Ronald Jenkees




Behind the Music

In reading the stories from The Outlaw Ocean, I was shocked by the blatant and repeated offenses towards our seas. The systematic nature of it is disturbing, and I was saddened by the impact it has on coastal communities who are unable to protect their own ecosystems. During the production of this single, I regularly rewatched some unsettling video pertaining to the project. It zapped me back into reality - the lawlessness of it all and the disregard for life. Through this project, I definitely see our oceans as less of a vast and beautiful place but something that’s more-so under constant attack, on a really large scale.

My goal in creating this music was to convey the feeling I had of urgency and gravity of the situations, both ecological and human. This was challenging because of the significance of the problems and how wide-reaching they are. I also wanted a song in which the ocean ultimately wins as the music winds down; in my head I felt it was after humans were gone and the waves persist, but part of me hopes it's the calm we can have after some serious intervention on our part.

Ronald Jenkees
About Ronald Jenkees

Ronald Jenkees is an independent musician from Louisville, KY who first gained recognition for his entertaining YouTube videos that showcased his lively and improvisational style. These videos often featured him spontaneously playing over his own compositions which often blend electronic, hip-hop, rock and funk elements. With a total of five self-produced albums, Jenkees has accumulated hundreds of millions of streams across various digital platforms and over 86 million views on YouTube. He maintains a dedicated fanbase and continues to connect with them via YouTube, Patreon and through continued official releases.

Winner of the 2021 Scripps Howard Award for Excellence in Innovation in Journalism

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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