FYIG Chats With Experimental Pop Artist Jett Kwong

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Tell us a little bit about yourself

I’m Jett – a vocalist and guzheng player making music and films. 
 
How did you get your start in music?
 
Early on I started taking voice lessons and singing in choirs, and from there attended 7 years of art school. I started playing guzheng my last year of college, after being inspired by a new age Chinese opera I saw in Germany. 
 
How would you describe your musical style?
 
I’m never quite sure how to describe my style – I’m influenced by such a broad range of sounds and visuals. I’d say it’s cinematic and nostalgic, while somehow being futurist. 
 
What did you learn after studying Music and Humanities from California Institute of the Arts that you’ve applied to your career?
 
Well, I can’t say I learned any real-life skills. I did, however, learn how to question myself deeply as an artist, and I experienced a complete upheaval of my identity which I have since been exploring in a more meaningful way. 
 
How have you evolved since your debut EP “Stark Night” in 2016?
 
The process of creating Stark Night was my first foray into creating a vision. Now I have more tools and experience in weaving together all the elements that call out to me. I often feel that the more I learn, the less I know – and I feel I’ve been channeling the openness of questions and doubt into my work lately. 
 
Your latest single is called, “Away”. What can you tell us about this song?
 
Away is my second collaboration with producer LMNOP. We came up with some textures, and from there it was clear we wanted to explore the mundanity and frustration our community feels as artists working multiple jobs to sustain our creative endeavors. Away is a reminder to check the pressures that society imposes – as well as the pressures within ourselves. 
 

 
What’s next for your career?
 
My only plans are to tell more stories and to become more involved with the things and people I’m interested in. All the details are currently unfolding! 
 
What advice would you have for aspiring singers/songwriters?
 
I’m not sure how qualified I am to give advice just yet… but what I can say is how important it is to check in often with what brings me joy in my art practice. I’m also a firm believer in quality over quantity, especially in an over-saturated market.
 
What’s your life like outside of music?
 
I have my hands in a lot of different projects. Between film, writing, travel, teaching, and eating everything I can get my hands on, I have a pretty packed schedule. I’m currently editing a satyrical short featuring my 95-year old grandma.  
 
Let the readers know where to find you online.
 
I’ll be adding a lot more content to YouTube coming up, so be sure to subscribe to my page. You can find the updates on my show schedule on Instagram @JettKwong