Los Angeles, USA and Vancouver, Canada



Behind the Music

A successful song goes well beyond simply conveying a certain tone or message. It tells a story through lyrics or rhythms and beats. Music is a language understood by all and, when it is written well, it contains a narrative arc similar to that of a written story, complete with mood, progression, conflict, tension and resolution. It has its own way of eliciting emotional responses that can be uniquely visceral, physical and linked to specific experiences. Music gives supplemental emotional context, complexity and depth to what written words often can’t express. 

Guided by the field recordings and prose supplied by Ian, we tried to match the journey of each book chapter we were inspired by and ultimately created a body of work that acts as a mechanism of storytelling for The Outlaw Ocean. For instance, our song “Adrift” was inspired by the content of Chapter 6, in which two stowaways seeking a new life were caught and abandoned on a raft in the middle of the ocean. We want to communicate a sense of despair, loneliness and eventual acceptance of inevitable death, things I thought I might experience if put in a similar situation.

About BLU J

BLU J always strives to create a unique sound. The duo carefully blends a multitude of musical elements into engaging soundscapes, rhythms and harmonies. Their music engages listeners with memorable hooks, complex production and high energy. Their musicality runs deep, and is apparent in each of their productions, making them a stand-out dance music fixture.

The Journalism behind the Music

All music in this project is based on The Outlaw Ocean, a New York Times Best-Selling book by Ian Urbina that chronicles lawlessness at sea around the world. This reporting touches on a diversity of abuses ranging from illegal and overfishing, arms trafficking at sea, human slavery, gun running, intentional dumping, murder of stowaways, thievery of ships and other topics.

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