Inside the “feel” of his new record ‘Subject To Flooding’
I am human.
Remember you’re alive.
Those are just some of the tattooed messages on the body of Roy English. It’s fair to say they are also subtle foundations within English’s new endeavor under the moniker, Jagwar Twin.
With his new record, which was released on September 21st, Jagwar Twin is writing to incite change. The lead single “Loser”, made an instantaneous splash after premiering on Zane Lowe’s Beats 1 earlier this month – racking up more than 100K Spotify streams in just one day. Produced by S1 (Kanye West, Beyonce, Lorde) and Linus (blink-182, All Time Low), Subject to Flooding sees Jagwar Twin emerge as a spiritual warrior with a powerful voice and prophet-like poetry paired against a landscape of 60’s style guitars, gritty hip-hop break beats, and flipped MPC samples reminiscent of Dark Fantasy-era Kanye West.
Here, we are thrilled to have Jagwar Twin on “Checking In” — taking us inside his deeply authentic process and perspective
I understand environment was incredibly creative and free in making Subject To Flooding, with that in mind — where and when were these songs written?
We made bits and pieces all over. “Move To You” was recorded in Florence, Italy, a couple different places in the desert in Joshua Tree, CA, and multiple studios in LA. Michael Morgan and I worked in a remote coastal town in Ireland on some of it. “Superhuman” started with Jeff Bhasker and I at his studio in Venice in 2012, then worked on it in Haiti with Michael Brun. It really came together with Linus in Lake Arrowhead, and a bunch of studios in LA. It was a process over a few years and I think ultimately pulling from our experiences in all of those places helped free us from any one specific sound.
What was different for you that enabled such a vision to come through artistically?
Linus, S1 and the whole crew made a conscious choice to remove fear and ego from everything we did and replaced it with human conversation and interaction. That breaking down of walls really lead to the creative output; when you understand your place and purpose, music flows freely. It’s in our DNA.
What was a typical writing/recording day like?
It was always different, but once we got into the last two months, Linus had us on a strict regimen. We would do sauna/ice baths, yoga and guided meditations with Rachel Katherine Bell, Himalayan Shilijit tar, and Linus would cook these incredible healthy meals.
The first single“Loser”, is very dynamic song. Given the meaning behind it and intent… there’s a juxtaposition with the title being “Loser” can you take us inside the creative intent there?
When people see the song title for the first time their first thought is “oh it’s going to be another self-deprecating song”. We liked the idea of people thinking it was going to be one thing and then flipping it on its head and taking the power back. Who gets to decide what a loser is and who is one? Why is it a bad thing? We’re all human and we’re all losers and I think that we need to take that same approach with the state of the world right now. Flip it on its head, and we can only do that together.
You believe in your “voice” — how would you suggest to others they do the same from your experience?
I don’t know if I always believed in my voice, but I always believed I was different. As I got older I realized that different was good, contrary to what a lot of our systems teach us from a young age … and I learned that everything is possible. We all have all the tools we need inside ourselves to change our circumstances and be whoever we want to be. Never let someone else tell you who you are, or aren’t.
What made you discover early on that you can channel emotions and turn it into songs. Do you still drive off that fuel?
I wouldn’t say that I channel negative energy, but I would say that I allow myself to feel things fully in order to understand them. That’s what makes music so powerful. You can feel and understand something much deeper in a song and once you understand something you can release it. I’m grateful for the kids who bullied me. I understand why they felt like they had to do that. And I wouldn’t be here without them. There’s a positive for every negative and knowing that changes everything.
What are you most looking forward to with your new music?
Singing along to these songs with rooms full of people from every walk of life. Something incredible happens when people sing together as one, it’s powerful.
What does this release and this point of your career mean to you?
I’m just trying to appreciate every moment. The small things, friendships, every little milestone. I’m just enjoying the process.
Jagwar Twin’s Subject To Flooding is out now.
Stream on Spotify HERE:
For more information visit: JagwarTwin.com