Jain is set to release her debut EP Hope on 8/28/15, which features the single “Come.”
I could have met you in the Congo. You’d have asked me to come with you to visit Mr. Flash, a brilliant artist and keen music programmer who taught you beats in his Pointe-Noire micro-studio. Local rappers would have fired off their hybrid flow of rumba and soukous while you picked out the chords to Wonderwall on a borrowed guitar, like a string of unforgettable love stories posted on your MySpace account.
I could have run into you in Abu Dhabi. You’d have told me, “Come on, let’s watch The Children of Paradise, my bedside movie.” Like Arletty, you’d have thought that “Love is so simple”. You’d have dreamed of being there in the Funambules theater, where everything is dazzling, intense and radiant… the background for your stage costume, black with a touch of white. Night and purity. Sobriety and brightness. Nina Simone’s sensitivity fringed with Amy Winehouse’s darkness.
I could have met you at your place, surrounded by a synth, looper and MPC. We’d have eaten hummus as we listened to your Buena Vista Social Club and Kavinsky vinyl albums. Before I left, you’d have given me your favorite line, wrapped in a 23-year-old smile with a thousand lives already behind it. “Don’t be disappointed if you lose and don’t be proud if you win.”
Our paths might have crossed in Pau or Madagascar, Dubai or Toulouse, at the Paris Zénith or the Amphithéâtre 3000 in Lyon, guesting with Seal, Christine and The Queens or Yodelice. You’d have demonstrated African dance to the sound of Eminem. Improvised percussion to Otis Redding. You’d have introduced me to Miriam Makeba, M.I.A. and Method Man. Ethno-jazz versus alternative hip-hop versus Mafioso rap… No melodic barriers for you, no clash of octaves. More than anything, you love contrasts, meetings, patchworks, reggae slipping into electro, poetic dance, the collision of groove and pop, comings and goings, transits, the rootless, separations, improbable encounters, byways and your childhood circled by skyscrapers and desert. I’d have asked you where you get your mournful vitality. You’d have looked at your charms, the Afghan ring your grandmother gave you and the ‘secret’ one from Senegal, and your Madagascan bracelet, a gift from your grandfather. Your elders promise you such a bright future.
Jain, where is it you’re from?
You’re a girl from everywhere and other places.
Jain, what is it you dream of?
Your eyes are nostalgic, your laughter still a child’s. “Oh, you smiled. Oh, that’s amazing! Life is beautiful and so are you… so beautiful, you’re so beautiful, too.”
A shy, bold laugh. A laugh that never falters. The laugh of a little girl who knows everything. A charming, cajoling laugh. A laugh like a note of music whispering, “Come…”