ANOTHER GREAT PARTY THAT DOESN’T EXIST WITH “WANNA GO” BY JIMKATA

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If one experiences a moment of pure bliss and transcendent beauty BUT does not post it on The Gram, did it really happen? This kind of pondering spurred the lyrics behind Jimkata’s sparkling new synth jam “Wanna Go”.

“I imagined someone enticing me to go to a party that may or may not actually exist.  And that tied in with how I’ve been feeling about this messed up social media landscape we’re living in where everything is not always as it seems on the surface.”  

Jimkata have a penchant for drawing separate through lines in their music. The video game like percussion and savvy use of squirrelly pitch bends create the best arcade dance party of 2020, yet the unrest of the song’s sentiment is not lost on the listener. This is carried out in the song’s video as well. Directed by Jay Brown at The Rove Lab, it essentially an ouroboros of pictures in motion… a carefully cultivated reality swallowing itself faster than it can evolve in order to keep up with the ever present demands of the feed.

If this is how Jimkata deal with their anxiety, we are happy to hop aboard the process. We caught up with them to find out a little more about their coping process in 2020…

“Wanna Go” speaks to the pitfalls of social media and its effects on our confidence and perceptions of reality. Was there one incident that sparked this song?

There wasn’t one incident in particular.  It’s more a result of being fully immersed in the omnipresence of our infinitely scrolling universe at this point.  I wrote it a few years ago, but I think moving to LA since then made me reflect on that even more.  We went to take a hike by Lake Elsinore a while back and it happened to be during a “super bloom” of poppy flowers in the hills.  I came in unaware of the hype surrounding it and was stunned by the sea of instagram influencers stomping all over everything to get the perfect flick for their “brand” or whatever.  I’ll admit it was an incredibly beautiful scene, and I took some photos myself but, damn.  There’s this sense that if it’s not on Instagram it’s not real or if I can’t take a selfie in front of it and get those likes then the experience is devoid of value.  It was kind of my first experience with that whole influencer thing.  For the most part it just seems like an illness.

The production for “Wanna Go” is bright and fun but also done with incredible precision. What is the process of writing a song like this for you guys?

This one just started as a beat I created using some analog synths and electronic production.  I was experimenting with a new synth I recently got and was kinda just having fun and letting loose—dialing in my own sounds and messing around with the mod wheel.  As I was listening back while creating it I started to get these lyrics in my head.  Kind of simple.  Kind of mesmerizing.  At first I didn’t really take it seriously.  I thought it was kind of silly and just fun to bob your head to.  But once I showed it to the other guys they were big fans of developing it.  The end result honestly didn’t deviate too much from the original demo.  We just liked the simplicity of it.

The synth leads combined with the percussive video-game-like sound effects create the feeling you are in a very bright arcade in the mall. Was there any reason you wanted to create this atmosphere for this song in particular? 

Nice.  I like that imagery.  The atmosphere came first and the lyrics second.  As I was playing I found myself hypnotized by these sounds and the surreal, party on another planet kind of vibe going on.  That ended up influencing the lyrics.  I imagined someone enticing me to go to a party that may or may not actually exist.  And that tied in with how I’ve been feeling about this messed up social media landscape we’re living in where everything is not always as it seems on the surface.

The video is quite literally a picture in motion. How did the premise for this video come into play? 

We’ve worked with Jay Brown at The Rove Lab a couple of times in the past and always seemed to click on a creative level.  When we gave him this tune he came back to us with the concept for the video and we immediately fell in love with the idea and it began to develop further.  It was a technique that he always wanted to try but hadn’t executed yet and that we thought fit well thematically with the song.

Was the framing and repetitive nature of the video meant to reflect social media? Can you elaborate a little on how you want people to perceive it?

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure that was the explicit intention right out of the gate but it was intended to be a play on perception versus reality to compliment the surreal nature of the music.  It kind of took on a whole new meaning once we started quarantining and going a little insane in our own homes.  I like that there are a few different levels to it.  On one level it’s kind of just a fun, silly video that you can watch over and over and notice something new.  We were pretty meticulous about changing something in every single shot so there’s always a new detail to notice upon viewing it another time.  Ironically, while it does elicit a critique of social media it is also specifically designed for the dwindling attention span sparked by this current landscape of endless scrolling and media over saturation.

How has 2020 affected your motivation to record/create? 

Man… big question… It’s been a hell of a year both personally and for the world at large.  When the shutdown began to hit LA, I was working as a bartender and forced to go on unemployment.  It caused a lot of anxiety but in a way it’s been a blessing for me in the sense that it’s given me time to focus on music.  Thats something I cherish.  At the same time, it can be a battle to stay motivated in the face of daily blasts of depressing news, concerns about staying healthy, not seeing a lot of friends and family and an atmosphere of absolute uncertainty about how we will all move forward.  But I’ve found moments of hope that inspired me.  I participated in a few BLM marches here in LA that were entirely organized by high school students.  Being a part of such a wide array of humanity led by the youth of the community gave me hope.  It seems so many fallacies, facades and longstanding injustices are being revealed and hopefully, this is the beginning of some major changes that could bring about a more just and peaceful world.  We’re seeing a lot of our ugliness in the mirror right now and I’m hoping that inspires us to transition towards something better.  Sometimes making music in the midst of all this seems frivolous or trivial and other times it feels absolutely essential for our well-being.

Can you tell us one artist that has helped keep you inspired during the last few months? For the sake of manifestation, what would you ask them if you were quarantined with them?

Bill Withers.  I started listening to him again after he passed away recently.  The “Live at Carnegie Hall” album has so much vibrancy and life in it.  There’s a soulful, paternal, and yet simple everyday essence to his voice that makes me think he knows something we all don’t.  I find it really soothing and uplifting at the same time.  He seems like a good guy to go to for advice.  So I’d probably just ask Mr. Withers if we’re gonna be alright.  I need some comfort.

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photos / Cory Anderson

story / Chris Hess

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