Throwaway Style: Jayda G and Finding Self Care Through Rhythm

Throwaway Style, Local Music
02/01/2018
Dusty Henry
Photo by Rafe Scobey-Thal

Throwaway Style is a weekly column dedicated to examining all aspects of the Northwest music scene. Whether it’s a new artist making waves, headlines affecting local talent, or reflecting on some of the music that’s been a foundation in our region; this space celebrates everything happening in the Northwest region, every Thursday on the KEXP Blog.


"The only person I'm trying to impress is myself," Vancouver B.C. house DJ Jayda G told Resident Advisor in a feature last summer. "I think that's the most important thing when you're a DJ. If you stop impressing yourself, you've lost something."

Self care and self love are ideas that get thrown around a lot more and more, causing debate on what's actually effective and what's just a really nice bubble bath. When the world feels like it's crumbling around you, taking care of yourself mentally and physically gets harder and harder. But how do you do it effectively? And what if you try to practice self care only for someone to tell you you're doing it wrong? Listening to Jayda G's (aka Jayda Guy) music and feeling the philosophy behind the tracks she spins and creates, "self love" immediately comes to mind. That quote above from RA speaks to that. Self love is about only having to prove something to yourself. It's an uncompromising spirit that exudes through every cut she touches. Now she's offered up the clearest example of this with her latest 12-inch, Diva Bitch, with Alexa Dash on Guy's own Freakout Cult imprint.  

 

Infusing deep house beats with disco has become a trademark of Guy's sound. It's a remarkable pairing, one that's near undeniable when it's pulsing through your speakers. But it's not just that the timbre of these two genres mesh well together, it's the spirit and attitude that Guys infuses as she flips these tracks. She could be playing Donna Summer or an original beat, it doesn't matter. You feel her enthusiasm for the music coming through. And it's not anything she's doing for us – it's for her. In that vain, "Diva Bitch" is a manifesto. Vocalist Alexa Dash serves as Guy's voice, beaming as she cooly proclaims that she doesn't want a loser lover, she wants someone who has "jazz and class, who knows how to see deep, so deep, inside me." Dash's confidence is infectious, especially when the beat drops and she proclaims that she's "a goddess worth worshipping." On the "JAYDA G GET DOWN ON UR KNEES MIX" version of the song (also, incredible name), we really get to feel Guy match Dash in her bravado. There's the steady patter of high hats and kicks driving the song along, but the swirling keys and bass lines that pop in and out of the mix keep it moving along wildly. It's one of those great house tracks that you wish could go on forever. 

 

These days, Guy finds herself bouncing back and forth between B.C. and Berlin, but there's an unmistakable Northwestern quality that still thrives in her music. It's engrained in her. It's that attitude of not concerning yourself with what others want from you and just creating on your own whims – a "throwaway style" if you will. On her last non-single release, Sixth Spirit of the Bay, she sprints back and forth from funky dance jams to experimental jazz excursions like "Heaven Could Be Lately," which interporlates dialogue from My So-Called Life questioning "Why do girls have to tear each other down?" There's a looseness in her rhythms, building and branching out in any direction that she sees fit. It has that certain magic that comes through unfiltered self-expression. Guy likes to play full tracks in her DJs sets, much to the chagrin of some DJ purists, but she doesn't care. If she doesn't want to beat match to another song or just wants to let the vibe of the song play out to its full realization, that's her wont to do. That's consistent with every Jayda G cut I've heard and I'm sure will continue to be the case in the future. To care for yourself is to embrace who your self is. That's what Guy's music does for me, but more importantly it seems like that's what it does for her. 

Diva Bitch is available now via Freakout Cult

New and News

Gifted Gab and Blimes Brixton Release "Come Correct" Music Video

Seattle's own Gifted Gab is having a much deserved viral moment with the "Come Correct" music video with San Francisco rapper Blimes Brixton. With clips filmed in front of the iconic (and sadly now defunct) Promenade Red Apple with a Mercedes parked on wet pavement, it's hard to not beam with hometown pride while Gab and Brixton share bars back and forth. Neither rapper ever loses their composure, making their piercing rhymes hit even harder. The energy between these two is palpable and I can only hope we hear even more collaborations from them in the future. With a feature spot on VEVO, this track is poised to blow up and that's a win not just for Seattle but for hip-hop fans around the world. 

 

AJ Suede Releases Melancholy Trill II

Seattle via Harlem rapper AJ Suede follows up last year's excellent Gotham Fortress with a new EP titled Melancholy Trill II. A sequel to the first Melancholy Trill (which also came out in 2017), Suede continues to prove his rap dexterity over innovative beats from JPEGMafia, Wolftone, Diogenes, and more. Local favorite DoNormaal even shows up on the industrial tinged "Refinery." The final track, "Expensive Conversation," even includes an incredible sample of The Cure's "A Forest." Suede also promises more music later this month, with System of a Frown II dropping on Feb. 20.

Live and Loud: This Week's Recommended Shows

Feb. 1: Joe Waine, Medejin, Paisley Devil, and Sundae Crush at Hollow Earth Radio

Feb. 2: Weep Wave, Mhostly Ghostly, Hello, I'm Sorry, Spiller

 

Feb. 2: Kate Olson, Noel Brass Jr, Corey J Brewer at Hollow Earth Radio

 

Feb. 3: Falon Sierra, The Wednesdays, Nic Masangkay at Stone Way Cafe

 

Feb. 3: Little Star, Wave Action, Sweeping Exits at Bunk Bar (PDX)

 

Feb. 7: KEXP Clash Cover Night with Ayron Jones, Spirit Award, Emma Lee Toyoda, Low Hums, Black Night Crash, and OCEANWIRES at KEXP's Gathering Space

 

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