LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Jef Jon Sin stepped into an RV in Los Angeles last year with one mission - to create new music that is unparalleled to anything he's ever released before.
With Sounds By Coop by his side, Jef was encouraged to dig into depths of his life that were previously unearthed. The Paducah, KY native began with his grandmother, who had recently passed away. Her name was Irene.
Once the blueprint for the new album was laid out, Jef and his team traveled to FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama to record it. Muscle Shoals is rich in music history. For more than half a century, it's been known for conceiving soulful sounds that can't be found anywhere else. FAME is where musicians such as Aretha Franklin, Percy Sledge and countless others found their inspiration for the classics we know today.
Jef titled the album Irene, paying homage to his late grandmother and her influence on his life and career. Her voice is heard on one the track's as she brags to about Jef's adventures as a hip-hop artist. Irene's signature graces the project's cover, overlayed on a photo of Jef as a young boy.
Irene takes us on a journey through the past few years of Jef Jon Sin's life. A time when he was traveling the U.S. and Europe, living in a van that also doubled as a mobile recording studio and concert venue. He spent his time performing impromptu shows for anyone who would listen and watch.
One member of Jef's attentive world-wide audience was none other than Kanye West. Jef was in Paris during Fashion Week in 2015 when he learned Kanye was also in town. He tracked down Yeezy's hotel and waited about eight hours for the rap icon to show up. As Jef performed on top of his van with the speakers blasting through the streets, Kanye pushed his way through fans and paparazzi to hear more. The smile on Kanye's face let the world know he was feeling Jef Jon Sin's music.
Releasing an audio album wasn't enough for Jef Jon Sin. The process of creating and recording Irene was filmed by his confidant and videographer, Bryce Stewart. Together, they produced a documentary called The Making of Irene and released it on Youtube, along with the interactive version of the album. Click here to watch.