Almost one year after his third studio album, Nobody Is Listening, came out, ZAYN is back with a special release. The British singer covered “Angel,” one of Jimi Hendrix’s best ballads, to celebrate what would’ve been the late musician’s 80th birthday this past Sunday.
Zayn shared that being asked to cover the song “was such an unexpected and huge honor. I have so much respect and admiration for Jimi, his music and fans […] I hope you love the track as much as I do. Happy 80th, Jimi.” Likewise, Janie Hendrix, President and CEO of Experience Hendrix, L.L.C., stated, “we are extremely pleased that ZAYN has been inspired to use original music from Jimi’s ‘Angel’ in his recording of the song. ZAYN’s soulful style and unique approach imbue the passion of Jimi’s music […] It is the ultimate act of honor and respect to record an artist’s music. ZAYN has done so beautifully.”
Originally, “Angel” was part of Hendrix’s first posthumous album, The Cry of Love. Jimi drew inspiration from one of his dreams about his mother, Lucille, to create the song. In their book, Jimi Hendrix: Electric Gypsy, authors Harry Shapiro and Caesar Glebbeek affirm that “it would be no exaggeration to say that [Lucille] was the major poetic inspiration of [Jimi’s] life. She came to him in dreams.”
Covering a Jimi Hendrix song poses a difficult task for any artist, but ZAYN makes it seem effortless. As one of the best voices of our generation, ZAYN’s performance is mesmerizing and powerful. Keeping his rendition simple, ZAYN knows what he’s capable of doing. He doesn’t go over the top to prove how skillful a singer he is. Lending his angelic vocals and working with Hendrix’s original multi-track recordings of the classic ballad, ZAYN maintains the essence of the original “Angel” while also adding his own style.
Certainly, ZAYN’s take on “Angel” will continue Jimi’s legacy and expose young music fans to Hendrix’s genius and beautiful music. Similarly, older generations will discover ZAYN’s music, which, hopefully, will make him garner the recognition he deserves. It’s unfortunate that these two artists could never meet, but we dare to say that Jimi would’ve been blown away by ZAYN’s performance. You can check out the track and its visualizer below. Happy listening!