Chicago Duo JAM & Philly Launch Outer Voice Records with R&B/Hip-Hop Track ‘Photographs’
Joined by rapper Miskreet, Indian-origin brothers James A. Mathew and Philly Mathew are set on representing South Asian American artists
Originally into policy research and more office-oriented work, Chicago-based Kerala-origin James A. Mathew’s life took a turn when he ran for student body president at Harvard, creating a hip-hop track with his running mate Ify.
That song, which detailed their promise on “improving inclusion and belonging on our campus” (as Mathew said in an interview) at Harvard, garnered over five million streams on Twitter, celebrity endorsements and most importantly, a conversation with Converse. Following Mathew’s involvement in building a mentorship/funding program for creatives called Converse All-Stars, it led to the creation of South Asian American-focused label Outer Voice Records. They’ve now made their first mark with a smooth R&B/hip-hop track “Photographs” featuring Mathew (as JAM), his brother Philly and rapper Miskreet.
Mentored by the likes of Tyler, the Creator and his manager Christian Clancy, Outer Voice Records is also an outcome of the Mathew brothers’ long-nurtured love for music, as well as their observations growing up in predominantly a white neighborhood outside of Chicago. JAM takes on the duties as lyricist and crooner, while Philly helms production on “Photographs,” a song that recounts lost love. It’s an openhearted song with the brothers and Miskreet bringing their best to the table, moving from perspectives of reminiscence to hurt and anger.
With their account now opened and another single “Blind” coming up on July 28th, Outer Voice Records are also inviting singers and songwriters, rappers and producers, plus filmmakers, photographers and graphic designers to join them. Philly says, “Outer Voice Records is more than just a record label – we call it an #allbrownproduction. It is a platform for South Asian Americans to tell their stories.” His brother James adds, “Our community does not lack talent; it has lacked a platform. We strongly believe that our network and resources will allow us to do something unprecedented.”