Motivated by a shared human spirit, Jagwar Twin melds a worldly-ensemble of alternative sounds. Born from a highly collaborative creative process between Roy English, S1 and Linus, Jagwar Twin emphasises the desire to connect energies and spirits to develop something greater than initially imagined.
Channelling negativity into self-exploration through music, Jagwar Twin use Roy’s powerful voice and prophet-like poetry to produce gritty hip-hop beats. We caught up with Roy English, the driving force behind Jagwar Twin, following the release of their debut album Subject to Flooding, chatting inspirations, creative processes and how he feels following the release of the single ‘Loser’.
Can you give us an insight into the inspiration behind your latest project?
Jagwar Twin was born out of the realization of our shared humanity and what happens when we remove ego and look into the souls of ourselves and others.
The music industry, like many industries, brings both highs and lows. What has the journey been like to get to where you are today?
When a person is tested, their true colours show and it’s only through adversity that we truly learn. I feel like I’ve lived multiple lives and been multiple people, which has allowed me to let go and allow those experiences to shape who I am becoming.
Jagwar Twin is the product of collaboration between yourself, S1 and Linus. How did this opportunity come about?
I met S1 probably 6 years ago and he saw something in me that I probably didn’t see in myself. We became like family over the years so when the time came to make this album he was the first person I called.
I met Linus a couple years ago, he came to the studio during the first week of recording with S1. He completely flipped everything on its head. His sounds, production skills and song writing knowledge is incredible. He’s an alien.
We all felt something so special together, like it was something bigger than any of us individually. Linus and S1 brought out so much in me as a person through the most amazing, human conversations … and that’s really what great producers do. We weren’t just trying to make music that sounded good, we were looking to make music that connected people on a DNA level.
The pairing of emotionally poetic lyrics with gravelly hip-hop beats works in an unlikely unison. How do you lyrically create the Jagwar Twin sound?
I’m just letting things flow through me. What needs to be said, needs to be said.
Roy, as a self- taught singer, how did you ensure that criticism didn’t prevent you from achieving your dream in the business?
I’ve never written music to prove anything to anyone. I’ve used it as a filter for the world around me and my experience. So, in a sense that criticism helped fuel me to keep creating.
You already have quite a large following on Twitter. What is your favourite form of social media and why?
Social media is so powerful, but it has become this ego-driven platform used to build a manipulated self-image. I think when harnessed, social media could be a tool for humans to come together as a community and change the way people look at themselves, others, and the world. I feel lucky to surround myself with fans that understand that power and want to use it to show our commonality not our differences.
Having your single ‘Loser’ debuted by Zane Lowe on Beats 1 is a huge achievement. How do you feel about the release?
I’m happy the music is out in the world and the response has been humbling, but in some weird way I feel like I’ve already experienced what the future has in store. I’m grateful for every experience on this journey no matter how small or big.
Who are some artists that you believe deserve more attention?
I’ve been listening to a lot of Rad Horror and Sunni Colon lately. Oh, and Wolf Alice is really cool too.