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French pop star Jain: an electropop journey from Congo to Colbert | Musique Non Stop

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Thursday, April 6, 2017

French pop star Jain: an electropop journey from Congo to Colbert

The UK and US are catching on to the synth-playing singer, whose explosive sound blends global influences in a multicultural rebuke to the likes of Le Pen

Jain has gone awol. It’s early March and the French pop star is due to soundcheck for a second sold-out night at L’Olympia in Paris. Her name is in foot-high letters above the 19th-century venue’s front door. Just before 5pm, the 25-year-old, born Jeanne Galice, rushes up Boulevard des Capucines looking apologetic. She had gone home for a nap and missed her alarm. Sleep is at a premium – in less than a week she will fly to Austin for SXSW, where she will play eight considerably less glamorous shows in three days.

L’Olympia should have been the end of the campaign for Zanaka, Jain’s first album. It means “child” in her Madagascan mum’s first language, and documents Jain’s youth, spent in the UAE and Republic of Congo thanks to her dad’s job in the oil industry. Released in France in November 2015, it went gold three months later. But since the UK and US are now catching on, the promo cycle is starting again. There has been some daytime Radio 1 airplay, and Chris Martin said her song Makeba, a funky tribute to South African singer and activist Miriam, was one of his current favourite tracks. In February, Jain performed Come on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, flanked by eight singers wearing her trademark white-collared dress. She wrote the song in her teens, and made a point of including it on her debut. “It’s the song that started everything, so I wanted to say to this girl of 16, you see, your song is working!” she says backstage after the soundcheck has finished.

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by Laura Snapes via Electronic music | The Guardian