New Sound 013 \\ Universal innovator, Jitwam

14th May 2019

Jitwam has an admirable approach to music. 

With roots in Assam, India, Jitwam now lives in New York, and has had a global experience on route to the present day; spending his childhood in India and Australia, living in monasteries in Thailand and orphanages in South Africa is only a tiny insight into his movements. How it’s informed his music is for Jitwam to decide. 

Jitwam has just dropped his fantastic and highly-anticipated second album, ‘Honeycomb’. With both clean and crackling production throughout, Jitwam leads his band of live instrumentalists with a dance sensibility. Essences of Jazz, psychedelia and folk weave throughout, for a truly recognisable sound. 

We asked Jitwam a few questions, which he answered creatively – we’ve barely touched the layout of his words. To mark the release of his album on Copenhagen-based label Tartelet Records, we’re treated to some interesting insights from the fascinating innovator. 

\\ You have a truly global story with ‘Honeycomb’; BK based, album recorded in London, video in Mumbai, Copenhagen based label – I could go on. It’s all proceeded by your upbringing’s varied geography. Is it strange to you that this is something people find interesting? Or do you make a point of having a global approach in your music?

Strange.

The world is strange.

People are fascinated by the exotic.

I see myself in the lineage of the great Indian composers such as RD Burman, Bappi Lahiri, Charanjit Singh, Hemant Bhosle… India has always been a melting pot of contrasting styles, ideas and influences and this is what drives me in my music. Anyone can sound like what’s sounds good… but what are you really saying though? I’m trying to bridge the gap. Explore the spaces in the in-between. That’s my lane, and I’m sticking to it.

\\ What were the ‘easiest’ and most difficult track to complete on the album?

Creating a narrative,

A story, 

A journey into the inner beyond

Can only come after deep contemplation

And truly knowing oneself.

Everything has its ups and downs,

It’s those who stay the course and stay grindin’ that survive.

\\ We’re fans of London’s of Kamaal Williams over here, tell us about how you guys got to working together?

I first met Henry in some pool club in Peckham where I whooped his ass in table tennis. We been finding the best spots to eat ever since – Shoutouts to Tayaabs, and the Blue Nile in SE18.

\\ Your music has a multitude of influences; do you find yourself in various chapters of music discovery or creation? What kind of moods and albums were you experiencing during the making of ‘Honeycomb’?

I’m a seeker at heart.

I’m always trying to find different ways to dance,

Different styles to enhance,

The rhythm and sound.

My life is in my music.

And this life is a journey,

HONEYCOMB is proof of it.

\\ Tell us about what you’re most proud about with the album; a particular track, a collaboration, a new way of writing?

I’m mostly proud of just doing it.

Most people in this life aren’t blessed to know what they love doing,

So I’m forever fortunate and grateful to know what it is I know.

Photo credit: Willy Soul 

Check out New Sound 012: Cosmic Five Piece, Kinkajous

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