Jessie Reyez - Gatekeeper

We Are: The Guard takes a listen to "Gatekeeper," a dark journey into the mind of rising singer/rapper, Jessie Reyez. This one isn’t for the weak of heart, so put the kids to bed and get ready to be shocked.



The Canadian artist of Colombian descent is all about extremes and juxtapositions. Not many musicians are able to present a lovely vocal performance and then drop hardcore rhymes on the same track. Jessie Reyez is that woman. The story of Gatekeeper is straightforward and monumentally-disturbing. Talking about a young female vocalist trying to break into the industry, she is encountered with an ultimatum. Simply put, it is about having sleep your way into the industry. The dramatization of that event is chronicled in this track, as well as the accompanying music video. The raw delivery of her raps brings her past horrors to life. Honesty doesn’t always net success in the outside world, but Reyez doesn’t seem to mind revealing this story to the public as it stands as a testament that there are many ways to “make it”. Sometimes things that end up breaking you inadvertently make you more hungry to obtain success doing it your own way.

Reyez has vocal delivery that reminds me of Nelly Furtado, being able to change pace at a moment’s notice. I call this vocal agility. There is a lot of emotion in her voice, which tickles the back of your spine. It isn’t always a feeling of sadness, but more like discovering what it means to be a real human being. It is pleasant and unpleasant at the same time. The subject matter in Gatekeeper is very hard to stomach, but sometimes the truth isn’t always cupcakes and sunshine.