Jazz and soul have always worked hand in glove, with the two genres often inspiring each other as they’ve evolved. That’s especially true for modern day jazz musicians like trumpeter Theo Croker, who has worked with the likes of Teedra Moses, Jill Scott, Rose Gold and others throughout his career. The talented musician is now collaborating with producer D’LEAU for the trumpeter’s new EP BY THE WAY, which he’s letting us preview with his single “THEO SAYS” featuring British songstress Ego Ella May.
“THEO SAYS” perfectly melds Theo’s jazz sensibilities with Ego’s soulful stylings, filtering it all through D’LEAU’s unique production lens. The end product is something that sounds like the heyday of neo-soul but also perhaps something from a not-so-distant future. The song starts with propulsive percussion that chugs to life before we’re inundated with keys arranged in languid chords to support the velvet tones of Ego Ella May’s vocal.
She sings of advice she’s received from Theo (though she doesn’t hint if the titular Theo is the same one playing trumpet like a warm, wafting breeze alongside her), building to the repeated truism of the chorus: “People only love you ’cause of what you got.” Once she’s had her say, Theo takes us home with a lingering trumpet solo before the beat rides out to its conclusion.
“THEO SAYS” will be the only single released from BY THE WAY before it arrives on February 20th. We don’t need to hear anymore, however, to know that this might be one of the best things we’ll hear all year. Heed our advice and take a listen to the track below and then pre-save/pre-order the EP to make sure it’s in your library as soon it drops.