Jain is poised to be France’s next national treasure 

With two Number One albums in France, globe-trotting pop star Jain is poised to bring a funky brand of inclusivity to the rest of the world

With two Number One albums in France, globe-trotting pop star Jain is poised to bring a funky brand of inclusivity to the rest of the world

Earlier this year, Jain was the biggest thing in The Louvre. Well, we say in, but we mean on, really. Spread across the world famous art gallery’s Seine-side wing, a gigantic promotional poster of Jain hung triumphantly. It’s a more ingenious way to cover some of the temporary scaffolding for sure, but also acts as a statement of intent of just how strongly France feels about this particular pop star.

Her second album ‘Souldier’, released just over a month ago, landed in at Number One in the French album charts, just like her debut ‘Zanaka’ did in 2015. She’s spent the summer conquering the continental festival circuit and a gigantic world tour is in now motion. But being the biggest thing in The Louvre? Well, only the timeless icons know about that. “I could never imagine ever in my life that I’d be on the side of The Louvre,” she says. “I took a little selfie of me with it, of course.”

Zanaka’ may be the initial offering that shook the landscape of French pop, but ‘Souldier’ is the confirmation of just where 26-year-old is heading. Its brash in places, but mainly a deeply touching and inclusive selection of anthems. Take the song’s title track, for one, which was influenced by the Pulse Nightclub massacre in Orlando, Florida back in 2016 – where 49 people were killed in the barbaric shooting in the gay nightclub by Omar Mateen. The song doesn’t dwell on the specifics of the horror, but rather the powerful response by the LGBTQ+ community across the world: “I saw men bringing flowers and putting them in front of the club, and it was really beautiful, so this song is a story of a soldier who is fighting with love.”

Jain – real name Jeanne Galice – sees a better world and very much trying to will it into existence. “I want to create this instant bubble of utopia. People can forget their everyday life and make them move,” she says. “I don’t think I’m overly optimistic in the way the world is going, especially when you look at the things that have happened over the past two or three years in Paris and England, especially.” But what exactly goes down in Jain’s Utopia? “I think it’s important to mix cultures in a time like this and to create a safe space.”

There is perhaps no-one better suited to create this inclusive fusion of sounds. Jain was born in the city of Toulouse in Southern France, but her father’s job resulted in several change of sceneries. Aged 9, she began her travels that would last nearly a decade taking in Dubai, The Republic of Congo and Abu Dhabi . “My favourite place was in The Congo. It’s where I began to write songs and build myself as an adult,” she says. “It’s hard when you’re a teenager, but at the same time I met a lot of new people and lived a lot of different lives.”

By the time she moved back to Paris aged 18, she packed a distinctly global sound. Swaying Afrobeats would collide with Arabic melodies for a truly intoxicating global cocktail, and her breakout single ‘Come’ proved to be a perfect alchemy of all these elements. Built on a simple acoustic riff, by the time Jain brings you to the chorus she’s promising “to show you the world”.

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Continue reading at NME: Jain is poised to be France’s next national treasure – NME

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