U.N. Jefferson is a 9-piece modern Soul band from Toronto bringing a distinct sound and compelling live show to the local music scene. With infectious beats and bold horn accompaniment, they combine elements of Soul, Motown and early R&B to create lively and uplifting music that is sure to get you moving.
Lead by charismatic frontman Ajay Massey, who’s positivity, charm and love of entertaining drives the performance, U.N. Jefferson captures the attention of everyone in the room and makes them feel like they are a part of the show. Best known for the singles ‘Testify’ and ‘Shine on Me’, U.N. Jefferson is a band that must be heard and can be enjoyed by music lovers from all walks of life.
If you have the chance to see U.N. Jefferson live, you had best bring your dancing shoes! The band puts on an energetic and engaging show that is a guaranteed good time. Massey’s determination to get everyone involved is evident from the get-go. He puts on a physical performance backed by the energy of the band and by the end of the night, the positivity in the crowd is undeniable.
It is impossible not to feed off the genuine spirit incited by the band and find yourself 100 % in the moment with them. It is a refreshing break from the weight of everyday responsibilities, and that is exactly what U.N. Jefferson intends to do. As Massey shares, “When people come to a U.N. Jefferson show, I don’t want them to worry about anything except having a good time. If anyone leaves without a smile on their face, then we haven’t done our job”.
The band also plays more intimate shows on occasion with a stripped-down acoustic set. Even with this simplified arrangement, the show is full of life. The same upbeat momentum drives each song and Massey’s soulful vocals take centre stage. Either way, the band’s flair for bringing people together shines through and it is a live music experience you will want to be a part of.
Massey, who has been performing in bands since high school, is known for bringing a high level of enthusiasm and showmanship each time he steps onto the stage. He credits the classic Soul artists he grew up listening to such as James Brown, The Temptations and Wilson Pickett as influences.
Soul music has had an impact on him since he started listening to records in his parents’ basement as a child. According to Massey, it has been an integral part of every project he’s ever been involved in.
The result is a unique mix of traditional genres with more current elements and themes. U.N. Jefferson’s modern incarnation of Soul is both familiar and fresh. It is feel-good music that will elevate your mood and get you moving every time.
U.N. Jefferson is currently on tour supporting their latest album, produced by Jacksoul guitarist Justin Abedin. The self-titled album offers a collection of soulful tracks that capture the spirit of the band and the intensity of their live show. The unique album cover features an art installation, created by Massey and photographer Cory Downing, consisting of an intricate wall of vintage speakers against a white backdrop.
The speakers, hand collected by Massey, are a curated version of a massive speaker wall featured in the band’s video for the single ‘Testify’. The vintage pieces arranged in a sleek and modern configuration characterize the fusion of traditional and contemporary elements that the album provides. It is a tangible representation of the band’s big sound and larger than life presence.
Physical copies of the album, in both CD and vinyl, can be ordered on the band’s website. Purchase a vinyl copy and you just may uncover one of the golden inner sleeves the band has hidden inside select albums! This playful Willy Wonka inspired surprise will grant you anything from free admission to a U.N. Jefferson show to a variety of band merchandise and limited-edition items. You can also listen to the album on Spotify and Apple Music.
The band’s current single, ‘Shine On Me’ is a burst of positive energy with elements of gospel throughout. It is an uplifting song about having someone in your life that you can count on:
There’s no tellin’ where it’s gonna go
Or when it’s gonna end
If I stumble, if I fall, yeah
You come around
and I get back up again
Everyday, oh now everyday
Don’t let that sun go down
Just let it shine on me
Much like the band, the video for ‘Shine On Me’ has a sleek and visually cohesive concept that showcases the band’s overall aesthetic. With a modern and polished black and white visual, lighting and movement are used to capture the hopeful spirit of the song.
U.N. Jefferson’s premiere single ‘Testify’, is equally joyful and contagious. The idea behind the song is universal – “That moment of being overcome with feeling and emotion were the only thing you can do is let it all out”. ‘Testify’ garnered the band a Mississauga Music Award for song of the year in 2019, something that Massey is very proud of: “It was a great feeling to know that people had connected with the song. It really meant a lot to us”.
The video for ‘Testify’ encapsulates Massey’s high-spirited performance style as the camera follows him across a variety of locations and culminates onstage as he is joined by the band in front of the album’s hallmark speaker wall.
From their authentic sound rooted in vintage Soul, captivating visual style, and unforgettable live experience, U.N. Jefferson is the total package. Be sure to check out unjefferson.com and follow them on social media to stay in the know. Welcome to your new favourite band.
The article was written in collaboration with PR from U.N. Jefferson.