For Globetrotting Singer Jain, Every Place Has Meaning The French musician, born Jeanne Galice, has lived in Dubai, Congo-Brazzaville and Abu Dhabi. She says each of those places influences her rhythmic, worldly pop.
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For Globetrotting Singer Jain, Every Place Has Meaning

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For Globetrotting Singer Jain, Every Place Has Meaning

For Globetrotting Singer Jain, Every Place Has Meaning

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LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Jeanne Galice's music reflects her global roots traveling through Africa, the Middle East. She's on her first U.S. tour right now for her album "Zanaka." And she tells me that the person she becomes onstage is someone else entirely, which is why she has a stage name. In another nod to her global identity, she calls herself Jain, spelled J-A-I-N, after the Indian religion.

JEANNE GALICE: I kind of become this person that jumps everywhere. And it's very different from who I am in the real life, so it's important to make the separation between the everyday life and the stage life.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: What is your everyday life? Who are you every day?

(LAUGHTER)

GALICE: Well, I'm Jeanne (laughter).

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah, but how is that? Are you shy?

GALICE: Well, yeah, very much. And I don't jump everywhere. And I don't scream on people (laughter).

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "COME")

GALICE: (Singing) Black burn, I feel so alone without you, boy. Now, I'm here hanging out in the street.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You were born in France. But when you were 9, you moved to Dubai, then you moved to the Congo, then back to Abu Dhabi, then to France again. There's a lot of moving around. Did that influence your music? It must've.

GALICE: Oh, yeah, of course. And I - actually, I don't know if I would have done music if I haven't traveled a lot because it really influenced me in the music that I was listening to. And I really wanted to mix things up between the styles. So I think it's - like, it's very important to me.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Why were you moving around so much?

GALICE: Because of my father's job. He was working in oil. And me and my big sister, we followed him around, well, these countries.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "COME")

GALICE: (Singing) Come, come, my baby, come. I will show you the world. Come, come, my baby, come. I will cover your nightmares. Come, come, my baby, come.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Where was the place that most influenced you?

GALICE: Every place is. But I think mostly was in Pointe-Noire, in the Congo, Brazzaville. And back there, I met a producer named Mr. Flash. And he taught me how to record myself at home and to use, like, a software to record my self called Fruity Loops. And that's why I could record myself at home and make my own demos. And so I think it was, basically, the beginning for me.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: I want to talk about another song that you wrote. It's about Miriam Makeba. She's the South African civil rights activist. But for people who don't know who she is, who is she? And why was she an important person for you?

GALICE: For me, she is important because I know her since I - since I was a child with her song "Pata Pata." It was something like, (singing in foreign language). And I just loved this song. And I realized, during my teenage time, that a lot of my friends didn't know about her.

And for me, she was very important as a woman because she was strong. She had this incredible voice. And she was very inspiring. And she had this fire in her eyes. And I loved that. And I really wanted for young girls and boys to be inspired by her because, yeah, she's a - she's a great lady.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "MAKEBA")

GALICE: (Singing) I wanna feel your breasts without any rests. I wanna see you sing. I wanna see you fight 'cause you are the real beauty of human rights. Ooowee (ph) Makeba, Makeba, ma che bella. Can I get a ooowee? Makeba makes my body dance for you.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: You know, the music is so danceable. You can get into it. Is that what you're hoping people will take away from the albums? Does it have to be danceable? Do you have to move to it? Is that - is that what you want?

GALICE: Yeah, because for me, it's the - I think it's the most important thing about music. It's - when I was very young, me and my family, we used to dance on the music. And when I was in Congo, it was the same thing. When people were putting music on, everybody was dancing. And for me, it's all about this. It's all about rhythm and the effects that music makes on your body. It's very important and very, you know, tribble (ph).

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Very tribal.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah (laughter).

GARCIA-NAVARRO: All right, I want to listen to another one of your songs. It's called "Lil Mama."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LIL MAMA")

GALICE: (Singing) Hey, little mama, why don't you come around? You're feeling lost. You're feeling alone. You're feeling away, far from your home. Hey, little mama, why don't you come around? You're feeling lost. You're feeling alone. You're feeling away, far from your home. See what the world...

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Who is little mama?

GALICE: Well, it's - you know, it's all the mother - the mama that have - they have no time for them self anymore because they have so much to do. And I just want to tell them, stop a little bit and just enjoy and breathe.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: And breathe through life.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "LIL MAMA")

GALICE: (Singing) Hey, little mama, why don't you come around? You're feeling lost. You're feeling alone. You're feeling away, far from your home. Hey, little mama, why don't you come around? You're feeling lost. You're feeling alone. You're feeling away, far from your home.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Living in lots of different places, where's home?

GALICE: Well, that's - well, home isn't in - is - actually, that's why I'm making music. Home is my music. I can bring it everywhere. And I will feel safe, you know?

GARCIA-NAVARRO: Yeah. Jeanne Galice - she goes by Jain - her album is called "Zanaka." And she's currently on her first U.S. tour. She spoke with us from our bureau in New York.

Thank you so much for joining us.

GALICE: Thank you very much.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "HEADS UP")

GALICE: (Singing) Heads up for the light where we'll never die. Under the moonlight, we start to unfight (ph). Heads up for this time where fear's not a leader, where open mind is stronger.

GARCIA-NAVARRO: This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Lulu Garcia-Navarro.

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