Jaleel drops ‘Too Young’

By Rosalia David

AWARD winning RnB artist Ian Brendell, better known as Jaleel, has dropped his first song for the year and plans to release two more singles in two weeks’ time. The single he released recently is titled ‘Young Forever’ and is available for download on different platforms, such as DonLu Africa, while the second release scheduled for Monday is titled ‘Red and Black’.

“Too Young’ is my first record for the year, followed by ‘Red and Black’ and then ‘Fronting’, featuring King Elegant, which I consider as my official single for the year. I don’t really categorize the other two as singles because I haven’t put out anything in four months’ time, so, it’s just something to hold on rather,” he said.

Speaking about the song featuring King Elegant, Jaleel said it’s a love song dedicated to everyone who once had that one perfect significant other. “Basically it’s telling someone that you gave them the best you can, putting them first when they were with you and now that they are not they shouldn’t be fronting like they are still part of your life.”

The artist who blends his life experiences into smooth R&B tracks added that he is also gearing up for his 2020 album though he could not reveal much about it currently as it is still in production phase.

The Windhoek-born lyricist rose to fame after the release of his debut album ‘Ever Since Eve’ which led to a win at the Namibian Annual Music Awards in 2017. In February 2018, he released his second album ‘Moments’, which spawning singles such as ‘Real Love’, ‘Gimme That’ and ‘Deserve’.

Last year, he also scooped the best R&B award at the NAMAs, which resulted in him getting massive recognition in the industry. Questioned as to whether he believes local R&B has gained the necessary exposure and recognition, he said slowly but surely the genre is gaining popularity as other genres move away from being the stepchild of the industry.

“I feel like the R&B envelope is not being pushed enough and I want to push it to a level where it is respected, like any other genre. Namibians like to dance, they don’t like to be in tune with their feelings. But we’re getting there,” he noted.

He says performing is a challenge. “Before one goes on stage, you are already nervous, now imagine having to perform an R&B song just after an artist with a more dance-song. The reaction from the crowd can easily put you off.”

Jaleel was an artist signed under Ogopa Butterfly record label for some time but took his own path in 2018 when he decided to become an independent artist. “I wanted the freedom to make my own music and R&B was not really something they were looking for, since they have Oteya already. The split was nothing personal,” he explained.

Apart from singing, Jaleel is a producer who writes and produces his own music.