JYellowL: “I’m finding out what my ‘why’ is”

JYellowL’s debut album 2020 D|vision is an exploration of goals and concepts, one that’s been a long time coming. After several EPs in recent years, but also dabbling in music since his childhood, the rapper, Jean-Luc Uddoh, raised in Dublin to Jamaican and Nigerian parents, always looked destined to pursue a life in music. 

His commitment is such that the rapper says the entire purpose of his education – in particular a degree in politics from UCD – was to lay the groundwork for a politically-heavy career in music. His music has since helped soundtrack the hit TV series Normal People, and he’ll shortly take part in the BBC documentary ‘The Rap Game UK’. 

He’s spoken to crowds at Black Lies Matter Dublin protests, and addresses racism proudly and starkly in his lyrics.

“It feels like stepping into my purpose, really, having a full body of work done to call my own” JYellowL says. “The whole process was great, you only get to finish your debut album once.”

“It felt a lot different to the EPs, I guess EPs would be more the same sort of concepts, but done really concisely. I don’t delve as deeply into certain things as I’d like to on the EPs, and I have done on the album. That was the major thing for me when I was writing.”

“There are a lot of concepts. The overarching theme is the different stages of growth for an up and coming artist, finding out what my ‘why’ is. It’s one I touch on from the very first track on the album, and it slowly progresses from a state of questioning everything but maybe taking everything at face value, to actually realising the impact I could make with what I’m doing, and what my goal is as an artist. That’s the main idea.”

“I address things like racism, hypocrisy, pride, humility, patience, the balance between those things. They’re basic human concepts, but it’s about my experience with them and my relationship with them.”