After being invited to produce numerous dance remixes over the years, electronic artist Ionne (pronounced ee-oh-nay) has withdrawn from the genre. While the New Haven artist loves dance mixes, he also found subjects that resonated with him. The result is a powerful album, “For These Who Remain”, released on June 20th.

As a black member of the LGBTQ + community, Ionne explores themes of racial, social and environmental justice in the album, which features eight tracks that blend aspects of multiple genres of music, from deep house and R&B to synth pop, electro and gospel. Despite what Eminem said in 2002 that “No one listens to techno,” electro and EDM, if you will, have transcended the underground music scene to become more mainstream. And in the hands of Ionne, the genre is elevated to the rank of “serious music” which embraces important messages.

“The landscape right now is so fertile; there’s a lot going on in the electronic music space, and I think my approach somehow resists this idea of ​​electronic music of just having a party on an EDM track, ”he said. declared.

On the surface – until further examination – Ionne appears to be a contradiction. Dr. Maurice L. Harris is Ionne’s name, but for his musical career, it bears her stage name, which historically has several spellings and meanings. He is associated with positivity and spirituality – which he believes are very important to him – as well as the more modern, science-based spelling of ion. His gender ambiguity was also a bonus.

Ionne released her album “For Those Who Stay” on June 20th.

Courtesy of Ionne

“For me, I wanted to stay in a space that was very gender non-specific, spiritually enhanced, and really full of positive energy,” he said.

With a background in leadership studies, Harris works professionally in marketing and artistic communications. He explained that his creative process in music is indelibly linked to his professional career; it often follows the process of U theory, which includes observation, research and reflection. To this end, he intersperses snippets of actual conversations about issues he has with other artists and friends into songs on this album.

At the start of his recording career, the artist was approached for club dance mix projects, in which he excelled. But he was looking to show people that serious music doesn’t just mean classical or traditional music from singer-songwriters.

“I had to start broaching topics that made sense to me. It doesn’t mean that music can’t also be about just having fun and letting go, ”he said. “Of course, I love doing dance remixes and there are already several from this album. At the same time, I also knew it wasn’t the only thing I wanted to do. I felt for me that it was much more musically and spiritually exciting to be able to use music as a platform as well, especially this type of music – electronic music – as a way to expand the perceptions of the people around. electronic music to sort of break down some of the stereotypes about who can do or who is allowed to do certain styles of music.

Ionne said he was able to change genres with this album and “use this music as a platform to promote positive social change in areas that were personally very important to me, especially in the areas of music. racial healing and environmental justice “.

“For Those Who Stay” is described as a warning about the relationships, not only between people and their communities, but also with the planet we all share. One song in particular, “Rocket,” depicts a fictional version of real-life incidents that dominated television screens for over a year. He also alludes to the name of the album when asking if people dream of leaving their neighborhood – or even boarding a rocket to another planet – what happens to those who remain?

“The overall story and theme of this song was really inspired by the repeated incidents of police brutality,” he said. “This is the story of an incident of police brutality; it’s fictional, but it’s fictional that has been informed by real life events, and I’m using this story to try and explore a few different layers, aspects or feelings that I think is really important to address in the song.

The song hammers home with lyrics such as:

“He packed a Glock but what he needed was a bulletproof vest

to keep her honor and her story and life in her chest

against people trained to see it as the problems it caused

instead of seeing the system as the source of the fraud… ”

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Andrea Valluzzo is a freelance writer.