Jerrica White is a woman who has had enough. She isn’t taking any more of the abuse, the adultery, the inauthentic promises a poor lover would offer her, and in the new video for her single “I Don’t Know Who You Are,” she makes it known in no uncertain terms just how serious she is about stepping away from the negative forces in her life. In an age that has seen scores of female songwriters and performers moving closer to a once-outdated model for masculine-centric songcraft, White is set to stand out in a big way in “I Don’t Know Who You Are,” and mostly because of her willingness to deliver something bolder than any of the competition has been producing.
The instrumental tent poles of this single live and die by the lethargic groove of an old fashioned blues sound, but the vocal that White is putting up at the forefront of the spotlight has the sort of exceptional soul that places the surface aesthetics of this piece closer to pop than anything else. It’s impossible to hear a singer like her approach the mic without getting a chill down your back, especially when she’s courting the harmony with as loving a melodic disposition as she’s got in “I Don’t Know Who You Are.”
Relative to most of the R&B I’ve been listening to lately, this is a song that’s more indulgent than the status quo calls for, but personally, I see Jerrica White as being a singer who gets to employ a bit of excess now and again. Just looking at what she does with it in “I Don’t Know Who You Are” has convinced me that she should stay away from the minimalism a lot of pop and R&B players have been embracing over the past ten years, just to prevent her narratives from narrowing.
I just got into Jerrica White this summer, and I already feel like I’ve found a really promising voice that deserves to be on the radar of more critics and audiences around the country at the moment. American pop hasn’t welcomed a vocal-focused player of her caliber into the elites for a while now, and hers is a skill just too good to be ignored or dismissed as a product of good luck. She goes for it hard in “I Don’t Know Who You Are,” and I’ll be eagerly awaiting her next release as well.