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The Mid Year Report launched in 2016 with the intent of spotlighting 10 artists within the realm of music who share and represent the adventurous, independent spirit of NEST HQ. Similar to our end-of-year superlatives, the Mid Year Report recognizes those musicians who are outpacing their contemporaries due to fearless creativity and deliberate integrity, and this week, we’ll be discussing 10 artists who we believe are pushing their genre forward in 2018.

Read below for our Mid Year Report on Jim-E Stack.

A lot has happened for the 25-year old producer Jim-E Stack since the release of his debut album Tell Me I Belong in 2014. The album itself procured interesting success as it wasn’t an outright smash, but instead displayed the brimming talent and potential of the young musician, and left major publications like Resident Advisor and Pitchfork excited for releases to come. In 2017, It’s Jim-ee was released, and the previously endowed potential was confirmed. The eclectic EP, which featured contributions from Charli XCX and Rostam Batmanglij of Vampire Weekend, showed Jim-E’s maturity and growth over the last three years; much of which was spent behind the scenes, relocating from Brooklyn to LA, working under Grammy-winning producer Ariel Rechtshaid, producing How To Dress Well’s last album, and working on one-off projects for artists like HAIM, A$AP Rocky, Sky Ferreira, and more.

The 6-track EP debuted newfound pop tendencies that gave form to his originally molten creative flow, and elevated his productions far out of ordinary constriction. R&B sensuality stained every track on the EP while dancefloor energy pushed them over the finish line. They still carried the apprehension and nudity found in Tell Me I Belong, but wore the nakedness with far more confidence and stride. “Deadstream,” the first single off the EP, is a heart-thumping vibe of a song that intelligently re-contextualizes an ’80s power ballad into a breaks record. “Moments Noticed” is far less romantic, and if “Deadstream” were prom, this song would be the guy that leaves alone at the end of the night.

Now, 2018 has seen the slow-drip release of casual singles like “Forgotten” and “Somebody” that live even more in the song-writing space, but still carry the raw loop-based vibrancy that we’ve grown so fond of. His inward search for inspiration has resulted in a one-of-a-kind magnetism that has attracted the eyes and respect of industry moguls, and placed in the running for the coveted title of  Your Favorite Producer’s Favorite Producer. The secretive musician has yet to announce any direction for the music, but I can only hope these singles mean he’s gearing up to release an album.

Jim-E Stack’s attraction is somewhat difficult to explain, but the more we learn about the artist, the more we fall for him. Perhaps his attitude is best paraphrased in Jacques Greene‘s takeover of Gorilla vs. Bear: “I met Jim-E a few years ago thru the WeDidIt boys, and just like them he exudes an incredible youthful, friendly, witty energy. His music always reflects it. It’s also the best when people you know seem to be constantly topping themselves and exploring new areas of their craft.” There’s a vulnerability found in everything he writes, and a genuine cohesion across his art, music, creative direction, and brand that can only stem from a dedication to himself. Further, his blend of dance genres that have historically lived deep in the underground — like Baltimore club and juke — with ’80s prom-colored sound palates and R&B is unlike anything I’ve ever heard. He’s helping to bring back the power and respect of being an electronic music producer.

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Words: Dani Noguera