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Jelani Aryeh’s “Overexposed” Meditates on Social Media Claustrophobia

Carter Fife
Natasha Tilly

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been spending the past week meticulously crafting your upcoming summer rotation during this final somber week of spring. Almost by divine fate, this week indie/alternative artist Jelani Aryeh returns to us with his newest single “Overexposed” – a shining yet introspective dose of upbeat pop that perfectly captures this bittersweet mood. The single is taken straight from his upcoming record set for release later next month – it’s his first since 2019’s Helvetica, and if we can learn anything from “Overexposed,” it’s that he hasn’t missed a day in the studio since.

“Overexposed” is the fourth single this year from the 21-year old Filipino/African-American artist, and on his newest release, Jelani Aryeh provides listeners with his signature vocal performances and affinity for genre-blurring. With steady rock percussion, “Overexposed” presents an ambient and downtempo B-track that serves as the perfect foundation for Jelani’s bouncy and passionate vocals. The track is about the volatility in the life of an artist, where everything is mercurial and constantly subject to change. In the midst of social media-fueled self-doubt and participating in an industry just as full of promise as it is daunting, finding the place to stop can be just as difficult as finding the inspiration to start. “This song stemmed from a conversation about how social media never lets you feel like you can be alone with your own thoughts” Jelani says about “Overexposed”. “...You're always being updated on things that you don't need to know or care about.”

Between the generous offering of new singles, his upcoming July 30th record, and his recent reveal as a headliner for D.C.’s All Things Go Music Festival this fall, Jelani Aryeh is certainly putting his best foot forward in 2021. With much to look forward to, and likely much more on the way, now is the perfect time to become a fan.

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