Meet the PLAYlist: DJ Jazzy Jeff's new supergroup | Features | MN2S

A profile of the many talented members of DJ Jazzy Jeff’s new supergroup The PLAYlist.

Fresh on the MN2S artist agency live roster this week is R&B/Hip-Hop supergroup The PLAYlist. The group grew out of DJ Jazzy Jeff’s annual PLAYlist Retreat gatherings, in which established and up-and-coming DJs, producers and musicians meet to share ideas, collaborate, and discuss their craft.

The PLAYlist features many of the best and brightest of these musicians and producers, so it’s no surprise that their debut album Chasing Goosebumps has been met with widespread critical acclaim since its February release.

Watch the video for Chasing Goosebumps single ‘Distractions’ here:

The album started out as a semi-impromptu affair. As DJ Jazzy Jeff recounts in the below Facebook video, he issued a challenge to himself and the other assembled members of what would eventually become The PLAYlist. That challenge was to make and record an album in just seven days, and that the resulting album had to give listeners goosebumps. In the Philadelphia DJ’s own words, what they came up with was “absolutely incredible.” He’s right. And the album really does induce goosebumps.

Chasing Goosebumps is equal parts smooth, soulful, funky, incendiary and inspirational. It is a true testament to what a group of likeminded, determined musicians can achieve when focused on a shared goal. But who exactly are these musicians?

We take a look at some of the key members of the collective, their musical backgrounds, and their unique contributions to Chasing Goosebumps.

DJ Jazzy Jeff

The PLAYlist’s mastermind, DJ Jazzy Jeff rose to fame initially as half of DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, one of the most successful Hip-Hop groups of all time. Though he has continued to work with Will Smith over the years, he is now best known as one of the most respected figures on the DJ and turntablism scene, and for his dedication to working with and inspiring the next generation of great artists.

Jeff’s contribution to The PLAYlist is crucial. The whole project is the logical progression of the DJ’s annual Playlist Retreats, which started back in 2015. The retreats offer a getaway for aspiring and successful musicians alike to work together on their pursuit of musical perfection.

Glenn Lewis

Glenn Lewis is much less of a known entity than DJ Jazzy Jeff, but he has still been a big part of the R&B scene since the 90s, and he is equally at the forefront of the Chasing Goosebumps record. The album is in fact credited to “The PLAYlist featuring Glenn Lewis”, as the singer’s vocals grace every track on the album. DJ Jazzy Jeff described Lewis as “the perfect vessel for these stories of frustration, anger, hate, inspiration, love and hope.” His voice evokes R&B greats like Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway as well as more contemporary singers like Raphael Saadiq.

The Canadian singer is best known for the hit singles ‘The Thing I Do’ and ‘Don’t You Forget It’. He has been nominated for Grammy and Juno awards and he has frequently collaborated with esteemed R&B production duo Andre Harris and Vidal Davis, known as Dre & Vidal.

Dre & Vidal

Hailing from DJ Jazzy Jeff’s native Philly, Andre Harris and Vidal Davis are two of the most successful R&B producers of the modern era. Together and individually, the duo have worked with the likes of Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild, Usher, Biggie Smalls, Mary J Blige, Floetry, Alicia Keys, and even Michael Jackson. The list is almost endless.

The above video for ‘Caught Up’ is one of the more upbeat songs from their catalogue. Dre & Vidal generally focus on smooth, chilled out grooves, the kind that can be found all over the Chasing Goosebumps album, suggesting they were heavily involved in much of the project. It’s worth noting that both Dre and Vidal are alumni of DJ Jazzy Jeff’s A Touch of Jazz production house, so they have a working relationship that goes way back.

Daniel Crawford

Daniel Crawford is credited as a keyboard player and producer on Chasing Goosebumps. He has been honing his skills for years, producing and remixing the kind of Dilla-inspired soul beats that are all over Chasing Goosebumps. Crawford has been waiting for an opportunity like The PLAYlist to come along for years now. Finding new talent like him is what Jeff’s PLAYlist Retreats are all about.

Stro Elliot

Another rising star from the PLAYlist Retreat, a cursory listen to Stro Elliot’s Soundcloud page will introduce you to one of the most interesting and inventive producers on the scene at the moment. His work fuses Hip-Hop and R&B with elements of House and other electronic music.

Kaidi “Agent K” Tatham

Like Crawford, Kaidi is a keyboard player and producer who caught DJ Jazzy Jeff’s attention and became a member of the core group of musicians who played on the Chasing Goosebumps sessions.

Dayne Jordan

Like Glenn Lewis, Dayne Jordan gets personal feature credits on the album, though he doesn’t appear on every track. His verses on ‘Defeated’ and ‘Stone Cold’ display his lyrical pyrotechnics and inimitable delivery, which gels perfectly with the album’s production.

Jordan has a long history with DJ Jazzy Jeff, playing a huge part in his 2007 The Return of the Magnificent album, and touring the world as the DJ’s primary MC. Last year, DJ Jazzy Jeff produced Dayne Jordan’s debut full length, The Memoirs of Dayne Jordan, which Jeff described as “hands down the most enjoyable project I’ve ever done.” With a working relationship as fruitful and affectionate as this one, it is no wonder Jeff get Dayne involved in the PLAYlist project.

James Poyser

James Poyser is a longtime DJ Jazzy Jeff associate, also hailing from Philadelphia. He is best known as a member of The Roots. His keyboard playing graces much of their recorded output, as well as their daily appearances as Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show house band.

Poyser has had an illustrious producing and session playing career, working with the likes of Alicia Keys, John Legend, D’Angelo, Jay-Z, Erykah Badu, Common, and Lauryn Hill among others.

Before The PLAYlist, Jeff and James’ most recent collaboration was the Snow Beats EP that the duo recorded whilst they were snowed in for four hours. (This acts as a precursor to the Chasing Goosebumps project in many ways.)

Eric Roberson

Eric Roberson is a singer-songwriter who has been active since the mid-90s. He has been an integral part of the Neo Soul scene for decades. Like Dre & Vidal, Roberson was a member of DJ Jazzy Jeff’s A Touch of Jazz production crew, making important contributions to Jeff’s solo album The Magnificent.

Eric Roberson has several solo albums to his name, but he is no stranger to collaboration. Outside of his A Touch of Jazz work he has appeared on music by The Foreign Exchange, and released a collaborative album with the rapper Phonte under the moniker Tigallero.

The Touch of Jazz spirit runs through all of Roberson’s work, with both his production and vocal work being consistently smooth, melodic and soulful.

Eric Lau

London DJ Eric Lau has been a favourite producer for many in the know for years now. He has worked with the likes of Georgia Anne Muldrow and Oddisee on his solo work, and has won praise from heads like Gilles Peterson.

Prior to Chasing Goosebumps Eric Lau had worked with DJ Jazzy Jeff on his seventh annual Summertime mixtape, co-producing the fantastic De La Soul track ‘Time for the Summer’, which draws heavily on the DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince classic ‘Summertime’.


SiR is a singer/songwriter/producer from Inglewood, California who is primed for big things. After building buzz with an album on the Fresh Selects label, SiR signed to TDE Records, the label responsible for modern megastars like Kendrick Lamar, Schoolboy Q and Jay Rock.

The artist’s penchant for smooth Hip-Hop-influenced R&B (he once produced a J Dilla tribute album) make him the perfect fit for Chasing Goosebumps.

Book The PLAYlist now to bring goosebumps to your venue. Please note: the touring lineup of The PLAYlist will not include every member of the collective. Enquire now for more details.

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