For many indie artists, a mention of their swirl of previous day jobs is a line of questioning to be avoided -but in the life and career of the wildly eclectic singer/songwriter J. Ramada – whose fascinating latest EP Turquoise needs only five tracks to offer a master class in fusing edgy rock, Americana, jazz, EDM, folk, Latin/flamenco and soulful, grooving trap vibes – those gigs are essential parts of understanding his creative timeline.
He released his debut album Tongue & Groove while working as a DJ at KOTR Radio and bookbinding by hand in the Big Sur Art Scene. He followed supporting tours of North America and Europe with a job creating special effects for film, which serendipitously led to an invite to Prince’s Oscar party and an opportunity to sing – an experience so profound that it sparked Ramada’s next opus, Too Many Days Without, featuring the Czech National Symphony Orchestra.
For all of its expansive influences, Turquoise is a lower key, blissfully more intimate production. Although Ramada penned the hopeful, folk/EDM fired first single “Imaginary Thunder” – whose defy the odds, let’s stick together narrative see saws between gentle acoustic verses and a tension filled rock hook – at studio SOMA in Lima, Peru and some tracking was done in Prague, the EP as a whole is pretty much a COVID quarantine era statement created from file sharing between the L.A. based singer and Grammy winning engineer Seth Atkins Horan.
Though the styles go freewheeling effortlessly from exotic, clapping flamenco funk (“The Last in Line”) and gentle acoustic grace (“Any Other Way”) to atmospheric, piano driven R&B/pop (“King of Hearts”) and trippy sensual ambience (“Too Far To Go”), each track is an impactful showcase for Ramada’s expansive compositional artistry and breathy, emotionally raw vocals, which thread every stray thread of turquoise together.
Listen to Turquoise here: Turquoise - Single by J. Ramada | Spotify