Jauz's ambitious 23-track concept album, The Wise and The Wicked, has arrived in full form and is comprised four chapters, plus a prologue. The project's storyline is set in a futuristic dystopia where the exploding wealth gap has split the world into two separate financial castes: the wealthy minority and the poor majority.
This divide has created two societies: The Wise, who seek to save the world using intelligence, technology and uplifting music, and The Wicked, an anarchic bunch who want to burn it all down angry, energetic primal music. All the clashing gives rise to The United, a society composed outcasts from both parties that aims to create a better world for all.
To create these immersive worlds on The Wise and The Wicked, Jauz expanded his sonic palette to explore a diverse range genres and sounds, from the dub ragga "Babylon," with Tisoki to the cinematic dubstep "Frequency" and more. He also enlisted a slew collaborators including DJ Snake, SNAILS and Adventure Club.
The album is out today (Aug. 31) Jauz's own Bite This label. Below, Jauz has given Billboard Dance an exclusive track-by-track breakdown his new project.
"Prologue: The Wise and The Wicked Featuring Madsonik"
I wrote this intro for the album almost at the beginning the whole creation the album, and kind just put it to the side because I knew I wouldn't be able to turn it into what I really wanted it to become on my own. Luckily for me, I met Bryan (Madsonik) and he helped me turn what I had as a kind cool idea into something that sounds like it could be the intro for a superhero movie. I'm so stoked with how this turned out and seriously couldn't have done this without Bryan!
"Babylon" with Tisoki
I've wanted to write a throwback dubstep tune for the longest time, and when I got in the studio with Tisoki, it just kind happened without either us even trying. I loved this song so much already, and then when we had already decided the song was done, we found the "Babylon" vocal sample and it turned the song into a completely different beast. I think this song is a perfect embodiment The Wicked.
"In The Zone" With Example
I wrote this song a long time ago, and was just waiting for the right person to come along to do vocals on it. It was such a unique and special song to me, that I knew however long I waited to put it out it would still feel fresh. I've been a fan Example since I was 16 and it was so incredible to work with him on this record and then get to become friends with him. Shouts to Elliot for killing this record!
Chapter 1: Discovery The Wise]
"Diamonds" with Kiiara
This is probably one the fastest songs to get done on the album. I wrote the instrumental itself in about a day, and Kiiara and I recorded the vocals for this in just one session, in about three hours I think. Kiiara was so dope to work with and I think it's easy to tell by listening to "Diamonds" how natural it feels. This is definitely one the more pop-forward records on the album, but it still really feels like a Jauz record, which was super important to me.
"Eager" with fabrice
fabrice is a super talented kid from Germany who just happened to send in Eager as a demo to Bite This. I heard his vocal and thought that the idea was so raw and cool, that with some help it could become something really special. I ended up working on it with him and didn't expect it to be a song for the album, but it just fit in so perfectly that I knew it was meant to be there. fabrice is such a talented producer and vocalist and I can't wait to continue to help grow his career in the future!
"Soldier" with Krewella
I've been friends with Yasmine and Jahan for probably as long as I've been involved in electronic music. They were some the first people to ever support my music, and have always been so incredible and sweet to me. I knew I wanted to make a song with them, but wanted to wait until the moment was right. I had written the instrumental for solider about three years ago, and knew that I wanted it to be part the album, and one day it finally just clicked in my head, and I sent them the song and hoped for the best. Luckily they were more than stoked to work on it and they absolutely smashed the vocals on this one!
Chapter 2: Wicked Nature The Wicked]
"Motherfuckers" with SNAILS
This is probably one the coolest songs on the album to me, because it's SO different from any SNAILS song he's ever released. After being friends with Fred for so long and playing so many after party sets with him, I realized how much he really loved house music. My goal with this record was to try to help him break out his shell, and start exploring sides music outside just heavy bass music. This song still has the aggressiveness and edge you would expect from SNAILS, but also sounds almost nothing like him, and that's why I love it so much!
"Acid or Techno"
Definitely one the more out-there songs on the album, it's also one the ones that has gotten the most response from friends who have listened. It's so straightforward, it's hard not to move to it. I love this song and I hope everyone who listens to it feels the same way!
