Congolese rhythms married with French sophistication produce an intoxicating blend of new age pop Words: Tshiamo Seape



Jeanne Galice is the given name of one of pop music’s most interesting new talents, Jain. Born in Toulouse, France, this singer/songwriter would soon leave the comforts of her homeland and embark on a journey that would define her musical sensibilities.

Owing to her father’s work, Jain moved a lot as a child. Her first port of call after leaving France at nine was Dubai. Following this, she moved to Congo, where she spent four years in her teens and then spent a year in Abi Dhabi, before moving back to France for art school. What might have seemed like a tumultuous upbringing was, in fact, the blueprint for the development of the eclectic artist she is today.

Her origins sound more like those of a secret agent or superhero. I global citizen in every sense of the word, Jain embodies the highest ideals of what multiculturalism in the modern era should look and sound like.

Each of these stops was a formative experience. From Congo, she cultivated a taste for deep danceable rhythms – propelled by the visceral, almost spiritual sound of the drums. Arabic percussion, reggae, and electro have all found room in her extensive repertoire of influences, and the result is nothing short of amazing – “It’s strange when you move to different countries, particularly when you’re young,” says Jain. “You’re struck by all these new sounds. I was fascinated by the different rhythms in the music. In Congo, it’s not binary, but three times.”

Jain’s gift for fusing genres into her unique brand of pop has not gone unnoticed, and her accolades just keep piling up.

With the release of debut album, Zanaka – meaning ”child” in her mother’s native Malagasy, Jain proves once and for all that she is a talent to be taken seriously. In her native France Zanaka reached the No.1 spot after going platinum. In 2016 she was a nominee and winner at the Victoires de la Musique Awards (the French Grammys) and left the crowd spellbound with her performance. Her introduction into mainstream pop culture is almost fully complete, as she has become a feature of the late night talk show circuit. With performances on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and Later…With Jools Holland, she has cemented herself as a star on the rise.

Her music is a wondrous journey into the land of her imagination. Populated by the most diverse and inspiring sounds this new age pop sensation has so much to draw from that we can’t imagine her ever running out of ideas.

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