JITWAM KEEPS IT MOVING WITH PURPLE EP.
Jitwam is a young globe trotteur/DJ/producer currently based in NYC. Always producing new musics, he already has released a first album through Cosmic Compositions, and more music on his own label The Jazz Diaries. Year 2018 has been a big year so far, he opened for Roy Ayers last may and will release his new EP Purple this week. We're hosting the party next Friday at Black Flamingo and seized this opportunity to ask him a few questions!
Hey Jitwam! Where does the name Jitwam come from?
‘Jitwam’ - is my birth name handed down to me from my grandfather’s grandfather.
‘Jithega’ - is to keep it moving.
‘Chittam’ - is the interconnected relationship between the mind and the body
And to ‘jit’ is a famous dance style from detroit.
You were born in India, studied in New Zealand and Australia and then travelled through Asia, Africa, and South America. Did those travels inspired you and influenced your musical output?
Y e s y e s y e s y e s y e s
All life is lessons.
All lessons are learnings.
All learnings are blessings to be manifest in this thing we call music.
Indian music has always been a melting pot of disparate influences and styles, from the spanish psych rock stylings of RD Burman, to the proto-techno ragas of Chanrajit Singh… the list is endless. It’s in this tradition and lineage, that i am striving for with my own musical journey.
When did you start producing?
I started producing even before I knew what producing was.
I wrote my first tunes when i was around 10. Using drums from my Zoom FX guitar pedal, some guitars, vocals, and Cool Edit Pro. It’s funny though…
Looking back, everything has come full circle. With the music I’m making these days, it’s all an extension on what i was doing when i first started. Guitar, vocals, some drums and a whole lotta idon’tgiveafuckkk.
Back in 2013, you launched your own label The Jazz Diaries co-runned with Casey Van Reyk and Nigel Mphisa. You released music from Only Rays and Ahkatari, which were hip-hop leaning. What's the direction of the label? How do you choose the artists you work with?
There’s no thought process as to what we put out, if the right person comes along with the right music, we readyyy irregardless of style, genre or whatever.
You were living in London when you wrote the album and worked with musicians like Loretta Smith and Henry Wu. How did you set up the process of creation for this album? Is there a story behind it? How was the co-writing process?
I’m always making music.
I’m always sharing music.
I’m always collaborating on music.
When i was living in LDN, peeps were always coming round for coffee and tea. Sometimes food would lead to making some tunes. Sometimes not...
Why did you move to NYC and how did you get involved in the music community here?
I moved to NYC for who know’s why… and for who knows why I’m still out here.
You're already playing almost every week in some really great venues and you are releasing your second EP this week!
Let's talk about Purple EP. Out July 18 on your label The Jazz Diaries.
Why Purple? Does it come from a secret love for Prince?
Yeah that defenitelyyy has something to do with it.
IT'S SO FUNNY though.
Looking back, unbeknownst to me, my debut album was draped in ORANGE (colour of creation), and this next record is draped in PURPLE (colour of boldness and free spirit). I feel this is true of where i’m at in my life right now.
The first song - premiered by Mix Mag - 'Desires' - is house oriented. So are all the tracks with elements of feel-good boogie, sexy disco, funk, and blues. It's a different vibe from your previous productions. Is it a mood that comes from what surrounds you in NYC?
Definitely. New York, has such a rhythm to the city it’s hard not to clap your feet. But also, i’m always making music… all styles of music. And as I move further into this music game, releasing music is now a much more curatorial process. Finding the right tunes to fit the right vibe to say the right thing at the right time.
All the tunes on the EP hold true to that ‘pxxrple’ vibe.
Psych, funk, rock n roll, disco, whatever you wanna call it.
Where did you get your influences from for this EP? 'Stronger' seams full of hidden meanings, are there any specific life events that gave you inspiration for your tracks?
Tunes are like photographs to me…
I can remember the time and space, and some of the circumstantial situations…. But like photographs, they fade. Tunes are also like letters. I often find that in my music, I’m unconsciously writing letters to myself. Trying to find the words to say to get myself through the day… Or simply a message of hope, that there’s always another way.
K15 remixed 'Desires', do you have an idea of who you would like to remix specific tracks for you early in the process? Who would you like to collaborate with?
Get Danger Mouse on the line… let’s talk.
You also recently performed live with your band, opening for Roy Ayers. How do you take your work from the studio to a live setting?
The live band is an improvisational exploration into my recorded material.
I basically bring the main ideas for each song, and it’s up to them how they wanna do it (imagine a road map with the destination point, but no directions on how to get there).
I love hearing the ways these guys interpret the music. It sparks other ideas, other thoughts, other ways to get down to the music…
Ultimately, it’s what makes the live show so exciting for me… not knowing where it’s gonna go.
And I’m so humbled, to even be playing my music with musicians of this class and caliber.
#Shoutouts to my Brooklyn ballers
What's next for you? Any worldwide tour or silent meditation? That would be a shame not to hear your voice anymore.
Launch party for the new EP this FRI,
Gotta tour of EU in Sept,
Got some new TJD material forthcoming from some friends,
Working on a new album for FEB, which is gonna turn some headsss…. Trusttt meeeeeeeeee
Thank you Jit!
Join his EP release party Friday