Pop Shop Podcast: Meet Jain, the French Alt-Pop Star With a Crazy Catchy Hit & New Music to Talk About

Jain photographed at Billboard HQ on April 7, 2017 in New York City.
Jessica Xie

Jain photographed at Billboard HQ on April 7, 2017 in New York City.

Welcome to the Pop Shop Podcast’s Headliner Interview, Billboard's long-form talk with a compelling, inspirational voice in the world of music.

Jain makes music that gets stuck in your head -- but don’t worry, it’s for the best. The French alt-pop artist broke stateside earlier in 2017 with “Come,” an absurdly catchy electro-acoustic romp that broke Billboard’s Adult Alternative chart and went top five in her homeland. 

“[I wrote it at] 16 years old; today I’m 25,” says Jain. “I wrote it when I was living in the Congo in a town called Pointe-Noire. This was one of the first songs that I wrote, ever. It’s very fun that today this single helped me in France, then here.”

Jain’s 2015 debut Zanaka -- a bunch of bubbly reggae and Afropop-influenced nuggets -- just got a second life with a U.S. headlining tour, tying a bow on Jain’s ascent as an international dynamo. In between a pair of sold-out New York City shows, she stopped by Billboard’s office for a chat with host Chris Payne.

Now that the North American tour is over, Jain’s beginning to shift focus to album number two. In the new ‘cast, she described the direction of her new music, particularly two songs she’s been playing live. “One is called ‘Paris’ and the other is called ‘Soldier,’ she says. “‘Paris,’ I wrote it after the [Nov. 2015] attacks. I’m from the Southwest, and in the Southwest of France, you’re not supposed to love Paris. So I really wanted to still say ‘I love you’ to the city that I learned to love and make a song about peace and unity.”

Meanwhile, “Soldier” was written following the 2016 attack on Orlando’s Pulse nightclub. “I just wanted to write a song about lovers and how much love is important,” she says. “We shouldn’t be scared of love.”

Click here to subscribe/rate the Pop Shop Podcast on iTunes. The Headliner Interview runs every Thursday; previous episodes include Hey Violet, Fletcher, and Phantogram

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