Music Monday, May 10, 2021 (Part 2) – Ella Jay Basco, DVWN, JERO, ITZY

Here’s a very diverse mix of tracks from Ella Jay Basco, DVWN, JERO and ITZY.

“Gold” by Ella Jay Basco featuring Ruby Ibarra

Breakout Filipino-Korean-American actress Ella Jay Basco first released “Gold” back in January, but just released its music video a little more than a week ago. Featuring rapper and spoken word artist Ruby Ibarra, another breakout artist, “Gold” is an anthemic song about being proud of and embracing your own skin and who you are. Basco and Ibarra effortlessly convey the empowering message by proudly declaring that they are “a boss bitch, that’s beautiful” and “I’m brown and I’m proud.”

The meaningful music video begins with Basco starring in a 1950s commercial for a whitening soap, spotlighting the still massive skin whitening industry especially in the Philippines and Filipino community. But she soon wipes her cheek revealing the “gold” skin she is proud of. Joined by Ibarra, the music video goes on to feature home movies, images showing pride in Filipino culture and reminders of a history of Filipino American struggles as well.

“Yeonnam-dong” by Dvwn featuring lIlBOI

Talented Dvwn releases “Yeonnam-dong” featuring rapper lIlBOI. It is a chill coffeehouse vibe of a song as Dvwn sings about memories of a lost love. Dvwn’s smooth vocals help bring the melancholic, though easy-going vibe to life. It’s just a great song.

“Rockstar” by JERO

JERO returns with this fascinating song “Rockstar.” This laid back hip-hop/R&B track features an unexpected switch up in the middle of the song. You can’t help but be captivated by it and JERO’s vocals. And the song’s lyrics will certainly grab your attention as well. (Hint: The song tells the story of an imminent hook up ;)) A similarly smooth and chill vibe.

“Mafia In the Morning” by ITZY

ITZY has released some excellent songs, but I don’t know that “Mafia In the Morning” is one of them. I feel like the song is a high concept performance piece that might be eye-catching, but not necessarily a song that you want to listen to on repeat like most of their title tracks so far. It’s a different style and sound. And while the group’s effortless charisma and skills are on full display with the performance and MV, the whole package isn’t really something I’m a fan of. Just not my cup of tea.

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