"Get Widdit" with XX92, feat. BRU-C
Anyone who knows me as a person or producer knows how closely I tie my love for electronic music to the U.K. Writing this song with the XX92 boys and Bru C was so cool for me because I love this resurgence Bassline in the U.K. so much, and am stoked to get to be a part it! Anything I can do to help shine a light on U.K. sounds in the states makes me feel like I'm doing my job right.
Chapter 3: The Search For Meaning The Wise]
"Frequency" with Adventure Club, feat. Kyle Pavone
This song means so much to me for so many different reasons. Leighton from Adventure Club was the first person to ever give me any support in my music career, all the way back when I was 17. Leighton, Christian and I are all from a metal background, and so we were all so excited to work with Kyle Pavone on this record, especially since I have looked up to Kyle since I was 14. His band We Came As Romans is one my favorite metal bands ever. I met Kyle when I was 19, and we've been friends ever since. The news Kyle's recent passing has absolutely shattered the AC guys and myself, and "Frequency" will now hold such a special place in our hearts for the rest our lives. Our love, thoughts and prayers go out to Kyle's family, friends and the We Came As Romans team.
"Rave With Me" with Ducky
Ducky is such a talented producer, and I learned so much from her while making this song with her. Originally, this song went in a completely different direction, but when I heard her vocals it immediately reminded me old-school, melodic dubstep and we tried to recreate that vibe but make it sound like 2018 at the same time. I think the end result is really incredible!
"Fade" with Mike Waters
I love drum & bass music so much, and I'm so proud that I finally wrote a d&b record that I really love. On top that, Mike Waters absolutely murdered his vocals on this song, and I actually completely re-wrote the record after he recorded his vocals on it, making the centerpiece the song his vocoded vocal lead.
Chapter 4: Becoming United The United]
"Gassed Up" with DJ Snake
Snake has always been the person in my career as an artist that I turn to when I don't know where to go or what to do. He always inspires me and makes me push harder than before to be the best I can possibly be. I knew that this album was the perfect moment to finally write a song with Snake. He completely transformed "Gassed Up" from just a banger into something that has soul and a vibe, and made it so much more than I could have ever made it on my own.
"Velvet Paradise" with First
This is another record that was sent to me by a pretty much completely unknown artist as a demo for Bite This. First is such an incredible producer. I was absolutely blown away that I had never heard him before. I was so stoked to work on this record with him and turn into something extra special! It might be one my favorite songs on the album.
"On Fire" with HYPRESSION
Again, Hypression is a kid from Russia who happened to send this in to Bite This. When I heard it, it almost sounded like something that I would have written as the 19-year-old me. I listened to it once and knew I had to be a part it. This has to be one the most diverse records on the album and I couldn't be more stoked on how it turned out.
"Keep The Rave Alive" with Lazer Lazer Lazer
KTRA was a concept I had saved in my notes for a long time, and I realized there wasn't a better moment for me to try to create something out it than for the album. It wasn't until I turned it over to LLL that it really took its form and became the song I always wanted it to be. It's kind an homage to classic rave records; words you would want to hear at 5 in the morning after a long night raving in an abandoned warehouse.
"Say Never" with Gerald Le Funk
Gerald Le Funk is one the first artists I found for Bite This, and has to be one the most talented producers I know. Everything he makes is incredible, and I'm honored to have a record with him on the album. This song is pure energy, and this is just the beginning for Gerald. Expect a lot from him in 2019!
"Back Again" with Holy Go
Go is not just one my favorite artists the moment, but through touring and working with him, has become one my favorite people. He is one the nicest people I know and deserves every ounce success that comes his way. This song came together so quickly and the vibe was just perfect. It's a song with a dope drop and a truly catchy hook that will get stuck in people's heads more and more every time they listen to it.
"Super Fly" feat. 666
Along with "Gassed Up," I wrote this song at least 2 years ago. I've been holding on to them for a long time, because they're part a bigger shift in my music and style that I wanted to make sure I was ready to really dive in to before I released. "Super Fly," to me, feels like a "classic" Jauz record, but in an entirely new way. I love this new 150 UK/US fusion, and I definitely expect to hear a lot more it from myself and lots other producers in the next few years.