Spotlight on: Dejhare – ‘Plead The Fifth’ Written by Jordan Dillard

Spotlight on: Dejhare – ‘Plead The Fifth’ Written by Jordan Dillard

It is truly a time in history when people need hope and encouragement more than ever. When one considers the combined stresses of the pandemic, racial discrimination, poverty, and a myriad of other modern day horrors, it is truly exhilarating to come upon an artist who aims to inspire hope and love. This artist hits both of those marks with the greatest of ease. Dejhare is the artist in question, and she has very recently released a pop juggernaut that has incredibly positive and relatable messages scattered throughout the EP. Messages that now more than ever are urgent and powerful. She manages to convey these inspiring messages through relentlessly catchy dance-pop music that is both upbeat and addicting. A feat that is highly impressive. There is not even one skippable track. Most pop stars manage to get by with songs about frivolities and nonchalance. While there is absolutely nothing inherently wrong with that, it is refreshing to listen to an artist with a bit more musical depth. To hear music that has a little bit more meat on its bones. Dejhare is putting out the exact opposite of today’s throwaway hits. By going against the grain and embracing timeless ideas, she is truly setting herself apart from the rest of the popular artists of the day. Each track on this EP is of the highest quality both lyrically and sonically and it is also flawlessly produced. It is wildly impressive how she has managed to discuss such a large volume of crucial themes over the course of just 5 songs. I can’t imagine what she might do with a full length album of the same quality and substance. In any case, this EP is sort of like a full length album with all the unnecessary fluff cut out and only the nutritional qualities left for consumption. It has been quite some time since I have heard a record that is so concise and that has taken such a gripping hold over me. My music subscription seems to only serve as a means to constantly repeat Dejhare’s hopeful, positive music. Especially this EP. I know that I am not alone in admitting that I definitely need it from time to time (or sometimes all the time.) That is where this new release come in. The result of Dejhare’s message and music is a brilliant EP that begs to be heard again and again. I think that you will agree once you have given it a listen.

The EP begins with the moody, yet effervescent ‘Take Five.’ It is a song about appreciating life and enjoying the wonderful things that come with it. It speaks of how monotonous life can become when we as people get stuck in the daily grind of life. It can be tempting to view life through the lens of indifference. Dejhare uses this track to remind her audience that while life can feel like a never ending cycle of routine and chores, there is much to be grateful for. One need only ‘take five’ and smell the roses. Our problems will always be there, but if one dares to look hard enough in the right places, there is always a silver lining. That is a powerful message indeed and it is one that she perfectly encapsulates in this song. The most remarkable thing about the track is Dejhare’s angelic vocals. She has the most celestial tone and quite the soothing timbre. It subtly invites the listener to take in the message that the lyrics are portraying and to give in to the sonic ecstasy of the track. Dejhare is an incredibly talented singer and nowhere is that more evident than on the EP’s opening track. Her voice mixed with the joyous message of the song combine to create a potently positive listening experience. Her distinct sound definitely causes her to stand out. With so many pop music options out there to enjoy, it is crucial to have that unique edge to set you apart. Dejhare has that for sure. Her voice was made for beautiful music. ‘Take Five’ is a wonderfully high note for the EP to start off on. From there, the positively charged energy only builds to greater and greater heights until it finally reaches its last, breathtaking crescendo.

On the next track, titled ‘Skeletons,’ Dejhare conveys a powerful message of personal accountability. She says in the chorus that

‘We all have skeletons in our closets, but do not use them to play a trick.’

Everyone has situations that are out of their control, but the fact is that a lot of the difficult situations we find ourselves in are the result of our own bad decisions. While that is nothing to be ashamed of, it can be dangerous to play the victim and use that excuse as a crutch.

            ‘Stop pointing fingers’

            ‘Avoiding the blame’

            ‘Enough playing the victim’

She sings of taking responsibility for our own actions. There is a great power in admitting the roles we play in our own struggles. It frees us to identify the things that we need to change in order to better our situation. If we view the problem as outside ourselves, then that releases all control and responsibility. With that mindset, there is no way to break free from the vicious cycle of self-pity and frustration. Only through self-reflection and unbiased examination can a person grow from past mistakes. It is all about taking back the power over our lives that we had all along. The truly terrific thing about this track is that Dejhare manages to relay this beautifully complex message over a fast-paced, pulsating beat that never lets up. If anything, the gravity of the lyrics are amplified by the candy coated production. It is just the sort of dichotomy that takes a song from being basic to superb, as it lends a greater depth to its quality. The whimsical verse leads into a techno-infused pre-chorus that indicates to the listener that an even bigger musical moment is about to take over. That is when it builds up to a highly energetic chorus that positively explodes and overflows into high octane pop perfection. This track is ideal for the clubs but has a message that is both relevant and deep that should be remembered throughout our daily lives. This makes the track very versatile and appropriate for all kinds of different situations. Also, the production is pristine and adds a fantastic gloss to this lively dance track. There is not a single thing that I would take away from or add to it. It is perfection.

The next track is the meaningful pop ballad ‘Perception.’ It has what I believe to be one of the most important messages of the entire EP, which is saying a lot. It talks about letting go of the discriminatory tendencies that so many people still grapple with in the modern era.

            ‘Whatever we do, Every-body deserves a chance.’

