French songstress Jain thrilled a sold out Rockhal on Wednesday night with her mix of upbeat electro pop and African rhythms.
Busting onto the scene last year with her single “Come” which hit the No1 spot in France and Spain, Jain followed it up with her debut album “Zanaka” which brought together a plethora of genres matching her diverse background, having been raised in Toulouse, Dubai, Abu Dhabi and the Congo where her musical career began and where she at the tender age of sixteen penned her hit single. Now 24 she is on a mission to share all the influences that have shaped her diverse musical experiences.
Walking onto the stage with only her drum and loop machine for company, Jain managed to captivate a sold out crowd with her eclectic sound, however it took a few songs for the crowd to shake off their frozen limbs but by the time “Son of a Sun” kicked in she had whipped them into a frenzy of waving arms as her hip hop vocal delivery and clever beats began to energise the room.
After she got the crowd moving there was no stopping them as “Hope” created the dance hall vibe that you couldn’t help but shuffle away to. Whilst the African rhythms and deep bass of “Heads Up” saw Jain running and jumping around the stage once more.
Having awoken the crowd, she brought it back down with “All My Days” as she took to the electric guitar for this stripped back track before taking us into the lazy laid back groove of “City” followed by the reggae infused “lil Mama”. Having brought the tempo down somewhat, she played a song dedicated to the tragic events in France last year called “Paris”. With images of the Eiffel tower peace symbol illuminating behind her, the crowd held up their two finger peace salute as the track began to build through the drum machine to a pounding electro groove. As the track finished the names of those who lost their life were left on the screens as the rest of the hall fell into darkness, a poignant moment in such a high energy show.
However, she had a few more hits up her sleeve to send the crowd home dancing away as she launched into her quirky jazzy vocals for the flamenco inspired riffs of “Come”. As the song progressed she jumped down into the pit and recorded some of the crowd singing the chorus only to loop it back and sing over their vocals, a nice touch which I’m sure those involved will never forget.
Jain’s new single “Makeba” which has its roots firmly planted in African rhythms whilst fusing modern electro twists, is another example of the diversity of her debut record. However, it’s the delicate touch in seamlessly interweaving all these genres without any of it feeling forced or out of place that is the great achievement, whilst her high energy on stage kept the light upbeat atmosphere flowing all evening in the room.
Rockhal – 30.11.16