By Serenat Kivilcim
French performer, composer and songwriter JAIN has been on Black on the Canvas’ radar for a while. As a child, she spent stints of time in Congo, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi due to her father’s work in the oil trade. Perhaps it was her nomadic childhood that threw her into her music. Either way, she enrolled in art school in Paris and took her passion to another level. Jain’s music boasts a definitive African influence combined with the tranquility of contemporary rhythms. BoC finally caught up with JAIN and chatted about music, life and more!
Tell us a little more about Jain. How would you describe your music in 3 words?
JAIN: I would say that it’s a mix of different cultures, different styles, like a kind of melting Pop. I made this album between the Congo, France and the UAE…So in three words: eclectic, joyful and sincere
Your new EP ‘Hope’ recently came out. How was the writing and recording process? Did you find it difficult at times to maintain focus and inspiration?
JAIN: I wrote this EP in different countries, I feel very lucky because it brought me lots of new sounds, new influences, so the inspiration was always around. When I compose I make a demo in my little home studio, then I go to my producer Yodelice’s studio, we discuss it, and try to make it more “professional”
What is the story behind your track “Makeba”?
JAIN: My mother is half Malagasy, so when I was little we always listened to a lot of African singers, like Oumou Sangare, Fela Kuti, and Miriam Makeba… Makeba is a song for her, and for the youngsters who don’t know about her yet, like a “Miriam Makeba 2.0.” I find her so inspiring, strong, and she had this thing, this aura full of joy and determination, I love that.
Do you have any interesting or funny stories to share from the studio or a show?
JAIN: One time, during the making of the “Come” music video, my producer sang the track with a balloon full of helium, he knew it by heart and I got to say it was really really funny to see that.
Your exceptional music video for “Come” received over 1 million plays. Who did you work with? What was the inspiration behind this video?
JAIN: I worked with Greg and Lio, two very talented guys here in France. I wanted to find this idea of multiplication, visual tricks in the video and they came up with tons of great ideas, inspired by painters like Magritte…It was so interesting to see and to be part of this experience, we really have a lot of fun making it.
Which underground French artists would you recommend?
JAIN: Kid Wise, it’s deep and beautiful, Hyphen Hyphen, and Grand Blanc.
Having grown up in France, I will assume that you have a taste for fashion. Who is your favorite designer?
JAIN: I love Kenzo, especially all their visuals, it influenced me and also Agnes B and the fact that they really support street art and street artists.
Do you have any plans to tour in Europe or the States?
JAIN: I would love to, I really want to keep traveling around the world, so if it’s with music, it’s even better! Maybe next year, I will work hard to make it happen!
Tell me a fun fact about Jain that most people do not know.
JAIN: I have a bad memory with lyrics, so before every concert I rap very fast all my lyrics so I can feel confident…it’s kind of we