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Jordan Mackampa | Foreigner

The Brit-Congolese singer fuses artful beauty & pop brilliance on his winning debut.

THE PRESS RELEASE: “British-Congolese singer Jordan Mackampa creates soul-soaked, indie-driven tracks that swim in the sounds and stories of the cities he’s inhabited over the years. His searing songs are documents of his life as an outsider, and his sound is a melting pot of cultures that stretch from his birthplace in the Republic of Congo to a hip hop-obsessed childhood in North London to teen years spent immersed in indie-rock in Coventry, U.K. He combines his timeless vocals with catchy melodies and heartfelt lyrics to create an exciting hybrid of alternative pop and soul which will enchant and uplift in equal measure. His debut full-length album Foreigner is an album that sees Jordan scaling fresh heights, adding sumptuous strings, gospel backing vocals and grime influences to his contemporary soul. From his breakthrough in 2017 with the protest song Battlecry to this autumn’s acclaimed What Am I — a modern take on Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On — Jordan’s powerful message music has grown rapidly in scope and scale, soaking up new influences and becoming more complex.”

MY TWO CENTS: I hadn’t heard of Jordan Mackampa until about a month ago, when Foreigner’s jazz-infused, infectiously upbeat and fittingly titled opening cut Magic arrived in a pack of several hundred singles. Granted, things slow down and mellow out a bit after that. But even so, I suspect his firmly rooted grooves, soulful songcraft, stylish sonics and disarming vocals — a meticulously assembled combination that deftly toes the line between artful beauty and accessible commercialism — will make a similarly deep impression on you.