Girl In Need is the new track by JaJa Kisses. HALIE sits down with her to discuss her new music, collaborations and restrictive genre categories.
Listen to her new track above while you read her interview below!
So, where does your name ‘JaJa Kisses’ come from?
From different alternations of my myspaces/bebo days, and a tiny bit of my real name – Janet
‘Zoning’ is your most recent single – talk us through the process of writing this track
When Miles Francis played this beat, I digged it as I could instantly hear what melody I wanted to do on it. So I recorded a voice note, wrote it after, recorded it and then we actually forgot about it. Then one day we remembered it and finished it and it was awesome. I grew up with a huge fear that someday i’d be left for another woman (i know right) and I’m not the most emotionally expressive – I prefer to write exactly how i’m feeling instead of showing it, the song is kind of based on the moments we feel really understood even though we’re just chilling. And on the hope that deeper connections do exist, and you can really get to know someone. And also time to explore other things doesn’t necessarily have to be the end of that #millennial
Where does your inspiration come from?
The feeling of discovery and epiphanies inspire me.
You have quite a conversational tone to your lyrics and melodies (particularly in Girls In Need) is this a conscious decision? It is easy for you to open up through music?
I feel like a lot of my lyrics can be interpreted in multiple ways so I wanted to be a little more strict with what i was trying to say in Girls In Need. Which was bring that ass here boi. I’m still working towards being completely honest and baring my entire soul within my music.
Some people might recognise you from Ray BlK’s 50/50 vid how did that come about??
Ray and I have been friends since we met at Identity Drama School, I was super thrilled to be a part of the vid for such a wavy song and iconic project!
What do you think about being categorised as Alternative R&B?
I think genres can be useful as long as they are not considered absolute. I’m not mad at being categorised as Alternative R&B, I feel people who enjoy this genre will enjoy my stuff – but of course so much more will.
How would you describe your sound and how did you find it?
I describe my sound as dreamy. To me it’s still just a blurry vision or memory of a dream and the more i create the more i can remember about or see the dream. I found it from alternating between taking things too seriously, and then not taking things seriously.
This new lyrical alternative-style R&B has come to the fore lately with artists like Syd and SZA do you feel like you’re on the brink of something cutting edge?
I definitely feel like my artistry and lyricism are unique. Black women/culture setting trends in music goes back a long time so it’s always a pleasure to be on that wave. I think we are naturally being blessed with more modern icons discussing experiences in lingo and vibes more relevant to listeners of today.
There is a purple theme (grounded by your hair) in all of your visuals – does this colour have a specific resonance with you?
I always felt a little different from everyone else, and I suppose I used dying my hair 6 years ago as a signal to how different i felt. Now it just looks lit and I haven’t seen anyone do it better
How do you use your music videos and visuals to expand on your lyrical themes?
In making the videos at all, it often ends up being a therapeutic statement to me forging forward and using whatever i have to express myself, i’m such a DIY kind of girl. Which often falls in place with my lyrics, as i have a very worry – question – solve mentality. I am all i have to offer so i bring that.
You are part of a collective called Serotonin – how did this come about and how has being in a collective helped you?
Serotonin came about naturally through friends. The most special part of Serotonin is the friendship and how much fun I actually have with these people. I can be myself completely, accepted, forgiven and supported by some of the most talented people I know.
Any collaborations in the mix?
NINE ROOTS – our joint mixtape is on its way. It’s in the final stages of mixing/mastering and I PROMISE you it will not disappoint.
Where do you see yourself in two years time?
In 2 years i’m jetting to LA and London like to say i’m popping down to the off licence for a snickers. Shows on Shows, Mixtapes on Mixtapes and perhaps an EP and an Album. Not working on a pay roll…
THE IMPORTANT STUFF…
If you could collaborate with any UK artist who would you choose?
IAMDDB’s new project is waves
If you had to eat one dish for the rest of your life what would it be?
Jollof rice, chicken wings, coleslaw, plantain and Supermalt.
What fashion failure do you wish you could forget?
Of the fashion failure memories i haven’t already repressed…. It would be…. Nope. Repressed them all.
So there it is, the witty, charming and honest Jaja Kisses.