NATIVE Premiere: Jean Feier finds strength in vulnerability on “When I Need You”
Tap into her new alternative track
Tap into her new alternative track
Since the release of her debut project ’93MChild’, Ghanaian-German singer/songwriter Jean Feier has consistently met the demand for music that is refreshing and new in today’s saturated climate. The Fresh Meat alum is a genre-bending artist capable of soundtracking one’s intimate desires and their journey to freedom.
Speaking about her expansive catalogue of music, Jean Feier once shared with the NATIVE that she wants listeners to go to therapy with her when they hear her voice. Providing aural healing for an entire generation is not an easy feat but Feier has remained consistent through it all, earning her a growing presence online and a nod from the Ghana Music Awards for Best Alternative Song.
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This year, Feier hasn’t slowed down as she’s now unveiled a new single for her loyal fans titled “When I Need You”. Over a mellow beat produced by fellow Ghanaian producer, Kwelit, the singer delivers her warm silky vocals and some of the most relatable songwriting in her recent work. She declares her utmost dedication to her love interest, laying bare how they make her feel while promising to stay by their side.
Instead, vulnerability becomes her strong suit as she shares with her listeners that letting someone in is often very scary however, she reassures them that it’s okay to take the next step when they are truly convinced of their love. She sings “I don’t want no one else, better off by myself/You’re the one on my mind,” addressing a love interest who she can’t simply do without. A true lover at heart, she speaks the truth about her reality on top of harmonies and melodies that sound like a niche R&B cut worthy of listening to.
Ahead of the release of Jean’s “When I Need You”, for our exclusive premiere of the single, The NATIVE caught up with Jean regarding her influences, the creative process behind the song and more.
Her answers which follow below have been lightly edited for clarity.
NATIVE: Hi Jean, you have roots in both Germany and Ghana and we hear you speaking German on “When I Need You”. How much of an impact would you say your roots have on the music you produce?
JEAN: Everything I am is everything that makes me me and therefore my art. More than anything else though I am my mother’s child and she is a half Ashanti & Ga superhero. She feels like the ultimate elder to me. I’m proud to belong with her. Growing up felt like adventure time. I loved having multiple sets. By the time I moved to Ghana for 3 years with 11, I already had a community from coming every big holiday.
My favorite birthday party happened in Dansoman and my oldest friend and I sang in the church choir in Ghananian church in Germany. These are both very important things that happened that shaped my gift. I booked my first professional recording session in London while I was living there. That city made me in ways I still can’t explain. If I had to pick a home, it would be hard. I’m inspired and in awe of black women because no matter where and no matter how they still shine. That’s inspiring too. Being in multiple worlds is a trip for stability but the perks are not too shabby.
NATIVE: Listening to “When I Need You”, felt like an affectionate, intimate declaration of love. What inspired you to be so open to vulnerability on the track?
JEAN: I stopped writing in my diary and started writing music at 9, it’s always intimate with me. Hopefully, my writing will always be so honest. Being like this in real life too is exhausting though. I dislike having to hide my heart and pretend. It’s not that I could not play chess, I’m just not interested, you know? I want peace and love, that’s that.
NATIVE: The song’s producer Kwelit shared that he had just listened to ‘Blonde’ by Frank Ocean and wanted to create a beat Frank Ocean could record on. Can you draw any similarities between your sound and Frank’s?
JEAN: Frank Ocean is a Legend. His sonic journey is important to me. As one of the few artists I actually listen to, I’m sure his impact can be felt and will continue to exist for a long time. Personally, I think Frank Ocean is an Alte artist so it makes sense to think of him and me in the same universe, but I think I’m definitely on my own vibes.
NATIVE: Who would you say informs or inspires the music you make?
JEAN: I’m a young black girl raised between borders with wanderlust and a large appetite for love and life. I document my state of being as a form of self-expression but when it connects with the right person it feels like finding your soulmate. The high I feel when I randomly get messages from SLMTS that just found me makes my life sweeter and more inspiring though.
NATIVE: Can we expect any visuals for the track soon?
JEAN: You will hear me before you see but you will see me nonetheless. I want to connect sonically above all in a visual world. I’m a little obsessed with that. I always felt like I needed to be complete to really put myself out there. Properly know who I am. Being very particular with what I want makes creating something as immortal as visuals, tricky. I’m always curating a list of amazing directors I would love to work with in the future however so creating will be an honor and an absolute delight. I’m looking forward to it.
Stream “When I Need You.”
Featured Image Credits/ Courtesy Eboni Jazzmine