Everything you could want from an influential artist, Jagwar Twin, has won us over with his out of this world mindset. Using his platform to electrify the stage, he has a vibe that is unlike any other. His viral single ‘Loser’ received attention from Spotify, Apple Music, and Amazon Music. Well-deserved recognition, for that matter, for a song that presented to be a feel-good classic, all about how we’re all the same underneath it all.
Recently wrapping up tours with lovelytheband and Avril Lavigne, Jagwar Twin, aka Roy English, has landed himself on our radar for good. Using a recipe of 60’s ESC style guitar mixed with hip-hop samples, with a dash of optimism, his music has a sense of unique calmness that breaks him away from the mainstream. A man for the fans, Roy continues to include them on his journey of creativity. If that doesn’t seem to intrigue you, well, maybe his message will, find your way inside his head as we picked his brain, and fell in love a little more.
Evolved Sense Of Self
Your style clearly evolved, not only as a musician but also as a person. You incorporated meditation, fasting, and many more practices into your life, how would you say these things affected your music and your interaction with fans?
We are always evolving. For me, it was self-discovery and seeing things inside myself that I didn’t know or didn’t want to know existed. Becoming more aware of my self allowed me to be more aware of the world around other humans and me. Fans or not. I have discovered recently that the fans of Jagwar Twin, although it’s a small number of us, tend to be really seeking something deeper in themselves, and that has been so beautiful to see. Some of them have become people I see as friends now because we’re all on the same path of self-discovery. And I know that I was “just a fan” at one point, and I would go to every show early and camp out and be front row screaming my lungs out and doing research about the person writing the lyrics because I wanted to know more. There are things that we as fans resonate with certain artists, and I believe there is a reason for that. They might show us something we’re looking for in ourselves, or they might offer a perspective that we’ve been afraid to embrace until someone just says it… That’s the power of music. We’re all mirrors of each other, and we’re all on the same journey home.
You met Jeff Bhasker at a point in your life where you were almost going to move to Idaho and work at a Pizza Hut and leave music behind. Do you believe in fate and that things are meant to be in a certain way?
I think there is a design. It’s clear in nature, and it’s clear in physics, it’s clear in the stars. I believe we all have a purpose and a reason for being here in our unique expression, but I also believe we have free will and can alter our own existence. I think it’s beyond us to fully comprehend right now, but one way or another, I think there is something helping steer us to learn the lessons we need to learn while we’re here.
Co-Creators Of The World
You once said that Jagwar Twin is not only a solo project but also made for and with fans, how would you best describe the project?
It really is a co-creation. Even the word “fan” has had this connotation of being less than the artist is the past. I don’t believe any human is greater or less than any other human. We are ALL creators. We are ALL artists in our own way because we all co-create the world we live in. The thoughts inside of us become the thoughts of the collective, and in that, there is a huge responsibility for us all to look at “what am I thinking?”, “What world am I creating inside my own self and around me?” Jagwar Twin is just a symbol of that.
Roy isn’t fronting when he says we’re ALL creators, as he currently is asking fans to submit videos to be a part of the video ‘Shine’, which you can do right here!
The album features your single ‘Loser’ where you talk about how we are all the same underneath, do you think the topic of that song is resonating now more than ever?
Subject To Flooding was written two years ago. Loser actually might have been closer to 3, and it was clear at the time that the world was going to go through a type of “flooding.” I think we’re seeing that now with everything going on and being forced to be away from each other for the past month or so. We’re all on this beautiful planet. We’re made of the same stardust. We’re all losers, and we’re all also brilliant, beautiful souls. Once we see it in ourselves, everyone else sees it too, and that creates a change in them and the world as a whole.
Stopping in to say we’re pretty certain this man is perfect.
Music and love are both clearly universal languages and we definitely think you preach both of those. You always said that the sense of universality is a thing that really interests you, do you think you can reach the universe with your craft?
