Cathy Jain describes her sound as “a blend of alt-pop with hints of jazz and psychedelia”. Ellie Rowsell (Wolf Alice) is a fan and rightfully so. Her musical influences range from Phoebe Bridgers to Joji. She is also fascinated by Frank Ocean from a music production perspective.
Releasing her debut EP ‘artificial’ while studying A-levels has felt “surreal”. The songs on the EP “are actually quite old and I wrote them a couple of years ago and some of the songs are very old… so having these songs finally come out and people listening to them, it just feels unreal.” Cathy is happy to be releasing the EP now. The timing feels right. “I love this feeling of being able to share my music and my art with everyone else. And for people to appreciate it. It's a great feeling.”
Her single ‘green screen’ evokes a sense of yearning. Cathy describes it as being about “the concept of chasing a feeling – wanting to feel an emotion that you can only see in movies and only read in books, and it's something that you're trying to chase, but you can't really feel it yourself. It's all about drama, and teenage emotions and angst. Sonically, it's got lots of twists and lots of turns and reflects the turbulent emotions that young people feel”.
When it came to releasing the single, Cathy switched up an old video she had made when she was 14 or 15 and is “so impressed” with the new version, especially since the team were on a tight budget. “It just looks beautiful,” she says.
The EP focuses on remaining authentic in the modern world. Cathy explains, “Lyrically, I think it's about exploring the concept of fakeness versus authenticity, finding out what emotions we feel are real or what we're putting on for other people to see. Or how we adapt ourselves depending on the people that we're surrounded by. It's about how, mainly young people, adapt themselves to their friends or to other people that they're surrounded by and the different emotions that we experience.”
Cathy’s lyrics are inspired by nuanced observations and capturing emotions. “It's the experiences of people my age; and my friends and myself. I think it's a lot about the more subtle emotions, so I tend not to write about the sort of big dramatic breakups and heartbreaks and big moments in someone's life. I really like exploring the smaller and subtle feelings that people have; the day to day feelings of anxieties and nerves. And just little emotions like that really excite me and I love writing about them. I think it's very interesting.”
Cathy is already planning her next project. She says, “The EP after this one, which is going to start coming out next year, is a project that I'm super, super proud of. I love the songs now, but the songs that are going to come out next year are probably like a huge step up and I'm really looking forward to releasing those because they're amazing songs. I can't wait for people to hear them.”
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Cathy Jain's 'artificial' EP is out now on YALA! Records.
Words: Narzra Ahmed
Photo Credit: Mae Sass
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