This American couple is a mystery. Both singers and musicians, they managed to impose their arts, individually and together. Let’s focus on the synergy sensible between them and for each one.
It took me years to really understand and interest myself to this magnificent artist. I first saw her name on the song « These walls »(2015) by the prodige Kendrick Lamar, from the famously album « To Pimp A Butterfly »(2015) (they won a Grammy for this song). At the time, I didn’t dig enough. But I found her voice incredible. The artist is also very known in the American rap industry. And by the end of 2019, my continuous appetite for music led me to finally listen her music. Thanks to the rapper Ab-Soul, who also have collaborated with the artist, I’ve entered her world.
Anna Wise made me think of the famous infamous singer Skylar Grey in terms of image and career. She’s always been present, but not in the lights and I can’t blame her. She’s there and not there at the same time. Her music speaks for her, loud and clear. Her personality is sensed in her music. Her soft and delicate voice delivers unique sensations. She tempers and adapts. She’s like clair/obscur, the sun and the night, the Louvre and Beaubourg at the same time. As her aesthetic visuals, I can sense some a lot of painting movements. The covers of the duo Feminine Act projects are represented by some Art Nouveau or Pre–Rapahelite paintings of herself. Her voice sends a natural energy, reminding me of environnementalist/new age voices : it’s old and new, classical and contemporary. It’s lointain and close, like the voice of a mermaid. I can personally class her in my list of magical queens with the splendid Florence, the singer Nai Palm and the group KING. Her voice feels like air, you can hear it but it’s untouchable, it’s pure and vital.
Her first album « The Feminine Act : I » (2016) persuaded me to dig more. Divided between neosoul, alternative, electronic beats, Anna owns each song beautifully. We can perceive a feminist spirit as with the song « BitchSlut » where Anna sings proud and loud and affirm women rights to dress and behave as they want. Her latest album « As If It A Were Forever » (2018) is a pure mix of her art. With some bright collaborations as « Count My Blessings » ft the Miamian rapper Denzel Curry and « Abracadabra » ft the Londoner rapper Little Simz, Anna introduced us to her world, a complex and airy one.
Jon Bap is originally from Dallas (TX). He’s simply a musician wizard. As I started to appreciate Anna’s music, my discoveries directed me to Jon. And I was not deceived at all. I directly added him to my favorite masterminds producers and musicians composed of Karriem Riggins, Phonte or Flying Lotus and more. But Jon Bap got that electric energy.
Alternating between organic (composed of guitar and battery) and instrumental melodies (digital and electronic beats), he clearly has a love for discordant sounds. But It always has a sense. In addition of the instruments, Jon is a confirmed singer. His jazzy and pleasant voice coincide with his music. A perfect match. The guitar sounds to be a big part of his musical universe, maybe the texan in him, a part of his cultural DNA. And he uses it wonderfully. As for Anna, Jon has a particular graphic identity. Most of his projects depict some Expressionism and Impressionism inspired paintings of him. The album « Yesterday’s Homily » (2017) cover tends to Modernism (or Abstrait art).
His first album « What Now » (2016) is full of sophisticated sounds divided between folkloric/tender ballades and industrial/digital sounds. His voice overflies and completes each song as it should. I have a crush on the song « Intuition » and its disorganized arrangement. His sophomore album « Let It Happen »(2016) which the cover is Jon naked body, is sublime. Its soulful and rich in dynamic rhythms. The songs « Forced » and « Marisa » are the primer examples, some delightful ballades, perfect for spring or autumn, made for ambiant times.
Anna and Jon are definitely musical soulmates : their voices + their visions are undetachable. They succeeded to create their own musical character without erasing each other. They are like diamonds and gold. Their creations seem to gain value and they are eternal. Their magical voices especially Anna’s voice, are remarkable. Their mutual album « Geovariance »(2018) is the ultimate proof. « Geovariance » is the ultimate blend of strangeness. With virtual sounds and baffling noises and voices, the project is a call from a faraway dimension and galaxy. They have combined their worlds and messed our minds, successfully. Together, they are more dignified and their ideas touch an another sphere. Anna Wise and Jon Bap are the duo of individuals that I needed. They excelled and their inspirations never tarnished. Finally and I think we can all agree that they form a super galactic team.
I hope that I gave you the envy to discover them.
Don’t be afraid.