Jayla Darden - "Onto Something" E.P. Review


Jayla Darden is an upcoming artist originally from Detroit. Her unique contemporary R&B style encompasses the classic R&B feel with new, modern electronic sounds and catchy choruses, taking inspiration from the likes of artists such as Aaliyah, Brandy, Monica and Missy Elliot. One of the things that make her one to look out for in particular is the fact that she writes and produces all of her own music and it sound great !!!!!!!

Jayla started her musical journey releasing music through SoundCloud where she released a series of singles and three EPs titled: 118, Ideas 1 Vol 1 and Ideas Vol 2 which, major label Interscope Records found and swiftly signed her.

In 2019 Jayla released her first single with the major label, called Mercedes Key and then went on to release an EP and single both titled Onto Something.

As with her other projects she wrote and produced this EP herself and the EP appeals to late 90’s, early 2000’s R&B lovers and serves as a mesh of rhythms, grooves and electronics depicting Jayla’s interactions with the opposite sex and people around her.

The story/ Track list

The EP cover shows Jayla in her element, sitting comfy looking at the camera with boss energy in what appears to be a bedroom/studio apparent by the guitar and musical equipment to her left and the bed to her right. The subtle features such as Jordan’s on the floor behind her and jackets hanging up as well as her baggy clothing and kicks matched with the blue theme of the background give her room a different feel redefining what a woman’s room “traditionally” looks like. The overall theme of the album cover is different shades of blue with her sporting white and a pop of orange on the stand behind. This exudes a fresh, soothing and calming feel.

This project has a very similar feel to works from the likes of Aaliyah, Brandy and Monica with each track exhibiting an underlying smooth, chilled back groove that you can chill and relax to. Each track start with a short period of just backing track helping to set the mood and theme of the track before her vocals kick in allowing listeners to get comfortable and vibe with the production then be complemented by her vocals giving each track a catchy and comfortable feel.

The tracks Be your girl and Sweating me detail her wants; in particular how she wants a particular guy and what she wants from a relationship with him. Be your girl has a hopeful but cool feel, and sweating me uses a more tame, classy and lil bossy feel closer that said both tracks use a mixture of pop and R&B. These tracks fall similar and reminiscent to tracks off Christina Aguilera’s self-entitled album such as Genie in a bottle, Brandy’s self-entitled album such as Movin on, Best friend and I wanna be down.

The single Onto something details how things with a potential lover didn’t go as planned, with relations initially showing promise but her realising all wasn’t as it seems as she catches him with another girl. This track uses a more acoustic, natural sound which is slower and more relaxed compared to the other tracks on the project. I personally believe that this track is the most similar to conventional R&B. It has an underlying element of sadness that accurately portrays the sadness and disappointment she felt in this situation. The smooth repetitive loop on the beat gives the beat an attractive catchy feel that leaves you wanting more. Similar to Brandy’s Put that on everything off her album Never say never or 702’s single Get it together

The tracks Got it, and Pick up detail the ups and downs of the interactions with a lover, with Got it describing how great the good time are and how the guy knows how to put it down but the track Pick up details the opposite side of this when someone you once dealt with is persistent and doesn’t know how to let go. Got it has a light, positive poppy groove similar to the track mentioned before such as Be your Girl and Sweating me using whereas Pick up uses a more melodic acoustic vibe like onto something.

The final two tracks Goofy and Private Island on the moon detail her interactions with people around her, with Goofy detailing how people who weren’t really present for her previously now want to come around and act different now she’s made it and Private Island on the moon detailing how overwhelming people can be and how she just needs a break to herself. Both these track lean more towards a Pop sound using faster tempos and rhythms, but still exhibit R&B tendencies similar to tracks such as Justin Timberlake’s Senorita off his 2002 album Justified, and 3LW’s self-entitled album such as Playas Gon’ Play and No more


Since releasing this project Jayla has released a music video for onto something, a new track titled demonstration with its own music video.

Though it’s still relatively early Jayla is showing great potential to grow as an artist and continuing this path should continue to bring Jayla great success and given time with the nature and quality of the music, she is producing she could potentially boom and grow to superstar level fame.

Similar upcoming artists who you may not have heard of but I would recommend you check out are Savannah Cristina, Joyce Wrice, Alex Mali, Parisxela and Umi.