Jassniro

 

'I Love You' is a flight through jazzy shooting stars on a supersonic jet of sexiness.
 

Jassniro has been around the world and back again, and his music reflects a well-traveled soul. His varied experiences abroad infuse his compositions with a worldliness that translates well to a multitude of styles, appealing to a wide range of audiences from enthusiastic youngsters who just want to dance to mature listeners who might appreciate the deeper qualities of his art. ‘I Love You’ in particular is a genuinely distinctive track that eschews traditional notions of songcraft to furnish an exciting new experience to the listener. The first moments of the song are spoken-word declarations of love laced with quiet drums - as if one were listening through a thin wall to a beautiful neighbour on the phone with her lover. It is as intimate and exhilarating as that imagined phone call might be. As the music swells, the vocals soar to a sweet descant that is at once endearing and lustful. The melody resonates with an irresistible sincerity and intimacy that invites anyone listening to accept its sensuality for their own. Independent reporter Alexis Adams recently caught up with Jassniro to learn more about the fascinating artist and his plans the future.

ALEXIS: Let's just get this out in the open - what's the craziest thing that's happened to you in your music career?
JASSNIRO: Something strange happened some time ago when I composed the song ‘And You Are Far From Me.’ I was looking for a vocalist who could best interpret this song. At that time, I was in contact with a young student in Cairo who had a passion for soul, ambient, lounge, and dance music. I sent her the basic instrumental partition, and she started working on the song. She asked what type of intonation was needed for the song and told me that she had some technical problems with the choice of a microphone because she did not know how to cope with purchasing what she wanted in the maze of the great Egyptian metropolis. In short, everything was ready, the setting was pretty good, her persuasive voice— with some verses sung in Arabic—gave the song a touch of sensuality. Now it was necessary to complete the whole thing by choosing a picture for the cover of the single. Sifting through photos of my Egyptian vocalist, I chose a set of photos taken at the University of Cairo in a garden across from several date palms. I actually thought her image was spontaneous and natural. One morning, I received a message from her, quite upset, saying that she was dropping the project because I had not previously consulted her on the choice of the picture. She resented that her fellow students had been inadvertently in with her musical world, and she did not want to mix the two things up even a bit. What a pity! Everything actually went wrong from then on. I could not distribute the song performed by such a persuasive, sensual Egyptian female vocalist. This is so emblematic of the fact that often in music we face insurmountable difficulties created by prejudices, barriers, and cultural distances that hinder our sphere and creativity.

ALEXIS: Your song 'I Love You' is receiving a positive listener response on radio. What was your initial reaction when you first heard your song playing on radio?
JASSNIRO: Really! I did not have the chance to listen to the song on the radio, although I have already seen it on the playlists of the radio stations where it is going to air.

ALEXIS: What was the inspiration behind your debut radio single?
JASSNIRO: The basic inspiration of the song ‘I Love You’ stems from the lack of communication that is quite common nowadays in relationships and in the passions of love. The song is about that particular push and motivation that all true lovers find in order to step forward and overcome moments of crisis by inverting all the phases of negativity in love and changing it into a more positive attitude toward the partner. Some of the lyrics go as follows: ‘Anytime I tried to understand things, I made it for you.’ This phrase summarizes, in brief, the inspiration for the song. It demonstrates the positive qualities that unfold each time as we try to keep the relationship alive by maintaining the thin thread of connection, like on a razor’s edge, practicing virtues such as tolerance, understanding, sensitivity, and generosity to others.

ALEXIS: It is often said that great art arises from difficult experience. Is there something in your life experience thus far that you would describe as the ‘catalyst’ or ‘fuel’ for your desire to create music?
JASSNIRO: Yeah, I agree with the statement that great art arises from difficult times. A long time ago, I organized a trip with my former classmate in Switzerland to the area of Canton Ticino, and we were joined by my former partner. Something during this trip did not work. There were too many tensions in this trio, I think. Who knows! Misunderstandings with my ex-girlfriend that were unclear before, in due time, emerged in this trip as a loose cannon. In short, problems of communication, and also the interaction between my friend and my former partner did not turn into proper empathy to make the trip enjoyable. So many quarrels sprang up, suddenly and out of control, in the group. Then, time came to reach the Italian-Swiss border, and at Como the relationship with my ex-girlfriend broke off. We left with the feeling of turning a pleasure trip into a traumatic rupture of our relationship, and, in fact, so it was. On the return trip to Rome by train, I decided to get down the first impressions of the trip and to narrate the experience of this unexpected interruption of a relationship by composing "Intercity," an instrumental track of great inspiration, dedicated to that experience on the train that brought me back to Rome. It chants the rhythmic cadence of the rails on the tracks along all the train stops and that mixture of sadness and loss that comes at the end of a love.

