It was the summer of 2016 when I went to The Bernard Shaw smoking area to see an artist who had recently changed his name from ProFound to Jafaris. In May of that year he released a video for ‘Lucid‘ that blew me away. The production, the videography and, crucially, the unbridled talent of the Dublin vocalist/dancer/rapper grabbed me by the throat.
There were 50 people in attendance, some chattering away while Jafaris performed, some nonchalantly nodding their heads to his music, some (like me) engrossed in the performance.
Fast forward to March 2019 and I dare you to find one person at a listening party in a packed out Button Factory who wasn’t 100 per cent concentrated on the stage while Jafaris performed tracks from his debut album ‘Stride’.
I interviewed the Dubliner for Issue 002 where we spoke about the burden of hype, how “Everybody is trying to get people to open the door so we can all run in”. He was referring to artists like Rejjie Snow, but now he’s one of those artists. A beacon for other underground artists, shining the way for others with aspirations as lofty as his.
‘Stride’ proves he’s ready be the link to the underground in the mainstream, topping the charts but showing Ireland, the UK and inevitably the rest of the world that there’s artistry in pop music.