Just Listen: Jalen N’Gonda – Why I Try

Jalen N’Gonda

Words: Gary Lambert

Photo: Ryan Jafarzadeh

With every generation creating truly innovative, fresh music becomes more and more difficult – if not touching the impossible – due to the quality and variety of the inspirational acts which have gone before. Every piece of music that an artist loves affects their work in some way which can be a double edged sound as it is easy to sound caught in a time warp. Jalen N’Gonda could easily have used his skills to produce facsimile versions of old soul staples with different lyrics. Instead Why I Try sounds as awakening as the breeze brushing across your face on a spring morning. Wrapped up in his gentle sunshine guitar chords you have a tale of love and emotion that reminds me of Keep On Running most successfully covered by The Spencer Davis Group. It is the kind of tune that a Sunday morning with a cup of coffee and watching the sunlight creep towards your favourite chair was crying out for without you knowing. Simple, uplifting and utilising all the skills of the artist, it can fit in comfortably in a cliched soul classics playlist. I know, I’ve tried, and Jalen doesn’t seem out of place.

Find Jalen N’Gonda on Facebook


16/07/2017 – Beat-Herder Festival @ Lancashire
21/07/2017 – Nozstock Festival @ Herefordshire, West Midlands
22/07/2017 – Tramlines @ Sheffield City Centre, South Yorkshire
23/07/2017 – Deershed @ Yorkshire

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