INTERVIEW: Jalja

Hi Jalja, welcome to VENTS! How have you been? 

Hey VENTS, I’ve been great thanks. I am self-isolating at home with my family at the moment; it’s been good spending some time with them.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Midnight (The Hanging Tree)”? 

“Midnight (The Hanging Tree)” was my first recording with Hosh. We didn’t expected it to do so well but we are beyond grateful for all of the support it has had.

Did any event in particular inspire you to join HOSH and 1979 on the track? 

I was asked to try singing it at home before we recorded it. When I first heard it, I thought the dark lyrics and upbeat track were a really interesting juxtaposition. I like to tell a story through lyrics because it makes me feel the song more; so before we went into the studio Hosh and I talked about the story this song might tell. We felt instinctively these lyrics had a feeling of uneasiness and an urgent need to just escape. In the Summer of 2019 it seemed fairly appropriate for what was going on in the UK. It just felt like the right time for it.

What was the approach you went after when recording the song as an acoustic version?

There’s something about the piano and violin that immediately gets me in my feelings. I had to take myself back to the original story Hosh and I had created when we first recorded the studio version. Interestingly, those vocals are also one take, which is why at times you can hear my vocals wobble!

How was the filming process and experience behind the video? 

We had been recording and writing every day up to and including the day of the video, so I’d be lying if I’d told you I wasn’t pretty tired by the time we were recording the music video. We actually started recording the vocals and video late in to the evening and the one we all agreed on, ironically, was recorded just after midnight. After the final recording, we’d taken a step outside for some fresh air and someone remarked on how there was the biggest full moon they’d ever seen; it had a luminous glow to it; it felt very poetic.

How was the recording and writing process? 

Obviously we didn’t write the original lyrics but we did change some of the words so the interpretation may change depending on how you’re feeling at the time you hear it, whether it be happy or a sad. The recording was interesting, the vocals for this were all actually recorded in one day and pretty much one take. The track was on a continuous loop, I sung variations of the melody and after one of the many recording loops Hosh just turned to me and said, “that’s the one”.

Can you explain how the melody originally heard on ‘The Hunger Games’ came to fit on the track? 

This was all Hosh. He had been sent the skeleton of the track by 1979 and just heard Katniss’ voice immediately. I was lucky enough to be asked to try to rework the lyrics and melody.

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along? 

Yes! When recording the acoustic version of “Midnight (The Hanging Tree), Hosh and I were actually working on a possible album as well as a few other tracks. It’s all very exciting. We wrote a track a day pretty much!

Any tentative release date or title in mind? 

We haven’t settled on titles yet but we’re working on an album, it’s definitely one to watch out for – it’ll be something very different. As for release dates, a lot has been put on hold because of lockdown; but we’re still trying to work remotely which isn’t easy when we’re in different countries!

What else is happening next in Jalja’s world? 

Currently trying to add the finishing touches to all the tracks with Hosh, we’re both very excited to share something new with everyone.

WATCH HERE

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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