Pop superstar Selena Gomez looked north to team up with Norwegian DJ Kygo to create the simmering hit “It Ain’t Me” earlier this year. PMJ takes the song in the opposite direction, hooking up with dynamic vocalist Emily Braden and members of the Mudbug Brass Band to steer the song southward – watch our NOLA-flavored take here:
A self-professed “big, bad beauty from Boise,” Emily Braden makes her PMJ debut with a bold, brassy turn on this recent Selena Gomez chart-topper. On the original, Kygo’s blend of bittersweet acoustic guitars and overcast synth swells lend the EDM tune a dark, moody atmosphere – perfectly suited to the song’s tale of a woman finding her way out of a toxic relationship, where the drinking and partying have escalated from good times to bad situation.
In the grand tradition of a New Orleans funeral, Scott Bradlee’s arrangement for PMJ flips the vibe from mournful to celebratory, with Braden not just walking but marching away from the song’s soured romance and straight down Bourbon Street. Winner of New York City’s prestigious “Best of the Best” Jazzmobile Vocal Competition, Braden effortlessly blends jazz and soul styles with a joyful spirit that brings forth the empowering message of “It Ain’t Me.” A commanding presence who has fronted orchestras on the West Coast and world-class jazz trios in Manhattan, Braden brings a forceful swing to the tune and scats her way into an infectious clapalong chorus. Of course, it’s easy to not look back when you have the roof-raising horns of the Louisiana-rooted, Los Angeles-based Mudbug Brass Band propelling you forward.