I discovered Jai Wolf
about four years ago while he was making pop music mashups and remixes under a different name (I'll let you do that scavenger hunt on your own). Sajeeb Saha's rebranding of his image and style was a very deliberate move that came with his legacy in mind and from his desire to be taken more seriously as an artist. That decision and the dedication that came with it quickly earned him the attention of Skrillex and Odesza, and as one might expect, things kind of took off from there.
The newer, more mature persona really shone with remixes of Dirty's South's "With You"
and Royal's "Passenger,"
but the Bangladesh-born producer really flipped a switch with the release of "Indian Summer."
Throughout everything, one thing that remains clear is how distinctive his sound is while still continuously evolving.
I had the privilege of sitting down with Jai Wolf earlier this year in Seattle, and this was his response to my asking how he stays so original (but you should definitely read the whole interview
"For me it’s mostly just making sure I take a step back and evaluate what I’m writing and make sure it’s not too similar to whatever is popular and trendy right now. When you’re starting out, it’s easy to do that. Someone you look up to puts out a track and you want to make a track that sounds like that. I’ve been there. And a lot of up and coming producers start like that. But then at some point you have to diverge and find your own sound."
The Kindred Spirits EP
seems to be the culmination of all of this - inspiration, personal growth, experimentation, and rebirth. True to his word, it certainly doesn't sound like anything that is popular right now, but you can bet that it sounds like Jai Wolf. In an industry that struggles with being very driven by singles and bangers, songs can easily get lost after they're hyped on SoundCloud for a week and featured on a handful of similar-sounding radio shows. It takes much more intentionality to create something timeless - not produce an album just as a collection of music, but one that tells a story and brings you on a journey.
In addition to "Indian Summer," "Drive,"
and his most recent "Like It's Over," Kindred Spirits
also contains three new tracks Gravity (featuring JMR
), "The World Is Ours," and the entirely too short "This Space In My Heart Is For You." I've stated this before, but Jai Wolf doesn't produce music so much as he composes landscapes. While writing "Drive," Saha mentioned that he wanted to create something that was hypnotic and dizzy - something you could just get lost in. That concept really encapsulates the vibe of this Kindred Spirits
perfectly: music you don't really zone out to, but rather zone IN to. It simply demands your undivided attention and a good pair of over the ear headphones.
* * *
Jai Wolf's Kindred Spirits EP
is out on Mom+ Pop as of November 18th, and available on SoundCloud, iTunes, and all that good stuff. You can also find him on Facebook
, Snapchat (JaiWolfx), and Instagram
. He has some pretty dope photography on there.
He's also on tour right now. And you should go. Seriously, go.
Fri. Nov. 18 – Seattle, WA @ The Showbox
Sat. Nov. 19 – Portland, OR @ Wonder Ballroom
Wed. Nov. 23 – Oakland, CA @ Fox Theater
Fri. Nov. 25 – Santa Ana, CA @ The Observatory
Sat. Nov. 26 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Novo
Sun. Nov. 27 – San Diego, CA @ The Observatory North Park
Wed. Nov. 30 – Austin, TX @ Vulcan Gas Company
Thu. Dec. 1 – Dallas, TX @ Trees
Fri. Dec. 2 – Houston, TX @ White Oak Music Hall (Inside Downstairs)
Sat. Dec. 3 – New Orleans, LA @ Republic New Orleans
Sun. Dec. 4 – Atlanta, GA @ Terminal West
Wed. Dec. 7 – Boston, MA @ Paradise
Thu. Dec. 8 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
Fri. Dec. 9 – Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
Sat. Dec. 10 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5