In this edition of #CREATORTALK, we speak to London-based musician JaiJai Prince ( @jaijaiprince on Instagram). #CREATORTALK is a series of articles and interviews, with a focus on the creative industries and the the talent working within them.
PW- Hey JaiJai! How’s it going?
Hey Rob, I’m really good thanks, excited to be one of the first featured here on Pastel Wasteland!
PW- So, first thing’s first. For those who don’t know yet, how would you sum up what you do?
The easy answer is Dark Pop. I’m a singer, a songwriter and a live performer, but my music and visuals and everything surrounding my sound is all meticulously thought out. I like to inject a lot more creativity into my work, so everything is double sided or has a double meaning. But as long as it’s dark and super glam, I’m a happy man.
PW- You’re currently working on new music, following the amazing “The Dark” last year. What can we expect from the new tracks?
I took a little time out after releasing “The Dark” last year to really work on what I want my next step to be. “The Dark” was super honest and emotional lyrically, so when working on the production I wanted to mask that behind a really electronic, future house sort of sound. With my new music, I’ve been playing around and experimenting for weeks. I’ve made some super pop-rock, riot anthems about my wilder younger years, some emotional and heartfelt ballads, and then some more fun and sexy commercial music too. All I can say for now is that my new sound will be hot.
PW- As an artist, who do you draw most inspiration from?
Musically, I’m inspired by a huge spectrum of artists. I was raised on a mix of theatre, commercial 90’s pop and then 70’s and 80’s glam rock, so my parents really had music coming from all angles. These days my favourite genre is definitely alternative pop, artists like Lana Del Rey, Marina and the Diamonds, Cruel Youth, Goldfrapp; I’m a huge fan of anything female fronted and a little bit more creative. I just like music that has something to say, a story to tell, and I especially love when thats paired with really stunning and artistic visuals, the visual aspect is so important to me as an artist.
PW- What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Well last year my debut single got radio airplay over the summer, so hearing “Through the Looking Glass” being announced and played on the airwaves was just an unreal feeling, and I got a lot of attention and amazing interaction from that. But really, for me, every moment where I’m working creatively and living my dream is the best moment. Be it in the studio or on stage, on set shooting a video or watching as something drops online, and the audience begins reacting to it. Every moment is so special.
PW- This blog focuses heavily on creativity and the real person behind the art. How does creativity affect you on a day to day basis? Do you get super inspired out and about, or is it more of a focused effort, where you can shut off from the world and just think?
I find that everything I keep and actually follow through with tends to come from nowhere. I’ll be on the underground and think of a lyric, and suddenly I’ve written a whole song and missed my stop! Or I’ll be shopping and see some gorgeous outfit I could never afford, and suddenly I’m wearing it in my next video! Some of my favourite songs have come from those 5 minute splashes of creativity, and then later I’ll get in the studio and fine-tune them into the final product.
PW- We all know that being creative can sometimes be as much of a curse as it is a gift. How do you best cope on the “off” days we are all so used to? If you’re just not feeling it, for example?
Funnily enough, I’ve recently just come out of maybe the longest creative slump of my life. I didn’t write, didn’t plan anything, wasn’t working creatively because I just couldn’t. It was like the light had gone off in my brain and I was so lost for ideas. I find it just takes time, I allow myself off days. I allow myself time to heal and move on and then I focus on getting re-inspired. Sometimes all it takes is sitting with a friend and jamming on guitar, just singing and reminding myself why I do what I do, why I love it so much, and why I suffer the off days, because the on days are beyond worth it.
PW- There’s a lot of talk in the industry about declining budgets across the board, whether it be in music production, music videos, press etc. How important do you feel it is for artists to keep creating this content, and taking control of their brand?
In this day and age I still think it’s crazy that the power is taken away from the artist. WE are the product, WE are the brand, WE are the voices and the ideas and the talent that ultimately sells records and tickets and puts money in the pockets of managers and labels and the suits. I think its so, so important for an artist to know their brand, know their sound and to own that entirely.
PW- And final question! It’s more of an invitation actually. Use the next few sentences to self-promote the hell out of what you’re up to, what we can watch/ listen to- no judgement!
Well at the moment you can catch me on all social media, just search JaiJai Prince and you’ll find me. You can check out my music on Spotify and Apple Music, my first two music videos for “Creatures of the Night” and “The Dark” are available on VEVO and I’ll be performing some cute acoustic gigs in London across the summer in the run up to my new single which will be out in August!