The latter part of 2017 saw Jermaine Riley hit the Internet with three banging refixes (the Jay Z inspired “Family”, the well-received, Wretch 32 co-signed “Let Me Go” and “For Me”, a stand out rendition of the Krept & Konan single, complete with a simple yet cinematic visual). Within two weeks, the singer/songwriter penned seven more songs that would ultimately make up his 6th solo project, aptly entitled Midas Touch, by virtue of his reputation for not remixing, but successfully refixing whichever popular instrumental he touches, making it his own with a brand new song. The mixtape and its campaign is yet another example of the artistic self-sufficiency his fans have become accustomed to, with him writing and arranging all the songs as well as designing all the artwork and promotional material.
Since being 1/3 of UK R&B supergroup Fun*dmental ’03 and the release of his first solo mixtape back in 2008, the growth can be heard both vocally and lyrically as Riley approaches the subjects of sex under the influence (“Move On”), having the willpower not to cheat (“The Reason”), and being openly frank about his sexuality for the first time ever on a record (“Thick Girls & Hot Boys”). The bedding for 8 of these well-written and catchy R&B gems is the recognizable instrumentals of artists such as Omarion, Dej Loaf and Jeremih, sandwiched between two fully original tracks, both courtesy of multi-platinum and Grammy-winning producer Swiff D (Chris Brown, Bryson Tiller, ScHoolboy Q), at the start and end of the mixtape. “Blue Peter”, which kicks off the barrage of infectious R&B bangers, sets the
tone of “real R&B” perfectly and features his 3-year-old nephew, singing along with Riley in the intro. The project culminates with the head-bopping “Busy Enough”, a song within which Riley complains about his obligation to make time for someone new, based on an irresistible attraction.
“At first, Midas Touch was just supposed to be a quick “Hi, remember me?” before I release the official album this year. You know, something to tide my supporters over, but their reaction to the singles I’ve put out and the snippets I posted on my Instagram have made me realize this project is a bigger deal for them and my catalog. It’s been two years since my last project and it’s definitely a great set up for the album, which is another batch on honest R&B music and I think it shows how I’ve evolved over the past couple years. I’m so excited!”
The melodic 10-track set, with its clever writing, lush harmonies, and Riley’s signature R&B licks is sure to please his core fans and reinforce the fact that UK’s unequivocal R&B Superman remains a trail-blazing creative and his pen is a force to be reckoned with.