J. Lorenzo

Mexico City, Mexico

Dystopian Ocean


Behind the Music

This is a really unique approach to journalism and music in so many ways. On the one hand, it brings the message of Ian’s reporting to a wider audience and encourages individuals to look deeper into these issues. I had previously been aware of the environmental devastation brought by overfishing and pollution, but reading The Outlaw Ocean made me more aware of the lawlessness at sea as well as the human suffering and exploitation it causes. On an artistic level, the use of field recordings and setting them to music really heightens the emotional and human element of these stories. 

As a musician, I’ve never worked with vocals in this way before. With a lot of the tracks, I chose a piece of Ian’s prose to focus the subject matter and evoke the feeling of the song even before building the beat around the selected clip. These vocal samples added another layer of innovativeness, given the story had already been told by Ian through words and I was using his voice and field recordings to set the scene of these stories with my songs. I added in sounds of waves, birds cawing and distorted radio sounds throughout the album to also make the listeners feel as if they were at sea themselves.

J. Lorenzo
About J. Lorenzo

J. Lorenzo is a conductor of lo-fi soundtracks specially crafted to let the mind sail away towards a tropical state of chill vibes. He carefully chooses every element in his beats to create an atmosphere of low density, where any psychonaut would love to float and play around — songs made to flow like the sea while in the middle of the city.

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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