If you haven’t heard of Jai Paul, it’s nothing to be ashamed about. The phenomenal singer and producer with two first names is as reclusive as he is talented; two defining aspects of his persona that don’t necessarily go hand-in-hand. But I’ve always felt that people are drawn to the mysterious and it doesn’t get much more mysterious than Jai Paul. As a signee of XL Recordings, the british powerhouse of a label that boasts such acts as Adele and Vampire Weekend, Paul has only officially released two songs in 4 years. One of those songs is “Jasmine”, which literally has me feeling some type of way every time I hear it.
It could be Jai Paul’s vocals in reverb, sounding almost ghostlike as they play off the heavy beating of 808’s at barely higher than a whisper. “Are you with me Jasmine?/Can you let me in,” Paul gently croons to the unknowable object of his affection. In between the subtle electric guitar riffs and synths, you can hear a specific sadness and longing that’s disarming and cooly invasive. By the end of the 4-minute-long track it’s clear that I’ve never been in love with anyone as much as he is with Jasmine. And I can’t tell who I should feel more sorry for. Him? Or me?