EXCLUSIVE: Jindai Premieres New Single, “Insect Song”
New York pop/R&B newcomer, Jindai, knew she was destined to become a pop star at the tender age of 3. At 10, she started writing her own music and by her high school years, she channeled her creativity into community activism through IMPACT – Harlem’s creative arts and activism organization designed to encourage students to pursue their dreams in the arts. Now, the singer is ready to unleash her single, “Insect Song,” unto the world and BUZZNET is so excited to have the exclusive premiere for you today. But first, we chatted with Jindai on all things music, the phoniness that surrounds the music industry and of course, New York City.
You grew up in New York City (as did I.) Give us a glimpse into what that was like for you. How has the city shaped and inspired you as an artist? Did you always know you wanted to be a musician?
I lived in Harlem from before gentrification to after it was well underway. I went from public schools that sometimes couldn’t afford paper to wealthy private schools just a mile south. What’s beautiful and what’s ugly about New York is not only its diversity, but also its concentration of multitudes of people into a small area. Artistically, I never quite feel comfortable with a piece of work if it expresses one single feeling. So, I similarly have a tendency to try and fit lots of different elements into one piece by, for example, juxtaposing major and minor keys or putting humor and excitement into melancholy songs.
I’ve loved to sing from the time I was three years old. Songwriting and producing grew out of the need to support that habit. Somewhat ionically, now I could live without singing but I could never live without creating.
Let’s talk about “Insect Song” – I love the message of being able to see right through the phoniness and I think not enough people (especially in this industry) are as self-aware to notice these things. What would you say sets you apart from your counterparts?
I wouldn’t, but I would say that I put a somewhat uncommon emphasis on lyrics. Lyrics often can and sometimes should be ignored in music; but I find myself incapable of writing anything that doesn’t have multiple layers of meaning. It’s both fun and frustrating and is, I think, a function of the self-awareness you connected to in the song—I’m so glad you did.
What message, if any, do you hope fans take away from your music?
I hope that people take away a desire to be painfully honest and immoderately open. It can be really beneficial to get good at being uncomfortable.
Which artists would you say have inspired you the most?
Bjork has helped me to appreciate the sheer power of the female voice and to realize how relatable eccentricity can be. Bob Dylan inspired me to be myself, as trite as that sounds. Early Regina Spektor inspired me to write interesting vocal melodies and to listen to lyrics. Cocorosie inspired me not to be so clean. The Knife inspired me to dance in new and interesting ways. I could go on and on.
What are you listening to at the moment? Give us your top 5!
I will always be listening to 90’s R&B, 60’s/70’s funk, soul, and afrobeat, and current hip hop. But in terms of specific artists who have generated content recently: Grimes, Future, The Range, Arca, and anything Metro Boomin makes.