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In his latest project, Violet Skies: Volume I, Jahan Nostra combines modern content and concepts with a vintage, raw hip-hop sound. The eclectic collection of production and featured artists create a well-rounded project with no wasted space. Nostra’s slick lyricism and thought-provoking content are elevated by powerful sonic backdrops, taking listeners on a journey through sound and feeling. The respect Nostra has for hip-hop culture is evident in every record he’s dropped, and Violet Skies is no different. With 50 years of foundation setting the stage, Nostra showcases a keen understanding of the culture he’s stayed so dedicated to.
More about the Violet Skies EP
Violet Skies: Volume I serves as the first full project from Jahan Nostra since his 2016 release, ESP. Although it’s been a minute since Nostra dropped a complete collection of music, make no mistake about it – the Connecticut-based emcee hasn’t been laying low. Much to the contrary, Nostra has been keeping his pen sharp and his flow fierce as he let numerous singles loose over the years while he worked on his forthcoming Violet Skies series. With an official release set for March 7th, Nostra is primed and focused as he prepares to share his most recent work with the world.
The first of three installments, Violet Skies: Volume I features Nostra lacing an eclectic collection of production with his characteristically conscious and aware wordplay. Throughout the project, listeners will experience a wonderful juxtaposition of modern content and concepts with an authentic, raw hip hop sound. There is a throwback feel to the entirety of the 9-track EP, calling on soulful, jazzy and emotion-inducing instrumentation to help bring Nostra’s streams of consciousness to life. Despite that vintage essence, Nostra and his meticulously handpicked featured artists find their footing and foundation in the present moment. As the project plays from front to back, it’s almost as if you’re floating between time and space, with one foot in the past and another firmly planted in the present. Violet Skies: Volume I is like a tip of the cap to the artists and energy that helped pave the path, acknowledging and embracing what made this genre we know and love possible, while also making sure to take all those sonic lessons and flipping them with the intention to push the game even further.
As noted, the artists who join Nostra on Violet Skies: Volume I fit like precisely placed puzzle pieces, helping to create a well-rounded project with no wasted space. From Masta Ace (“Dedication 2”) and Ché Noir (“P.L.A.G.A”) to Curt Cohiba (“Picture Frames”) and Kyro (“We Up”), there is a beautiful range of energy and style presented throughout the EP. In addition to the featured rhymers, Nostra also enlists some top-shelf vocals from the likes of Finn Wiggins-Henry (“Bond No. 7”) and Zhaklina (“Fiery Diary”) who add an always welcomed dose of soul to their respective records. In the realm of dapping up the culture, Nostra makes sure to shine a light on as many of the elements as he can with Violet Skies, calling on Paris-based DJ Clif and DJ Kingflow to bless the EP with some classic scratches (“French Stimulus”). Additional features on the EP come courtesy of Whiteout, Tahmell, REKS, Symphony Swingg and Zeus Anderson.
While Nostra makes sure Violet Skies is overflowing with slick lyricism and thought-provoking content, he recognizes the importance of a powerful sonic backdrop to assist his words in reaching their highest potential. And there is no shortage of wavy instrumentation on the EP, each track taking listeners on a ride deep into the exact emotion Nostra intended. Violet Skies really does become a journey through sound and feeling, with Nostra steering the ship through the varied production featured on the project. Listeners will get hit with bass-heavy boom bap, feel-good jazz, sultry RnB and even a low, looming energy depending on the joint they have playing. It’s a testament to Nostra’s versatility as he hops on each record and makes it his own, regardless of the energy or aura of the production. Violet Skies: Volume I features instrumentation from Buda Bap Beats, Symphony Swingg, Crow, E Major, DJ King Flow and Jay All Day Music.
The respect Nostra has for the culture, style, people and energy of hiphop is present on each and every record he’s dropped over the course of his storied career. And it’s no different on Violet Skies. As fate would have it, Violet Skies: Volume I finds life in the same year hip hop celebrates its 50th anniversary – and that is clearly no coincidence. With 50 years of foundation setting the stage, Nostra steps into the spotlight and showcases a keen understanding of the culture he’s stayed so dedicated to. Through the highs and lows of his journey, one thing that has remained consistent is the influence hip hop has had on Nostra and the love Nostra has had for the culture. Violet Skies: Volume I calls attention to the love, highlighting the elements that grabbed hold of Nostra back in his youth and guided him towards his purpose. Everyone has their own thoughts and opinions on the current state of the game, but Nostra understands nothing today would be possible without the hustle, creativity and dedication of those who came before him.
Violet Skies: Volume I was recorded primarily in Queens, NY with Zeus Anderson, with parts of the project coming courtesy of Chris “Murda” Burke in Stamford, CT. The EP was mixed by South Florida-based engineer Chris “Serafin” Anger. And, once again paying homage to the elements, the cover art for Violet Skies: Volume I was designed by MeaS7, an internationally known graffiti artist located in Jakarta, Indonesia.
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