.multibeat is a collective hip hop trio hailing from Utrecht, consisting of Thijs van Zutphen on the bass, Aron Smit on the drums, and Boudewijn Pleij on the keys. Their music takes form at the intersection of hip hop with more colorful elements of jazz and R&B. Occasionally also dabbling in a touch of disco or house, .multibeat is the product of the growing intersectionality of modern sounds. The trio join forces to create dynamic performances through a composite of their own work, creative covers, and improvisation.

As a collective, they aim to further their unique sound through collaborations with artists across the variety of genres from which they draw inspiration. This time, they teamed up with Joya Mooi in their new single “Don’t Count Me In”. This is the second of four singles in anticipation of their upcoming full length album “Channel Island”, coming out in April 2024. While other songs on the album will include features from artists such as Pete Philly, Kay Slice, GINGE, vAn and many more, Joya Mooi’s signature ‘dreamy’ sound was the missing piece to this particular track.

Joya Mooi, an Amsterdam local, by way of Johannesburg, places emphasis on blending her South African roots with that of her Dutch background. Her mixed upbringing is a testament to her ability to merge different influences to create a one-of-kind production. She is a versatile neo-soul performer, drawing from schools of jazz, R&B and hip hop. Within her music, she often speaks truth to themes of personal growth and an alignment with interpersonal connection. This is clearly reflected in the messaging of “Don’t’ Count Me In”, where Mooi lyrically conveys the importance of not relying on others to build your inner happiness.

At first glance the single seems like the anthem for self-empowerment that everyone can easily relate to. Mooi’s rich tone adds an alluring edge, that when listening to the track, invited me in to think further of what the intended meaning was behind the initially very playful beat that many listeners may be comfortable hiding behind. It’s impossible not to get sucked into the groove of .multibeat’s instrumental mastery, however, upon closer inspection, Mooi’s storytelling packs a punch. The song delves into the complexities of navigating personal boundaries and asserting individuality, all while maintaining a light atmosphere. “Don’t Count Me In” offers that feel-good essence that I see as the ideal soundtrack for a warm summer’s day or the perfect backdrop to your Sunday morning breakfast routine. It sends a message of liberation that is motivational yet mellow enough to bask in a sense of calm.

Coming into the New Year, a time of collective self-reflection, maybe this is the sound that we have all been searching for; a sound that teaches us to celebrate autonomy.

Pressshot by Ines Vansteenkiste-Muylle



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