I’ve been holding off about posting about JMSN because I’m still struggling to ascertain the amount of authenticity and originality behind his act. As soon as you click play on his album cut Something you will instantly be able to tell that this isn’t just some effort from an amateur musician who has been gaining traction off his own back; there has been some serious effort involved in the production of this song with the clear intention to cultivate (or replicate) a particular type of sound. As was my initial suspicion, JMSN (a.k.a Christian Berishaj) used to hold a recording contract with Atlantic Records along with a band he had put together called Love Arcade. Love Arcade broke up three years after releasing their debut album in 2006, which subsequently resulted in Christian deciding to record a solo album under the name Christian TV (released under Universal Motown in 2010). Christian has so far gone from sounding like this, to this, and finally to what you can hear above in an incredibly short space of time.
The shocktastic music video for Something that was released earlier this month was put together by Luis Perez, who was also the director of photography for Tyler The Creator‘s infamous Yonkers video. The similarities between the videos are plain to see, except instead of ingesting a cockroach, JMSN decides to go one better by inappropriately cavorting with a squid. The main question I have been asking myself is whether this song or video would have been created at all if The Weeknd and OFWGKTA had not made such a cultural impact in 2011. A lot has been made of Lana Del Rey‘s authenticity over the past 6 months, but at least she came to the table delivering something relatively innovative in the form of Video Games.
On the other hand, maybe I’m wrong, and what I have just said might be completely off the mark. What if his previous projects were sculpted by his record labels and in fact this, right here, is the real sound of Christian Berishaj? They have certainly made a point of highlighting the fact that all of his JMSN tracks are self-produced, which is an impressive achievement in itself because the quality on show is undeniable. Due to the nature of his falsetto vocals, it was obvious that he would instantly draw comparisons with The Weeknd and Justin Timberlake, which is also slightly unfair heat for an artist who ultimately has no say over his genetics.
I honestly want to believe the latter end of my argument is the real truth, as even though this post may have masked my true feelings about his work, I genuinely do enjoy listening to his music. I’d like to hear all of your thoughts about JMSN, but in hindsight I would recommend listening to his debut album †Priscilla† before forming any judgements as I feel it gives a more well-rounded perspective of his music (I suggest via Spotify).