French-born singer Jain grew up in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the Congo before settling in Paris. She started making music when she was 16, experimenting with African rhythms, samplers, guitars and voice. Seven years later, in 2015, she released her first album named “Zanaka” (which means “Child” in Malagasy). This month Jain is coming to Luxembourg with her rich signature sound and global mission to make us all dance.
LuxByNight: Hello, Jain, Nick here with LuxByNight.
Jain: Hello, nice to meet you.
LuxByNight: Where are you at the moment?
Jain: Right now I’m in Cannes, it’s in the South-East of France for a TV show called The Energy.
Jain: Yes, it’s cool and it’s sunny, so it’s perfect.
LuxByNight: Let’s talk about your debut album, released last year, which quickly turned big. We could probably say that you’re still in the beginning of your career and you’ve already gone far. Did you expect this success and how did it change you?
Jain: No I didn’t expect the success of my debut album, it was a big surprise for me because there are a lot of different styles in it, a lot of contrast, like there is pop, electro, reggae, so I didn’t know if it would fit people. And the only thing that has changed over this past year was the amounts of work. I don’t think it has really changed me, or I don’t realize it now.
LuxByNight: It’s your first album and it’s called “Zanaka”. How long did it take you to finish the record and to release it?
Jain: At the beginning I didn’t want to make an album, so I just wrote songs for myself and my friends and family. I wrote my first song when I was 16 years old, named “Come”. “Makeba”, I wrote it three years ago. The album took seven years to write and now that it’s finally out, it’s a big relief for me.
LuxByNight: The album is very eclectic, mixing different styles and sounds. How would you define your music, what’s the most important thing in your style?
Jain: Sometimes I say it is “Melting pop” because it mixes different sounds like pop, electro, reggae, folk and yes, I think it’s a mix of different music and different vibrations that I took from different countries.
LuxByNight: I read that you grew up in different countries like the Congo and Dubai. You were influenced by music in Europe and Africa. Where is the musical meeting point between the two continents?
Jain: Music is the only thing that connects people from different countries and I find this very interesting. Music in Europe is very different from music in Africa and music in the Arabic countries because you have different rhythms and different ways of making music. In Africa, when you play music it is to dance. There isn’t a lot of intellectual reflection, it’s more about the body and the dance. In Europe it’s very different because it’s more electro and pop, and I tried to mix all these things up.
LuxByNight: Which one would you put first – the message or making people dance?
Jain: It’s both, that’s why I wanted to mix different cultures. It’s the message and the rhythm, I think everything is important in music, even the image.
LuxByNight: Yes, nowadays more than ever. Where do you take your inspiration from, for this interesting musical mixture that you create?
Jain: I don’t know… I listen to a lot of Bob Marley songs – very optimistic and quite political, but not in a sad way. I’m always optimistic and that’s what I wanted to do – unite people and federate them around music. People from around the world, not only Europeans, but also Americans and Africans – for me it’s very important to unite people.
LuxByNight: And I guess Internet also helps in that respect, right?
Jain: Yes, because I started with Internet, I started with my songs on MySpace, it was six years ago. Internet is where it all started for me, I really tried to get involved with the fans and the people who listened to my music. There is no filter on the Internet - that’s what is sometimes interesting but sometimes it can also be used not very well.
LuxByNight: Do you think that nowadays a new performer or singer can go without Internet?
Jain: I think so, yes, for example when you see Daft Punk or Stromae, they are not so much on the Internet. It’s kind of a different communication but it can work. It depends on the music I would say.
LuxByNight: Which artists can you quote as your influence, people you look up to?
Jain: There’s a lot of different artists from different styles of music, I can’t say only one. I mentioned Daft Punk and Stromae, but there is also Otis Redding, Lauryn Hill, Bob Marley, there are many others…
LuxByNight: You have a show in Luxembourg on 30 November and I don’t know if you know but it’s completely sold out now.
Jain: Oh cool, no, I didn’t know. That’s good news, that’s cool.
LuxByNight: What’s your message for your fans in Luxembourg?
Jain: I’m happy, because so far I’ve been there only once and it was in a club, not in the main venue. It’s a big honor for me and I can’t wait.
LuxByNight: And what’s next for you, can we expect new music from you any time soon?
Jain: I am going to have a re-edition of the album on 25 November and there are going to be four new songs on it.
LuxByNight: I’m looking forward to hearing them. Thanks Jain, take care.
Jain: Cool, thank you.