From the breathtaking Indian Summer 2015 release to his latest single “Drive,” Sajeeb Saha – aka Jai Wolf – has been on absolute fire. Being one of the few producers to receive endorsements from Billboard as well as ODESZA’s Foreign Family Collective, the NYC-based DJ is already making serious moves and is busier than ever. Luckily, Run the Trap had the chance to sit down with Jai after his set at Chicago’s Spring Awakening to talk future plans, collaborations, his favorite movie and more. Read the exclusive interview below and show Jai Wolf some love. – Wameq Khan
RTT: Hi! We’re huge fans of you here at RTT! That was a great set by the way, how’d you prepare for it?
Jai Wolf: Thank you! Usually at festivals people really love to turn up so I like to play my own songs, then a mixture of really cool energetic music with a lot of stuff that I mix together live.
That’s awesome! How much are you touring for the rest of the year?
Jai Wolf: We have a bunch of shows lined up, I’m basically playing every weekend until the end of the summer. I’ve got Firefly next week, HARD Summer, Panorama New York, What The Fest and Mad Decent Block Party! It’s going to be pretty fun.
Let’s talk about your new single “Drive.” Where’d you get the inspiration for that? I’m secretly hoping it’s from the movie Drive since it’s my favorite movie.
Jai Wolf: No way! Honestly, Drive is my favorite movie of all time and I vibe to that movie all the way from the cinematography to the music. Cliff Martinez composed the music and there’s songs by Kavinsky and College featuring Youth in there. I love the emotions you get from listening to it. When I was listening to lot of music beyond Soundcloud I was into a lot of Tycho. You know, music you just get lost in. I really wanted to make music where the “drop” part of the track is irrationally extended and dreamy where you’re forced to listen to it and eventually end up getting lost in it.
How was it like working with The Chaingang of 1974 for that track?
Jai Wolf: It was awesome. I found him through a video game, Grand Theft Auto 5. He had a song “Sleepwalking” which was played through all the promotional material for the game like the Ads on TV. My people hit up his people and we had worked on an early demo for Drive which was basically the bones and skeleton of what it is now. He was feeling the DNA of what we’d made and I beefed it up even more and made it even more professional sounding. He killed it though, he has an incredible sounding voice and I just love the indie feel of the track we ended up making.
Do you think that’s the sort of sound you’d like to make your own now or that’s the direction you want to take with your music?
I think that’s the direction I want to take for now. You guys have been supporting me since 2014 and I remember when you used to post a lot of my older music when I first started as Jai Wolf. I used to call that sort of music that I made future bass more than anything, and while I have a lot of respect for future bass I’ve always wanted to go more of an indie/electronic route. I think it’s important that artists evolve their sounds and don’t end up making the same sort of music repeatedly.
I know, and you’re thinking ahead at this point.
Basically with the music I’m writing now, you’ll definitely feel some future bass elements that’s inherently Jai Wolf. For example, I love chopping up vocals and and you can hear that in “Indian Summer” and the Kiiara “Feels” Remix.
Do you think your current state is a transition for you, going from a Soundcloud producer to an Album Artist?
Honestly that’s exactly what it is, I don’t think there’s necessarily a negative connotation with being a Soundcloud producer since most people start off on Soundcloud. But my long-term goal is to write albums and become more known as an Indie/Electronica artist than being known as some kid on Soundcloud. I think that “Indian Summer” and “Drive” are the first few steps in the direction I want to go. But there’s still a long way to go.
Are there any artists you’d love working with?
I think a lot of people might expect my answer to be Skrillex or ODESZA or something but I would love to work with more singers. I love Lorde, Halsey, and Troy Sivan – they’re super cool and I’d love to make more music with this cool indie influence, but also with pop sensibility because I think that’s when you get more into album territory when you’re writing songs and not just focused on making “awesome” drops. Drops are fun when you’re in a festival setting and everything but I would love to write a really timeless, cool indie song and “Drive” for me is the first step in that direction.
You’re from New York, but your parents are from Bangladesh. How was it like as an immigrant to get the exposure and the success that you have right now?
Jai Wolf: It wasn’t too bad, I came here when I was a year old and my mom has always been supportive. My parents made sure that I was able to foster my growth creatively and took me to violin lessons. They were very supportive when I said I wanted to pursue music full time; they told me that as long as I could support myself with the music I’d made, I’d have their unconditional support. I actually went to Bangladesh a couple of years ago visiting family, and I would love to use my music to funnel charity work there because it’s a third world country. It’s sad to see because the neighboring country India has progressed very far, of course there’s disparity there but there’s also a side that’s very wealthy. Bangladesh has not really reached that yet, corrupt governments and religious tensions there prevent that and I would just love to use my music to help create change. It’s a long term goal of mine but I want to be able to help people out.
A noble feat! What’s next for you Jai?
Jai Wolf: I’m writing a lot of new music. I’m working on some collaborations with singers in particular, I can’t say too much right now but I can definitely guarantee a lot more remixes will be released soon.
Alright, this was awesome, I think we’re about to wrap this up now, anything you’d like to say?
Jai Wolf: Yeah actually, we’re announcing the first leg of the fall tour on Monday and It’s going to be great!