Taking Control, One Track at a Time

JeanLou’s debut album, Since You’re Listening…, is a soulful search for answers


Two years ago, JeanLou emerged as an official musician.

With an ear for catchiness, R&B artist JeanLou was looking to channel life experiences into relatable pieces of music. With a philosophy grounded in keeping things close to the vest, JeanLou says, “You don’t tell everyone about the plans in your life.” With that mentality, JeanLou has worked to put himself on the local map. In that short time as an artist, JeanLou has gone on to open for Wyclef Jean at Fete, release a killer debut album, and work as an in-house artist and part owner of Slick Mix Studio on Charles Street.

With sharp wit, JeanLou’s music and lyrics evoke deeply personal, vulnerable experiences that point not only to things falling apart, but a struggle to control them. On his debut album Since You’re Listening… – available on iTunes and Spotify – JeanLou makes the personal public through eclectic rhythms, moods, and styles that bend to the needs of the lyrics. Through songs such as “Baby Oh,” JeanLou uses movements to build on each other, weaving auto-tune-tinged hooks in and out of building and crescendoing moments of lyrical clarity.

“I want people to be aware of the vices that we use to get over things,” JeanLou says. The cathartic nature of Since You’re Listening… pushes into a space of a shared sense of control over what is ultimately out of control. With the flatline beep as a segway motif between tracks, JeanLou keeps pointing to the end of something under the most catchy circumstances. Dynamic songs such as “Seasonal Love” and “Distant Lover” drive with a smooth metaphor-rich poeticism about lost love on one hand with the more hip-hop influenced “smooth-talking playboy” track “Lost Souls” on the other, all tied together with JeanLou’s tireless search for what gets us “over it.”

JeanLou’s choice to fully pursue music comes from a deep place of always being an artist. As one-third of the band WavyBunch and in-house artist at Slick Mix Studio, JeanLou keeps himself available as a songwriter and source of material for other artists while looking to be an artist on his own terms, fully in control of the art he makes. JeanLou puts it this way: “I don’t look for monetary success, [just] enough to get things done and enjoy life. The more money you have, the more you have to worry about.”

Over the next year, JeanLou is looking to release a trilogy of EP’s called Melodies and Remedies Volumes I, II, and III, each with a different emotive state and statement reflecting on the human condition. In addition to the trilogy, JeanLou is looking to release short films to accompany his music and perform select concerts around the US with the promise of a free Providence show this summer.
For JeanLou, the music he makes is his way of being in control of and defining who he is. “There are a lot of things in this world that you share,” JeanLou says. “My music is my words, this is how I feel, this is what I think. This is my vulnerability.”