The 20 something Montrealer who has just released one of his most exciting singles to date, has been performing extensively throughout the city. Most recently he participated in the Kalmunity Vibe Collective 3 nights stunt at Le Savoy as part of the Jazz Festival. We caught up with this self-proclaimed hybrid artist for a short (and sweet) interview.
Samantha : What is Kalmunity Vibe Collective?
Jjanice : Kalmunity Vibe Collective is a group of multidisciplinary artists (poets, singers, MCs, dancers and musicians) that has been performing together, on a weekly basis, for about 10 years. The approach is a “Live Organic Improv” where music is “created” spontaneously and organically. Each performance is a unique experience.
Samantha : What is you role in the Kalmunity Vibe Collective?
Jjanice : I’ve been an active member of the Kalmunity Vibe Collective for about 8 years as a singer and a poet.
Samantha : How do you feel about the collective mainstream recognition on the local scene?
Jjanice : I’m extremely excited about it and I’m grateful for the opportunity we had to perform at the Jazz Fest. We were able to reach out to a new audience and at the same time it forced us to push ourselves a little bit more. Our dream of being recognized as one of Montreal’s musical institution is slowly but surely taking shape.
It’s also extremely exciting to see that members like Sarah MK, Malika Tirolien, Fabrice Koffy are gaining some success with their solo projects. As far as I’m concerned, all this is new to me, but I’m really enjoying this change.
Samantha : Where did the inspiration for « Aléas », your new single came from?
Jjanice : As far as the sound, we were inspired by a great variety of styles. From electro-pop to new-wave – with artists like Depeche Mode, Les Rita Mitsouko, David Bowie and of course Prince. At first, our goal was to create the perfect mashup of Prince’s »When Doves Cry » and traditional Haitian festival music, rara (hyperlink: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rara). In the end the song »created itself » organically and became its very own genre.
The dichotomy of the Haitian country life versus the urban reality of large North-American cities is what inspired the lyrics. I wanted to create my very own version of the classic novel the Prince and the Pauper, a tale of a dream, a beautiful escape.
Samantha : Tell us a about your creative process :
Jjanice : It’s different with every song. For this particular one, we started working on the music while we were in the studio. We were looking to create a very precise sound; a beat with that catchy je-ne-sais quoi. With the music guiding me, I decided to focus on a theme, a story, an emotion, a memory. Most of the lyrics had already been written as a poem during a previous trip to Haiti. Then, I then decided to add to what I already had and that’s how this single was born.
Samantha : Describe your musical style in three words :
Jjanice : Hybrid, daring, afro-indiepop. Don’t even ask me about genre, that’s a whole other long story.
Samantha : Who are some of the artists you’d like to collaborate with?
Jjanice : Being the huge music lover that I am, I don’t even know where to start! (Laugh). Dirty Projectors, Ngabo, Iya Dede, BelO, Beethova Obas & James Germain, Saul Williams, Jean Leloup and even Prince, one day!
Samantha : What is your wildest dream?
Jjanice : Being able to travel around the world with my music and my poetry.
I want my art to be heard by folks around the world who appreciate different and new genre of music.
Samantha : Where can we hear/ see you next?
Jjanice : On July 19, I’ll be performing at la Maison d’Haiti (St-Michel). My priority right now is my first full lenghth album, Les Voiles, out next Fall.
For more information on Jjanice + visit the artist official Website