The colours in the room were changing. I tried to move through the crowd closer to the stage. As I passed through the crowd I knew the magic was about to happen. The stage was taken over by 4 silhouettes, as the music started to fill the room intertwined with voices that you only find in dreams. The lights were dancing and my mind travelled into the world created by David Lynch where dreams are part of the reality. How can they do this? I asked them …Introducing: Ruth, Cat and Jane, better known as JAGARA.
When was JAGARA born?
We have been making music together as sisters on and off for years. JAGARA was born when we made the decision to form a proper band, as we all knew exactly where we wanted to go.
Our music is a mix of genres… We would call it electronic indie pop, driven by 80s and hip hop beats and lush harmonies, with hints of world music elements.
Talking about music, how do you know the song is finished?
It’s so hard to know when to draw a line under a song. Some of our songs have taken three years to finish – we’ll abandon them and come back to them years later! And then some we finish in a day.
Being sisters in a band, is it a benefit or a challenge?
It’s a mix of both, but definitely more of a benefit. Despite having eclectic tastes between us, we are usually in sync in terms of how we want something to sound, and we can be brutally honest with each other which is really important for the creative process.
How do you make decisions?
Majority rules! Otherwise, whoever shouts the loudest.
Success to us is being happy and proud with what you produce and having people respond to what you create in the way you always wanted, or in ways that you never thought they would.
When I saw you perform live, I was lost between reality and the dream world. I could imagine your music in “Twin Peaks” and “Stranger Things”. What are your favourite TV series?
That’s a big compliment! We’re big fans of both shows, and we’ve always loved listening to TV and film scores as well as soundtracks, as we see every piece of music as a mood-piece that can be brought even more to life through film, which is why we were determined to make a music video for our latest single “Real Love”.
Growing up we didn’t watch a huge amount of TV, as we were all making time to practise instruments. But right now we’re hooked on: Narcos in our opinion is one of the fascinating true stories in history, Black Mirror because its dystopian tales are so relevant to the issues facing us in the modern world, Cuba Libre, an amazing series about the history of Cuba.
How do you discover new music?
Word of mouth a lot of the time – we are always sending things to our friends and they send stuff to us too. And Spotify radio.
Talking about streaming services, what is your opinion on services like Spotify?
At this stage, these services are vital in getting our music out there and allowing people to listen for free. There is an argument that some of these services don’t pay the artist enough, but at this stage, we are just happy to be able to connect with current and future fans through these platforms.
You have shared a playlist on Spotify – Wonder Women. Is there any particular reason why those songs were chosen? Is it right to say that these are the artists who inspire you?
We are inspired by both male and female artists, but we wanted to create a playlist to celebrate all the female musicians who have inspired us, such as Warpaint, Ibeyi, Maggie Rogers and Nao. They have total control over their sound and identity and constantly inspire our drive, particularly when it comes to songwriting and arrangement. We’ve just created a new Spotify playlist called Jagara Jams which you can follow on Spotify now – all our favourite current jams! So many inspiring artists right there.
Would you consider yourselves feminists? If yes, what does it mean to you?
Absolutely – anyone who believes in equality for men and women is a feminist. Things are improving for women in the UK, both in society in general and in the music industry, but there is still a lot of work to do. We’re part of a collective of females who work in music in London, both on the artist and industry side, which has allowed us to meet so many strong like-minded women who are totally owning their craft.
What is your biggest achievement so far?
Playing the O2 Arena last year! We hadn’t played live for a while, and then out of the blue got this amazing support offer. We had such an amazing response from the crowd. It totally changed who we are as a live band, it made us a lot more daring and confident in our performance. A completely pivotal moment!
Playing the O2 Arena totally changed who we are as a live band, it made us a lot more daring and confident in our performance.
Can you actually live from music or have you got so-called day jobs?
We all work part-time. Jane is a piano teacher, and Ruth and Cat both work as PAs, as well as the odd twin acting job (‘twacting’ if you will)!
What is your opinion on TV talent Shows – X Factor, Britain Has Talent, The Voice…
We feel sorry for the people who go on them because they usually get exploited and lose all creative control, although we guess some people don’t mind that!
What was the greatest advice someone has ever given to you?
‘Just get on with it’ – our Dad
In a perfect world, how would you define success in the music business?
Keeping hold of creative control, having a strong following of loyal fans, and making enough money to not have a day job!
Tomorrow 4 big record labels approach you. How would you choose the best one?
We would choose the record label with the most decent people, and the one who loves and understands our music the most.
What would be your advice for those who would like to create music?
It’s so much easier to create music these days, but getting yourself out there can take a lot longer.
A band is only as good as their songs, so honing songwriting or production skills should always be the most important thing, ahead of the image or playing tons of shows too early on.
Where do you see yourselves in 5 years?
Hopefully doing the band full time! But most importantly, making music that we and our fans love, travelling the world to play to as many different people as possible, and having a varied and fully creative life in which we all feel like we’re doing something worthwhile as a band, and having an incredible time doing it!
We also really want to hone our craft as songwriters, producers and performers, and delve into whole new realms of music.
What are your plans for the rest of 2017?
We plan to release an EP in September and go from there. We want to finish recording our first album by the end of the year.
Where can we see you perform live?
We are performing at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen on the 17th of October.