If you haven’t heard of JAIN, chances are it’s because you live in America. Well, trust us—that’s ALL about to change.
Already a burgeoning star in her native France, 24-year-old Parisian pop singer-songwriter JAIN (real name: Jeanne Galice) is taking a crack at the, notoriously un-crackable American market, earlier this month with a small string of live dates in New York and LA, and TODAY with the release of her debut album, ZANAKA, out via Spookland/Sony Music France/RCA Records. While many talented international artists have attempted U.S. success, a large percentage of them, unfortunately failed to see the success they hoped for. Lucky for JAIN, her sound and overall vibe is JUST different and quirky enough that we think she stands a good chance of making a name for herself here, especially given the recent success of another quirky French popstar, Christine & The Queens!
While new to us here in North America, JAIN‘s album ZANAKA actually dropped in France nearly a year ago, on November 6, 2015 and recently hit double platinum status with over 200,000 copies sold. The album was a top 5 hit in both France and Italy, with lead single “Come” going straight to the top of the French singles charts. With over 30 million streams worldwide, platinum status in France and Italy and Gold in Poland—”Come” is a certified international SMASH, leading to high-profile TV performances on the Finale of The Voice of Italy, The French Grammy’s (Victoires De La Musique), Le Grand Journal, Le Petit Journal and many more shows in Italy, Germany Poland and France. Next up? America, naturally!
As far as lead singles go, “Come” is as infectious as they come, with its distinctive French vibe, brought out largely through JAIN’s charming, heavily accented vocals and accentuated by a buoyant beat and exuberant horn blares. While “Come” feels very French, the album itself draws inspiration from a myriad of musical styles—Arabic percussion and African rhythms mix with reggae, soul and hip-hop elements finished off with some slick electronic production—all coming together in a musical melting pot of sorts to create JAIN’s unique and eccentric pop sound. Listen to another quality album track, “Heads Up” below.
While JAIN currently calls Paris home, she was born in Toulouse to a French father and half-Malagasy mother, spending a majority of her youth living in both Dubai and the Republic of the Congo, influences which have seeped into her sound and overall vibe. The album title, ZANAKA is actually the Malagasy word for “childhood,” a language spoken in Madagascar and her mother’s native tongue.
While speaking to the website OkayAfrica this past summer, the singer discussed how “Come” came about while she was living in Congo, “I recorded the demo in a little home studio with a Congolese beatmaker called Mister Flash in Pointe Noire. That’s how the African rhythm and percussions really came into this song.” JAIN calls her sound “melting pop,” a genre that I would LOVE to see become a thing. “It’s mainly pop but with a lot of different influences like Electro, Folk, Reggae, and World Music.” Sign us up!
Check out the wonderfully zany video for “Come” above and the artwork and track listing for ZANAKA below. The album is available to download/stream on iTunes and Spotify, so if you like what you hear give it some love! Also be sure you check out the awesome “Come” remix package, featuring remixes from Femi Kuti, Frank Pole and Cosmic Dawn (iTunes/Spotify).