Jandoelives is a melodic puppeteer who aims to tell parables through his compositions. A multi-instrumentalist based in Toronto, his arrangements often revolve around various styles in which every song dances to its own trope, making each release unique and distinct. Jandoelives hopes to leave the audience guessing on what the next movement will be, taking them on a journey as he aims to crave his original sound in this musical sphere.
When you listen to his music like “Tegami” you will find yourself absorbed in this radiating and positive vibe that you don’t want to escape. The instrumentation in this song creates this delightful energy that emits through the listener. Jandoelives isn’t your average multi-instrumentalist. He knows exactly how to fabricate a perfect song that gives you the most everlasting experience that can complement your current mood and enhance it fully. Jandoelives is a dynamic artist who knows the ins and outs of instrumentation. We were so mesmerized by the music that we found ourselves giving him repeated and repeated listens, thus proving to us that he’s not only abundantly talented but memorable as well. Jandoelives has impressed us so much that it was only right that we recognized him as the artist of the day, but his buzz is quickly growing and gaining traction, we are more than excited to see what else he has in store.
Give a listen to "Tegami" here.
Welcome to BuzzMusic Jandoelives, what’s the biggest challenge you had to overcome in 2019 as a multi-instrumentalist and in what ways have you overcome the obstacle?
That would definitely be getting my music out there and trying to entice the audience with something original and different. As much as you have numerous platforms to get your music out there, it is difficult to find your place when you're doing something completely off current trends. It is easy for your music to get drowned out, especially so with songs that are over that 2.5-4min ticker and non-virtuoso instrumentals. The odds are already stacked against you from the get-go. Because my music is genre-defying, no one really has been able to put a label on which umbrella it nestles under, it presents itself as a marketer’s nightmare.
I don’t think I’ve managed to overcome that obstacle really. Quite frankly, that’s something I’ve never been great at - that social media game, staying in a box and indulging in the current trends; selling myself to appeal to a market - which isn’t great in this day and age. Even more so when you're trying to get people to listen to your tracks! On that front, this year has been mainly about comprehending and appreciating that rhetoric. In hindsight, you understand your limitations better and evolve without compromising your own characteristics. This year I had my hands in all the honey pots, trying to release as much music as I can and doing it all on my own. But you get burned out man. Now, my working process is more streamlined. I will be working on selected songs over the next year, allowing myself to dedicate the necessary time for all the needed components, both the creative and the non.
The year has really been about me making music again, inhibited, and enjoying that process. Not getting bogged down with all the marketing jargon and hindered with business schematics - which really is a job on its own. Because I do everything myself from writing, recording, mixing on a limited budget and a modest scope, you acclimate, keep learning and work within that environment. While doing this, you grow as a songwriter, mature as a player and understand your very thought process; you learn to become proficient and adapt to produce better mixes and be more controlled in your compositions. In a nutshell, developing my own sound and finding my own voice. As a multi-instrumentalist, the problem I had was trying to find a balance between creating new music yet simultaneously having to improve as a player in each discipline. This task became significantly easier once I knew what exactly I wanted of my ability and was needed of my playing in relation to both music I was creating or looking to compose, or just naturally speak with the instrument. There are always new instruments I'm fascinated with as well. That ambition never ends. A constant work in progress. Learning an instrument is a lifelong lesson.
What’s the main theme you have behind your music?
It really differs with each release, with the disclaimer being that themes are generally more open-ended when you write instrumental music that precludes itself from the traditional guide.
Ultimately, my bottom line is that I’m constantly enthralled with melody and want that feature to be a prominent driver in my music.
With that element in tow, the ideology is that every song needs to be able to tell her own story or, invoke a different vibe. Be it a jaunt in time, a nostalgic memory or just the remembrance of a special moment that I hope resonates with the listener in relation to their own life experiences. When they listen to the songs, I want them to be intrigued and guessing how the next passage of music will pan out without things being too formulaic; offering a little bit of something for everyone. With the eps or albums, musically speaking there will be a connecting theme, mood or atmosphere, allowing for themes to be expanded and fleshed out while leaving enough room for the music to be left to the listeners' interpretation.
Are there any new elements you try experimenting with within your songs?
Quite the opposite really. Right now, the newer tracks have me stripping down the layers and letting the tracks breathe more, allowing for more compact and introspective songs. Not to say there isn’t fun stuff (which there are!) but previously, I was more like that high octane kid in a toy store, whose Christmas came way too earlier. Battling the need to include and do more when faced with “Sophie’s Choice.” At times trying to overcompensate for my lack of skill. Now, I’m at a place where I can comfortably exercise more restraint and make better executive decisions that serve the song. There’s definitely more method and awareness in my current writing processing.
What was your process and approach to your record “Drive by Baby”? I was trying to capture the meaning behind the essence of a journey, a memoir of a road-trip if you will. A song that narrates that although the destination is the end goal, it’s really isn’t the end goal. A journey, be it mentally or physically comes replete with the odd screwup and plenty of hiccups, for better or worse. But therein lies the spirit of that voyage - the route where memories are called. It is a concept we are all familiar with. If you listen to the track, you’ll hear more the segments are more pronounced and distinct, like pitstops along the ride.
How would you describe the creative process behind your record “Japanese Whispers”?
Whispers are about a one-way conversation between two halves. Where one is trying to communicate and reach the other. And as much as you try, you get nothing back. Eventually coming to a realization that you have to accept and respect the reality of that indifference, but yet all you want to do is continue to try, wistfully hoping for a breakthrough.
This is one of the earlier songs I wrote and mixed, and production-wise you can really hear me still learning the craft. But you work with the tools you have, and try to represent the song as best as you can. Having said that, I still value that raw underproduced fragile timbre of the guitar solo around the 2.50 mark, giving the song that added emotional depth and truth.
What’s next for you in the New Year, Jandoelives?
I have a collection of songs in an upcoming release entitled “Rebirth” which I’ve already completed, upon which you’ll hear a sharp shift in the future compositions. Next year’s songs will be more lyrical and releases will be more attuned to the theme that is to be delivered. I will be working on more contemporary tracks, which will enable that change in my playing style and arrangements. Perhaps a more mature and simplistic approach. I plan to release about 4-5 songs over the next year. Music I'm personally really proud of.
Having said that, if time permits, I really wish to release a couple of summer songs, which I’ve already written, recorded and kept in my stable for the longest time, and perhaps a couple of electronic orientated tracks, as a followup to “The Jinkxd Protocol” just to keep that “tradition” of jandoelives going.