James Mantis Pays Homage to His Love of Basketball on 'Jab Step Pop'
Photo: Dylan Ball
Los Angeles artist James Mantis has just dropped his debut EP, Jab Step Pop, combining his love for both music and sport. A personal look into everything that drives the artist, Mantis gives his all, showing us what he's truly made of. Over an amalgamation of genres, including alternative, indie, experimental rock, and hip-hop, and covering themes that delve into escaping the fast-paced lifestyle and everyday hurdles, the five-track release is an honest and relatable portrayal of an idiosyncratic artist.
Jab Step Pop sees Mantis taking inspiration from artists such as Kid Cudi, Kanye West, and Toro y Moi, forging clever lyrical lines with a punchy yet effortless delivery. "Fire Drill," which was co-produced by Mikey Margott of The Neighbourhood fame, emits a laid-back feel with a steady groove and layered, distorted vocals. "Seven Miles" takes things up a notch, with its busy soundscape and fiery energy. "I think I had the best time writing 'Seven Miles' because I was away from everything, secluded in a beach house on the water like it was a literal dream location to write a song. That song feels the most free and open on the EP and it's about just not giving a fuck because I'm far away from the bullshit," shares Mantis.
"Sportgod" demonstrates the artist's love for the alternative and indie world, with jangly guitars taking the lead. With the addition of female backing vocals, the track has a depth to it, which makes it stand out from the rest.
Described by Mantis as a true reflection of his artistry, Jab Step Pop was a challenge to himself to allow him to uncover his sound. Labeling it his "first major step out," the artist does not disappoint.
Listen to Jab Step Pop below: