Backed by a sparse, twinkling guitar line, J Appiah’s vocals glide effortlessly over “Bitter X Sweet”, showcasing his raw emotion as he laments a past relationship, exploring the dichotomy of life and love.
Following J Appiah’s electronic-focused previous single “CHAINS”, the layered melodies and tender vocals on “Bitter X Sweet” give the track a vulnerability rooted in a longing for safety. It’s a powerful yet delicate number which aptly examines the mixed emotions that life and love bring.
In his own words, “This one’s about a toxic relationship, but it’s also about life. It can be sweet and bitter at the same time… you just gotta find a healthy proportion of sweet to counter the bitter.”
He explains that the track “was about a love, going in circles but it has come to have a wider meaning about life and our everyday experiences… It definitely took on its own meaning over lockdown.”
With an ever-intensifying percussion throughout the song, it feels like it wouldn’t sound too far out of place on the Euphoria soundtrack – “Bitter X Sweet” channels all the alienation of feeling lost and confused, while conveying the exhilarating abandon with which we throw ourselves into loving things that we know are wrong.
Having worked with the likes of Jess Glynne, Madonna, Michael Kiwanuka, Footsie and Stormzy, J Appiah continues on his genre-defying path, proving himself as a musician in his own right. “I don’t go into the studio with a genre in mind, my music is naturally a fusion of everything I love - it’s R&B tinged with a very British indie rock feel. All I'm trying to do is convey a feeling.”
On “Bitter X Sweet”, he does exactly that – conveying a multitude of emotions, exuding angst, pain, heartache and sorrow; J Appiah truly has the world at his feet.