Published Oct 28, 2016At seven tracks, the debut Foreign Water EP from Toronto-raised, Los Angeles-based Jahkoy is meant to serve as both introduction to and mission statement for the artist.
Though Jahkoy originally announced that a debut full-length titled Glory Child was on the way, this project has appeared in its stead as a means to tide us over. While admitting that he only really took singing seriously recently — he aspired to be a rapper in a past life — he's been a quick study, as demonstrated on 2015 singles "Still in Love" and "Hold Your Hand." This is particularly real from an electronic R&B perspective; while he's been quoted as avoiding genre and label categorization, Jahkoy's current sound feels at points like Justin Bieber-as-produced-by-Major-Lazer (case in point: EP track "1000 Times").
This isn't a diss — particularly considering his contemporaries are more likely names like Tory Lanez or PartyNextDoor — but these musical dots can be connected. As it stands, Jahkoy is his own thing, and Foreign Water represents his perspective on being a Canadian expat living south of the border. Working with names like Rico Love and Jeremih, the project feels whole.
The light reggae vibes on "California Heaven" featuring ScHoolboy Q sees Jahkoy extol the virtues of the U.S. West coast life with parties on the weekdays: "This place will change your life / Just ask the guys who just came to visit." A song like "No Regret" rides a chill guitar lick, "Don't Beg" has a smooth R&B flow and "Don't Stop the Vibe" wears its dancehall influences on its sleeve.
Foreign Water reveals Jahkoy as an artist dripping with credibility. He was signed to a major for a reason, and this EP sets the groundwork for a potentially intriguing debut full-length effort. (Def Jam/Universal)