NE-HI Featuring Jamila Woods
The Times I’m Not There
Words by Katie Farley
Sometimes, the most improbable of pairings unite, and rather the result conjuring up a predictable state of confusion, it transpires into a remarkable unexpectedness that takes everyone by pleasant surprise. This was the case with an innovative music collaboration that today marks the release of two up-and-coming artists from Chicago, NE-HI, and Jamila Woods.
One being acknowledged as the jangly guitar-slinging four-piece (NE-HI) and the other, a soul-stirring singer (Woods). Unorthodox? Perhaps so. Albeit, you no longer have to wait to discover that the outcome is anything but perplexing and instead creatively amalgamates a contemporary infusion of soulful beauty and cool rock that equates to pure brilliance.
The track in question, entitled “The Times I’m Not There” has been artfully re-mastered and extracted from NE-HI’s original album. The new release witnesses the gang of guitarists rearrange and re-record every part of its entirety, whilst the goddess of soul is responsible for reimaging the captivating vocals. All proceeds from “The Times I’m Not There” sale will go towards the arts empowerment charity, SocialWorks, who is based in Chicago and was co-founded by Chance The Rapper.
James Weir from NE-HI vocalized his thoughts regarding the collaboration: “We spent some time this summer reimagining the arrangement and rhythmic approach to “The Times I’m Not There”, a song from our first record. The idea was to explore new melodies and textures to shape around the guitar hook and find a different voice to take the song somewhere else. Jamila Woods, being the amazing vocalist that she is, came on and completely led the song into a new life.”
Weir and his bandmates were delighted to discover that the edit metamorphosed into a memorable song and recording process, when beforehand they were simply experimenting and tempering around with a tune that’s potential outcome was somewhat unknown to all.
Jamila Woods additionally comments,“I had a great time working on the song with NE-HI, we had never worked together before but I really like their sound and it was fun to collaborate during the process. I think it’s dope that they chose to partner with SocialWorks for the release.”
Unsurprisingly, this exciting collaboration has accumulated much hype and attention, with the end result being nothing less than ingenious. The enchanting dichotomy of instruments and vocals are an enthralling representation of 21st-century musicality and creativity, ultimately illustrating how talents of differentiating backgrounds can stylishly