Written by: K. Chung | Photos by: James Ellis
With the spotlight shining bright on the city of Toronto, more artists continue to emerge, all aiming to establish themselves in the mix, and among the notable is Jazz Cartier aka Jacuzzi La Fleur. Having already released a slew of music videos, as well as a handful of singles leading up to his highly-anticipated debut, Marauding in Paradise, Jazz Cartier is a name you should know, or get to know fast.
Last week at Toronto’s East Room, Jazz hosted a private, intimate listening party for his new album, which dropped yesterday via Fader, allowing those invited to get a taste for what was yet to come. The presentation of the venue was sophisticated and classy, yet “fun” & welcoming which made it perfect for networking and conversation.
Numerous people from all over the city came out, and as they made their way in, I could hear many different conversations between those that knew Jazz personally, and others that just came out simply to show support. There was a lot of positive energy in the room, and although Torontonians are notoriously known for being snobby and pretentious, that vibe was completely obsolete.
The provided open-bar served Gin, Whiskey, and Sapporo, but the popular drink of the night was a cocktail called Penicillin, which definitely contributed to the positive vibes floating around the East Room. At the front of the room there was an open stage set up with a DJ table and a projector displaying Cartier’s videos on loop while other music played prior to Jazz running through his debut catalog.
Between nine and ten o’clock, Jacuzzi finally took the open-stage area to address his peers and others who came to provide support. He explained that the album was a reflection of his experiences over the past 3 years in the city of Toronto, providing a brief description between each song with some funny jokes and honest commentary. It was clear that the project was a genuine and personal body of work. The album displays Jazz’s artistic versatility, punch, and creativity. Although we did not hear the complete offering at the time, what was played was full of catchy hooks, high quality production, and well written lyrics. In contrast to other Toronto artists who play on the darker grunge and underground vibe of the city, Cartier’s album seemed to foster a more mainstream sound while maintaining its downtown roots. On account of the lyrical play and the accessible content, the appeal appears to be set up for a wide variety of listeners and all in all, the album is definitely something to be excited about.
After going through a majority of the album, Jazz decided to offer another treat for those in attendance, unveiling an unreleased video for his song “Always up to Something,” which maintained the high-quality visual standard we are used to from Cartier. The video was followed with a 4-song performance, starting with one of my personal favorites, “Rose Quartz/ Like Crazy”, followed by “Switch” and ending the performance on top of the bar with “New Religion” and “Downtown Cliche”. The unexpected and impromptu performance showcased his fun and unruly stage presence.
So to say the least, the night was a true success. As people started dissipating, Cartier made his rounds and thanked everyone for coming, while maintaining an excited yet humble smile from the beginning of the night right to the end.