Three years after she set out to write and record her own music, rising Fijian rapper Jesswar has just released her debut EP TROPIXX via Inertia Music/PIAS. Stream it below via Apple Music and Spotify.
TROPIXX is a six-track EP meant to introduce listeners to Jesswar’s range of skills. On the previously released singles “Medusa” and “Venom”, she shows off a verbal tenacity and community-driven storytelling that seeks to empower fellow marginalized people, and that remains true for the other tracks on the EP. The way she sees it, holistic independence doesn’t have to mean you’re estranged from kinship or unity.
“When I first started writing TROPIXX, I was tired of being overlooked, and I knew I had a lot to say. It was really upsetting to wake up every day and see how women of color are constantly overlooked in the music industry,” said Jesswar in a press release. “So I recorded these songs in my bedroom as a way of release. I made something that was for me, and for the phenomenal Black, brown, and Indigenous women in my life. What I’m doing is bigger than me… there needs to be room for all of us, and if I can share the wins maybe we won’t be overlooked.”
To celebrate the release day, Jesswar has also dropped a new music video for the EP cut “XXL”. In the clip, directed by Natasha Foster, a group of people dressed in pink suits can be seen gathered around in an eerie warehouse building that appears to be empty. In time, they begin to dance along to the music while Jesswar raps in circles around them. At one moment, she can be seen hanging from the ceiling, Spiderman-style, while spitting a verse. Watch it below.
Outside of her music career, Jesswar is a peer support worker and runs music workshops for young people in the outer suburbs of Meanjin. It’s easy to imagine TROPIXX becoming both a soundtrack and resource for that very community. Check out the artwork and tracklist for it after the jump.
TROPIXX EP Artwork:
TROPIXX EP Tracklist:
01. Hit Em With Bass ft. Kobi Spice