At the end of last November, Jamal Reed released his debut album to the world titled “Yellow Dress.” This full length, eleven track album takes a listener on a journey through Reed’s mind, exploring all of the thoughts and feelings that helped him write and make this album.
Reed grew up in a family of musicians and therefore had been immersed in that type of culture at a very young age. With his father and older brother being successful musicians, Reed always knew he wanted to try his take at making music. With that, the song lyric writing for “Yellow Dress” began back in 2012, when Reed had much smaller plans for this album.
“‘Yellow Dress’ started out as an EP that I planned to release back in 2012. I had around four songs that my older brother and I planned to record at home and throw together. But then, my brother started going through a divorce, and I wrote a song about his experience with that. I wrote another one, and another one, and before we knew, it this project turned into something bigger, and took on a larger story than what I had originally planned,” Reed said.
“Yellow Dress then turned into a concept album” with a few different stories embedded into it. Reed has three songs on the album that addresses his brother’s divorce and three songs that Reed wrote about his earlier, younger relationships. The rest of the album is written for someone that Reed had feelings for, but no true way of showing what he felt in any other way than through his music.
While Reed’s family served as inspirations for his early music career, he turned to a few other important musicians to help him create “Yellow Dress.”
“John Mayer served as a huge inspiration for me and this album, as far as how the album sounds. Another artist, Elliott Smith helped inspire me on the lyric side of the music,” Reed said. “My favorite part about making music is kind-of also my least favorite part, which is songwriting. I’ll start with a melody on my guitar, and write from there. I consider myself a writer before anything else, so writing music just makes sense for me, even if it is hard sometimes.”
Since its release last year, “Yellow Dress” is available on Soundcloud, iTunes, Google Play and other music platforms. Reed recorded the album in his at-home studio with the help of his cousin and, since its release, has been working to make sure people know about his music and what he does.