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Jaboukie says being “disillusioned” with comedy led him to making his debut album

Jaboukie. Photo by Tiffany Champion and Vivian Shih.


Jaboukie is this week’s guest on The FADER Interview podcast. The comedian turned musician spoke with The FADER’s David Renshaw in advance of the release of his debut album, All Who Can’t Hear Must Feel, coming this Friday (August 25). Over the course of the interview, Jaboukie talked about the unusual origins of the album, what he had to say in his music, and why comedy wasn’t the right lane for those thoughts and feelings.

Early on in the conversation, Jaboukie explained that he has been making music quietly for years and that a sense of “disillusionment” with the comedy world, plus a significant trip home to Jamaica, where he was born, pushed him down the path to music.

“When I started working on this project, just after turning 25, I went back to Jamaica for the first time since I was like five years old,” he said. “I just gained this perspective. I was able to close the gulf of what I experienced the world to be and what I was told the world was, and what the world was gonna be like. And I think that sort of thing was something I was having a hard time exploring in comedy.

“At the core of it, comedy is so defined by who you’re performing it for in a way that music is not,” he continued. “Like, if you’re performing a set and no one’s laughing, that’s not necessarily comedy. I just felt like I was having a hard time finding that audience where I wasn’t having to over-explain and overextend myself. And I felt like with music, I could just say it, put it out there, let it exist in its own right. Whether or not you see it, when you engage with it, it’s still there.”

Listen to Jaboukie and David’s full conversation via this link, embedded below, or wherever you get your podcasts.