2016 was a real active year. Just the month of December alone was real active, so it’s easy to have missed things. We’ve got you covered though with all the most notable moments and music from JSWISS in 2016.
1) No Music EP
Released in June, the release of the No Music EP was undoubtedly the focus of the year for JSWISS. Featuring top notch musicians who also work with the likes of Talib Kweli, Aretha Franklin and DJ Premier, No Music is a unique blend of hip hop, soul, funk and jazz that touch fans not only in the United States, but internationally. The Brady Watt-produced lead single “Sunshine To Rain” featuring Maya Azucena charted at #8 on the Top 20 Urban List on KSJS 90.5 FM radio in California. The acclaimed project was accompanied by an equally well-received, packed out release show at the legendary NYC venue The Bitter End, which invited SWISS back for an End of the Year performance this month.
2) The Source Magazine Interview
Right on the heels of the release of No Music, The Source Magazine, known for a longtime as one of the most respected voices in hip hop, published an interview feature with JSWISS, aptly titled JSWISS is Bringing the Focus Back to the Art of Emceeing. In the article writer KC Orcutt calls the EP an “incredible introduction to an artist determined to rise higher than where he was yesterday and is achieving his goals one well-executed project at a time.” Read the full article here.
3) “No Music” Mini Doc
See a theme here? Poised to not let a world with a short attention span forget about the stellar No Music EP, JSWISS teamed up with media company 1221 Media & Entertainment to produce a mini-documentary that was released this month and shed light on the inspiration behind No Music, as well as SWISS’ overall mindset at this point in his career.
4) Dave’s Joint (Music Video)
Also produced by 1221 Media & Entertainment, the video for “Dave’s Joint” pushed to the forefront a funky fan favorite off of the No Music EP.
5) Performing with EPMD
JSWISS performed in Boston twice in 2016, with the second time giving him the opportunity to open for hip hop legends EPMD on their 30th anniversary tour. The night ended with one half of EPMD, emcee/producer Erick Sermon himself emphatically praising SWISS for his performance and saying he’s “what hip hop needs right now.” Pretty solid co-sign.
6) JSWISS & Temple5 – “I Wish”
JSWISS had several notable collaborations and features in 2016, but in this case he might’ve saved the best for last. “I Wish” is an uplifting group effort with North Carolina-based hip hop/jazz band Temple5 that fits perfectly as a bookend to year that has been rough for many in several ways. They’ve got more music together coming in 2017 as well.
7) Tour with Phantom Pop
Staying with collabs, JSWISS connected with funk/jazz fusion band Phantom Pop in a major way in 2016. Besides been featured on the hot single “Banana Computer” (video above) from Phantom Pop, SWISS enlisted many of the bands members for his No Music EP and in his own live band, and in November they all hit the road together for a weeklong, 6-city tour of the Eastern part of the United States. Together they hit Roanoke, Raleigh, Boone, Nashville, Cincinnati and Akron. You can check out the high-recap video of the excursion here.
8) The Love Experiment f. JSWISS – “Friends”
JSWISS last collab of 2016 came with future-soul band The Love Experiment, which may remind listeners of The Internet or Moonchild. After releasing the album exclusively in Japan earlier in the year, the band released its debut, self-titled album digitally for the world to hear this month. Despite it being their first project, the band has been performing and tour together for six years, and the polish and cohesiveness is evident.
9) JSWISS & Jared Evan – “Glass Case”
JSWISS teamed up with singer/producer/emcee Jared Evan (known for his work with Statik Slektah, !llmind and Hoodie Allen) for this The Arcitype-produced single off of Boston-based promotions company Leedz Edutainment‘s upcoming Eastern Standard compilation.
10) U’Nique Music f. JSWISS – “Not Like Me”
If you’ve followed JSWISS’ career throughout the years you know he’s worked with producer U’Nique Music a whole lot. This year U’Nique Music released his sophomore solo project Audio Therapy: Part Deux, including the brand new track “Not Like Me” featuring JSWISS.
11) PitchBlak Playlist
Whether it’s backing hip hop veteran Pharoahe Monch or working with one of dozens of other NYC-based artists, PitchBlak Brass Band is definitely one of the gems of the New York music scene. JSWISS was fortunate to work with them twice in 2016, first as the featured artist for the April edition of the band’s “PitchBlak Playlist” series (video above), and again for the “PitchBlak Playlist Rewind” finale show this month along with Soul Khan, Silent Knight and more.
12) Huffington Post Black Voices Cypher
A couple of weeks ago JSWISS was featured in the Huffington Post Black Voices’ weekly BARS cypher on Faebook Live. Many loyal viewers said the consistency throughout made it possibly the strongest cypher they’d ever had. Watch the entire thing here.