New i2 signing JFly talks about his career so far and his upcoming track featuring Frank McComb

By Lance Williamson

The deep south has a rich tradition of creating musicians of inordinate talent. And growing up in a small country town called Waycross in Georgia, Jorel JFly Flynn was no exception to this rule. Music runs deep in the family bloodlines and being the youngest of eight brothers, JFly was primed to follow in their musical footsteps.

All seven older brothers played in the nearby church, as well as performing in live music clubs across the county. So being steeped in church music was JFly’s foundation; a blessing with all the instruments he had access to. Just like being a kid in a candy store with a lifetime credit slip to the dentists, JFly explored and created music with no boundaries. With an eclectic mixture of drums, tuba, trombone and bass guitar, this diverse array of creative paraphernalia enabled the young JFly to build concepts of music without any boundaries, and his peers consider him a prodigious talent when playing any of those instruments.

Drums though are JFly’s first passion, and have connected him to a world of top flight musicians that employ his syncopated alchemy for their music. So in 2014 when Clive Davis asked Outkast’s Andre 3000 to produce a track for the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin, Andre’s first port of call was to come knocking on JFly’s door to provide drums on the track. That congruence with the upper echelon in music has found JFly playing alongside the likes of Peabo Bryson, Najee and Cameo’s Charlie Singleton to name but a few. Even Britain’s soul troubadour Omar knew exactly who he wanted on drums when he played at the Atlanta Jazz Cafe.

When I wrote ‘Love Song’ I could only ever visualise one person singing it; and that was Frank McComb! I constantly nagged myself to send the track to him, and I eventually did. So I was humbled when he immediately replied saying that he wanted to perform on the record. – JFly

Frank McComb collaborates with JFly

Many musicians working at these lofty levels can often suffer from bouts of vertigo, with their heads so high up in the clouds that they forget from whence they came. Not JFly! Altruism is an integral part of his DNA where enabling and empowering young people to achieve in the creative arts is a major facet of the JFly experience.

His How Big Is Your Dream foundation runs music camps for young people where they can learn about staging and production set ups; or they are taught to sing and play musical instruments by luminaries from the music industry: just as long as the kids maintain a grade B average during the school year. His JFly Music Festival allows local talent from all over Georgia to get up on a live stage and perform at an open air festival, regardless of whatever music they play. In this manner acting as a ‘community conduit’ allows JFly to nurture talent throughout the spectrum of the creative industries, as well as him commanding an enviable level of respect within his community.

His forthcoming track Love Song with that typical JFly swagger flouts the definitions of where a track should sit. Is it jazz, or funk; maybe soul? Well Love Song certainly embraces all of those values, yet it is none of them at the same time? What’s for sure is those who love to dance will ‘get it’ just as quickly as thems who love to nod their heads and tap their feet listening to radio.

Composed and arranged entirely by JFly, Love Song demonstrates his consummate abilities to write for other artists, as JFly created this song for the outstanding vocalist Frank McComb; and the man himself blesses the track with his celestial vocals. Understanding just how Frank phrases when he sings was vital for this track to impress the way it does. Just as if you were sitting in a tiny, intimate venue with the two of them playing right in front of you for your musical delectation. It’s the definition of soulful cool!

‘Love Song’ by JFly featuring Frank McComb is due for release on the ‘i2 Love Music Compilation Album’ on Sept 22nd