Jaenga‘s career trajectory reflects true dedication and hard work as he continues to embark on a life-long adventure that has led him down his own unique musical path. Driven by home grown roots through the rhythms of his electric guitar, a touring stretch on his bass-infused school bus, and a simplistic yet profound viewpoint on life, he encourages overall creative development. A curious mindset, he unravels through the process and creates a limitless shift.
As the eclectic bass music producer says goodbye to the bass bus that allowed him many memorable experiences, he enters a new phase in his creative development for the remainder of the year. Having just released his Toulambi EP on Deadbeats, Jaenga provides an intriguing and futuristic blend of underground bass fused with vocal hip hop influence.
Jaenga came to chat with CE following a successful summer of traveling, with appearances at Electric Forest, Red Rocks, Camp Bisco, and more. Speaking to his history as an artist and his musical influences, along with some life advice and his creative process, and more, Jaenga shows us just how committed he is to staying true to his path.
CE: Tell us a little bit about your history as an artist and the moment you decided to dive into electronic music.
Jaenga: I was always in bands for most of my life growing up, but when I was 18 years old, I got kicked off the tour with Black Label Society, because something with management. I was a young kid. I had just gotten into the band and I realized that maybe rock and roll was dying in New York and it wasn’t working out with the band that I was with. So, I ended up stumbling into Webster Hall one night and I saw a group called Nero play.
It blew my mind. Absolutely blew my mind. I walked in there and it felt like this void in me was filled. Like, for the first time in my life I saw where my generation has been. The whole time it was like hiding under my nose, and I made the decision right then. I didn’t know what these sounds where, and what dubstep was or what trap was or house, or any of that really. All I knew was, it sounded awesome. I felt it and I wanted to learn how to make it.
CE: In what ways do you feel blending live music with electronica enhances your creativity during the overall writing process? I know you play the guitar too.
Jaenga: Yeah, absolutely. I write a lot of my songs with guitar and then it’s transcribed into electronic music. So originally, it was probably written on a guitar, but most people wouldn’t know that. I’ll just sit in my room and play a riff that I think would sound really dope and then I’ll just hop into Ableton and replicate what I wrote on the guitar into electronic music.
CE: You have an interesting concept behind your latest EP, Toulambi. Tell us a little bit about it.
Jaenga: That was really interesting because I didn’t plan on writing that EP. I had gone out to Portland because I was having a lot of family stuff going on in New York. I decided to spontaneously buy a ticket out to Portland and chill with my brother. We were hiking and rock climbing everyday. We were hanging out one night and we ended up stumbling upon this documentary on the Toulambi Tribe and we were obsessed with it because it was the most fascinating concept I’ve heard in such a long time.
Jaenga: I was dealing with all of these troubles, you know, in my personal life in New York and I realized that we’re surrounded by a bunch of nonsense all of the time. We’re overstimulated all the time. You know, 90 percent of the shit we have in our lives we don’t need anyways and this documentary focused on this Tribe, where they had absolutely nothing, were some of the happiest people in the world.
CE: Cool. Yeah, I agree we have, or are, just bombarded with so much consumption and technology and it’s like, let’s remember to get back to our human roots and connect with one another.
Jaenga: Right, right, right absolutely. I think the most fascinating part about that documentary is that the two white men that were in the documentary that were researching the Toulambi Tribe…when they showed up, they were showing them simple things like matches, mirrors, you know simple day to day things that we have that we take for granted and they thought a mirror was a portal to another dimension. They could not believe that fire was real.
CE: What helps to keep you balanced and inspired?
Moderation in everything! Never too high, never too low. Just in between.
CE: Who’s your main musical influence?
Jaenga: Jimi Hendrix. He wasn’t afraid to try new things and, you know, put himself on the line, be vulnerable. Perform for people even though he might not feel capable of doing it. Whatever it is you’re trying, just go out there and do it. Just be one with everybody, like, yeah they’ll get it. If you fuck up, they’ll understand. It’s not a big deal.
CE: That’s dope. Yeah, I’m a big fan of the 27’s. Haha. Yeah, I love them, they’re great.
CE: What are you goals for the upcoming year, 2020? Feel free to talk about personal goals and career.
Jaenga: I definitely like, I have a really strong feeling. I love DnB, I love Dubstep, and I love the underground and I want to keep that in everything. So, I want to take that to the next level, and while we go to the next level, keep it OG. Keep it authentic and bring it to the UK, you know, go back. Like, New Zealand is one of my favorite places in the world.
CE: I’ve always wanted to go skydiving in New Zealand.
Jaenga: Oh yeah, absolutely! I’ve been on tour there with Mt. Eden. Jesse, who is Mt. Eden. Godfather Dubstep. One of the coolest dudes in the world, you’d love him.
CE: When was that?
Jaenga: That was a while ago…man, that was like 2015, maybe. 2015. One of the most down to Earth, humble people you’ll meet.
CE: Anything else you’d like to say to anyone?
Jaenga: I would say specifically artists. I’m seeing way too often on social media that people are getting really tightly coiled with thinking they have to be somebody in particular, thinking that they have to be on social media 24/7, that they have to constantly be putting music out. I would say that that pressure is gonna hurt you more than anything and to just take it down a notch back to you homeostasis and just cruise, it’s not a race. Just be an artist. Take your time making the music and trust the process and things will work out.
Jaenga: It’s the truth because it’s affecting them, you know, their mental state of mind.