Demae is a name you might not know yet, but the London artist has been around for a minute, formerly working under the name Bubblerap and part of the group Hawk House. More recently, she’s also been working as a backup vocalist for Fatima. Now she’s stepping out under her new/old name and slowing things down to release her debut EP as Demae, Life Works Out…Usually.

While previous projects might have been a bit more straight-up hip hop, as Demae, she’s now leaning a bit more in the neo-soul direction, slowing things down, getting more intimate with her songwriting, and adding a splash of jazz to the proceedings as well. For the EP, she’s getting production from Eun, 10.4 ROG, Jake Milliner, and Wu-Lu, who are all providing Demae with some great soulful downtempo beats. She’s also getting some assistance from Ego Ella May and Fatima on vocals, Joe Armon-Jones on keys, and Nala Sinephro on harp. They help flesh out a few of the tracks and bring a little live energy and help fuel Demae’s creative juice. This is all great, but it wouldn’t mean a thing is Demae herself couldn’t bring it and capitalize on all of these assists. Fortunately, you don’t need to worry about that. Demae is a great vocalist, one who understands that less is more. It’s about good tone and simple and effective melodies with Demae, who really wants you to understand the message of these songs. That’s because this is an EP about finding herself, trusting in herself, and learning to grow as she reinvented her public musical persona and put much more of her personal life into the music. The result is an EP that will really resonate with listeners on a deep one-on-one level.

Life Works Out…Usually isn’t a big statement in the sense of having a big pop hit, an up tempo number that we can all sing along to. It is a big statement, however, in the sense that Demae is putting herself out there as an artist and giving us a really mature, jazzy, soulful sound that rewards with each repeat listen.