wRITTEN BY: BRANDON KRESS
photography: eric mooney
Jez Dior. That’s a great stage name. A nom deplume worthy of a world-class artist. I wonder if that’s what Jez’ parents thought when they wrote those names down on his birth certificate?
A pioneer on the modern musical landscape, Jez Dior physically embodies the Grunge-Rap genre he represents. The bleached long hair, west coast vibe and grungy tattered garb found all throughout the 90’s smattered with a slight street edge painted in his tattoos and demeanor. He is a perfect harmony of two sub-cultures that have shaped modern western civilization as we know it.
“Fusion is everything and absolutely the future of music, not to say I don’t love traditional hip-hop or traditional hip-hop culture […] but things get boring after a while and that’s why I say the fusion of different genres is the future.”
Practicing what he preaches, the production on Jez’ debut EP, The Funeral is akin to Grunge pioneers Nirvana and The Smashing Pumpkins with the distorted guitars drowning in the chorus. The finely crafted lyrics and vocal tone are written and delivered originally while still paying homage to hip-hop’s finest. The lyrics come from a personal place that many of his fans can connect with.
“My dad was amazing while he was here & sober, but he left back to London when I was 13... it definitely turned my world upside down.” Says Dior about turning to the pen. Jez began to write what he was feeling and he never stopped using that as therapy. In the beginning it was a perfect coping mechanism having to grow up in LA with a father thousands of miles away. School became optional, the bottle became a reliable companion and keeping history in his own poetic limerick became second nature. Little did he know that his own therapeutic remedy would aid others.
“I get so many messages saying my music has changed or saved theirs or someone close to their lives & that is exactly what keeps me going.”
Jez now knows how personal his relationship with his fans is and he’s embracing the idea that his art can be left for interpretation and still have the therapeutic connection he had while creating it.
With real art also comes collaboration for which Jez is no stranger, having worked with Olivver the Kid, G-Eazy and Danny Score on the EP. Collaboration doesn’t just stop with the music though.
“I've had the best time working on all the videos i've shot with Valentina Aveyu, we just have such chemistry and such an understanding with each other when it comes to collaborating on these ideas”
All containing a very surreal, unique and distinct story line, Jez’ music videos paint the aesthetic of his whole image. His whole persona. His entire duality and fusion through his inner conflicts and outer representations. This constant mixture of personalities, ideas, love and the plain truth… There is no front, just Jez Dior as the artist his mother and father must have known they were having when they signed his birth certificate.
So what’s on the horizon for Mr. Dior? Having connected with his father and even gone into the studio to collaborate together, he’s primed for a 2015 full of fresh collaborations, working on a tour, new music and a documentary he’s really excited about. But really, the possibilities are endless. Especially for a guy with a name like Jez Dior.