Jamaican native and now Los Angeles based singer/songwriter Allocai is certain to make waves with his single “Hush” from his album Cruelty. Cruelty is the result of a five year musical education born out of personal pain and, in the end, being true to himself. He was a student in medical school when he found out his father and girlfriend at the time had become romantically involved. The revelation sent Allocai’s life into a tailspin and he only found a way out through music. After developing his skills as a vocalist and songwriter, he made the fateful decision to leave medical school without a degree and focus himself, instead, on chasing after musical ambitions. He relocated to Los Angeles to facilitate achieving these dreams and another world opened for him – one that included acknowledging his sexuality in full, something impossible for him in Jamaica’s repressive climate, and began dating men.
You can hear much of that wide open sense of self reflected in every aspect of “Hush”. The song has an irrepressible spirit buoyed by an unforgettable melody and Allocai’s easy manner with the both the melody and vocals. He takes well-written and conversational lyrics to new heights thanks, in part, to his friendly and charismatic delivery. This is a performer determined to communicate and speak to listeners on their level rather than losing them through willful obscurity and self-indulgence. His vocal complements the song’s melodic strengths rather than overshadowing or being juxtaposed against them.
“Hush” has a high gloss pop sheen from beginning to end, but there is plenty of musical substance contained within its near four minute running time. It has some light atmospherics laden into the track – the brief but evocative introduction and vocal effects chief among them. The song likewise benefits from exceptional yet never ostentatious guitar work and crisp drumming that creates a strong and deep groove for listeners to latch onto. Everything is here for a memorable ride – melody, musical skill, and a strong sense of personality shining through during every passage. Allocai sounds like he entered the studio with a clear idea of what he wanted from this song and achieves it. It has freedom and ease of expression that defines all great songs even when you know a great deal of work behind the scenes went into realizing its potential.
It definitely whets your appetite to hear the full album and where Allocai goes from here. His career comes out of the corner swinging and he possesses the sort of presence as a pop artist that normally takes years to cultivate and refine. It may sound like a cliché to say his future seems limitless, but there’s no question in my mind that Allocai has the necessary tools and talents to do whatever he sets his mind to and remain a potent force in the pop world for years, if not decades, to come. He may disagree but, at this point, I think Allocai should send his father a thank you note – short and to the point. What began as a personal tragedy has now turned into unmitigated triumph.
The music of ALLOCAI has been heard all over the world due to the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Records. Learn more – musikandfilm.com