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Baker's Dozen

Moments In The Sun: Nite Jewel's Favourite Albums
The Quietus , November 24th, 2021 12:07

Nite Jewel takes us through the albums that inspired her latest record No Sun, from Miles Davis to Cluster, via digressions on the importance of bad karaoke and Nietzschean philosophy


Janet Jackson – janet

Janet is a very strident record, it’s a sexy record. It seems to be all about autonomy. What do you most love about this album, when do you listen to it and do you think all young women should be made to listen to this album?

I’d say this is the biggest album from my youth, this came out in ’93 so I was in my adolescence, I was trying to understand my sexuality properly and trying to understand myself as a musician. At the time it was all about great singers who had a lot of virtuosity and skill. Janet brought this quiet storm into a new pop music landscape where it’s just about grooves and melodies, but you don’t have to be so forward with your voice. That’s not to say that I don’t like that - Chaka Khan is one of my favourite singers - but for me as an artist, I saw possibilities in Janet’s music and in my own singing and style. She brought back this cool jazz thing that wasn’t very cool at the time.

Also the presentation of her sexuality I found really inspiring, and how she was unabashed with it. I loved how it was made with three people, it had a very consistent sound, everything had the same feeling whilst having complex harmonies. It was a really influential record for me as a kid, to think about how pop music could be done.

What for you is the stand-out track?

It’s hard not to be cheesy, but ‘Any Time, Any Place’. it’s been utilised a lot by Kendrick Lamar. To me the lyrics are still risqué. It’s funny because I present this song, and others on the record to my song-writing class. I’m a teacher and I don’t want to be fired for presenting on songs with overt sexual themes, and the kids are just like “this is not risqué at all”. But to me, it was when I was a kid, so I’m just harkening to that. I love this song. I love the way the way the song develops harmonically, the chorus… I feel like it may be a predictable song to choose.