“I just have to be honest about looking at the music and the art that sustains me, the majority of it is stuff that gives me an endorphin rush,” says Jack Latham (aka Jam City), about what it is that has inspired his most recent creative direction into a certain psychedelic escapism for his first solo album release in five years. “I’m like a drug addict, in the sense that what I keep going back to music for is something that reminds me of joy in the world.” Speaking to editor Steph Kretowicz for AQNB’s latest Artist Statement podcast, the London-based musician and producer talks about recognising the false promises of the future, while remaining optimistic in the face of seemingly insurmountable global challenges.
Before dropping Pillowland via his own Earthly Records label on November 13, 2020, Latham had become known for releasing some of the best examples of so-called ‘post-club’ music through the UK’s Night Slugs label, which had come to define a generation of artists in the 2010s. He built a name for himself through this cross-Atlantic, post-dubstep amalgamation of grime and garage, hip-hop and bass music on Classical Curves in 2012, before follow-up record Dream a Garden in 2015 disavowed this approach entirely. The slick high-definition and commercial aesthetics of his previous work gave way to a more critical and lo-fi excursion into political thought and social activism.
Since then, Latham has been working primarily as a producer to other artists, spending extended periods in Los Angeles to work the likes of Troy Sivan, Lil Yachty and Kelela. Pillowland, meanwhile, is concerned with listening back to the music of the past to see what it says about the present.
‘Remembering Joy’ is the latest in our Artist Statement podcast series, with past episodes, featuring Akinola Davis Jr, Maria Minerva, Lucrecia Dalt, Colin Self, and more. The full episode is accessible to our subscribers right now on Patreon. Sign up now: www.patreon.com/aqnb.**