Los Angeles singer-songwriter August 08 has died at age 31.
“The entire Def Jam family mourns the tragic loss of Ray’ August 08′ Jacobs,” Def Jam said in a statement to Billboard on Tuesday (Aug. 29). “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.”
Born Ray Jacobs, August was the first signee to Jhene Aiko’s Allel Sound label and released his first EP under her imprint in July 2022. Titled Towards the Moon, August’s project was anchored by his song “Water Sign” with Aiko. Towards the Moon was the follow-up to his April 2022 EP Towards the Sun.
“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,” Aiko told Variety last year upon signing 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.”
Before August teamed with Def Jam and Aiko’s label, he previously aligned with 88rising, where he worked with Joji on his Seasick album cut “What We Used To Be.” He also paired himself with ScHoolboy Q on “Cutlass” on the aforementioned project.
“RIP August the kindest and most talented genius you will be missed beyond words,” 88rising shared on Instagram. “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.”
In June, August 08 released “Bruises,” which he called “an expression of love through all.” “Been through a lot of heartache in my love life but I’ve always been able to put the pieces back together and move forward. ‘Bruises’ speaks to love and how it may waiver but never completely abandons us,” he said after the release. “This video represents love in all forms and how no matter our difference we can love through all. I love how music can connect people from all over allowing for freedom of express. I wanted to pay homage with love and respect to the art and the community.”
On the songwriting side, August collaborated with Ty Dolla $ign, Duckwrth, Kyle and more. He also co-wrote DJ Khaled’s Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 hit “I’m the One,” featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper and Lil Wayne.