In today’s age, technology has flooded our lives with content. Caught in the mire are modern musicians who champion an art form that’s more widely distributed than any other throughout human history. And we, more often than not, overlook the music created by unfamiliar faces because it’s challenging. We’d rather have an easy listen, a known quantity to skim through while we think about something else.
Hearing is easy, but listening is difficult. Welcome to “Why We Like It”, where we rebuke the trends in favor of thoughtful analysis and underknown sounds.
“I Don’t Deserve You” — Lexxicon
Lexxicon - I Don't Deserve You (Official Music Video)
How We Found It
“I Don’t Deserve You”, a new release from tropical R&B artist Lexxicon, was suggested to us by an anonymous friend of CentralSauce out of Toronto. The Jamaican-Canadian powerhouse has been steadily dropping material this year; earlier, he’d released the 15-track Bashment Trap House project, which featured a mix of popular hip-hop and dancehall influences.
Lexxicon’s comeback dives more into his introspective side, with the singer crooning wistfully through a smooth dancehall ballad, demonstrating more of his signature versatility.
Why We Like It
A pop song can take many stylistic forms, but it always needs a catchy melody. Without sticking in your head, inspiring you to sing it mindlessly to your friends for the rest of the week, the modern pop genre falls flat. Thank God Lexxicon knows exactly how to be catchy.
At the same time, this catchiness needs not sacrifice any artistic quality. The track is underscored by moody staccato synths and a nimble drum section. The interplay between percussive elements, with and without the heavy kicks and bass, create moments of textbook build-and-release made for a late-night foray at a local dance party. Lexxicon’s voice is gentle and airy, offering sufficient power behind his choral calls of “Nothing’s guaranteed/In a lonely lonely world”.
We were fortunate enough to catch up with Lexxicon on his latest release, his work with Black Lives Matter, and more.
Elliot: On “I Don’t Deserve You”, you take a rather longing, romantic approach to your dancehall sound. What influenced you to take on this style, and where might you be venturing sonically in the future?
Lexxicon: I have been going in a new direction, as I have already done dancehall-meets-reggaeton & dancehall-meets-hip-hop; next is dancehall-meets-R&B, then dancehall-meets-AfroBeats. This EP coming August 14 is called Tropical R&B; it’s just 6 tracks, all with a fusion of R&B & dancehall to bring my more mellow side to the forefront. The EP came together during the pandemic, which is why the mood and the feel is more dark and introspective than my previous songs. I really enjoyed the creation process with Eber as the producer for the whole project. I’m currently working on my 2021 album that I think will be my best work to date, so that is where I’m headed next.
How is life as a dancehall artist in Toronto? What is the scene like and how are you able to navigate it?
I would say life as a Dancehall artist in Toronto is difficult, as there are less opportunities for performances due to the sound; a lot of the focus is on R&B and hip-hop. The scene is growing, as recently I’ve brought together dancehall, afrobeats, reggae and reggaeton artists through my initiative called AfroWaveTO, where they can meet each other to collaborate and perform to showcase their skills. We are working to break down barriers to have more inclusion for our sound.
You’ve performed at BLM protests. What was that like? How do you feel your work factors into these ongoing conversations about creating a more just world for black people?
I performed at the BLM protests here in Toronto as I am a black artist, and these issues affect all of us. It was an interesting experience because it’s sad that we still have to be protesting about the same issue year after year, but I’m glad I was able to take part and uplift everyone’s spirits at the event to keep the momentum going. We have to always have room to celebrate our blackness despite the many barriers we face daily. My work is more of escapism, as focusing on the anti-blackness in all the institutions around us can be depressing, and we need positive and celebratory messages and music to enjoy life and live just like everyone else.
How are you feeling these days? How have you processed the pandemic and subsequent isolation, and what is inspiring you these days to move forward?
These days I’m feeling very blessed and grateful for all the support I have around me from friends and family. The beginning of the pandemic was very depressing, and I wasn’t able to create or talk to anyone for about a month, but after working through that and adjusting to the new reality I’m now able to look forward and enjoy the simple things in life, like the weather, loved ones, and just being alive. I’m definitely looking forward to the end of the pandemic, but until then I’ll be creating, working on my craft, and sharing when it’s ready.
More from Lexxicon
“I Don’t Deserve You” accompanies the second of four music videos Lexxicon has released in 2020; the most recent being the visual for “Paradise,” a similar bare-bones, introspective dancehall track. The first two, “Di Don Don” and “Lonely,” showcase more of the singer’s versatility as standout tracks from Bashment Trap House. His previous release, Bashment Reggaeton, features a fusion of musica urbana sounds and his signature dancehall stylings.
The ever-prolific Torontonian can be followed on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, for those looking to keep up with his thoughts and releases. He’s also got a sharp website featuring more information.
More to Discover
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