Jetfuel – [Jelani Aryeh]

Photo by Daniel Lang

Even before musical abilities are discussed, it’s important to note that Jelani Aryeh is a storyteller by nature. Whether displayed in a more symbolic or direct manner, he’s always sure to infuse a narrative into his music, which, in turn, has brought forth a sense of character development throughout Aryeh’s catalog thus far. Becoming a fan of his means growing with him and learning with him, just as we find in Aryeh’s personal new release, “Jetfuel.”

Directed toward his father, “Jetfuel” deals with the weight of disappointment in expectation just as much as it does hope for the future. As noted by Aryeh, the song is meant as a recollection of the following:

“I played football from first grade up until my junior year of high school and was even slated to play college ball. My father, who is the person being addressed in this song, was also my coach until Freshman Year. It never occurred to me that I’d be destined to pursue something other than football until my junior year after what seemed like injury after injury and countless visits to physical therapy. It was then that music started calling to me differently than it had before and I felt an urge to dabble in that world.”  

Isolating Aryeh’s soul-stirring vocals with nothing but a crisp guitar and a whistle, “Jetfuel” is a sentimental release, almost ironically detailing the underlying sense of difficulty in his decision to pursue music. Each lyric seems progressively more difficult for the rising singer to belt out, and yet, there’s a subtle tint of hope, or even of purity, that strings itself along throughout the single. Even while his father — and Aryeh, himself, for that matter — once saw something else in store for the future, it’s undeniable that this is what the budding talent was born to do. Take that from him, and who knows where he’d be.

That said, especially when contextualized in relation to the rest of his catalog, “Jetfuel” is an affirming piece of the puzzle for Aryeh. Stripped to its barest form, it’s as close to the heart as it gets, so don’t miss out on this one.

Stream the new song here:

It’s a really personal song about dealing with the expectations of his father and deciding to follow his dreams and pursue music rather than football.

https://empire.lnk.to/Jetfuel1

Quote from Jelani:

“I played football from first grade up until my junior year of high school and was even slated to play college ball. My father, who is the person being addressed in this song, was also my coach until Freshman Year. It never occurred to me that I’d be destined to pursue something other than football until my junior year after what seemed like injury after injury and countless visits to physical therapy. It was then that music started calling to me differently than it had before and I felt an urge to dabble in that world.”

I then formed RBTI (Raised By The Internet) in April ’17 and started making music with individuals of a similar background and urge to create. A month after that I finished my first song, ‘Delusions,’ and a couple days later told my dad this is what I’d like to do for the rest of my life. That night we got into it and I wrote ‘Where We Go’ from that place of hurt, misunderstanding, and what I felt like was the end of a bond I’d have forever. ‘Jetfuel’ is definitely written from a place of growth. It’s not only written for my dad but for my friends, teammates, and classmates that I don’t speak to as much anymore, that I’m ok and I’m doing something with myself.”