Jacob Collier offers Steve Vai guitar playing direction and watches as Willow screams down a microphone

Jacob Collier and Steve Vai in the studio
(Image credit: Jacob Collier/Instagram)

Jacob Collier has just dropped a collection of videos that take you behind the scenes of the making of his forthcoming album, Djesse, Vol 4. The clips reveal that he’s been working with a stellar cast of collaborators, including Steve Vai, Willow and Kirk Franklin.

The Vai video is particularly revealing. It shows the guitarist in the studio with Collier as he records an ascending lick, and it’s a measure of Vai’s respect for Collier - the pair previously collaborated in 2019 on Do You Feel Love, which featured on Collier’s Djesse, Vol 2 album - that he’s happy to take direction from him. 

“If you could almost be more pentatonic up there,” says Collier as Vai moves up the fretboard, before suggesting that it would be “cool to come up with scalic language and down with pentatonic language”.

Other highlights of the Instagram showreel include Willow screaming the words “I don’t wanna waste my time” into a microphone, and the Jason Max Ferdinand Singers performing a muttering vocal crescendo that calls to mind the denouement of The Beatles’ A Day In The Life.

There’s footage of Collier flexing his bass and acoustic guitar playing chops, too, along with a playthrough of a busy Logic Pro project that contains a cacophonous arrangement of sound effects.

It looks like Djesse, Vol 4 is going to be quite a ride, then. This is expected to be the final piece of the Djesse puzzle, and the culmination of everything that Collier has done on the previous albums. A release date is still to be confirmed, but his website confirms that it’s “coming soon”.

Collier has been a busy man of late; as well as putting the finishing touches to his album, he also appeared on Saturday Night Live with the aforementioned Jason Max Ferdinand singers and Coldplay to perform a medley of Human Heart (the 2021 studio recording of which he appeared on) and Fix You.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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