When immersed in the raw beauty of Hannah Jadagu's SubPop debut EP, What is Going On?, many things spring to mind. How does she build such nuanced melodic tension with her lyrics? How does she write such introspectively brilliant lyrics? What inspires this NYC via Mesquite, Texas songwriter? What other artists inspire her eloquent, sublime sound?
So we did just that. In honor of Black Music Month, these are six black artists who inspire Jadagu and her otherworldly sound.
KennyHoopla - "Plastic Door"
"Plastic Door" is a song that really helped inspire the feeling of the title track on the EP. KennyHoopla is a black artist who has this certain swag when it comes to alternative rock, and I think he's really special.
Jean Dawson - "Bruiseboy"
"Bruiseboy" was a song I was listening to a lot when I was making the first single off of the EP, which is "Think Too Much." The overall genre blending/high electronic energy that Jean's music has was super influential for that track. I'm also just a huge fan of everything he does.
Dijon - "Nicos Red Truck"
"Nicos Red Truck" by Dijon was such a crucial song for my EP making era as well. I dedicated "Bleep Bloop," the closer on my EP to that song. Dijon is just so great at displaying his emotions in his music, and being extremely creative yet poised while doing it.
SZA - "20 Something"
"20 Something" by SZA is another song that helped influence my song "Bleep Bloop," but also just the overall meaning of the EP. I feel like in my EP you can hear a lot about my anxieties, and the sort of unsure feelings I have about the world. My EP is a bunch of 20 somethings, except I'm speaking from a younger prospective.
Arlo Parks - "Black Dog" / Yves Tumor - "Romanticist"
Honorable mention: Two black artists that I've really been enjoying listening to are Arlo Parks and Yves Tumor. Arlo is just a gem and seems like the sweetest person ever. Her music is extremely poetic, smooth, and vulnerable. Yves Tumor is an artist who is absolutely taking over the experimental world, showcasing that black artists are extremely versatile, skilled in both writing and production, and fearless. Both artists really helped me get through 2020.