A melting pot of influences
Slow J wants to give us deliberately, lovingly and meticulously created music. More than that, he wants to mix Luanda (the capital of Angola) with “Lisa” (Lisbon, the capital of Portugal). And with the two cities he wants to bring all the musical influences that have been part of their heritage.
It makes sense that he would mix so much from so many places. João is the son of an Angolan father and a Portuguese mother and, even though he was born and raised in Setubal, a seaside town, he would end up moving more than ten times in the next twelve years, eventually ending up in London to study sound engineering. In 2013, he interrupted the course and came back to take up production full time and start his career as Slow J.
His career spans two chapters, the first one marked by the launch of his first, and fierce, EP, The Free Food Tape. A stellar debut on the scene proved that Slow J was not going to be just another hip hop artist. That promise was finally brought to fruition with his follow-up LP, The Art of Slowing Down, the album that surprised all with its ever-growing list of influences that brought rock, fado or semba into his sound.
It doesn’t take a genius to see that hip hop and pop have never been so synonymous. Yet, the line is always a fine one to thread on. One step too far, and you lose a lot of respect on the hip hop camp, and getting the balance just right, is really a rare trait, one that Slow J shows a firm grip on.