Jai Wolf Talks Influences, Kanye West, ‘Kindred Spirits’ & More [Exclusive Interview]
Sajeeb Saha is the force behind the indie-electronic Jai Wolf project. Actively involved with music since the age of five, when he took up the violin in high school, he was a New York all-state performer and started making tracks during his teens.
Since then, he has been recognized by Skrillex, ODESZA and many more for his melodic, dreamlike productions. Last month, he dropped his debut EP Kindred Spirits and and embarked on his Kindred Spirits Tour.
We at FITA were able to sit down with him at Terminal 5 for the last stop of the tour to speak about his history, his influences, pop being integrated into EDM, and much more in this exclusive interview.
1. We’ve been following you for a while now. Actually was just looking it up on the site, and we first posted you Nov 2011, half a decade ago. Any guesses what that may have been?
Wow that’s so crazy. I think that may have been my remix of Heartbeat by Childish Gambino.
2. How do you prepare and what gets you most amped during a performance?
I usually take it really easy before a performance, I like to clear my head. I get amped during a performance when I see the crowd really getting into it.
3. What is your favorite performance to date? What’s the craziest party you’ve ever been to? What’s the furthest from home you’ve traveled for a show?
It’s pretty hard to pick a favorite show. From this year I can tell you that Panorama Fest and Vertex were some of my favorite festivals to play. The furthest I’ve traveled for a show is probably Australia.
4. What are the Top 5 songs on your ipod/that you listen to everyday? What’s your Top 5 movies?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Tycho recently. I think Closer by the Chainsmokers is my biggest guilty pleasure of 2016 though haha. As for movies, I love Drive, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Interstellar, The Prestige, Inglourious Basterds to name a few.
5. Do you prefer to make originals or remixes?
Remixes are fun but I definitely prefer writing original music.
6. If you found a lamp with a genie inside and he granted you 3 wishes, what would they be?
Infinite Wishes of course.
7. Who or what do you look to for inspiration?
I find a lot of inspiration from movies
8. If you could collab with anyone in the industry (dead or alive), who would it be?
I’d love to work with Kanye.
9. What are you currently working on? Any secret collabs or projects?
Working on an album seems to be the most logical thing to do next.
10. Your debut EP Kindred Spirits is officially out and officially a massive hit, can you talk about the creative process behind putting together your debut EP?
Thank you! I was searching for sounds that weren’t necessarily trendy. Everything from the drums to the synths were carefully selected – I wanted to write music that I felt best represented me from an emotional standpoint. And that meant making sure I wasn’t using sounds that everyone else was using. At the end of the day, I wanted the EP to be sonically and thematically cohesive.
11. “Indian Summer” is without a doubt a massive hit; I even heard it in a GoPro commercial, so can you talk about the single, the influences behind the single, etc… Did you ever think that the song could be ‘this big?’
Sure – the song is really influenced by the music I listened to growing up. My dad would always play these classical Indian / Bengali records. The sample the drives Indian Summer definitely comes from that genre. The song merges that with my love of modern electronic music. When I first made it, I thought it was a really weird and random song. I never expected it to become so huge.
12. You did a Remix EP for “Drive,” are you considering doing any more Remix EPs for any of the singles?
13. Anything that you’re particularly excited about for the end of the year?
I’m excited to take some time off from touring and write music.
14. What’s your view on electronic music in the pop world right now?
The Chainsmokers, Major Lazer, etc, working with the likes of Bieber? Is that something you see yourself doing soon? I think it’s fascinating to see how electronic music penetrates the pop sphere. I definitely wouldn’t rule out doing something like that as long as I retained my sound. I love pop music.
15. Where do you see yourself in 20 years?
Comfortably living on a yacht somewhere.
16. If you could have any super power, what would it be?