ALEXIS: How would you characterize yourself as an artist/musician? (Ex. Down-to-earth, serious, fun-loving, complicated…)
JASSNIRO: I would say, maybe, complicated. I am a good music listener, and this is perhaps the quality that every composer should have to be able to integrate various styles and forms in his music. The word ‘artist’ is somehow misused. From my point of view, a musician, a composer, is someone that can understand music, someone who lets it enter his life more deeply than others. Imagine something intimate, for example , when you go to the bathroom and shut the door for privacy—something like that! Perhaps an artist is someone who goes to the bathroom!

 

ALEXIS: What has your experience been like working with the other people on your team?
JASSNIRO: Surely, it is always good to work with other people and to be able to achieve a good level of musicianship. I must say that, in my case, I was able to interact quite well over time with several African-American vocalists and also with Italian instrumentalists, such as a very versatile trumpeter of great insight, who lives in Rome. You can hear his muted, cool jazz trumpet phrases in my song ‘It's Time for Love’.

ALEXIS: Did you come from a musical background? Are there other musicians in your family?
JASSNIRO: Yes, in fact, I come from a family of talented music lovers! On my mother’s side, my great-uncle was actually a composer and concert pianist of classical music, especially Chopin; his sister, that is my grandmother, played the piano extremely well. She loved the piano so much that, a few days before she died, she got up from her bed, gathered all of us—children and grandchildren—and performed her last classical sonata by Debussy. On my father’s side, my grandfather was a good mandolin player.

ALEXIS: What do you find most rewarding about being an artist? What do you find most challenging?
JASSNIRO: Music takes you into a particular dimension; I would say a sensual dimension, where all your inner being comes disruptively outside and where the vibrations of your soul materialize. It is, therefore, a unique and unrepeatable experience. The real challenge is to improve day after day, setting objectives in the short and long term, indeed just as in other professional fields and sectors of our life. For example, for a composer, writing a nice, successful soundtrack is an ambitious goal, and I really hope one day to be able to reach this goal.

ALEXIS: Who are your role models in music?
JASSNIRO: I always listened to 80s funk and bands such as Shakatak, Shalamar, Gap Band, Midnight Stars, One Way, and The Chic. I also have a twinkling in my eyes for 60s, 70s, and 80s music such as Otis Redding, The Vandellas, Sam & Dave, The Jackson Five, and Kool & the Gang. I also enjoy some good, chill out lounge music like the ‘Cafe' Del Mar’ collection and some nice Afro-beat by Fela Anikulapo Kuti and various African musicians (traditional and modern ones). I also fancy ‘blue note’ jazz artists such as Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Stan Getz, Dexter Gordon on up to modern musicians such as Pat Metheny, Charles Lloyd, Ralph Towner, the classic orchestra of Burt Bacharach, and the cool voices of Michael Franks and Elvis Costello.

ALEXIS: Describe your best or most memorable performance.
JASSNIRO: Definitely a memorable concert at the beginning of my music path was when, as a keyboardist, I joined a band of ethnic African musicians who performed on a live tour through all the major Italian cities. We played in a great concert on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, at the Cagliari harbor. It was a great success; we were received with great enthusiasm and affection from the audience.

ALEXIS: What advice would you give to young, aspiring artists out there who are unsure and need guidance?
JASSNIRO: I think it's important for them to believe in every moment of their artistic path, to believe in their ideals, their unique style, their own special way of expressing themselves musically, and in being a good artist. Of course, it is also important to be able to channel their efforts and to mature, and also to consider the various offers carefully because, in today’s music market, you do not always receive commercial offers that are appropriate to your ambitions, probably because, sometimes, these offers are not that honest and credible.

ALEXIS: What's next for you as an artist? Is there a new single in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it?
JASSNIRO: My last single is entitled ‘Dreams Without a Name’. In a sense, I have been inspired to compose this instrumental track by the famous song by Toni, Tony, Tone titled ‘Anniversary’.The song is certainly dedicated to the world of my unnamed dreams, and it is therefore an imaginary journey into my fantasy dream world, which is part of everybody’s everyday life. In particular, I refer to the unknown symbols that we develop through the dimension of dreams, almost like anonymous characters, without a name and identity. I believe that dreams in life are the engine and the drive of something exceptional that then maybe will cause things to happen in real life, or it’s the signal for a radical change of direction and perspective for our future.

ALEXIS: I can't wait to hear it! The coming months should be exciting for you!

http://www.jassniro.com

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