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Oscar Jerome sells out Headlining show at Ghost Notes

SEEN is looking forward very much to seeing the intriguing Oscar Jerome tonight at Ghost Notes. The South London i-D-tipped songwriter has now released the ‘Where Are Your Branches?’ EP. This new five-track collection follows the release of Oscar’s 2016 self-titled debut EP, which drew praise from the likes of Radio 1, Boiler Room, 1Xtra and 6Music. Having sold out London’s Corsica Studios on January 31, 2018, Oscar will perform at Peckham’s Ghost Notes on April 18, 2018, the date has now sold out.

Produced in part by Wu-Lu, Maxwell Owin and Oscar himself, and featuring collaborators such as Moses Boyd (Binker & Moses) and The Fader-tipped Poppy Ajudha, Jerome’s second EP finds his captivating blend of jazz, hip-hop, and electronica refracted through the dysfunction of modern society. Speaking about up-tempo first single and EP-opener, ‘Subdued’ – which is now accompanied by an otherworldly new video shot entirely in infrared – Jerome says; “I wanted to try and comment on the arrogance of our Western culture and certain people’s inability to view their existence as something much bigger than their own ego. I’m not going to point any fingers, take from it what you will.”

Jazz stylistics and off-kilter song structures permeate across ‘Where Are Your Branches?’ perhaps most strikingly on ’Chromatic Descendants’. Speaking about the track – Inspired by ‘Notes & Tones’, written by eccentric drummer Art Taylor, whose authoritative jazz percussion is referenced by ‘Chromatic Descendants’ -Oscar says: “This track is like two sides of a coin. On one side is the existence of music as something spiritual and on the other side it is always being connected to past politics and suffering.”

Oscar’s evident gift as a guitarist – having studied at London’s prestigious Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music – propels ‘Where Are Your Branches? Where Is Your Fruit?’, an instrumental track spawned from a conversation with DJ and supporter Gilles Peterson about Oscar’s foundations as a guitarist first & foremost. “Guitar is where I started in music,” Oscar says, “and alongside the songwriting, improvisation has always been a way that I like to express myself. I wanted to devote a track to this side of my musicianship.”

The ‘Where Are Your Branches?’ EP is rounded out in striking form by ‘Baby Face’ and the breakbeat hip-hop of ‘Smile On A Screen’, which features Moses Boyd. The sinuous track, which also features the spoken-word poetry of the South London poet and musician, James Massiah, initially proved tricky to pin down in the studio; “This tune has grown through being played live,” recalls Oscar, “it took a while to find its identity when recorded but with a mash-up of mine, Maxwell Owin and Wu-Lu’s production skills it finally found a life of its own.”

Recently profiled by i-D alongside fellow rising stars of London’s emerging jazz scene – including Tiana Major9, Yussef Dayes and Poppy Ajudha – the ‘Where Are Your Branches?’ EP sees Oscar aligning his own electronica and hip-hop with the influence of the likes of Gil Scott Heron and Jay Dilla. The EP also proves Oscar’s talent as a guitarist – having originally relocated to London to study jazz guitar at the conservatoire, studies there were soon dropped in favour of buzz-building performances at Peckham’s Steez and Dalston’s Total Refreshment Centre.

In support of the new EP Oscar has performed debut New York shows, with one as part of the BBC Winter Jazz Fest and one at the famed Blue Note, and a slot at Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide Awards alongside the likes of IAMDDB and the Ezra Collective. Jerome performed a sold-out show at London’s Corsica Studios on January 31, 2018 and returns to the capital to headline Ghost Notes in Peckham on April 18, 2018.

Listen to Oscar Jerome on Soundcloud.

Where Are Your Branches? EP
Chromatic Descendents
Where Are Your Branches? Where Is Your Fruit?
Baby Face
Smile On A Screen (feat. James Massiah)

“One of the UK’s brightest songwriting hopes”The Line Of Best Fit
“Oscar Jerome is amazing. There is absolutely no denying it”Wonderland
“A thoughtful track, jazzy and soulful”Pigeons & Planes
“Rising London artist continues to impress”Clash
“This exponent of London’s thriving jazz scene is living for the moment on his new single”Dummy

Tour dates
April 18 | Ghost Notes, London

Ghost Notes
Peckham Levels
95A Rye Lane
SE15 4ST

Cover pic by Alex Kurunis.