It took about a minute for the audience at this year’s French Grammys, Les Victoires de la Musique, to anoint Jain pop’s most compelling new star. Performing her song Come at the televised ceremony, surrounded by dancing doppelgangers, backed by masked drummers and blaring brass, Jain stole the show as the crowd leapt from their seats in disbelief. The following day, Come was at No.1, helping to propel Zanaka to platinum sales in France within a couple of months of its release.
Come has since spread across Europe, going gold in Poland, Top 10 in Belgium and storming up the charts in Germany and Italy. Its wacky video has more than 20 million views on YouTube. Jain has received rave reviews for every stop on her tour with Christine and the Queens. That the 24 year old hadn’t released any music until last summer attests to her ability to ambush listeners. Quite simply, she sounds like no one else in pop.
Her debut album ZANAKA was recorded in Paris with producer Yodelice, a former French Grammy Award winner, whom Jain met after he’d heard her songs on MySpace. The sole exception is Lil Mama, recorded in Kingston, Jamaica with veteran producer Donovan Bennett aka Don Corleon. As no record label was as yet involved, Jain simply sent him some music, having loved the songs he’d produced for Rihanna and Sean Paul. As instantly smitten as everyone else who hears Jain, he immediately invited her over.
A carefree sprit and sense of adventure is at ZANAKA’s core. Fresh, fun, life-affirming songs capture the wide-eyed wonder of discovering music’s power to both express emotions and incite them. As endearingly innocent as they are riotously rule-breaking, Jain’s tales of travel and adolescence are the sound of the summer, wherever you reside.