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August 08, Def Jam Producer and Singer-Songwriter, Dies at 31

August 08, a singer-songwriter and producer with credits for Justin Bieber and DJ Khaled, and Jhené Aiko’s first signee to her Def Jam Recordings label venture, Allel Sound, has died. No cause of death was announced; he was 31.

Def Jam shared the news with Variety on Tuesday afternoon with a statement that reads as follows: “The entire Def Jam family mourns the tragic loss of Ray ‘August 08’ Jacobs. A brilliant songwriter, an accomplished musician and a singular artist, August will remain in our memory as a beloved colleague and friend. We extend our deepest sympathies to his family and loved ones.”

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88rising, the artist collective, of which August 08 previously was a member, also shared the news on Instagram without confirming a cause of death: “RIP August the kindest and most talented genius you will be missed beyond words,” they wrote. “Thank you for being an amazing mentor and a steadfast friend through all these years. We are forever grateful to you and the joy you brought in every room, through every song. Your energy, guidance and care gave so much inspiration and strength that will be carried on always.”

Born Ray Jacobs, and also adopting the name August Grant, August 08 signed to Aiko’s Allel Sound in July of last year in alignment with the release of his last EP, “Towards the Moon,” which included the Aiko-featuring single “Water Sign,” along with his and Joji’s “What We Used to Be.”

At the time of his signing, Aiko said of August: “August is an incredible writer, singer and artist whose music speaks to me on so many levels… As a fellow Los Angeles native, I am so proud of him. August’s talent, love for songwriting and hands on approach with his art is something I can relate to and have a great amount of respect for. It was a natural evolution of our friendship and musical collaboration to have him become the first artist signed to Allel Sound. I couldn’t be more excited to work with August.”

“Towards the Moon” is the second part of August’s two-part debut album project, titled “Seasick.” The first installment, “Towards the Sun,” was released on Def Jam in April 2022. The Los Angeles native released his debut EP “Father” in 2018, followed by 2019’s “Happy Endings with an Asterisk” and 2020’s “Emotional Cuh” EP.

Beyond his solo work, August shares credits on tracks with Jackson Wang, Sabrina Claudio and Ty Dolla $ign, among others.

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