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

Jain declares war on growing global bigotry with new album 

French pop singer Jain is ready to march her new album Souldier across North America.

Q: The title track on Souldier was inspired by the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, FL, in 2016. Reviewers have touched upon the album being a response to the rampant rise of racist and fascist politics in modern Europe. Is it?

A: I started the music to Souldier when I was in the Congo, where the music being made was for dancing, and I wanted to keep that vibe in my own music but also to add a very European vibe and talk about what moves me — which is this really bad period we are in in Europe, the U.S., and what we must fight.

Q: Is it hard to keep the positive message of love and understanding moving through your work given those harsh realities of neo-Nazis being called good people, acts of terror, attacks on women’s rights and so on?

A: For me optimism is about keeping going, keeping fighting and feeling myself and my beliefs in my music, and hoping it affects others. My whole thing is mixing cultures, and today we aren’t doing that. Many want to close the doors and I want to open them. Songs like Inspecta — which is a mash-up creation based around the Inspector Gadget theme — help with that, too, because they make everybody smile.

Q: In Europe, you are well established and a big live concert draw. Here, you are back in small venues and working to bring people over to songs such as the electro-reggae Feel It or percussive love song Oh Man.

A: It’s really an interesting experience that I’m really grateful for, where we have a really good relation with Quebec and Canada and are starting from zero, mostly. I have to relearn my job, relearn how to move people, and reach those who are not from my own culture. Even with all the considerable talent you have in North America already, I think there can be a place for me,  too.

QYou do most of your writing and recording, as well as your live shows, on your own. Are you are solo on this tour, too?

A: With a lot of machines along for the ride, as well as my voice and guitar. It’s like a mixture between a Jamaican sound system and a singer-songwriter with big beats getting dropped on top of me singing and playing to give the music much more depth. You get into it.

QGiven the importance of equipment to your sound and your creative process, is there one thing you really couldn’t deliver the Jain experience without?

A: My computer. I do everything on it, always composing on the road and the plane, and without it I’m not producing. Pro Tools software and the enormous amount of percussion samples that are available to use with it are key to my sound development. I studied percussion, and can bring my ideas directly into the computer with some extra apps; pretty incredible, really.

Source: Jain declares war on growing global bigotry with new album | Vancouver Sun

JAIN, INDEPENDENT POPSTAR AND MULTITASKING

[TRANSLATION GOOGLE] Propelled to the top of the charts thanks to his first album, Jain returns with Souldier, always alone at the controls of a mixed pop. Meeting with a determined young woman, who chooses to face the trials (sexism, breakup, doubts …) with a mutinous smile.

It would be wrong to take Jain for a wise girl in Col Claudine, guided by a marketing team to please all generations. Her success (which attracts her some jealousies), she owes to herself, and it is enough to see her in concert to understand it. It’s impossible to miss her since the release of her first album at the end of 2015, Zanaka : she went on tour for a total of more than two hundred concerts in two years. Alone on stage, she impresses with her aplomb, her multitasking organization to do everything in solo and her charisma. While many singers would have tired of performing a loop repertoire for so long, this Toulouse continues to have fun with contagious joy and reinvent his songs to refuse the routine.

This autodidact just released in late August a second sparkling album, Souldier , she imagined and manufactured on the road. ” With today’s technologies, you can really record anywhere ,” she says. I liked this way of writing a little nomad and I think it feels on the album. The journey, the trip, it always inspired me. “

Driving comfort

Among the models it claims, there are a large number of female artists. She draws the non-exhaustive list: ” Miriam Makeba obviously, Oumou Sangare, Nina Simone, Janis Joplin, Bjork and France, Emilie Simon “. It comes naturally to his relationship with feminism: ” It was part of my family very early, without necessarily a word. I grew up in a family of girls with strong character, so it’s quite innate to be a feminist here. As a child, I used to make my way: I was always the only girl who played soccer with the neighbors, or who was playing drums at the age of seven. So it does not surprise me today to work in an environment where there are many men, although I would love to see more women. 

“I feel like I have to work twice as much as a man to get the same respect from people or the media.”

If she manages to captivate as many people, age groups and different backgrounds, it is perhaps thanks to the positive and comforting atmosphere of her songs. On Souldier , she tackles in bulk a breakup love, the feeling of imposture, or the power struggles in the music industry, without ever departing from its sparkling tone.“When I compose, I often leave something that makes me sad. It’s self-consolation, a kind of therapy. I need to talk about it but I can not cry about my fate. I think I’ve always had that energy since I started. It is also reflected in what I like to listen to: subjects that can be sad, but on very warm melodies. I like contrasts and I like to mix both styles and moods.

Hands in the grease 

Having gone from revelation to pop-star status, Jain continues to draw on sources from around the world (African funk, American soul, Indian music, Western electro-pop …) and this eclecticism is sometimes blamed on him. Yet it is this freedom that allows him to scratch sexist values ​​deeply rooted in society, choosing a firm and direct message, conveyed with optimism. “The misogyny is so present that some do not even realize that they have just released a not very cool sentence. I’ve talked about it with a lot of female artists – we’re lucky that there are more and more singer-songwriters. I feel like I have to work twice as much as a man to get the same respect from people or the media. When you’re all new, that you arrive with your little Claudine-collar dress, that you make happy songs, necessarily we take you for a girl a little light. It was necessary that I make understand that I wrote my own songs, that I had a musical culture, that on stage I was all alone, like a big one.

Now dressed in a blue-blue jumpsuit ( “This time, I wanted to get my hands dirty,” she smiles), Jain pursues his declaration of independence and his triumph brings in his wake a real hope for French female artists.

Source: Cheek