VanJess is the combination of the names and voices of Nigerian-American sisters Ivana and Jessica Nwokike. Their latest release is a nine-track EP, Homegrown, an R&B masterpiece that cements the duo’s status as one of the most talented and engaging acts in R&B. Seamlessly fusing elements of 80’s sounding funk with 90’s R&B stylings, VanJess have cultivated a unique but familiar sound. The record is smooth as butter, and will have you nodding your head along to the subtle and groovy production.
Perhaps no track exemplifies this as well as “DYSFUNCTIONAL,” a collaboration with the inimitable KAYTRANADA. After the pair appeared on Kaytra’s latest album BUBBA, the producer has returned the favor with a beautiful production that features a signature bouncy bassline and shiny synths. The trio are a neo-soul dream team, delivering a flowy and emotive song rich with vocal textures that sit perfectly atop the groovy arrangement.
The following track “High And Dry” particularly showcases the immaculate vocals of the duo, with Ivana and Jessica alternating lines and verses, creating gorgeous, dynamic harmonies. Between both of their voices, the vocal range that they can achieve is mind-blowing.
The 80’s influence swings into full effect on “Caught Up,” an uptempo tune with an irresistible late-night energy. The track is a collaboration with Brooklyn based band Phony Ppl, who get into the groove with their shimmering guitar and tight percussion, as well as a swanky rap verse. Much like the rest of the album, it’s hard not to want to get up and dance to it.
After listening to the EP, it’s hard not to exalt VanJess as masters of their genre. This EP made it into Spotify’s top ten album debuts, be sure to check it out in the stream below. Enjoy!