Jidenna’s upbeat in new single, Feng Shui
Ahead of his birthday on Monday, ‘Classic Man’ emcee and Wondaland Records signee, Jidenna Theodore Mobisson better known mononymously as Jidenna is back with a new loosey-goosey titled, Feng Shui, a track that will feature in the upcoming episode of Issa Rae’s Insecure show (Insecure Season 4) on HBO.
The song is an upbeat production built on a sound like a sped-up highlife guitar sample and 808s-meet-afro-fusion beat work.
“Swanky new tune alert via Insecure! That Feng Sui. Big ups to Issa Rae and The Radio for showing love to the record. Listen for me on this week’s episode,” the Nigerian-American rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer wrote on Instagram.
Jidenna’s latest album, 85 to Africa, which he released last year, features singles like Tribe, Sufi Woman, Sou Sou, and Zodi alongside Mr Eazi. The 11-track album included features from Seun Kuti, Goldlink, St. Beauty and Mereba.
Starting out in high school, the Grammy nominee co-founded the rap group Black Spadez, and began writing arranging and producing records. He released his first album with the group as their final project at Milton Academy, where he graduated in 2003.
In 2008, after graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity from Stanford University, Jidenna pursued his music career while working full-time as a teacher, moving between Los Angeles, Oakland, Brooklyn and Atlanta, before signing a deal with recording artist Janelle Monáe’s Wondaland Records.
He has collaborated with a number of artistes that are signed to the label; including Roman GianArthur, St. Beauty, Deep Cotton and Janelle Monáe herself, and then began recording a five-song compilation of the label’s first extended play (EP), titled The Eephus.
In February 2015, he released his first official single titled Classic Man featuring GianArthur. The song was in heavy rotation throughout the United States, and debuted at number 49 on Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Airplay chart. The song was nominated for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the 58th Grammy Awards.
In June of the same year, Jidenna performed Classic Man with Monáe at the BET Awards. He also received an award for best new artiste at the Soul Train Music Awards held in November the same year.
A year later, precisely June 2016 he released the single Chief Don’t Run. On February 17, 2017, he released The Chief, his first studio album. The album cover pays homage to Boz Scaggs’ Middle Man album. The lead singles Sufi Woman and Tribe were released on July 26, 2019 and appeared on his second studio album 85 to Africa, which was also released last year
The album garnered praise as Dan-O’s (co-founder of Freemusicempire.com) favorite album of the year. He lauded its consistency and spirit. “85 To Africa doesn’t go from 10 to 7 to 4, every song is an 8.5 and you can let one song run into the next,” he said.
Born in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, United States to Tama Mobisson, a Caucasian accountant, and Oliver Mobisson, a Nigerian Igbo academic. Jidenna grew up partially in Nigeria, where his father was working as a professor of Computer Science at Enugu State University.
His family moved back to the United States when he was six years old. In 1995, the family moved to Norwood, Massachusetts, and then to Milton, Massachusetts, in 2000. His father died in 2010.