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Artist of the Week: Rex Orange County

April 13, 2017

 

There’s no better feeling than stumbling across a new artist that blows your mind. For me, that new artist is 18-year-old Alex O’ Brien, a.k.a. Rex Orange County. His debut album bcos u will never b free has been the only thing I’ve listened to over the last week.

 

You can tell that Rex recorded this album during a very specific time in his life, and Rex actually recorded the album in his bedroom and uploaded it to Bandcamp for free. The mellow, jazzy, and raw vocals are addicting from the very first song on the album. Rex’s sound is something I believe is missing from music today. He uses influences from jazz, soul, rap, and R&B to create an entirely new vibe that can change a listener’s mood instantly.

 

I’m not the only one who was amazed by Rex. He caught the attention of rapper Tyler, the Creator, who ended up co-signing him, and BadBadNotGood. Since then, Rex has released his new single Best Friend that debuted on Zane Lowe’s new music playlist on Apple Music. Rex sings about staying true to yourself throughout loving somebody else. Rex’s lyrics are relatable and intriguing, and I find myself memorizing every word he says.

 

 

On Paradise, Rex sings, “How you’re gonna figure out / How you’re gonna do your best / See the reason why they did not understand you in school / Same reason why you tell yourself you’re not cool.” Rex uses this same brutal honesty in every single track.

 

It’s exciting to see how Rex is developing and changing as an artist; he uses so many different influences from genres of music and ideas from other producers that he is working with. Rex Orange County is definitely an artist to keep your eye on in 2017, and I'm very excited to see how Rex discusses his newfound success on his next album.

 

 

Listen to JAMS With Jos & Sam, Thursdays at 3 p.m.

 

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