Track x Track: Jewel Owusu - 'Jool Wave EP'

Track x Track: Jewel Owusu - 'Jool Wave EP'

Melbourne/Naarm-based indie-pop/r&b/dance singer-songwriter takes us through her multifaceted new EP

Image credit: Yash Daware

Jewel Owusu has been going from strength to strength over the last few years, drawing on her diverse background and experiences and channelling these into some equally diverse and addictive sounds, as heard on her new seven track EP, Jool Wave. Of Filipino and Ghanaian heritage, the emerging artist has spent time living in Hong Kong, New Zealand and was based in Boorloo/Perth for a while before a recent east coast move to Naarm/Melbourne as she takes her career to the next level.

From dowtempo future r&b to UK Garage-inflected pop, drum and bass and various indie influences, Jool Wave covers a lot of musical ground while maintaining an identity and sense of cohesion, with Owusu’s shimmering and evocative vocals tying it all together.

On the record, Owusu states “The term 'Wave' not only signifies the sonic journey I'm embarking on and the unique genre that I’m trying to pave out for myself, but also symbolises the diverse wave of emotions I explore in each track. Jool Wave is all about being young and feeling everything really deeply."

Jool Wave comes off the back of a huge couple of years for Jewel that have seen her share stages with acclaimed artists such as Vera Blue, perform at St Kilda Festival, and head to Sydney for the inaugural Sydney SXSW while also getting recognition across the big platforms like TikTok, Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and Vevo - a trend that is sure to continue now the EP’s out.

To celebrate the release of Jool Wave, Jewel was kind enough to take us through it, track by track:

karaoke (intro)

I wanted to start the EP on a note that sounded very cute and lighthearted; this one sets the playfulness for the rest of the tracks. It’s funny because I actually wrote this song on TikTok live based on random words that the audience were sending through. It kinda feels like I wrote this song with my listeners, which is what I love so much about it and why I think it makes a great intro.

thin ft. Aria Wood

I messaged Aria on Instagram, and I am so happy that this song came out of that message. "thin" is about letting go of the negative people that don’t push you towards being your brightest self.

outside ft. TENN

Everyone always assumes this song is about a romantic relationship, but I actually wrote this song about platonic love. I feel like as an adult it’s so hard to maintain and keep healthy friendships.

I am so guilty of being that friend who won't reply to messages or reach out to check in on the friends that I love and care so deeply about, but I've also been on the receiving end of that, and it makes you feel terrible. When I think of this song, I picture me outside my friend’s window being like, “Hey, I’m outside! Do you still care about me?” lol. I was listening to a lot of Brakence at the time but still wanted to incorporate some R&B influences into the song so TENN was the PERFECT feature.

Happyforyou

“I haven’t worked out how to be happy for you,” that lyric alone is the story of my life. Being in the creative industry has definitely made me compare myself to people non-stop. I think sometimes we all need to delete the Spotify for Artists app, TikTok, and Instagram, and that’s what this song is about over some indie/hyper-popesque production.

hurts ft. Sophie DeMasi

"hurts" is a reflection of the impact we have on those around us. I love that I can listen back to this song and think about the consequences of my own actions over some very hectic jungle and breakbeats production, produced by myself and Dylan Guy.

b-day

I am always sad on my birthday, and it’s definitely because I feel like I’m getting older but not wiser, and this song is about that.

Iceland

This is probably one of the oldest tracks on the EP, and I questioned putting it on the EP for some time, but I’m glad I did. I really love it when projects finish on ballads. During my high school years, I always shared with my parents my plan to move to Iceland after graduation, as it's the place I've long associated with leading a quiet life. I saw this poem once by Phoebe Wahl that said,

“There is a little house somewhere, surrounded by green cedar boughs, where we are eating oatcakes with honey, dipping them in our tea three times for good luck. Somewhere I am sitting with you in stillness.” That poem was what inspired the song. I always feel torn between wanting to “make something of myself” and go to the biggest, loudest rooms and most crowded cities, but then also knowing that the most beautiful moments of life are the quiet ones spent amongst those you love.

          - Jewel Owusu, April 2024

Jewel Owusu's new EP Jool Wave is out now

Jool Wave EP Artwork

Follow Jewel Owusu: Instagram / Facebook

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