jelani aryeh debut album
[Photo credit: Daniel Lang]

Jelani Aryeh has released his stunning “From These Heights” music video from his forthcoming album I’ve Got Some Living to Do. The video shows Aryeh in an empty house with glimpses of protests throughout. 

Aryeh sees the track as a reflection of the chaos of the world when he was writing the track last year.

“There were wildfires everywhere, and it genuinely felt like the world was coming to an end,” says Aryeh. “It was a chaotic time and everything felt like it was in flux. I think that made me want to escape reality a bit.”

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The musician also detailed the way the new video fits into the broader project of his upcoming record. 

“It’s been a goal of mine to make a video for each single on the album,” Aryeh says. “With ‘From These Heights,’ we wanted to put emphasis on the lyrics and capture its feeling with an intense performance-based video. To achieve that [director Will Noyce] really just kept it as simple as possible, with the majority of shots being just me delivering the message confined to a draped room. it’s designed so you have no option but to feel the weight of the words – I’m literally saying it to your face.”

Aryeh teased the release of the music video for “From These Heights” in a video on Twitter Tuesday, writing, “<tomorrow/🖤\9am pt>”

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The San Diego native has spent the last year like a lot of other musicians: alone, indoors and writing music. From quarantine came the release of the single “Stella Brown,” a mystifying indie love track. 

The song garnered more than 20 million streams, landed on playlists including Spotify’s Lorem playlist, and received acclaim from Amazon Music’s Zane Lowe.

The release of “Marigold followed in March 2021 from No Matter and Imperial Records.

“‘Marigold’ is an electric record,” says Jessica McKinney of Complex. The track is filled with metaphors and symbolism as Jelani finds beautiful ways to describe the marigold color.” 

Aryeh was inspired by artists such as Bon Iver and Phoebe Pridgers all the way to Feist and RadioheadIn an interview with Alternative Press, Aryeh detailed his upcoming album as well as the musical moment that informed the release. According to him, his musical career and ethereal style began as the result of pushing back from the status quo at Aryeh’s high school. 

“It was also at the height of SoundCloud rap, like Lil Uzi [Vert] and Lil Yachty,” he says to Alternative Press. “I wanted to talk about something different. I wanted to make something that would enrich people’s souls, speak to them [and] make them feel good.”

Aryeh also spoke extensively about the musical themes at play on the record.

“I feel like one thing was just love and then also the lack thereof at times,” Aryeh says to Alternative Press. “ There are moments where I feel love so deeply, and then there are moments where it feels like it’s completely stripped away. And then another loneliness, especially writing half of it in the pandemic and sitting with myself for such a long time and being able to reflect on past events and feeling lonely. Just desire—desire to travel, desire to live. I feel like that’s a strong one because the album is called I’ve Got Some Living To Do. So just desire to live a different life from my life here in the suburbs and hopefully go to London one day or something like that. I feel like seeking innocence again or just looking back toward childhood and missing that innocence but also trying to find that now… How I can stay a child and see the world with wonder.”