Over the years, one of the biggest joys found on BBC Radio 1Xtra has been the ongoing Live Lounge segment in which some of our favorite artists do live covers of some of our favorite songs. It's even more thrilling when someone that we've christened Bounce-Worthy gets the honor. That's why we're thrilled that singer/songwriter JP Cooper, who we added to our list of Bounce-Worthy stars in 2012, was a recent guest in the lounge. And not only did he do us proud, but he did so with a cover of perhaps one of the most timeless songs of the past 20 years, Lauryn Hill's 1998 classic "Ex-Factor."
For his take on the ballad, JP strips the song down to its essence, with just him on guitar accompanied by his keyboard player. Together, they transform the hip-hop-based heartbreak ballad into an almost-folk tune. As JP strums, he sings the tortured words with a slight bit of rasp, making sure to emphasize the verse's refrain, "No one loves you more than me / And no one ever will," with the emotion of a lover scorned. While Lauryn's original will forever hold the No. 1 spot in our hearts, JP's cover is making its case for second place, as it evokes the same emotion with an aching beauty that we honestly didn't expect.
Check out JP giving "Ex-Factor" his own spin below and stick around to see him deliver a horn-filled cover of Dua Lipa's "Hotter Than Hell" and perform his tracks "Party" and "Perfect Strangers" as well.