Kess’ Cozy Music Corner # 14: Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment
Struggling to find that new artist you’d like to fall in love with? Fear not, our contributor Kess Leung is here with the latest and greatest in music recommendations every week. This edition highlights the acclaimed musical collective Donnie Trumpet & The Social Experiment, and their colorful fusion of dance, progressive jazz and neo-soul.
Created by trumpeter Nico Segal (formerly known as “Donnie Trumpet”), the self-proclaimed group of bohemian musicians consisting of Segal, acclaimed musician Chance the Rapper, Peter Cottontale, Greg Landfair Jr., and Nate Fox form the group ‘The Social Experience’. Trumpet chose to drop his stage nickname in 2016 to avoid any association with US President-elect Donald Trump.
Marking an exciting debut, the band has released only one album to date; 2015 Surf, a neo-soul and jazz influenced record starring many of the greats in the industry – BJ The Chicago Kid, Big Sean, BOB and J. Cole, to name a few. Praised by critics and hailed for its artistic style, the album saw the group’s popularity soar.
One of my favorite records would have to be the track “Familiar” – a playful track with King Louie and Migos’ Quavo, alongside Chance the Rapper, which breathes new life into the age-old lyrical theme of groupies. “Cardboard cutout, sharp teeth, smart mouth / Smile, tall petite, dough cut to big hips,” Chance sullies.
Delivering the verses with a somewhat comical flow, the trio bounce back from their rejection of superficiality, ringing out those that fit the “cookie-cutter” ideal and naively assume that their beauty will disarm the masses. The flow of each artist blends with glorious ease, creating a story-like narrative enhanced by the mellow rhythms of riffs and claps.
An ode to Chance’s grandmother, the gospel piece is a heartwarming tribute to the family wrapped in a Christmas gift box under the tree
Of course, no article on ‘The Social Experiment’ is complete without the recommendation of their acclaimed track – Sunday sweets; a pre-released single in 2014 featuring various uncredited singers including Jamila Woods alongside “The Social Experiment” one Chance the Rapper. “I have a future so I sing for my grandmother,” he says, “you sing too, but your grandmother is not my grandmother / Mine is handmade, pan-fried , sun-dried, south side and beat the devil by a landslide.
An ode to Chance’s grandmother, the gospel piece is a heartwarming tribute to the family wrapped in a Christmas gift box under the tree; and topped by Jamila Woods’ breathless soprano who looks like a warm blanket on a winter morning. Guaranteed to brighten up your day, I recommend listening to this track during the cooler party months with a hot chocolate in hand.
While it’s a shame the collective hasn’t released one of their famous “experimental projects” since their debut in 2015, SurfIts rave reviews are timelessly iconic for their tremendous influence on the neo-soul and jazz fusion stages. Who knows? Maybe one day the band will decide to release another piece of art, and hopefully those who weren’t there for the first, can be there for the last.
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