Sly5thAve & JSWISS – Watching Me​/​Energy

Released: 13 Sep 2022

Label: Tru Thoughts

“Watching Me / Energy” introduces the collaborative project ‘Somebody’s Gotta Do It’ 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.

Beginning with a simple keyboard riff and relatable words of caution from JSWISS, opening track “Watching Me feat. MonoNeon” is an astute Jazz-fusion journey, existing somewhere between the worlds of Boom Bap and Frank Zappa. “We have all gotten that feeling that we’re being watched,” JSWISS explains, speaking of the all-seeing algorithms that circle around our everyday lives. With vocalist, songwriter, and producer Chandanie providing additional vocals, 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).

Originally an outtake from a live session Sly5thAve did in 2019, “Energy” is the track that ignited the ‘Somebody’s Gotta Do It’ project: “pandemic hit and one day I posted a beat on IG. J hit me up right away. I sent it to him and within 8 hours he sent me back the finished song,” Sly5thAve recalls. Continuing to bring together a host of talented members from their musical communities (Sydney Driver (drums), Jed Lingat (bass) and Matthias “Pedals” Loescher (guitar)), Sly5thAve creates the perfect platform for JSWISS’s flow, highlighting their musical synergy as collaborators. “This beat is like heaven for an MC who’s really about bars to write to, so it was easy to get going and pack the verses with some slick wordplay,” JSWISS adds. “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.”

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. JSWISS continues to prove his appeal to Hip-Hop purists and new Hip-Hop audiences alike, since releasing his first mixtape in 2009, he has received broad acclaim and praise.