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Happy Birthday, Nujabes

This year marks the forty-seventh birthday of Jun Seba. The 26th of February this year will also mark the 10th anniversary of his passing. Jun Seba was an impeccable Japanese musician and DJ who released only a few projects, all with intense power.

Listeners and musicians of various genres such as hip-hop, lo-fi, and jazz will recognize Seba’s name without second-guessing the influence he had on those genres. Praised for his works such as Metaphorical Music, Spiritual State, and most notably, Modal Soul, Seba’s music is still being adamantly listened to a decade after his passing.

Giving Modal Soul another listen, tracks such as “Sea of Clouds” and “Ordinary Joe” transports me back to the first time experiencing the melodic resonance of his instrument and sample choices. What listeners hear from his tracks is the perfect arrangement of sampled brass instruments and voice dialogues. What listeners feel from his music are the sways, chills, and joy from the inner workings of his mind.

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Instantly, many listeners feel at peace when his music is played. There is no denying that after a decade of his unfortunate passing, tracks such as “Feather” and “Luv(sic.) pt3” are reaching millions of listens year after year. “Feather,” which displays Cise Starr and Akin’s poetry displayed in front of peddling piano keys and drums, will reassure the listener to push through their journey regardless of the severity of their strife.

“Luv(sic.) pt3” showcases Shing02’s eloquent, consistent metaphors seamed with Seba’s nocturnal chords and drum pattern, creating a dream-like landscape for the listener to briefly wander through.

Although Seba Jun is gone, his craft only sprouts with more life over time. Considering the notoriety he’s received after his death, more young listeners are rushing back to his music when life seems to move too fast. For that, we wish you a safe journey in the next life and a happy birthday.

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