Written by Rahoul Naik
Four years after making her debut with the well-received Love Life EP and catching the ears of tastemakers such as SBTV and Ronnie Scott’s, London-based Leicester singer and songwriter Justene, who can be described as bringing a distinctively fresh contemporary R&B sound and an undeniably organic approach to modern music, is back with her sophomore EP titled 2AM.
Produced by burgeoning London musicians Feranmi Oguns and Bastian Testori and written by Justene, along with Oguns, Testori, and Fola Makanjuola, the 4-track 2AM EP makes for a compelling and infectious listen from start to finish, packed with glorious 80’s Funk/Pop, power ballads and more contemporary R&B sensibilities, over which Justene highlights her amazing vocals and honest songwriting.
From the glorious opening track Chemistry, which sees Justene waxing lyrical about an instant unexplainable attractions, and the atmospheric R&B offering Walls, with its resounding chorus, to the gripping piano ballad Hide, which sees Justene tackle her self-doubt and insecurities head-on. This is a perfect returning introduction to a voice and sound that is loved and cherished by many.
Speaking about the inspiration for the 2AM EP, Justene says, “This record is about my inner most thoughts, conversations I have with myself but wish I could share out loud. My mind is preoccupied with a thousand other things during the day, so when it’s late at night and everything has quietened down, that’s when I’m able to process a lot of things I may be feeling but not had the time to acknowledge”.
“For this EP, I knew I only wanted to talk about things I could relate to personally rather than abstract things I have no experience of, as I want my listeners to have a better understanding of who I am. To do so, I had to learn how to be vulnerable, dig a little deeper, and expose myself in my songs. ‘2AM’ is definitely my journal of thoughts and feelings in melody, recording it has proved to be quite cathartic. I absolutely love this EP and I think it reflects me well”.
Hailing from a city where songwriting is in the air from the likes of Mahalia to Kasabian, Justene is in good company when it comes to creating music that has a story and truth.
Check out the EP below: