Localized: Idan Jene
SLUG‘s first Localized showcase of 2023 brings together three trailblazing artists who think outside traditional boundaries and merge genres into a foamy broth of experimentation. Come to Kilby Court on Thursday, Jan. 19 (doors at 7 p.m., music at 8 p.m.) to catch Co-headliners Idan Jene and Numerohuno alongside opener Tribe Blvd for a can’t miss night of some of the city’s most cutting-edge sounds. SLUG would like to thanks to Essential Photo Supply for generously hosting the photoshoot for these articles.
SLUG: Can you please discuss your history with music?
Idan Jene: I started out listening to a ton of nu-metal and pop punk in elementary school to the point of obsession, which then led me to begging my parents for a drum kit and some lessons so I could play all my favorite songs (some of which are still in rotation to this day). From covering songs to forming a band, in time, I was starting to get the hang of things being around music. For a couple of year,s I went from band to band across different styles and genres, and then one day my mom handed down her 2011 MacBook Pro to me which had GarageBand already installed, and that’s when I started experimenting with producing and singing.
Around 2014, I made the switch to Ableton and started collaborating a lot more with friends. For years my friends and I would share our songs, ideas and techniques, all of which I feel like I owe a lot of my growth as a musician to. Currently, I like to think I’m still doing what I’ve been doing all these years—aiming to make the best music I can.
SLUG: Can you please talk about your own musical tastes, and how they inform your writing? How did you come to inhabit this unique sound that blends elements of pop, hip-hop, emo, electronic, etc.?
IJ: Usually my taste is all over the place depending on my mood, but in the last couple of weeks the rotation’s got post-hardcore, Filipino folk, deep house and really whatever I come across. I grew up listening to a good amount of pop, hip-hop, emo—all that. When I’m writing music, it feels like I’m looking for important memories or daydreamed scenes and scoring them. I feel that my music is a projection of all my favorite sounds and styles as one body.
SLUG: Can you please talk about the 7WingMoney collective? How did this group start, and what artistic purpose does it serve for you and the other artists?
IJ: 7WingMoney is a music collective that consists of myself, b4nky, OLAN, Andy Doors, Dirty Mike, Miah Summers and Ben Ra. We also have a project in the works code name POR7AL RESEARCH with Tien and Boku designing at the helm—just keep an eye out for that down the line.
I would say the group started during the writing process of Our Heart Radio, the album b4nky, OLAN and I wrote. We all felt like we were a band with how much fun we were having. We’d mess around and call ourselves different band or group names we fucked with, like LiteCorps or Wing Team 7. We were experimenting with themes surrounding “heaven” and “angels” and associated the number 7 with those concepts. Eventually, 7WingMoney was coined and it just stuck.
Now add Andy in the mix. He’s spinning at the shows and playing our tracks at gigs. Then you got Mike, Miah, Ben Ra singing from the bottom of their hearts, and it all feels like a machine and its purpose is to inspire, motivate and create together. A huge part of why I think it all works is because we were all friends or knew each other before we coined any name.
SLUG: How does collaboration play into your music? Do you produce all of your own work, or do you work with other local artists on this front?
IJ: For a while I was strictly producing my own work—Not for any particular reason, just didn’t really know what it meant to collaborate. Nowadays if there’s someone cooking up in the studio, someone’s bound to tap in; it usually turns into a jam. For me, I’ve come to appreciate alone time just as much as the time I spend creating with 7WM.
I forsure have a handful of local artists in mind when considering collaboration outside of 7WM. On the music side, Numerohuno and I got something in the works. Shout out him, Cuka, and his side.
SLUG: Can you please talk about how your visual look/style interacts with your music, or how you conceptualize the visual parts of your art—album covers, photoshoots, music videos, etc.—within your music?
IJ: I think there is a deep connection between my sound and visual style. Just like my music, I’m looking for scenes within my imagination and building a world piece by piece; it’s all about the details and careful planning. I like to think long term and evolve a cohesive body of work. I’ve always loved the concept of having a rich lore. Little facts and breadcrumbs, cameos and all really just tie everything together for me. With the help of POR7AL RESEARCH and all these talented visual artists I’ve worked with so far, I want to leave a world behind for the right listener to come across and piece together because it’s fun.
SLUG: Where do you hope to see your artistic practice grow in the future? Any new ideas in the works that you’re excited to share?
IJ: I want to stop holding myself back from releasing more music. The one thing that holds me back is that I’ll usually wait too long to drop something and then end up hating it eventually and in turn never releasing the project. b4nky, OLAN and I have an album dropping around February, and I’m super stoked about this one. It’s called 7OVE and I really think we outdid ourselves. After this I plan, to focus on releasing singles. In addition, I’ve always wanted to play in a post-hardcore band, so I think I will try that. Perhaps under a different alias.
Follow Idan Jene on Instagram @idan_jene for more.
Read more about Idan Jene and 7WingsMoney artist Ben Ra:
Local Music Singles Roundup: December 2021
Virtualized: Ben Ra
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