Multi-talented Jamaican artist Tessellated has linked up with next generation singjay Runkus for the new single “Timeline,” out today (via Independent) on all digital platforms. Built over a smooth muted guitar and synth-driven riddim that was produced by Tessellated and his musical cohorts Circa Eleven, the song’s chorus gives a melodic nod to Golden era dancehall, making it instantly familiar as Tess and Runkus march listeners around the clock:
Ten o’clock and the dancehall sweet
Midnight she a dancehall queen
Bend your back like ah half past three
And pon the big four-five you fi
T-Take time, kill ‘em with the, kill ‘em with the best wine, yeah
Take time, k-kill ‘em with the, kill ‘em with the good wine, good wine
The future forward islanders also premiered an official video on Tessellated’s YouTube channel today to accompany the new track. Directed and edited by Tessellated, the brand new visuals exemplify the fiercely DIY attitude of the current crop of young Jamaican creatives. Posing a stark contrast to this past weekend’s West Indian Day Parade festivities in NYC, which drew millions of people, the “Timeline” video depicts Tess and Runkus taking their show on the road as they casually cruise through the University of West Indies campus and the winding streets of the Stony Hill and Barbican neighborhoods of Kingston on the back of a modest pickup truck blasting their personal sound system to an empty hillside — all while guiding the potential digital viewers through a host of Tik Tok-ready dance moves. Acting as artist, choreographer, selector, director, and ultimately as each other’s audience, the childhood friends demonstrate that with some creativity and a by-any-means-necessary conviction, anyone can make their mid-size Ford Ranger feel like one big bad truck on the road.
WATCH “TIMELINE” VIDEO
Of the timely collaboration, Tessellated offered, “‘Timeline’ is a whole story in itself. Runkus and I had the idea of creating a song that chronicled a whole day and night from different moments hence ‘Timeline.’ We drew inspiration from old school dancehall energies as well as more modern R&B flavours. We’ve also been friends since early school days, and have created a lot behind the scenes that never came out but have always been there supporting each other from day one. Its been crazy to see how we’ve both come so far as artists and people so it’s a really meaningful full circle moment getting to finally work on and drop this song together.”
Runkus added, “Josh (Tessellated) and I go way further back than a lot of people even know. To poetry club aka floetry in high school.” The Portmore native continued, “regardless of age difference of a couple years, our one connection was always our passion for music. I always knew I had a passion for music, and as soon as I got to know Tess, I saw he the same deep love for music and experimentation. His eyes were always wide with the world of possibilities when it came to what music can do, and not can do for a person, but can do overall in life. The sounds, the genres, the vibes that could be cultivated. I saw him grow and we grew together as well. There’s always been a mutual respect and mutual inspiration. Finally after all these years we got to make something together, not in Jamaica but halfway across the world in a studio in LA in the middle of the night with all types of artists next to us, on high energy. Through all that we still brought our vibes from home. It was a beautiful moment to share with a long time friend. Respect to Tess everytime & respect to Zenya as well on the vocals.”
“Timeline” follows the release of Tessellated’s recent singles “Contact (One Drop),” “Moons Freestyle,” and the critically-acclaimed 2020 debut EP Tropics Vol. 1. Since the EP release, Tess has stayed busy writing and recording a string of upcoming singles, producing for the likes of international superstars Shaggy and Spice, and performing at major industry happenings like SXSW and Coachella.
With influences that span from jazz to R&B to hip hop, and a foundation in his island’s native reggae and dancehall, Tessellated’s artistry reaches far beyond his Jamaican roots. His ear for music lends itself to experimentation with different soundscapes, and his releases so far attest to his worldwide appeal. He made major waves in 2018 with “Pine and Ginger,” drumming up over 22 million total streams to date and landing on the pages of major media outlets like Pitchfork, The FADER, and High Snobiety, among others. Tess’ breakout 2019 hit “I Learnt Some Jazz Today” marched to the top of the Billboard Jazz charts and earned a major sync placement with tech giant Apple for their promotional film Bounce, eventually leading to Grammy and Emmy Award nominations.