10 Questions with Jayda G, As She Prepares to Release Her DJ-Kicks Mix
Ever since Bo-Jo announced the (potential) re-opening of nightclubs come June 21, we’ve been itching for a proper night out on the tiles. The likes of Jayda G don’t make these cravings any easier. The Canadian DJ soundtracked many a living room party throughout lockdown with her piano-house banger ‘Both of Us’, and as of right now, she’s currently shelling it at the first pilot club night in Liverpool – alongside the likes of Fatboy Slim and The Blessed Madonna.
With a Grammy nomination, BBC Radio 1 Residency, and a critically acclaimed debut album under her belt, Jayda G is back with another release, this time in the form of a DJ-Kicks mix. Jayda follows in the footsteps of Four Tet, Peggy Gou and more who’ve all been invited to take part in the prestigious !K7 records series. Hitting stores May 14, the mix is an infusion of Jayda’s love for all things disco, house and soul, and features her brand new single ‘All I Need’; a slow-burning house tune that shimmers into glorious technicolour as it reaches its climax.
Jayda has described the song as a “rallying cry for kinship that we have all been longing for over the past year,” working with director David Ehrenreich on a music video that splices archive rave footage from a party that took place 25 years ago in British Columbia Canada with contemporary film of Jayda G dancing her heart out in that very same wilderness. Here, we caught up with Jayda to chat all about it.
1. How have you been keeping yourself busy since all the clubs have been shut?
“Honestly, I’ve been hanging out a lot with myself reading a lot of books, listening to a ton of podcasts and being creative. Just producing a lot and experimenting and trying things that have been in my head for a long time but haven’t been able to give a lot of energy to because I was touring so much. I’ve been busy, I’m good at keeping myself busy so it’s been actually strangely good in a lot of ways.”
2. How did you react when you heard you’d been asked to produce a DJ-Kicks?
“I was super pumped, I love DJ-Kicks, it’s been a goal of mine for a long time. I’m just happy that they asked me, I’m honoured that they asked me to be part of it. My reaction was just like ‘YES THIS IS AWESOME.'”
3. Which are some of your best DJ-Kicks from the past?
“I’ve referenced this a few times, I really liked Chromeo’s DJ-Kicks, this was a long time ago – I was looking at it because it had some French disco tunes on it. But from the past, gosh there are so many, but the ones that stick out for me are Kerri Chandler’s mix and Moodymann’s mix, they are so good, so well thought out and really have a lovely concept to them.”
4. What was your mindset when curating your selection for the DJ-Kicks mix?
“Honestly, it’s really about picking songs that speak to me, that I have a personal nostalgic feeling towards, that have all had some sort of point of reference for me in my musical way of listening and looking at music. Each song has a personal memory for me, that was my mindset because I just wanted to bring my listeners along for the ride of what sparks my interests and what gives me energy and good feelings when I’m listening to music.”
5. Tell us a bit about your new single ‘All I Need’, how were you feeling when making the tune?
“I just really wanted to make a song that was kind of an ode to 1990s house music, as I love 90s house music, I play it all the time, I play it in my sets. So, that’s kind of what I wanted to do with ‘All I Need’. I collaborated with James Ford on it and we really had a lot of fun in the studio, he has a lot of gear that I would die to have. So being able to use that to bring this whole sound of this nineties house tune was really awesome and we had some really great organic moments in making that song. I was looking at a video of people roller skating – my sister is super into roller skating so I follow some roller skating accounts – and just like that rhythm that you have when people are dancing on roller skates and using that as inspiration to make ‘All I Need’, it really was a way of being creative and getting outside of your comfort zone.”
6. The video for the single is pretty great, how did you get your hands on all that archive rave footage?
“That’s all David [Ehrenreich] – the director for the music video, he’s amazing, he really pulled it out of the hat. I don’t know how he found that rave footage, I didn’t even know that stuff existed. I know a lot of old rave footage from the 1990s exists from the UK because the rave culture and scene is just more known in the UK on a more mainstream level than in Canada. In Canada, you don’t really have those reference points musically and culturally, so I didn’t even know it existed. He found this old footage of this festival that was up in Squamish in British Columbia, it was just so cool when he suggested the idea, I was just like in every single way ‘Yes!’. When we were filming, me and my best friend Layla, we actually went back up to the site of where the festival was to do that filming so that the watcher wouldn’t really quite know what was then and what was now and then it speaks to some of the lyrics in the song so I think it all jelled really well.”
7. What’s one song that’s bound to get people to the dancefloor once this pandemic is over?
“Gosh, I have no idea. I feel like any music at this point is going to be getting people on the dancefloor because people just want to be together, they wanna move, they wanna be outside their four walls, they want to have some sort of connection with people again. For me personally, I’ll be really happy to play my singles, I haven’t been able to play ‘All I Need ‘out to real people yet, so I’ll be really excited for that.”
8. With clubs mostly still shut around the globe, how instead should people be listening to your DJ-Kicks mix?
“That came into my mind a lot when I was making this mix, that people very much will probably still be in this pandemic in a very real way when this comes out, so that’s why I started the set in a way that was a bit slow and warm and soulful because I just felt like if you’re at home listening to this you’re going to want something that pulls you in not something that’s super jarring, right? So that definitely came into play when I curated the mix. If you want to listen to it in headphones, through the speakers, in the car, the mix is meant for all of that.”
9. This summer is gearing up to be the third summer of love, what’re your top 3 tips for partying the right way?
“Doing things that are going to be best for your mental happiness, I think that’s something that everyone’s struggling with and also really prioritising So whether it’s big or small, doing things that are going to make you happy. Getting outside, if you can get outside even if it’s for 30 minutes. Safely, being with the people you love most.”
10. Here in London, you’re headlining Phonox on the first weekend the clubs are set to open, what can people expect from your set?
“It’s just going to be full-on, like I’m so excited to just play all the songs that make me feel good and make me happy, that make me wanna dance. I hope people are pumped to join me in that, so I think it’s just going to be a good time.”
Photography by Keith Kaselampao. Jayda G’s DJ-Kicks is released May 14 – pre-order the vinyl here. ‘All I Need’ is available to stream now on all major platforms.