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Exclusive Interview: CJ Pandit Talks All Things +44

Exclusive Interview: CJ Pandit Talks All Things +44

Cj Pandit is about to become a permanent fixture on your playlists, especially after you listen to his absolute smash of an EP, +44. We were lucky enough to get to pick his brain all about the EP, and the latest single, If It Hurts, It’s Healing.’ Getting to have these conversations with artists brings us even closer to the music, we hope you find this conversation as valuable as we do!

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Stream +44 here!

We obviously want to talk about all things ‘+44’ but also your last single ‘If It Hurts, It’s Healing’. When writing such a personal song, do you find yourself back in the mindset of when you were going through what you’re writing about, or are you able to look back without necessarily being back in the moment?
When we sat down to write ‘If It Hurts,’ I was still in the midst of a break-up and what felt like my life falling apart. We tracked the song the day after it was written and had been watching the final episode of Midnight Gospel before we got into it. So I think all of those moving parts and what we were consuming were keeping me pretty rooted in what I was feeling. It was a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, and the song felt like a commitment to that set of feelings until I’d worked them out and could grieve and heal this old version of myself and a different time in my life. I’m always pretty in whatever I’m writing about I guess so it’s hard to stay completely removed.

How essential in your healing process was writing this track? Do you find creating to be a form of therapy?
Super important. I think creating is a necessity for me, whether it be making music, which has and always will be the primary vessel of my creativity, or the zines, videos, art, and visual language that accompany everything it’s all part of this long winding never-ending question and answer. It’s somewhat of a commentary on my life and it’s nice to look back and self-reference some things I think differently about now.

From the moment you got the idea to start writing this track, to the moment it was ready to be put out for our listening enjoyment, how long was the process?
I think a year or so? I’m so sick of talking about the pandemic but we made this EP in a second winter lockdown in the UK in 2021 just before the last EP came out. We’ve always somehow managed to stay ahead of ourselves. That whole thing was finished in June/July last year and has been a little bit of a journey to releasing. Joy impending though, then it’s album time.

Our favorite lyric from the track is “Grief is just a version of love,” what would you say is your favorite?
Thank you! Mine too maybe. I do think I lean towards the sillier more selfish and specific lyrics or in-jokes that make it into the songs. I’d have to go with “You said you had a dream, that you kissed me in the rainforest cafe.” as a personal favorite from Boyfriend.

How does it feel to have your new EP +44 out into the world? Are there nerves that come with that?
There are definitely nerves, I think it’s mostly anticipation really. We spend so long working on these pieces and worlds of art, and I think most people just want them to connect to someone who needs it. I don’t decide how people consume my art, or how people react to it so I guess it’s kind of liberating too, having this representation of me out in the ether floating around for someone to grab on to and become a part of their world too. 

What do you hope fans take away from your new single ‘+44?’
I hope it prompts conversations, more than anything else. It’s a pretty reflective song and quite a conflicting body of work as a whole. I like being hypocritical and like to clash with the different versions of myself and see how they can all blend together. From ‘Boyfriend’ to ‘If It Hurts,’ I think there’s something in there for a few different times and states.

You wrote on social media the other day that 18-year-old you would be so proud of yourself. If you could go back and tell 18-year-old you one thing what would it be?
I’d steal a Patti Smith quote and tell him to never let go of that fiery sadness called desire. I’ve felt so conflicted for so long and felt I was either failing or sad or nervous (but always excited) about which step to take next, even if it was the wrong one. Maybe tell him to care a little less and find some solace a little more often. I’ll probably tell this version of myself the same thing in years to come too. Keep seeking.

Music is an essential tool for healing for so many people, was there a particular song that really helped you through a tough time that you always turned to?
I think there are thousands that I could pick for pure escapism, but I think the one I’d pick right now is ‘The Only Living Boy New York‘ by Simon & Garfunkel. The satisfaction and comfort in isolation and its contemplative nature of it bring me such comfort. No idea where or when you’ll be reunited with your person, beautiful song.

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Live shows are finally back in our day-to-day life. What has been the biggest perk of getting back on stage?
I luckily filled my boots with a tour at the tail end of 2021 so I’m back in the saddle now. I’ve been doing a lot of shows by myself recently, testing new songs and working things out. I love the studio but have really missed that reaction and interaction with a crowd of people. something so beautiful about that we can never replace. The theatre and circus of it all draw me back in.

With just about half of 2022 beyond us, what can we expect from Cj Pandit for the second half of the year?
Lots of new music, a bunch of other projects, installations, zines, and an album! October tour and hopefully some solid fun times with people I love.

Check out more of our exclusive interviews here!

We would love to hear from you! What do you think of our conversation with Cj Pandit? Let us know by commenting down below or by tweeting us @TheHoneyPOP! We are also on Facebook and Instagram!


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