We first came across (and quickly fell in love with) JALEN NGONDA last autumn via his delicious Daptone single, ‘Just Like You Used To’/‘What A Difference’. Both proffered that lovely retro soul flavour and we discovered that young Jalen grew up just outside of Washington D.C. where his father introduced him to the beauty of soul and Motown. Jalen is now based in London, having studied music in Liverpool at the famed Paul McCartney-funded Institute for Performing Arts (other graduates include Andy Platts of Mama Gun by the way).
The soulful promise of that 2022 single is confirmed with Mr N’s brand new single, ‘If You Don’t Want My Love’. It’s not the old Robert John song but it’s a perfect vehicle for Jalen’s soaring, plaintive vocals . The production is lush with prominent string but it’s the emotive vocal that’s the star here. It goes without saying that this ‘If You Don’t Want My Love’ channels the “retrophile” sound and if we had a “Record Of The Week” this would be it! It’s released via Daptone on 23rd March. Highly recommended!