Sly5thAve & JSWISS – Somebody’s Gotta Do It

Released: 20 Oct 2022

Label: Tru Thoughts

‘Somebody’s Gotta Do It’ is the collaborative project from Brooklyn-based producer, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and arranger Sly5thAve and accomplished MC JSWISS. Operating seamlessly at the intersection between Hip-Hop and Jazz, the release embodies the improvisational energy of the world of New York jam sessions and open mics. It features the singles “Watching Me feat. MonoNeon” and “Energy”.

Blending impressive instrumentation with thoughtful lyrics and catchy hooks title track “Somebody’s Gotta Do It” demonstrates the ethos of the release, rooted in hard work and societal observations: “With the world in need of authentic Hip Hop that’s both fun and substantive, with superb instrumentation and clever, relatable bars JSWISS and Sly5thAve are the guys to get the job done. Plain and simple.” The attitude and flow contributed to the track becoming Sly5thAve’s tribute to Prince. With a touch of New York Hip Hop, Sly5thAve draws on the rawness of overdrive guitars, drum machines and claps that hit you in the face to create a track his former collaborator would be proud of.

The groove of “Somebody’s Gotta Do It” melts into the heat and nostalgia of “Never Forget”. Laced with Afrobeat and Reggaeton inspiration, Sly5thAve leans into a subtle but uplifting dancefloor. JSWISS pairs this with a flow stressing the importance of appreciating and living in the moment; the result sounding like the bittersweet haze of late summer evenings. Continuing to explore the importance of the journey of life – a universal human experience, regardless of socio-economic status or culture – “Humble” is an anthem for endurance and patience, while “The Light” serves as a reminder to balance productivity with self-care and features songwriter, producer, and D’Angelo/The Vanguard backing vocalist Jermaine Holmes.

Sly5thAve and JSWISS continue to bring together a host of talented members from their musical communities elsewhere on ‘Somebody’s Gotta Do It’. On “Watching Me” vocalist, songwriter, and producer Chandanie provides additional vocals, as the swirling funk of the track crescendos with an improvised jam between Sly5thAve and his Ghost-Note bandmate, bassist, experimental musician, and songwriter MonoNeon (known for his collaborations with the likes of Prince, Ne-Yo, Nas, Georgia Anne Muldrow and Mac Miller). Kelyn Crapp brings experimental elements and a dreamy texture to Humble while the talent on “Energy” includes Sydney Driver (drums), Jed Lingat (bass) and Matthias “Pedals” Loescher (guitar). Interwoven with this impressive role call are Sly5thAve’s signature jazzy skits and interludes, tying together the improvisational energy that brings together the worlds of Jazz, Hip Hop and New York live jams.

For Sly5thAve, the release follows ‘Agua de Jamaica’, recorded with Roberto Verástegui during lockdown in Mexico and the critically acclaimed LP ‘What It Is’, which showcased his own versatile musicianship and that of his collaborators and friends from across the New York Jazz, Hip-Hop and Soul scenes. The projects have received praise from MOJO, NPR (New Music Friday), Bandcamp Daily, EARMILK, All About Jazz and The Arts Desk alongside radio plays from Jamie Cullum – who compared Sly5thAve to Herbie Hancock, Jamz Supernova, Gilles Peterson, Nemone, Don Letts, Huey Morgan, Cerys Matthews (BBC 6Music), Anthony Valadez, Anne Litt (KCRW), Marshmello (NTS), Tony Minvielle, Deb Grant, China Moses (Jazz FM) and more. A sought-after collaborator, he has attained further respect from his work with a host of highly fêted musicians including Prince (as a member of the New Power Generation Band), Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Taylor Swift, Janelle Monáe, Freddie Gibbs and Quantic.

Continuing to prove his appeal to Hip-Hop purists and new Hip-Hop audiences alike, since releasing his first mixtape in 2009, JSWISS has received acclaim and praise from the likes of The Source, Complex, Hip Hop DX, Ambrosia For Heads, Soultracks, Weekly Rap Gods and RESPECT Magazine.