Sitting at the crossroads of jazz, gospel, R&B and hip-hop is the work of Chattanooga artist Seaux Chill (AKA Nabil Ince), a musician whose influences could fuel an entire lifetime of crate digging and iPod obsession. Driven by the desire to uplift and inspire, he creates these sounds and affecting narratives of personal introspection as a way to pass on knowledge to others, to act as model and mentor to those who just need a little extra help.
He released his last record, “Freedom Ave,” in March of last year and has continued to explore this amalgam of inspirations through a persistent evolution of his own creativity. Framing his music around a positive outlook and a disregard for the antagonism of most mainstream music, Ince discovers that a message can better be delivered through persuasion than through force. His work takes this idea of musical encouragement and fashions a whole aesthetic around it, building an unaguarded hip-hop perspective in the process.
On his new song, “On a Roll,” he teams up with singer Joy Alina and rapper Marley Fox to create a landscape of gospel-fueled rhythms and liquid melodies. Keys bounce around in the background while a thumping bassline snakes down into your bones. He speaks to living true to your word and keeping your personal momentum going despite setbacks and finds ways to provide motivation for those who can’t see the light around the next corner. Produced by Seaux Chill, 2MyndzAlyke and Can’t Get Right, the song is a buoyant and ecstatic musical diversion, showcasing the talents of all involved and illuminating the interplay that exists between them.
For its video, Ince tagged videographer Davy Granberry to help him put together a suitable visual accompaniment. The video, realized in stark black and white, shows Seaux Chill in different places around Chattanooga, including what looks like a church populated with young kids, various neighborhoods, busy streets and areas bordering the Tennessee River. The clip firmly connects him with the city, providing both professional and personal incentives for his hard work. It conveys the idea that community can overcome most obstacles, and he correctly suggests that the only way that happens is if we stop the arguments and begin listening to one another.
Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.