The newest addition to our Home Team column is 20-year-old artist Jean Deaux. A vocalist and lyricist through and through, her music blends hip-hop with R&B, soulful echoes with passionate cries. You can find her running wild with bars of gusto (like on "Right Now") and also singing you to sleep (like on Mick Jenkins' "Healer"). Jean Deaux can spit better than most male rappers and can sing finer than most of her female counterparts.
"If you dont know me, I'm the talk of the town / Say you a bitch, I put the dogs in the pound / Got me a mil, spend it all in a hour / Ain't no competition, eat em all, I devour."
Most recently, Jean released a three song EP entirely produced by Chicago collective THEMpeople. The trio of songs, compiled as her Outer Body EP, is a nice offering to hold over fans in between full-length projects: we heard Soular System Vol. 1: Dark Matter[s] this time last year, and Volume 2 is being teased for early 2016. In the between time, all thirteen minutes of her new EP are gripping and original. Prior to Outer Body, Jean released the loose single, "Stay/Stars Crossed", over the summer, which was produced by Donnie Trumpet. No weak releases.
On top of creating music, Jean Deaux has also taken a step behind the camera as a music video director. Her first attempt was at her own music video, "Motel 6", which we saw last year. Now, she's working on a number of projects for various artists around the city. While I can't give out too much information, I can say that, amongst other things, she's working on an upcoming video for Smino.
In regards to her connection with Smino, a Polaroid of Deaux hangs on the wall of production room Zero Island, located within Classick Studios. The Island is home to the Zero Fatigue squad, made up of Smino, Monte Booker, Ravyn Lenae, and more. Although not an official member of Zero Fatigue, Deaux is the only female member of group The Village 777, which includes Alex Wiley, Kembe X, Isaiah Rashad, Monster Mike, and more. To add even more depth to the squadliness, Jean Deaux is also a spiritual guide within the collective known as Medicine Woman, which includes Via Rosa, Drea Smith, Ravyn Lenae, Kehlani, and more. With collectives and associations galore, plenty of songs around the corner, and a new title as video director, Deaux is yet another young talent bouncing around the city from performance to recording session to video shoot.
Look out for more multimedia pieces from Deaux in the future. Until then, enjoy our "Essential Listens" from her SoundCloud and revisit some of the finer songs of the past year. Also, be sure to check her out on December 20 at Schubas alongside Smino and Monte Booker.