Interview: Janine and The Mixtape
Tue, 08 Jul 2014 10:19:42
Janine and the Mixtape Videos
Janine and the Mixtape creates a sensory experience with her EP, Dark Mind. It's got a distinct nineties style R&B bounce mixed with the right amount of sexy modern indie grime. At its center, her voice simply captivates oscillating between soulful crooning and hypnotic verses. She's New Zealand's hottest export now, and she stands poised to heat up the U.S. as well this summer.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Janine and The Mixtape talks Dark Mind [iTunes link] and so much more.
What's your take on Dark Mind as a whole?
For me, it was about creating flow and telling a story. It's cool you asked about that. I want it to take people on a journey. The EP goes on a journey from dark to light. It's about taking something negative and turning it into something beautiful. The whole EP balances on that between dark and inspirational as well as inspirational and dreamy. The mood definitely fits the music.
Did you approach it with that concept?
I made it all at the same time. I produced it and wrote it. It was all in one go I definitely knew I needed to tell the story and have that kind of vibe before I could move on to anything else. It was an important part of me moving on.
What's the story behind "Bullets"?
That's one of the first songs I would say I produced. I'd been working on beats and instrumentals for a while, but that was one of the first that I completely produced start to finish. That was a few years ago. That was the transition into developing my sound that I have now. Again, that was about taking those hits and getting stronger.
Where did "Dark Mind" come from?
That one is more intense and honest. It's about some traumatic experiences, taking them, and learning I can fight for truth in love. Even though it hurts, I wouldn't change anything because it has made me who I am. The song was always called "Dark Mind". I went back and forth and thought, "Is the name too dark?" Then, I was like, "This is what it is". It's just literally a story I was telling about a dark time. It's an absolute overview of the whole EP.
Is it important for you to tell stories and paint pictures with the songs?
I actually say music is sort of like a painting with different layers. The sound has to swim around you rather than just be flat. All of my music is about my experiences, how I feel, things I've done, things that have happened, and people I care about. It's all very real, and it comes from a real place. That's where the storytelling element comes from.
Do other art forms influence you too?
I love photography and painting. I actually did my artwork for the EP and co-directed the video. I came up with the treatment. I love visuals. I make videos. I was trained in photography as well as painting. I love watching movies. I like reading too, but any time I have I like to spend it producing or writing. I also love to play basketball. That keeps me creative too. I can shoot, relax, and clear my head. I usually come up with some pretty cool ideas. Sometimes, I come up with songs driving.
If you were to compare Dark Mind to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
That's interesting! For my listening party last year, I made visuals. I called them "sketchbook videos". Basically, I filmed things on an 8mm app and over-layed them with images of myself. I put different movies. I had Breakfast at Tiffany's, Paid in Full, White Men Can't Jump, and Save the Last Dance. It's a combination of old school hip-hop and basketball movies. The other movie was Notorious. That's the aesthetic for me.
Have you heard Janine and The Mixtape yet?