Jengi

by the partae
Where are you currently based and what is the music scene like there?

I live in the best (and most chill) city of the Netherlands called Den Bosch! The nightlife isn’t that big, but the people in Den Bosch are very much into good music, which fits my style, so it’s a nice creative environment to be in.

Part of your new EP is out, where and where did you record?

I rent an office together with my brother in Den Bosch where we both do our thing. He is a promoter and organizes festivals, and I sit in my studio making music all day. That’s where the magic happens in this very humble room with low budget gear like a mic, speakers, snare drum, guitar, keys and a cool ass machine to pour a good glass of water lol.

What is the title?

The EP is called RARE; it’s a four track EP with a lot of soul, disco and future influences.

What inspired the songwriting and music for the EP?

My trips/shows in Asia, my squad Studio KOTO which includes Wantigga, JAEL and The Flexican, other Dutch musicians like Midas Hutch, SirOJ, Robin Yerah and Jarreau Vandal and several artists like Breakbot, Fatima Yamaha, Kaytranada and Disclosure.

How do you usually go about writing music?

Most often I don’t have any direction when starting with a production; I produce in a very natural way going where my mood and feelings take me. I often begin with smooth chords and then add the percussion to get a groove. Sometimes I send the demo’s over to songwriters in the production process to add the vocals, but most often I already have received toplines, so I can build the beat around the vocals which is the best way for me to create a track.

Please tell us how the music coming out of South Korea influences your music?

Promoters from Seoul introduced me to Korean music, and I noticed that it has the same Jengi vibe in their songs; it contains a lot of smooth chords and it’s groovy. In the Netherlands, I sometimes feel like a weirdo with a strange taste for music, but in South-Korea I feel that the people understand my experimental weirdness better and therefore understand me and my music better. So the influence goes both ways I guess.

You recently collaborated with K-pop artist SUMIN, how did this collab come about?

Thanks to my homie JAEL and my manager from Studio KOTO Rana! JAEL already released a song with SUMIN called Lonely on his latest EP. I already had an instrumental track for my EP, and Rana advised me to get a top-line from her for that beat. Within a few weeks, Rana connected me with SUMIN, and she wrote the song. I was so amazed by her voice and how that worked on that beat. I’m very happy with this track ‘Far Away’ which will be out on my EP soon!

What did you get up to with SUMIN and what do you find most rewarding and challenging when working in a collab?

The biggest challenge of collaborating with other artists is to find the perfect balance between what you want and what they can do. In the past, I have experienced working on tracks with other vocalists which unfortunately didn’t work out because it didn’t feel or sound the way I had it in mind. The first demo SUMIN sent me was immediately perfect. Her sound fits perfectly with mine and her skills as a vocalist to add lyrics on my sometimes very complicated production was just amazing.

You released with your musical friends on Studio KOTO, how did you come to be friends with this crew and how has the whole release experience been with KOTO?

I have known Wantigga, JAEL and The Flexican for over 3 years now as we were all part of KLEAR before. Also my manager Rana was part of that crew. Last summer, Rana initiated Studio KOTO as an artist agency and music label, which offered us a platform to release our music as a collective and on the same label. This was great as we already collaborated a lot together and this made the process much easier.

We started with 2 collaborative projects; the African-inspired EP Les Demoiselles d’Avignon and the Japanese-inspired ME目EP. During both projects, I learned a lot from the other artists as everyone has their own creative way of making music. I guess we inspire each other a lot, compliment each other where needed and also add to each other’s projects where it’s relevant. For me its very interesting as I’m the youngest of the crew and it’s awesome to be surrounded with these legends!

Who are you listening to at the moment?

Anderson .Paak’s song TINTS ft. Kendrick and the new album Zoom Out by producer Moods (NL).

What do you like to do outside of music?

I used to skateboard a lot, but now I’m mostly chilling in my free time. I hang out with friends, listen to music, grab some drinks, and I hang out a lot at the office as everyone seems always to gather there. Sometimes we watch a football match, and  as my brother is in the festival game, I join him to his events sometimes.

What do you have planned for the remainder of 2018 going into 2019?

Working on more music of course as I’m planning to release an album as a next project next year. I’m going to South-Korea with my man Wantigga for the 4th time in January, and I will be moving to a new house, so a lot of exciting things to start in 2019! Also, I have some side-projects I’m working on which I can’t say much about yet, but they will appear in 2019 as well :-).

Favourite food and place to hangout?

Hard question haha. My dad’s paella (Spanish dish) and favourite place would be a bar next to my home called De Kup!

Singles:

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