of a generator that was running only by night. The most beautiful landscapes, mountains, beaches. It’s one of my favourite places in the world. When I made music there it felt kind of like a dream state.”

When listening to Ylang Ylang, there isn’t a certain story you’re trying to piece together. Instead, it plays out more like the soundtrack to a film. “Risk,” featuring Dreamville’s own Bas, was the lead single from the project and aptly gave us a good look into the album. Sure it’s gentle, but it’s overflowing with FKJ’s technical prowess and emotional hydration. The largely solo project sees FKJ dive more into even smoother jazz composition and velvety melodies.

Listen to Ylang Ylang below: 

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