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Merging the worlds of rap, electronic, indie and infectious pop refrains, The Heart of It is an intoxicating alchemy of all the vast worlds Jelani Blackman has inhabited in his eye-catching rise. Filled with dark, rumbling tensions and soaring bursts of hope, Jelani’s debut album announces his latest arrival, with the assurance of an exciting fully-formed voice feeling at home in his singular lane, sights firmly set on breakthrough.
Raised in West London, schooled in South West and North and is now based in East, it’s safe to say London’s cultural melting pot is an endless source for the chameleonic talent. “It’s everything,” he says of the city. “It’s where I started making music, writing lyrics… I hope people come away from this with a better sense of who I am,” says Jelani Blackman, and he means that both sonically and literally. “Honestly, I’m a massive introvert and it doesn’t come naturally to me to share myself, it took a long time for me to be able to transfer my writing from being general and abstract to specific and personal.”