It is amazing that even though society has come so far in so many ways, discrimination and oppression are still so prevalent in today’s world. Though society has made great strides, there is still so much to be done. The message of this song is the most important one as it pertains to the injustices done to people all over the world. Whether it is due to race, class, sex, gender, or merely daring to be a little different than everyone else, oppression can be seen everywhere. It is like a disease that has a cure that no one is willing to take. No one person is greater than anyone else and everyone deserves a chance at happiness and fulfillment in this life. Dejhare proclaims this message over a spirited dance track that thumps forward with vigor and zest. The beat propels the chorus forward and the lovely melody is the pure personification of hope in music form. My favorite kind of song is the type that has a serious message, but that is relayed over an unabated dance beat and enchanting chord progression. There is something so intoxicating and powerful about the high spirited positivity that is so prevalent in these kinds of songs. ‘Perception’ is an unblemished example of what I am talking about. The message and the hook both stay with you long after the music has faded out. If prejudice is a disease, then the message of this track is the cure: respect others. The music itself is a kind of elixir, because it is difficult indeed to feel anything but joy and love when one’s mind is saturated with this kind of music and message.

Not Alone’ is the next track and begins with a slinky beat and a melodiously bright synth instrumentation. The beat moves steadily as the electronic music sways with a funky rhythm that is quite contagious. Dejhare’s vocals have a chance to play around with fun melodies that are filtered into an electronic heaven. Of all the other songs on the EP, this one has the most glorious and optimistic sounding chorus. It has a relentlessly upbeat and bright sound. She sings of feeling like a ‘bird in the sky.’ These lyrics are more than appropriate as the production creates the sensation of flight. Flight above all of our problems, including that unmistakable feeling of loneliness. When we believe in ourselves, there is nothing that we cannot do. That seems to be the prevailing message of this track. It is truly an anthem for the marginalized people of the world or anyone who has ever felt discriminated against. Dejhare, reminds her listeners that even though things may seem bleak, they are not alone. Simply spread your wings and take flight.

The EP ends just as it began: flying high over a synth laden track that has enough spirit to move a mountain. It is the title track ‘Plead The Fifth.’ It is a playful track that speaks of the collective human experience of not having the life we want but appreciating it for what it is. It is something that I think most people have experienced at one point or another. It is a situation that I am sure the vast majority of people who have experience it probably have a hard time shaking off. I know that I certainly have. It makes this song unbelievably relatable and, like the previous track, reminds the listener that they are ‘not alone.’ This life is something that everyone is going through at the same time, and we have more in common than we probably realize. That is a very comforting thought. Our burdens become much more manageable when we share the load with others. Suddenly, the thing we thought would kill us is lighter than a feather. That is the power of uniting together. The vocals and the arrangement on this track positively glitter. The chorus grabs you tight and doesn’t let go for the entirety of the track. Dejhare’s vocal prowess is on full display in all of its pitch perfect glory. She has a way of allowing her voice to become the lyrics. That ability goes a long way in creating the perfect listening experience. There are not many artists on my list that can do it with quite the same lightness and ease that Dejhare does. It is one of the many qualities that make her contributions to the music world so indispensable. ‘Plead The Fifth’ is the perfect feel-good ending to a positively phenomenal EP.

The lasting impression that this EP leaves with listeners is one of the collective human experience that we are all experiencing together and the hope that realization can bring us. The message of this EP is strong enough that it doesn’t get lost in the melodious, synth-heavy haze that is the music itself. Dejhare’s voice is like honey and floats above these tracks with grace and is never lost in the music. It all comes together to create a divine wall of sound that is very cohesive. Overall, ‘Plead The Fifth’ is another solid effort from a very talented singer-songwriter. She is more than up to the task of carrying out her musical vision. The quality of the music indicates that the artist has a clear goal of the project and is very focused in executing every step along the way. Not since Lady Gaga’s Born This Way that was released ten years ago have I felt that a music project has been able to realize and execute its vision so clearly. Dejhare is building quite the impressive catalogue of music for herself, and this EP is just one more gleaming example of her impressive musical aptitude. She truly knows herself as an artist and that fact shines though in the quality of her music.

It is evident in the soul of her discography that she knows what she wants out of her career as a music artist: To unite people though stories and lyrics that are immensely relatable and to spread love and joy to everyone. She accomplishes this ten-fold with this collection of songs. As a fan of all of her music, it is wonderful to see an artist so faithfully stick to their message and to be unwilling to have it compromised by even the smallest margin. There is truly something for everyone on this EP and that gives it the kind of staying power that all musical artists dream about. There is a great universal appeal in the message of this project. In a world that needs so much change, it will take all of us to create that change. Dejhare’s ‘Plead The Fifth’ is the perfect soundtrack for that change. With each track addressing such universally human experiences, this music has what it needs to stand the test of time. It packs an inspirational punch that has the power to unite old and new fans alike through the joy of music. It is Dejhare’s goal in life to make that kind of music and she executes that goal with great ease with this powerful collection of songs. I am truly excited for her future releases, but until then, I will be mercilessly hitting the repeat button on this EP. Its impeccable production and timeless messages could never be overstated or overplayed. Do yourself a favor and give this sterling EP a listen. Let the music catch your attention and let the soothing messages uplift and empower you. Something tells me it won’t be the only time you listen to it.

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