Oscar Jerome releases debut album 'Breathe Deep'

By Balamii

South London’s Oscar Jerome has released his highly-anticipated debut solo album, ‘Breathe Deep’, via Caroline International. The album features his latest single released earlier this week, ‘Timeless’ (feat Lianne La Havas), as well as ‘Sun For Someone’, ‘Your Saint’ (feat Brother Portrait), ‘Give Back What U Stole From Me’ and ‘Joy Is You’. You can stream and purchase the album here across all major music services now. To celebrate the release, on August 18th Oscar will do full-band live-stream with special guests, a Q&A and a charity raffle in support of Fairbeats, a music charity working with young refugees, asylum seekers, newly arrived migrants and their families. More info on the event and tickets can be found here:

Talking about his debut, out in the world today, Oscar says: “‘Breathe Deep’ is a pretty broad presentation of who I am musically and my journey to get to this point. On a personal level, it’s a reflection of the effort put in during that path of self-bettering, both emotionally and in life more broadly. It’s about preparing oneself for failure and growing from that. Taking a moment to step back and see where things are going and where one has been.” On top of that, Oscar explains, it also addresses "the resilience of people, which is reflected in the more political moments on the album. The world is a messed up place but people still find ways of preparing themselves for it.”

The long-awaited album arrives off the back of an extremely busy 12 months that’s seen Oscar head out on packed-out tours around the US, UK, Europe and Australia (including his biggest headliner to date at London’s Heaven, having sold out both Village Underground and EartH.) As well as that, an invitation from Kamasi Washington led to a run of live-shows supporting the American jazz maestro and Oscar also starred in the campaign for Stella McCartney’s ‘All Together Now’ collection alongside Ezra Collective’s Femi Koleoso and Joy Crookes and performed at its Milan Fashion Week launch.

Oscar is now a staple of the capital’s burgeoning jazz scene. Previously working with everyone from Yussef Dayes to Shabaka Hutchings and Moses Boyd, ‘Breathe Deep’ sees Oscar bring in an army of collaborators that he says have been an integral part of his journey so far. Those playing on the record include several of his fellow band-mates in Brownswood-signed Afrobeat outfit Kokoroko (for whom Oscar wrote the breakthrough track ‘Abusey Junction’, currently at over 50 million streams), Joe Armon-Jones and friends in Sons of Kemet, Ezra Collective and Maisha, as well as official features from Steam Down’s Brother Portrait and critically acclaimed singer-songwriter Lianne La Havas.

Though asserting himself as a true jazz trailblazer in his own right, here Oscar celebrates the creative community around him, pays tribute to guitar greats like George Benson, Grant Green and Kenny Burrell and takes cues from the sounds of afrobeat, West African funk, broken-beat and 60s Latin American soul jazz. He carves out thoughtful songs that vary from personal odes to family, friends and past relationships (‘Timeless’ and ‘Joy Is You’) to politically-charged cuts about climate change and environmental activism ('Sun for Someone'), the shameful treatment of refugees in Western Europe ('Your Saint' ft Brother Portrait') and rallies against the banks, corporations and governments that perpetually take from the poor ('Give Back What U Stole From Me').

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Host: Oscar Jerome