First of all, these questions are amazing. Thank you for expressing yourself in this way. To answer the question, I believe music is a beautiful way to reach the universe. The planets sing the animals sing, humans sing, maybe aliens sing! Music is fundamental in nature. Music can change your mood, or reveal a lost memory; it can take you to another time in your life, or heal you. Everything is a vibrational frequency. Light, matter, sound, it’s all the same thing at variable speeds. I think ANY form of creation can allow ANYONE to reach the universe, God, Source, The Divine. It’s bigger than a name in a language, but I like to call it God because I think that word has been twisted to have so many negative connotations.
Finding A Balance
With the world like it is today, what are some things that you do to keep a clear and positive mind, and how do those things translate into your music?
I meditate every day. Eat healthy (most of the time). Although every once and a while, I’ll take down two pizzas. I just did a three day fast that was amazing. One thing that helps me when things are feeling especially dark, though, is to remember that when darkness exists, there is always an equal light. There is no understanding or knowledge of light without an awareness of darkness, but knowing when an overwhelming darkness exists, there is also an overwhelming beauty and light that exists in that exact same moment without fail helps me. I’ve just learned to be purposeful and look to find it.
You host weekly guided meditation sessions – how would you say meditating has had an impact on you and why would you encourage people to turn to it during these difficult times?
Meditating has shown me so much of myself and helped me to quiet my mind. I’m a very sensitive person, and I realized I was taking on so many other people’s thoughts and opinions that weren’t my own. I thought they were my own, but it took being still to know what was from parents, teachers, friends, TV, movies, and what was really mine. I wouldn’t tell anyone to do anything other than follow your curiosity. The meditations I host with my friend Philipp are such an amazing introduction to meditation if you have never done it and are interested.
Follow Roy’s Instagram to stay up to date with weekly guided mediation sessions
Now that the state of the world has changed, Shine has a more lasting impact than it did a year ago. How do you think people hearing it for the first time should interpret it and how do you hope they apply its message?
Be a light in your own world. Everyone can be a giant sun and shine and have this gravitational pull towards yourself. I like to say we’re all sleeping giants.
Discovering Our Story
What subjects in music do you think need to be touched on more?
I think artists and people in general are starting to think more and more for themselves and not another agenda given to us by the mainstream sources of power that wish to keep us all in line.
Has touring with different artists influenced the way you make music, your reasons to make music, or the messages you want put across?
Every time I go out and play in front of people, there is so much energy that it always influences the way I create. That many people together in one place SINGING (the human voice is so powerful) that is a force in itself and can be such a release or creation of energy. I think music is going to be more positive and empowering, moving out of this time as we all discover our story.
It’s clear that Roy is acutely aware of the world around him, and uses every piece of it to his advantage when looking for inspiration. With the combination of that and his love for his fans, we think it’s only appropriate to share a super unique collaboration between him and 5SOS bassist Calum Hood. Which is oh-so-lovely to look at, and listen to OF course.
Finding Support Within Music
Do you feel the effect your music has on people? Have you seen the impact and positivity your music brings? Is there a song you wrote when you felt you needed that message yourself?
Of course. I have felt it so much, and that’s why, especially with the new songs I’m writing and recording, I really have felt a responsibility with the lyrics I write. Move To You is a song that I needed for myself. It was a conversation with God.
We’re all finding music to be a continuous support during these tough times – do you have any particular artists or songs that are getting you through the pandemic?
The last song off Subject To Flooding “Precious Time” is about the time we have now moved into. RABI by Bon Iver, Streets on Fire by Lupe Fiasco is an old one but almost prophetic. Starman by David Bowie. Two artists way ahead of their time and very unknown are Sun RA and Moondog.
If there’s one message you hope to convey to the world through your music and who you are, just one message, what would it be?
Jagwar Twin: Positivity, Poise & Passion
What we’ve learned from chatting with Roy English, is that he is a complex being. One who sees how wonderful the world can be, and uses it to create beautiful art. Working collaboratively with fans and working to take away the negative connotation that sometimes harbors that word, Roy looks at ‘fans’ as equals, as artists themselves.
His vibrancy, love for life, and openness make him an artist of this generation. His positivity, poise, and passion, make his unique and soulful music much more of a joy to experience. There is much on the horizon for Jagwar Twin, and we couldn’t think of anyone more deserving.
What is YOUR favorite thing about Jagwar Twin? Let us know in the comments below or by tweeting us @TheHoneyPop!
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