Jehiah Hope is no stranger to the podcast. He's been a guest in previous episodes (check out our discourse on the CLB and Donda albums) and he's been supporting us silently since our inception. Of course, we just HAD to have him back. Jehiah is an educator, flautist, composer and arranger. He holds a bachelor of arts degree in music with a focus on woodwind instruments, and he's been a producer and sound engineer as long as he's been a musician.
Jehiah's new EP, Omo, is a magical collection of original work mixed and mastered by Jehiah himself. Omo features his signature sound full of jazz influences and Latin-driven percussive elements. He was fortunate enough to have a stellar group of musicians: Jesse Johnson (keys), Adriel Bailey King & Jonathan Sammy on guitars, Nicholas Jones (sax) and Von Best on drums. Jehiah did all flute parts and laid down the bass guitar himself.
Omo is a Yoruba word meaning "child". The EP explores variations on popular melodic lines found in children's songs and movies. (If you listened to our first episode on samples, you'll know that's a form of interpolation). The album features a mix of live instruments and sampled sounds. The track names throw our minds back to our own childhoods: 'Starlight,' a dreamy, laid-back track, and 'Playground,' a track featuring an upbeat rock groove. Some of the album is based on original material he toyed around with back in 2015 and never continued. The album features just one cover - Radiohead's "There There".
In today's interview, we spent some time talking about the composition process. Jehiah, having a strong production background, actually opts to use a DAW (digital audio workstation) to put down original ideas, whether it's a percussive rhythm or a short lick. He then exports these ideas to Sibelius (*all hail Sibelius!*) to add more parts and bring everything together. Sometimes, he does the process in reverse. If he feels up to it, he picks up an instrument and composes without Sibelius or a DAW.
Jehiah says it's important to understand the instruments one is composing for. Truly knowing an instrument means you can create beautiful and challenging works that are actually playable. He also spoke about the advantage of being an instrumentalist and having an advanced grasp of music theory in composing original work.