Four years after making her debut with the well-received Love Life EP and catching the ears of tastemakers such as SBTV and Ronnie Scott’s, London-based Leicester singer and songwriter Justene, who can be described as bringing a distinctively fresh contemporary R&B sound and an undeniably organic approach to modern music, is back with her sophomore EP titled 2AM, premiered via Discobelle.
Produced by burgeoning London musicians Feranmi Oguns and Bastian Testori (OL Music), and written by Justene, along with Oguns, Testori, and Fola Makanjuola, the 4-track 2AM EP makes for a compelling and infectious listen from start to finish, packed with glorious 80’s Funk/Pop, power ballads and more contemporary R&B sensibilities, over which Justene highlights her amazing vocals and honest/relatable song-writing.
From the glorious opening track ‘Chemistry’, which sees Justene waxing lyrical about an instant unexplainable attractions, and the atmospheric R&B offering ‘Walls’, with its resounding chorus, to the gripping piano ballad ‘Hide’, which sees Justene tackle her self-doubt and insecurities head-on, and the EP title track ‘2AM’, Justene has returned with a truly outstanding body of work.
Thematically, Justene’s 2AM EP feels like a concept record about “late night/early morning conversations I wish I could say to a love interest”, which begins with the instant and ‘illogical’ attraction felt on ‘Chemistry’, leads to an almost-instinctive need to be guarded on ‘Walls’, and battling relationship insecurities on ‘Hide’, before culminating in misunderstandings and arguments that have to be settled on ‘2AM’.
Speaking about the inspiration for the 2AM EP, Justene says, “This record is about my inner most thoughts – conversations I have with myself but wish I could share out loud. My mind is preoccupied with a thousand other things during the day, so when it’s late at night and everything has quietened down, that’s when I’m able to process a lot of things I may be feeling but not had the time to acknowledge”.
“For this EP, I knew I only wanted to talk about things I could relate to personally rather than abstract things I have no experience of, as I want my listeners to have a better understanding of who I am. To do so, I had to learn how to be vulnerable, dig a little deeper, and expose myself in my songs. ‘2AM’ is definitely my journal of thoughts and feelings in melody, recording it has proved to be quite cathartic. I absolutely love this EP and I think it reflects me well”.