Musicvein first met Djinn five years ago as the founding member of French Soul/Funk group And This Is Max.
Since they parted ways, Raphael has been on an artist journey of discovery. Musicvein caught up with the artist now known as Djinn, to chat about his evolving and new music.
Musicvein: Djinn Tell me what you’ve been doing between And This is Max and now?
Djinn: “I was at a point in life where I wanted to start making a living out of music, And This Is Max was about the music and passion – not so much the money making side. Being a Soul and Funk band we were making music which wasn’t as popular back then so it was a hard sell, plus there was seven of us so it was a big budget for bars. Since leaving I’ve been working as a full-time street performer, networking, doing Open Mics in London and working on my original music.
I guess you could say my journey as a musician has most of the time been a struggle to find a break-through in the music business, while keeping at it real and staying true to my values. My passion is creating music and trying to find a way to express my art in a different and unique way.”
Musicvein: Moving on to your own music – it’s more on the Soul/RnB side, what is it about the genre that attracts you?
Djinn: “Erm, ever since I heard Aretha franklin, I just fell in love with soul music. I love the way the soul brothers and sisters sing with guts, not only do they have beautiful voices, but great vocal technique.
Soul music is like the Blues, it’s about sharing your experiences and your heartaches. Aritsts like D’Angelo, Erykah Badu and Daniel Caesar – it’s more about the music than about fancy choreography such as Beyonce.”
Musicvein: And is that what you’re trying to follow, be more about the music rather than personal image?
Djinn: “Oh yeah absolutely, I am conscious more though that now you can’t just sell music, you have to sell a whole concept, since the records aren’t selling as well.”
Musicvein: So this week will see the release of your second single ‘Bad Luck’ with the femme fatale, tell me more about it.
Djinn: “Well the song is about being deceived by love and is a way of overcoming the deception. I feel like a lot of songs now are about love, but not in this particular song, I focused more on learning how to move on. Realising that if it wasn’t meant to be, you don’t have to lose all dignity in trying to pursue what you thought was meant for you. Sometimes if it doesn’t happen naturally, means it wasn’t meant to be. I think the Rolling Stones summed it up also when they sang ‘You Can’t Always Get What You Want’ – ‘Bad Luck’ is similar in message.”
Musicvein: Where can people catch you performing this year?
Djinn: “For my original music, I’m going to focus on releasing material. So to go with the single release, I have the music video to Bad Luck coming out on March 5th. I’m quite excited about this as the woman who plays the femme fatale is a cabaret dancer from The Crazy Horse – a famous club on the Champs-Élysées! So make sure you look out for that.
Street performing wise you can find me in Nancy or Antibes France.”